John Mayer – All Along the Watchtower
John Mayer pays tribute to Dylan and Hendrix
Covered by many artist, most famously Jimi Hendrix, a lot of guitar players have amped up Bob Dylan’s famous original hit.
“All Along the Watchtower” was written and recorded by Dylan and initially appeared on his 1967 album John Wesley Harding. Since the late 1970s, he has performed it in concert more than any of his other songs, and many different versions appear on multiple live albums.
This song wasn’t made popular until Jimi Hendrix remade it. Dylan liked Hendrix’ version better than his own so much he started playing his version other than the original. The song was sped up by Hendrix and the harmonica parts were switched out with guitar.
Dylan explains the song… “This is about changing established society, starting in the middle of a conversation between two people (the Joker and the Thief). The Thief sympathizes with the Joker, who wants to escape his position in life and hates the values of society.”
Now, I LOVE John Mayer. I think he is one of the best guitar players of this generation. He is bluesy, emotional, and brings a vibe of authenticity. Something I feel we have somewhat lost since the majority of our Guitar Gods left us… Other covers include; Lenny Kravitz, Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, U2, and Eric Clapton.
Check out some fun facts about these three amazing guitarist!
- After High School graduation, John Mayer worked as a full service gas station attendant for $7/hour for 15 months. He used the cash he made at this job to buy a 1996 Stevie Ray Vaughan signature Stratocaster.
- The phrase next to Bob Dylan‘s picture in the 1959 Hibbing High School Yearbook was “To join Little Richard.”
- Hendrix’ father encouraged his musical talents, buying his first $5 acoustic guitar when he was fifteen-years-old and setting him on the path to his future vocation.
There must be some way out of here,” said the joker to the thief,
“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.”
“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, and this is not our fate,
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late.”
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.