vendredi 21 juillet 2023

Bob Dylan Spring Tour Europe 2023.

Porto June 2sd 2023.

I was so sorry that I had to miss Japan Tour.
But life must go on.
So I did my best to make it to Porto.
I spend two days as a tourist. Porto is a nice city with great people. The Youth hostel is comfortable and the food reasonably good?.
My good friend found me a ticket so I didn't have to worry so much.
As expected a lot fans made it from all over the world for the first show of that Tour.
The venue is not that fantastic neither from out, neither from inside.
My seat is all 'view blocked' so I move to a better space where I stand and dance?
The security is pretty cool, though the mobiles have to be put away?
I do expect the same set list as Japan, maybe with a surprised song.
I'm all away up and the sound is not so good.
It is the set list as Osaka April 6th. With 'that old black magic'.
'My own version of you' as a new rhythm for me and I like it very much. I can't stop dancing.
'black rider' sounds pretty good too. And 'Jimmy Reed' rocks good.
As for the rest.... Nice to hear again.
A nice harp intro on 'Mother of muses' and at the end of 'every grain of sand '.
The introduction of the Band is early and minimalist.

A lot 'thank you' but no move in front except at the very end, for the standing ovation.
The stage light is ...even darker than before, and truly I couldn't see Bob's face at all.
I do believe he had his black suit with embroidery.
So all together I had a great time in Porto with a good unsurprising show.
Thanks to my good friends.
See you on the road.


Lisboa 1 June 3rd.

I had a nice trip on FLIXBUS. No worry of driving.
Let the driver do the job. Seat back and relax!
Arriving to ' Oriente ' huge bus station in Lisboa early afternoon.
Easy ride on metro to downtown youth hostel.
Not far from the sea. So first thing is to see the sea.
A nice shower and a good night sleep.
And here is another show day!

June 4th.

Arriving at 'Campo pequeno' early in the afternoon.
A beautiful arena with a huge Bob Dylan poster.
Wish I could grab it to cover my ceiling :)
"Beat the street" buses are parked already and the Band will be dropped for sound check in a small van.
Bobby arriving later by car.
My good friend Hilda offers to pay for me a ticket handed by Ian. Thank you so much!
So I'm secured for an entrance.
I spend time chatting with Fans here and there and get inside the venue by 7.30 pm.
I'm surprised by the small size of the inside venue. Nothing could be more intimate. A lot better than Porto.
I'm on first balcony center with a perfect view.
Bob's on I believe few minutes after 8 pm.
"Watching the river flow" is not that great.
But it's the song to adjust the sound and to give time for late folks to take their seats.
The sound will be perfect after that.
Bob's voice as clear as before.
The little grand piano more 'soft' , mixing well with the Band.
Bob's body more visible. Though with the light still minimalist I can't see Bob's face :(
First few songs are good, as good as they could be.
I realize Bob Britt probably blocking the view of fans sited right and Doug Lancio blocking the view of fans sited left. No need for bottles on the piano :). Tony disappears behind Bob and Jerry being really tall is visible, his white glasses flashing in the dark :). Donnie, well usual, discreet and efficient.
"I'll be your baby tonight" has a long musical instrument in middle song, so will "To be alone with you". Time for Bob to relax a bit his voice.
The Brand is tight. No remarks from Bob, except a couple or three "thank you".
"Rubicon" is excellent so was "Black rider". And the new "My own version of you" swinging good.
My highlight for tonight.
"Gotta serve somebody"... Well! I found it a bit erratic tonight, at the end. My opinion :)
The 14th will be "Not fade away" with a big roar from the audience. An audience reacting pretty good. A bunch on my right visibly knowing the set list.
No extravaganza but respect.
Intro of the Band after "Mother of muses". Starting with Jerry Pentecost then Doug Lancio then Bob Britt, Donnie Heron and Tony Garnier.
No jokes :(
"Jimmy Reed" coming oh! too soon. With also a great instrumental with guitars.
Britt and Lancio are doing a great job and Pentecost is wild ;holding his sticks in the air.
The inevitable "Every grain of sand".
Bob picks up is harp but maybe out of time(it seams). So he won't do any harp :(
Standing ovation. Really quickly they turn the lights off.
Bye bye Bobby!
See you tomorrow.

Lisboa 2. June 5th.

Starts with a nice free breakfast.
Then a free tour of the city.
Lisboa is sure hot and crowded. Feel a bit dizzy ?
Take a cold/warm shower and watch a romantic Australian movie on my mobile :)
Then walk to the Campo Pequeno. This time I know the way and don't get lost :)
Musicians arrived at 4.30pm. Tony doesn't look too healthy. He's really scooped. His back must hurt him :(
Bob's car drives in , in total 'security' by 4.50pm.
Will he join for the soundcheck???
I start looking for a ticket early.
I don't panic but I sure would like to be in and not out :)
A young couple walks to me and they do have an extra Tix. So I negotiate a free entrance.
They are Israeli from Tel Aviv and I try to remember some of my Hebrew. Bevakasha! Toda raba!   Leitraot!
That will do the trick.
I chat with my good new friend from Italy.
And in I go.
Same spot as yesterday. Not too bad.
By 7.55 pm many seats are still empty, including on the floor. But there is no way for me to get down :(
Too bad because the stage rush would have been easy.
Bob starts on time with venue filled about 3/4.
Two rows totally empty in my back ???
'The river flow ' is flowing ok.
But it takes 'Black rider' to be really into the mood.
'My own version of you' is again fantastic.
And surprise harp on 'I'll be your baby tonight'.
Then again on 'To be alone with you'.
That will make for the mistake of yesterday.
'Rubicon' is a bit boring.
I see Bob drinking a lot from a cup.
There is no air conditioning. The atmosphere is stuffing.
It's almost if I don't faint on 'Key west'.
The public starts to be restless half the song!
'Gotta serve somebody' needs a new arrangement. More fluid. With more drumming.
Like a military march, maybe???
'I've made up my mind to give myself to you' doesn't get much reaction from the audience.
Neither 'the size of your c**k will get you no where'.
I see that half the floor folks are not even applause :(
Except a nice reaction on 'My own version of you' and 'Not fade away' and some clapping hands on my section....public ?￰゚ᄂᆱ quiet.
Bob saying shyly  'Thank you' after the big applause.
No harp on 'Every grain of sand'.
By now Bob and the Band should be all sweaty.
I get out to see if Bob will be riding his bus to Madrid or...flying.
He's leaving in a black car. So definitively flying private jet to Madrid.
See you there.
Bye bye Portugal. Obrigado.

Madrid 1. June 7th.

