The Petty Archives

Dylan Begins 1st U.S. Tour In Five Years
By Alan L. Adler
Schenectady Gazette - June 11, 1986

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Bob Dylan, called the Poet Laureate of the '60s for his classic protest songs, got a rousing welcome on the opening stop of his first U.S. tour in five years.

 Dylan, on a "True Confessions Tour" with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, entertained a nearly sold-out San Diego Sports Arena for close to three hours Monday night, alternating sets with rocker Petty, who has a following of his own.

Dylan and Petty shared a microphone several times, including on the Dylan hits "Blowin' in the Wind" and "Knockin' on Heaven's Door."

"He's like a stoic big brother," Petty said of touring with the 45-year-old Dylan. "He had a big hit when I was being potty-trained."

Dylan left the stage during Petty's two sets, and Petty's "Refugee" drew the night's biggest ovation until the two joined up for "Like a Rolling Stone." Security guards were unable to keep the crowd, which ranged in age from the teens to the 40s, from crowding around the stage during the song. 

 Tickets for the opening show on the U.S. tour -- Dylan and Petty played together in Australia earlier -- had a listed price of $17.50. Parking lot scalpers were getting $25 to $35.

Fifteen rows back, Todd and Lyn Smith of San Diego said they paid $69 each to see Dylan for a third time.

"I've been a fan since '63," Todd Smith said. "Listen to Dylan. He'll tell it like it is."

Behind them, Larry Turner and his wife said they had paid $75 each to a ticket agent and drove about 75 miles from Yucaipa to see Petty.

"We're of the Dylan generation, but we like Petty," Turner said.