ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER

Live 20 Jan 1988 version


George Harrison:There must be some way out of here, said the joker to the thief
Bob Dylan:There's too much confusion, I can't get no relief
Businessmen they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth
None of them along the line know what any of it is worth

Dylan and Harrison:No reason to get excited, the thief he kindly spoke
There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke
But you and I we've been through that, this is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late

Bob Dylan:???!

Bob Dylan:All along the watchtower, princes kept the view
While all the women came and went, barefoot servants too
Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl
Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl

Info

ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER is a 1967 song by Bob Dylan. See the original Bob Dylan version for more details.

Live 20 Jan 1988 version

The above lyrics are for the live 20 Jan 1988 performance of ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER at Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City, NY, during the third annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony. The song was played with Bob Dylan and George Harrison on lead vocals, backed by The Rock Hall Jam Band, including Bruce Springsteen on rhythm guitar.

The Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Drifters, Bob Dylan, and The Supremes were inducted performers into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1988. Berry Gordy Jr was inducted in the Non-Performer category, and Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, and Les Paul were inducted in the Early Influence category.

Bruce Springsteen attended the event with then-wife Julianne Phillips and gave the induction speech for Bob Dylan. He also joined an all-star cast to play, sing, and clap along to a set of rock and roll classics – other artists present included Ben E. King, Johnny Moore, Joe Blunt, Clyde Brown, Jeff Beck, George Harrison, Mick Jagger, John Fogerty, Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Les Paul, Mary Wilson, Elton John, Arlo Guthrie, Paul Shaffer, Yoko Ono, Ringo Starr, Mike Love, Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, Little Richard, Peter Wolf, Syd McGuinness, and Anton Fig. This group is credited as "The Rock Hall Jam Band" on official releases.

Live History

ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER was performed off-tour on 20 Jan 1988 at Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City, NY, during the third annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony. The song was played with Bob Dylan and George Harrison on lead vocals, backed by The Rock Hall Jam Band, including Bruce Springsteen on rhythm guitar.

ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER was performed off-tour on 10 Aug 1995 at Cheers in Long Branch, NJ, during a guest appearance with local band Solar Circus. The song was played in a full-band arrangement with Springsteen on lead vocals and lead guitar.

ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER was performed off-tour on 02 Dec 2004 at Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh, PA, during the "Flood Aid '04" benefit concert. The song was played during opening band Exit 105's set, and featured a guest appearance by Bruce Springsteen who provided shared vocals and lead guitar.

  1. 20 Jan 1988 at Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City, NY
  2. 10 Aug 1995 at Cheers, Long Branch, NJ
  3. 02 Dec 2004 at Heinz Hall, Pittsburgh, PA

ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER was performed once during the Vote For Change Tour (7 dates, October 2004), on 05 Oct 2004 in Saint Paul, MN. The song was played in a full-band arrangement and featured a guest appearance by Neil Young. Bruce Springsteen shared lead vocal and played lead and rhythm guitar.

  1. 05 Oct 2004 at Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, MN

Vini Lopez recalled that ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER, among a dozen other similar songs that he named, was one that Springsteen performed live prior to 1970. The song however doesn't appear in any of the few available audio recordings and confirmed setlists from the era.

Available Versions

List of available versions of ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER on this website:

ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER [Live 20 Jan 1988 version]
ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER [Original Bob Dylan version]

Page last updated: 04 Sep 2015