Bob Dylan: Abandoned Love – The Other End, NYC, July 3, 1975


The announcement of the latest installment of Bob Dylan’s indispensable Bootleg Series is yet another reminder of the sheer depth of the man’s archives. But even with outtakes regularly emerging in official form, there’s plenty of great stuff still slipping through the cracks. With that in mind, we’re kicking off “Odds & Ends,” a new Dylan series highlighting stolen moments from the past 50 or so years. Here’s one that is likely to stay unreleased due to the decidedly lo-fi nature of the recording. But that aside it’s one of Bob’s finest moments. During a surprise appearance in NYC on the eve of his Rolling Thunder Revue tour, the songwriter debuted “Abandoned Love” for a tiny, obviously thrilled crowd, who probably assumed that this brilliant tune would be the centerpiece of Dylan’s next LP. And indeed, he attempted laying it down in the studio for Desire, but not to his satisfaction – that version wasn’t released ‘til the mid-80s on Biograph. Listening to the fire in his voice on this tape, you can see why; the studio version is positively watered down. “My head says that it’s time to make a change,” he sings, somehow sounding tortured and delighted all at once. “But my heart is telling me: I love you but you’re strange.” Story goes that the taper took a punch from one of Dylan’s buddies when his rig was discovered. We all owe that taper a beer. words/ t wilcox

MP3: Bob Dylan :: Abandoned Love (The Other End, NYC, July 3, 1975)

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19 thoughts on “Bob Dylan: Abandoned Love – The Other End, NYC, July 3, 1975

  1. awesome! i dig the punching anecdote and look forward to subsequent installments in this series!!

  2. Great version. I love the audience interaction. The Biograph version is much looser/laid back which I love. This version makes me think more of Wedding Song from Planet Waves. A bit darker and more biting. Can’t wait for the next installment!

  3. This is one of my favorites! In fact, even the Biograph version is great. I’m surprised he never did anything with this beyond those two recordings. Thanks for sharing this.

  4. Truly amazing I’ve always regarded this as one Bob’s greatest performances

    How about Caribbean Wind performed at San Francisco’s Warfield Theatre in November 1980 for a future “Odds and Ends”

  5. “As long as I love you I’m not free”, why didn’t I think of those wise words?

  6. Too bad this has Ramblin’ Jack Elliott’s introduction of Bob. Bob futzes around before he starts playing, and you can hear him say “Adnopoz?” off mike– Ramblin’ Jack’s real last name.

  7. Thats a great one. I think it is the Bitter End, not Other End in terms of the venue.

  8. It’s the same club, but at the time the Bitter End had changed its name to The Other End for some reason (they later changed it back).

  9. Gracias. Thank you for this little treasure, definitively better than the recorded version. Still, I think this is part of the essence of bootlegging, to rejoice in the preciousness of that particular moment few people could witness.

  10. Great, painful, bitter, bitter-sweet version. He couldn’t record this, it’s too bitter. So he sweetened it up for Desire. Then again, it comes from a dark period for him so I’m sure he was glad to forget it – the time and the song.

  11. Bobby at his most vulnerable, scathing and rueful. Here he doesn’t mince words, and yet his longing for her is most striking. Underrated gem.

  12. I was 20, working at The Other End, when Dylan started showing up night after night. I was about 15 feet away when he got onstage and sang this great song. I was the biggest Dylan freak at that club, always bribing the soundman to play The Basement Tapes on the club’s sound system. Once, my boss, Paul Colby, asked me to sit next to Bob at the bar, so no one would bother him. No one except me, LOL. Some nights later, I got to accompany him on guitar on Just Like A Woman, I Want You, and a few other Dylan classics. July 1975. Best summer ever.

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