Bob Dylan Tour Europe Summer 2012.

CARHAIX 2012. 

European Tour July 2012. 

to Stu Kimball, may God bless and keep you always.

On the road again …

That tour will be filled up with Festivals. The reason is uncertain as everything with Dylan.
At last Bob Dylan at the Carhaix Festival; Les vieilles charrues. Hugues Aufray told me that he had been begging Bob for 25 years to participate. OUF! (as we say in French).
But I will miss the first of all; the hop Farm Festival in England. Too much expensive, too much complicated to get there.
I so started in Berlin.
I spent few hours in Paris on the 1st of July hoping to visit the Louvres. But it was too much crowded, the file too long to get in. I just wander around the Tuillerie Garden, then walk to the train station for a night train to Berlin. 6 bunks in a compartment. Not a good night but resting anyway.
2sd of July BERLIN
I check in my Hotel early then walk strait to the Zitadelle. I don’t feel like doing any tourist trip. Concentration on Bobby Dylan. Many concerts will be G.A., so I need to be early on the line if I want to be front.
At the Zitadelle, already at 11.00 a.m. a group of BobCats (males) and BobbyCats (females) is waiting. I know most of them from the last Tour. Mainly Germans but one young fellow from Stockholm, one Lady from England then Rita, Duddy and Simone from Italy. Europe will be represented. I'm worried though to have the same scenario as last year. Many hours of waiting. Hopefully the show will be different, with a grand piano, I heard.
We wait for more than five hours. They open the gates at 5.30 p.m. People packed in the front, ready for a start up in the starting blocks. The first line is only of BobCats. I run with all my might to reach the rail, loosing my breath. I hold the rail next to Simeone who passed me in that run. But Simeone is a gentleman  and will hold the rail both for Rita and myself. He will step back to the second row.
The waiting again … the show is due at 7.00 p.m. Early, too early for Bob who’s taking his nap inside the Black Bus. Only the technicians are on stage, making “noise” tuning the instruments again and again. I check the front row. Only Bob and BobbyCats, 20 of them.
The security is ok though again this year no photos will be allowed. Bobby didn’t get my message? You’re beautiful Bobby Boy!

The Black Grand Piano is on stage but far in the back blocking the view of Donnie’s steel guitar. The crowd starts to be impatient. They tune again and again those guitars.
7.35 p.m. the stage emptied and Stu comes front with a riff of Blues, then one by one the musicians take their stand.
There he is … Bobby seeming to have shrunk. No hat, sun glasses (the ones with Obama) a grey jacket on black pants. It doesn’t fit and the jacket is too big.
He stands on the keyboard for “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat “ No surprise.
It Ain't Me, Babe “ on guitar, “Things Have Changed ”.
Except for the first song where he had a crazy laugh with the musicians, he’s serious and absent. He will take his glasses off and put a grey hat on. Changing his appearance, he looks kind of older. He will seat at the piano more often than standing at the keyboard, being that way a lot farther from the public. A deliberate choice?
The piano sounds good. It will take me few shows before I truly appreciate it though. I miss his erratic “banging” on that battered keyboard.
The show is ok but nothing that I didn’t hear. Nice to hear “Cry A While “ again and “High Water” is swinging well with Donnie’s banjo.
It will start raining on “Highway 61 Revisited” disturbing the audience. Bob cares less, probably not realising it’s raining and  we’re all wet.
Tony is hardly focusing on Bob’s attitude always ready to make signs to George … and the others.
The sound is average. The public … the good European crowd. I miss the kids from Brazil.
After the show I’m all wet but satisfied. I follow Rita, Duddy and Simeone to their camper for I had left my bag in there. I meet with Tim saling posters and I ask him if he needs a place to stay. I propose to share my room with him since I rented a 4 beds room in an expensive (for me) Hotel close to the Zitadelle.
I help him sale some more posters (that’s not my cup of tea). We move to the Hotel.
A nice shower, a good night sleep and we’re ready for the Dresden trip. Tim will not travel with me for he forgot home his Inter Rail Pass.
Tim informs me that Che and Siobhain won’t be able to make this Tour … A surprise!

My feelings are mixed. It sounds like “déjà vu”. I was hoping for some of  the new album's songs.