Get up early. Get a cup of strong 'cafe con leche'. Walk all the way to the Prado Museum.
Spend about four hours in that special museum with mainly Spaniards painters. My favorite would be El Greco (for the use of his colors) and the Italians Tiepolo and Panini.
Walk back to the Youth Hostel.
Eat myself a salad and get ready for the first show in Madrid.
The weather had been rainy all morning and I had to change all my wet clothes.
By chance I grab my rain poncho.
Catch the metro to "Ciudad Universitaria".
Obviously a show at University :)
It's an .. outdoor show. Oh my! Never thought of it.
Start looking for a Tix. Many folks are selling but no less than 100 euros. Way too much :(
The show will start at 9.30 pm.
By 8 pm it starts raining like hell. A light uninterrupted rain. I'm rapidly drenched to the bones. The file of fans is crunched in the entrance of the venue for protection.
I take it easy just trying not to drown.
I have been talking to a seller for a while now. He bought 6 tickets, 250 euros each, he's trying to sell. Well! Good luck I said :)
By 9 pm. He says he will give his personal ticket to me for 20 euros as he's not willing to stand in the rain for the show.
The rain was my miracle :)
I rush to the entrance where nice people give for free some blue rain ponchos. We all look like Smurfs :)
I bumped into one of my follower on Boblinks: Toms from Riga Lettonie. We laugh a lot in the rain before they finally let the fans inside the arena.I decide not to take my seat but stand on the left side of the stage where I can see Bob at the piano pretty clearly.
I will dance in the rain for the entire show. But it suddenly stops raining....another miracle:)
Show starts a 9.50 pm.
Bob and the Band ...all dry :)
Of course I enjoy that one show really much. I focus on Bob who will say 'thank you' maybe 6 times.
The songs are all great.
Even ...'Mother of muses' :) :).
Bob presents the Band before Jimmy Reed with
'Jerry Pentecost on the drums.  Doug Lancio on the blue guitar. Bob Britt on the....well!other one. Donnie Heron on steel guitar and Tony Garnier on bass'.
A short standing ovation and off he goes.
Toms and I catch the metro back home.
Thank you my good friend Toms.
Conversation much appreciated.
I do believe Bob will play Lettonie just to please you :)
Tomorrow is another Bobby day!

Madrid 2 June 8th.

Got up late. Well! I didn't plan anything today.
Just a relaxed day. Took a walk in a park in the afternoon and my cup of 'cafe con leche'.
Then metro 6 , "circular", to the venue.
It doesn't rain. Alleluia!
I try my chance by the gate where folks are already in. Just in case someone is already inside with an extra ticket. Meaning he doesn't really want to sell. Right?
My chance!
Two young British guys say ; " yes, we do have an extra on the phone". Takes a while for the transfer but I'm getting used to those E-tickets.
I walk inside the Botanical Garden immediately.
Why wait any longer ...
My seat is row 8/35. Right on the aisle. Lucky me. I can move my legs ?
Bob's in a good mood. I can tell.
Say "Thank you" after 'River flow'. He murmured something I didn't catch. Maybe mentioned the rain starting following on the colorful ponchos. Today they are of all kinds of colors ; pink, yellow, green, blue, white. Must be fun to watch from the stage.
"Black rider" is a must.
After "Masterpiece" ,also a blast, he said: " thank you Art lovers. I'm an Art lover too".
Before "Crossing the Rubicon" he said "now I sit" and did for "Rubicon" and  "To be alone with you ".
Is this a reaction to the video that was taken yesterday??? Precisely on "Rubicon".
I see the security guy being hyper vigilant. Flashing his light at some folk. :(
So Bob disappeared for two songs. Truly sad ?.
But reappeared for "Key west".
He made a mistake at the end of "Gotta serve somebody". We have seen a ghost, twice :)
Oh well! Who cares??? He got over enthusiastic. :)
"I've made up my mind to give myself to you" is sweet and strong.
Then....oh!oh! A surprise!
No hesitation on "Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum". It had been rehearsed, obviously.
Donnie Heron fantastic on his violin!
It moves the audience, even if few realize the surprise![Need to be a follower to appreciate the change.?].
But the public is good despite the rain.
Introducing the Band before "Jimmy Reed" he will say "Donnie Heron on violin....and steel guitar".
Few more words I didn't catch...
Bobby being in a good mood and me having an excellent seat...I will say this was my best show on that Tour.
Thank you British guys.
Thanks to Bobby and his Band.
And the crew people who had certainly a hard time keeping everything dry.
Madrid in the rain. Never thought of it! ?¬リヤ
Next Sevilla. Dry and warm????

June 9. I bused from Madrid to Sevilla
and that was a nice trip.

Arriving late in afternoon I already like the city. Beautiful architecture.
So I book a tour for Alcazar palace for next day.
Sevilla June 10.
As I walk down the street I want my cup of 'cafe con leche' and I bump into a Bobcat. We have a nice discussion then I move on to enter the Alcazar palace.
Spend few hours in admiration of the splendid hard work and decorations: ceramic, wood, tiles....and the garden.
Then move back to my hostel.
I pass by the 'Alfonso XIII' five starts hotel and recognize outside some Dylan people.
I see the Band jumping in a black van and off they go for the soundcheck.
No sign of Bob who will probably leave later.
Time for a change of close and off I go by bus 27.
I now remember the venue I attended few years earlier.
I start looking for a ticket.
Though many fans have extra Tix  they are not willing to sale for my 20 euros proposal.
They just walk in with that extra ticket.
Never understood that attitude. As they could at least get 20!!!
By 8 pm I'm desperate. I believe I won't do that show. It's always a challenge and I know it could not work but....can't help to feel sad to be out.
I talk with some folks out at the gate and with the nice security guard. Not at all aggressive.
When suddenly two people getting out the venue make big signs. In fact they are leaving the show (don't know why???) and they asked the ushers to give me and another woman their two seats.
[Unusual as the tickets are already scanned].
We rush inside waiting for Bob to finish "Masterpiece" before we are seated row 5 on the aisle :)
Fantastic seat ! Beautiful venue! Excellent view of Bobby!
Never been so close on that Tour.
I want to stand and dance bu the usher says we need to be sited.
I can't believe my luck so I'm over enthusiastic.
And Bob's in a good mood.
Playing a long solo of harp in the middle of 'To be alone with you'.
Bob has a strange expression on "Key west
". Turning over to Jerry or Tony, who don't seem to understand where's the problem.
He has a long long speech presenting the Band , a joke for each one of them. Don't understand everything but I'm sure we'll get a recording :).
Mentioning Doug in movies and Tony in New Orleans ???? "Right Tony?".
I karaoked all along. The seats are large and nobody's next to me or behind.
Obviously the show is not sold out. Plenty of empty seats. :(
But some Fans on the upper level are much enthusiastic! Clapping along on the songs.
After the show I try to sale some of my prints for cash and one of my followers will help me. Jochen , thank you for your kindness.
"It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry".
All together a pleasant day with happiness and anxiety.
Patience paid.
Thank you all the good people!
And Bobby... " May all the gods go easy with you".
See you tomorrow.


Arriving in the afternoon by Alsa bus.
Found my hostel after 45 minutes walk.
Nice and clean, close to Alhambra.
Which I will not visit, this time.
A relatively good night sleep with a lot of noise from the street (construction).

June 13th.

