Dylan Performs For 300,000 At "Catholic Woodstock"

September 30, 1997 12:00 AM ET

In papal news -- that's right, papal news -- Pope John Paul II may well earn himself the distinction of being the first-ever rock 'n' roll pontiff. Proving that truth is often stranger than fiction, the Pope himself presided over what some were calling a "Catholic Woodstock" as folk demigod Bob Dylan performed a three-song set for more than 300,000 onlookers.

As the Pope looked on, hands clasped in his lap, Dylan launched into "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," followed by "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall." After these songs, Dylan, clad in a black suit and wearing a tan cowboy hat, approached the Pope's podium and exchanged a few words with the leader of the world's 960 million Catholics.

The Pope, once a poet himself, spoke a few words to the crowd then called it a night, leaving Dylan to close his set with "Forever Young."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories


The Pack | 2006

Berkeley, California rappers the Pack made their footwear choice clear in 2006 with the song "Vans." The track caught the attention of Too $hort, who signed them to his imprint. MTV refused to play the video for the song, though, claiming it was essentially a commercial for the product. Rapper Lil' B disagreed. "I didn’t know nobody [at] Vans," he said. "I was just a rapper who wore Vans." Even without MTV's support, Lil' B recognized the impact of the track. "God blessed me with such a revolutionary song… People around my age know who really started a lot of the dressing people are into now."

More Song Stories entries »