John Waters to interpret Bob Dylan “for the ambivalent” -
John Waters photo by Ros O'Gorman

John Waters photo by Ros O'Gorman

John Waters to interpret Bob Dylan “for the ambivalent”

by Paul Cashmere on August 9, 2019

in News

With John Waters goes out to perform the songs of Bob Dylan for the Dylan Revisited tour he wants the audience to known (almost) every song.

Unlike an actual Bob Dylan setlist, Dylan Revisited is the greatest hits package with a few obscurities thrown in.

When Roy Ortuso asked me to do this show my brief was to concentrate on the best-known songs,” John Waters tells “There are a lot of obscure songs that I love but I get exactly what Roy is saying. I want people who are ambivalent about Bob Dylan”.

The show will be played in two sets. “I’ve gone through most of the classics,” John says. “The first set is ‘Tangled Up In Blue’, ‘I Shall Be Released’, ‘I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight’, ‘Its All Over Now Baby Blue, ‘Hard Rain’, ‘Blowing in the Wind’, ‘Forever Young’, ‘Don’t Think Twice Its Alright’, ‘Just Like A Women’ and ‘Mr Tambourine Man’.

“For the second set we start with ‘This Wheel’s On Fire’, a lot of people don’t know it’s a Dylan song because it was from ‘Songs from the Big Pink’ and used as a theme song for ‘Absolutely Fabulous’. It was a hit in England for Julie Driscoll and Brian Auger and the Trinity in the 60s. Then I do a song he did that won the Oscar for the movie ‘Wonder Boys’ called ‘Things Have Changed’. It’s such as great song even through a lot of Dylan fans won’t know it. Its early 90s and in that category of later Dylan. It has great lyrics. Then we follow with ‘Hurricane’, ‘Simple Twist of Fate;, ‘Lay Lady Lay’, ‘The Times They Are A Changing’, ‘Dear Landlord’, ‘Gotta Serve Somebody’, ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ and then I come back and do ‘Knocking On Heaven’s Door’ for the encore. Some people like the more obscure songs but that’s not my brief. My brief is to bring the greatest hits to people”.

One of the lesser known songs on the setlist is ‘Dear Landlord’, a song also covered by Joe Cocker. “It’s on the ‘John Wesley Harding’ album,” John says. “Dylan’s slow mournful version of the song is interesting in itself. Joe did his rock version of the song and I think the version I am doing is closer to the Cocker version”.

Dylan also had a success period with his trilogy of Gospel albums. ‘Gotta Serve Somebody’ is from that era. “It’s a beautiful song. It was like a Christian kind of thing on that ‘Slow Train Coming’ album. He was reaching for influences at that time but I don’t think he ever committed to be a devotee of any particular religion. ‘Gotta Serve Somebody’ is just a song about accountability in your life. It doesn’t matter who you are, you might think you have all these advantages but you are no special than anyone else and you have a duty to answer to answer to spiritual issues. Its got a great bluesy, swampy kind of vibe”.

John Waters Dylan Revisited will start 16 August and run into December.Get tickets here

Dylan Revisited dates

Friday 16 August Wests Nelson Bay, NSW
Saturday 17 August Belmont 16s, NSW
Saturday 24 August Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL, NSW
Friday 30 August Twin Towns, NSW
Sunday, 1 September The Tivoli, Qld
Wednesday 4 September Canberra SC Club, ACT
Friday 6 September Wests New Lambton, NSW
Saturday 7 September Evan Theatre, Panthers Penrith, NSW
Friday 13 September Hurstville Civic Theatre, NSW
Saturday 14 September The Art House Wyong, NSW
Saturday 21 September Norths Leagues, NSW
Friday 4 October Astor Theatre, WA
Saturday 12 October WIN Entertainment Centre, NSW
Sunday 13 October Mittagong RSL, NSW
Thursday 24 October C.ex Coffs Harbour, NSW
Friday 25 October Manning Entertainment Centre, NSW
Saturday 2 November Bathurst Panthers, NSW
Friday 8 November Riverside Theatre, Parramatta, NSW
Friday 15 November The Juniors, NSW
Sunday 17 November Ettalong Diggers, NSW
Friday 29 November Brother’s Leagues Club, Cairns, QLD
Saturday 30 November The Ville Townsville, QLD
Friday 6 December Wrest Point Casino, TAS
Saturday 7 December Country Club Launceston, TAS
Monday 9 December Devonport Entertainment & Convention Centre, TAS

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