A nice shower and off I walk the streets around the Alhambra. Early walk in cool weather.
I walk all the way to the top of the hill before I realize the show will be INSIDE the Alhambra ?
Found the buses and trucks on a parking lot and figure out they are staying in the near by fancy Hotel ; Aurea Washington Irving.
Well! Time for another walk around Albaicin or Albayzin (in Arabic). Beautiful little area with narrow stoned streets.
Bump into some Bobbycats and seat for a 'aqua con gaz' with view on Alhambra.
Time for a shower and change of close.
Show at 9.30 pm, outdoor.
I put my sign out. Some of my 'fans' chatt with me , wishing me good luck vain.
No Tix to get in.
From outside I can hear the beginning of the show.
Walk all around the Alhambra to find a good spot and finally I am right behind the stage with 15 other unlucky fans.
It's dark and of course we don't see any stage or public but the sound is perfect.
Finally I enjoy myself in that unexpected situation.
Hear Bob talking some words.
Saying it's a beautiful spot and they should be playing here every night. Why not???
I'd go for it ?
Somehow I don't find the show boring even kind of short when he starts " Every grain of sand".
I move to the spot where the car and van have to pass by to get out.
They must have been rushing in, right after the last song, for they drive past me very shortly after I took position.
Driving to the Airport? For Bob...surely. The private jet is ready ????
I can't imagine him (anymore) in a bus for 6 hours.
Well! That was an experience.
It sounded great. Believe Bob was in a great mood.
Heard the enthusiastic public.
I had a good time in Granada.
Thanks to all the good people who had been with me on that journey.
Next Alicante.
Another adventure begins :)

A short report about Sevilla 2 and Granada.

Sevilla 2 was harsh ; no any extra ticket.
I heard he didn't even sing on 'Watching the river flow'. Waiting for me to get in ? :) :) :) LOL.
Granada was weird : though I didn't get inside the Generalife I was able to hear from outside. I sat right behind the stage, on the top of the hill. Of course I didn't see anything but was able to hear ... everything.
That was an experience.
Busing to Alicante was easy and smooth.
Alicante is not my favorite city. Extremely hot , busy and too much car traffic.
I spend the afternoon just resting and planing for the leg between Alicante and Barcelona, up to Carcassonne.

Alicante June 16th.

I check the Plaza del toros. Again an outdoor show starting at 9.30 pm.
At the worst I could hear from outside. But it's better to be inside :)
So. I patiently hold my sign for two hours and a half.
It's crowdy and noisy. I'm sorry to say the crowd looks 'old'. A lot of couples who seem retired :)
My chance would be an 'expat' .
And , yes, the guy offering me a Tix is from Netherlands, living here , in Spain.
The seat is on the balcony. The floor is far for being full. So is the plaza in general. Looks like only half empty, half full.
The show starts right on time. A long intro on "Watching the river flow" when Bob suddenly starts singing.
The sound will be adjusted after the second song.
"When I paint my masterpiece" is strange. Bob trying to stretch the lyrics.
It starts to be more dynamic on "Black rider".
I have to tell folks around me to shut up. Obviously they're not interested in "Rough and rowdy ways" :(
But Shane, my ticket angel, is into it. We have a good time.
Bob is not so talkative: a couple of "thank you" murmured in between his teeth :)
I'm impatient to heard the 14th song. To my shame I don't know the song but Shane does. "Into the mystic" by Van Morrison.
I had the feeling there would be something new as Bob arrived at the same time at the Band and the soundcheck was a long one.
The public doesn't react so much. Only the followers would know about the surprise.
A great show, thanks to Shane.
But not the best for me.
Definitely didn't like the audience:(
See you next.....Huesca.

Huesca. June 17th.

After a night in Zaragoza I catch a little train to Huesca.
Nice clean and pedestrian City center. A change from the traffic in Zaragoza and other cities.
I check in my AirBandB and walk the streets of Huesca.
By chance I had a ticket for the show tonight. Thanks to Graham, Petra and Hilda : a coordination of good hearted people, all BD Fans :)
As I walk down to the ' Plaza del toros ', rain starts falling. I checked weather report in the afternoon and they do expect heavy rain tonight. But that never stopped Bob for playing, neither in Germany, few years ago, neither in Madrid , few days ago. I do carry my blue Madrid rain poncho:)
Lucky me as the sky opens up and pours rain like it's really angry and ? sad. Desperate, even?
I manage to get inside the Plaza with 25 other 'drenched to the bones' Fans. Then they...close the doors.
We are safe inside. The rain running down the gutter. And , unfortunately, pouring on the stage.
The stage is not protected enough : a metal roof and just curtains hanging around. The curtains are all wet by now and I see BD staff sweeping water out. Of course the instruments are under plastic covers but way the musicians will be able to play safely. As electricity and water are no good friends.
I chat with two Fans. One from South Africa, one front Greece. He came specifically front Greece to see that ONE show !
By 9.30 pm, the doors are still closed. They don't allow anyone inside. We can hear the angry Fans outside screaming from anger. They must be all drenched to the bones. And no information:(
By 9.45 pm I see Jerry  (Bob's tour manager) in discussion with crew on stage. And shortly after, they roll the material out.
First time ever I have a canceled show.
And I had a Ticket. :(?
Well! Things happen. Better safe than sorry.
Next San Sebastian.
Closed doors:) :)
See you there.

San Sebastian June 20th.

Spend the gray rainy morning planning my Tour  from Carcassonne to Lucca. And then to see about the last leg later.
I decided to skip Montreux. Too difficult to reach and too much expensive.
Then I walk down the steep streets to the beach.
No sun bath today because sun.
Humidity should be 90%. Feels like in the rain forest.
I just rest looking at the Ocean and by 4pm see the Band coming around the venue, either for soundcheck or just because they checked out from the fancy hotel across the bridge.
They all look relaxed and casual, even rolling their suitcases :)
An hyper security black fence is set up to protect Bobby's bus.
I start looking for a ticket when a couple of fans ask me if I'm the review's writer. They are from Scandinavia and Martin hands me a ticket.
Zona A row 8 seat 5. It's an excellent seat. I'm extremely happy for I can relax for the next hour.
Thanks good Samaritans. They are four together.
At 7.20pm a black van will drop Bob inside his bus. All I can see are....his white shoes :)
Of course too late for a soundcheck, so I don't expect any surprise for the 14th song. One from the set list.
I take my seat rapidly to appreciate even longer :)
Bob and the Band are right on time.
Bob wearing a flashy red shirt matching the red curtains:). Black pants with white straps and ....white shoes ?
They look orthopedic shoes ?￰゚ᄂᆪ?
"Watching the river flow" is not too good. Neither
"Most likely you go your way". Bob is fluffing his hair and sited for the first two songs.
I murmur : "stand up Bobby!"
And he will for "I contain Multitudes" and on.
I particularly like "When I paint my masterpiece".
The Band all tight and Donnie great on his violin.
Bobby picks up his harp and the audience is wild.
From then on the show is great. The sound perfect. Bobby's voice all clear.
I didn't hear the usual echo on "Black rider" .
I'm all attentive after "I've made up my mind to give myself to you". Emotional. I feel like crying.
And Tony starts "That old black magic".
Martin, next to me is beating the rhythm with his do I. Following Jerry's drums.
Each song perfectly executed.
Bob saying "Thank you" only one time.
Presenting the Band early after "Crossing the Rubicon".
A little joke about Tony who will perform a bass solo....Bob smiling of content.
But then, no more talk.
I am close but still can't really see his face in the dark. His hair cut looks funny. Fluffing it often.
I can see he's socks. Which certainly explain his good performance tonight ?
An emotional "Every grain of sand'...
And the final salute.
My best show so far, as I was so close, and it does make a difference.
The audience was respectful and knowledgeable.
Thank you soooo much to my 'followers'.
All the Good Samaritans.
I had a great day and an excellent night.
Good time in San Sebastian despite a strange, unexpected rainy weather.
As I walk away to catch my city bus, I see the Bobby's bus driving away.
Goodnight Bobby! See you in Logrono.

