Lossless Bootleg Bonanza: Bob Dylan – People Sleeping In Broken Beds, 1989 Summer Tour of North America

bob dylan - 1989-10-24 Boston 1

Bob Dylan
Pink Panther Records
1989 Summer Tour of North America

Thanks to Nellie at Expecting Rain for compiling this.

Download: FLAC/MP3

Bob finished recording what would become Oh Mercy early in 1989 and then played 72 concerts before finally releasing the album on 18 September.
These 72 prior concerts are amazing in terms of high & consistent performance standard which revisited a very large number of his songs & the songs of others.

He had finally achieved what Jerry Garcia had told him he must do – reconnect with the songs from is vast catalogue & play them with conviction.
Bob started this process immediately after his strange 1987 concerts with The Grateful Dead. In late 1987, he toured Europe with Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers.

Bob played with The Heartbreakers in 86, but the 87 tour was completely different with Bob agreeing to play band requests for his past songs.
1988 brought the unexpected success of The Traveling Wilburys which gave his failing career a much needed boost & exposure to a new audience.
He also came up with a new business model – a small, stripped down road band doing large numbers of “never ending” concerts
& playing ever-changing setlists of his own songs & other people’s songs that he liked.

Back to Oh Mercy, an album almost as famous for the songs left off it (God Knows, Series Of Dreams, Dignity, Born In Time) as it was for those on it.

Bob had a long time to think about what he wanted to include on Oh Mercy, & I suspect he considered not releasing it at all.
Bob had to make a decision – continue as a “wilbury” (Roy Orbison’s death on 6 December 1988 made that unlikely), stick with the old songs,
or push forward into the future with new songs that he believed in. So Bob pushed the reset button – all the way back to 1981 & Shot Of Love,
the last Christian album which Bob had worked hard & long on & was very proud of but which sold very poorly. This was a very high risk career move & Bob knew it.

The released Oh Mercy (like Infidels) has heavily disguised, but it had a far more potent religious message than any previous album.
What Bob does with Oh Mercy is to actually answer some questions raised by some of his old songs – he tells you what he really believes, & more importantly, why.

Everything Is Broken is Trouble Part 2, Man In The Long Black Coat is Blowin’ In The Wind Part 2, Ring Them Bells is Chimes Of Freedom Part 2.

The “message” of Oh Mercy goes something like this:

– people are incapable of managing or understanding the world without religious guidance.
– people revert to the dark side without such guidance – every man’s conscience is vile and depraved.
– the world is a harsh and dangerous place and always will be – trouble and damage are everywhere.
– temptation & sexual love is the only “escape” in this world but it takes you to the dark side and does not last.
– life on earth is simply a test of character for the life beyond.
– life & death are the same thing if you pass the test – people don’t live or die, people just float.
– the force of God is everywhere – blowin’ in the wind, hurricane breeze.
– not everyone will pass the test for the life beyond – ring them bells for the chosen few.

Now you can accept that or reject it, but Bob had decided to return to religious songs – a high risk move based on past experience,
but after 72 concerts to think about it, Oh Mercy hit the streets on 18 September 1989, & a new tour leg started in New York on 10 October.

The NY concerts are bizarre – there is a new Bob on stage with something new & powerful to say.
Andrew Muir refers to the “demonic rage” of the four show NY residency which kicked off the tour.

This is scary stuff, & there is overt & covert religion everywhere.
Five new songs (Everything Is Broken, Disease Of Conceit, Most Of The Time, What Good Am I?, Man In The Long Black Coat)
are played most nights along with Like A Rolling Stone, All Along The Watchtower, I Shall Be Released & A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.
The setlists are far more consistent for core songs that the concerts earlier in the year.
Shot Of Love is back – Shot Of Love, Dead Man, Dead Man, Trouble, Lenny Bruce.
There are mainstream hymns – Precious Memories & Rank Strangers To Me. There are Bob hymns – In The Garden, I Believe In You, Man Of Peace.

