performer: Bob Dylan (1965)
First release: Stripped, November 1995
Recording date: July 1995 Recording location: Brixton Academy, London, England (live)
Producers: Don Was & The Glimmer Twins Chief engineers: Ed Cherney & Chris Kimsey
Performed onstage: 1995, 1997-99, 2002-03, 2014, 2016-17
Bass: Darryl Jones
Electric guitars: Keith Richards & Ron Wood
Lead vocal: Mick Jagger
Background vocals: Keith Richards, Darryl Jones, Chuck Leavell, Bernard Fowler & Lisa Fischer
Organ: Chuck Leavell
Harmonica: Mick Jagger
It's a fantastic song. I did it once at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (1988). Bob Dylan was being inducted, and Paul Shaffer, during the jam, struck up the intro. But nobody was singing it. Bob never came up to the microphone. Finally me and Bruce (Springsteen) did it. Keith and I used to do it (years ago). I said to him, You used to play it in such-and-such tuning. I always boss him around (grins), tell him what to do.
I think Like a Rolling Stone was unusual to do. We've never done a Dylan song before...(M)elodically I quite like it. It's very well put together; it's got a proper three sections to it, real good choruses and a good middle bit, and great lyrics. It's a really well-constructed pop song, in my opinion... (I)'ts very much to the point, it doesn't waffle too much. I sang it a lot of times on the European tour - maybe 50 times. So I really got inside it, and I enjoyed it. I love playing the harmonica on it.
We got over the built-in reticence. If he had written Like a Beatles, we probably would have done it straight away. We've been playing that song ever since Bob brought it out; it was like a dressing room favourite, a tuning room favourite. We know it really well. It was just a matter of screwing up the courage, really, to get over the feeling like we were riding on its back. We also realized that, hey, we took our name from a Muddy Waters album, a Muddy Waters song. Suddenly it didn't feel awkward to pay it.