Oslo September 24th 2022.
Back to Europe!
I arrived in Oslo the day before Day D.
I flew Norwegian Airline and all was perfect.
I met my 'couchsurfing' host, a Nun from a Buddhist/Hindu-hist group of believers. Not my cup of tea but people are people and she is good hearted.
Marcello is another 'couchsurfer' and a guitar player, Astrid a temporary resident and a saxophone player. So we had a nice evening with live music and chat.
Next morning. September 25th.
I contact an Oslo Bobcat, friend of mine, and we meet by the tour
buses "Beat the street". Four of them ; 2 for the crew, one for the musicians and managers,
one for Bob and Suzie.The Dylan
people are all the same! They look so familiar! In the afternoon they load the buses with luggage and Bob's guitar, a pack of chips, and his stage suits!
But they already dropped Bob and the musicians by the back stage door for the sound check.
So....we go for a bite.
By 6pm fans arrive. About 5000 if I am right.I get a ticket from a couple coming from the UK specifically for that show. They say it was cheaper to see Bob Dylan in Oslo than in London. Their son didn't want to come so they exchange the ticket for one of my painting's copies.
We have the no-phone policy : the YONDER POUCH.
My seat is on the floor but we are packed like sardines in a can.
I chat with the young couple next to me. She is a musician. He is cool!
Jason takes is position at the sound board and the musicians take the stage maybe 5 minutes after 8pm.
Bob is right away on his guitar all the way back, behind the
My neighbors have a hard time knowing who is who and doing what until Bob takes the piano for
"Watching the river flow". The sound is great right away and Bob's voice is crystal clear.No hat and a black suit.The songs are coming one after another exactly as the last show; in Denver 2.
Maybe "Watching the river flow" with a better arrangement.
"When I paint my masterpiece" with no drums and only Bob Brit on rhythm acoustic guitar and Donnie on violin. Charley and Doug disappeared back stage.
On "Black rider" Bob moves at the central mic but rapidly retrieves to the piano.
"I'll be your Baby tonight" has a warm welcome from the audience but Bob made a mistake on the lyrics.
"Serve somebody" is missing the first verse. Deliberately?
Bob moves center stage for a quick salute.
Three times Bob will say "thank you" and joke by presenting the Band. A kind remark for each one of his 5 musicians.
The piano sounded different. Less aggressive. My neighbor asked me if
it was an organ.I believe not. Just the piano tuned differently?
Bob was fine. His voice clear and loud.I couldn't see his face.The public extraordinary quiet.A nice change with "That old black magic" instead of "Melancholy mood". My highlight of the night?"Jimmy Reed"....But all the songs were well performed.
The Band is tight.
So if you had a doubt about the shows in Europe.... don't worry....Get the set-list and be ready for the Rough and Rowdy ways!
See you on the road!
From Oslo to Stockholm. September 26th
I say goodbye to my 'sister nun' and to Astrid and walk all the way to the bus station. As usual I get lost and I arrive just on time to catch my 'FLIXBUS' bus. This one is all white and half full/half empty. I have two seats for myself. Lucky me as it is a height hours ride. All goes well. I even get a sandwich in mid journey.
We arrive almost on time ; 7.30pm
in central Stockholm which I know so well.
Bob used to play right here, at the Waterfront. But not this time. Unfortunately for me as I have my Hostel 15 minutes walk from it.
I have a surprise when I check in. There is now an age restriction: 40 years old, no more.
But since I booked on line and paid for everything....the young gentleman at the desk let me in. The dorm is a mixed 12 bunks. Surprisingly the night is quiet and I manage to sleep 12 hours almost straight.
A nice shower in the morning and a good day in perspective. My good friend Bjørn-Tore from Norway offered me three tickets for the next three shows.
Thank you so much! That is a
great relief. I find a good book to read for the morning and head
walking to the 'Avicii Arena' early afternoon. It's a nice walk , in a
relatively nice weather.I get lost and arrive at 5pm.
The buses are parked down below in the parking lot.The Arena is huuuuge! A white giant dome ! Doors open at 5.30pm. I try to sell some of my postcards but without any success.
So by 7pm, as it's getting chilly, I step inside. It is effectively giant and all in red.(the seats are). Someone said capacity 13000. Woah! Of course not fully sold out. My seat is on Parkett row 16. Not too bad.
I believe it's 8pm when they take
the stage. Bob walks to the piano, right away. No guitar. The sounds is muffled. Not as clear
as Oslo.There is an echo. That will improved by "My own
version of you". Bob says ' thank you' after the first song "Watching the river
After "I contain multitudes" he steps center stage. He is all in black but wearing a pink silk large shirt.
He looks extremely skinny!
"When I paint my masterpiece"
will be with the full Band. Much better!
On "Black rider" I focus on Charley Drayton. He is again using the pearls on his cymbals. It sounds great. Thanks Charley!
Bob steps again center stage after "My own version of you". His pants are too big; large and long. It looks like Bobby had shrunk! He is scooped : his back not straight anymore.
"I'll be your baby tonight" has a new arrangement. Bob says "thank you" and added "thank you Baby lovers" ( if I heard correctly).
"Crossing the Rubicon" is my highlight for tonight.
Bob will say "thank you" again.Though the public is not so much enthusiastic.Just quiet with reasonable applause.
Before what should be "Serve somebody" there is a long moment in the dark where I see Bob Britt and Tony getting close to the piano for instructions. Did they change the key or something I didn't get? (I'm not a musician.)
But Bob starts with the regular "you may be an ambassador to England or France..." But I don't hear the line about " having fun in Las Vegas".
"That old black magic" and Bob took off his jacket . Woah! He's now in his pinky shirt.
After "Jimmy Reed" he is center mic, in shirt. All bend and walking poorly. He tries to grab the mic but without success. So he presents the Band at the piano.He murmurs " walking walking with you in my head..." But add "I'm just joking.
Too bad! Love sick....would have been great!
But it's "Every grain of sand" with a long solo on harp.
He says Good bye in pinky shirt.
The performance was great , as good as Oslo but the sound was not so perfect. And the audience was.....dead!
The venue? way too large for such a set-list that requires intimacy.
Thanks to Bjørn-Tore was the Tix. See you all in Göteberg.
Göteborg. September 28th.
The 'FLIXBUS' bus from Stockholm was a
regular green/orange one. Seven hours later I arrived in good shape
in Göteborg.I catch a tram to reach the house
of Modi , my 'couchsurfing' host from Iraq.
He prepared for me a hamburger and fries.Thanks!
The apartment is spotless and soccer is on the large flat screen....in Arabic.
The bed is cozy and I sleep sound until morning.
Modi has no work
today (he's a barber). As I mentioned humus, Modi will prepare an
Iraqi brunch; salad of tomatoes, cucumber, olives, and eggs and humus
and a large Lebanese piece of bread (flat pancake). A strong cup of Chai tea. My first good meal since long. I then spend some hours reading my
book as it's still cold outside.
By 2 pm I catch the tram for downtown and walk to the 'Scandinavium arena'. Again a huge sport arena. I've been here before!
I hang around until 6pm. Don't see any of the crew or Band people.
Again thanks to my good friend Bjørne-Tore I have a ticket for tonight. I try to sell my paintings and I am recognized by one of my "fans". But nothing more.
By 7pm, I step in.I move straight to the 'parkett' and stand by the last row expecting to stand here and enjoy the show all by myself. The two last rows will be empty all show long. I will be able to do my karaoke and my dance.
10 minutes before 8 pm, Jason takes is position at the soundboard and waves me hello. I feel happy and will really enjoy that show.
7.59pm. All is as usual on stage but I am up above the crowd that doesn't seem to be alive.
No guitar tonight. Bob says "thank you" (even "thank you Art lovers" after 'When I paint my Masterpiece') few times and moves twice center stage at the beginning, but then will stick to the piano.Mute.(except for singing. )
The audience reacts to "I'll be your baby tonight" and some applause after "Serve somebody" but nothing to be too much enthusiastic about .
The presentation of the Band is quick (maybe a little joke on Doug?). I am doing karaoke on "every grain of sand" when suddenly Bob says "stop!". The Band stops playing as they may believe it's for them.But Bob mentions a blue light in the audience. He says something like "we have that blue light in our face, stop it now". Someone was taking photo or video? Or is it just the reflection of the blue lights shining on the public?
Then they start again the second verse of "Every grain of sand". Maybe for some kind of apology Bob will play twice the harp, a long solo!
That was a nice apology! For me ...the best show so far. Just because I was back to the good old shows where it was permitted to move and sing?
I wish for more actions/reactions from the crowd. But when I talk to people out after the show, they say "everybody wants the old songs, with the old versions". Maybe not everyone and maybe not everywhere but here in Göteborg....it seemed like it!
For me it was a great day and a
Now people! Stop flashing your blue light on his face!:)
See you on the road!
Copenhagen. September 30th.
The 'FLIXBUS' bus takes me from Göteborg
to Copenhagen in 5 hours.
Nothing to do, just relax and watch the green fields and autumn leaves starting to fall from the trees. And I miss you most of all my darling....
Marcus, my 'couchsurfing' host, directs me to reach his apartment in south Copenhagen : First the 'S line A train' and then I walk 30 minutes in an area surrounded by water and little parks. Magnificent! It looks very agreeable to live here.
Marcus will also go to the Bob Dylan show tonight, so I recommend for him to listen to the "Rough and Rowdy ways"...just to be in the spirit :).
By 5.15pm we walk the two blocks to
the bus stop. In Copenhagen people use the bicycle or the public
We arrive at the venue shortly before 6pm. It's again a huge Arena. 12000?
I believe it will be like Stockholm, half full. But what do I know?
Marcus gets inside while I stay out trying to sell my paintings.The throng of people coming from the metro is infinite. For one hour non stop, fans are passing by me. I meet a young woman from Italy who seems to know me well. Also another woman I used to meet , here and there. Two young boys will give me some coins for a print. And the young boy from yesterday who sent me 40€ by PayPal is also here with a friend.I start to be quite popular!
By 7pm I get in line. My feet tired
and my head all wired.
