Last night, tons of venues all over the world held Bob Dylan tribute concerts to celebrate his birthday. New York’s Town Hall was one of them, but with a twist: They had performers cover only the songs Bob himself played there in a famous 1963 concert. This led to some real deep cuts mixed in with the early Freewheelin’-era classics.
And that wasn’t the only thing unusual about the evening. Two of the biggest names were not, technically, singers. Bill Murray warbled “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” and Steve Buscemi recited “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues” (the song that got Dylan kicked off Ed Sullivan). Buscemi delivered a fantastically passionate reading of his deep cut, while Bill Murray – well, it was nice of him to show up, and we’ll leave it at that.
To be clear, plenty of actual musicians performed as well. A few shaky YouTube videos have landed already (the sound is good though). Watch Emily Haines of Metric croon rarely-covered deep cut “Bob Dylan’s Dream,” Geoff Muldaur’s sensitive acoustic “Boots of Spanish Leather,” and Bob Neuwirth – one of Bob’s 1960s folk peers and friends – recite “Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie” below. We’ll add more videos when they surface (other performers there included Milk Carton Kids, Laurie Anderson, and Sun Kil Moon).