The most startling & serious performances are reserved for Bob on piano (the first piano Bob of the NET).
Check out Disease Of Conceit (Ithaca), Ring Them Bells (Poughkeepsie), Gotta Serve Somebody (Troy)
& the unbelievable rewrite of When You Gonna Wake Up? (Poughkeepsie) – the song has been drastically shortened
with only the first verse remaining from the original song. You cannot even make out the words – just fragments
(-left me in peace-another hungry mouth to feed-where he belongs-ain’t that strong-schools-every time-),
but it is so profound & played with such conviction that it stops you in your tracks.
He achieved something like it with I’m Not There (1956) from the Basement Tapes.

Poughkeepsie is the best concert & is available in excellent sound. It is one of Bob’s best concerts ever.

Just to ram it all home, immediately after the tour Bob retreats to a recording studio in Bloomington with Barry Goldberg
to record People Get Ready. You have got to wonder what else he recorded that day.

& you know what – Oh Mercy became the successful comeback album – praised by critics & fans alike.

The religion was ignored by almost everybody – as The Traveling Wilburys said, The Devil’s Been Busy. He got away with it!

You have to ask yourself how all those beds got broken – one of the great Bob mysteries.

You have gotta hear this stuff.

all sourced from 100% lossless FLAC from best available sound sources.

Statistics for this compilation (yes, lies, damn lies & statistics masquerading as facts)

85 ball-tearing, sensational tracks
80 different songs
18 concerts are represented here (from the total of 27 concerts) plus 1 studio recording session.
7 hours & 37 minutes of music
1 bob

All 80 songs played on the tour leg are represented here.

The setlists were highly variable from night to night, with
3 songs being played twenty or more times,
12 songs being played ten or more times,
37 songs being played five or more times, and
26 songs only played once or twice.

The Beacon Theatre
New York City, New York
10 October 1989

1.75th Street Autograph Signing
2.Rank Strangers To Me (A. Brumley)
3.Girl Of The North Country
4.Bunkhouse Theme

Shining At The Beacon (Cosmic Thrills / CT 50003-4)

The Beacon Theatre
New York City, New York
12 October 1989

5.What Good Am I?
6.I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)
7.You’re A Big Girl Now
8.Boots Of Spanish Leather
9.Lakes Of Pontchartrain (trad.)
10.Gates Of Eden
11.Queen Jane Approximately
12.Masters Of War
13.Most Of The Time

Equipment: CD-R of unknown generation sent by DM >
wav (EAC secure mod) > flac [flac frontend 1.1.2
(except for Lakes Of Pontchartrain – version 1.1.3);
align on sb option – level 8 – verify on]

The Beacon Theatre
New York City, New York
13 October 1989

14.Precious Memories (arr. by Bob Dylan)
15.Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
16.Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
17.Song To Woody
18.In The Garden
19.Like A Rolling Stone
20.Man In The Long Black Coat
21.Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat


The Tower Theatre
Upper Darby, Pennsylvania
15 October 1989

22.Two Soldiers (trad.)
23.Everything Is Broken


The Tower Theatre
Upper Darby, Pennsylvania
16 October 1989

24.The Man In Me
25.I Shall Be Released

Transfer: JTT;
Equipment: Master Cassette > Cassette (JG) > Cassette (TDK SA90 Dolby B) >
Akai GX95 Mk 2 (Dolby B) > Line in to Soundforge PRO 10 >
FLAC Level 6 align on sector boundaries

Constitution Hall
Washington, District Of Columbia
18 October 1989

26.One Irish Rover (Van Morrison)
27.Silvio (Bob Dylan & Robert Hunter)


Mid-Hudson Arena
Poughkeepsie, New York
20 October 1989

28.The Times They Are A-Changin’
29.Absolutely Sweet Marie
30.Seeing The Real You At Last
31.Dead Man, Dead Man
32.I’ll Remember You
33.Love Minus Zero/No Limit
34.One Too Many Mornings
35.When You Gonna Wake Up?
36.Ring Them Bells
37.Tears Of Rage (Bob Dylan & Richard Manuel)
38.Everybody’s Movin’ (Glen Trout)
39.Most Of The Time
40.All Along The Watchtower


Keaney Auditorium
University Of Rhode Island
South Kingston, Rhode Island
22 October 1989

41.John Brown

Taper: Kevin Hall;
Taping Equipment:
Sony WM-D6C Professional Walkman recorder,
2 Beyer M-700 microphones;
Mastering: Carl Morstadt;
Mastering Equipment: Master Cassette >
Sony K707ES cassette deck >
M-Audio Firewire Audiophile 2496 >
CDWAV 24-bit/96-KHz wav files >

