Bob Dylan show Phoenix. March 3rd 2022.
Since the last tour Fall 2021 I was
home wondering where I could go to volunteer.
Not easy with the COVID still disturbing any public move. So I was relieved and not so much surprised to hear about the new Bob Dylan tour. And as I was guessing, that will be in the USA south west coast to east coast. No California, no Florida.
I book two flights; Paris-New York JFK then JFK - Phoenix. And then starts the anxiety. I need a negative COVID test to enter the USA. So I confine myself for the next few weeks, no meetings in crowds. I jusT borrow books from the public library and...read.
Finally Day D March 1st and the test is... NEGATIVE. The only time you can say Negative is good:)
17 hours travel and 7 hours of switching of time later, I am in Phoenix.
My CS(Couchsurfing)host is fantastic . I spend Mach 2sd just relaxing and getting in shape.
Day D for Dylan. I take the 'metro' to
the venue early afternoon, curious to see if Charlie is back in the
Band. Except me two other young fans are hanging around.
The musicians bus pulls in by 4.30pm. No Charlie but the rest of the Band coming out one by one ;Charley Drayton, Tony Garnier, Bob Britt, Donnie Herron and Doug Lancio.
They will do the sound check without Bob. His personal bus will pull in around 5.30pm. Though we wait for half an hour no one will step out except...the bus driver:)
I am getting inside the Arizona federal
theater at 7pm to make sure my COVID vaccination is valid (a European
In by 7.15pm ,I take my seat, all the way up on the balcony. Nice view of the stage. The set-up didn't change. Maybe Charley's drums aren't LIGHT GREEN and flashy anymore!? White lights are coming from under their feet, enveloping their faces in the dark. Same piano, same position. Two mikes center stage.
1/6 of the seats are still empty, even in front. Some patrons will even arrive during the fifth song.
Shame on you!
The musicians take their position. I don't know why Doug had been punished being right behind Bob and his piano!?:(
All are wearing black including Bob.They start a long intro of....
1)"watching the river flow".
2) "Most likely you go your way and I'll go mine"
3)"I contain multitudes"
And to my surprise Bob doesn't move center stage. He takes few steps towards Tony but then stand right at the piano.
5)"When I paint my masterpiece" for me ah!ah!
7)"I'll be your baby tonight"
8)"My own version of you"
I start writing down "Early Romans kings" but... surprise.
9) it's "Crossing the Rubicon".
Certainly a great surprise as I was sick of those Roman Kings nobody never figured out who they are! A Gang members?:)
10)"To be alone with you" ...just for one hour???:)
11)"Key west" without Donnie's accordion. A bit flat.
12)" Gotta serve somebody"
And the audience finally wakes up. The front left rows are up and dancing. The ovation is deafening.
13)"I've made up my mind to give myself to you"
Bob steps aside and I truly believe he will take the center mike but...he stays at the piano.
15)"Mother of muses"
The worst of all as he tries to go in the upper notes and failed. His voice is cracking.:(
16)"Goodbye Jimmy Reed". Some reaction from fans in first rows.
Bob still behind the piano says:"Thank you(for the third time). Been a while since we were in Phoenix. Alice Cooper still lives here? Steve Nicks? How about Barry Goldwater? My man, Barry. You know Marylin Monroe's favorite swimming pool was at the Biltmore hotel. We ,uh-,we all swam there today!"
And present the Band."on the drums Charley Drayton. On a guitar Bob Britt, on the other guitar Doug Lancio, on steal guitar Donnie Heron, on bass Tony Garnier". Before pianoing
17)"Every grain of sand"
Then finally moving center stage for the final Goodbye. Few seconds of static pose and he is gone!Same set list as the last Tour excep t"Crossing the Rubicon". Same Band. Same arrangements except "Key west". Same pants(way too large!). Same fluffy hair. Same voice:). But all the songs behind the piano:(Not the best I've ever been too.But he is Bobby Dylan, alright. Flesh and bones :)
So thank you Bobby. See you in Tucson.
From Phoenix to Tucson. March 4th.
I get up early on March 4th. I say goodbye to Luna the dog and reach the greyhound station by "metro". The trip to Tucson is short, two hours. I have the address of my CS host and I know it's kind of far. Anyway I start walking and walking and...two hours. I'm almost there when I see a gentleman waiting for a bus. I ask how much is the fare. He says FREE. CRAP!
Well! I had a nice walk. I saw a Buddha
in a garden and asked him to bless me.
My CS host home is beautiful. Everything is Art; garden of flowers and plants, sculptures, ceramic, and ... chickens.
I take a shower, wash my clothes and relax.
I will catch a FREE bus around 5.30pm.
No reason to hang around the Band/Dylan buses.
Bob is locked in there! :(
The "Arizona music Hall" is on a large property.
I take my sign out: "I need a ticket". Immediately a security man approaches me
-"why don't you buy a ticket at the box office?".
-"I want a good seat and maybe someone has an extra ticket".
-"ok. But I will ask my boss if it's alright".
30 minutes of peace and here , he comes again.
-"My boss says you can't deal money on that private property. You have to move."
Fine. I move away from the main entrance. Here he is, back again.
-" You are still on the private property".
Off I go, far away, by the parking lot. Here he comes again. I finally believe I have to give up. No chance tonight.As I walk towards the bus station I realize there is another parking lot across the street. I stand here for 5 minutes when a gentleman with a cap comes to me.
-"I have an extra ticket. It's 500$ first row center"
-"I can't afford it. I'm an Artist"
He moves away and sadly I murmur
seat will be empty".
I'm even sorry for Bob!
I have the feeling he won't even try to sell it. Ten minutes later, I see him walking back.We have a little chat. He wants to make sure I'm a fan :) I believe I am :):) Finally he says
-"come with me"
Woah!We move first row center!
No rail. No security to block the view. The perfect seating. I am right in front of the center mike. Hopping for Bob to play standing tonight.
I turn my cellphone off. Don't want to
be kicked out.
Fantastic. Bob's face is clear at this position.
I know the set list by heart so I'll do karaoke. :)
Bob HAS to look in my direction but I don't know how much he is able to see.:)
Doesn't matter, me, I can see him.
"Watching the river flow" is confused. He misplaced his sheets of lyrics and can't find the right one. The Band has to fill up the gap. Tony is placid and Bob Britt amused.
If my memory serves me well he had the same problem on "To be alone with you" . He forgot the lyrics?
"I'll be your Baby tonight" moves me a lot as I have the feeling he's looking straight at me. A bit of narcissism on my part :):):)
He will introduce those 2 songs and "Masterpiece" with harmonica. Yes! Harp!
And 3 times he moves from the piano to center stage, right in front of me. I stand up 3 times and applause with respect. I can see his clear blue eyes [ I painted so many times! ].
3 times he will grab the center mike apparently willing to sing up but he can't manage to take the mike off the pole so he gives up. Too bad!
Though he had problem with the lyrics of the old songs I see him doing "Key west" and "Mother of muses" without a blink. He knows those songs by heart!
And I appreciate "Mother of muses" for the first time:)
He will murmur something before introducing the Band but I couldn't catch it.
I karaoke on "every grain of sand" and here also he misplaced some words???
He moves center , right in front of me. But he doesn't focus. No smile, no bow.
Bye bye Bobby. See you in Albuquerque. Close or....far.Thank you Kevin for your generosity and kindness.
Yes, I'll make a painting for you!
From Tucson to Albuquerque. March 6th.
March 5th in the evening is a day off for Bob and his Band.
My couchsurfing host Joan and 3 friends
invite me to a " live show " of blues music.
We have a great time.
By 8.30pm Joan drops me at the greyhound bus station for my trip to Albuquerque. First bus to El Paso , a change in the middle of the night then a bus to Albuquerque. Difficult to sleep in those buses. I dozed for about 4 hours.
March 6th. It's a new morning.
7.50am I walk the streets of Albuquerque. A Sunday morning, all the streets are empty.
I take photos of the murals , here and there.
My CS host Adam is waiting for me. My room is ready with a bar of chocolate on the pillow! :)
I immediately take photos of the pictures on the walls; two Renoir, a Georgia O'Keeffe, Native American Art (maybe Navajo?). Adam explains to me the two Renoir ; limited edition of special prints. He's got 20 of each he's willing to sell. I promise to help him.
A fan (Nancy) texted me that the entrance of the Albuquerque Art museum is free until 1pm. So I take a quick shower, change my clothes and off I walk the 20 minutes to the museum, roam around the museum and the Albuquerque old town, drink a strong latte and enter every single shop and gallery.
By 4 pm I am exhausted but it is time to meet again with Adam and have a late lunch (or early dinner) and walk towards the Kiva Auditorium.
Adam is willing to join me in my crazy search for two tickets. One for each.
6.30pm. I put my sign out and present copies of my paintings.
Absolutely no harassment by any
security guards. I don't even see any. :)
A Lady has 2 extra tickets but she asks 60$ each. She sells one and comes back to us. Adam buys the second one for 20$.
It's not that easy for my ticket :(
I present my sign to a man passing by when I realize he is...Tony Garnier. Oops!
