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Fourth time around: Dylan at Letterman

For the very first time in 22 years, Bob Dylan performed live on TV last night at David Letterman's "Late Night" show on CBS. It was his fourth time around, now being among the final musical guests of the broadcast with Letterman as a host – Letterman's legendary era will end today, March 20.

Bob Dylan joined the TV show for the first time in March 1984, promoting his latest album, "Infidels". He performed three songs, the single "Jokerman", the B-side "License to Kill", and a cover of Sonny Boy Williamson's "Don't Start Me Talking". The performance until now remains remarkable for two reasons: One, his backing musicians didn't include any members of the band the album had been recorded with, plus none of the three continued playing with Dylan.

Letterman 1984: Jokerman

Letterman 1984: License to Kill

Letterman 1984: Don't Start Me Talkin'

Dylan's second "Late Night" performance marked Letterman's 10th anniversary in January 1992. He played "Like a Rolling Stone", accompanied by an all-star choir including Rosanne Cash, Emmylou Harris, and Mavis Staples.

Letterman 1992: Like a Rolling Stone

One year later he returned to the Ed Sullivan Theater stage with his new album "World Gone Wrong", a collection of traditional Blues and Folk acoustics, but instead of an album track he chose to perform "Forever Young".

Letterman 1993: Forever Young

Last night, 22 years later and the last time being Letterman's musical guest, Dylan sang "The Night We Called It a Day" from his recent album, "Shadows in the Night".

Letterman 2015: The Night We Called It a Day


MIKE HOBO | May 20, 2015 | LIVE, MEDIA


User comments

Mike Hobo May 20, 2015
Thanks, guys. Don't know how I could have missed that. I've now included it in the list above...

matthew May 20, 2015
Actually the drummer from the 1983 show did play with Dylan some more on tours.

Matt May 20, 2015
How about Forever Young in 1993?

Fabutab May 20, 2015
You're leaving out the occasion in 1993 when Dylan appeared on Letterman's show and performed "Forever Young". 22 years ago was 1993 - not 1992.

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