Thanks again to my good friend Bjørn-Tore I have a ticket tonight.
Surprisingly exactly the same seat I took in Göteberg ; Floor, last row of the second section, by the sound board.
I chat a while with an American fan who saw Bob Dylan with George Harrison and Ringo for the concert for Bangladesh. Also a show from the rolling thunder revue 1. We promise to keep in touch.
I say hi to Jason passing by and take my seat. To contradict my prevision the hall is fully packed.
Shortly after 8pm.The show starts.
Same as Göteberg. No guitar. Bob all in black.Bob seems tired. He will be sited at the piano for most of his solos , disappearing totally. He moves center stage after "I contain multitudes" but will say "thank you" only after "Masterpiece". It sounds like "False prophet" has a new arrangement?
"I'll be your baby tonight" is really aggressive. A bit cynic. Bob presents himself center stage after a great "Rubicon ".
"Key west" is as clear as crystal.
After "Serve somebody" I see fume coming from the stage. The stage is on fire? Just to discourage the photos, I guess.
And another "thank you".
The presentation of the Band is quick and simple before the final "EGOS".
I have the feeling Bob was physically tired. Not standing too long.The sound was great and...The public incredibly respectful. I see only few movements in between the songs. No chatting or even murmuring. An audience mixed of age; young, middle age and older folks.
That was a good show considering the large arena and public.
Not my best , with no surprise or specificity and a Bobby not in his best joking mood. Not even angry. But I love the public and Copenhagen people in general.Two shows in a smaller venue would have been a lot more fun. Those sport arenas don't fit the intimacy of the set-list.
Hopefully the next few shows will be more "intimate".
Thank you all good people.Thank you Bobby and rest well before the Germany leg.
From Copenhagen to Flensburg October 1st.
I spend some hours in Copenhagen before my bus. I go again to Christiana. But this time I am disappointed. The 'hippies' are gone. It's pretty much commercial now with a lot of tourists.Except buying weed and smoking (which I don't do) nothing is special.
The 'FLIXBUS' bus from Copenhagen to Flensburg is a nice double deck bus due at 4.30 pm. I have two seats for myself, so I am comfortable. At the train station I exchanged the left over of my Danish coins for a sandwich and a drink.I watch a movie on YouTube , on my phone; Jackie Chan in the "The deadly fist fighter." Funny Jackie! I love him.
We arrive a bit late but I make it right on time to check at my "Bead and breakfast" for 10pm.I have a private bedroom so I take a chance to wash my clothes and sleep sound.
I rest in the morning and walk to the venue in early afternoon. The' Flens-arena' is on a campus and there is nothing to do or eat or drink . I walk to downtown Flensburg.Nice little city, all crowded on a Sunday afternoon. I'm happy to be back in Euro zone and buy myself some food. I can figure out the price without calculator.
Back to the venue.
Tonight the show is at 7pm. Probably, like suggested Bob Russel , to give the crew people time to 'undo' the stage, drive to Magdebourg, and set up the stage again in early morning.
I arrive by 4.45 pm to bump into Marie. Marie is a Dylan follower. She is special as she is traveling on a wheelchair. She arrived with her father who doesn't want to go to the show, so Marie asks me if I want to go with her as a 'service' person. Yes, sure.
We get in at 5 pm and wait. We are on the balcony, left of the stage.The Arena is smaller than Copenhagen. Maybe 5000. Quite full.
Bob starts on time.With an intro piano for "Watching the river flow".
remarkable tonight. My highlight. Bob saying "thank you Art
lovers" and something else I don't hear well.
"Rubicon" is my second highlight.
Bob moves quickly three times center stage. I see that he is wearing his cowboy black boots. I stand and dance for the Rock songs as there is no one behind me.The floor people are static. No much enthusiasm, except again for "I'll be your baby tonight". Well done!
On "Serve somebody" Bob sits at the piano for a solo that is not supposed to be there. Tired?
Right after a quick introduction of the Band I see fans trying to reach the stage. But Erik, the new security man, is vigilant and "flash" the fans to go back to their seats. Venue security guards take
positions and no one will reach the stage. The good old days are gone.
Bob was doing his job but nothing
The Band is tight. All the songs well performed.I enjoy myself with Marie. All by ourselves in a corner of the balcony.
In the morning I bumped into Ian Gallon staying in the same motel as me. After the show I ask him if it's alright to walk together back 'home'. And finally I change my bus ticket for a train ticket for tomorrow. Instead of 3 am we'll leave at 9.15 am.
All together a nice journey in Flensburg.
Many fans will be in Berlin.
Some will make it to Magdebourg.
Magdebourg Octobre 3rd.
I changed my bus trip for a train
trip ; 9.15am instead of 3am. As I have a nice private bedroom I take
a change to sleep late. Ian is traveling with me and we start an
agreeable journey until the train looses speed. We have two
transfers and they are tight scheduled.We start panicking when the screen announces
a changing in our final train station.No more the central station. We
have information from nice people: we now need to catch a metro to reconnect
with the central station.We are 6 Bobcats on that train plus a Bob
Dylan crew member I know under the name of Michael. (What he's doing on
that train? Mystery!) So...We run and run until we
finally jump on the second train just on time. That train is packed as it is a holiday in
Germany. One hour later we run again to catch the final train for Magdebourg.
Then we can relax for two hours. Arriving around 3 pm.
I now need to find my tram to Mr Wang's house, my Chinese 'couchsurfing' host. Two trams and 20 minutes walk later....I ring at the bell.
With Mr Wang we chat about Xi
JingPing and Chinese politics, munching a snack, and I now need to pack my
little bag for the Dylan show.No much food until now but I feel alright.I
know that will not be easy to find a ticket. This is East Germany and I
never had an easy way to find a Tix.
They are a lot sellers but way too much expensive for a single ticket.
By 7.15 pm I agree to buy a 'Parkett' for 40€. Not the best choice as this is again a sport arena and the floor is ...flat. Meaning if I have people in front of me I can't even see Bob. I chat with the young man next to me. He is a fan and he had seen Bob many times already. Also he knows the last album and the set-list. So he's alright. I realized outside that a lot of those Dylan fans don't understand.... English ? The man in front of me...is also a follower from the UK and will do many shows on that Tour. Great. So far so good.The Arena is half full... maybe only 3000.
We wait impatiently.
The clock on the wall indicates 8pm. Then 8.05pm. Then 8.15.pm. I start worrying. And if Bob was not well?
By 8.17pm the lights dim dim....and we hear the classic music intro.
"Watching the river flow"
is catastrophic. The sound is bad. Slightly better by "I contain multitudes".
Bob moves painfully center stage after "False prophet" ....the first and only time for that show. As in Flensburg all the solos on piano are with Bob sited, disappearing behind the piano. He will say "thank you" twice and " thank you Baby lovers" after "I'll be your baby tonight" . The only song that will make the public reacts.Even "the size of your coke will get you no where" has no effects.
I'm all ears for "Mother of Muses" , for my good friend Bob Russell asked me to pay attention to that song!
Three quarters into the song I see Bob holding a white object, in his right hand, in front of his face. Then stops singing and angrily mentions a camera from the public. He says something about singing behind the piano and abruptly pulls the mic down, sits at the piano and finishes "Mother of Muses" totally hidden.
He starts "Good bye Jimmy
Reed" sited.Then stands and shuffles his white/cream hat on the
piano (I see now this was his hat). As to use it to hide his face.For
me that ruins totally one of my favorite songs. And I wonder about his
mental health.What does he care if a single fan takes a photo? Most of
the phones are secured in those YONDER POUCH, and I didn't see too much
disturbance. A camera, the blue light and now another camera. Does
he try to find an excuse to be angry and mean? Or is he truly in pain
and irritable from suffering?
Of all my 6 shows, so far, that was the worst.
I struggled to reach the venue, forgot to eat, pay some money for the ticket....and had to face an angry Bobby.
Hopefully Berlin will find him in a better mood. Three shows in the same city should give him time to rest and relax.
So I will go on with hope and Love.
Stop flashing your camera in his face!!!!
Don't ruin the shows!!!
From Magdebourg to Berlin.
Easy travel with 'FLIXBUS', two hours and a half! In Berlin bus station I catch a 'U12' and 20 minutes walk to my 'couchsurfing' host.The streets are animated!
Petra is waiting for me.I have a private bedroom and a large bed.
BERLIN. October 5th.
I wake up with no hurry and the sun shining.I find myself a good book among the hundreds in the house; "Black boy" by Richard Wright.I read half of it before stepping out to buy myself some food at NETTO.
By 3pm I decide to walk all the way to the 'Verti music hall'. Some more than one hour.The streets are not so clean but full of life: Many little cafés and ethnic restaurants.
As soon as I cross the bridge I recognize the WALL and I know I've been here before. Last time in Berlin Bob played at the 'Mercedes Benz hall', next to the 'Verti'. I sit on the stairs facing the river and...watch the river flow, taking the last rays of the sun.
By 5.30 pm I walk around the block.
The buses are parked on the street. Erik is guarding the door.I say hi! to Charley, surprised to be recognized!
The 'Verti musical hall' will open only at 6.30 pm.I need a ticket so I put my sign out. Some scalpers are buying and selling and at least four other fans are looking for Tix. Plus the venue is small , maybe 3000.
I trust my "good star"
and I am right.
At 7.15pm a man comes straight to me and asks how many tickets I need.
" I have one and it's for free".
I ask why free. He says he just lost a good friend and he wants to make someone happy so he was looking for a real Fan.
"I am a real fan!".
By 7.30 pm I take my seat. Good
view of the stage and I chat with my Good Samaritan and his
They belong to a radio station and they know me through 'Expecting Rain'. The ticket was a "comp":(complementary).
The venue is small and full. The people seem to be in good spirit. More talkative than the Scandinavians.
Bob starts on time...at the piano.
But right away the public is up and enthusiastic!
