In a not too different universe, John, George, and Ringo actually did play with Bob Dylan at Isle of Wight Festival. Said John,

If there had been a jam, we would have got up. It was killed before it happened. It was so late by the time he got on. We would have jammed if it had been earlier. The crowd was dying on their feet by the time he got on.

Maybe so, but I’ll bet seeing 3/4 of The Beatles come onstage would have woken them right up. It’s also possible that John, whose heroin problem was bottoming out around this time, was the one who didn’t have the energy. Just a theory.

At least we were spared the possibility of Yoko tagging along, and Dylan ending up with an expression like Chuck Berry has here:

And it is true that Dylan started late; according to an article in The Independent,

Dylan was supposed to go on at 9pm, but technical delays meant a two-hour wait as he got more and more agitated backstage.

Nevertheless, when he eventually went on stage, he was excited, proudly brandishing his guitar like a schoolboy and beaming: “Look, I’ve got George’s guitar!”

In their hour onstage, Dylan and the Band tore through 17 songs. Many of them are annoyingly hard to hear in this day and age. Only a few, as far as I can tell, are on Spotify or YouTube; for the whole thing you have to shell out for the complete Bootleg Series Vol. 10.

Video-wise, this is what we have:

And there’s also this mini-documentary:

Given all the hullaballoo, it’s kind of amazing how poorly documented this is. Just imagine if the three Beatles had gotten onstage with Dylan and they hadn’t captured it on camera; we’d be pulling our hair out today. Sometimes the world really is merciful.

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