New archival material found has been found for Bob Dylan at The Isle of Wight British rock festival on August 30 to 31, 1969

Bob Dylan, press clippings from the Isle of Wight

Bob Dylan, press clippings from the Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight Festival that essential got Bob Dylan to perform again in pubic was held over the weekend June 11 to 13th, 2009.

Bob Dylan appeared at the 2nd Isle of Wight festival August 30 – August 31, 1969.

Dylan had skipped Woodstock Festival and this was the big chance to see him since the release of John Wesley Harding and Nashville Skyline.

On May 1st Dylan had performed in Nashville at the Ryman as part of the Johnny Cash show. He had also appeared at the Carnegie Hall Woody Guthrie memorial in 1968. The Isle of Wight concert was his first big event.

Ken Blake

When Ken Blake died recently his son, Jon Blake, decided to post Ken’s memento’s from the famous 1969 Isle of Wight Festival in the UK. The festival was held this weekend 41 years ago.

Ken Blake had been by a stroke of luck the electrician at one of the world’s most famous rock concerts.

Help Dylan Sink the Isle of Wight is a treasure trove of memorabilia and press articles about the famous concert. You can also read the behind the scenes stories from Jon and his father.

The Isle of Wight was big. The Beatles sans McCartney were there. So were The Who.


“I Threw It All Away” from Isle of Wight

The video is noisy at the first but gets better so hang in there.

Bob Dylan Isle of Wight 1969

Check it out and give Jon a shout. He’s done a great job of putting this material in a public place.

Rock festivals were the big thing after Woodstock. Bob Dylan who lived near the Woodstock Festival left town and avoided the famous rock romp.

Rumors were true that Dylan was a headliner at the Isle of Wight.

His motorcycle accident in 1966 had created an aura of mystery around the most famous singer songwriter of the 1960’s.

To his critics, Dylan was the folk protester who sold out to rock and roll with Like a Rolling Stone. To his fans, Dylan was the Oracle of Delphi. They hung on his every word, phrase and tune.

People still use Dylan phrases to construct sentences, this writer included.

The appearance at Isle of Wight had all the makings of The Second Coming of Christ. Of course, anything hyped that much will disappoint many. The British press savaged Dylan but he was used to it.

On 31 August a nervous Bob Dylan arrived on stage in a cream suit recalling Hank Williams, with a haircut and a short beard, performing his recent pieces from Nashville Skyline and John Wesley Harding: much to the surprise and confusion/consternation of the audience. During the press conference prior to his performance, Dylan remarked that he came to the Isle of Wight to see the birthplace of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, because he was “just curious”. John Lennon opined that his performance was reasonable, though slightly flat; and still the audience was waiting Godot or Jesus. Eric Clapton, however, was mesmerized, clearly – as he has stated, being inspired back to the blues and country by Bob Dylan and The Band‘s album Music From Big Pink – saying “Dylan was fantastic. He changed everything. … [The audience] couldn’t understand it. You had to be a musician to understand it.” Levon Helm commented on their latency on the bill: “Bob had an extra list of songs with about eight or ten different titles … that we would’ve gone ahead and done had it seemed like the right thing to do. But it seemed like everyone was a bit tired … the festival was three days old by then.” Tom Paxton mentions the “negative reaction in the British press, including downright fabrications: like saying he had run off stage half-way through. … I went with him and The Beatles to the farmhouse where he was clearly in a merry mood because he had felt it had gone so well. … The Beatles had brought a test pressing of [ Abbey Road ] and we listened to it and had quite a party.”

Dylan’ setlist included “She Belongs to Me“, “I Threw It All Away“, “Maggie’s Farm“, “The Wild Mountain Thyme”, “It Ain’t Me Babe“, “To Ramona“, “Lay Lady Lay“, “Highway 61 Revisited“, “One Too Many Mornings“, “I Pity the Poor Immigrant“, “Like A Rolling Stone“, “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight“, “The Mighty Quinn (Quinn the Eskimo)“, “Minstrel Boy”, “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35“, “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine“. Wikipedia

Thanks to Jon Blake for the postings.