Couldn’t Make It To Desert Trip? Here’s The Next Best Thing!

The second and final weekend of “Desert Trip” in Indio, California, once again saw the “Mount Rushmore” of rock bring its A-game.

Poster Art

Poster Art

Bob Dylan, whose Nobel Prize for Literature was the main story in the rock world last week, played virtually the same set on Friday (October 14th) as he had the previous week, with NME noting the one exception of strapping on a guitar for the first time in four years to perform the Blood On The Tracks classic, “Simple Twist Of Fate.”

The Rolling Stones shook up their set later that night with the live premiere of yet another Blue & Lonesome track, a cover of “Just Your Fool” — which was made famous by Buddy Johnson & His Orchestra. Other highlights included such early Stones singles as “Get Off My Cloud,” and “Paint It Black,” along with the Exile On Main Street favorite, “Sweet Virginia.”

  • Saturday night (October 15th) once again featured Neil Young & Promise Of The Real opening for Paul McCartney, with renditions of such ’70s gems as theStills-Young Band‘s “Long May You Run,” CSNY‘s “Helpless,” and “Cowgirl In The Sand.”
  • McCartney preceded his Saturday night show with an abbreviated club gig on Thursday night (October 30th) for 300 people at Pappy & Harriet’s Palace in Pioneertown, California. McCartney’s second “Desert Trip” performance once again featured Young guesting on a medley of “A Day In The Life” and “Give Peace A Chance” as well as “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?” The big surprise of the night was Rihanna coming out to guest on her, Kanye West, and McCartney’s recent Top Five collaboration, “FourFiveSeconds,” which McCartney has been performing on his own during his recent dates. Over the weekend, The Telegraph revealed that McCartney has contributed a new original, titled “The Blink Of An Eye” for the upcoming Ernest And Ethel feature film.
  • Sunday night (October 16th) wrapped with the Who powering through its usual set, featuring large tips of the hat to Tommy, Who’s Next, and Quadrophenia.
  • Keith Richards and Mick Jagger answered fans’ questions on their official website ( and explained how they came to perform the Beatles‘ 1969 classic “Come Together” for the first time at “Desert Trip”: “(Keith Richards): “Mick was the one who suggested it, and mainly from the idea that we’re saying, ‘Hey, we’re workin’ with Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney. . .’ And, so, we rehearsed a couple of songs, and ‘Come Together’ — we’ve always wanted to play that one, anyway. It’s one of the Beatles’ greats and so, y’know, we’ll throw it in, just to let you know that one day in the weekend is connected. Y’know, this weekend is connected, so that’s the ‘how it came about,’ y’know?” (Mick Jagger): “I thought, y’know, as Paul was playing and trying to be a bit, like, all together, one group of sort of ’60s rock musicians, we should do a Beatles cover. So that’s the one I picked, and yeah, people seemed to like it. And then, I heard Paul did, ‘I Wanna Be Your Man,’ at his show, so that was a good comeback.”
  • Over 50 years after hitting the American charts, Paul McCartney is as beloved and respected as any entertainer in history has ever been. He says that he understands that pop music will always go on and that part of the process is artists shaking things up for a new generation of kids: “You must remember that when the Beatles came out, the talk was about their long hair — not about their music. The talk was about their clothes and the talk was about howdifferent and what a shock they had been compared to what had gone before. ‘Cause now, you look at the hair, it doesn’t look long at all. Um. . . It’s just image — it always was and always will be. And in showbiz, there’s always someone who wants to do the last guy.”
  • Over his long and storied career, Neil Young has touched upon, folk, country, blues, rock, rockabilly — and even grunge — on some of his albums. We asked him if there was a certain method to the madness when recording so many different styles of albums: “There’s no real logic to it. I may do two rock n’ roll albums in a row at some point, or I may do two soft ones in a row, or I may do some different kind of album that everybody wonders what the hell I did that for. I mean, y’know, I could do that. Y’know, it just depends, and there’s no plan. I’m just going with the songs. The songs dictate the direction.”
  • Pete Townshend explained that it was Bob Dylan’s work during the first half of the 1960’s that changed all his preconceived notions of songwriting upon first listen: “I suddenly realized after listening to Bob Dylan, that the song that I had written, which was ‘I can’t explain,’ y’know, to the prettiest girl in the class — ‘I love you, but I can’t explain, ‘cause I’m too shy’ — that this song was actually about being inarticulate. It was a song about being unable to explain what you felt. And he was the guy that changed the way that we used the pop lyric. He was the guy that really said, ‘You can write a song about nuclear fallout — and it can still be fun. Y’know, it’s a bizarre notion. That’s basically what happened.”
  • Although Roger Daltrey doesn’t ignore the milestone of a half-century of Who music, he recognizes that the Who remains very much a part of the now — both in terms of the business and a still growing legion of fans: “We’re calling it ’50 And Counting’– so, it’s just another year, but it’s nice to have survived, because we did lose a lot of friends on the way. It is extraordinary — and (to) still able to be able to draw an audience that in some ways is, y’know — to what young bands kind of draw — is enormous; thanks to things, like CSI and our songs being on there and other bands picking up Who music and saying that it influenced them. Their fans come and see us and they say: ‘Woo, this is something different.’ I mean, it’s true, Who music is very different from most rock n’ roll that’s out there.”
  • Recently released is the Pink Floyd‘s documentary, The Story Of Wish You Were Here. The doc, which was directed by John Edginton chronicles the making of the band’s 1975 classic. Edgington told us that 30 years after the legal wrangling with David Gilmour over the Floyd brand name — and ultimately over who really was the driving force behind the band — Roger Waters is finally able to see himself within the bigger picture: “I interviewed Roger 10 years ago. I did a documentary about Syd Barrett, and it was the first time that David and Roger had been in anything together because they both have strong feelings about Syd. And Roger’s feelings about Syd were very transparent. I mean, he was crying in the interview. So, that surprised me and I thought there was something going on. I think it’s kind of got Roger to a place where all this has come together. He’s in his 60’s and he’s realized that actually, y’know, this stuff wasn’t necessarily all about him.”
  • Bob Dylan next performs on Tuesday (October 18th) in Albuquerque, New Mexico at Kiva Auditorium.
  • The Rolling Stones play on Wednesday (October 19th) in Las Vegas, Nevada at T-Mobile Arena.
  • Neil Young and Roger Waters will both perform on Saturday and Sunday (October 22nd and 23rd) in Mountain View, California at the Bridge School Benefit at Shoreline Amphitheatre.

CHECK IT OUT: The Rolling Stones on Friday night with their live debut of “Just Your Fool”:

CHECK IT OUT: Neil Young & Promise Of The Real on Saturday night performing “Cowgirl In The Sand”:

CHECK IT OUT: Paul McCartney & Rihanna on Saturday night performing “FourFiveSeconds”:

More from Jim Johnson

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