The sound is really good. The drums are loud and I see Bob mentioning with his right hand to "take it down". There is a long piano solo at the start of "Watching the river flow" and "Most likely". In general Bob will add some piano in between the verses of the songs. Maybe to give him a chance to sit ? As he will be sited for all his solos. He moves center for "I contain multitudes" and "Black rider". He looks better than in Magdebourg.The public stands when he is center stage. And Bob can see. After "To be alone with you" the public reacts nicely and Bob decides to move again center stage for a longer pose without his jacket. I see he is wearing the green shirt. Nice one. Everything is perfect until "Mother of Muses". Then I feel his voice is less clear and he sits a lot for more piano.
"Jimmy Reed" is not as good as it used to be. Too much piano.
For "Every grain of sand" the public is up. Even some Fans move in the aisle. But none will reach the stage. No harp on EGOS but a long solo on piano.
This is the best sound since Oslo. A more intimate venue and a good audience.
Nice people in Berlin.So Bob should
be happy. I believe he was.There are two more shows here, in
Berlin.Take a chance!
See you tomorrow. And...after tomorrow.
Thanks for the shirt Bobby.
Berlin II. October 6th.
I wake up early but stay in bed reading my book and starting the 'couchsurfing' requests for the UK tour leg.I will meet with a friend, Irene, in the afternoon for a cup of coffee.Then meet with Marie for a cup of tea.
By 6 pm fans start pilling in front of the 'Verti'. We are few looking for tickets. But I manage to get in. All the way up on the balcony. The view on the stage is clear.
Bob starts right on time.Straight at the piano. No long piano solo.He's right into the lyrics.
"When I paint my masterpiece"
is a must. I dance into my seat as I am on the aisle.I am oblivious of the crowd
"Black rider" starts strong when suddenly Bob stops (so the Band). He mentions someone "filming" or "taking photos".
"We won't play...".
Oh no! Again! I don't see anyone with camera but a fan with binoculars. Could that be the problem? But after the show fans told me there was someone taking photos with a flash! Shame on you!Particularly that those photos are personal, not even shared. So stop being selfish and disturbing the show! And security should be more vigilant.
Bob start again "Black rider" but the magic is gone. Nonetheless He will move center after the song. And three times more.
By "Key west" he is jacket free.
His shirt is tonight the red/burgundy one.
He will say "thank you" maybe 5 times , including "thank you Art lovers" after "Masterpiece". And mumbles few more words I don't catch.
The presentation of the Band is simple though he mentions now Donnie Heron on steel guitar....and violin.
That was a good show.
With again an excellent sound.
Somebody told me about the echo on "Black rider". I believe it's on purpose.
A Fan tried to reach Bob after the show, to deliver him a bunch of flowers.He left in a black car with tinted windows straight from inside the garage.
I sale a couple of my paintings but I'm not as successful as in the States.
Thank you good Samaritans. Good night Bobby. See you tomorrow.
Berlin III. October 7th.
Nothing much happen in the morning.I still can't take a shower 'cause
my 'Couchsurfing' host has her laundry drying in the bath tub for two
I finish reading my book and start requesting hosting in the UK.
In the afternoon I join a friend/fan, Irene, in a nice area of Berlin. It's a little bit like 'Christiania' in Copenhagen.Nice hangout by the river.
Then I'm supposed to get a ticket from another friend.
There is a little confusion and I end up paying a lot for that ticket (a lot according to my way of life). It's a second row central and everyone around me is crazy about it. I'm afraid a lot fans/Bobcats don't understand my way of dealing with the tickets.
In I walk to the second row central. Bob is right on time and at the piano. I decide to forget about the crowd and focus on the stage. Yes, it's a great feeling to be so close and feel like part of the Band.
I know Bobby 's face. I try to focus on his expressions. He has a grin/smile right after "When I paint my masterpiece". But this is it ! No much expressions. Maybe some eyes rising on some lyrics with a note getting high. I stand up every time he is center stage. His shirt is the right size and all colorful. His pants and jacket are embroidered. I follow every line on his lips of every single song. The songs are all well delivered. I see that he is holding the piano with his left hand at times.
He's trying to be up behind the piano but for the solos he is sited.
He moves center stage maybe four times and say "thank you" few times.
He is talkative introducing the Band. Particularly with Doug Lancio and Bob Britt.
No harp on EGOS. A piano solo.
That was , of course, MY best show. Maybe not MY best day.
I try to socialize after the show
but ... it's a mistake. I ain't a Bobcat.I do have issues others don't get.
I'll be on the road for few more weeks so I keep my energy high for....Dylan!
Thanks Bobby you made my day.
Thanks to the nice couple who bought my paintings. Thanks to the happy funny young people on the tram.
Next Krefeld and it's another story.
Krefeld October 9th.
And it's the full moon.
I arrive 5.30 am at the train station but by 'FLIXBUS'. I have an 'IBIS' booking but I'm pretty sure I can't check in at this time.So a good friend, Johannes, fetches me at the station and takes me to his hotel room so I can sleep a little on the couch.
At least I'm warm and rest.We then walk to the empty streets of Krefeld for a breakfast. I finally manage to get my room in the morning and we walk again the almost empty streets of Krefeld. Not such a beautiful city but the weather is fine.I heard Bob and the Band are staying in Düsseldorf. Maybe better things to do?
By 3 pm my friend Johannes and I split,
going to rest in our respective rooms.Then I walk the 40 minutes to
the 'YaYla' venue.My friend Ben told me we have been here together few
years ago and....I want to believe him. No memory of it.
Maybe him and Julien having some beers before the show?
I take my sign out for half an hour and observe the crowd. It's an arena again and seems big...5000?I hope for a quiet public.I'm in a rested an good spirit. No doubt I'll get a "miracle" ticket.When a gentleman hands me a ticket. A real one with the nice "rough and Rowdy ways" printed. He says "it's for you" and disappears as another one of my 'fans' recognized me and starts chatting.
The ticket is of high value. I'm impressed and embarrassed.I walk in immediately and bump in my good Samaritan, a fan from Belgium, Stijn. A great Fan as I remember now meeting with him at the Beacon N.Y. We were stalking the BD bus in the afternoon to see Bobby just walking from Broadway and getting inside the 'Beacon'. That was the last time I bumped "accidentally" into Bob Dylan , just to be acknowledged by my HERO. Barron was then the Bodyguard and he was an Angel of respect! I miss you Barron Lee Tabura! :)
Those days are gone. My friend says Bob arrived in late afternoon in a black car and he was hooded. I guess he is too old to socialize. Fine.
I focus on the show. My seat is on the floor. And I'll be able to observe the stage. For the first time they announce that NO PHOTOS are allowed. Clear !
On time they take the stage, Bob
straight at piano.Right away the sound is fantastic. Loud and clear.
Each instrument can be heard individually. I like Charley's drums ,
like in Oslo.But the audience is a lot more enthusiastic.Standing when
Bob moves center stage.
Bobby's voice is powerful. No weakness in the voice.He mentions with his right hand to Tony or Charley? To play "low" so he can play solo on the piano.
Before "I'll be your baby tonight", in the dark, he has a conversation with Tony and Bob Britt. What could that be? Sometimes it's a change of the song. But not this time as he starts " I'll be your baby tonight" with a roar from the public. And what a version?
The most powerful, beautiful of all tours.
And "cherry on the cake" he will pickup his harp and blows his lungs out!
The crowd is responding with applause.
Bob is certainly in good moon....oops! Mood! Serious but happy to be here !
" I've made up my mind to give myself to you" is certainly true tonight.He will move twice center stage. Frail but proud. He's wearing a light blue shirt (I believe). He will say "thank you" and "thank you Art lovers" few times.He will stand at the piano a lot more than previously, even on the piano solos. We can see a quarter of him :) during the entire show. Each single song is a jewel and it doesn't matter if I know which one is coming next. It's like a brand new show. In good company with enthusiastic Fans around me. People moving their bodies in rhythm with interest and respect.
Who could believe that Krefeld would be the best show of the Tour so far? Not me. But it was!
"Every grain of sand" comes too soon. I cry singing along (quietly).
Just before the final bow Bobby sits on his piano stool for few seconds. He's exhausted! He manages to stand long for the 'pause', observes the standing ovation (I'm Sure with pleasure) and disappears in the dark. Swallowed by the night. In the loneliness and security of his fancy dark car up to the ...airport?
Thanks so much to all the good Samaritans. Krefeld was the show not to...miss !
See you all in Paris. Merci beaucoup !
Paris I. October 11th.
My day starts with a visit to the
garden of my 'couchsurfing' host. We are in Vitry-sur-Seine south of
Paris. Almost the country.Then I take the metro 7 to the Grand
Rex.It's a mess : construction work all around and
the street almost blocked. I wonder where they will park the buses. (Only
Bobby's bus will be on the street).
I just walk the streets around and have a lunch all by myself.With all the Bobcats in town I feel....lonely...and more ...But I'm here for the Bob Dylan show.
By 6 pm I bump into "security
Bob"? Somehow I'm happy to see him and we shake hands. I ask him
if he's back. He says no just for tonight (or maybe Paris?). I ask
about Barron. He says he is not on the Tour (which I know :) ). "Retired?"
And he says "Just not on Tour."
Shortly later "security Bob" takes position with other heavy guys around the back stage door. Fans are already packed there.A black car arrives but...empty.They dropped Bob somewhere else. I saw Donnie getting in by a side door....(b.t.w. Donnie was wearing a mask the entire show).
I have a ticket tonight and an
extra to sell. I sold it for face value to two Fans who look like
"trump's" but they do have money. Other people come to me
and ask for my name. Some buy my paintings.Thanks good Samaritans.I
surely do appreciate!
I say hello here and there in the Cafés nearby but don't drink or eat. I'm a bit autistic (if not totally sociopath) and hate the crowd.
I get in the venue. Better in than out. Of course the Grand Rex is class. Nothing to do with the sport arenas we had so far. Already the atmosphere is serious but "bon enfant". The prices of the tickets surely make a selection.I'm on the floor. All the way back. On a folding seat. Why they have those kind of seats? Mystery! The guy next to me is ....British. Not the only one tonight. We have an assembly of international Bobcats.
The show is at 20.30. Why? Another Bob Dylan mystery to solve.
The patrons respectfully took their seats on time. Meaning they know the Bob Dylan policy. And probably the set-list.
