Fifty-eight years ago, on May 10, 1963, Bob Dylan performed a concert at Brandeis University in Waltham. Seventeen days later saw the release of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, an album that catapulted him into the national limelight for good.

But somehow the tape of that show in 1963 vanished, not to be found again until 10 years ago, in 2011, in the San Francisco basement of the late Ralph Gleason, noted critic and co-founder of Rolling Stone magazine. If somebody bothered to ask, I could have explained how that tape got made in the first place.

That two-day folk festival weekend was co-produced by the student newspaper, The Justice, of which I was co-editor. Dylan headlined Friday night at the gym on campus and Pete Seeger headlined Saturday. Among those on the bill were Jean Ritchie, Jean Redpath, Tony Saletan, Jackie Washington and the Charles River Valley Boys. It was scheduled to take place in the Ullman Amphitheater, a long-gone outdoor venue. But, as New England weather would have it, a light wet snow forced the event into a jam-packed gym.

About two hours before Friday’s show-time, I was sitting at my desk in the editorial office in a campus basement, scarfing an excuse for dinner, when in walked Dylan, a mere two weeks shy of 22. Accompanied by a feature writer for the paper, he asked if he could see the concert audio set-up. Looking up at him brought to mind a word I hadn’t learned until I got to college – dyspeptic. To this day, Bob Dylan to me is still the poster child of dyspepsia, as if the world disagreed with him. Even his voice sounded crabby, soft but crabby.

We drove to the gym. He did some sound tests at the microphone. I checked the cable running off the stage where it joined a large tape recorder perched on a roped-off table to the side. It had been set up by the university’s audio-visual guy. During the show, however, he was nowhere to be found, so the university photographer supervised the recorder while taking snapshots.

That night Dylan, knowing his left-leaning college audience, sang seven songs, including Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance, Masters of War, Talking World War III Blues and Talking John Birch Paranoid Blues. The first three songs were on The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, along with Blowin’ in the Wind, Girl from the North Country, A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall and Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.

So what happened to that tape after the concert? According to university officials, it just vanished. Quite possibly, as some campus theory goes, it went through the hands of Folklore Productions in Boston, which represented Dylan as well as several others at the concert. We the producers had spent time dealing with Manny Greenhill, the chief of Folklore, to put the show together. His staff members have since confirmed the office kept an archive of performances. However, how this tape ended up across the country in Ralph Gleason’s home is still open to conjecture. Gleason died in 1975. Greenhill died in 1996. The adventures of a missing tape is just so much, well, folklore.

For the next two years after that Brandeis concert, Dylan won the hearts of folk fans everywhere, even landed on national and international magazine covers. He became the socio-political voice of a generation. Then something happened, something visceral. At the Newport Folk Festival in the summer of 1965, Dylan took the stage and plugged in his guitar. Half the audience jumped out of their seats and danced. The other half booed. He lost the purists and gained fans who never knew he existed.

That night at my campus gym, nothing could have been further from my mind than that tape recording, the concept of an electric guitar or the Nobel Prize in Literature. Bob Dylan stayed for the whole concert, joined in for a finale on stage, then asked for a ride to Cambridge. A friend and I obliged him. He seemed to soften during the drive. Maybe the stress of dealing with a performance “jones” had subsided. He mellowed. He was looking forward to a national tour to promote the new album. He was also looking forward to being dropped off in front of the old Sheraton Commander Hotel near Harvard Square.

He got out of the car, walked under the hotel entrance awning and threw his arm around a waiting Joan Baez.

Arnie Reisman and his wife, Paula Lyons, regularly appear on the weekly NPR comedy quiz show, Says You! He also writes for the Huffington Post.