Bob Dylan & Wallingford, CT: A history

Bob Dylan and his band will be coming to the Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, CT this June the 18th, 2017. The occasion will mark Bob's third official appearance in Wallingford, however, this will be his fourth time around preforming within the borders of my hometown, Wallingford.

Officially, Bob first played in Wallingford (at the Oakdale Theater) in 1997. However, I remember hearing a story from my aunt and uncle, who were teenagers at the time, that they saw Bob Dylan and Joan Baez together at the Oakdale back in the early 1960s. My aunt recalled that she saw Bob and Joan walk together, right in front of her and her then boyfriend (now husband) and into the Oakdale, which was then some kind of tent or barn.

Since this show is not listed anywhere, at least under Bob's name,  I had to do a bit of digging online to find out if my aunt's memory served her correctly. Alas, it did. Joan Baez played a show with Bob at the Oakdale on August 11, 1963, in the evening. They later went on to play a show in Pittsfield, MA a few days later (August 14th). Interestingly enough, Bob recorded, at Columbia studios in New York City, "Moonshiner" and "Only a Hobo" the very next day, August 12, 1963. Later in that same month, on August 28, 1963, Bob played at the March on Washington with Martin Luther King Jr.

According to the flyer below, Bob and Joan played the evening show on that Sunday, August 11, 1963. Earlier in the day, the famed Liberace played the piano.


Bob returned to a much different Oakdale on August 18, 1997. He was joined by the legendary Rick Danko, of the Band, who sadly went on to die in 1999 from years of drug addiction and hard living.

Here's the setlist from 8/18/97:
1. Absolutely Sweet Marie
2. Peggy-O
3. I'll be Your Baby Tonight
4. Tough Mama
5. Silvio
6. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
7. Tangled Up in Blue
8. Little Sadie
9. I'll Remember You
10. This Wheel's on Fire (w/Danko)
11. The Cat's in the Well
12. Like a Rolling Stone
13. I Shall be Released (w/Danko)
14. Alabama Getaway




Bob last played in Wallingford on his never ending tour on August 17, 2003. Interestingly enough, Bob and the band belted out "This Wheels on Fire", a Band cover, and "I'll be Your Baby Tonight", an average tune off Nashville Skyline, both in 1997 and 2003. "Like a Rolling Stone" is always expected, along with "All Along the Watchtower". However, it really would be shocking if Bob played "This Wheels on Fire" or "I'll be Your Baby Tonight" this time around.

I wonder if Bob played "This Wheels on Fire" in honor of Danko, knowing that he played with him at the Oakdale back in '97. It'd be surprising to me if Bob remembered Wallingford or the Oakdale at all, but who knows. He played both songs both times in Wallingford. "This Wheels on Fire" is only included in three other setlists from 2003.



Here's the setlist from 8/17/03:
1. Stuck Inside a Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again
2. Lay Lady Lay
3. Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum
4. I'll be Your Baby Tonight
5. Things Have Changed
6. Highway 61 Revisited
7. This Wheel's on Fire
8. Watching the River Flow
9. The Wicked Messenger
10. Born in Time
11. A-Hard Rain's Gonna Fall
12. Honest With Me
13. Simple Twist of Fate
14. Summer Days
15. Like a Rolling Stone
16. All Along the Watchtower



We'll see what Bob has in store on June 18th!

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