Bob , on time, walks straight to
the piano.The public is up.The sound will be perfect (from my seat)
after the third song.The audience has a good attitude : respectful
and also enthusiastic.The applause and the cheers are at the right
time.The 'Frenchies' do understand
English. Bob can feel it and moves center stage five times for what
seems a long pause.He's wearing a red shirt. Half of the crowd is up,
each time.(I am).
The harp on "I'll be your baby tonight" brings a round of applause but so other songs like "Key West". "I've made up my mind to give myself to you". "Serve somebody".
Bob misses a bit of lyrics on "I'll be your baby tonight". And at one point his voice 'cracks'. But he rapidly recovers.No harp on EGOS but a good version. No extra piano tonight, just pure lyrics.
Well! Compare to Krefeld?
The show was probably close to perfection in Krefeld but tonight the general atmosphere , decor and public, was much better.I give the medal to the 'Frenchies'.
Vive la France !
After the show Fans packed by the
backstage door. And for what I heard Bob did smile and saluted the crowd. Who could
I wave buy to "security Bob". We have known each other for so long! I feel a bit nostalgic! I say thanks to Jason. Also around for a long time.
I try to socialize but definitively not my cup of tea.
I walk to the closest metro to catch line7, all the way to 'Villejuif Louis Aragon'.
My 'couchsurfing' host, Claude, is waiting for me to open the door.
Nothing is really free : I don't have the permission of after midnight.
Bob was happy so.... I'm happy too.
Best show so far.
See you tomorrow!
Paris II. October 12th.
What will be the day?
A cup of Chai tea to start a nice Autumn Wednesday. So far the "Gods go easy with me.".
Thanks to Hans I do have a ticket tonight.Thank you, Good Samaritan!
My friend Ben invited me to visit 'Orsay museum' with him.I've been there about three times. It's still a fabulous trip to make.We spend four hours in admiration. They have a specific Munch exhibit. Not my most favorite painter but interesting to see that he didn't paint only...."the cry".
With Ben we split by 5pm and I catch a metro to Le Grand Rex ; "My feet are so tired. My brain is all wired".
By 6pm Bob will walk the block down
the street to the backstage door! All 'hoodied' and wearing a mask,
gloves and green windbreak, yellowish pants and shoes.He looks fit.
Surrounded by Erik and "security Bob".
That's the trick they were playing ; dropping him at the corner of the street a block up.They may have another trick for tomorrow.
By 7pm fans start piling up in the 'bistros' nearby.
Chatting about....Bob Dylan. Tony Garnier is seen walking around. Say hello to Tony he's a great guy !I recognize a lot faces....Bobcats from all over.
By 8pm I step in. My seat is behind
the soundboard. There is no bad seat in 'Le Grand Rex'.
Patrons are sited on time and the show starts. Bob at the piano and sounding good by the second or third song. The Band tunes their instrument with what I believe a Dixie instrumental ;"oh Suzanna" and Bob chats with Britt and Tony before the first song.
Arriving at 6pm I don't believe he
was part of the sound check.
"Watching the river flow" sounds different. More staccato.
"Masterpiece" has no harp.
"My own version of you" is breathtaking. We could hear a pin drops.
"I'll be your baby tonight" is the funny one. Bob is always changing it. Tonight he will sing twice "I'll be your Baby CE SOIR" in a perfect French. And he'll get an ovation from the 'Frenchies'. Few times he'll move center stage but few times....in the dark. The light man is not responsive enough!
He's wearing his green shirt.
Bob is delivering his Poetry with application. No over doing the piano, which gives the guitars more power.Charley is powerful on his drums , cymbals and...pearls...on "Black rider".
Donnie is still wearing a mask and some fan told me at times is was not playing....not sure!
"Key west" is delivered in absolute silence. With 'happiness' introduced as a change in the lyrics.
The public is respectful. Only some moving in between the songs.
"I've made up my mind to give myself to you". YOU being highly emphasized. And the audience responds with applause.
"Serve somebody" is the way I like. Rocking hard. Too bad I'm not on the aisle to have my freedom of movement...so for "Jimmy Reed".
I listen to "Mother of Muses" with great attention as my friend Bob Russell is sited first row and I send him some good vibrations! Bob will chat presenting the Band.Particularly on Doug Lancio. Mentioning he played in many recordings?
I leave the Rex before the end of
"Every grain of sand". If Bob gives kisses away I want to
be the first one to catch one. But tonight is another night. Security
is tight and Bob is covered with his hoodie and mask again.
"Security Bob" , Erik and Suzie will let no one touching the LEGEND.
Bye! Bye! Bobby. Good night. Sweet dreams.See you tomorrow.
Thank you all the good Samaritans helping me on that Tour.
Paris III. October 13th.
Third and last show.I wake up early
as always on the road, even with a good bed. I do my laundry and join
a group of fans in a restaurant in Paris 'intra muros'. Today I want to
know what kind of trick will find "security Bob" to sneak
Bob inside the venue without Bob meeting the Fans (or even being
seen)."Security Bob" (who is now retired) had been hired
specifically for those three shows in Paris because 'Le Grand Rex' has
only one back stage entrance opening directly in the street.
Last time it had been already a challenge to contain the crowd. This time, twice, Bob had been dropped by the corner of the next street up and walked down behind the Fans back. Bob getting out after the shows is less sophisticated.- First night he had no mask (but a hoodie) and waved goodbye with his hand. Anyone telling you he shook hands and gave "fives" is...hallucinating!- Second night he was fully masked (thanks to his security to be aware of the COVID ! More than the flash from the cameras! And he walked rapidly to his car surrounded by Suzie, Erik, "security Bob". A black car with a German license plate?
Today there will be another trick for his entrance :
By 6 pm. "Security Bob" is out and direct four or five big guys around the back stage door. A number of fans piles up on both side of a supposedly security corridor. For 40 minutes anxiety increases. When a guy cries "he's behind". Bob sneaked inside a side door ( probably an emergency exit of the cinema next door) hooded and holding an umbrella.
I should have known; Erik was not around and at some point I saw Jerry (his Tour manager and 'friend'?) walking around. Two guys who are personal security people.The idea was to drop Bob inside his bus and surreptitiously walk him on the side door.The fans are disappointed.That was a smart trick.
That said...By 7 pm I prepare to get in. Thanks to good hearten people, I do have a ticket. Thanks Hans , again. Some fans are remarkable of kindness and generosity!
By 8 pm I am inside to be happily
surprised: the man next to me is a follower from Oslo. I know he
knows the set-list by heart and probably all the lyrics.
Bob starts maybe 2 minutes late.
He will do a long intro on piano before standing up and starts "Watching the river flow". The mic is not adjusted. Bob makes a sign towards the sound guy. For me (and this is my opinion only.) Bob's voice is weak. Not as clear as yesterday.
Until "Crossing the Rubicon" I don't feel "in" the show. Might be due to the sad experience outside previously?
After Rubicon I enjoy the show. Bob takes his jacket off, walks center stage. He's wearing a red/burgundy puffy shirt.His hair seems to be dyed even darker. He will again add "I'll be your baby CE SOIR" with a laugh and reaction from the audience.
For me it's... déjà vu. That's the disadvantage of going to many shows ; you know what is spontaneous and what is ...played.
The show is good and I dance on my seat but nothing like the previous night or even the first. Bob makes a slight mistake on "Every grain of sand". But he adds a fantastic harp solo. Breathing his lungs out!
He will be center stage maybe three times and introduce the Band at minima.I see him sited at the piano more than the two previous shows.The Band had a strong back up support.
Audience being less enthusiastic.(again...my opinion). I was less...(enthusiastic).
I don't go out before the end.I
know they will rush him in his car. Hooded and masked.
I don't want to fight.At least not tonight!
I step out. And some fans
immediately come to me.I have few paintings left for sale.A group of
people start chatting and offers me a ticket for the second show in
Amsterdam. I feel sorry I don't have real painting to exchange, just
Another 'Frenchie' also wants to buy. And two women are "fighting" to buy my left over of prints.
So, here is the deal : when the tour is over, after Dublin, contact me on my e-mail and I'd be more than happy to do any REAL ORIGINAL painting. Yes, I can paint anyone. Sure I can paint Patti Smith!
I suddenly feel the touch of"glory" and popularity. I spend some time saying goodbye or "adios" to Bobcats around.
I don't feel like socializing too much.
I prefer keeping my personal impressions and putting them down on a writing review. No way to argue about which show was the best or worst
...it's always subjective.
I was happy to be in Paris.
I had a great time. Thank you all good people.But.... I'm also glad to move to a quieter atmosphere.Brussels should be more....intimate.
But ....who knows?
It's another adventure :)
Brussels October 14th.
Arriving on time by 'FLIXBUS', on the 14th, I take metro 55 as instructed by Erwan, my 'couchsurfing' host.He's waiting for me and we have a chat about making stain glasses. This is his job.I then retrieve to my private room for a nice sleep.
Next morning, October 15th
We ( Erwan and I)
decide to visit some streets in Brussels where we'll find 'Art
Nouveau'. Erwan book two entrances for the 'Hortat museum'.Hortat was the precursor of 'Art
Nouveau' in architecture. The museum was his private home.
We walk some of the streets of Brussels I never new, for four hours, and I learn a lot about the history of Belgium. I offer Erwan a pizza in a street Italian restaurant.
Then I walk 40 minutes towards the
'National forest'. As soon as I see the venue, I know I've been here
before. Last Dylan show in Brussels.Some fans start talking to me about
my reviews and I sell some of my prints.
Thanks good people :)
A journalist with a camera will interview me, asking few questions.
"I think Dylan is a Poet more than a Rock Star. He is putting his Poetry into music.He is a mix of Rimbaud and Elvis Presley. He is one of a kind".
Was my answer!They will put me on TV for...few seconds!
We are back to a 'classical' tour
in a large arena.This one might be 6000 seats.Thanks Hilda I have a ticket.I walk in to take my seat on the
first balcony back.The floor is packed, so will be the rest of the
venue.The crowd is "bon enfant".
I'm happily surprised to hear people talking to each other in good
humor and mainly in French :).