The Opera House
Boston, Massachusetts
23 October 1989

43.My Back Pages
44.Simple Twist Of Fate
45.Wagoner’s Lad (trad.)
46.It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)
47.Shelter From The Storm
48.I Shall Be Released

Remaster: JTT;
Equipment: Master Cassette > Cassette (JG) >
Cassette (TDK SA90 Dolby B) > Akai GX95 Mk 2 (Dolby B) >
Line in to Soundforge PRO 10 > FLAC Level 6 align on sector boundaries

The Opera House
Boston, Massachusetts
24 October 1989

49.Man Of Peace
50.I Believe In You
51.Forever Young
52.Highway 61 Revisited
53.Mr Tambourine Man
54.The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll
55.It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
56.Maggie’s Farm


Houston Fieldhouse
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Troy, New York
27 October 1989

57.Gotta Serve Somebody
58.Lenny Bruce
59.Mama, You Been On My Mind
60.To Ramona


Ben Light Gymnasium
Ithaca College
Ithaca, New York
29 October 1989

61.Positively 4th Street
62.Lay, Lady, Lay
63.Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
64.A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
65.Disease Of Conceit

Taper: Paul Loeber (PL)

Arie Crown Theater
Chicago, Illinois
31 October 1989

66.I Want You
67.Ballad Of A Thin Man
68.Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
69.Ballad Of Hollis Brown
70.I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight
71.Love Minus Zero / No Limit
72.Man In The Long Black Coat


Hill Auditorium
University Of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
1 November 1989

73.Visions Of Johanna

State Theater
Cleveland, Ohio
2 November 1989

74.Shot Of Love
75.Just Like A Woman
76.It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
77.It Ain’t Me, Babe


Chrysler Hall
Norfolk, Virginia
7 November 1989

78.Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine)
79.When First Unto This Country (trad.)


The Fox Theater
Atlanta, Georgia
10 November 1989

80.To Be Alone With You
81.Dark As A Dungeon (Merle Travis)

Sunrise Musical Theater
Miami, Florida
13 November 1989

82.Subterranean Homesick Blues
83.Lay, Lady, Lay
84.Tangled Up In Blue

Belmont Hall Studio
Brown County
Bloomington, Indiana
20 November 1989

85.People Get Ready (Curtis Mayfield)

8 thoughts on “Lossless Bootleg Bonanza: Bob Dylan – People Sleeping In Broken Beds, 1989 Summer Tour of North America

  1. Yep, this is the one!
    The purest distillation of Bob performing his own art since the 60s. Not knocking any of the 70s tours or the gospel tours or the 97-2001 stuff. However as a representation of Bob performing his own art with commitment and passion and consistent excellence, backed by a rhythm section which is a match for any combination that preceded or followed, and the almost telepathic understanding between Bob and G.E.’S guitars (esp in the acoustic sets), this is the one!
    Dark theatres, brooding performances (the classic 60s material never received a more sympathetic reading), the brilliant drumming of Christopher Parker pushing the band forward, while(critically) a newly motivated Bob pulls from the front.
    Classic, essential stuff, and definitely one for the ‘purists’

    Thanks Mat, you saved me from pulling this down from FF at 100kbs, had contemplated, but had faith that you would deliver!

    1. Sorry it took me so long. When I get to bulk downloading like I did with these PP shows I forget who requested what. Then they get piled up on the hard drive and I just start uploading them in whatever order they fall inside the hard drive folder.

  2. ps should add. I’m not saying these shows are better than the jan/feb 90 shows. I’m saying that both tour legs are magnificent, I could not choose between them. I am prob slightly leaning towards the Paris/London shows, however I may be biased as I was lucky to catch some of them from the front few rows

  3. Yeah, man! To me this was the beginning of Bob’s renaissance. He was getting ready to hang it up when Bono introduced him to Daniel Lanois. Oh Mercy was critical and it was the beginning of my Favorite Bob incarnation. There would never have been the Trilogy (Time Out of Mind/Love and Theft/Modern Times without that album and these tours. Thanks, Mat!

  4. Nerdy thing to mention but should this not be sub-titled the 1989 Fall Tour of North America? The summer tour being included in a different set.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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