Arts Diary

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The Independent Culture
BOB DYLAN'S 1966 "Royal Albert Hall" concert is in the shops at long last, legally too, and the reviews have all made clear that the title is a misnomer: the legendary recording, with the cry of "Judas" from a furious folk fan to the all-electric Dylan, took place at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester. Columbia's liner notes leave no room for doubt.

So that's that, then. Or is it? Another set of definitive Columbia liner notes, from Biograph, Dylan's 1985 retrospective, agree that the show took place in Manchester but that the Judas conversation was from the Albert Hall concert, days later. Perhaps the chap who did the heckling may like to come forward and tell us where exactly it was that he heckled. Although, of course, if he remembers the Sixties, he wasn't there.

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IN HIS new autobiography Barry Cryer recalls how the late Willie Rushton was in Sir Bernard Miles's Treasure Island at the Mermaid. Rushton, who played Squire Trelawney, was telling Eric Flynn's Dr Livesey about Long John Silver, but forgot the cue line that Long John had only one leg. Afterwards, Flynn inquired: "And, er, how many legs has he got?" Rushton replied: "Well, you as a medical man should know."

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LAST WEEK, I reminded the Arts Council chairman, Gerry Robinson, that when lecturing the arts world on middle-class audiences, he consider that the past three chairmen have been multi-millionaires. One of those three, Lord Gowrie, points out that he is not even a single millionaire, but adds that he is "working on it".

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THE Q Awards next week have an intriguing category called The Best Band in the World. The shortlist, though, seems chosen from rather close to home: The Verve, Radiohead and, from America, REM. I wonder how many bands the judges listened to, or watched, from India, China, South America and other places beyond the Wembley Arena? What a small place, the rock world.

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