From San Sebastian to Logrono. June 21st.

No day off but Logrono is not that far away ; three hours on the bus.
We are four Bobcats, with Graham, Sarah(from Mexico) and Joseph (from UK) and I.
We all dispersed to check in different accommodations.
Sarah and Joseph will join me later around the venue. Well! Not the best ever. A sport arena in the middle of nowhere.
The four buses are already parked.
I spot three young kids with a sign "I love Bob Dylan". They are 15, musicians, and want to meet Bob. I wish it could be possible. They have been spotted by security and I believe not for the best. Too bad. I feel sad for the kids.
[Later on I find them in the queue. They managed to get some cheap tickets.
Great! Happy for them!]
Bob and the Band will arrive later by vans. We can hear the soundcheck. I Believe I hear some piano ??? And Joseph believes he recognizes "Truckin' ". Not sure.
Anyway. The show tonight though indoors will start at 9.30 pm.
I need a ticket. Rapidly a man comes to me and gives me one. Just like that!?.
The ticket says " invitation " and 0€.
Mauro will explain later : he saw me in Alicante and promised himself to give me a ticket when possible. He was in Huesca with a friend and the tickets were exchanged for Logrono. His friend didn't want to come so he kept the promise to give me that ticket.
Fine. It's on the floor. And it's lucky for the venue is a stadium with terrible aspect :(
The seats are plastic and the ceiling really high. I wonder about the sound. They had a long afternoon soundcheck. Should be alright ?
They start 9.33pm.
First song sounds alright.
Bob sitting the two first songs.
Then up. He's wearing the black and white polka dots shirt.
No harp on "Masterpiece".
I really like "My own version of you". Great swing! Mauro also enjoys it.
"I'll be your Baby tonight" moves the public. With some "yeah! Yeah!" and clapping along.
From "Crossing the Rubicon" and on Bob seems to lose his energy.
Mauro, next to me, is bored on "Key west" and asks me the name of the song ????
Some movement from the crowd. Fans leaving.
But then Bob spends time introducing the Band with funny remarks for Doug, Bob (Britt), Donnie and Tony. They all have a laugh.
"Gotta serve somebody" is average.
After "I've made up my mind to give myself to you" I see Donnie picking up his violin and without hesitation they swing into "Tweedle Dee and tweedle dum". I love it (and I know that will trouble some folks :( ). [As much as the fact that I never like "Key west".]
"Goodbye Jimmy Reed" is always good.
And the final "Every grain of sand" with a heart full harp at the end.
Not a bad show all together but not the energy of San Sebastian 2.
During the entire show we could see thunder lightnings through the ceiling windows.
Lucky the show was indoors.
I say thanks to Mauro and walk the half hour under the rain to my crowded Hostel.
[We are on the path to Compostela.]
Thank you Joseph, Sarah, Graham for the company. We had fun.
Thanks Mauro for the Tix.
Thanks Bobby and the Band and the crew. See you next in Barcelona!

June 22sd. Day off to travel from Logrono to Barcelona.

The company bus is Alsa and the trip will take six hours and a half.
We start half hour late from Logrono but then all is fine with a lunch stop.
Barcelona is already crowded as we cross through. My hostel is right by the beach. A six female dorm :)
The first night is cold as the air conditioning is on Alaska time and we are not provided with blanket. It's 27°C outside and feel like 12°C inside :(
June 23th.
First thing in early morning 'Cafe con leche' and a warm sun bath and a swim.
Then relaxing walking around the area and walk towards the Rambla. As crowded and noisy as it could be.
The ' Gran theatre del Liceu ' is still....well! The same.
Beautiful theater. First one on that tour. Will be a  change from the sport arena.
Capacity 2292. Expensive tickets. I truly need a miracle.
I remember from years before the trick of 'Security Bob' to snick Bob inside without being seen.
I position myself at the right time, right angle :)
A black van pulls inside the garage door by 6 pm. Bob's in for sure considering all the security people around :) :)
Time for my business now.
A queue starts to form all along the street and perpendicular street. I hold my sign. The folks seem amused :)
A guy wants to sell two for 100€ each. Another fan (from Germany) is bargaining.
And suddenly, from out nowhere and no reason, that guy hands me one ticket and the other one to F. She gives her ticket to my German friend/fan. We doubt about the validity of those Tix (black and white copies) but nonetheless we are inside.
The seats are ' blocked view '. We see absolutely nothing of the stage. So with two others, we move to a better spot. Still on 5th gallery but we see the stage and all the lyrics sheets on the piano ???!!!
Great! Good vibrations, anyway.
The theater is already a must to be in a good mood. Sure Bob can feel it too.
Bob's appearance provokes a standing ovation for a long moment. A loud clamor.
The audience is knowledgeable and enthusiastic from beginning to end.
'Watching the river flow' a bit weak but then the sound is perfect.
My highlight is "My own version of you".
Us, four Bobcats, on the top, are loud.
The Band is tight and Bob focused.
A couple of "thank you".
The 14th song will be "Tweedle Dee and tweedle dum" as Donnie picks up his violin.
Then...  A musical rythm/intro I don't know. Definitely a new song. Instead of "Mother of muses" ????
It will be "Stella Blue" apparently for the birthday of Robert Hunter ;
[Robert C. Christie Hunter (born Robert Burns; June 23, 1941 – September 23, 2019) was an American lyricist, singer-songwriter, translator, and poet, best known for his work with the Grateful Dead.] Wikipedia source.
Emotionally done ! ?
Then "Mother of muses". Still on the list.
So we are Thanx with an extra song tonight.
The show Not to have missed :)
Great great show! Excellent for all reasons.
Thank you the Good Samaritans.
I chat with a BD follower after the show.
Thanks for the company.
Walk back to my hostel.
Trapped in fire works exploding all over the streets. Thousands of happy people celebrating
San Juan day.
I celebrate my good first day and show in Barcelona!
And....fall asleep!
See you all tomorrow.
Same place, same hour! 

June 24th. Barcelona 2.