By 7.45pm I am a little bit desperate when a sweet young man comes to me and says
-" you need a ticket?"
-"Yes, how much?"
-"Nothing but you have to come with me, the ticket is on my telephone".
Sure. Off we
The seat is on the floor row J seat 1 and 2.
I chat with my good Samaritan and give him one of my prints (the Rolling thunder revue) when a Lady behind us seems to be interested. I explain my situation and she gives me 15$ for the print of "Bob with the clear blue eyes".
8pm show starts.
The sound is a bit loud but fine with me.
Of course the set list will be the same. No karaoke as there is people in front of me. Don't want to spit on them ? :)
By "karaoke" I mean I move my lips following Bob's lips. No loud sound.
After "Melancholy Mood" there is an exchange between Bob and Doug. Doug drops his guitar and disappears few seconds, picks up another guitar. The other night, in Tucson, it was Bob Britt who had been scolded by Bob.
Tonight the chat is about the " Bullsnakes ". Bob has a good laugh with Tony before introducing the Band.
Then the final "Every grain of sand".
Same show with less confusions in the lyrics than Tucson.
Bob definitely behind the piano. Moving front three times to...present his body????
Harp in "Masterpiece" and "I'll be your Baby tonight".
The highlight is always "You've got to serve somebody". Great "Black rider" and "Jimmy Reed". Sweet "Melancholy mood" (a bit short?).
I say goodbye to my sweet Samaritan. Say hello to Jason at the soundboard.
I wait for Adam outside. Nancy passing by I give her one of my prints. A fan from Swiss recognizes me from my Boblinks reviews. I give him one of my prints he hands me 20$. Many thanks.
It appears than Adam left before the end and walked back home...all by himself :(
Fortunately two other Fans give me a lift and I give them my last print.
All together a pleasant day.
Hopefully Bob will sort his problems with the guitar players and start to be more....social??? :) Moving front?
We Love you Bobby. Be happy!
See you in Lubbock.
From Albuquerque to Lubbock. March 7th.
I enjoy a free day.
In the evening Debbie and Mark invite me for dinner. Mark is a Bob Dylan bootlegs collector. And other collections.
By 10.15pm they drive me to the greyhound station to catch my 11pm bus to Lobbuck, a night bus. That bus is already 2 hours delayed and 50 patrons have to wait one more hour. When the bus pulls out from the station we are 3 hours delayed. The problem is ... I have a connection bus in Amarillo and by now I'm pretty sure I will miss it and be stuck in Amarillo.( Not in Mobile ) with the Memphis blues again! :)
I am pissed off because I got two tickets for the Lubbock show. Thanks to Simon and John. They combined their effort to offer me those tickets.
But miracle happens.
The second bus is waiting for 5 folks going to Dallas, and Lubbock is on the way.
I am more than relieved when I seat next to a gentleman with a little dog and doze a bit.
I am the only one stepping out for Lubbock. I walk empty streets to reach my hotel Super8. I'm allowed to check in only at 3pm, so I decide to offer myself a breakfast.
I bump into a man and spontaneously we start chatting. His name is Fred Goldstein and he reminds me of Stanley Goldstein, Bob's cousin I knew from 81 and 84 Tours. Same physic and same gentlemanly.
We finally end up eating a breakfast together at IHOP.
The story of his life is the first I even heard: he was a bank robber and served 10 years in jail. He is just released and just moved to Lubbock. He never used violence. In fact I find him sweet and intelligent, even sharp. He is also an Artist and his body is full of his tattoos :) I offer him my second show ticket.
By 6.30pm we meet at the entrance of the Buddy Holly Hall which happens to be one block from my hotel.
At 4.30pm I had checked behind the Hall to see the buses already parked there, including the Dylan bus. I don't know if Bob was inside (I will never know :).
We get in the BH Hall. Splendid building brand new and huge. I'm pretty sure it's not sold out.
With Fred we decide not to take our seats on the balcony but to find two empty seats closer to the stage. In the back of the floor section many rows are empty. So we seat there.
The show starts right on time.
"Watching the river flow" is totally massacred; long intro, particularly Bob on piano,(not too sweet with the keys :( ). The mic is not open or Bob too far :( The rest of the songs are fine but Bob seems to be in a rush.
I stand dancing on "Serve somebody" "Melancholy mood" "Jimmy Reed" and the final "Every grain of sand". Doing karaoke. "No one in front of me, nothing behind." ....
I am far from the stage but somehow I feel as if Bobby was playing in my living room.
The public is hyper quiet. It feels strange to take everything as a routine but for some people tonight, it's the first and last show.
Roger (the new security man) comes next to me. So I ask him about Barron. He says he retired (at 55 or so??). I feel sad. I miss the "Samurai". I hope he's happy. Love you Barron !
Back to Bob on stage.
From my angle I see him seating at the piano stool few times and drinking. He had a chat with Tony another one with Donnie. I thought he would change a song. Nope.
He rapidly murmurs something, about Buddy Holly(?)before introducing the Band. He talks less and less. Changed some lyrics on some songs, said Caroline S..
The lights in the public are on during the entire show. Public quiet except a woman front left, enjoying the show. Maybe Caroline???
I rapidly steps out as I want to try to sell some of my prints.
Fred helps me and I make some bucks.
Lubbock is not "key west". No paradise on hearth. :) Large streets and buildings and no people??? Where are the Lubbockists ???
But a Buddy Holly Center and a beautiful brand new Buddy Holly Hall.
I had a great day with my new friend and a fantastic evening.
Thanks to Simon and John for the tickets.
Sure John, I'll paint you a masterpiece.
I will see today if I visit the Buddy Holly Center before heading to Dallas.
Thank you good people. Take care and see some of you on the road.
If you see me, say hello!
Farewell Barron. I love you :) my Dear Friend!
From Lubbock to Irving. March 9th.
I get up early in March 9th and walk
to the Buddy Holly Center.
It opens at 10am and I have to check out from my Hotel at 11am. So I rush and run (literally) back to the Super8 hotel. Nice museum and sad story about Buddy disappearing tragically at an early age.
I check out and walk to the greyhound station. The bus leaves on time at 2.50pm to reach Dallas at 10pm. Nice and quiet trip except for the driver to call the police to bust a passenger smoking in the toilets!
I walk the half hour to my youth hostel, the "Deep Ellum hostel", to realize I am in the "busy" area of Dallas. Excessively noisy :( .
I won't be able to sleep before 4 am when they close the bars and clubs.
Wake up, take a shower, drink coffee and walk the streets surrounding me.
The walls are covered with paintings, murals. I take hundred of photos.
By 4pm I contact my good friends Carol W. and Joni.
We will meet by the "Toyota music factory". I catch the orange line train and here we are in a restaurant, eating a pizza. We have fun being together again. Carol and Joni are pure Angels, feeding me, buying me a ticket for the show and offering me some Bob Dylan merchants items. I can't be too much thankful to those good souls ! :)
Corki, a good friend and Fan, texted me that he will finally be able to reach Irving on time for part of the show. He drove all the way from Arkansas to attend some shows.
By 8pm Bob is on in a venue looking like a stadium, I mean not a theater.
Thanks to the good job of Jason, the sound is perfect.
Bob is loud and clear, particularly excited on " I'll be your Baby tonight " with some "yeah" and laughs in between the lyrics. A bit sarcastic :)
He will say "thank you" twice and move 5 times center stage for a pause, looking at the public for few seconds.
He will start " When I paint my masterpiece" with a long intro on harmonica. It looks like even Tony is surprised.
Just before "Melancholy mood" he steps forwards the center mic but retrieves in security behind the piano. All the songs are rapidly and powerfully interpreted.
" Save somebody " makes few fans stand up in the front but globally the public is static.
Corki arrived for the fifth song and told me later that a lot of folks left the venue before the end. :(
The girl next to me is just constantly drinking and gets annoying.
From where I seat I have a good view of the guitars; Bob Britt and Doug Lancio. Britt doing the rhythm , acoustic on " When I paint my masterpiece"， and Doug the riffs. (Chewing gum :) ).
Charley is powerful on his drums.
Tony bent on his standing bass.
After "Jimmy Reed " I focus on Bob's lips to catch his talk.
Who will he refer to tonight? He simply says "thank you friends" and introduces the Band. No speech on JFK?? A pause ... And off he's gone to the next show.
I wait for Corki, Carol and Joni. I will travel with Corki to the next cities; Sugarland and San Antonio. Can't wait to have a great time with my new Bob Dylan friend.
Thank you to my good Samaritans Carol W. and Joni Z.. Much love and prayers. See you in Austin.
From Irving to Sugarland. March 11th.
My good friend Corky finally made it to the show in Irving after his 12 hours drive from Kansas city.
We meet outside after the show. I say thank you and goodbye to Carol and Joni I will see again in San Antonio.
Corky and I drive towards Houston and we book a room somewhere in between those two cities.
Nice night sleep and a breakfast at iHope and ....on the road again.
We plan to visit the Art museum in Houston but the traffic is bad so we finally decide to go straight to Sugarland. Just time to have dinner at a Ramen restaurant and we enter the venue.
Huge building, brand new. Capacity 6600 but only half full ! 3100 seats sold.
Our seats is 7th row back on the left. I hope for the seats in front of me to stay empty and they will. I have a good view on the piano and the guitars :). Can't see Donnie clearly though :(.
We chat with fans around .
8pm Bob is on. Same suit as well as for the Band. When will we see the Red suits again? :)
Clear sound and clear voice.
Of course same set but ... I'm used to it.
Corky said that was the best Dylan show he had been to.
For me it's pretty much like the Irving one. Same solo of harp before "When I paint my masterpiece". Bob moves center for a pause 4 times and will say "thank you" one time after a song.
The public is ...dead! Except for a couple of girls dancing a bit...no reaction except polite applause. My two right neighbors will leave in the middle of the show. :(
Bob will right away introduce the Band after
" Jimmy Reed ".
Bobby is truly putting all his effort and energy in his voice and diction.
"Mother of muses" could be a preach in a church and we could hear a pin dropping!
I'm glad I made it with Corky.
We drive back towards Houston to book a Motel6 room for the night and in the morning we split: Corky has to go back home for family problem and I am catching a greyhound bus to San Antonio.
Corky is an Angel, taking care of my needs!
Thank you Gods Samaritan, see you in Meridian!
From Sugarland to San Antonio. March 12th & 13th
My good friend Corky had to leave for family reason. So I am on the road all by myself. I catch the greyhound bus to San Antonio and arrive early afternoon. Gabriel, my Couchsurfing host will pick me up at the station.He will give me his bedroom three nights and he will sleep on the... couch. I don't feel comfortable but he insists.
He has a meeting with his colleagues in the evening so I spend the night with the two little doggies.
March 13th Sunday.
Gabriel invites me for French American breakfast and we chat about education system. Gabriel is a teacher and a student. His goal is to change the education system. To give more opportunities to the poor kids.
He needs to visit his mother so I go to the San Antonio Art museum.
That museum is surprising. It's mainly history Art and crafts from the world: Egypt, Rome, Greece, Oceania, Japan, South Asia, China....
I just love it and take tons of photos.
By 6.30pm Gabriel drops me at the "Majestic".
I have an extra ticket for sale. I'm trying to find a poor Soul. A man offers me 20$. Well! It's better than wasting the seat.
He is a fan and we decide to find two empty seats close to the stage. To J on the aisle. No one will claim the seats. Great! :)
Bob is obviously in a good mood.
The theater is splendid. The sky is topping my head. Blue sky and stars shining.
"Watching the river flow" puts the audience up for few seconds. Good good vibrations!
Bobby's voice is as clear and loud as it could be.
No harp on " When I paint my masterpiece".
Bob says " thank you" a couple of times and moves center stage few times, particularly after "Serve somebody" when the audience is all up. A special roar from the entire theater when he mentions San Anton.
Even "Key west" and " Mother of muses" are not boring tonight :)
The show is too short. It's already "Jimmy Reed".
Bob presents the Band rapidly and adds " if ?? Is here tonight. I say hello".
For me that was the best show so far on that tour.
Maybe because I was in a good mood :) So was Bob :)
San Antonio is a great city and Sunday night public was alive :)
I step out and sells 3 of my Art copies . Good!
Gabriel will pick me up.
Many thanks to my good Samaritan Corky.
Many thanks to Gabriel.
Many thanks to all the good people!
Don't you dare miss the show tonight!
San Antonio. March 14th
It's lucky that Bob plays two nights in San Antonio. It's time to relax and enjoy a nice city.I walk the river bank all morning.
Gabriel who is Latino for generations discourages me to visit Alamo. Never did, never will! Texas was Mexican property :(
The downtown area is packed but outskirts is fine. I get my cappuccino at Cafe Lorraine.
I take the doggies out .
I am invited for dinner at Gabriel's friend house, Richard.
He made a Cassoulet and Soufflé. He's a real Chef! And fun to be with.
Gabriel drops me at the Majestic by 6.20pm. I need a ticket tonight.
I check the buses parked behind the theater. Bob is probably inside his fortress. The 3 fans waiting won't have any chance :(
So far I haven't seen Bob except on stage, neither Suzie Pullen.
So I put my sign out. I got lucky almost right away. A gentleman has an extra but expensive. I tell him to try to sell but if not to think about me. He comes back 10 minutes later. We try to transfer via Ticket master but it doesn't work , so I go in with him.
To my surprise the seat is 4th row center. Woah!
I chat with Richard. He is into music business and almost forgot he had bought 4 tickets for the BD show. He received a message at the last minute and flew straight from LA. :)
He sold two to two guys who will arrive after the fifth song :( Shame on you!.
In that splendid theater Bob takes his position, behind the piano.
My view is perfect. Bob looks alright.
The public around me is enthusiastic so Bob can certainly feels it. He will move center stage after almost each song. Posing and looking at the first rows. He looks satisfied.
Playing harp on " When I paint my masterpiece" and "I'll be your baby tonight".
The show is great. Somebody made the remark that he changed some lyrics. Need to hear the recordings, show after show :)
"Save somebody" provokes a 'riot' :).
A super enthusiastic fan moves towards the stage and stays there dancing few seconds before Roger (Bob's security guy) and two big guys ask him to retrieve to his seat. But few seconds later he is back, encouraging the public to stand up. And the entire floor will be up. To the surprise of Bob, a bit concerned.
But all is well with "I've made up my mind...". All patrons are seated.
Roger is sharp at people with mobile. Even opening your phone is a crime:) :)
"Jimmy Reed" and Bob will present the Band. He smiles at Donnie for few seconds then
"Thank you friends, I'll present my Band , on the drums Charlie Sexton". Then an embarrassed laugh " "of course not. Charley Dayton. On guitar Doug Lancio on....other guitar Bob Britt. On steel guitar Donnie Herron. Ah ah ! On bass Tony Garnier." Then turning to Charley " I'm sorry Charley!"
What a mistake !!!
An excellent show , in a Majestic theater, with an enthusiastic audience. A happy Bobby!
I had such a great time!
I sell a print to youngsters out and Gabriel will pick me up.
Thank you the two Richards. Thank you Gabriel.
Thank you all the good people.
See you in Austin.
From San Antonio to Austin. March 16th.
I have a heart brake time
leaving San Antonio which I like very much ; nice little city with
pleasant walks along the river, a peculiar museum, great weather, a
splendid "Majestic theater".
And most of all I have difficulty leaving Gabriel who had truly been an Angel, giving me his bed and feeding me. Of all my CS hosts he had been the most generous.
But the Tour must go on , Bob Dylan playing Austin next.
I easily walk to the Greyhound station. Travelers are divided into two groups going to the final destination Dallas via Austin: the regular Greyhound bus and a 'rented' "Bolt bus" with an extra driver. I am in the "Bolt bus". It takes forever to exit San Antonio. The traffic being dense. After 1 hour ride the driver pulls on the side on the freeway and informs the 33 passengers that the bus broke down. Immediately a wild guy looses his temper. The driver calls the police and he is pulled away :( . Few people decide to hitch hike and the rest of us....just wait (?). How long we don't know :(.
After two hours and no info I decide to join a nice guy to call a UBER ride. We are joined by another woman going to Austin. We reach Austin in early afternoon.
I message my good friend Carol W. and Joni who will pick me up at the station. Then we wait by the concert hall. I receive a message informing me that my Motel room reservation is cancelled. The only time I had to book a room :( I manage to book another Motel. :) It adds to the anxiety.
I have no ticket for tonight.
By 6.30pm I put my sign out. Some fans have extra tickets for sale, but they are way too much expensive. I say hello to my good friend Bob R. and kindly, later, he will direct a ticket seller towards me. Thank you Bob R.
My seat is row E seat 123. I am next to 5 students who are young and studying...Bob Dylan career. :). It's the first time I hear about a high school study matter on Bob Dylan (specifically). I exchange email with those youngsters who must know Bob Dylan more than I do :) . Their teacher offered me the ticket. Thank you Tom P.
Right at 8.00pm Bob and the Band are on. Dressed in black. The Men in Black. 'hello! I'm Bob Dylan' :) :)
The public is polite but reactive. By now most of the Fans should know the set list :). Thanks Bill Pagel. Until "I've made up my mind to give myself to you" the sound is fine and the Band doing well. But suddenly they have difficulty following Bob 'banging' the piano keys pretty hard. Either the piano is out of tune or...Bob out of key :)
The piano is dominant and for sure it's not the best thing. Bob Dylan is not Lang Lang :) He played harp only on " When I paint my masterpiece".
Says "thank you" one time( after " False prophet" ?). Mumbles something in the mic 3 times ( can't figure out the words).
Presents himself 5 times ( one time ...in the dark). The public is lighted and Bob pays attention to the fans in front of him.
"Crossing the Rubicon" is MY highlight.
I feel distracted on ' Mother of muses '. My mind drifts away :( The public reacts rightfully but not over enthusiastic.