I'm wondering if they will stop talking during the show :)
Bob starts few minutes late.
"Watching the river flow" is massacred. The sound at the mic is bad, so Bob decides to do a long piano solo.
"Most likely you go your way's is not so good.
I find "I contain multitudes" weak.
By "False prophet" Bob finds his voice and from then on that will be fine.
Though the arena is too big to have a good sound everywhere.
On "Masterpiece" there is a roar when he mentions Brussels.
There is always an echo on "black Rider" but I believe it's on purpose.
On "I'll be your baby tonight" we'll hear twice "I'll be your baby CE SOIR". Much applause :)
"Rubicon" is fantastic. The sound going crescendo. My favorite tonight.
Bob will make a slight mistake on "Key west".I hear twice “coming out of Luxembourg and Budapest".
He moves three times center stage but quickly, wearing a black shirt.He introduces the Band at minima, with just a remark on Donnie playing the violin.(Donnie without a mask tonight.)
Always asking Charley to stand up "so the people can see you".
I feel that he was more tired than in Paris being sited behind the piano for solos.
The public is remarkably quiet and respectful for such a large crowd.
Behind me some fans applaud on "Key west" and "Mother of Muses" right at the first notes.
All together a good show but
nothing like Paris.
Not even Krefeld.
I step out to see a wave submerging me.
Too many people, I feel dizzy!
I walk to my metro.
Eat bread and jam. Drink a glass of water.
And go to bed.
Tomorrow is another BD day.
Amsterdam I. October 17th.
I switch a bus ride for a car ride. Arriving around 1 pm.I catch a metro to Sasha home, my
new 'couchsurfing' host.
I'm a little anxious each time I have to move in a new HOME.This is not like checking at the Ibis or Marriott where they are all the same around the world. And at least you are sure to have privacy.
'Couchsurfing' is an everyday adventure.At times it is heavy emotionally.
Sasha offers me a private room and offers me a glass of milk and a banana. Sasha is originally from Pakistan. In his 70's and extremely clean though the apartment is falling apart. :(
I found out that hospitality is a mark of the poor.They give even what....they don't have.
We chat for a while about....Bob Dylan.
It's also heavy to explain that "no, Bob Dylan is not dead", "yes, he is still touring at 81", "yes, he is a legend" :) and "no, he doesn't sing 'like a rolling stone' anymore" :)
Then I catch the metro to the 'AFAS
LIVE'. I found the venue easily. I've been
here before. A huge complex/commercial center.There is a soccer game next door
and the crowd is moving back and forth.
I feel dizzy.
But I need a ticket.After more than one hour I start falling apart.
It had not been a great day.To much mixed feelings and troubled mind.What am I doing here? Who I am? (Just a freak?). Should I not be home reading a book or painting with just....myself?
I see Bob Russell handing a ticket
to someone else.
What did I do wrong?I thought he was a Friend?
But he will also come to me and offers me an extra ticket he's got in his phone. The transfer doesn't work . But finally we get in.
I just feel subdued.
I am squeezed between two big guys and I don't understand a word of Deutsch.
I have to focus on the show.
Bob starts slightly late but the people don't seem to mind. A sign they are not focusing on the show but on their conversation. I hope they will stop talking.
"Watching the river flow" starts with some piano.
Bob rushes from one song to the other until "Black rider" sounding more inspired.
But his voice is weak. He sounds tired.
On "Masterpiece" there is a tentative of modulation of his voice. But it just sounds weird.
The audience is dead, except for the applause at the end of each song.
I see the fans on the floor moving back and forth after "Key west".
When Bob moves center stage, after "Key west"....there is no light.He is making his pause totally in the dark.
Three more times he'll be center stage and two times he will say "thank you" with the " thank you, Art lovers".
He will joke presenting Bob Britt. And add that Donnie Herron also plays the violin "we saw it".
He will murmur things before "every grain of sand" that I don't understand.
Not the greatest show ever.
Due maybe to my "depression"?
Tomorrow is another day.
Everything gonna be BEAUTIFUL when I paint my masterpiece.
Thank you all the good Samaritans who bought me paintings.
Amsterdam II.October 17th.
I wake up with a cup of Chai tea.
The weather is terribly wet. I decide to visit the 'rijks museum'
again.I spend few hours in the non crowded part. I do appreciate the
furniture, the clocks, the vases etc...non painting Art that I
I have a lunch of mayonnaise fries and cola.Then take one hour scheduling my trip to London. It seems that the Amsterdam metros don't fit my departure time so good.
I worry a little bit.
But there is a show tonight and I need to focus.One thing at a time.
I take my metro to the venue and
decide to stalk the buses. I didn't see Bobby's bus yesterday, wonder
where it was!
I see "security Bob" walking by! He's not so retired , after all.They hired him for the tricky 'games' ; the bus and black car are parked inside a garage.
Alright. So Bobby wants to be invisible!
I have a ticket tonight, handed to
me by nice people in Paris. Plus a ticket for my friend (given by Bob
Russel), plus a ticket from fans who exchanged for a painting. Also I
have been promised a ticket from Marko (a fan I know from the past).
Nothing like yesterday.
I walk in and take my seat : black
box row 7 seat 48. A perfect view on the piano.The woman next to me is a
fan. Was here yesterday.
Bob starts a little late.They play "oh! Sussana"...to tune the instruments?
"Watching the river flow" is alright.
Bob seems to be in a hurry.He moves center stage after "False prophet" showing his beautiful black shirt with white embroidery. And also the black suit with white embroidery.That will be his only time center stage, except for the final salute.
No "thank you".
His voice is alright. Clear and strong.
On "Black rider" I look at Charley, the drummer.The most inspired of all the five musicians, looking all tense, including Tony who doesn't smile as mush as before. Same remark for Donnie.
Bob Britt always serious and Doug Lancio practically always behind Dylan.(Except on some riffs with Britt).
Bobby more erratic than ever before?
"My own version of you" is my favorite tonight.
"I'll be your baby tonight" back to normal.
"Rubicon" a strong one.
All others well done but without so much spirit.The audience is not so much enthusiastic neither.Polite and quiet. Even too much polite:(This is a Mass with Bob Dylan as a preacher! )
Presenting the Band Bob will joke on Doug.
-" He used to be a race car driver , won some, but decided to quit, thanks for that" or something of the kind!
Presenting Bob Britt " he can drive fast too!"
And Donnie , playing also the violin.
And Tony having been here for a long time!
Some fans move from the back and stand in the aisle, close to the stage.
They are asked to sit. (By the public).
I believe I heard Bob say "thank you for that" in between the lyrics of "Every grain of sand".
I do a stage rush and end right in front of Bob, on the rail.He is as pale as a ghost. No smile. He will disappear in the night.
That is the end of the European leg.
16 shows that I managed to attend thanks to all the good Samaritans.
Thank you so much for your support on my crazy adventure.
Some days high, some days low.
But it's life and life only.
See you in the UK.
London I. October 19th.
A lucky day. First I changed my
morning bus for an evening/night bus. Well inspired as my first night
'couchsurfing' host canceled my stay. I would have been sleeping in St
Pancras as many years ago :)
Arriving in the morning (on the 19th) I can walk to my Hostel, booked for the next 6 days , close to Hyde park and 40 minutes walk to the Palladium. It's a mixed dorm of 14 bunks ...but cheap and convenient. I can't check in so early but leave my bags and walk the streets around. I found a change (euros to pounds) and a copy shop. I print more of my paintings as they are my chance for a free ticket, and cash.
I check in, take a shower, have a nap. And ....walk to the Palladium.
By 5pm Bobby's bus is already
parked in front the backstage door. With a bunch of Fans stalking the
bus. I'm wondering what trick they will use to sneak Bob inside.The
sound check is already over as I see Donnie and Tony walking by.
But today I need a ticket. So by 6 pm I put my sign out.Tonight we have scalpers, maybe five of them. Buying and selling! No good. I don't see so many British Bobcats, except Stephen, Mark and the ones already on the road.They were a lot more in Paris.
I have my sign out for almost two hours.
It's now 7.45pm and there is still a long line queuing to get in. A woman waves to me. I approach her. She says she has an extra ticket.I ask how much. She asks me if I really will go to the show. Well! Of course yes. Then she says she gives it to me for free.
We walk inside together. The seat is on the floor (here they call STALLS). Far back but the theater is small so the view is great.
[The venues never have the same 'chart' ; never the same names for the sections, never the same 'number' organizations. And because of the policy of 'no-phone' (mobiles locked in the YONDER POUCH) I saw many disturbances before or during the shows.
The question of the' no-phone' policy is to be debated. Personally I will NOT be favorable.
1) it takes a while to have the Fans checked before the show,
2) it certainly adds to the cost of the ticket,
3) fans who want to take photos (or record), manage to do it anyway,
4)Bob Dylan himself had been extremely paranoid during some shows,
5)The American ways of dealing with problems...just don't fit me. I believe in education, not in repression.
Some Fans find it disturbing to have people taking photos.
I find disturbing the fact that drinks (particularly alcohol) and food are served DURING the shows. Making people moving back and force during the songs.
Also disturbing when people talk incessantly when Bob Dylan claims his Poetry on stage.]
Bob starts maybe after 8 pm. But I'm sure all the patrons are not inside yet.
They tune with "oh! Sussana" then Bob is right away into "Watching the river flow".
The sound is loud. Powerful for the three first songs. After "I contain multitudes" Bob moves center stage.
He will do it again after "Black rider". And no more until the final pause.
He's making a slight mistake on "I'll be your baby tonight". He forgot "kick your shoes off".
The public responds on the English allusions The Rolling Stones ( “And them British bad boys, The Rolling Stones”) and William Blake.
But nothing on "the size of your coke will get you no where". That was for the Americans :)
Also the cities mentioned in "I've made up my mind to give myself to you'. Or Brussels for the Belgians. A little reaction on "You may be an ambassador to England or France".
When Bob moved center stage few fans in the public stood up. So Bob stopped presenting himself. He sticks to the piano.
