Listen, my admiration for Bob Dylan runs incredibly deep. Don't believe me? Read this. Or this. Or even this. And because I love him so much, I feel fine saying that seeing him in concert is a dodgy business.
You're so thrilled to even be in the same room with him (even if that room is a sports arena) that it takes a few minutes before you realize that you actually have no idea what song he's playing. Then someone in the row behind you says "I think it might be 'All Along the Watchtower,' maybe?" and then you're just about able to make out a cluster of syllables that might be "barefoot servants" or something and then the strange arrangement, meter, and general incomprehensibility of the performance come clear.
ANYWAY, this is all to say that you don't go to Dylan because you're looking for clarity. But that's what his audience got on Saturday night in Broomfield, CO—at least for a few minutes when he paid tribute to the late Tom Petty, Dylan's friend and bandmate, by playing a bit of Petty's 1991 hit "Learning to Fly."
You can more or less make out the words (though this is a phone video, so who knows?), and better yet, you can hear Bob stretching into his high register for Petty (and co-writer Jeff Lynne)'s gorgeous melody.
A propos of Dylan and unambiguity, the statement he gave to Rolling Stone in the wake of Petty's death on October 2 was uncharacteristically forthcoming: "It's shocking, crushing news," he said. "I thought the world of Tom. He was a great performer, full of the light, a friend, and I’ll never forget him."
Neither will we.
And, just in case the original is in your head: