Archive for the ‘Live Aid’ tag
Dylan was the first major artist I saw in concert – Winter, 1966, I believe – after Highway 61 Revisited was released. Because I was only 13, my Dad kindly drove me and my buddy Larry Lindsey about 30 miles to see him at the Westchester Community Center’s 200-300 seat auditorium. Sopworth Camel (a one-hit wonder) opened, followed by the Loving Spoonful. Dylan did an acoustic set, followed by an electric set. I was awed. I will always remember him there – having fun, and ROCKING OUT!
Who knew I’d still be listening to him after all this time, and, more importantly, that he would continue to write amazing songs. Thanks, Bob.
But time goes on and he’s now 70. Damn.
And to keep things in perspective, my buddy Jimmy Z, legendary blue musician, has blogged about being with Tom Petty at Live Aid and playing a prank on ol’ Bob:
There where we were after our Live Aid show safely done, the pressure is off and everyone is congratulating us. The party was just starting to heat up as the afternoon wound its way toward evening. At one point I was standing with some people, talking and laughing when all of a sudden everyone went quiet and I looked up and noticed that Bob Dylan was walking by us and everyone just turned so reverent. I half expected the heavens to part and violins to start playing the way some of these people were behaving. They were saying things like “ssshhh…its Bob Dylan…he’s getting a drink.” Or “ooohhh.….its Bob Dylan…he’s going to the toilet!” Now don’t get me wrong, Bob Dylan as a writer and innovator is tops in my book. But Jeez…come on people…he’s just one of us.…isn’t he?
Well that’s what I thought that day and still do. There were three porta-potties set up in the back stage area right next to these giant parachute tents which had been set up to protect us from the heat. As Dylan is heading towards the portables, the people around me were saying, “Bob’s gotta take a leak” So right then I decide to saunter on over to the outhouses myself. As I got there, Bob was already inside and I could hear him peeing. I looked back over my shoulder at the expectant backstage crowd and them at me, then back at Bob’s outhouse. I grabbed it with both hands and gave it a good four second shake. Everyone else backstage could hear Bob yelling, “Hey! Hey!! Hey!!!” I was laughing so hard and when I turned around I was greeted by a sight I won’t soon forget. There was Tom Petty, management and probably at least thirty of the biggest rock stars of the day with their jaws on the ground looking utterly aghast at what I had just done. I walked around back to Tom Petty and he laid into me. All that slow southern drawl and laid back humor was gone. He said, “I can’t believe you just did that…I can’t believe it …that was Bob, fuckin’, Dylan! Are you out of your mind?” To be honest I didn’t see what the big deal was. I was still trying not to laugh.
What I do remember is the sight of Bob Dylan coming out of that portable outhouse with a piss stain trail right down the left leg of his Levi’s, looking to see who did this to him, like any other mortal would. And in my mind looking pissed off and humored all at the same time. Any way Bob, I’d just like to say I think you’re a good sport and you handled yourself with grace and aplomb in an awkward situation…I wish you could have seen it from where I was because it was fuckin’ funny…
Read the whole post on Confessions of of a Glorified Sideman.
My favorite Dylan song? Hard to say. Though many of his words and songs changed me and helped me grow intellectually and politically in ways I still can’t completely grasp, probably his one of his shortest is one my favorites – All The Tired Horses, from his much-maligned Self Portrait. It’s not sung by Bob, it has female singers and overly-lush orchestrated, mawkishly sentimental strings. I first heard it while I was on the road and it drowns me in nostalgia, for whatever reason. Kinda like his You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere.
For the first time, on a birthday tribute today, I heard him reading Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie – could be the best thing he ever wrote.