Thursday, July 13, 2006

Bob Dylan ( You have gone your way, I'll go mine)

I was wondering what to call this small piece.
I had some ideas, like 'The Night Woodstock proved it was dead'but that was just too long. Then I thought of 'There must be some way out of here.........said the joker to the thief but he kept playing for a moment and then shuffled off. Then of thought of 'The times they aren't just a changing, they went a got a full body and brain transplant and are living near St Tropez somewhere'.
What am I talking about? You see we just came back from a Bob Dylan Concert in a closed arena in Le Cannet. Yes I got to see the Legend on stage, albeit from a side view only. I was in front of the stage but the maestro seemed to think the front of stage was off left behind the drummer.
The show wasn't really a show per say, It was Bob Dylan with a bunch of musicians who played music from 8pm sharp till just before 10pm. Now let me explain, on the Cote D'Azur traffic is so bad, nothing ever starts on time, and for 45 euro a ticket there is usally a support band. Seems old Bob got punctual along the way somewhere.
MY lady was feeling bad as they forbid us to bring in the 2 litres of water we had brought with us, telling us it was the artists desire that it be so. They said drink it on the spot or it goes in the bin. My hard earned money wasn't going in bin. It went back to the car. I looked at my girl who was no hot and thirsty, so I told her to Lay, Lay across the big dirty floor, but instead she went and searched out water at the bar for which she paid 4 euros for Litre. Geeze Bob I hope you got a cut from that price hike. We have now spent 100 euros to see the Master who doesn't look at his audience, or even acknowledge them, or speak to them till the end of the show. He tells us who the musicians are. He doesn't even say the word thanks, or Merci, or even fuck you. It's 30 degrees Centigrade in the room, the only air conditioning is the open door about 200 meters away. Mr Dylan sings in a style which can only be described and mumbling jumbo, and if you didn't know the song you wouldn't know where he was. Even some of those I did know I figured he was changing the lines but still couldn't follow. Hey a title, 'Bob sings chinese dialect on the Cóte'? naw I couldn't tell it was chinese either.
In between each song the lights came on. At the start of each song they went out. Now I should have been better prepared. I wasn't going to see a legend. The 20 somethings all reacted when I said I was going to see Dylan, 'Is he still alive'they said. Okay they are french kids of 21 st century really so I could sort of understand....actually I couldn't.
I couldn't understand either how Dylan in his old age seems to have sold out lock stock and smoking barrels, guns, rockets, and space ships. It appears he has wound 'up on cripple creek' really. Maybe he had stage fright but I don't think so. I understand personalities, but hey Bob you are a very rich man.
It takes me a full days work and then some to earn the money we spent to see you tonight in an overheated, sparsely crowed (yes there was a lot of space) auditorium with bad sound.You probably earned more in 2 hours than I do in 2 years or even 6 years.
I expected more from what I have heard from Legend. Sadly I was dissappointed. I text my buddy in Ireland on the way home along the 'endless highway'. I was awed but dissappointed at the same time. I told him Woodstock was dead. He replied that maybe Dylan was Dead, Woodstock will live for ever.
Oh Well Bob nice hat, send it to me if you ever read this piece and show me I am wrong. I would wear it with pride. But then the music machine perhaps won't allow you to know just how far down the road you drifted away from your original self. I hate the music industry. There is a way out of here, and you may be a joker but I certainly aint the thief. But I will think twice Bob cause it aint all right.


Joe Bageant said...

Collie, you've said it for all of us who are tired of being insulted by the elites celebrity classes, even as they pick our pockets and yawn.

Best thing to do is make our own music. Keep the world safe for living room music, the living kind that has ever been shared with our lovers and children. Get a guitar and play it and teach your children to love song. I am a 60 year-old man who experienced the 1960s as a full-blown hippie, and I can tell you that homemade music was everywhere. Communes, hippy families in small cheap apartments, teepees in the desert...parks...everywhere.

Somehow, the big music corporations have now convinced folks that Dylan and the other elite stars were the only thing going on, or the most important musical thing going on. What was going on was a love of music and freedom and the spiritual, and the sexual and the exploration of consciousness and the meaning of life.

Much as I have loved Dylan's music when it was at its best, I would not trade my own raspy voice and beat-up guitar for all the Dylan records in the world, or even a personal Dylan concert in my own living room.

Sing and hug your babies by the light of the Cote. As one who spent some time around Dylan decades ago as a journalist, I would guess that he has never come close to that simple profound form of happiness in his entire life. Really.

joe from virginia, usa

Warrior said...

Well that is the sentiment of a prince Mr B. Thank you very much indeed ;)

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