9 DECEMBER 1979
COMMUNITY CENTER - TUCSON, AZ
MONOLOGUE/IF I GOT MY TICKET, LORD/IT'S GONNA RAIN/DO LORD, REMEMBER ME/LOOK UP AND LIVE BY FAITH/OH FREEDOM/THIS TRAIN/SERVE SOMEBODY/I BELIEVE IN YOU/WHEN YOU GONNA WAKE UP?/WHEN HE RETURNS/MAN GAVE NAMES TO ALL THE ANIMALS/PRECIOUS ANGEL/SLOW TRAIN COMING/COVENANT WOMAN/PUT YOUR HAND IN THE HAND (Regina McCreary, vocals)/GONNA CHANGE MY WAY OF THINKING/DO RIGHT TO ME BABY/SOLID ROCK/SAVING GRACE/ SAVED/WHAT CAN I DO FOR YOU/ IN THE GARDEN/BLESSED IS THE NAME/PRESSING ON
A rowdy crowd greets Regina McCreary as she begins her monologue. As is often the case, the irreverent comments are gradually silenced by other audience members and Regina's own obvious sincerity.
I find these monologues -- and their segue into "If I Got My Ticket, Lord" -- a fascinating dramatic focal point of the concerts. By now, the considerable negative press which greeted Dylan's new found faith, precedes him on tour. The crowd is somewhat self-selecting, made up of fans who are interested in hearing this "new" Dylan and his message, perhaps others who only know the Dylan of Slow Train Coming. In this setting, Regina's monologue is initially greeted by a palpable uneasiness from the audience. Some make flip comments, others are downright mocking of the earnestness with which the story is told. By the time the story relates how the old woman is taken from the train, this uneasiness has descended into restlessness and impatient comments can be heard on most tapes. Regina sings the first prayer and the sheer beauty of her voice hints at the treasures to come. By the third prayer, the crowd is cheering her on, and the piano intro to "If I Got My Ticket, Lord" is often drowned by applause. Regina then lets ride the gorgeous, earthy first lines of "If I Got My Ticket, Lord," and the three singers, together, sweep the audience before them.
Overall, the intro monologue and gospel sets make these concerts more intimate. Regina McCreary shows considerable personal courage in standing alone, a stranger before uneasy thousands who have paid their tickets to see what has become of the Icon of the Disaffected Cool. She addresses them in the language of evangelical Christianity, but wins them over with her music conveyed by her gorgeous voice all alone up there on stage. The crowd's reception this evening is warm and the rest of the concert reflects this warmth from Dylan as well in both his performance and his comments between songs.
There is a charming exchange as Dylan feigns outrage when a fan yells out "Everybody must get stoned!" Dylan says, "Who was that, who said that? Give me that person's name who said that." When another fan then shouts (correctly) "Dylan!" Dylan chuckles.
"Good evening. I'm going to tell you a story."
CROWD: "OHHH! Tell Me!"
IF I'VE GOT MY TICKET, LORD
IT'S GONNA RAIN
Regina: "Thank you Jesus!"
DO LORD, REMEMBER ME
Helena: "Glory! Glory to God!"
LOOK UP AND LIVE BY FAITH
I BELIEVE IN YOU
WHEN YOU GONNA WAKE UP?
WHEN HE RETURNS
MAN GAVE NAMES TO ALL THE ANIMALS
CROWD: "Everybody must get stoned!"
Dylan: "Who was that, who said that? Give me that person's name who said that."
CROWD: "Dylan!" (Dylan chuckles)
SLOW TRAIN COMING
EDIT# - during applause
Dylan: "Thank you. Uh. Regina's gonna come here and sing a song for you called, "Put Your Hand In The Hand Of The Man From Galilee." I fell on a cactus this afternoon and I have to go take out some stickers. She's gonna come out and sing a song called -- "
PUT YOUR HAND IN THE HAND OF THE MAN (Performed by Regina McCreary)
GONNA CHANGE MY WAY OF THINKING
DO RIGHT TO ME BABY
Dylan: "Thank you. Saved by the blood of the lamb. I hope you're all saved by the blood of the lamb too."
WHAT CAN I DO FOR YOU
Dylan: "Thank you, we have time for one more."
IN THE GARDEN
EDIT# - During applause - audio noticeably more cramped after
Dylan: "On keyboards tonight, give him a warm hand, Spooner Oldham. On the other set of keyboards, Terry Young. Alright, on lead guitar tonight, Fred Tackett. On the drums, Jim Keltner. Playing bass guitar tonight is Mr. Tim Drummond. Singing on the bottom tonight is Helena Springs. Singing in the middle is Regina McCreary. And singing on the top is Mona Lisa Young."
BLESSED IS THE NAME
Two known reference tapes circulating:
The first (091279PBMD) is a mono audience recording which contains the seven opening songs performed by the band, and the eighth song, "Put Your Hand in the Hand" by the band and sung by Regina McCreary Havis following "Covenant Woman."
This recording is marred by considerable hiss and peripheral distortion at higher volume levels. Therre are also brief drop-outs (destructive edits?) during the Monologue and "I Believe In You." Finally, the audio sounds markedly different for the encores following an edit after "In The Garden" raising the question whether the encores are from the same evening.
The second (091279PLMC) is a dual mono audience recording which contains the seven opening songs performed by the band, and the eighth song, "Put Your Hand in the Hand" by the band and sung by Regina McCreary Havis following "Covenant Woman."
This recording is marred by considerable hiss throughout, signifiicantly worse than 091279PBMD. Regina McCreary's introductory Monologue is severly clipped, beginning halfway through. This recording also cuts "Solid Rock" in half between two tape sides.