Bob Dylan’s Forest Hills Concert

December 21, 2007 at 12:35 pm 8 comments

This piece of Forest Hills history just landed on YouTube a few weeks ago. It’s an installment of bassist Harvey Brooks’s video blog in which he describes the audience’s reaction to Bob Dylan’s playing electric guitar at a concert in Forest Hills Tennis Stadium. Brooks, born in Queens, played backup at that concert. Just a month before (July ’65), Dylan had made his electric debut at the Newport Folk Festival, and it would take a while for his beatnik-based audience to catch up with him on it.

Dylan’s playlist that evening:

AUGUST 28, 1965
Forest Hills, New York

The fall tour starts with a concert at the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium backed by a band consisting of Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm, Harvey Brooks and Al Kooper. Sources refer to the reaction as a clash of “Mods and Rockers” storming the stage, throwing objects and trying to pull Kooper and Helm off their stools. Onstage, Dylan jokes to the band, “it looks like the attack of the Beatniks around here…”

1. She Belongs To Me
2. To Ramona
3. Gates Of Eden
4. Love Minus Zero/No Limit
5. Desolation Row
6. It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
7. Mr. Tambourine Man

with electric backing band:
8. Tombstone Blues
9. I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)
10. From A Buick 6
11. Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues
12. Maggie’s Farm
13. It Ain’t Me, Babe
14. Ballad Of A Thin Man
15. Like A Rolling Stone

  • YouTube clip posted by View from the Bottom (Harvey Brooks’s video blog)
  • Playlist from Paul’s Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan Page

Entry filed under: Forest Hills, history, music.

Do Gooding Chain-Store Anxiety

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tom Grasty  |  December 21, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    This is REALLY cool!! I am so happy I stumbled across it.

    If you’re a fan, hopefully you’ll find a little time to stubled through my new novel, BLOOD ON THE TRACKS.

    It’s a murder-mystery. But not just any rock superstar is knocking on heaven’s door. The murdered rock legend is none other than Bob Dorian, an enigmatic, obtuse, inscrutable, well, you get the picture…

    Suspects? Tons of them. The only problem is they’re all characters in Bob’s songs.

    You can get a copy on or go “behind the tracks” at to learn more about the book.

  • 2. Robert Leonardis  |  June 19, 2008 at 11:55 pm

    I was there lost in the rain,not the weather,and it wasn’t easter time too.row AA murray the K as in kaufman along with Zimmerman would make me say I’m going back to New York city I do believe I’ve had enough.All kidding aside I loved it when he went folk rock. It was the the sixth dimension before the fifth.To me at the time Newport was a cigarette and I was a Marlboro man from Long Island.At half time someone tried to raid the stage and in my area the boos were for Murray not BOB..Seeger ,PP & Mary ETC. were around along with Motown and a myriad of stuff. I’ve caught him at Jones Beach in the 80’s preceeded by the Alarm at MSMSG ETC. FH made me a lifetime fan dispite Vietnam.Nuf said.

  • 3. Robert Leonardis  |  June 20, 2008 at 12:06 am

    No sense talking to me just the same as talking to you.

  • 4. Robert Leonardis  |  June 20, 2008 at 12:12 am

    Sometimes I live in the ocean,sometimes I live in the town sometimes I get a great notion to jump in the river and drown.Good night Irene.I flew east to meet the beast.THANKS KEN! You too JACK K and BDZ!

  • 5. Bruce Allen  |  January 27, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    In all the coverage I’ve read of this particular concert over the years, the line-up of the Forest Hills band has always been Dylan, Robertson, Kooper, Brooks, and Helm. Now, in the “Legendary Sessions” series, Colin Irwin’s “Bob Dylan: Highway 61 Revisited” indicates that Frank Owens, a session player on the album, was also a member of Dylan’s backing band that night. Anyone out there have any insights on this?

  • 6. Kevin  |  March 31, 2010 at 11:27 am

    We rushed the stage for the fun of it. We came from all backgrounds but lived in the area. We were kind of lost boys of the summer and would sneak in to most concerts. The same group of us made multiple runs at the stage.
    Dylan’s music touched most us. We even yelled for him to sing “eve of destruction’ and he commented that it’s not his song…but he wished it was.
    I actually made it on stage and pulled a friend up (tug of war with one of the rental cops) I was face to face with Dylan (who seemed to be in shock or disbelief) I just patted him on the shoulder and said love your music man. Made it off stage out of the stadium and the snuck back in.

  • 7. Anonymous  |  August 16, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    I’m sure that never happened.

  • 8. Stan Heidrich  |  August 14, 2012 at 3:50 am

    Desolation Row transported me that night. I was fourteen and well-familiar with Dylan, but had never heard such lyrical and haunting imagery before. Nor has the song lost any of its power. My Chemical Romance did a punkish version of it, and even that sends chills down my spine.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Recent Posts


splittinghairsinforesthills at earthlink dot net

%d bloggers like this: