vendredi 2 septembre 2022

Bob Dylan Spring Tour U.S.A. 2022 II


Spokane. May 28th.

It was a surprise to hear that Bob would do a West coast tour so early after the previous tour. My problem was my tourist visa ending in May 29th. I couldn't stay after the date. Crossing the Mexican or Canadian border and back was not an option. My only possibility was to go back home, wait three weeks and fly to Vancouver to cross the border to Seattle. Hoping for the best.
Surprisingly all went well. And I crossed the border with no problem.
The plan was to join S. in Seattle, rent a car and go on the road together until Eugene.
I requested couch-surfing for all the cities and I was lucky. No worry for the accommodations.
We take the road early afternoon on May 27th. Shop for food and material and reach Spokane around 8 pm.
We travel through a beautiful but cold area. The mountains picks are under snow.
My CS hosts are waiting for us with a dinner and a private bedroom and bathroom.
After a correct night despite the jet lag we are up at 9am.
May 28th.
We shop for water and more food, spend some time in a park, pack the bags for the afternoon and hit the road to downtown Spokane.
Two buses are parked around the venue. The crew buses.
We walk by the river and watch the waterfalls for a while. The area is fine but for me the weather is too cold. And a bit rainy.
In order to make some money I printed some of my Dylan paintings and I will try to sell either before or after the show, depending on security.
S. already got a ticket , so it's only me who has to beg ?
By 5pm we hang around the venue. The musicians bus is parked but no Bobby's bus yet.
Only by 6pm the security is in place. Bobby's bus is parked.
We are wondering how they will manage to hold the phones ?
First of all, no bags are allowed, except transparent ones.
S. helps me to get a ticket. My good Samaritan is Tim , a nurse ,coming with three teenagers. Row H, seat 5.
We pass the metal detector. As soon as the tickets are scanned we are requested to put our phones in a pouch, locked with a magnetic button. A usher writes the seat numbers on a piece of paper. But some patrons pretend to have ... No phone.
We carry the pouch with us.
I take my seat and realize the stage is set the save way as before, except there is a black drape to cover the back of the piano.
No bottle on the piano? as no one will be able to take photos.(with a phone).
The musicians are the same.
They start with "Watching the river flow".
The public is quiet. The venue is average in decorations and pretty full.
I am ready with a piece of paper and a pen to write any change. (The audience is not in total dark). Song after song Bob is doing the same set.
No harp on "When I paint my Masterpiece". Bob puts a black hat on his fluffy hair and will keep it to the end.
He moves center stage, holding the mike pol with his left hand for
"I contain multitudes" "Black rider" "I've made up my mind to give myself to you" and "Melancholy mood". I guess he is not afraid of fans taking photos ?
He's got a nice colorful shirt and black pants.
I find him skinny and slightly bend over. More hopping than walking.
I can't see his face.
His voice is correct but I am not thrilled by this show. Just happily surprised than he can sing four songs at the center mike without...lyrics shits.
The audience is quiet. Too much!
S. was on the balcony and she says the sound was great.
As soon as Bob is moving center stage after "Every grain of sand" I rush outside to have my phone unlocked and text Bill the set-list. We have to drop the pouch in a container called Yonder.
I retrieve my prints from the car and present them to the public getting out. I manage to make some money for the road: gas, food, parking meters, coffee...each dollar is welcome!
That was a nice easy day. A bit of panic for the ticket at night.
The show for me was a routine and not too thrilled.
Nonetheless I am thankful for all the help.
Judith ;CS host, Tim ; the good Samaritan...
The FB encouragements.
That was a good start.
Bobby! See you tomorrow.

Kennewick. May 29th.

We wake up early, pack up and hit the road.
We stop for a cup of coffee, refill the gas tank and hit the road again.
The landscape is flat and red/green, the sky clouded and blue/grey.
Three hours later, we check the venue: the Toyota center. A huge building in the middle of nowhere. But at least the parking lot will be free.
We drive to the couch-surfing host address: a nice home in a residential area.
We share with our hosts and relax few hours.
S. has got a coupon for food at Red Robin. So we go for hamburgers.
What else to do? Not too much... Kennewick is a boring city and the weather not too good for a picnic and walk.
By 5pm we are at the venue.
Surprisingly Bob's bus is already parked by the back stage door. We can hear the sound check through the closed door. Do they rehearse a new song?
Nothing else is happening in that empty lot and I start falling asleep.
By 6.30pm patrons slowly arrive at the door and we start soliciting a free ticket.
S. will get one relatively easily and I am left alone. I don't feel too confident but a nice gentleman hands me a paper/copy ticket and I immediately walk in.
Security is light but they request to put my phone in the YONDER pouch.
The arena is huge and not sold out.
S. joins me and we decide to seat on the floor area. Four seats, row M, have not been sold. We take the two on the aisle.
We have no idea of the time but I'm pretty sure Bob started on time.
The sound is good. Better that Spokane for me.
Immediately the crowd is enthusiastic and reacts nicely to the songs.
No disturbance and no shuffling around.
Bob can feel it and will say "thank you" about 7 times. Even mentioning the fans on his left, super enthusiastic!
He moves center stage four times. Holding and playing with the mike's cord with his left hand , hardly holding the mike pole.
His stand his stable!
He's dressed as yesterday but will wear no hat.
-Trots twice to Tony(so much that S. and I believe they will do a new song).
-Chats and laughs in the mike.
Few songs have a new arrangement (the result of a sound check?).
"I'll be your baby tonight" starts with a beautiful music Intro. And a shuffling in the lyrics.
"Black rider" is my highlight tonight.
"I've made up my mind to give myself to you" rise a mountain of applause. The public knows and appreciates the "Rough and rowdy ways".
Presenting the band, Bob
- asks Charley to stand up.
- mentions Doug playing on a Strato(but Stephanie will tell me that the one Doug was holding at the moment was a Les Paul????).
- tells a joke presenting Bob Britt " this afternoon he saw a Bull outside. I told him it was a bulldozer!".
Definitively in a good mood!
He will put on his black hat for the final pose.
I rush out to have my phone unlocked and text Bill.
Stupid phone policy. But truly no one was disturbing the show. Not even the security.
I haven't seen Roger so far. Bob Dylan's security disappeared.
We had a great time.
The new arrangements are a must. Thanks the Band.
Bobby surely in shape and funny.
Makes me feel .... I want to see more.
Hopefully in more interested cities.
After the show S. and I try a little business selling my Art.
We make some money from really young artists who came to see Bob Dylan tonight for the first time.
After a boring day, it was a great unexpected evening.
Thank you my good Samaritan....
Thank you good people.
See you next in Portland.
Bobby! Keep the spirit high!

Portland. May 30th.

Kennewick to Portland was an easy ride.
The landscape was gorgeous. We followed the Columbus river most of the time. Slithering through the gorge.
My couch-surfing host is living in the suburb on Alberta street. I'm impressed by the "hippy" style surrounding. The house is three storey high and shared by 6 young people.
First thing we did was to take a walk on Alberta street. First thing I did was to take photos of the murals.
May 31st.
We go to "just Bob" for a cup of coffee.
The rest of the morning is quiet. I found books to read.
We drive to Portland, downtown, by 2pm. We want a parking place by the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Nothing is happening , yet.
Another cup of coffee and four hours later...the Bobby bus pulls in. Time to get a ticket. It's sold out show. But I learned that a miracle can happen any time, any way.
S. gets a free ticket rapidly. I sell a print for 20$ and a gentleman sells me a paper ticket for ...20$.
I get in, sneaking in my phone.
I am on the balcony. My good Samaritan had another spare ticket he didn't sell. So the seat on my left is empty. The seat on my right will be also, most of the show.
I'm sure the show started on time.
Bob, in the dark, goes straight to the back of the stage, between Bob Britt and Doug Lancio. He picks up an electric guitar and straps it around his neck and....starts playing. Woah!
The sound is clear and loud. I'm not sure if the two other guitars are playing along.
Turning his back to the public and in total darkness the intro of "Watching the river flow" will go on forever before finally Bob drops the guitar and moves to the piano. The Fans who realize how special this is start clapping. I do.
The first few lyrics are inaudible but the mike will be adjusted quickly.
There is a round of applause and Bob says "thank you" before rapidly starting "Most likely".
"I contain multitudes" is at the piano and not center stage as for the two shows in Spokane and Kennewick.
"False prophet" starts at the piano and towards the end Bob trots to his guitar, straps it around his neck and begins a fantastic solo, turning his back to the public. woah!
He doesn't drop the guitar but carries it with him to the piano, still plugged and starts "When I paint my Masterpiece" half guitar, half piano for a while.
It's surrealistic , as if it's another Bob Dylan, another show!
Few times he signals Bob Britt to slow down or play soft on his guitar so Bob could solo on the piano and almost sings a Capella.
" Black rider" is center stage with Bob holding the entire mike pole is his right hand and balancing it as if he is in his twenties.￰
"I'll be your Baby tonight" is also surprising when Bob stops playing the piano and claps his hands in rhythm. I start clapping and few folks also.
"My own version of you" is great but nothing will surpass
"Crossing the Rubicon" almost a cappella and so powerful! My highlight for this really special show in Portland.
"Serve somebody" starts totally a cappella for three verses then the Band joins and Bob repeats the first verse
- "you may be an ambassador to England or France .."
No Rock and roll at all but more bluesy style.
Good for a change.
" I've made up my mind to give myself to you" at the piano and not center stage. But
"Melancholy mood" will be center. The least powerful of that night.
"Mother of muses" still...flat.
"Jimmy Reed" was a total new arrangement. Again more bluesy than Rocky! And a cappella for most of the song. Bob signaling Bob take it easy.
For the presentation Bob jokes again about Doug Lancio's guitar. A stratocaster or not???
"Every grain of sand" sounds...normal after all the surprises!
What a show!
And no rehearsal as I'm sure Bob arrives at the venue at 6pm, way after the Band had been tasting the sound!
The lyrics might have been partly forgotten, partly rewritten but the focus was on the music tonight. Bob had no intention to read the... partitions. Improvisation is the word for tonight show.
At some point Bob Britt was confused, focusing hard on Bob's fingering at the piano.
What a day! And what a night!
I'm out selling my prints and Bobcats comment on the show with enthusiasm.
That show worth all the pain we had figuring out a ticket or a room ....
Thank you Bobby to always be a surprise!
You certainly contain... multitudes.
We are going to Seattle with high expectations.

Seattle I. June 1st.

It's an easy ride from Portland to Seattle. About 4 hours with traffic.
We check in the AirB&B, relax a little bit and drive to downtown. It's 4 pm and nothing is happening.
Bobby's bus is parked by the venue but I believe he is staying at the Hyatt hotel next door.
Seattle is ugly and there is truly nothing inspiring. I check the farmers market: smelly and empty.
The streets are filled with homeless poor souls.
Looks like a third world country. Except this is the richest country in the world.
Shame on you!
The riches are visibly not distributed with equality or even equanimity.
The sky is grey and gloomy. I feel gloomy.
I just don't want to be here.
The Paramount theater is by a construction building. Even more depressing.
Nothing is really happening until 6pm.
Patrons start arriving. The folks are average in age and class. Average in interest.
It takes me a long time before somebody realizes I need a "miracle" ticket. Even the only scalper around doesn't show any enthusiasm.
A beautiful Lady hands me a ticket. I'm so surprised that it takes me a while to ask how much she wants. She says "nothing".
I immediately takes the line. We need a proof of Covid vaccine or negative test, plus a mask.
On the top of the telephone secured in a sealed takes forever to pack the 3000 fans inside a beautiful theater.
I chat a little bit with my good Samaritan and wait until 8pm. Nothing...
By 8.12pm I start to worry. Where is Bob?
By 8.15pm or so...the lights are off.
Of course I have the feeling he won't do the same show as yesterday!
And he won't!
Even, for me, the most boring and gloomy ever.
Could be my personal state of mine.
As the public seems to react nicely.
I am all the way on the right, row M.
The sound is muffled and Bob looks old and ...fat. could be the light.
He won't finish "Black rider" center stage but retrieve to the piano before the end. And even if he started a step towards the guitar, he will never pick it up!
"I've made up my mind to give myself to you" starts center stage but in middle he moves awkwardly towards the piano. Only "melancholy mood" is center. But short!
"Serve somebody" is back to normal. Happily it seems for the public. So is "Jimmy Reed".
Woah! Such a contrast with Portland.
Bobby aged over night?
That didn't help to lift up my spirit.
On the positive side...I bumped into Bob Dylan people: first
_Jason who smiled at me and asked if I had been around.
- "Yes. Since the beginning."
_Bob Britt who was surprised to be recognized. He smiled.
_Tony who passed in front of me twice. I finally said hello.
_Bob new security man(Roger is gone, after Security Bob and Barron). He looks carefully at my sign"I need a ticket".
_Jerry, Kramer, Santos.
_ the bus drivers. Amused at my sign.
No hostility shown.
I feel familiar with all of them. Much more than the fans around who are all indifferent.
Right after the show I step rapidly out to recover my phone and text Bill. As I walk by the side of the theater I see Bob jumping in a white car. No hoody. Light security.
Bye bye Bobby. See you tomorrow.
Both in a better mood ?

Seattle II. June 2sd.

I was sleeping on a comfortable couch and fed myself with packs of Chinese noodles.
I found a good book "The color of water" by James McBride. So I spend morning and early afternoon reading. We are too far away from downtown Seattle to visit anything. I plan maybe going to Jimmy Hendrix statue in late afternoon.
We leave by 4.30pm and park the car in a garage. And it starts... raining. Nothing unusual in Seattle but disturbing.
Bobby's bus pulls in by 5.30pm probably arriving from the Hyatt hotel...two blocks away!
I seat in a park and listen to some musicians playing the piano and singing.
I would say better than offense.
Bob Dylan is a LEGEND. I have no idea who are those guys.
By 6pm I return by the Paramount.
Same crowd as yesterday. Same people trying to sell extra tickets.
It takes me a little while when a tall guy in yellow T-shirt hands me a paper ticket.
"You want a miracle ticket?"
"This is a miracle ticket".
Indeed it is; 4th row center.
This gentleman doesn't know me as he insists I won't sell the ticket.
Of course I won't.
I rush in the line.
Same problem as yesterday: showing first the proof of vaccine (plus my ID), scanning the ticket, putting the phone in the pouch and then passing the metal detector.
It takes forever to rush 3000 patrons inside.
So much as ...the show will start at 8.35pm.
No kidding!
My good Samaritan is first row center, in the pit.
A man is escorted out by two security guys as he refused to wear a mask.
But this is the only venue so far requesting a mask. I'm sorry he lost his ticket and a good show.
After waiting for so long the public is happy to hear the intro and see Bob trotting to his piano.
His face looks tired but his voice is still clear.
No surprise tonight. The usual show.
Some fans try to dance in front of the stage for "You've gotta serve somebody" but security is prompt to ask them to go back to their seat.
A pretty girl, front, dances on "I'll be your Baby tonight" and I see Bob focusing on her and ...rising his voice.(?)
Few times he will say " thank you" and murmurs some funny remarks.
I believe I heard " thank you. I love you. The Band loves you too. I can't be the only one to Love"
But I might be totally wrong. Have to hear the recording.
He moves center stage for "Black rider"
He is wearing the same colorful adorned shirt.
It blurs the small belly popping above his belt.
Black pants and I believe black shoes.
But mid of the song he moves back to the piano and will not do center stage again. Not even for "Melancholy mood".
The audience is warm. Fans standing to applause here and there. The couple next to me don't stop commenting on Bob's attitude on stage but I remain calm and patient.
The Lady has her phone open to take pics.
How in the hell did she manage to sneak that phone in? The metal scanning was after the pouch area.
Anyway the show is great.
"Crossing the Rubicon" still my favorite.
A lot of drama on "Black Rider" and the beginning of
"I'll be your Baby tonight" and "To be alone with you" almost a cappella.
I enjoy myself. Just to be here, at a Bob Dylan show is a miracle.
So what ever Bob is willing to do...fits me.
I don't except the guitar again but any funny little thing is welcome.
A change of the shirt?
I get out quickly to retrieve my phone.
Fans are packed by the bus but none saw Bob getting in his bus.
Did he sneak in a car to ride to the airport and fly to his family in Malibu?
Anything can happen!
I sell a print to a pretty girl of 23 years old.
A rare extremely young Dylan fan. Sweet and so kind.
I find my couch waiting for me and a bowl of Chinese noodles.
Rest well Bobby.
See you next in Eugene.

From Portland to Eugene. June 5th.

I walked the 40 minutes walk crossing the ... Rubicon. Nope. Just the Willamette river.
Sadly encountering the now so familiar "Homeless Land". In each American city , there is a "nomad"/"no-men" Land. For the poor and the wretched.
I call them the "Quechua underdogs". The ones who are left on the side of the American dream competition. The American dream now a reality for only 10% of the top ones who care about their pets (dogs and cats) more than they seem to care about their compatriots.
I can't reconcile with myself to believe it's the way it's supposed to be.
My FLIXBUS is on time, even ahead of time.
The driver is a nice Lady. Very polite and efficient.
I reach Eugene on time and walk the 50 minutes to another youth hostel. This one more "funky"; a hippy sort of den.
Just time to drop my bags and getting ready for the rain...
I walk the 35 minutes to the Hult performing arts center. Looks nice.
Bobby's bus pulls in the parking lot around 6pm.
I meet a good Samaritan, Chuck Eyers who helped me with accommodations. We have a little chat. I still need a ticket.
A man sold me one for 20$ and comes back 20 minutes later to ask the Tix back. His girlfriend just showed up.
I'm back to point zero but manage to get bucks from my prints. Another man has an extra. He wants 84$. And nothing less. Weird!
I know he will walk in with that ticket so I take the courage to walk to him and present my paintings. He is impressed and agrees to get 20$ and two prints in exchange for the Tix.
I try to sell more prints and then walk in. Security is light. The tickets are scanned only at the entrance of individual doors. Weird!
I am on upper balcony next to a nice Lady who will give me 26$ for a print. I never made so much money before a show.
It might be 8.10pm and the lights dim dim!
Bob is... wearing his black hat.
Not the best for me. Being on the upper balcony his face totally disappears in the shadow of that hat. I just see the top of the hat. Nice hat.￰
So let's focus on the music.
The sound is very good.
Until "Crossing the Rubicon" there is nothing exceptional.
Bob has a tentative of center stage for "Black Rider" but rapidly retrieves to the piano.
His energy is not the best.
"Crossing the Rubicon" adds some drama.
The public reacts here and there but nothing crazy. Are they focusing or..sleeping?
Truly I find that show slightly ... Boring.
He is messing up "Jimmy Reed" repeating twice the same verse. Missing the solo of piano/guitar and confusing the Band.
He said "thank you" twice then "thank you, again!" the third time.
Presenting the Band I believe he said "Charley Sexton" for Charley Drayton then repeats "on drums Charley Drayton."
Then "Every grain of sand" normal for the two first verses then....
He signals Donnie Heron to play. Donnie starts a solo on steel guitar while Bob stops playing his piano and picks up a harp from the piano. And starts...blowing...
The public is wild.
He did a solo for quite a while before singing the last verse and again a harp solo.
So... That was the surprise of the night.
And really the only highlight.
I sell prints outside when a pretty Lady approaches me. She presents herself as Bob Britt's daughter. Chuck joins in the conversation and we ask the Lady what her father thinks playing for Bob Dylan.
She says this is the most difficult job he ever done. Musicians have to be ready for anything happening on stage. They have to pay attention to one another to be in harmony at all time. There is no partition. Improvisation is the word.
Even if the set-list is the name, nothing is really truly the same! That's what makes a BOB DYLAN show always unique.
She also says that Bob Britt and Doug Lancio had been friends since childhood in Nashville.
Bobby's bus is now passing in front of us. We wave goodbye and good night.
See you in Redding.
I walk back to my funky hostel where the owner invited me to paint a mural, one of those days ( when Bobby is not on the road).
After the tour?
I like Eugene. Nice community people.
Thank you all the good Samaritans. Much LOVE .

From Eugene to Redding. June 6th.

I take AMTRAK from Eugene to Redding.
A nice trip through beautiful green; water, trees... Oregon. I like it as a tourist. But it's wet and grey most of the time.
I snooze a bit before reaching Redding at 2.35am. My couch-surfing host, Corey, is waiting for me. How nice of him to get up in the middle of the night to rescue me.!
A soft couch in the middle of music instruments is waiting for me. I crash until 7am.
Redding June 7th.
Corey drives me to the Turtle park. I walk the Bridge and stroll in the garden/park for two hours. Beautiful weather and so calm and relaxing.
Then I start to be hungry and the only open restaurant is by the Sheraton Hotel. As I pass by I recognize the musicians bus and Bobby's bus. So certainly he is staying there.
I retrieve inside the cool air restaurant to have a coffee and a vegan dish. I spot Bob Dylan's New security man eating his lunch there.
I don't know him.
If he would have been Barron...I would have said hello. And it makes me feel sad...I miss the "Samurai".
By 5pm I turn around the venue. But it's empty. Not even a car inside the parking lot.
Where are the People?
For one hour I feel disconnected. What in the hell am I doing here?
Not that I feel homeless. But just dis-connected.
For another hour I observe the patrons slowly arriving and queuing to get in. Doors open at 6.30pm. This is not GA. So why in the hell Fans are queuing so early?
They all look...old! Not that I am so young...but they are past their 70's even!
Some wear Dylan shirt, some wear dye shirt, some wear cowboy shirt... cowboy hat...
And...they are totally indifferent to my sign.
Even they make that remark "Is the show sold out?". Never heard of the "Miracle ticket"?
Corey told me Redding attracts the retired people from the big cities like Sacramento or San Francisco. Must be the retired Fan club?￰
Later younger folks will pass by my sign.
One will want to sell a ticket for ...250$
Another one looking like a Hippy wants to sell for...150$(?)
They walk inside WITH their tickets!
My spirit is so low that I don't even want to get in...
When a "normal" gentleman offers me two tickets.
-"how much?"
-"Nothing. I have two extras"
-"I need only one"
Immediately I take the line.
Security is light.
Bobby's security man asks about my prints in my bag. Not sure what to say. He asks my name. Not sure what to say.￰
I walk in. I bump into a gentleman talking to Bobby's security man. So I ask
-"And what is YOUR name?"
He is wearing a badge that says Erik.
So , Erik he is.
The volunteer guy is nice. We have a chat. The only "intelligent conversation" of the day. Not that I am thrilled to learn that a lot of Redding people voted...Trump! The Bob Dylan fans??
Who knows?
I take my seat next to my good Samaritan and his wife. We chat for a while.
He says the last time he saw Dylan was in...1968. Good man. Sweet and kind.
Five minutes before show time his wife wants to go to the bathroom. I'll never see them again! I have 5 seats for myself.
8.05pm. They take the stage all in black, in the dark. Bob wearing a red shirt and a cream color hat and..
He picks up his guitar in the back and moves center stage. For half of "Watching the river flow" he will be center. Then moves towards the piano and seats on the stool, his body turns towards Tony and Charley. woah!
He'll do the entire song on guitar.
The public is wild!
"When I paint my masterpiece" is mainly a Capella. Really strong. My highlight for tonight.
The show is almost as the Portland show. Re-arrangement for most of the songs.
Even " Key west" is different. I like it.
I truly enjoy myself. Looking at a young Asian guy above me in the balcony I feel that I also want to stand up there and dance. But that would be foolish.
Bob is talkative saying "thank you" about 7 times. Mentioning the public being ATTENTIVE. "I love attention" he says. Murmuring other things I can't understand.
He will be center stage for " Melancholy mood".
"Jimmy Reed" is a must.
I can clearly hear and see Charley's drums. Beautiful!
That was a great show.
I don't know how many fans knew about "Rough and rowdy ways".
At least Bob enjoyed himself.
Me also and the young fellow above me.
I try, discreetly, to sell prints out.
Erik is gone.
Fans are packed by the buses parking lot.
An ovation can be heard loud when Bobby's bus pulls out.
Bye bye Bobby.
See you in the Bay Area.

From Redding to Oakland. June 9th.

I bought an Amtrak ticket. The first part to Sacramento will be on a bus. The second part on a train.
Stan, my couch-surfing host, will pick me up at the Martinez station.
His home is located in Walnut Creek.
I do have my own private bedroom for 5 days.
Stan also offers hospitality for WORKAWAY volunteer. Now a couple from Russia, escaping Putin and a young Lady from Japan, Rina, on College vacation.
Plus the dog Nana, we are a bunch of happy folks.
The weather is sunny and warm. All to make me ... Happy!
June 9th.
Rina will make breakfast and we both take the dog for a walk.
Then Stan drivers me to the BART. With a 'clipper' card I can travel BART to Frisco. I love Frisco.
Reaching Oakland in the early afternoon, nothing really happens. I just walk around.
By 6 pm the crowd starts pilling up by the entrance of the Fox theater. I rapidly exchange a ticket for two of my prints.
Stan, Rina and the Russian couple also are willing to see Bob Dylan. So we have to find four more miracle tickets.
My good friend Bob Russel has an extra good ticket he is willing to share with me. So I give my first Tix to Stan.
By 7.30pm we walk in.
Rina will also find an extra Tix ... But not the Russians.
We are 4th row center. Excellent view on the piano where two water bottles had been added on the right(?).

8.05pm the lights dim dim.
Bob wears the cream color hat he had in Redding. White kind of shirt.
He immediately picks up his guitar, walks center stage and starts a solo backing up by the Band. Walks to the piano. Unleashes his guitar and starts singing and playing the piano.
"Watching the river flow".
The first rows are wild. Some folks will stand up for some songs.
Bob will say "thank you" about 7 times. Mentions how great the audience is. And murmurs some other things I can't catch.
In middle of "I'll be your baby tonight" he picks a harp sitting on the piano and starts a solo.
The audience goes wild.
At the first notes of "Melancholy mood" Bob makes a step towards center stage.
Immediately the first rows stand and clap to encourage him.
He will be center stage all the song with the public up, dancing and clapping.
He is a bit angry on "Jimmy Reed". Turns to Bob Britt to say a thing. Tony moves close to Britt and together pick up the rhythm...or whatever Bobby was dissatisfied with.
The show was great. The audience was great. My seat was great.
I had a blasting day.
Thank you all good people.
Bob Russel. Stan....
The good Samaritans.
Tomorrow I'll walk the streets of Frisco.
Haight/Ashbury ?￰
See you there Bobby??

Oakland II. June 10th.

Woke up late...7pm.
The plan is to visit San Francisco.
I catch the BART. Bay Area Rapid Transit. From WALNUT CREEK.
The yellow line gets me to Mission street.
This is the Spanish quarter.
Busy and colorful. I take tons of photos of the splendid murals.
Then I want to reach Haight/Ashbury...again.
I get lost...but
-can admire the nice architecture of the houses.
-Find a book store where I finally buy "The tale of the Genji' , a classic wrote by Lady Murasaki.
-walk one more hour "Haight street".
-walk one more hour in "Golden Gate Park"
-get lost...
By 6pm I am back at the Fox Oakland. Tired but fine.
Tonight I have two tickets for the show.
Thanks to a good Samaritan.
A young "Hippy" couple are looking for Tix. They don't have money but want to ..."exchange".(?)
I wait a little more and a young man is also looking for a cheap entrance, to see Bob Dylan for the first time. He looks alright. So He'll be my guest tonight.
The seats are all the way in the back, on the floor; orchestra rear.
The view on the stage is clear.
Bob takes the stage with the same cream/white hat on.
No guitar? No harp?
All the songs are strictly on the piano except "Melancholy mood" center stage.
The sound is alright and the audience in front enthusiastic. The show is well done.
In "I'll be your baby tonight" Bob laughs loud. A bit sarcastic?
He will say "thank you" maybe 6 times. Even "thank you, you Art lovers".
I enjoy myself as I can dance, standing up.
"Jimmy Reed" is the highlight tonight.
The BOYS nailed it down.
Fantastic. The public is up and dancing or just moving their heads.
Great show but the first one was definitively a surprised one.
I step out and check the Folks. A lot younger than Redding. More "colorful". Of course the dye T-shirt are numerous.
I catch the BART and Stan, my couch-surfing host is waiting for me for the ride home.
I crash on my bed. And sleep tight.
Tomorrow is another day.
Thank you all Good People
See you at the last Oakland show.
Don't you dare miss it!

Oakland III. June 12th.

Wake up at 7am.
Rina, the Japanese girl, doing WORKAWAY for Stan will prepare breakfast.
We have a chat then I'm ready to reach San Francisco by BART.
I step out Ambarcadero station and walk straight to Chinatown.
It's like being in another town, In another country.
I walk the streets for a while, buy myself a little Buddha, 4 T-shirts for 12$ and a book to learn Mandarin.
I feel comfortable among the...Chinese.
I try my 谢谢 = "xie xie" few times.
Then walk to the Piers, until Pier 39.
Way too much crowded.
I end up eating a slice of pizza and drinking a cup of coffee in a quiet pizzeria, run by a...Chinese gentleman.
Back to the Fox theater in Oakland, across the Bay.
Same people as the two days previous.
I need a ticket.
The scalpers are not helping but they are not aggressive. I just have to wait for the good Samaritan.
Who will be a nice Lady.
The seat is all the way on the top. Couldn't be higher.
But that will give the opportunity for the last row to stand and dance.
And Bob will pick up his guitar.
Doing the intro of "Watching the river flow" center stage. He moves to the piano to sing the song.
The public is wild. Many fans came for three shows and they know how exceptional this is to have Bob Dylan on guitar.
He will also pick up his harp for "I'll be your baby tonight".
A wild reaction from the public.
The first rows, down bellow, are up and dancing.
We are, up there too. Though Bob doesn't see us he must feel the good vibrations.
He is happy and moves center stage after almost all the first songs. Though doing only "Melancholy mood" entirely center stage.
But it's nice to see him ...move.
"Thank you". He said many times.
Murmuring more words I can't make up.
All the songs are exceptional.
All public up on "Serve somebody" and "Jimmy Reed".
Just after the Band introduction he signals Tony to move close. So will Bob Britt and Doug Lancio. Might be something special.
They start a rock song that makes the crowd on the top of the world.
"Friend of the Devil" a Grateful dead song.
Of course we are in Oakland, Bay Area, Cali.
An homage to the Hippy Band! They nail it down.
Rocking the Fox.
Then Bob salutes and my good Samaritan asks if this is the intermission.
Nope. This is the end, my friend!
What a show.
I had three exceptional days in the Bay area.
Three shows, all different.
On my way out I bump into a Lady, Ruby, who will buy me a print and take the BART with me.
She is an Artist and invites me next day to her house in Benicia.
I will spend the day in a magnificent Art Deco Mansion she built herself over many years.
Nothing better to wait for the three LA shows.
See you there Bobby.

Ruby will join me in Santa Barbara for another Bob Dylan show.
Life is full of surprises.
Tonight I will sleep on the roof top bed....under the sky☺️

From U.C. Berkeley to L.A. (or Los Angeles.)

June 13th.

I booked 4 nights in a Youth Hostel on Hollywood boulevard. Can't be more fancy.
I booked a FLIXBUS trip from UC Berkeley to L.A. I recommend FLIX over Greyhound.
On time. Comfortable. Polite drivers. Least expensive.
The only inconvenient is ... Flixbus company has no covered stations. The stops are on the streets. Difficult in the rain or snow. But this is not the case in June, in Cali. Weather had been fine for the last week.
The trip is pleasant. We drive through miles (or kilometers) of orchards...fruit trees in the infinite.
Where do they find the water?
L.A. traffic is not too bad and we arrive on time.
Two blocks away is my Y.H. Right on Hollywood boulevard where the Pantages Theater is located, few blocks away. Can't be better.
I check in. The room is pleasant with only four women bunks.

L.A. June 14th.

I used to see Bobby at the Hollywood Bowl. The small theater will be a change though I like the Bowl.Nothing special to do during the first day.
Just walk the Hollywood Boulevard, paved with stars and names. I recognize some of them: Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash, Charles Aznavour (?),...
Unfortunately the Boulevard also smells of pee due to the many homeless literally living on the ... stars.
Again. Shame to America! The richest country in the world.
The glamour of Hollywood studios, movies, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Malibu...will not cover the distress of millions of Americans.
We are not on Rodeo Drive.
But I feel privileged and sorry.
I have a light lunch with my friend Bob Russell and retrieve to my 'home'. 
I practice a little bit of Chinese and mainly rest.

By 5pm I walk the few blocks to the Pantages.
The musicians bus and Bob's bus are parked by the back stage entrance. If Bobby is in there or a mystery. I haven't seen Susie for ages?
But the musicians are staying at the "W Hotel" across the Theater.
Bob might be staying at the "Xanadu", his property in Point Zume, Malibu. Huge property with dogs, horses and...chickens.
I see Jason, Tony, Bob Britt, Charley ... Walking down the street. No Bobby.
The crowd slowly queues. Masks are requested. Mobile in YONDR POUCH.
The security is cool and we are about 8 looking for a "miracle" ticket.
A little bit tough but "bon enfant". No aggressivity. No scalpers. Just "freaks".
The patrons are all ages and relaxed. I'm surprised of the non fancy crowd. Scarlet Rivera is around, I heard. Maybe more "Stars".
If so...they are discreet.
A young Lady approaches me. She has an extra ticket from a friend who just died. She asks me to put a yellow rose on my seat for him. No problem! I exchange for two of my paintings prints she really likes. No problem!
The seat is orchestra, left, row NN. Under the canopy.
The man next to me saw Bob Dylan in...1974! Woah.
At the Madison square garden for Hurricane in 1975. Woah!
I am impressed.
Show starts at 8.04pm.
Many fans are not seated yet!
Come on folks! Be seated on time.
Bob is dressed fancy; embroidered suit,( Black embroidered pants and Black embroidered jacket) on a red fancy shirt. Cream/white hat. ( He will wear on and off).
His wife is here?
He picks up his guitar right away. Starts a long intro of "Watching the river flow" before getting his seat at the piano.
The sound is a bit muffled but will improve at the third song.
Thanks Jason.
His voice is powerful. As clear as crystal.
Had a drink of honey/ ginger tea?
The public is responding intelligently and knowingly : Quiet and attentive on the soft songs. Up and rocking on the swing songs.
Bob knows.
He will present himself center stage after almost ALL the songs. Trotting from the piano to center mic. Standing few seconds looking at the audience. Then trotting back to his piano.
Saying "thank you" few times.
He will introduce "when I paint my Masterpiece" with a long solo of harp.
The public is delirious.
The best relationship Bob / audience so far.
When people asks why Bob Dylan is still touring...well! Watch that concert if you can...and you'll get the answer.
Might be why I am also....touring. If you're happy, I'm happy too.
Then after introducing the Band he said something like "we did that song the other night. It was requested again so..."
And starts "friend of the devil" which brings the entire theater on its feet.(so to speak).
And at the end of the song Bob picks the guitar again, seats on the piano stool turned towards Tony and Charley and plays few more chords.
What a show!
I retrieve my phone and walk out by the back stage door. A silver car speeds pass me.
Bobby is inside. Beating the crowd.￰
Rushing to the XANADU.
See you tomorrow.
On stage.

L.A. II. June 15th.

A good start with a free breakfast at the YH.
A meal a day keeps the doctor away.
I don't have much to do and checking the website for L.A. activities I find a Van Gogh exhibition. The ones they project on the walls with animation. Should be a good one with Van Gogh Art.
I spend two hours in total Van Gogh immersion. Recommended though a bit expensive.
I find a print shop to print more of my paintings. Always a good way to get a ticket or some bucks.
By 5pm I'm ready for a new BD show at the Pantages.
Same crowd, same "freaks" looking for miracle tickets.
I get one from a good Samaritan who likes my paintings.
Mezzanine, row D, 103. The view is fine. I'm sure the sound too.
I chat with the young man next to me: Didier, 29 years old from...Costa Rica. Him and his Dad just flew to LA for two BD shows. woah!
Nice kid. I give him my V.I.P. Bob Dylan badge (got it from someone).
8.07pm. Lights dim dim. But I'm sure folks are still out trying to pass security and put their mobile in the YONDR Pouch. It's no yonder but a pain in the ass!
Bob picks up his guitar. We will get used to it?
His shirt is white tonight.
And to mention the two bottles on the right side of the piano... again.
"My own version of you" is staccato. Cut in pieces.
Bob will move center stage to pose 5 times. Mainly after the "Rough and rowdy ways songs" : "I contain multitudes" "False prophet" "Black rider" "Crossing the Rubicon" "I've made up my mind to give myself to you" . And every time the public is up.
Reactions particularly when he mentions "East L.A."
Some laughing on "the size of your cock will get you nowhere".
Just before "To be alone with you" Bob points at a fan, maybe fourth or fifth row, right in front the piano. Says "take away your camera, take away your camera or you'll have to leave, take away your camera" .
A man is up with his hands in the air. He leaves the show!
Camera or not? I'm not sure. No security will do anything. Weird that Bob could see so far?
but the lights are never totally off.
He should be mentioning the two girls dancing in the front instead. Much more positive.
After that...might be my own spirit but I don't feel the inspiration to enjoy myself.
Though Bob says "Thank you everybody. Thank you Art lovers". I'm not sure of his sincerity.
"Serve somebody" is botched.
"Jimmy Reed" a good Rock.
He concerts with Tony and the guitar players before starting again "Friend of the devil".
A routine???
No guitar at the end.
The audience is up and dancing.
But this is a Dylan show, folks, not the Grateful Dead!
I rushed out to unlock my mobile and see the silver car speeding in front of me. I make a V sign. When three crazy "freaks" start chasing the car in the middle of the road. The car passes a red light and makes a sharp turn on the left street. Woah!
This is still happening after all those years? But those guys could be Dylan grand-sons!
L.A. is crazy!
When I check my FB page I find photos taken from the day before with Bob stepping out of his bus, in the middle of the afternoon. Dressed casual in a T-shirt and slacks and white hat.
They are published in
Can't believe to see Bob without a hoodie and Suzie P. not flashing the paparazzi! What about saying hello to the ..Fans????
I suddenly have bitter/sweet feelings.
The Circus will be in town tomorrow too!

L.A. III. June 16th.

Nothing much to do except relaxing. I don't feel like visiting the mansions in Beverly Hills when every day I'm confronted with PEOPLE who have absolutely nothing : no water, no restroom, no food, no dignity.
There is something called SOLIDARITY. ...But that word here is banned!
I walk to the Pantages in late afternoon.
6 pm. Same crowd. Same 'freaks' looking for miracle tickets.
Luckily a good Samaritan I know from many years has an extra.
I get myself a chocolate milk. How's that for dinner?
I try to sell my prints as the security here is fine with T-shirts "bootleggers", hot dogs venders, water bottle venders and other poor souls trying to make a living.
Erik, Dylan's security guy, waves hello to me.
So I'm OK???!!!
Tony walks by and chats with many fans. Always smiling.
I make some bucks selling two prints and walk in.
Mezzanine, row D , 903.
The view is fine.
Bob starts 8.03pm.
The shirt is different : the colorful one from the fist shows. Washed and ironed by Suzie?
Guitar for the intro. Thank you Bobby!
The public is a lot more quiet than yesterday.
Some reactions on "from east L.A. to San Anton" laughing on "the size of your cock.."...
Bob is up center on many songs but on the mezzanine no one stands up.
"My own version of you" is outstanding. As well as "I've made up my mind to give myself to you".
Few " thank you". And one or two loud laughs turning towards Bob Britt.
A great show. No doubt. But my day had been lonely and gloomy.
I had to make the decision not to follow after Ben Oregon.... Unless a Miracle occurs!
I walk quickly out. I want to know if Bob goes back home or goes straight to San Diego.
The BD bus is running with Bob inside already.
Security fights with the same three 'freaks" who run after the car yesterday.
What do they except?
It's causing chaos.
I just wave bye to Bob and the Band.
See you in San Diego.
Stacy Deane and his girlfriend will invite me for an after show 'strawberry pie'. Thank you ❤️
I'm not sad to live L.A.
Crazy town!

San Diego. June 17th.

My good friend Bob Russel offered me a ride from East L.A. to San Anton....oops! NW L.A. to San Diego.
A pleasant ride talking about...Bobby Dylan.
The best subject of conversation now a days.
Holly, a BD Fan from FB, invited me to stay at her place and to go to the show together.
We listen to....Bob Dylan. The Bob Dylan 'another self portrait' brings me many years back.
June 18th.
A pleasant day passes by: Eating, resting, reading...
6pm. We UBER to the San Diego civic theater.
Not surprised to see so many Quechua tents and poor souls. Though surprised to see that the Dylan bus is parked right in those streets.
A million dollar bus among the Quechua tents!?
I have no worry for my Tix for my good friend/Samaritan is, again, Bob Russel. Many thanks for freeing my mind and anxiety.
I focus on selling some prints.
The crowd is pleasant, the security not too tight.
Our seats are on the first circle, right behind the floor seats, facing the piano.
I brought my binoculars. But in the darken stage is difficult to see Bobby's face.
On the opposite the public is brightly lighted.
Bob can see the first rows.
He starts again on a long intro of guitar before heading to the piano.
The sound is ...bad. And will not improve much.
Bobby's voice is weak. Either he doesn't sing in the mike, either is has a cold?
The "rough and rowdy ways" songs are his best interest. They are interpreted with conviction.
"My own version of you" and "Crossing the Rubicon" my favorites tonight.
But the "old" songs are botched. He mumbles the lyrics. Even "Serve somebody" is lacking of energy. Though I see Charley beating hard on his drums.
And the public reacts well: standing up when Bob moves center stage.
On "Melancholy mood" he did the pose he used to do: bending on his knees, moving forward.
For the girl in front? His hat off and on. His fluffy hair definitely dyed a shade of brown.
He obviously enjoyed the young woman on his right dancing on almost all the songs as he points at her at the end during his final "pose".
He mumbles few "thank you" "thank you Art lovers" but hardly audible.
A pleasant day and a pleasant show for me. But not the most transcendent.
I step out and sell some more prints as I discuss with two of my "followers".
Holly enjoyed the show very much, as an unconditional Bobbycat.
and there's nothing wrong about it!
I've been on the road a day too long???
Next Long Beach and another day, another show, another Bobby? That Man of many moods.
A little change in the set-list at this point could be a must.
Thank you all the good people.
If you see me, say hello.
You'll get one of my postcards.

Long Beach. June 19th.

My good friend Bob Russell drives me from L.A. to Long Beach. Drops me at my couch-surfing host house.
My bed is a camp bed in a closet.
Sometimes it's from riches to rags!
I immediately step out for a walk to the beach.
Nice weather.
June 20th.
In early morning I pack up my Dylan bag for the day and the evening.
There is a show tonight.
I walk the two hours walk along the beach towards the .. Queen Mary.
Bob Russell invites me for lunch and we have a good time talking of different topics.
By 5.30pm I am at the Terrace theater with blisters under my feet!
Strange venue! Three different entrances. I choose the one by the parking lot to ask for a ticket. Around 7pm a nice gentleman hands me a ticket. He says his wife was sick and couldn't come and he doesn't want to waste the ticket! So ? nice.
We pass the security control and end up in a food/drink area. Alright.
Then we pass the ticket control and only my friend is asked to put his phone in the YONDR POUCH.
The seats are lodge 4 row 4 seats 14 13.
Okay. Not too bad.
I chat with my good Samaritan until 8.... something. That will be his first BD show.
Bob picks up his guitar. The sound is loud. More than usual. Which is good considering folks will talk here and there during the entire show.
There is even a crazy guy on my left who gonna whistle.
Three specification on that show:
-On the 6th song Bob starts "I'll be your baby tonight" instead of "Black rider" though Bob Britt picked up the funny "flying V" guitar. Mistake from Dylan? Distraction?
-"Crossing the Rubicon" is hot hot that Bob moves center stage and takes his black jacket off. Showing a beautiful silk green/blue fluffy shirt. Woah. Someone behind me shouts "Take it off!".. The shirt???
The crowd is "bon enfant", chatting, moving around, standing when Bob is center stage.
-On the 11th song the Band starts a new music rhythm...woah! It's a brand new "Key west".
The crowd start clapping in rhythm.
Great. Keep it this way Bobby!
Sweet "Every grain of sand" and the show is over.
A great show. With few surprises.
I say Goodbye to Bob Russell as it is his last show on that Tour.
I Bump into Stacy Deane and his girlfriend who invites me to his 'Bob Dylan' den in Long Beach.
That will be a Bob Dylan break day!
Before Santa Barbara.
Thank you All the Good Samaritans.

From Long Beach to Santa Barbara.
June 21st.

My friend/fan Stacy Deane invited me to spend the day at his home, across the bridge, in Long Beach.
The rooms are filled with Bob Dylan items, collectibles. I pick up the book called "dylanologists" I read few years ago. I was not thrilled of it but found, in that book, people I bumped into over the years of my adventures following the BD tours. I'm luckily not in that book!
Of course we discuss a lot about BD.
And each Fan has an 'image' of Bob Dylan that fits or not with my own 'image'. Nothing we can argue about as it is just a "perspective" and nothing about Reality.
Who knows who is Bob Dylan?
He contains MULTITUDES.
Stacy and his girlfriend take care of me for that day. Thank you so much.
June 22st.
I booked a FLIXBUS to Santa Barbara from downtown L.A.
Stacy, kindly, proposes to give me a ride.
We leave early as traffic in L.A. is disastrous.
The bus is supposed to leave at 9am but will be delayed twice, which put me in a state of panic. My friend Ruby is driving all the way from the Bay Area to join me with tickets for the show.
Finally we hit the road at 10.30am.
I relax and enjoy the landscape, beautiful from Santa Monica to Santa Barbara.
Ruby picks me up at the bus/train station and we walk the streets for a beer and a cup of coffee before checking in at El Paradisio.
By 5.30pm after a nice lunch we walk to the Bowl. I've been here twice already for Dylan shows. I know the venue; open air on the top of the hill.
We enjoy a breathtaking view from the top before sitting on an empty row. The show is far away for being Sold out and the patrons are mainly from Santa Barbara.
(Older crowd than the Oakland crowd, says my friend Ruby.)
That will give me the opportunity to dance and do my "karaoke" . No one in front of me and no one behind.
Show starts slightly after 8pm and of course some folks are late, drinking and chatting.
Bob picks up his guitar, moves center stage. That is part of the routine by now.
The sound is perfect. Being open air makes it "blowing in the wind". It's a bit chilly so we have coats on.
Rapidly the sky will turn dark and stars will appear.
Bob is good. Chatting in the mike. Saying "thank you." "Thank you everybody" "thank you, really".
At some point I heard "you're such a good crowd" which makes me smile, cause I just said to my friend "they are all dead!" !
Except a couple of fans dancing on the aisle and heads moving in rhythm, here and there, there are few reactions.
When Bob takes center stage the floor people stand up, but none of the upper levels(except me?).
I enjoy the show, singing along and dancing.
I can't remember any special highlight.
I prefer the new version of "Key west" and the harp on "When I paint my Masterpiece" is thrilling.
Bob presents the Band with some jokes about Doug Lancio. He seems to like the Man.
He presents him as the second guitar before presenting Bob Britt as the other guitar(?)
After a sweet "Every grain of sand he puts on his jacket he had previously taken off (surprisingly as the air is chilly) and salutes the public.
The crowd rapidly walks out.
No party? The old crowd goes to sleep.
My BD friends complain about people chatting during the performance. Not an attentive public.
Too bad. It was a fantastic venue. A perfect weather. A great sound. A great show.
With Ruby, we walk 30 minutes of empty streets towards the motel.
Where are the people?
We had a blast together today and Bob seemed to be in form and happy so....this is all for the best.
Tomorrow is another adventure.
Goodnight folks!

Santa Cruz. June 23th.

My friend Ruby drives us from Santa Barbara to Santa Cruz after a nice breakfast of cappuccino and strawberry croissants.
We ride through Highway 1. Along the coast.
Stop in Big Sur for lunch and enjoy the foggy coast.
I remember doing that road with my good friend Irene few years back when Bob played Stanford university.
We check in the super8 motel by the boardwalk and rest.
By 5.30pm we walk to the civic auditorium.
Already fans are selling and buying tickets for the show, totally sold out.
120$ is the cheapest. 600$ the highest.
About 15 folks will be looking for tickets for hours including scalpers.
I have a lot of patience and faith 8.15pm the show is on and there is no way I'll get a ticket.
I am also freezing, from cold and anxiety.
I'm desperate. I can't believe I missed a show in Santa Cruz.
So many "hippies"! ? But the rich got the Tix!
Ruby and I walk back the streets. She buys cream, I want to go to the boardwalk for churros. Sweet consolation.
I nightmare, so does Ruby.
Next morning we want to leave that 'dreadful' city and go back "home" to Benicia.
I prepare my last leg of the tour....
Fingers crossed ⚔️.
Thank you all the good people.
Much Love.

From Santa Cruz to Sacramento. June 25th.

After a day of rest at my friend Ruby's house.
And sleeping on the top of the roof.
We say goodbye at the BART Oakland station where I catch my FLIXBUS to Sacramento.
Sacramento June 25th.
Two hours and a half later I am in Old Sacramento. I like it very much.I walk around, eat a pizza, charge my phone battery at the tourist center and finally walk to the Memorial auditorium.
Beautiful building. Cool security.
I don't want to miss that show so by 7.15pm when a french man proposes a ticket for 40$ ...I buy it. Plus I give him one of my prints.
I sell another print for 20$.
And by 7.40pm I am inside.
The seat is on the right side of the stage. I know my view will be obstructed by the two bottles on the piano.
Bob starts with a long long long intro on guitar, standing behind the piano.
Then "Watching the river flow".
As usual a lot of folks are not seated yet.
Around me they will move in and out non stop.
How much do they need to drink for 100 minutes show?
Surprisingly Bob will move center stage for "I contain multitudes". But the sound technician is also surprised and the mike is not on.
Takes few seconds to hear Bob.
He's trying to bend his knees and up but he looks awkward.
Until "Crossing the Rubicon" I'm not thrilled about his performance. The lyrics are mumbled.
But then the public is all quiet and his voice is clear and strong. The guitar of Bob Britt is a must.
The highlight of the night.
"Key west" in the new arrangement is also welcomed by the public.
The Band starts a great "Serve somebody" but Bob 'insists' on playing a loud piano set and that ruins the rhythm (my opinion).
The audience is still and quiet on the floor but next to me people talk and even argue. On my left, the young guy is playing on his.... telephone.
"Jimmy Reed" brings five or six fans up and dancing. Nothing to worry about.
Bob presents the Band and says something about Doug Lancio I can't hear. Then something about Bob Britt, I can't hear.
A big applause for Tony Garnier.
It's a sweet "Every grain of sand" when Bob decides to add some harp in the break.
A big applause from the audience.
Stepping out by Bobby's bus I'm wondering how they will pull that bus out as the traffic is dense and the bus is parked on the wrong direction of the one way street.
The police comes to rescue and block the traffic until Bobby is safely on...the road again.
Heading for!
I bump into Suzie, a fan, who drives me to the train station to hear about my BD stories.
As my train is late... it's okay to chat a little.
I just don't know when that slow train will come around the bend.
Hopping to reach Bend on time.

From Sacramento to Bend. June 27th.

I booked a trip on Amtrak. The train is supposed to leave from Sacramento at 11.49pm. Suzie, a fan, gave me a ride and I wait patiently. The train is almost two hours delayed. I'm really tired, so as soon as I'm seated in my wagon, I fall asleep. Not a good sleep though. Waking with the sun at 6am.
The landscape is breath taking. We go slowly up and up in the mountain. In the distance I see the mountain snow cap.
The train stops at Klamath falls. I was supposed to wait three hours for my connection but it's just shortly one hour.
Good, for the train station is nothing to be thrilled about. I just grab a coffee from the machine.
My connection to Bend is not a train but a mini coach. We are only two passengers!
The driver puts on some music, mainly the 60's and 70's. (He's an old driver!). I hear the Byrds doing "Mr tambourine man" and other "All alone the watch tower".
We stop for a quick lunch. Nothing to good. Just a snack.
After 4 hours of ride and many pine trees later...we reach Bend. In the heat. Really heat.
It's 2pm. Right on time☺️
I walk the 25 minutes to my Youth Hostel.
The young Lady doesn't allow me to check before 3pm. I fall asleep on a bench.
At 3pm I check in, take a shower and crash until...7.30pm. It's now time for the night sleep.
I've never slept so long on that trip. I will wake up at 6am next morning to find a free self serve breakfast in the communal kitchen.
Bend June 27th.
Bright new day and warm.
After a relaxed morning I walk to the venue.
All along the river. Beautiful walk. Green and shady.
Folks are inside that river: kayaking, canoeing, floating, swimming...splashing.
The venue is an Amphitheater: a high construction to hold the stage, seats in front and lawn in the back. Along the lawn merchandise stands. Food, drinks, more food and more drinks, everything for a ... Picnic.
One I hate for a Bob Dylan show.
I bump into my friends/fans from Portland; a couple with two daughters. They have a lawn ticket for me. Thank you good Samaritans ☺️
I cross Deschutes river (not the Rubicon) and find myself in a commercial area. Shops and shops. But the kind of expensive shops like GAP. All a bit fancy.
And ... More food and drink.
I walk back to my Hostel. Relax and put on my "rough and rowdy ways" T-shirt.
Walk back the 35 minutes. Nice walk. Try to memorize to find my way back after the show.
I try to find a cold soda or an ice cream but they have mainly restaurants in the area or "Ben and Jerry" ice cream parlor. A little bit fancy.
I end up at "Red Robin" for a milkshake.
Then cross the bridge to the ... Picnic.
I try to sell my prints but the only two persons paying attention is first a journalist who will take photos of me and my prints and a nice/kind ... Usher.
Thanks guys you made me feel...somebody.
Folks walk in, rent those folding chairs, buy food and drinks and ... Wait.
I see really few BD shirts. Few followers.
It's still bright day when Bob and the Band take the stage at 8.11pm.
The seat rows are half full and half ... .empty.
Entire rows are empty. But I don't want to seat there. I prefer standing behind the handicapped people section.
Folks will talk incessantly.
I'm not sure they know what Bob Dylan is singing. I heard someone said
- "oh I believed he was dead!"
Before the Picnic?
The show is great.
Bob saying "Thank you Art lovers".
I heard that before. Also saying "what a great public. We'd like to take you with us"...before adding "at least some of you". I also heard that before.
"Crossing the Rubicon" is the highlight.
Except 4 folks on the left of the seated area, some folks behind the soundboard, four old Ladies behind me one is up.
Not even on "Jimmy Reed".
The public is politely clapping after each song.
The two guys behind me never stop talking about their business during the songs. When Bob ends a song they scream "yeah Bob!".
Bob adds few words here and there in the lyrics. I heard them before.
He still plays harmonica on "Every grain of sand".
The show was as usual. Nothing special except his fluffy hair blowing in the wind.
I had a great day.
The evening could have been better.
I heard great news from my friend Simon.
There will be a Tour in Europe in the Fall.

From Bend to Salt Lake City. June 30th.

It was a break heart to realize I would not be able to reach Boise on time for the show.
The only bus Greyhound going there would arrive at 10.15pm way after the end of the show.
So from Boise I just switch to a bus to Salt lake city. Surprisingly that bus will arrive right on time in Salt Lake City, which is 5.30am.
My couch-surfing host is still sleeping so I wait at the station until she's up.
I hoppe in a " blue line " tram and walk 20 minutes to reach her place at the time she's ready to leave for work.
I have then the whole apartment for myself. Take a shower and crash on the inflated mattress.
I will not do much today. A day off from Bobby's show. Just program the rest of my journey.
Then Mikaila arrives, we chat a little and we both go to bed early.
June 30th.
I wake up late, 8.30am.
Go buy some food, eat breakfast.
Then walk to the nearest park.
I've been in Salt Lake City before and I've seen all the Churches and temples I could watch.
And all the Mormons I could "tolerate".
In the park I meet....dogs. A lot of dogs. More dogs ..I avoid the Pitbull. Any other dogs are fine with me.
Then time to be ready for the show.
By 6pm I am at the venue. Nobody's there! I think I made a mistake as there is no "Rough and rowdy ways" marquee but I see the merchandise stand inside, and around the corner, the buses.
By 7pm folks start coming. We are three looking for a ticket. Two will buy one. I still hope for a miracle one. But miracle is hard to come in the city of Mormons!
By 8.16pm(Bob is on) I almost renounce and think about walking home when a gentleman approaches me. " You need a ticket? ".
He asks 40$ and I don't argue. I rush in and the security people who have seen me out for more that two hours, bully me. They insist on scanning my body twice, one after the other. "Turn around, turn around".
Ask me three times if I have a telephone. "No".
I finally take my seat on balcony 2 , row A, (which is front) as Bobby sings "I contain multitudes".
I find his voice clear and emotive. Feel like crying.
The sound is excellent. My view on the piano perfect.
Luckily the crowd is quiet. I want to focus on the lyrics and I do.
Bob is "emotional" . He will say "thank you " only twice. And no jokes. Which is great.
All the songs are perfect.
A little doubt on "Sever somebody" where his piano is too loud. He should let the lead to Bob Britt and Doug Lancio on guitars.
For "Melancholy mood" he takes his jacket off and moves center in his fluffy red/burgundy shirt.
No hat. He had not been wearing hat for few shows now. The pants are embroidered.
Just a remark. For the last few shows he plaid "I'll be your baby tonight" on 6th position in the setlist and "Black rider" on 7th. But tonight right after "When I paint my masterpiece" he starts in the mike "black rider, black rider..." and stops and flips two pages of his lyrics sheets before continuing "Black rider". He made a mistake ? Remembering the previous set-list.
Anyway the Band is sharp and picks up on
"Black rider".
On "I've made up my mind to give myself to you" when he reaches the line "from Salt lake city to Birmingham...." there is a roar from the audience.
Introducing the Band he will say again " from Salt Lake City to Birmingham".
That show was excellent. Great sound quality and emotional Bobby...Or maybe it was me after the trouble of getting a ticket??
The audience was surprisingly ...polite!
Neither too old, neither too young.
Just a young kid who recognized me from....Phoenix, previous tour.
I sell one of my prints but few folks are attentive. A group of Fans say they will see me in Grand Junction. They're going. Cool!
I catch the AMTRAK Zephyr ride to Grand Junction. It will be an adventure.
I love the train...even though it's two hours late at 5am. Who cares about the time ...
Just hoping to be at 6 pm at the Bob Dylan concert venue:Amphitheater at Las Colonias Park.
See you there.
Bobby ..of course!

Bend to Grand Junction. July 1st.

I will take the Zephyr train from AMTRAK company. Trains are usually more expensive than the buses but a lot more comfortable.
Unfortunately they don't connect all the American cities and they are known for being late.
Mine was supposed to leave at 3.30am but will start rolling at 5am. The sun is on the rise behind the mountains. Though I want to appreciate the landscape as much as possible I also need to sleep. So I will snooze at times.
We reach Grand Junction by noon and I walk, in the heat, the one hour and so to my motel. No couch-surfing and no hostel in Grand Junction.
My only option was a far away motel.
I rest few hours before heading downtown, this time with a city bus.
I just realized the show is an open air show. Not what I like the best for a BOB DYLAN performance, particularly that nowadays set-list. A picnic....?
And yes as soon as I reach the amphitheater I see a line of picnickers armed with folded chairs. They were not allowed in Bend. In fact in Bend security was tight. Here....all relaxed!
How will they be able to control so many ...cell phones. As the only big restriction is cellphone allowed. What a circus!
In Bend what distracted me the most was the people drinking, eating, chatting, screaming ..not paying attention to the stage.
I'm afraid that will be the same here.
I stand by the side of the lawn on the left side.
I know few fans among those thousands. But The ones I know won't speak to me. And what should I care?
I couple of "freaks" spoke to me before they open the gates and gave me a lawn ticket.
I exchange for a painting print.
Thanks guys.
I try to focus on the stage. The Bob Dylan "preacher" is inside with a girlfriend. Surprisingly he will be talking to me and seems to be perfectly "normal". Rocky is alright when he is not in his "preaching delirium".
He even knows the show a lot better than all the supposedly Hippies(dressed with dye shirts and hippy skirts) here tonight. Some folks believe it's.... Woodstock again. But just remember Bob Dylan was NOT in Woodstock.
I'm not sure how many know what Bob is doing, singing on stage.
Except the privileged with a seat in the front, nobody listens.
Few are up and dancing. 95% of the fans are .... sited. Or at the bar.
Nonetheless I have a good time. Dancing in my little corner.
The show is as usual except Bob wearing a beautiful black and white shirt and moving center for his pose many times.
He will play a long intro of "Watching the river flow" and blow his harp on "Masterpiece".
"Jimmy Reed" is my highlight, when I finally forget about people around me.
I run out right when Bob leaves the stage and manage to sell few of my prints.
But folks are oblivious of my present for most of them.
I stick around with Rocky and his girl after the crowd had disappeared into the night.
We chat about the next few shows coming up. I recommend them to go to Dillon at least for the nice experience and landscape.
I know the show will be again a picnic.
And surprisingly that will be Rocky and his young girl who will give me a ride to my motel.
Where are the Bobcats??
So the lesson of the day is ; don't judge people by their appearance.
I had a philosophic day! If not a great show, at least a Bob Dylan reasonably good show.
I'm moving on for more surprises.

Dillon. July 3th.

Originally I didn't plan to reach Dillon.
I was supposed to stay in Denver and then try to go to the show from there. But a good friend of mine suggested to do the trip. Just for the landscape, the high mountains. Surprisingly I found a Hostel in Silverthorne, right next to Dillon and a cheap bus going to Frisco and then a free bus going to Silverthorne.
So I followed my Good Star and planed the trip for three days.
The BUSTANG bus is a nice one, arriving on time. In that bus I bumped into Terry, a french hiker traveling through Utah and Colorado...hitchhiking. He took me to the hostel where he is also staying.
Day 2. Show day. July 3rd.
After a strong cup of tea I walk the path to the Dillon amphitheater. It's all away on the top of the hill by the reservoir. Take some photos.
Slithering down the hill I try to find a nice breakfast, dreaming of eggs and cheese or pancakes.
Well! Though Dillon and Silverthorne are surrounded by a breathtaking view, we are in the U.S.A. Instead of little family cafes or typical restaurants like in European's Alps...I find Subway, Pizza hut, Arby's, 7eleven and....Mc Donald in a super 'concreted' area.
For the first time on that tour I step into a McDo. I ask for breakfast. No. I ask for a 'Caesar salad'. No.
I have to go for a "combo big mac".
As the weather was hot and dry until then I was planning to go back to the beach, at the foot of the amphitheater, by the reservoir.But as I fill up my little transparent bag...the sky turns black and lightnings struck, the rain starts pouring down.
I stay dry reading my book (on and by Angela Davis, my first American hero☺️) in the lobby of the hostel.
By 5pm, the sky clears out. I walk again the steep hill and resent the altitude ( 2778m / 9114feet) ; my breath is short and I do have a slight headache. My feet burn in my sandals.
5.45pm....a line has already formed at the gate.
Picnickers again: folded chairs, blankets, picnic baskets....
By 6pm the sky turns black over the mountains, the rain is coming our way, drenching to the bones the early Fans queuing.
I retrieve under a shelter for ... picnickers.
By 6.30pm the gates open and the sky turns blue. The rain stops.
Time for my search of a ticket. I don't worry about this one and anyway I could hear from out. But I still want to see Bobby's....shirt.
A Lady literally through a ticket at me...thanks anyway!
Seating on a bunch I start a conversation with a couple of old people. Ask if they go to see Bob. They say they will stay on that bunch cause they don't have tickets. I ask how much they're willing to pay. They say 80$ for two.
Okay. I say I can help and go back in search for two tickets. Easy! They're happy, I'm happy too!
Time to get in and take position. I'm thinking of the situation in Grand Junction:Up on the left side of the lawn(by the garbage cans). But what do I know?
There is a nice section with concrete bunches accessible for the lawn tickets. I move there, say hello to a nice gentleman and we ask the security young guy if we can seat on the wall, right in front the handicapped section. He says yes.
Woah! Can't be better as we are left from the stage with a perfect view on the piano.
The sun is down but it is still bright day.
Bob picks up his guitar. (My friend Simon says it's a Fender Squier. (I trust him cause he is a guitar player).
Few first songs are great. The audience is attentive. But by "My own version of you" the audience starts to be restless....
They move for beer, wine, food... toilets. They start chatting and for some of them shouting when they meet with friends.
My four neighbors on my left never stopped talking even, two, with their back to the stage!
Then at the end they bragged to me about how much they admire Bob Dylan for doing a show at 81 years old at 9114feet altitude!
Bob is not feeling good. Either because of the altitude, either because he can hear an incessant roar in the background.
He moves center stage after "Serve somebody" which will bring some folks on their feet. And still do "Melancholy mood" center stage with some bending on his knees that brings an applause of admiration. I believe more because Fans can finally see him full body...without his jacket holding the center mike.
From now on the show in chaotic. Some fans move literally in front of stage, in the left, and start dancing...even on "Mother of muses"...????
They're loaded or drunk...well! Both.
Oblivious of the meaning of the song....could be anything!!!! Just balancing on the melody.
I enjoy myself as I was prepared mentally to the situation since Bend. My right neighbor is alright. He drove two hours and a half to appreciate the show as the ticket was Father's day present from his son. But the last time he saw Bob Dylan was...25 years back. He obviously know nothing of the "Rough and rowdy ways" and keep telling me we have a good view on the piano.... Don't I know ?￰
By mid show Bob seems to have lost interest and his voice is weak, mumbling the lyrics, shuffling nervously through his sheets and talking to the Band. Tony comes close to him to know if the 6th song is "Black rider" or " I'll be your baby tonight". " Black rider" ...I read Bob's lips.
As the roar background is louder and louder Bob presents his Band rapidly just asking Charley to stand up and Doug to say hi! to the crowd.
The audience is up for "Every grain of sand" (at least for the ones remaining....) but the damage is done.
Bob poses few seconds before disappearing.
"Yes, the show is over" I answer to my kind right neighbor.
Not the same crowd as Grand Junction. The Deadheads by now having their FUN at the rainbow gathering, somewhere in Colorado.
But not a respectful audience neither.
I run down the hill as fast as I can in the spot light of my phone. The only creature I encounter is...a racoon...about as afraid as I am.
One day to cure the blisters under my feet...
Denver should be another adventure.
We love you Bobby.

Denver I. July 5th.

From Dillon I took a free bus to Frisco then the BUSTANG company bus.
We arrive on time in Denver.
As the Temple Hoyne Buell is on my way to my hostel I pass by.
It's a theater in a square or theaters. Good thing it is covered by a glass roof. At least we won't be under the rain.
Nothing is happening so I keep on walking and check in my Hostel, 20 minutes walk away.
I rest until 4pm. I have nothing to do and I need a ticket for the show, so I walk back...
The musicians bus is already parked.
I try to find some Dylan fans but at this hour there is nobody around.
By 5pm the Dylan security is ready for ... something.
Bobby's bus pulls in and Bobby steps out covered in a green raincoat and a chirurgical white mask. I see him chat few seconds with Bob Britt.
Fine. I'm not sure if there is a soundcheck but...who knows?
By 6pm I search for a ticket. The show is far away for being sold out.
Surprisingly one of the ushers comes to me and asks if I need a ticket. I say ,"yes" she says a Lady has an extra she wants to give!
I catch that Lady at the time she is getting in and she asks the usher another paper ticket, as she has e-tickets on her phone, they are converted in paper tickets.
I step in.
My seat is on the balcony, but center balcony.
I don't want to be squeezed among fans I don't know.
I know some rows are not sold out on the left side of the balcony. I move there and take a seat. I will have two entire empty rows in front of me and one behind me and nobody in my row!
I can see the stage from above.
Bob starts 8.02pm
He is playing his guitar for the intro of
"Watching the river flow" entirely in dark. The lights floor are not on(????).
Same with the harmonica intro of "When I paint my Masterpiece" the center "Melancholy mood" is also partially in the dark.
Only when he presents himself after "My own version of you" I can see he is wearing his red/burgundy shirt.
He mumbles something before "Key west" and says twice " Thank you everybody" but that's it for the talk, adding a rapid presentation of the Band.
Paradoxical tonight my highlight will be "Key west". I thing the two guitar players are doing a good job and Bob doesn't overplay his piano.
The audience is a lot more appreciative than Dillon. They seem to know and appreciate what is happening on stage.
So I enjoy myself, all by myself. Feeling in my living room watching a video.
I try to sell some of my Art, but except one of my "followers" who hands me some money... I'm not successful.
I walk back for a good night sleep.

Denver II and final of that tour. July 6th.

I wake up late (8.30am), drink my tea in the communal dinning room of that nice hostel and get ready to visit the Art Museum, two blocks away.
I spend four hours and a half refreshing my mind and getting inspiration. 7 floors of outstanding Art: indigenous, latinAmerican, Asian, European impressionists, American...
Time to refresh and be ready for the second Denver show and sadly the last one of that tour.
I reach the theater by 5.30pm. The buses are parked. Any rehearsal?
By 6pm patrons start arriving. I chat with a Fan who doesn't appreciate so much Bobby's piano playing :)
Oh well! Bob Dylan never said he was Lang Lang.
I'm relaxed. I'm pretty sure to find a ticket. And if not I'll be able to buy one, thanks to the generosity of good people.
A young guy who saw me previously says he has an extra one.
I offer him and myself a drink before the show. Pretty unusual for me but I feel thirsty and it's early.
By 7.30pm we get in with a more than relaxed security.
I explain to my young friend how to get an empty seat on the floor. I used to do it but... I'm getting old.
I prefer to take an empty seat on the balcony where I can observe the whole stage.
Charley is quite an inspiration. I saw him using the pearls again. And I can see Doug.
I take a seat on a totally empty row, hoping for a quiet show.
I have no expectations. I've been through this before. Bob Dylan will not do a specific song just because it's the last show of a Tour.
What do I know?
Bob picks up his guitar and plays in the dark. All 6 musicians silhouetted on the back curtain.
"Watching the river flow" Is powerful. So no low down energy tonight.
"False prophet" is a Jewel. Bobby's voice is at his top.
And absolutely ALL the songs will be highlights. Even though "Serve somebody" was better with the previous arrangement, without the piano break.
The public is wild. A girl is dancing on the loge and a super Fan, front row is constantly up to applause his face.
Maybe he is the one suggesting a song and Bob answers. Something like " yeah it's a good one, but not tonight".
Except his quick presentation of the Band this is the only talk he will make.
No "thank you everybody" no "thank you Art lovers".
Just an additional word and laughs in "I'll be your baby tonight" that he starts with an harp intro and torch it through the night. Yeah! Maybe this one was the truly highlight.
He is wearing a flashy light green/blue shirt. Putting a splash of color in the other way dark stage.
As I am ready for "Melancholy mood" Tony and the guitar players gather around Bob. Oh!oh!
And they explode in a rocky version of "That old black magic".
The audience explodes as well!
Yoo..OOO! Thank you Bobby!
No mistake on "Jimmy Reed" this time. (He did the night before.)
"Every grain of sand" is really emotional. That is the last time I see Bob Dylan ... Before long.
I focus on that green/blue shirt.
One of the best shows on that tour.
My best day : No worry for the food, no worry for the transportation, no worry for the night, no worry for the ticket.
Bye bye Bobby. Thank you for all.
See you in... Europe?????

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