Things didn't happen as planned. When I was ready for a swim I realized the weather was not as great as yesterday. So I just took my 'cafe con leche' in a bar by the sea and wrote my review for Boblinks. I then took a walk along the beach. No swimming today.
Graham suggested to visit the Picasso museum was closed. So Graham, kindly, invited me for a lunch in an Indian restaurant/fast food. An interested concept. The food was excellent. My best meal on that Tour ?
I walk the Rambla about twenty times before show time. At least time for the doors to open by 6.30 pm.
We are few looking for an extra ticket.
Not so easy!
But a lot of fans come talking to me; my reviews' followers. Thanks folks. Much appreciated. I even managed to sale some of my prints (not easy on that tour) to three Ladies from Danemark. Much appreciated. Thanks ?￰゚ルマ?.
For those two shows Fans came from different European countries.
By 7 pm the black van cautiously and 'privately '? driving Bob Dylan is entering the parking garage under the screaming  'Bobby! Bobby!' of about 15 fans. Did he like it or not???? Mystery!
Hilda comes to me and proposes to buy me a ticket. A beautiful Lady who already helped me with Tix. I go immediately to a man selling for under price ticket. It's a second balcony. Better than the night before.
Same beautiful theater. The Beacon, the Rex, the Majestic (in San Antonio) are similar. I think Bob should do his new set list only in those nice and intimate venues. No more sport stadiums?
They start on time with an ovation from the public.
The echo on "Black rider" is more discreet than last night.
No harp on "Masterpiece".
14th song is "Not fade away".
And tonight no surprise song.
A long introduction of the Band. Bob asks Bob Britt to play something on his guitar (a few notes) and asks Donnie to play a bit of violin ?
He is talkative tonight.
The songs are all well executed (except for a light mistake on "Every grain of sand") but for my opinion it's lacking of yesterday's energy.
No harp at all.
At some point Bob is playing something weird on the piano and I see Doug and Tony moving close and following Bob's hands. I can't tell what was different ?
The kid next to me is from UK. First BD show.
He is carefully noting the songs??? Should read the set list from Boblinks?
Still one of the best shows with an enthusiastic and respectful audience.
Bob's voice and diction as clear as ever.
The sound perfect.
Thanks to my good friends.
I had a nice stay in Barcelona!

From Barcelona to Carcassonne June 25th.

We are a group of Bobcats at the bus station.
We start panicking when the Flixbus is more than two hours delayed. But finally all is well. We can all fall asleep on that bus ?.
I find my Couvent hostel... without any nuns.
The dorm is 6 females only. Great. Except one girl will get up every night at 2 am ?.

June 26th.

With Irene, we take a nice walk early morning around the Medieval city (Beautiful place!),
where the show will take place tonight at 9.30 pm.
Back for an afternoon rest, a lunch, a change of clothes. And back to the Medieval city.
I bumped into many Dylan crew people or even the musicians. Jerry Pentecost is a great guy!
They will do a long soundcheck..after all!
So...we wait for a stretched afternoon ?
I go inside by 9 pm.
I chat a little bit with my good friends/fans from ..... Australia. Nice to meet them again?
I've got a ticket from Irene and we both sit on the upper section. Show starts on time but too many folks are still moving around. The first song is ruined ?.
It's getting better on "I contain Multitudes".
The public is not polite, moving a lot for drinks!
I try to enjoy myself and focus on Jerry on the drums.
An echo on "Black rider".
Long harp solo on "When I paint my masterpiece".
But his voice is weak on "Mother of muses".
He said something like "I hope we'll be good, it's past our bed time" ????
Then a murmured "Baby, ce soir" but after the song. No reaction from the audience ?
Two or three "Thank you".
A minimalist introduction of the Band with a little something about Tony, before "Jimmy Reed".
The public is the worst since the beginning of the Tour. Talking (I had to ask twice to shut up ?), going out for drinks, taking photos ( I saw security taking out a fan) or even throughing things on stage. Bad manners, the Frenchies!
"Jimmy Reed" wakes up some Fans in the back, clapping along.
"Every grain of sand" is good. Bob blows his harp, puts it down, and picks it up again.
A beautiful venue decor, surrounding. An average show. A terrible audience ?.
But all together my stay in Carcassonne had been pleasant.
Let expect a better public in Aix-en-Provence.
A suggestion for the Bob Dylan organization.

1) Ask fans to be sited on time. Maybe ring a bell 10 minutes then 5 minutes before the time due for the show.

2) Ask fans to be respectful and NOT move or TALK during a song.

3) Make sure the first song is... audible. Why should " watching the river flow " be ruined every night?

On the train to Aix-en-Provence.
See you there!
And be your Baby ...ce soir?

Aix-en-Provence June 27th.

The city of Paul Cézanne ( one of the favorite painters of Bob Dylan...for what I know).
And where his " Trail car " is exhibited somewhere North. Château La Coste.
For me that will be 'training' from Carcassonne to Aix-en-Provence via Marseille. A nice trip with other Bobcats.
I check in my AirBandB and take Irene to her BB.
Then join Svein for a bus ride to the Arena.
8 km away from town ?
In the middle of.... nowhere.
A large space ship ready to take of to the moon. But absolutely nothing else. Fields with cows???
Luckily I bump into Fans I know to chat a while and rapidly find a ticket. And ...  walk inside more than one hour before show time.
I chat again with fans (my good friends from Sydney) and finally take my seat ; row 15 on the floor. Not too bad but it's an arena truly ugly. All black inside ?. Huge ; 7000 seats.  They closed some sections. To tell you the truth...I was in a negative mood. I didn't believe there would be so many folks.(ready to space to the moon)?
But what do I know? A Bob Dylan show is always surprising!
So tonight they start at 8.33pm for unknown reason. Show was programmed at 8.30 pm.
The sound is loud. 'Watching the river flow' correctly done.
Bob is in a a good mood! Didn't mind the fields and the cows???!!?. Or is it his red shirt matching the curtains?
The audience is polite (a lot more than Carcassonne). Respectful and reacting with emotion.
Bob will say a shy "merci" after 'Masterpiece' ( I believe). But no 'Baby ce soir' though this song brings the most enthusiasm from the public. Another reaction on "you may be an ambassador to England or France' ( yeah! Yeah! Yeah!).
Then Bob says "I will present my Band now though it's not easy after that song but it must be done" ( or something of that spirit). A remark about Tony Garnier. And during the show a couple of "Thank you".
His singing with energy, even screaming at some point.
A slight mistake on the lyrics of "Key west" and again on "Every grain of sand" where he will blow some harp.
But the most unexpected is the 14th song.
I was betting on " tweedle Dee and tweedle dum".
But they start a swinging Rock-and-roll. Obviously a Greatful Dead song. I don't know the song but recognize the style. 'West L.A. fadeaway'.
The public reaction is not as wild as expected.
Dead heads might not be so numerous tonight ?. This is , Aix-en-Provence, not San Francisco ?
But nonetheless this is the highlight of the show.
The BAND nailed it! Fantastic!
Maybe Bob should do a Dead show?￰゚リツ
To my astonishment that show was far better than Carcassonne.
Bob and the Band in a remarkable energy and a great audience. Even a stage rush at the end. A longer stay for the final bow center stage.
Merci Bobby !
I bump into a French Fan, Evelyn,  who will give me a ride back to downtown. And with her I finally meet Nancy from Austin Texas.
Unfortunately I won't be able to go to ' Château La Coste '. Unreachable by train or bus. Maybe on another trip to visit Museums : Cézanne (et la montagne Sainte Victoire), Chagall, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Picasso...loved that region.
Should be my next vacation time after the BD Tour?
So ... Thanks to all good people!
See you next in Lyon!
Wear a Tie Dye shirt!

From Aix-en-Provence to Lyon.

The Flixbus left on time and arrived on time. A nice trip with a break near Montélimar where I had a treat of nougat.
I walk 40 minutes along the Saône to my youth hostel. I have bunk in a 18 bunks mixed door.
But to my surprise it's quiet.

June 30th.