I focus on Doug Lancio tonight. Permanently behind Bob except on "Serve somebody". "That old black magic" and "Jimmy Reed". When he's moving facing Bob Britt for guitars duos.
I feel that Bobby's voice is lacking of energy on "That old black magic" maybe just because he doesn't sing close enough to the mic.
"Jimmy Reed" is a bit chaotic. His piano doesn't fit the Band tempo.
Presenting the Band he will add after asking Charley to stand up.
"This is the place where you have to rattle your jewelry! Rattle your jewelry!" ...referring to John Lennon remark.
Presenting Bob Britt ...he mentions him being from Orlando Florida.
"He had a promising career as a model but he gave up. We're happy for that. I'm sure you're happy too."
Then "Everything grain of sand" with a harp solo.A final pause and he disappears in the dark between Britt and Tony.
I had a nice day and since I was uncertain to get a ticket...I enjoyed myself.
Thanks the Samaritan Lady who gave me the ticket. Thanks Stephen for the conversation. Thanks the gentleman who bought me a print.
See you tomorrow. London 1st was a great show but for me nothing compare to the ambiance Paris 1 and Paris 2.
London II. October 20th.
I get up around 9am to take a
shower. One shower room for a dorm of 14! Then walk out for a breakfast at
the nearby bakery. I've been invited to pay a visit to
the Troubadour cafe, where Bob Dylan performed in ... 1962. There is a photo of
him with Richard Farina and Eric Von Schmidt.There is a basement where other
famous starts performed in early 60's. I recognize Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, Jerry
Garcia, Sammy Davis Jr. And Jimi Hendrix....
Fine! A little bit of nostalgia.
I then walk all the way to the Palladium.
London has got nice buildings all along the avenues.I'm getting used to the traffic on the wrong side of the road !
By 6pm folks start to come by the
Not as crowded as yesterday. Must not be sold out as they are selling tickets at the box office.They sell tickets by two.
A Lady comes to me and says she just bought an extra. She likes my paintings so I exchange the ticket for 8 prints.Previously I gave away two prints to two young girls from .... Bejing China. Fans of Dylan and my paintings!
I chatted with Giovanni from Italy, another Fan of Dylan and of my writings on Bill Pagel website!
Well! Not too bad !
By 7.30pm we walk in. My Lady good
Samaritan will get some drinks.
The seat is on the first circle. Really steep stairs. The seats are tight, hardly any room for the legs.But the decorum is grandiose and the view on the stage is clear.I remark that the piano has no black wrapping,(neither yesterday) so the wood is visible.Also there is no platform to make the piano higher. The Bobby's guitar is laying in the back.Just in case Bobby is in the mood ?
On time they take the stage but even in the dark I see someone missing. Bob Britt is absent and Doug Lancio takes the back center stage.
A Fan posted that his wife mentioned he had another performance to attend to and he had the permission of absence.
Good! He's Fine and he will be back on Sunday.
Of course the show will be different. (Only for the ones who know the previous shows.)
Bob is more visible as he is half above the low piano. He will not sit so much. Presents himself three times center stage. After "False prophet" "Black rider" and "Rubicon".
He's wearing his burgundy shirt.
On "Masterpiece" I heard for the last shows an addition before "Beautiful" ( everything gonna be 'darn gone' beautiful????)
Just before " I'll be your baby tonight" there is a tentative of harp. But turns short.
After "I'll be your baby tonight" he will say "thank you, you Baby lovers!
I paid 1Ł for binoculars in front of my seat.
There is no light on the piano. The two little lamps are tuned off. Absolutely no light on his face.
He mentions twice the tech to bring him a drink by the side of the piano.
What about the music?
Without Bob Britt we don't
have the duo on "That old black magic" "Serve
somebody" and "Jimmy Reed".
Not as Rock and Roll as the previous shows.But since I'm stuck in my seat with no possibility of movement ...
This is truly a Mass. The drums (percussion) , bass and piano (loud) gives a dark atmosphere.
Donnie's violin is also low tones on "Masterpiece".
Doug will use the same guitar for the entire show trying his best to play Britt's riffs.
Not a bad show. My two neighbors are satisfied.But a bit weird.
Bob presents his short Band rapidly and mentions Joe Strummer's wife in the public.
Few Fans spotted Jimmy Page.
Thank you the Lady good Samaritan from New Zealand for the Tix.
Thank you all good people.
My good friend Jack Fate and his wife Kim are coming for the last two shows in London.
Can't wait to have fun!
See you all on Sunday with....Bob Britt on guitars!
And Bob Dylan on....piano??????
London III. October 21st and 22sd.
After two days off.
First day I didn't do much; rest.
Second day my friends from New Jersey U.S.A., Jack Fate and Kim, invited me to visit the 'cavalry museum' and then I walked all by myself to 'Halcyon Gallery' to see the Bob Dylan paintings.
I walked back' home' through Chinatown and Soho.Quiet and pleasant day with no show.
London III October 23rd.
There is a show tonight.The third in London.
Jack Fate and Kim invite me in the morning to visit the 'Kensington palace' nearby then the National gallery.
Then off to the Palladium.
The BD bus is parked in front the backstage door and " security Bob" is on duty.A lot of work for a retired man :)
I checked around. There is a garage behind the Palladium and some doors. I believe this is where they'll drop Bob before the show. Masked and anonymous.
As I'm talking to my friend Julien , the sky explodes in storm and lightnings. It's pouring rain.
I take refuge in a cafe/pub but don't drink anything.
By 6pm and by a miracle the rain
I need a ticket. I stand still with my sign among five or six scalpers.They're not aggressive, even friendly. But they buy and sell.I need a free ticket.
A gentleman talks to me.He says he needs his money back on a spare ticket but if he finds nobody he will come back to me. "Promised".
Ok! 20 minutes later...he hands me the Tix.
I immediately queue for security
control.I find myself on floor, row U, seat
39. Not too bad.
Show starts on time.Bob Britt is back.So the two lights on the piano. Bob starts with a music intro on piano.
Then a strong "Watching the river flow".
His voice is clear and powerful.He stands most of the time behind the piano.Wobbling center stage after "multitudes" "My own version of you" and "Key west". The shirt is black with patches of colors.
He will make three little mistakes on lyrics "Key west" , I hear twice Budapest.
"Serve somebody" I hear twice 'they may call you Paul'. Of course those lyrics are not the original ones.
And "Every grain of sand'. He will mumble the first words.But do a short solo harp final.
That was a great performance. Just
too much of loud piano as he mentioned few times Britt to be low on
his guitar.But Bobby's piano is not the best
"My own version of you" was my highlight.
As for the public?
Nice reactions next to me. Not so much standing up. But there is not enough space to move between the seats.
I believe a lot of the fans tonight had been to the previous shows ...so no extravaganza...just a new Mass.
I step out rapidly to find myself in the rain.The clouds are weeping.
Again Bob Russell will rescue me by calling 'UBER'.
I crash on my bed....dry and safe!
Thank you all my good friends.
I had a wonderful day....See you tomorrow.Last of the London shows.
London IV. October 24th.
Start with a bakery
good and a changing of hostel due to an error in my booking.
I then join the 'EDLIS' lunch party and chat with a fan originally from Nepal. Interesting.
Thanks Bob Russell and Nancy M. Cobb for the lunch.
I join Jack Fate and Kimberly White-Steinert for a visit to the Halcyon gallery.
Then back to the Palladium.
A bunch of Fans are already packed by the bus.
"Security Bob" is playing is trick again, pretending Bob will arrive this way. The pedestrian walk is blocked for 45 minutes, disturbing the 'real' people.And creating a fake or real anxiety.
In fact Bob will arrive by a back alley, drop from a car and walk the few steps to the back entrance. Some "smart" fans waited for him there. But someone (Erik?) covered Bobby's face with an umbrella!
Why all that "circus"?
I can't find a good Samaritan tonight. Neither four or five other 'freaks'.
I start chatting with Bob, some kind of a Poet.
He is fun and we have a good time trying to listen to the show through the back door :)
The set-list is the same...
But this time Bob will come out by the back stage door for sure.
Security is extremely heavy. A black car is parked between two black Vans.
'Security Bob' and Erik discuss the strategy.
The musicians are getting inside a black van.
Bobby will just walk out from a large door surrounded by Suzie and Erik.
Masked and 'hoodied' he will step rapidly in the car.
Off they go!
Bye! Bye! Bobby, see you in Cardiff!
Thanks to all my good friends.
I heard by Fans inside that Bob came back twice for his final salute! a Goodbye! or a farewell?
Only time will tell!
Cardiff. October 25th.
Leaving London on 'FLIXBUS' bus at 3pm.The bus rattles when we hit the
streets of London. Rattles and stops, rattles and stops.Why the hell did the driver take
the road anyway?
After half hour of rattling dangerously, the bus stops completely. In the middle of London traffic.
The driver, without so much consideration, just announces we have to walk back to Victoria coach station, luggage, kids and all...and buy a new bus ticket.
Alright. Shits happen!
Back to Victoria coach station, I buy a National Express bus ticket.
This time we take off for good; luggage, kids and all.
Fortunately my 'couchsurfing' host, Billy, is an optimist kind of guy and easy going.
He will pick me up at the (outdoor) station in Cardiff three hours delayed.
We buy some food at the grocery store and have dinner. A Welsh dinner of "faggots and beans".
I have my own private room.
Morning. October 26th.
I take a walk to the beach. The
weather is surprisingly warm.Billy went to work, so I have the
home for myself.
I ask Billy to ride me to the venue by 5pm.
So kindly he will leave work and drive me.
As soon as I am in front the doors....I know I've been here before.
Nothing is happening so I take a walk in the center and bump accidentally to the 'Castle Fine Art gallery' where Bob Dylan paintings are on the walls. They even offer champagne and beer but I ask for a coke.
Back to 'business'...I need a ticket.I stand 10 minutes when a scalper directs me to a man in the long long line.He has an extra one on his phone. Sale for 30Ł.
I buy it, don't want to be more stressed than necessary.
The seat is no good. So I walk around to try to find an empty one in the floor, and aisle.
But it appears that the show is sold out.I retrieve to my seat. Not too bad as I can see the entire stage but far far far away!