" Jimmy Reed" is weak and so "Every grain of sand". His voice is lacking of energy. He mentions somebody ( can't figure out who) before "thank you friends..." and presenting the Band.
I step out feeling a lot better.
The end of the day was making up for the beginning.
This is life on the road! Thank you to all the good people: Carol W. and Joni.
Alrick for remembering to help me.
Bob R. for his help for a ticket. Tom P. for the ticket. The nice "Bob Dylan career" students. Good luck on your study! I say thank you and good bye to Jason.
I unfortunately won't make it to Shreveport. Too far, too complicated !.
Sorry Bobby! Won't see you there. Be good!
I will bus to New Orleans. Can't wait to be in that great city. See you there all good people.
Wondering When I'll see my two good friends from Sydney Australia. ? Namaste!
New Orleans. March 18th
I skipped the Shreveport show for
I booked a ' Flixbus ' ride from Austin to New Orleans. For some unknown reason the first driver never told the passengers we had to change bus in Houston. The second bus driver could speak only... Spanish :) On the top of all my mobile phone didn't work anymore: no phone call, no SMS, no Internet connection. No WIFI on the bus :( Somehow I manage to contact my Couchsurfing host, Tayler, who will pick me up near the Amtrak station.
We walk home through the French Quarter but at that time of the day, around 11pm, it's noisy and dark! Saint Patrick's parade just finished.
The home is fine and I have my couch :) and two friendly cats. After 10 hours riding on a bus, I crash and sleep sound.
Tayler is a tourist guide for Street Art so next day, on Friday, he takes me and few others on a tour.
Murals are all over, describing life in New Orleans : music, fun, but also catastrophes caused by the hurricanes. The city is still recovering and probably will never be the same. Probably Bob Dylan house had been fixed first! :)
New Orleans March 19th.
I will go for breakfast to "Le café du Monde". The fist time I was in New Orleans (1981) that was a must. I found what they call "beignets" which are in fact "bottereaux". Those kind of pastries my grand-ma used to make for Easter, after the Easter fast. One of my best childhood memories. But "Le Café du Monde" is now packed. I face a long queue and a list of costumers. It's not fun anymore.
I buy my 'bottereaux' in a smaller café and they are outrageously expensive :( I escape the crowd and walk along the river. Catch a ferry to cross the Mississippi and back for 4$:).
Stroll in the French quarter.
I listen to a guitar player (a lot better than Bob!). I chat with some of the Artists around the Jackson Square. I am not sure how popular they are. The Tourists are packed in the... restaurants (which I avoid with pleasure :) )
I end up in ARMSTRONG park and a parade is on the way. Looks an authentic one; with a Band and dancers. All Afro-Americans. I join the dance and without knowing it takes me back to where I stay. So I rest home for two hours.
Time to refocus on Bob Dylan show. My good friends Jack Fate and Kim are in town.
My good friend Bob R. has a ticket for me. So no worry. A Band of youngsters, playing music, also need free entrance. The show is Sold out tonight. Tickets are sparse. I'm sorry for those kids!
Bobby Dylan do something for those poo'souls!
Well! I am in with Bob R.. On the balcony. The theater looks pretty much like the one in San Antonio, same architecture:Greeco-Roman? The dark blue sky full of stars.
8pm Bob is on, wearing is striped pants with embroidery. The sound is loud. Much more than the other shows. Bobby being his self. I'm happy to be next to Bob R.. He's obviously enjoying the show, particularly "Mother of muses" :) my least favorite :).
Bob moves center few times. Twice in the total darkness, no light on him! Presenting the Band he mentions "Dough Lancio on a guitar, a Gybson guitar" then turning around "oh no! I made a mistake". Bob R. told me it was a Fender. Dylan's confusion Tour! :)
Then presenting Donnie : "Donnie Herron on steel guitar, he can play the violin too". Next time he'll mention the mandolin ? :)
The show was of course fantastic for all the Bobcats. For me a bit loud.
His piano performance on " Mother of muses" could need some work.
I swing on :
- "When I paint my Masterpiece" Maybe I understood "Everything gonna be like a RHAPSODY when I paint my Masterpiece" which sounds pretty good to my ears :)
-"I'll be your baby tonight"
- "To be alone with you". Ragtime New Orleans tempos, right in the spirit of the day!
My friends Dave and Kim told me there was a confusing time after the show when the security opens the doors on the side of the Dylan bus right after the show.
Bob could not get away without bumping into the crowd rushing out so ... He was not getting out. How did he manage to escape .... ? mystery! Anybody saw him disguised into a Ghost? Maybe he used a VOODOO trick :)
Well! New Orleans is a place to be if you're looking for dancing party. Thanks to all the good people.
From New Orleans to Montgomery. March 21st.
It was to be an easy plan ; I had a
Greyhound bus arriving 3.30pm, a city bus going straight to my
AirBandB, same bus going downtown to the Montgomery PAC. but....
The Greyhound bus leaved New Orleans with two hours delay. As usual absolutely no information. Do I have to change bus in Mobile or not? So I start being anxious.
The bus is packed with passengers going all directions: down to Florida or up North. My neighbor goes to Idaho. He will be arriving tomorrow in the afternoon sleeping on the bus :( . With no money for food or drink. So at the dinner stop I offer him a cup of coffee and a sandwich. People have been helping me on the road... it's my turn to play the good Samaritan :)
I communicate with my friend Bob R. who agrees to have my bag in his hotel room before the show so I don't have to go back and forth to my AirBandB.
And he offers me his extra ticket.
I arrive past 6pm and go straight to drop my bag at Bob R.s then we walk to the venue: the Montgomery PAC. It doesn't look nothing like the Majestic or the Saenger. Just a plain theater. In an empty neighborhood. Close to the Hank Williams' museum.
Our seats are on the floor but the second section after an alley where the handicapped people stand. Right in front the piano but far, behind the sound board.
The show starts at 8pm.
The theater is not full, some seats are empty here and there, and some patrons will be leaving before the end. Too bad because the sound tonight is perfect and Bob is doing great, over there, behind the piano. He will move center stage maybe three times but no more. The public is not reactive.
I might be the only one wiggling on my seat :)
The few first rows are lighted.
Bob can see the front Fans.
A sound adjustment is necessary after "Watching the river flow" and then Bobby's voice is crystal clear. "False prophet" is powerful.
So is "Black rider".
A fantastic "Crossing the Rubicon".
Bob seems to be in a hurry shuffling his paper lyrics frenetically. Says "thank you" after
"False prophet" and nothing more until the introduction of the Band.
Bob R. asks me to focus on "Mother of muses" and... I do.
my conclusion? A mix of "Chimes of freedom" and "Ring them bells". But with an homage to the heroes of war and not Peace, except Martin Luther King. Can hear the bells ringing when Charley Dayton uses some pearls necklaces on his drums :)
" Mother of Muses, wherever you are I've already outlived my life by far " Calling for Mother of Death? I might like it after all :)
My favorite will always be "Chimes of freedom".
Maybe on the second half of the show Bob loses his energy (?) though The Band is rocking on "Serve somebody".
I'm wondering what Bob had been doing in New Orleans. Partying all night ?? :) :) Following the Parades? :)
I enjoyed myself having Bob R. to share with. And we share until... 1 am.
Finally I will "dump" Greyhound for my next trip and accept a car ride. I can't wait to be in Nashville, a city I really like.
I'm happy that my good friend from Paris, Simon, arrived safely in the States.
Tomorrow is....my birthday.
If I had a request I would ask Bobby to play... "Shooting Star". "Chimes of freedom" would be a must.
Nashville. March 23rd.
Bob R. drops me at my Hostel. Nice funky Hostel. My friend and BD Fan, Simon P. will join
me at the "Country Hall of Fame" in the morning. They
removed the Johnny Cash/Dylan section. Too bad!
We then have lunch in a 'noisy' cafe/bar. They call it music I call it noise. The instruments are too loud to hear any of the lyrics?! That's on Broadway. We walk Broadway avenue. Then we separate, each one going to rest.
I pack up my translucent bag as requested.
By 6pm Bob's bus parks along the Ryman. We don't see him getting out.
I take my sign out.
We are 4 looking for tickets as it is sold out. Totally this time.
By 7.30pm a man comes to me.
-"You need a ticket?"
-"Yes. How much?"
-"Nothing". The man looks at his telephone screen and find only one code bar.
-"I'm sorry I thought I had two".
-"Are you sure?"
We then walk to the entrance. Absolutely no security search. The usher scans the one code bar and let me go. Two tickets on one code bar ? Plus the man says
-" we are not together, note the seat number".
Ok. Floor , section 3, row V seat 5.
I've been at the Ryman before. I know it used to be a church and the seats are wood benches. What I didn't remember are the pillars. One is blocking my view. :(. Until the fourth song I have no one on my right side. Then arrive a couple: man obese and woman talkative. I have to ask them to stop talking about what I don't care and I squeeze tight on my bench.
The public is reactive in the front. The audience will be up until "I contain multitudes" and the front left section will be up during the entire show. First time on that tour.
The show is good.
Bob will repeat again "Everything gonna be like a RHAPSODY when I paint my Masterpiece".
"Crossing the Rubicon" is the highlight.
After "Jimmy Reed" he mentions being in the music city...and this is precisely the name of my hostel : "Music city hostel".
But he didn't mention it is my birthday today :) :)
That ticket was truly a miracle ticket. Highly unexpected.
Thank you Good Samaritan.
Thank you all the good people who wished me a happy birthday! It worked. I had a wonderful birthday...without a cake. But who needs a cake on a Bob Dylan tour??
Thank you Simon for my birthday lunch and a great time in Nashville.
The show was not surprising but it was at the Ryman.
And for me the third time in that mythical theater.
See you in Atlanta Bobby...
From Nashville to Atlanta. March 24th & 25th.
The plan is : Simon and I will
join at the greyhound bust station in Nashville at 4am for a bus at
4.35am riding to Atlanta, arriving by 10am. Perfect timing. But...
The bus is already two hours delayed when we reach the station :(
More delayed and more delayed. We finally have some information : there had been a bad accident in the freeway going North to South and our bus is stuck there. We start panicking; Simon has a reservation for the Aquarium in Atlanta and we have both reservations for room. Plus the show is tonight.
We try to find all solutions: another bus, a train, a flight, ... We are resolute to take Uber at the last solution and loose a fortune :(
I have another solution. Maybe kindly ask some Fans going that direction. Tim and Thomas will accept to give us a ride.
I can't be too thankful.
After four hours ride we reach Atlanta, safe and sound.
Simon goes to the Aquarium and I check in my youth hostel. It's just a private house where the bedrooms had been turned into dorms. A little bit crowded as I share with.. three men :)
I manage to ride the trains; lines blue and yellow for three dollars to reach downtown. Or else it's ...one hour and 40 minutes walk :(
By 6pm I am downtown by the "Fox Theater". I am exhausted (not having slept) and starving but...there is a show tonight :) :)
Tim has a ticket for me, so no worry . The FOX theater is again one of those heavily decorated venue, like the "Majestic". My seat is perfect. I relax.
Bob is late tonight, starting at 8.06 pm :)
He will not go to the center stage before "False prophet".
He looks tired or maybe it's me ??? The people around me are horribly non respectful. Two guys behind me will comment incessantly about ... Bob Dylan on stage.
Three girls in front of me are chatting and are obviously drunk, going and coming with drinks. One will almost be taken out after the security guy who asked her three times to put down her telephone. But for some obscure reason Roger (Dylan security guard) will intervened. Wrongly for she starts chatting loud about the wrong doing...:(
She will decide all by herself to leave the show.
The two women next to me open their mobile and start laughing on some pics when Bob is doing "Key west". I am upset by now and ask them to be quieter. Nothing funny about "Key west".
Fortunately the Lady on my left is passionate and will even buy some of my prints :)
A couple behind me, also, will get some of my prints and we exchange after the show.
White lambs among dark lambs.
It doesn't disturb Bob and the Band who are doing well on stage.
Bob finally will move center stage for maybe five times, posing for ... No photos!
"I'll be your Baby tonight" sounds strange. The lyrics are not right :)
[I have to listen to that version more carefully. ]
Simon also realized changes in lyrics, deliberate or not :) :)
The show is good but not the best due to the disruption of the crowd.
Simon suggests to turn OFF the light on the patrons to put them at rest....
I sell more of my prints outside to a crowd excited.. drunk I believe.
And return home on the trains, yellow and blue lines.
So all together a weird, stressful, tiredly day.
But all for the best at the end.
Thanks to all the good people for help: Tim, Thomas，Simon，Corky (on WhatsApp) , ...
Next is Savannah...and again complicated !
It's life on the road. See you in Savannah Bobby....if all goes well!
Atlanta to Savannah. March 26th.
This is the one show I thought I would never
It took me hours to figure out how to reach the city on time for the show and where to stay for the night. My only solution was to ask some help from my good friend Bob R.l who kindly and generously booked a room for me at the ... Marriott :), right next to the "Johnny Mercer theater".
I just have to pray for the greyhound bus to be on time, arriving 5.05pm. Well of course, it is not on time. We leave Atlanta with half an hour delay and a traffic jam increases the delay to 45 minutes. Still alright as I have already a ticket from Stephanie.
I arrive around 6pm at the hotel and immediately walk around for a bite to eat. I'm literally starving. A doughnut and a bottle of chocolate milk will do :). One form of luxury is enough :):)
A Fan proposes me a good seat for the show tonight. So, this is the first time I have two tickets. I know I won't be able to sell any of them. The show is far away for being sold out.
The city of Savannah is pretty but I won't be able to do any tourist trip. I just go to the "Johnny Mercer theater".
My seat is right after the pit, second row. But no one will claim the three seats in front of me. The pit is not even full. I don't want to grab an empty seat. Those days are over :)
As I watch the stage I see a box posed on the right of the piano. What could it be? It's certainly blocking the view of the fans seated on the right. No way they could see Bob's face. :(
My good Samaritans are father and son I've seen before, particularly at the Beacon. At least I know they will appreciate the show and not disturb by talking.
The theater is average, nothing fancy.
Bob arrives on time. It takes a little while to start the "River flow".
He will try the harp between the lyrics of "Masterpiece" but this is not successful.
After "False prophet" Bob moves center stage, in the dark.
His movements will be sparse but he will talk quite a lot with Tony, laughs with Bob Britt and exchange with Donnie but nothing in the set will change.
I just remark that Charley doesn't use the pearls on "Mother of muses" anymore.
Bob seems in a hurry, shuffling the papers on the piano, moving from one song to the other.
Does he dream to be somewhere else?
His voice is clear but at time he is just mumbling the words. Too bad for I really enjoy myself.
I appreciate this show as it was so difficult to figure out the logistics.
Two or three fans try to warm up the audience but in vain.
The public remains seated.
For me it's like having Bob in my living room. I focus on his face. Standing for an applause after each good song. And there are all good.
"My own version of you" and "Crossing the Rubicon" will be my highlights. "Every grain of sand" a little bit weak. Time to go to sleep ?? :)
With Bob R. and Nancy we go out for a drink before I crash on my Queen size bed.
6 hours sleep and on the road again....
Thank you all the good Samaritans: Bob R., Daniel D. and his father, Stephanie for the Tix...all the good Fans who appreciate my reviews and paintings.
See you in North Charleston or anywhere on the road.
North Charleston March. 27th.
First I want to explain that my reviews
are of course personal opinions. I don't pretend to tell any truth. I
do understand that Fans may have different opinions and perspectives.
In that case I encourage any one to write a little review.
This said. I do have mixed feelings about Charleston. I call it South Charleston, North Charleston, East Charleston, West Charleston :)
With miles in between.
So from Savannah to Charleston I will take an Amtrak train for the fist time in many years.
Up early and Uber to the Amtrak station where I am sure to find a coffee shop. Well! All wrong. There is none.
The train is on time leaving Savannah and comfortable. Arriving 50 minutes late in North Charleston. No complain, just a remark :)
William, my Couchsurfing host will pick me up and drop me by his church. We are Sunday. I will then walk the 40 minutes to the downtown South Charleston. I am starving, so looking for a coffee shop. Dreaming of eggs and toasts.
King Street is nothing like Bourbon Street in New Orleans. They have more fancy clothes shops, shoes and Art gallery. I'm happy to find 'empanadas'. That will do. Later on, an iced coffee.
I retrieve by the pier and nap on the grass for two hours. William will pick me up and drive me to downtown North Charleston. A little bit different. More pubs and beer cafes. I find a carrot cake and another coffee.
By 4 pm I have nothing more to do or see.
I Uber (walking would take me 2 hours) to West Charleston , to the PAC. A huge building among huge buildings. Nothing to fancy about.
I have a chat with Stephanie , an American BD Follower. She travels , sleeps, and eats in her van.
I sell some of my prints. Then meet with Bob R. who has a ticket for me. Again many thanks for his kindness and generosity.
The seat is row E, center. I can see the stage well.
A roadie will pose two small bottles of water on the piano. Exactly where the cookies box was last night. :):)
Three minutes after 8pm the show starts.
Bob plays with the bottles ( obviously his request) , shuffles the lyrics papers and starts
1) "Watching the river flow". More a start song to adjust the volume of the mic.
The public is quiet and polite. No moving around.
2) " Most likely you go your way "... I'll go mine. It talks to me tonight. Right what I think about some people :)
3) " I contain multitudes ".
-' I'm a man of contradictions, I'm a man of many moods' -
So don't try to explain the cookies and the bottles :)
4) " False prophet ". Well phrased. Clear crystal voice. He knows and he moves center stage for the pose.
5) " When I paint my masterpiece" variation with
- ' everything gonna be like a RHAPSODY ...when I paint my Masterpiece'.
6) " Black rider " so obscure and profound.
Is he talking to his double twin, that enemy within?
7) " I'll be your baby tonight "
Could switch for " If not for you ? ". For a change ?
8 )"My own version of you"
'I'll bring someone to life, someone for real
Someone who feels the way that I feel'
Isn't it the dream of everyone?
9)" Crossing the Rubicon " the highlight of that show (for me).
Bob knows he was good and he moves center stage for a pose.
10)" To be alone with you " . What about a switch with " When dogs run free " for a change :)
11)"Key west ". Tonight ....not my cup of tea!
Flat and boring :(
12) " Gotta serve somebody " . The public doesn't rock to much. I do.
13)" I've made up my mind to give myself to you ".
And for the first time I have the feeling he is talking to me or the audience in general, as I can see he is looking at the crowd above his piano and beyond the water bottles.
14)" Melancholy mood " sweet, but could be
" Shooting Star ".
15)" Mother of muses " sing for me ... still not my favorite. Too much obvious.
But Bob is satisfied and moves center stage one more time.
16) " Goodbye Jimmy Reed " nice energy.
Rapid presentation of the Band. The audience doesn't get it and doesn't stand :(
(At least not in front of me.)
" Every grain of sand ". To tell the public it's time to move out. :)
I rapidly leave the venue and sell the rest of my prints. A Fan who used to read my reviews, Redding, offers me a ride to my CS host home. Great.
I have a bedroom all for myself. My host little boy's bedroom.
Charleston was surprising but all together a nice experience. I don't believe it's the city I could live in, not being a driver.
Thank you to all the good people.
Thank you Bobby. Let's the bottles be another MYSTERY ?
Tank you Charley Drayton, I found the most inspiring of all the musicians in that Band.
From Charleston to Columbia. March 29th.
I met Redding, a Fan, after the
show in Charleston and he decided to join me for the show in
He will drive me there and I will pay for the gas , the brunch and rent a room for the night.
We will need two tickets for the show but I am not worried.
I say goodbye to William my Couchsurfing host. We'll meet again. Maybe at the Texas border, in May, to help some refugees there.
I am not always on the side of the 'beggars' , I am also, at times, on the side of the 'givers'.
The ride to Columbia is pleasant wit Redding.
We eat pitas and humus for brunch.
Then I go to FedEx to print more of my paintings.
We check in the motel "Days' Inn" for a rest in the afternoon. So far, so good.
By 6pm we drive back to the "Township Auditorium".
Nothing fancy and in a not so fancy area. :(
The crowd is sparse.
The show is far away for being sold out.
David B.who knows me from my boblinks.com reviews offers to buy me a ticket.
He will choose the most expensive ? Thank you so much. ? .
Redding will also get a (second row) ticket for free and so Stephanie.
So... We are three happy Fans.
The venue is nothing exceptional. An arena with balconies and galleries. Seats on the floor are folded chairs. My view on the piano is good.
Two bottles had been posed on the piano. :) to block the view from the right( as the Fans seem to believe).
The show starts on time and Bob will move center after "False prophet"
" I'll be your baby tonight"
"Crossing the Rubicon"
"I've made up my mind to give myself to you".
On "Goodbye Jimmy Reed" a blond girl is up and dancing. It attracts Bob's attention. He looks like smiling.
The audience will be up for "Every grain of sand".
At least in front of me and in the aisle. Not so much security tonight :)
But many patrons will also leave the venue long time before the end of the show. :(
It was a good show. Not the best ever. A sort of routine.
Bob makes a joke presenting the Band. I don't catch it. Something about Donnie and Tony.
I sell all my prints outside. Some cash to go on for the next shows.
I ask for a ride to Charlotte, only one hour and a half away, but I am not successful.
So I will catch my Greyhound bus tomorrow.
Hopefully arriving on time at 5.35pm in Charlotte.
Thank you the good people ; David B. for the Tix, Redding for the rides, Stephanie for the nice conversation.
Thank to the Fans who like my paintings.
Thank you Bobby...see you in Charlotte. Be good!
From Columbia to Charlotte. March 30th.
-"I have a ticket for you, follow us".
Two youngsters are with him. He says the seat is fourth row. Woah!
He invites me to the Bahamas where he owns an Island and build recreational resorts. He invites me to paint there. So he must know I'm a painter and a ...writer. :)
Bob is to far from the mic. I can't even "karaoke"???
At some point Bob stops singing and let the Band play a long instrumental. Bob Britt doesn't understand the message and loud, turning towards him Dylan says "play something". Britt strums his acoustic guitar a little louder.
-"pick up the tempo!"
Bob murmurs something like
-"we can only play so fast!"
Not sure if he is joking or angry or .. drunk!? Talking to himself or the Band in between the songs.
From Charlotte to Greensboro. March 31st.
A day off.
I take UBER to downtown Charlotte where I I'll catch a FLIXBUS. It rains cats and dogs. Few people are waiting in the rain. One young man has a Bob Dylan bag and a poster. We climb rapidly in the bus and start chatting. He is Chinese from Beijing but study psychology at Washington University. He took a bus all the way and back to see Bob Dylan in Charlotte. His first BD show. I don't tell him about my bad impression of the show. He is thrilled and that's alright. He invites me to Beijing. Great! Another place to visit :)
Arriving in Greensboro. It rains cats and dogs. So I call UBER.
[That UBER guy is my friend :) :)].
I booked two nights in a Motel. A little bit 'funky'. The room smells tobacco. But the TV is functional :)
I watch classic movies on the movie channel. Buy a pizza in the next Caesar pizza place and sleep all night.
I get a breakfast (the only motel that didn't cancel the breakfast cause of Covid :) Watch more movies ... Take a walk downtown.
I chat with Stephanie who is parked by the venue.
By chance I find the "Civil rights museum" and step in. A couple steps in at the same time. They see my Bob Dylan bag and say they will also go to the show.
That museum is about the fights in the 60's for the "Colored people rights". Greensboro, Selma, Montgomery, Washington... Bob Dylan is not mentioned but he was there. Wrote "The death of Emmett Till" and "Only a pawn in their game".
I walk back to my room to get ready for the show.
When I put my sign out I see the same couple from the museum with two kids and a young man. They have an extra ticket.
So we all get in the venue by 6.30pm. We chat about....Bob Dylan :)
By 8.07pm the show is on.
They start a long instrumental intro for "Watching the river flow". The mic is again too low. Bob is angry. He points at the sound man on his left. Speaks in between the songs and even "inside" the songs. Bob cursing and saying "fuck it"(?) He also says "Jesus man!" (In the middle of 'My own version of you')And "Stop it" few times.
The show will be normal by "Crossing the Rubicon".
The audience is again positive and receptive, standing and being loud when Bob moves center stage. Three times.
Bob's voice is weak. He may have a cold. And again the two bottles on the piano are blocking the view of the patrons on the right. :(
"I've made up my mind to give myself to you" is fine.
"Crossing the Rubicon" is fine
"Serve somebody" is weak.
I space out on "Mother of muses".
This is also the time when patrons leave the venue. I turn on my left and the row is ... empty :(
Not the best show ever. But a show.
Outside some fans are happy of a good show and some fans are...not happy.
I'm confused. I don't understand why after 17 shows suddenly the sound is not correct and Bob is not happy. It should be a routine.
Thank you my good Samaritans. Jack Fate and Kim. David B.
Next is Asheville.
From Greensboro to Asheville. April 2sd.
My good friends Jack Fate and Kim will
pick me up at my motel for a ride to Asheville.
They offer me brunch at the Waffle house.
We arrive at 2.30pm at my Hostel to check in.
Then we go to visit the Thomas Wolf museum. Great time!
After another cup of coffee we move to the venue.
Asheville is a pleasant little town. Seem to be on the "hippy" kind of town. And I'm on the suspense kind of mood.
My experience is that the so called "hippies" might not be the most generous or open minded. :( Few youngest are looking for tickets but it's not easy to find a good Samaritan :)
Tonight my priority is not even to get a ticket for the show but a ride to Chattanooga.
For some reason I don't quite understand there is no public transportation to get out of Asheville on April 3rd. No bus or train of any kind. The Greyhound leaving on the 4th takes 14 hours with two transfers. :( No way I can make it to the show. I feel so stupid that I didn't anticipate the problem. I feel in an anxious mood all day long in Asheville.
I write a note "I need a ride to Chattanooga" and ask the fans arriving at the venue if any are going to Chattanooga.
It seems that no one had plan to reach Chattanooga :).
Jack Fate buy me a ticket for Asheville show for my birthday. Thank you Dave.
I keep on searching for a ride until the last moment. I finally take my seat inside the venue.
I know Bob will be good tonight. He has to be! I need comfort. I need to pull myself all together.
8.00pm Bob is on.
The public is up. Good sign.
And right away the sound is excellent.
And it is one of the best show since Phoenix.
Could not be more perfect.
I even appreciate "Mother of muses".
Bob moves center after four of his songs. And the public is up and wild.
He did a long intro on "when I paint my Masterpiece" soooo great!
I'm on the road for Bob Dylan and a good show is all I'm looking for.
I've been on the road for a month now and it is my only priority to reach the next town for the next show.
I have no where going home !
I thank all the people helping me...to move on. I sell some of my prints. It's not only for money but also for my self esteem. Two or three fans recognize me for my reviews.
So I can say objectively that Bob Dylan was in a good mood and his performance was excellent in Asheville. I need to make it to Chattanooga...and I will!
From Asheville to Chattanooga. April 4th.
After I freaked out about my trip to Chattanooga Stephanie accepted to take me on her van. Thank you so much.Up early and checking out from my beautiful youth hostel we hit the road at 8.am.
We go straight to the "Tivoli theater" and have a cup of coffee and I get a bagel with cream cheese.
Then I walk to the youth hostel where Stefano And Mauro will join me from Atlanta to do a part of the tour together. From Chattanooga up to Mobile.
We check in. They take a nap and I walk back to the Tivoli to chat with Stefanie.
By 6.pm we both need a ticket.
She got one first. A man proposed me one for 150$. Way too much expensive.
After half an hour he comes back to me and said he will give me the ticket. I give him one of my prints he really likes.
In the mid time I said hello to my good friends from Australia :)
I am all the way on the top of the ...world :)
No one will be on my right or on my left.
But for some reason tonight I don't feel like karaoke or even move. I focus on the lyrics.
I feel in a sad mood. But Bob is certainly his self.
He will move center stage after " Masterpiece" "Crossing the Rubicon"and "Serve somebody".
For the first time I leave the show before the end. I am curious to see how they sneak him out.
Suzie, Jerry and Roger are playing the body guards flashing the few fans with telephone.
I am the only one focusing on Dylan bus door :)
I have Jerry, the tour manager, flashing me :(
Bob is all covered with a hoodie.
Oh well! That's the way it is now a days.
The day had been a nice experience with friends and good people.
The show was sadly emotional for me.
Tomorrow is another day!
Birmingham Alabama. April 6th.
We (Stefano, Mauro and I) had a wet drive from Chattanooga to
Birmingham. We rented a pick up from Atlanta airport and Stefano will be the driver.
The weather report announced a tornado :(
But we arrived safely at our not so fancy Motel.
Stefano and Mauro take a rest.
I go find the FedEx print shop to print more of my paintings I am now selling at a good rate :)
Then I take a rest and the boys go for a bite to eat.
The downtown of Birmingham is depressing. Everything seem to be in repair. And the city had been flooded.
In the late afternoon I decide to join Stephanie, the "hippy", for a chat.
Nothing is happening, except the BD bus pulling in the parking lot around 6pm. The musicians had been doing their sound check already.
I move by the venue, a concert hall in a huge building complex. Stephanie calls it a Jail.
Nothing happen before 7.30 pm. There is a basketball play in another building and those fans seem to be a lot younger and having more fun than the BD fans.
No chance for a ticket, not even a proposition for one :(
So Stephanie finds one on line for 15$ and I go to the....Box Office. First time since many years :)
I buy a 41.50$ Tix.
Oh well! I want to see that show. Get out of the depressing feeling of that city!
My seat is all the way on the right top of that huge venue (huge for Bob Dylan now a days). It's far away for being sold out. I would say no more than half :(
I'm happy for my seat. I can see Bob at the piano. Can see him standing and drinking ... A lot from a paper cup. :)
The sound is adjusted after few seconds of "Watching the river flow". Not bad sound, even quite good. I believe that show was good.
Bob will move center after "False prophet" and the public had a wild reaction. Then after "crossing the Rubicon" and "Key west". Every time the public is happy to see Bob full body :)
He is wearing a dark red shirt open at the chest :) :)
-Black rider, black rider, hold it right there The size of your cock will get you nowhere.-
My neighbors are loudly laughing !
"I've made up my mind to give myself to you" -From Salt Lake City to Birmingham-
And the audience is ? crazy wild !
I have almost the entire row for myself. [Except a beautiful couple who will buy two of my prints for 40$. That will make it for the Tix. :)].
So I "karaoke" with Bob.
Though I have to admit that I'm so tired that I feel like in a dream. I drift away few times hearing Bob far away in my subconscious. Not too bad feeling as I never lost conscience. And I swear I didn't smoke anything :)
For me it is a great show. Making up for a depressing day. It was like watching a YOUTUBE video of the show laying on my couch :)
Except Bob Dylan and the Band were right there flesh and blood! And good at their job!
I step out. I still have some prints to sell. A beautiful Angel Lady says she loves my Art and want to buy the 15 copies I have left.
-" Will 100$ be enough? " She asks .
-" Well! Sure!" ...:)
We chat for few minutes. Exchange emails and I hope I will find her again. She's truly a beautiful Lady! Not somebody I was expecting to find here in Birmingham :(
The boys (Stefano and Mauro) are not so happy with "their" show.
They believe Chattanooga was better.
Just a question of feeling I guess!
We find a nice Pub to have finally a decent meal. I choose the Falafel burger.
Then we walk back home, chatting among us and forgetting the surroundings.
The night will be the best I had for a long time on the road.
A full 7 hours sleep.
Thank you the good people: Stephanie, Stefano and Mauro.
My neighbor who bought two prints.
The Angel Lady.
I'm happy I made it to Birmingham one more time! See you next in Mobile.
From Birmingham to Mobile. April 6th.
Stefano is driving the pickup we rented. With Mauro we are now a party of three.We will go straight to Mobile and check in a beautiful hotel downtown, only two blocks from the "Saenger theater". We walk the streets of Mobile. They are empty and quiet that day.
Nothing much is happening.
Stefano is looking for cheese cake for breakfast. We find a tea restaurant and we have a gorgeous "collation", as they say in Italian.
The three Bob Dylan trucks are aligned behind the Saenger. At 8.00 am the BD crew start pulling and rolling the materiel out.
We walk the streets of Mobile, still empty.
By 3.00pm. I meet with my friend Corky and I "exchange" my two Italian friends for an American gentleman. :)
Corky and I check in a hotel in the north part of Mobile as my Italian friends will be leaving this country after the Mobile show and their third show on that Tour. I keep on keeping on.
By 6.00pm I am by the Saenger theater, loaded with a new bunch of prints.
I sell some right away as fans recognize me from my reviews.
I start being famous.:)
I hope that never, never I will become paranoid :) :(
Fame is a bitter/sweet feeling.
Corky transfers a ticket for me on my phone.
I enter the theater in a great mood. I'm sure Bob will be in a good spirit as well.
8.00pm sharp. He is on.
The small 2000 capacity theater is full.
The crowd seems in average 50s or more.
I know my friend John Paul brought his three children to see Bob Dylan. :)
Right away the show is good. The audience is up for few minutes in "Watching the river flow" but the ushers signal to seat down.
I am on the aisle and there will be movements during the entire show. People just can't stay still for 69 minutes of show :(
Also people ... talk. Creating disturbance.
I focus on the stage. Bob is happy, moving center stage often for a long pause. The fist 6 rows are lighted. He can see the few fans in front moving on the rhythm of the music.
One Lady is particularly inspired in front left. The seat next to her is empty. In the past I would have moved there. But...those days are gone:(
I often watch Charley Drayton on drums. Doug is hidden behind Bob.
Before the show I bumped into Bob Britt and said "hi!". He seemed surprised someone could recognize him. He smiled.
"When I paint my Masterpiece" is great with the new line
-someday everything gonna sound like a RHAPSODY when I paint my Masterpiece -
By the time he hits "Key west" some people are leaving. The talking Ladies next to Corky leave. We are relieved !
After "I've made up my mind to give myself to you" Bob takes a long pause standing front. So did he after "Crossing the Rubicon". He new he nailed down that song :)
At some point he even murmured "thank you".
I answer "Thank YOU!".
And surprise ...he starts "To be alone with you" on harmonica. Great.
"Jimmy Reed" is powerful again.
- "thank you everybody. Let me introduce my Band. On drums Charley Drayton.
Playing on the other set of drums Doug Lancio" oops! No "on guitar".
Then he murmurs something about 'Mardi gras' and says something like
-" 'Mardi gras' started here. It should be bring back in that city."
Bobby's talkative tonight :)
The crowd spilling out seems satisfied.
I sell more of my prints. A way to go on farther on that " rough and rowdy ways" 'till 2024.:)
Thank you all the good people.
See you all in Meridian..for a Miracle tix.
Meridian. April 8th.
That show was added later on the Tour.
And the tickets were hard to find. Capacity 900 patrons.
My friend Simon first thought of doing that show but changed his mind and sold me his ticket.
I decided happily to hand it to Corky who had been such an Angel.
So I do need an extra ticket, so does Stephanie.
Stephanie will reach Meridian early morning and starts stalking the box office. Asking all the people retrieving their ticket from ' will call ' if they have an extra for sale. We are both willing to pay.
With Corky we arrive early afternoon.
I'm surprised to see that the theater is downtown and not on a campus.
Downtown is ... Few blocks of restaurants and shops and a tall building turned into a hotel!
Nothing is happening except a basketball team parade ; the entire Afro-American community is parading in front of...few Afro-American folks.
