Bruce performed the song 3 times:
2009-05-19 Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, PA
A first appearance of the song with the E street Band.
1988-05-26 Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre, Irvine, CA
During an off-tour appearance with John Mellencamp.
Springsteen attends the third Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame ceremonies with Bob Dylan, The Beatles and The Beach Boys the evening's key Hall Of Fame inductees. This 1988 event is considered to be the most memorable to date due to the number of major stars that turned up. Bruce gives the induction speech for Dylan. Springsteen performed in varying musician/vocalist support roles on all of the listed tracks. Bruce attended the event with then-wife Julianne Phillips - it was the last time they were seen in public together. The group singing backup on most of the songs, credited on the officially-released compilation albums as The Rock Hall Jam Band, includes, among others, Ben E. King, Johnny Moore, Joe Blunt, Clyde Brown, Jeff Beck, George Harrison, Mick Jagger, John and Tom Fogerty, Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, Les Paul, Mary Wilson, Elton John, Arlo Guthrie, Yoko Ono, Ringo Starr, The Beach Boys, Little Richard, Peter Wolf, Neil Young, Paul Simon, Dave Edmunds, Jeff Lynne, Julian Lennon, Sean Lennon, and The World's Most Dangerous Band. Also on stage are various E-Streeters, including Max Weinberg, Little Steven, Clarence Clemons, and Patti Scialfa. Joel sings lead on "I Saw Her Standing There". Fogerty sings lead on "Born On The Bayou". Jagger sings lead on "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction", calling Bruce over to share the microphone. Dylan sings lead on "Like A Rolling Stone", and Harrison and Dylan share vocals on "All Along The Watchtower".
Bruce gives the induction speech
Bruce on the artist
"This could be at the top of the list.The first time I heard it, it came out of the radio. I didn’t know anything about Dylan’s acoustic music. I was a creature of top 40, so the first time I really heard him with this song, it just instantly started to change my life.” “When I inducted Dylan into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I said ‘the snare drum that opens this song feels like someone kicked open the door to your mind.’ Like a Rolling Stone feels like a torrent that comes rushing towards you. Floods your soul, floods your mind. Alerts and wakes you up instantaneously to other worlds, other lives. Other ways of being. It’s perhaps one of the most powerful records ever made and it still means a great deal to me along with all of Dylan’s work." Unsurprisingly, this is the one record Bruce Springsteen would save should a storm ever hit his desert island.
1988-01-20 - WALDORF-ASTORIA HOTEL, NEW YORK CITY
"The first time that I heard Bob Dylan I was in the car with my mother, and we were listening to, I think, maybe WMCA, and on came that snare shot that sounded like somebody kicked open the door to your mind, from ‘Like a Rolling Stone.’ And my mother, who was – she was no stiff with rock and roll, she liked the music, she listened – she sat there for a minute, she looked at me, and she said, ‘That guy can’t sing.’ But I knew she was wrong. I sat there, I didn’t say nothin’, but I knew that I was listening to the toughest voice that I had ever heard. It was lean, and it sounded somehow simultaneously young and adult, and I ran out and I bought the single. And I came home, I ran home, and I put it on my 45, and they must have made a mistake at the factory, because a Lenny Welch song came on. And the label was wrong, so I ran back, and I got it, and I played it, then I went out and I got Highway 61, and it was all I played for weeks. I looked at the cover, with Bob, with that satin blue jacket and the Triumph Motorcycle shirt. And when I was a kid, Bob’s voice somehow – it thrilled and scared me. It made me feel kind of irresponsibly innocent. And it still does. But it reached down and touched what little worldliness I think a 15-year-old kid, in high school, in New Jersey had in him at the time. Dylan was – he was a revolutionary, man, the way that Elvis freed your body, Bob freed your mind. And he showed us that just because the music was innately physical, it did not mean that it was anti-intellect. He had the vision and the talent to expand a pop song until it contained the whole world. He invented a new way a pop singer could sound. He broke through the limitations of what a recording artist could achieve, and he changed the face of rock and roll forever and ever. Without Bob, the Beatles wouldn’t have made Sergeant Pepper, maybe the Beach Boys wouldn’t have made Pet Sounds, the Sex Pistols wouldn’t have made ‘God Save the Queen,’ U2 wouldn’t have done ‘Pride in the Name of Love,’ Marvin Gaye wouldn’t have done ‘What’s Goin’On,’ Grandmaster Flash might not have done ‘The Message,’ and the Count Five could not have done ‘Psychotic Reaction.’ And there never would have been a group named the Electric Prunes, that’s for sure. But the fact is that, to this day, where great rock music is being made, there is the shadow of Bob Dylan over and over and over again. And Bob’s own modern work has gone unjustly under-appreciated for having to stand in that shadow. If a young songwriter – if there was a young guy out there writing ‘Sweetheart Like Me,’ writing the Empire Burlesque album, writing ‘Every Grain of Sand,’ they’d be calling him the new Bob Dylan. That’s all the nice stuff that I wrote out to say about him. Now it’s about three months ago, I was watching TV, and the Rolling Stones special came on, and Bob came on, and he was in a real cranky mood, it seemed like, and he was kind of bitchin’ and moaning about how his fans don’t know him, and nobody knows him. And they come up to him on the street, and kind of treat him like a long-lost brother or something. And speaking as fan, I guess when I was 15, and I heard ‘Like a Rolling Stone,’ I heard a guy that, like I’ve never heard before or since. A guy that had the guts to take on the whole world, and made me feel like I had ’em too. And maybe some people mistook that voice to be saying somehow that you were gonna do the job for ’em. And as we know, as we grow older, that there isn’t anybody out there that can do that job for anybody else. So I’m just here tonight to say thanks, to say that I wouldn’t be here without you, to say that there isn’t a soul in this room who does not owe you their thanks. And to steal a line from one of your songs, whether you like it or not, ‘you was the brother that I never had.’ Congratulations."