Tidbits: Happy Birthday
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Happy Birthday (Tidbits)
- The following are excerpts from: 
- Heylin, Clinton. Bob Dylan, A Life in Stolen Moments: Day By Day 1941-1995
NY: Schirmer Books, 1996.
- October 23, 1975
- Dylan and the Rolling Thunder troupe turn up at Gerdes Folk
City for Mike Porco's birthday party. The party is filmed by
Dylan's film crew, who are pretending to shoot a documentary
on Gerdes. After a communal "Happy Birthday," Dylan takes
to the stage with Joan Baez for the first time in 10 years to
duet on a version of "One Too Many Mornings." [ no mention
of the birthday footage being in Renaldo & Clara]
- May 23, 1976, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
- ... Despite the storm clouds raging, the crowd appears to be
very enthusiastic, even singing "Happy Birthday" for Dylan
before the second encore.
- October 25, 1981, Stabler Hall, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA
- Before "Knockin' On Heaven's Door," Dylan and the female
vocalists sing "Happy Birthday" for photographer and
filmmaker Howard Alk, who has been with the crew
throughout, filming the shows and certain off-stage scenes.
- January 20, 1986, The Kennedy Centre for Performing Arts, Washington DC
- [Dylan] looks distinctly uncomfortable during a communal
finale of [Steve] Wonder's own tribute to Martin Luther King,
- February 12, 1986, Entertainment Centre, Sydney, Australia
- In the acoustic set, between "It Ain't Me, Babe" and "A Hard
Rain's A-Gonna Fall," Dylan leads the audience through
"Happy Birthday" for backup singer, Queen Esther Marrow.
- June 30, 1986, Pine Knob Music Theater, Clarkston, MI
- After "Rainy Day Women," Dylan does a ragged version of "All
My Tomorrow Belong To You" especially for his "dresser," Suzy
Pullen during the first show; Dylan then leads the crowd
through "Happy Birthday".
- July 21, 1986, Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, NJ
- Before the encore, a guitar-shaped birthday cake is carted
onstage for Howie Epstein, while everyone sings "Happy
Birthday," including Al Kooper, sitting in on piano during the
latter part of the show.
- May 13-14, 16-17, 19-21, 1992, Pantages Theatre, Hollywood, CA
- On the 21st, The audience sings a slightly premature "Happy
Birthday" before the first encore, "Lenny Bruce."
- Regarding the 30 June 1998 performance:
- Carsten Wohlfeld posted to rec.music.dylan:
- After "Mama" Bob had a short discussion with Tony who told Larry to come
over. A few smiles later Bob stepped up to the microphone and started
"Happy Birthday," Tony and Larry following close behind. I don't think
that he actually got either the chords or the melody right, but it's
the thought that counts, right? It was sung for a mysterious Suzie, that's
all I know. After he had finished the song, Bob laughed and said: "We did
play it in a different key at the end, didn't we?" and then he played it
- The second version was almost a solo version cause Larry and Tony were laughing so hard
that they almost forgot to play. They totally killed the melody again and
it actually sounded even worse than the first try. Still a charming
surprise, not only for Suzie, but all of us.
- Chahab Nastar posted to rec.music.dylan:
- I attended the great Paris show (June 30, 1998), where Bob sang
"happy birthday" twice in a row ("happy birthday dear susie" he sang,
I guess, and it seemed to me that "susie" was backstage). I got the
impression that Tony asked him to do the song right after
"Mama you been on my mind"
- The band played with him the first version, after which Bob said:
"We're gonna sing this again in a different key" and he started
doing it in a lower key (much too low actually!). He had trouble
singing it, and this time the band did not follow (they were
all laughing). Bob messed up the chords!!! and he hardly sang
it at all. At the end he said:
"It was really necessary that we did this. If you guys got any
cameras, you can hold them up!".
Bob was in top form in Paris, heavily enjoying the show, as we all
- It is suspected that "Suzy" refers to Dylan's dresser, to whom he
also sang "Happy Birthday" on this date in 1986.
 posted and/or contributed by Ben Taylor, Peter Dixon, Frinjdwelr, Shiphour, and Gil Walker