I walk a long walk to the botanical garden and back to my room for a change of clothes and charging my phone. Then walk again the long tunnel under the city to the venue.
I meet with Ben and Guillaume just on time to see the Band arriving for soundcheck.
We three chat a while around drinks and it's time to look for a ticket. Finally I get one from Ben and we walk inside. The venue is an amphitheater.
Smaller than Aix-en-Provence but not totally full.
Many seats are empty and I grab one, fifth row totally on the left. I see Bob clearly on the piano.
They start a little late and people are taking their seats on " watching the river flow ".
I found his voice a bit weak and I found his energy down until " West LA fadeaway ". Where I stand up and dance and truly enjoy myself at that specific moment !
The public is cold. Except a reaction on " I'll be your Baby tonight". The clapping don't last to long on each song.
No "ce soir" and no "merci" from Bob.
Maybe a couple of " thank you". A remark on 'how difficult those songs are' after "Serve somebody".
I'm surprised about the audience being so quiet when about 20 Bobcats are in the public tonight.
The show is a lot better after the Greatful Dead song. Even "Every grain of sand" will be my highlight.
A rapid salute where he asked Tony to join him.
I had great expectations to meet some people I knew for that show in Lyon, but finally my best encounter was after the show when I had a long conversation with three beautiful people :
A couple from Brésil (the man being originally French) and their friend from Auvergne.
They will give me a lift to my hostel as it starts raining. Thank you?
Life is full of surprise. Definitively not my best show. And it is my opinion ?
But of course I have many to compare to.
Tomorrow I will focus only on the show.
Some days with and some days without.
Not Bobby's fault.

From Aix-en-Provence to Lyon.

The Flixbus left on time and arrived on time. A nice trip with a break near Montélimar where I had a treat of nougat.
I walk 40 minutes along the Saône to my youth hostel. I have bunk in a 18 bunks mixed door.
But to my surprise it's quiet.

Lyon 2. June 30th.

A disturbed night in my 18 bunks room. A guy speaks in his sleep and I don't understand what he says because it's probably in Polish or something like this. ?
So get up early and take  a walk in Lyon. To give me a purpose I choose to go to Lyon 'China town'. Took me two hours to find the street with three Asian restaurants, two Asian shops ?￰゚リツ? and that's it for 'China town'.
I'll wait next year to be in Beijing to eat good Chinese food.
Walk back to the hostel, take a shower, change my clothes and walk for the third time the tunnel under ground Lyon to reach again the venue.
Nothing is happening Mr Jones.
I meet a nice Lady waiting for Bob ?. She finally decides to have a cup of tea
By 7 pm. I start my search for a ticket.
Not as easy as last night. When I start to be desperate, Victor offers me his extra ticket. Thanks a lot. I feel a lot better ?. Really kind ?of you Viktor.
I find myself sited between two Bobcats (Nancy and Angus) in the first upper ring. The view is perfect though a little far to see Bob's face.
As soon as they take their position on stage the public is up and shouting. Good! I feel it's better than yesterday already.
"Watching the river flow" and "Most likely you go your way" are great. Bob doing a long piano solo before starting "River flow".
"False prophet" is strong.
"When I paint my masterpiece" creates reaction from the audience. And though there is no harp, the piano is fluent and Donnie on the violin adds a sweet sound and swing.
"Black rider" puts the audience in total silence. The echo reasons as a shadow.
I don't remember exactly when but Bob says clearly "Merci, les amis" ..and a roar from the public!
He's obviously happy of the Frenchies tonight?
"My own version of you" is usually my favorite but tonight all songs are exceptional.
"I'll be your baby tonight" always moves the public. I'm happy for the warm reception.
"You've got to serve somebody" is strong. It will start after the Band introduction and a long and loud applause for Tony Garnier, who seams to be moved.?
If I have a highlight for tonight could be "Crossing the Rubicon" and "I've made up my mind to give myself to you". Bob really insists and even points at the public (Irene told me)
on the "you" which seams to be personal.
We wait few seconds for the 14th song. Again Tony, Donnie and Bob Britt close up on Bob to know which song he's in the mood for.
Again "West L.A. fadeaway". With the audience getting wild Bob will probably keep this one on the list ?
He starts "Mother of muses" with a broken voice . "West L.A." took all his strength ???
But it's an emotional version.
A swinging "Goodbye Jimmy Reed" and a great "Every grain of sand" with applause from the audience.
For the very end there is a stage rush. Bob seams to like it. Fans in the front saw him smiling and looking straight in the eyes of Fans.
I didn't mention "Key west" ?
Well! I found myself doing a Karaoke on "Key west". ?
Great show. Great public.
I finish the night with some good friends/fans : Darren,  Mameselle Lili, Ben, Dave, a woman from...Tibet , a man from...India.
Dave and Ben will give me a ride to my hostel.
Thank to all the help : Viktor, Ben, Dave, Mameselle Lili, Darren, Nancy, Angus, Petra, Misha, Irene....and all the rest.
Thank you Bobby and the Band.
See you next in....Milano.

Milano 1.

I reach Milano two days before the first show as I skipped Montreux show.
I check in the cheapest hostel I could for I have to pay for four nights. Bad mistake.
I am in a room of twelve people and...bed bugs. The first night I'm literally eaten by bugs and mosquitoes. My body is a rash. I won't be able to sleep for three nights.
Nonetheless because I can't afford another room I stay.?.
I don't have the energy to visit Milano. But I've been here already before.
The day of the show I hope for a better spirit. I usually don't like the pre-show meeting but this time that would have been welcome. I meet only Ulie and Monika at a cafe. Thanks for the company and the drink.
I made a mistake on the show time. Tonight it will start at 9pm. Not 8pm. Why? Who knows ?
Then I have to look for my ticket. My itching body doesn't help to look happy. I also remember than last time in Milano at Arcimboldi theater I didn't get in.
The people are indifferent. I'm just invisible. Except for curious journalist and folks who find my situation amusing if not ridiculous. " You want a free ticket, really?".
It takes a lot to laugh,
By 9.10pm I'm the only one out.
it takes a train to cry.
When a Lady arrives running and saying she has an extra ticket but she's waiting for her boy friend. Who will arrive running. They want money for that ticket and the scalper next to me doesn't help. I propose 20€ but it doesn't work. I'm afraid they will go in with that ticket that ,by now, I'm desperate to have. He says 50. And I find my last 50€ bill. It takes forever for the ushers to write the seats numbers on the paper , secure the phones and ...ask us to wait the end of the song on. I hear "I contain multitudes".
Then I rush in. There is a problem with the seats being taken by other folks. I see an empty seat right in front of me and I
Last seat on the right of the first quarter.
Bob is already fully into "False prophet" .
His voice doesn't appear so clear. The BAND is loud.
I try to enjoy myself but I have to spray some cream all over my arms in between the songs.
The audience is reacting politely. Some folks in the back obviously knowing the set list and songs.
"Not fade away" is ending then they start a song I don't know. It sounds Rock and Roll.
I will need to ask few fans to figure out it's "Bad Actor" by Merle Haggard.
Someone told me that Bob and the Band rehearsed 100 songs before taking the road.
So we're ready for more surprises.
Would be great to change some of the Dylan songs too. As Bob has no problem of memory on new songs ?
Before the show I spotted Scarlet Rivera walking in.
After the show a group forms around her for a chat. That group moves to the backstage door where the musicians are waiting to leave.
Tony Garnier joins the group for a talk.
We all say "good night Tony" before walking to a nearby pizzeria.
Thank you Nancy for sharing your pizza.?
I have to walk 40 minutes, back to my crummy hostel, past one o' clock.
I will have to take three warm showers during the night to relieve my body pain.
The show might have been terrific...but truly I have hard time to be happy.
Tomorrow is another day!

