In the spring of 1976, Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Review Tour began its second leg, mostly with dates across the south and southwestern US. On May 23, at Hughes Stadium in Fort Collins, Colorado, the performance was filmed as a one-hour television program for the NBC network.
On Sept.10, 1976, the live album “Hard Rain” was released to coincide with the concert broadcast. The TV special generated poor ratings and the album received mediocre reviews. One shining moment was the rollicking version of “Maggie’s Farm,” which also featured T-Bone Burnett and Mick Ronson on guitars.
“Maggie’s Farm” has been called a protest song against protest folk music. Ironically, the song itself is a political protest. The “farm” that Dylan sings about can easily represent racism, authoritarian oppression and economic exploitation. Some have speculated that “Maggie” is an altered reference to the McGee farm, where Dylan performed at a 1963 civil rights rally. http://youtu.be/l0qpjQ7drrg