Bobby's bus pulls in shortly before 6 pm and to my surprise some Fan from the tall hotel building took photos of Bobby stepping out of his bus before show time, dressed casually. :)
But with a hoodie !
The wind is cold so I am in Corky's car when Stephanie rushes to me. A Lady passed by in a car and said she had two tickets for sale as the husband of her friend just died in hospital.
She will be back.
We wait impatiently with Stephanie. The Lady pulls by us and I use the 200$ Corky generously gave me for my birthday. We have two tickets for MERIDIAN. Truly a Miracle!
I cry of joy as the tension from my body is plummeted.
We enter the theater to see what is so special about that show. I'm pretty sure Bobby won't change the set. Why should he? :)
The folks are ...old. More even than the average 60's. For what I understood they may have tickets for that Bob Dylan show as part of their year VIP package from a specific club ; Queen City Social. For that Lady asked me to mention where the tickets where coming from on Facebook.
Stephanie chooses the front row seat on the right, view obstructed by the two bottles on the piano. A permanent set now. I choose the seat row L 21. I will never be able to see Charley on drums. He's hidden behind the side...curtains :(
Corky has less chance even. His view is totally obstructed by a pillar :( .
He will manage to switch for a better seat.
My friends from Australia also have an obstructed view. They will manage to change their
We're all set. But finally this is not such a great venue for Bob and his Band.
The show starts on time.
It takes the fifth song before all 900 folks are sited and quiet.
It feels like they are at their rotary club! Noisily charitable!
The guy next to me arrives in the middle of "Black rider" and him and his three girls leave in the middle of "My own version of you" :(
I bet they never paid for their Tix :(
Bob moves center stage after "False prophet" and receives absolutely no reaction. He will not move center anymore :(
Bob and his Band are doing their job for a non receptive audience. I am sure some folks even wonder where is Bob Dylan; The one on the guitar left, maybe? Or is he the one on the drums ? :):)
I try to enjoy a good show. Nothing wrong with the show in itself.
Except they're playing for "dead rotary fishes" !
Out they're dead fishes as well.
Absolutely no reaction to my paintings.
I will be mad for few hours.
But I realize it was just another experience and lesson : don't expect much or you may be disappointed.
So for the Fans who didn't make it to Meridian...have absolutely no regrets.
Try another one on the road.
Four more to go.
Memphis Tennessee. April 9th.
Corky will drive the few hours from Meridian to Memphis. We booked a hotel by the airport but decided first to go to Graceland again . Both of us had been there , long time ago.Things have changed!
This is a truly commercial business. It takes forever to enter inside Graceland, the home of Presley.
But anyway we had a good time.
We have lunch in a great Mexican restaurant before getting ready for the show.
The Orpheum theater is again a beautiful theater. Capacity 2900.
Corky bought me a ticket, so I am free.
Stephanie is searching for one so I help her for a while. She says a Fan was looking for ... Me and left an envelope. It's a ... Birthday card :)
We all seat on the balcony, up under the roof.
The public is a lot younger and more sympathetic than the Meridian one.
8.00pm the show starts with a big applause.
Time to adjust the sound for the two first songs and all will be alright. Bob is wearing the tie/scarf he was wearing last night.
Corky is sited next to me and folks around are Fans. They know what will be the set list.
So except some people going to the restroom, all is well.
While Bob is singing "I've made up my mind to give myself to you" a Fan screams "we love you Bob" and Bob laughs in the mic.
Fans obviously know the new album as they clap at the beginning of each song from "Rough and rowdy ways".
Bob presents the Band and murmurs something that makes Donnie laughs.
I sell some prints after the show. I start to be popular :)
That was a good show and a great day.
It's a lot easier with...a little help from my friends.
Next Little Rock and all by myself.
Little Rock. April 11th.
My 25th show on that tour. I missed only Shreveport.I traveled Greyhound. And as expected the bus was late arriving in Little Rock. But nothing catastrophic :) The driver as nasty as possible. And that is catastrophic :(
I booked a room in Econolodge Motel , thanks to the generosity of fans of my reviews and paintings.
I rest and doze off all afternoon. I might be exhausted.
By 5 pm I join Stephanie who had been by the venue since morning looking for tickets.
After only one hour a gentleman is attracted by my prints and says he's got two extra tickets :)
I bargain for 40$ and 6 of my prints :) and the promise of a painting of his cat.
We can now relax and both get a warm cup of coffee. Mainly to get the caffeine boosting my energy.
The venue looks like a Roman theater with large stairs to climb in front.
Three buses are parked on the side but I don't see Bobby's bus.
The security is strict : no large bags allowed.
Our seats are all the way up, under the ceiling. Fortunately against the wall and on the aisle.
The opportunity to stand up and dance finally arrived. :)
And that will be the most exciting show of the tour for Stephanie and I.
Except for folks taking their seats during the second song...all is well.
The usher doesn't mind the folks opening their cell phones. And this is the first time I see so many lights ... A little bit disturbing.
The sound is great. We see the entire stage. We dance on all the songs， even 'Mother of Muses". I try my best to make the audience react every time Bob moves center stage. I am a little bit wild. But it works and Bob seems to be happy and moves center stage quite often.
I applaud long and loud after the long harp intro of " when I paint my Masterpiece".
All the songs are well delivered.
I remark that unfortunately the 'parket' or 'floor' is a bit 'dead'. The upper balcony with the cheap tickets is a lot more alive. The children of Paradise are wild :)
Who cares about the dead fishes :):)
Bobby wears a silver jacket.
After "when I paint my Masterpiece" he murmurs something to Bob Britt. Not happy with the rhythm guitar?
After the show I chat with "kids" who are following in a van. They enjoy the show and they buy the rest of my prints. One is from Katmandu Nepal :) and a guitar player.
Stephanie drives me to my motel for a good night sleep.
I didn't see anything of Little Rock...yet.
Tomorrow is another day.
Thank you all the good people.
See you in Tulsa.
The Woody Guthrie center is waiting for us and soon the Bob Dylan center ( opening May 10th ).
Tulsa. April 13th.
I ride a nice ride on Greyhound. For the first time on time with efficient drivers :)So Stephanie picks me up and we drive to the Woody Guthrie Center. I really expected to visit it this time. The last time it was closed for specific event. And the specific event was Bob Dylan visiting privately :)
This time they are preparing a new exhibit :(
Then we drive to my AirBandB booking.
A beautiful cottage !
Time to set up and relax and I walk to the Tulsa theater.
I've been here before and it didn't change.
I wait by the back stage entrance and I chat with a young fan from England who wants to present his poetry books to Bob. Will Gibson arrives later with a friend. Will is the kid who got an harmonica from Bob back stage last time there was a show in Tulsa. And the old 'hippie' is also here.
I believe they will play the same trick as last time; pulling the Dylan bus as close as possible to the back door.
And they do. So no one has a chance to get an autograph :(
or a C harmonica :)
I go look for a ticket when my friends Carol and Jonie arrive from Dallas. They offer to buy me a ticket. Thank you so much.
My seat is on the right balcony at the last row. I am on the aisle so I will be able to move.
The show is great but Bob will never mention Woody Guthrie.
I sale some of my prints then Carol Jonie Stephanie and I decide to have a drink in a "tavern". I will say goodbye to Carol and Jonie who will not make it to Oklahoma city. :(
We drive with Stephanie to my cottage for a good night sleep.
So Tulsa was a bit of a deception; no Dylan museum (yet!), the "Woody Guthrie center" closed. Bobby invisible.
But the show was alright with a little something special on "I'll be your Baby tonight".
Happy day anyway!
Oklahoma city. April 14.
Though I have a Greyhound ticket Stephanie decides to drive me there to Oklahoma city.We arrive early to check the venue.
There is construction everywhere and the preparation of an Art exhibit. So the area is a little bit chaotic.
I have booked a room in some sort of Ashram but it appears to be a bad joke.
So Stephanie and I book a room in a fancy hotel close to the venue.
Corky will join us later and we all go for dinner, though I am not in a mood for food. I am worried about my seat for that last show of the tour. Corky walks back to the hotel to take a bath while Stephanie and I walk to the venue.
Corky is late and I start to panic as he was not able to transfer the ticket he had bought for me.
He will arrive 40 minutes before show time when we realize the seat is all the way on the top. The worst seat ever. And the clock is ticking.
Corky will buy two other tickets and this time 7th row all the way on the left aisle. Stephanie will join me. I ask the usher if it's alright to stand and dance and he says fine.
We will be dancing and clapping the entire show.
Bob is alright but frankly I believe he is tired and his energy is fading by mid-show.
Even "Serve somebody" is not as strong as it could be.
Nothing special for that last show of that Tour.
The public didn't realize it was a last show before a while.
I say thank you and goodbye to Chris and Jason.
And we retrieve to our hotel.
That Tour was fine for me. It went a lot better than I expected. My reviews and my paintings were appreciated. And I had a lot of friends helping me on the road.
So thank you to all the good people.
Thank you Bobby and the Band and the crew people.
See you sometime, somewhere.