Milano 2.

I woke up with a good news; sent me a credit. I will use it to book my last night in Milano in another hostel. I choose one with positive reviews and check in early. I can then relax and take a nap in the afternoon.
By 4.30pm I'm bored and decide to go to the venue , see if I can meet people there who I know.
I see the two same Italian fans who want autographs, mainly from the Band.
Band arrives by 5.30pm , stepping out of their bus.
I 'stalk' the parking lot for a while. Bob's bus is not protected. No way he will come close to it.
A garage door slightly opens and two security guys take position in front. Bob should be arriving soon. A black car, with Bob's security man in front, passes in front of me and drives inside the garage door. Bob is inside.
Noway the two fans will get any autographs. Not even from the Band.
This is the way it goes, nowadays ?
It doesn't matter. The most important is to see Dylan and his Band on stage.
[And those two guys didn't go to the show ???!!!?].
So after a chat with a nice follower Stijn (thanks for the coffee?), I search for a ticket.
Not easy.
But Ulie and Ulie's wife will offer me their extra Tix for that show tonight.
Great. No worry anymore.
Thank you soooo much.
I walk in and take my seat, all the way in the top. Under the roof?
Five seats around me are empty but will fill up later.
Nice fans on that section of Arcimboldi theater.
Nice reaction, cheering and applauding.
I see the stage remotely far but plainly visible.
See Bob shuffling his paper lyrics.
For me, where I seat( in middle ) the sound is perfect. I can hear Bob's voice clearly.
"Watching the river flow" is perfect. So is "Most likely...". Bob sitting and almost invisible.
Then standing for "Multitudes". I find "Black rider" particularly great tonight. Specifically the guitars and the echo. The audience is quiet. It's a moment of Magic. My highlight for tonight.
At some point Bob will say clearly "Grazie, Grazie, Grazie mille".
And "Baby tonight" is moving the public.
"My own version of you" (new version) always so good. "Serve somebody" powerful.
A big applause from the public that will cover Bob presenting Jerry Pentecost as the drummer, twice.  Before Doug Lancio 'on guitar', Bob Britt 'also on guitar', Donnie Heron 'on steel guitar ' and 'on bass Tony Garnier ( Big applause from the fans of ...Tony?). Then Bob presents again Jerry Pentecost on drums. To make sure he will get applause too. And I believe he was specifically good on "Serve somebody".
The show goes on without mistake or hesitation.
The BAND really really professional by now.
Bob not erratic on piano which makes the music clear, loud and fluent.
A couple of 'grazie' and 'thank you'.
The 14th song is "That old black magic" and....
They start ,as an extra, a song I don't know.
"Broke down palace" another Grateful Dead song.
Absolutely faultless ?
Then "Mother of muses".
We have on that 4th of July an extra song?
A long appreciated harp solo at the end of "Every grain of sand".
The show was another great show.
The audience is happy going out.
My day had been a good day and a great night.
Thanks Ulie and wife.
A group of 30 or so Fans follow Michele, the Italian ' leader ', to a nearby Pizzeria where we finish the night and drink to....Bob!
I have a ride with Nancy to home by 1 am.
And fall asleep right away.
Finally a great day in Milano.
Next Lucca and " I'm travelin' light and  I'm a-slow  coming home "?
Thanks all good people ?

Lucca July 6th.

I decided for a night bus. Maybe a mistake.
As we have a stop over in the middle of the night. In the middle of nowhere (in Genoa). All is dark and dead on that outside parking lot. To be's not raining or cold?
Second bus 20 minutes delayed after two hours of waiting.
Can't even sleep. Too afraid to miss the stop in Lucca at 3.30 AM.
I'm the only one stepping out. Either I'm the only crazy Dylan fan either someone is... sleeping ?
I take a walk in beautiful Lucca intercity. Under the full moon and...empty arms.
The stage is already setup.
My AirBandB hosts agree to let me in at 6am.
That's a relief. I can take a shower, buy food in the close by supermarket and...take a nap.( From 10 to 1.) Then relax until 4pm when I start walking to the Piazza Napoleone.
This time the streets are full of tourists. Not so nice?
Meet with Irene then Svein and Monika.
We wave hi! to Tony passing by?
Thanks to Evelyn for the ticket. I don't have to worry.
The seat is strange. And the setup even stranger ;  first rows(front stage), a construction with high seats in middle of the Piazza. More rows of seats around, behind they put more rows of non-numeric seats(one of mine) and finally a tribune with high seats.
I can't decently seat. I decide to stand on the side. The view of the stage is partially obstructed( by the middle construction). I can see Bob Britt, Donnie and Tony. I have hard time seeing Bob. Only at times, when he stands behind his piano. So...I focus on the sound.
Of course, behind, the fans are not the most attentive; drinking and talking.
I have to shush a kid totally drunk few times.
Bob starts the few first songs in a rush. He will start "Baby tonight" before the Band is fully ready. And sung it in an "angry voice".
Nonetheless he will try a 'mille grazie" and few "thank you".
In front and here and there fans are responding gracefully. But the music is lost in the dark staring sky.
I enjoy myself as I can dance and karaoke.
Not a song will truly impresses me.
Maybe "West LA fadeaway"..…
He's again losing his voice on "Mother of muses". A bit hard after the Dead song.
As he is playing his harp on "Every grain of sand" there is a stage rush. So he'll pick up the harp again and makes a great solo.
I push (a little bit) security control to arrive five rows in front of the stage for the final salute.
Bob looks happy but....tired.
I watch him as he leaves the stage. Bent and slow. He must be exhausted by now. As we are all , the followers ?
It was a great experience (again) in Lucca.
But as for the show itself...not the best.
I say thanks to Jason who doesn't seem happy. Maybe it was difficult to adjust the sound in those conditions.
My fancy home permitted me to rest and recover for the final two shows.
Thanks to Evelyn and all good people.
See you in Perugia.
Another adventure ?
Happy birthday Bob Russell ?

Perugia July 7th.