On time the lights dim dim. The music starts ; first music the classic one, a little bit of "oh! Sussana" and Bob on the piano decided to make an entertainment....time for the late patrons to take their seats.
And "Watching the river flow". Twice he turns to Bob Britt and says "hey!"."Hey!" What?
The sound is shuffled . Will be better by "I contain multitudes".
He will move center stage after "My own version of you".
Stands few seconds looking at the audience.
It takes a while before the fans stand up ...time for Bob to hide behind the piano.
He will be center stage again after "Key west".
No talking. No joking.
He looks tired! He will sit more at the piano than London.
Songs are great but the public moves back and forth, a bit bored ?
"Jimmy Reed" is fantastic. The highlight of the night.
Then "Every grain of sand". Harp and Bob moves to salute.
Disappears in the dark and...Comes back.
The crowd is wild!But he won't come again.
Bye! Bye! Bobby.
See you in Hull.
I sell some of my prints and Billy will pick me up.
I had a great day but...
Not the best show ever.
Those Arenas are not my ...cup of tea!
Thank you for all Billy. Such a
Hull October 27th.
I reach the Backpackers hostel just on time to check in.I'm surprised to see that two other women are also staying in that hostel for the bob Dylan show.For one it's her first show but S. is American and says to have seen more than 600 B.D. shows. I can't believe her because I never saw her before! But I will see her to more shows on that Tour. A discreet follower!I try to go print some more copies of my paintings but the shop closes at 5.30pm.
The manager of the Hostel kindly will print some B.D. portraits on his printer.
I start walking towards the venue. Of course I get lost.
folks start getting in the huge Arena. The weather is not the best as
it starts raining.I don't
give up until 8pm.
No one seems to have an extra ticket. Nobody , tonight, will get a free ticket. Even difficult to get an extra for money.
I retrieve to my room.
It was a long way to reach Hull and I'm disappointed.
But at least I can sleep in a warm bed.
Tomorrow is another day!
Nottingham. October 28th.
I arrived on National Express. Nice
company.Usually on time and good service.
Walk the half hour to Madi, my 'couchsurfing' host.
Him and his friend are from Libya but they had been living in Nottingham for 7 years.
We chat about their country but then they have to work. So I ask for the keys and take a nap.
I've been sick since the rainy night in London when I didn't even find a ticket.A cold and bronchitis.
By 5pm I walk the way to the motor
point arena.And of course I've been here
Tonight I really want to see the show and I work hard to attract the attention with my paintings.The crowd is more sympathetic than Hull.
A gentleman wants to sell me a Tix. But finally he will come back to me and exchange for a print.
Thanks good Samaritan!
The venue is HUGE...10000? AND PACKED!
My seat is not to good but I am inside.
It's all dark except for the blue lights in the audience when Bob walks to the piano.
He's wearing a grey/silver jacket. Right away into "Watching the river flow".
He will move center stage after "Black rider". And after "Key west".
After "I'll be your baby tonight" he will say "thank you Baby lovers.I'm also a Baby lover. We are all Baby lovers".
And say "thank you" another time.The couple next to me can't stop talking to each other ... And move for drinks.
Also movements in the floor after "My own version of you" and "Key west".
The sound is good though.
But it's difficult to keep attentive when Bob disappears behind the piano (no more draped in black). I have thousands of folks in from of me.
"Every grain of sand".
And it's supposed to be the last one when Bob disappears in the dark. But since London 4 I still wait for an encore.
And I'm right.The Band and Bob move back to their instruments.
Bob at the piano."I don't know if many of you know but Jerry Lee is gone, and we're gonna play this song, one of his. Jerry Lee will live forever. We all know that". And they play an emotional "I Can't seem to say goodbye".
Only for that song that worse all
the pain to come all the way to Nottingham.
Except for the aficionados I don't know how many folks appreciated that homage.
By now I'm so sick that I just want to go to bed.I run a high fever all night and blow my nose thousands times.
Sacrifice is the code of the road!
From Nottingham to Glasgow.
I changed again my bus from' FLIXBUS'
to National Express.
Only....8 hours ride and direct. I can hardly breeze in the morning and my head feels like a pumpkin.
Well! It's Halloween . Happy Halloween!
I hope to crash in the bus and sleep all the way through.I literally passed out for few minutes and no one pays attention.
I ain't dead yet!
I sleep a tormented sleep.And we reach Glasgow in the rain and cold.
Luckily my Youth hostel is not too far and the staff really kind.
The female dorm has 14 bunks but clean and friendly.
After a warm cup of tea and hot shower I crash on my upper bunk!
No show tonight! And for a change it's a good thing!
Morning in Glasgow October 30th.
I feel slightly better.
Can't afford to be sick. I'm not sick! I'm not sick! I'm not sick!
Take a walk along the river bank for fresh air, blow my nose and cough.Coughing is not bad. It gets the mucus out!
I need to do something to clear my head as well.The Art museum is open, free and nearby....all for the best.
I spend some time in there wearing a mask and taking photos.
I discover the painter E.A. Hornel. I really like his style.
Walking back to my Hostel I stop at
the "Castle gallery" to see more Dylan paintings.Some of the Asian series and the
I relax before heading to the SEC Arena.
By 6pm a crowd is gathering but ..it's for the event next door; a wrestling match. The Dylan crowd is slow to come and the rain doesn't help me.
Shortly after 7pm a nice Lady says
she has an extra ticket.She asks how much I'm willing to
pay. I feel this is not the time and the place to ask anything for
free.I say 20Ł. And she says ok.
I repeat 20Ł? She says fine.
Not too bad! I'm out of the cold
The seat is 'gall'. Meaning all the way in the top.Top top top. Under the roof.We can see all the aluminum protecting the pipes.I hope the sound will reach so high!
The Lady is originally from South Africa, leaving here now for the last 7 years.Her daughter, next seat, is a musician. It will be their first Dylan show.
I say nothing of the set-list.
On time, Bob steps at the piano.The sound is remarkable!
As I can't see Bobby's face I focus in his voice.He sounds like 25 years old Bobby ; raucous and angry...
Moving center stage after "False prophet" and "My own version of you".
His shirt might be the light blue one.
"Key west" is wasted.Bobby is confused with the lyrics.He wants to move center but changes his mind.He knew he did wrong.
Tonight he is the piano Bob.
Bob Britt has to "slowdown" on his guitar.Particularly on "Serve somebody".
The boys start with a heavy Rock and Roll rhythm but Bobby mentions Britt to "shut off" , and starts a piano solo. Bad! That entirely breaks the rhythm....no more Rock and Roll. A marshmallow sound.....If I heard well...he even turns to Britt and says "oh!Jesus!".
Britt and Tony will now be really tense, focusing on the piano.
"That old black magic" is great.
It must be the most difficult song to perform musically on that set-list! No place for improvisation. Bob puts his finger in his mouth few times. Not sure what he's getting out.
Says "thank you everyone" twice.
"Jimmy Reed" could have been better...if only he could let the "poor" Bob Britt expresses himself without "fear". Doug seems doing better, hiding behind the piano. And Charley as free as a bird!
I'm wondering where the chock chock chock is coming from on "To be alone with you".
"Every grain of sand" with a long harp solo.
Play more that harp Bobby! Less the piano!
Well! I don't leave my seat before the lights come on....Who knows?
And, yes. They will all come back for a second salute.All align in dark suits and as straight as a Cathedral!
Thank you Guys.You're doing a great job! Charley Drayton on drums, Doug Lancio on second guitar, Bob Britt on the other guitars, Donnie Herron on still guitar, and Tony Garnier on Bass.
See you tomorrow ?
Glasgow II. October 31st.
Seems to be Halloween everywhere.
People are wearing masks.
I still need to recover so decide to do....no thing! Better than bad thing!
I just go to print some of my paintings but the kid at the reception is not too friendly.
Glasgow has no sun out, and no sun in the people's heart!
Definitively not the place where I want to build my tiny house.
By 6pm I am back at the SEC. No
wrestling tonight. The only patrons around are the Bob Dylan fans.
I'm confronting with a nasty old grumpy security Lady. She says it's not polite to put on my sign "I need a ticket". Maybe it's not polite to tell people you don't know what to do with their life.
Then a nasty old grumpy Man says he has an extra ticket. "How much do you want to pay?".
I say 10Ł.
And he starts laughing like a maniac!
What's so funny?
10 minutes later he is back with his mobile opens. He wants me to tell his friend I want a Bob Dylan show ticket for 10Ł.
The nasty old grumpy security Lady is back and says "And do you imagine there is another one who wants a FREE ticket? FREE?".
Ah! Ah! Ah!
Some folks never got out of their "box" for 80 years!
On the top of it, tonight some "Bobcats" decided to scalp their tickets.Everyone's trying to make some kind of business!
I just want to be in.I expect some "expats"(out of Scotland ?) or some 'fans' of mine, some good Samaritans...
I don't do ANYTHING WRONG!
Was not even stalking the bus. At least not today.
A line starts forming and a young
Lady comes to me. "You need a ticket?". As she was already getting in, I
suppose she didn't try/want to sell. So I show my prints and she is
impressed. I join her with two other boys and they each choose a
They're happy! I'm happy too!
The security is crappy ; they body scan with a hand scanner but hardly open the bags.
What a circus!
I am sited with one of the boys on the first circle. One level lower than yesterday.That didn't change much but we have a good view on the stage.
At this moment I wish I could meet that nasty old grumpy Man and show him my...FREE ticket!
Ah ah ah!
Right at 8pm.
The Band and Bob move in the dark.
Total dark for the intro of "Watching the river flow".
Total dark for the intro of "Most likely you go your way and I'll go mine".
The two small lights on the piano are off.
The floor lights are off. When Bob starts singing they turn the floor lights on.
On and off. On and off.
The curtains in the back are orange, so is the back of the piano.
Truly feels like inside a Halloween surrealist painting.
Bob insists for his mic or his piano to be loud, moving his left hand up up up, towards the sound tech on the side.
And tonight it seems right.
The songs are close to perfection until "Serve somebody".I don't like the new tonight version.
If they want a life album of that Tour...could be the one.
But Bobby is stuck to his piano. Not moving once.
The piano fits the Band. The Band fits the piano.
Bob says : "We know it's Halloween - All Saint's Day - and I'm Scared.".
Technically a great performance.Emotional on most of the songs. More soft than angry.
My highlight is "When I paint my masterpiece". Raggedy raggedy rag!
Glad I was here tonight.
Truly felt like inside a 3D surrealist Halloween painting with great back sound.
Who cares? I didn't tonight!
NO thanks to the scalpers!
Thank you those 3 youngsters with a sense of humanity.
Thank you the kind Artist gentleman who bought me a print outside. Email me , please!
Thank you the old Lady and his son (who managed to get a ticket) and like my painting.
Thank you Bobby and the Band.
That was a special show.
I ain't scared! No ghost will haunt me.
Ain't done anything wrong!
From Glasgow to Manchester.
checkout from the youth hostel at 10am and walk to the bus
Today I'll use a 'MEGABUS' bus.
It's a pleasant journey of five hours. No complication.
I have a 'couchsurfing' host in Manchester.
As it is raining and dark I jump in a yellow tram.
André is waiting for me with dinner.
We eat early. André has a specific diet: absolutely no sugar or carbs, all meat and "fats", no dinner after 6pm.
All "fats" ? He has to explain to me. Never heard of it !
So....double cream and cocoa in his coffee but absolutely no sugar. Heavy fat cheeses. (Even his 'bread' is made from cheeses). But no milk.
He prepared a sort of quiche , extremely FAT...
But for me he bought some bread and jam. Hallelujah!
People are weird!
The couch is warm and comfortable and I have the house key.
Manchester. November 2sd.
André and I walk to the city center, all along the
Manchester is a busy city : old red bricks buildings in rehabilitation and new buildings lighter in material and color.
I go for a while inside the National gallery then the John Rylands library.
That library looks like a medieval cathedral. Gothic. I feel like I'm inside Poudlard, Harry Potter movie.
I pass by the 'Castle gallery' with more Dylan Art.
Back home and rest.
There is a show tonight.
By 5.30 pm it starts pouring rain with a ghastly wind.
But I have to go....
All drenched I start looking for a ticket.
I'm not the only one. Maybe 6/7 real Fans need a Tix.
Some will be discouraged rapidly. We are now three sticking together.
But by 8pm there is no more
As we move to the side doors to hear through the doors....Bobby steps outside his bus. All wrapped in rainy coat and masked.
Obviously he will start the show late.
Not my fault!
We don't hear much but we have fun observing the Dylan crew (including Suzie) passing back and forth.
By 10pm they move the Bobby's bus....to the back of the building.
Us, three musketeers, we follow and wait.
10 minutes later Bob, Erik and Suzie emerge from a back alley and Bob steps inside his bus.
Erik opens his umbrella in front of his face! (so we can't see Bobby's face. Just his boots!).
Oh yeh! ?
That is my Manchester concert experience.
I share with Liu, my new Chinese friend (who have seen Bob Dylan in Hong-kong). We promise to contact each other.
I walk back to my 'home' with a feeling of abandon.
Except Donnie and Doug who kind of smiled at me when I said hi!.... Nothing much human from the Dylan people.
I hope Bobby , at least, was good and Happy!
From Manchester to Oxford.
Nice trip on National Express.
The weather is fine arriving in Oxford so I walk the 40 minutes to my 'AirBandB'.
I have to cross a 'Rubicon' few times, as Oxford is a rivers' city.
My private room is tiny but hyper
I spend some time watching N.C.I.S. on TV.
Then sleep sound.
Oxford November 4th.
Walk back to center town and find a
food street market. I immediately order a Chai tea at the Tibet food
stand. And later some 'momos'...And dream
of visiting Tibet.
Then meet with my friend Stefano for another cup of tea.
What to do next, to kill the time until show time?
I step inside the Ashmolean museum and... I'm fully impressed ; thousands years of history and Art.
They unfortunately close at 5pm. So
back to the Oxford New theater.
Bobby's bus door is wrapped with a black curtain, positioned in the afternoon to stop fans for taking photos.
My priority is to find a ticket and
everyone said that will be tough: small theater of less than 2000.Totally sold out in 20 minutes.But
I know it doesn't mean much.Still count on a good Samaritan.
For two hours I follow the fans queuing on the streets. I don't stop smiling. Even say hi! To Bob Britt passing by! He smiles. Seems to be a kind person!
By 7.15pm a young Lady just hands
me a ticket. Just like that. The value is 111Ł but she says she
doesn't want money. A print?
Yes! She is thankful with one of my Dylan print.
The seat is row O but totally on the right, facing the stage.
Show starts slightly after 8pm.
Though security is more than lenient ( No metal scan and no body scan.), it takes a while to fit folks inside.
My seat might not be the best for the sound is...bad.
The instruments seem to be in disharmony.
Except for a man on my right, I know for being a follower, the public is pretty dead.
On "false prophet" instead of saying "I opened my heart to the world ...and the world came in…"Bob says " and they sent me in.."???Weird!
In "I'll be your baby tonight" there is a line "Everything will be alright" and he adds "I hope".
Few words presenting Doug, Bob Britt and Donnie that I totally missed.
Two sloppy presentations center stage and a second salute, all the way in the back(even for me, behind the piano).
Not the best show ever. The routine is not the best for a Dylan show. It's lacking of energy.The new arrangements of "Serve somebody" and "Jimmy reed" are mellow mellow.
Oxford is a nice city though.
The theater was small, expecting a warm reaction from the public that didn't truly come.
Thanks the young Lady who didn't make money her priority!
Bournemouth. November 5th.
I remember Bournemouth from few
years ago. And I remember well the pier and
the "fish and chips". I promised myself to get some.
But history doesn't strike twice the same.This time the weather is not friendly. The clouds are weeping their sorrow. It's dump and windy. But this is not to discourage me to have my "fish and chips".
Walking the streets to my hotel I bump into the 'Beat the street' bus parked at the Hilton.
So, here is Bob Dylan! Warm and dry, I hope. Not taking a walk on the board walk as he did few years ago.
I take an over warm shower and prepare my trip to Dublin.
It's time to walk back into the rain.
There is already a line and I pull my sign out; ' I need a ticket '.
Someone has an extra but when I say I don't have much money to pay....that someone almost spits on me...and walks inside with the wasted ticket.
I could never understand that attitude....but this is it!
There is a good Samaritan...somewhere.
A man with a cowboy hat comes to me.
He has an extra. When I say I don't have much money he asks how much I'm willing to pay. I pull out my last 5Ł bill. I explain it's all the British money I have left since I'll fly to Dublin next day.
He's ok with 5Ł.
Great! I don't feel being in the rain for two hours.
I walk in.
Security is really lenient.
My seat is first balcony. I can see the stage alright.
Bob starts on time...maybe even
The sound will be fine after a while.
Bob sounds tired. Or maybe it's me, after being under the rain all day.
The show is globally average. Nothing wrong but nothing exceptional. Even at time....boring. I also feel the folks around me loosing interest after ...." Rubicon". The piano is dominant.
The audience will react on "I'll be your baby tonight" but nothing more.
I'm extremely tired and lose the focus on "mother of muses"....
I walk rapidly back to my room. I need to warm up and sleep.
I decided to make it to Dublin, though nothing was easy....bus/train, flight, more bus and accommodation.
But the first and last show are always important.
See you in Dublin.
From Southampton to Dublin.
Final adventure on that Tour.
Flying from Southampton with two B.D. followers: Suzanne from Rochester N.Y. and Juani from Stockholm. I have a nice conversation with Juani (on the plane) before we go in different directions: he has a hotel downtown, I have a 'couchsurfing' out the city limit.
My host left me a key under a flower pot. I rapidly realize the house is an old empty building. Nobody is living here. It's not clean, other travelers have been passing by and there is no....heater. it's cold and dump. So I collect all the covers I can, find a small electric heater and choose the smallest bedroom I can see upstairs.
There is running hot water and electricity.
So not so bad :(
I take a warm shower and sleep under five layers of covers.
Dublin November 7th.
The weather is still humid so I
will go to the National gallery for few hours. I bump into Gianluigi, a B.D. fan
from Bergamo. We visit the Gallery together
before splitting ; he goes to rest in his hotel room and I walk to
the '3Arena', expecting to get some food around.
There is a large super market so I buy myself a nice salad. First good meal since few days.The 'fish and chips' don't count as a good meal ; heavy and hard on my stomach.
It's raining. The Arena is huge, with three entrances.
I truly don't feel like being in the rain for two hours.
So I queue to the...box office.
Tickets are available for 107€. So, that will be my Christmas gift.
The seat is no good. So...
I sneak in the main floor and bump into Randy, a fan/follower from the U.S.A.
I know a lot of fans made the trip specifically for that last show. I see other familiar faces.
I seat next to Randy, in a supposedly 'free' seat.
The seat has a great view on the left side of the piano.
Bob starts on time.
Two or three seconds and the sound is perfect. Bob and the Band in perfect harmony. And during the entire show.
The public is nicely reactive.
Bob seems to be in good mood and shape.
I enjoy myself very much. Kind of silently karaoke and moving my body in rhythm.
Technically one of the best shows. Emotionally for me happy/sad.
I don't stop focusing on Bobby's face. Might be the last image of Bob Dylan I'll remember for a long time.
Bobby moves twice center stage. I stand up with respect. As well as when he presents the Band. Ovation for each one of his musicians.
Thank you guys!
Bob Dylan gives a shout out to
Shane McGowan after the Band intro , saying he is one of their favorite
song writers and that hopefully he will record a new album soon. He says 'Fairytale of New York' is a
song we all listen to at Christmas.
Then "Every grain of sand". Highly applauded by the public. Harmonica.
I stand up and see Bob resting few seconds on the piano stool. Head down.
I feel like crying.
He will come back for a rowdy standing ovation....
And disappears in the dark.
Thank you so much for that Tour.
From Oslo to Dublin.
Thanks all the good Samaritans who have been so kind to me.
See you on the road...