The only way from Lucca to Perugia is by train via Firenze.
So be it!
The first train is packed and slightly delayed. But I manage to catch the second train also packed.
Traveling with Svein with a pleasure!
In Perugia my only option was to stay in a hotel.
So be it!
Check in and rest. Don't feel like visiting. I start feeling exhausted.
By 5pm I join Irene to catch a little train to up in the mountain of Perugia. Then we have the weirdest walk I ever had, through the underground city of Perugia. That would be interesting to have more time here to know about history. But I just walk to the venue , a huge outdoor plaza with a huge stage set in.
Capacity 6 thousands with plastic seats and a stone tribune in the back for poor fans. No number seats attributed.
I hold my sign up for two hours with a poor result : only folks who want to sell for 100€ or so.
Other than that? ignorance and scorn.
I shut of my feelings and tell myself I don't even want to go inside with such an audience ?
After all I could hear from outside ?
I'm waiting for ,maybe, some of my readers. Fans who know me.
Hardly any one here speaks or understand English. At a Bob Dylan show???? The Nobel for Literature.???
That always struck my mind.
Some fans who know me say hello and that feel good.
When I feel totally blocked out...four young people come to me. They know me for my reviews and they have a ticket for me.
Among thousands of Fans , only a handful are great good heart-ed Fans.
I start feeling that the world is truly going WRONG!
OrI'm not at the right place, at the right time.
Bob Dylan doesn't mean anything in terms of humanity. He's just a Legend?￰゚リ゙
From rags to riches!!!
I decide not to seat among the crowd.
To stand somewhere in a corner and dance. To remember the good old days. When it was fun to be at a Bob Dylan concert.
I stand by a rail. Stopped by security 'cause I don't have the gold ticket to be close. Security even asks me to take my seat.
"Mr. Dylan doesn't like people to stand up" he says.
How does he know that ....????
Can't believe how many folks talk in the name of Mr. Dylan.
The world has gone wrong!
I finally move to the top of the hill.
I see the stage clearly though far away but the sound is loud.
To my extreme surprise....the six thousands people are quiet. Too Quiet ?
I look at the hands hardly clapping. No one dare to stand and dance....just crazy me!
It feels we are in a preacher sermon. Except no hallelujah! Silence!
The show is the same as the last few ones.
Professional but , for me, the charm is gone.
Bob said "Grazie Grazie mille grazie" twice and some "thank you". Repeat again "those songs are difficult to play...".
"That old black magic" and a comment from Bob. "That song is called That old black magic, if someone wonders" ?
Then will notice before Jimmy Reed. "We've played that one before, we'll play it again" or something of the kind.
Great harp solo on "Every grain of sand".
And truly this is the only time we have a wild reaction from the crowd. And as it's the opening of the Red sea....a fantastic stage rush!?
They want to SEE  Bob Dylan close...and that must be the only reason they bought an expensive ticket....
At least I hope Bob Dylan had a great time, looking from the stage.
Me,....not so much.
Thanks beautiful young people who gave me that ticket. That will be another one experience to write in my book : search for the good hearted 'fans' in the thousands anonymous folks?
Back to my hotel room... wishing to paint my Masterpiece.
Feel like I want to be in another Universe.Rome will be next and last....

Rome final destination.

It was a nice ride on FLIXBUS from Perugia to Rome. My AirBandB is on the other side of Rome. I pay 1.50€ for a 'tourist tour'.
Rome is heavy of traffic and heat.
My booking is a mixed of Airbnb and hostel.
I share a room with the owner then with other guests. The apartment is next to a large traffic road. The noise is intolerable. And probably the pollution. The Italians have few notions of ecology. Hardly ride a bike. The planet is in danger!
Anyway I decide to stay home and relax.

July 9th.

The temperature will reach 37°C. I won't visit Rome. I've been here many times.
I need a ticket for the show. It doesn't seem easy. The venue is small and when I checked the website...sold out.
I checked again early afternoon and two sections on left and right of the stage are open.
I don't know about the visibility but I buy myself a ticket and then another one for a fan I know.
By 3pm I take a metro then walk to the venue.
The structure is weird , so the area. Nothing is happening. I walk around and find an ice cream parlor. My first real Italian ice cream.
Later on I meet with Uli and we have a drink in a cool AC bar.
The show tonight will be at 7.30pm. Don't know why!
Many Bobcats gathered for that last show but I want to focus on the show( could be the last least for me) and avoid the confusion of too many crazy behaviors from people I know or believe I know.
Just say goodbye to my good friends from Australia. Dedicated but discreet ?
The seat is incredibly located. Up on a gallery, far left of the stage. Uli and I have a clear view on the piano. So close! It's even closer than the first row on the floor.
I stand up by the rail. I want to enjoy myself. Forget about the public ?
I see the Band and Bob walking to the stage from behind. Bob last.
I see his hands on the piano for the first two songs when he sits and plays.
Drinking from a cup between the songs.
The sound is great.
The view perfect.
I see Bob's face.... Getting old!
His back is bent in a black embroidered suit. Black pants with white straps.
White flat shoes.
His hands moving diligently on the keys.
At times only his right hand playing, the left hand on the top of the piano.
He's shifting his paper lyrics in between the songs. I don't see him actually reading much.
I karaoke each song. No one in front of me and no one behind. By a miracle, that seat is perfect!
Bob says "thank you Ladies and gentlemen" but nothing in Italian.
Public is warm. But truly I feel like Bob and the Band are playing for me, even though they NEVER look at me.
After "I've made up my mind to give myself to you" I see Bob turning to Tony, then Doug moving to Tony. That will be "That old black magic".
Then they start a new song. I hear shanandoah shanandoah...but the name is "Only a river" by Bob Weir. Another reference to Dead heads.
As I'm ready for "Mother of muses" I see Bob turning to Tony who rapidly scrolls a prop-tor in front of him.
They jump in a long and heavy Rock and Roll tune.
"Truckin'" another Dead song.
I'm on fire , so is the audience.
They Rock the casbah!?
Two extra songs. No error?￰゚ᄂᆪ?
They could have been Dylan songs. But he decided to cover...the Dead???
"Mother of muses" cool of the atmosphere before "Jimmy reed".
And the permanent "Grain of sand"
I can see a box of 5 harps on the right side of Bob on the piano. He will pick one. And....
The entire floor is moving towards the stage. A stage rush that will make Eric panics. I see him pushing back a young kid trying to move on to the stage.
But Bob and the Band are happy. Tony can't stop smiling. As he looks up at me for the salute...I wave my hands!
I see now that Bob is wearing a yellow shirt ?
He joins his hands in a "thankful" salute!
It will take so long to have the lights on that we believe he will come back. But they already pack the guitars and all....
Bye bye Bobby ?

That was my best show of the Tour.

A great final!















mercredi 16 novembre 2022

Bob Dylan Fall Tour europe 2022.


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 piano.
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.

What else?

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.

September 27th.

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 flow".
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 Arabic.
The bed is cozy and I sleep sound until morning.

September 29th. 

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
Gö seemed like it!


For me it was a great day and a great show.
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

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 transportation.
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.

October 2sd. 

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".

"Masterpiece" is 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 was exceptional.
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 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 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.

No fair!

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!!!

See you!

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 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.

"Just one.".

" 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 friends.
They belong to a radio station and they know me through 'Expecting Rain'. The ticket was a "comp":
The venue is small and full. The people seem to be in good spirit. More talkative than the Scandinavians.

Bob starts on 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 tonight.
"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 days now.
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
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".
Excellent tonight.
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

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 believe it?
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

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 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 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.( 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 copies.
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'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.

Followers??? :)

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.
Nothing extravagant!

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 usually skip.
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" 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.
Black/white shirt.
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 Palladium.
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 stops.
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 of all.
"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 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 great Samaritan

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.

By 6pm 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 before.
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 Beaten Path.
I relax before heading to the SEC Arena.

By 6pm a crowd is gathering but'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 and rain.
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 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 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...

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 print.
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.
The audience?

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.

Happy Halloween!

I ain't scared! No ghost will haunt me.

Ain't done anything wrong!

From Glasgow to Manchester.

I checkout from the youth hostel at 10am and walk to the bus terminal.
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 canal.
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 chance.
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 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!
....On stage!

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 clean.
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?


A museum!

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 before time?
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 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.

Bye!bye! Bobby.

Rest well.

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...