3 rd of July DRESDEN
Arriving in Dresden right on time. I inquire for a city map and a tram map. Easy to get around. I immediately check in at my Hostel, nice/comfortable and cheap. No breakfast but coffee free.
I move quickly to the Grosengarten , got lost in there, arrive at 2.30 p.m. to meet the usual crowd, the 20 and so Bob/BobbyCats. We exchange comments on the last show and take position for the long hours wait. I don’t carry any backpack because avoiding the search makes the run to the rail faster. Show starts at 7.30 p.m. They open the gates at 6.30 p.m. making everyone anxious and irritable. I meet with Ryan a nice fellow from England (he was last year at the Hammersmith) and Duddy asks me to keep a rail-spot for Rita. They had help me so many times last year that I happily agree to help them this year. I’m not in a good line, the usher is slow (he takes pleasure to delay us). Finally we run, run. The front stage is already taken. I find a good spot on the left (my favourite) for I can see Bobby’s face when he’s on the grand piano. On my right Rita, on my left Ryan. The Bob/BobbyCats all on the rail. Other than that no big rush in the back. The venue, an open air theatre is not full.
7.35 p.m. Stu is on for his Blues riff. The Boys take their stands dressed in black shirts and light grey suits.
Bobby’s wearing his light-grey hat, no sun-glasses.
He doesn’t want to see? (I believe the sunglasses have correcting lenses. Howard Alk told me in 1981;” the sunglasses have correcting lenses”.)
In the afternoon we heard some new songs being rehearsed.
Bob starts with the first lines of  “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat”. Tony makes some desperate signs to Bob :“No, no” and Bobby switch to “Watching The River Flow ». So kind of you my dear! He’s laughing, he made a nice trick! He’s in a good mood. Smiling all his teeth out! Great!
The sound is perfect. We are right in front some huge loud speakers. The piano tonight will be clear.
Oh surprise! “Under The Red Sky” on piano. Splendid! Well articulated! Great voice.
Who said Bobby Dylan can’t sing? Just for that one, you didn’t want to miss the show in Dresden 2012.
Sugar Baby
John Brown
Visions Of Johanna
Summer Days
Blind Willie McTell
The set list is almost brand new from yesterday.
Great show! Great spirit!

Bob will spend a lot of time on his piano, seated, his left leg dangling on the side or jumping at times. Far away from the public stare. To rest his painful back and avoid contact?
He’s looking into space. No lyrics faults, concentration.
Tonight he’s wearing those fancy Black/Red boots to fit his black jacket and pants with red straps. Dandy Bobby!
I LOVE you!

J.  joined the Bob/BobbyCats group. He’ll be joining with Roberto in Montreux. We talk about making together part of the U.S.A. Tour in August. We’ll see.
I still don’t understand most of the Bob/BobbyCats motivation. I talked with Brigitte (from Germany) who made the trip to Asia; Beijing, Shanghai, HoChiMin ville and Hong-Kong.
And I thought I was smart with my Latin American Tour!
As I will learn later J. and Roberto made it to Japan and Australia.
Whoa! What a trip?
I’m not sure those same faces in the front night after night are to please Bob and the Boys. But we’re part of the “Circus”, like the bodyguards still around, both of them, making sure no photos are taken. I wait for an opportunity to snick in my cell-phone and make photos. That story in Copacabana is still sticking in my throat.
After the show I exchange feelings with J., always exited. Tim is frantically selling his posters. People are pick-nicking on the lawn inside the park, exchanging impressions, drinking beers, eating sausages. I move to my Hostel, tired and paradoxically sad!
I miss my Bobby! My sweet heart! It was a time when I could wish him a good night, face to face! GOOD NIGHT BOBBY!

How did he find himself falling in a 25 years routine Tour? Still don’t understand where he gets his pleasure. The show is  one hour and  40 minutes, what does he do in his extra time? Except hiding from his too heavy popularity?
I have seen his Black Bus, with a E.T. plate. Weird!  “E.T. goes home” !
I wait for Salsburg to check around if he’s still wearing that pathetic but enigmatic hood over his head.

4th of July BONN
Tonight was THE night.
The day had been full of anxiety and surprises. I take my train on time 7.53 a.m. towards Frankfurt. Nice speed-train but it will arrive with  25 minutes of delay. I have to reach Koln then Bonn. One hour more on my schedule. Arriving in Bonn at 3.30 p.m. much too late to queue for first row. Plus I found out that my Hostel will accept the check in only from 5.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m., exactly the wrong time. I send an e-mail asking for the door-code, just in case they re nice. I rush to the Tourist Information Centre for a map and the direction to the venue; I leave my luggage in a locker; I rush to the venue. I meet with the usual ones,  plus more. I don’t have a ticket yet so I can’t really queue.
The entrance of the back stage parking lot is open to the road. I spot Barron and 'Big Bob' (I’ve got finally his name) at the gate. Waiting for Bob coming soon?! In a special car? For the buses are already in the parking lot. I take my stand at the gate. Not really discreet but who cares?
Some time later a Tourist Van pulls in. I’m not sure if Bob is in but I suppose yes for the two guards disappear.
I buy a ticket from a scalper, not the front section. It’s crazy here for they have two kinds of tickets; one for the near front and one for the far front, same price, standing.
OK, I decide I will not be at the rail tonight. Maybe Bobby is sick of seeing my face!
I spot J. in the front section. He notices me a way to sneak in and I quickly make the move.
Whoa! I’m second row left. Not on the rail but I can dance and sing. Next to me a Brazilian fellow; wonderful and enthusiastic as they are!
Bob is one hour late, due to technical problems. I chat with the Brazilian fellow. Time passes fast.
Stu makes his move.
Here he is, that Bobby Boy!
Hat less, looking like coming strait from his bed! Dark jacket, white pants.
A new start “Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues” yeah! The first row is wild!
“Man In The Long Black Coat” . I sing along as well as my companion, next to me. That Brazilian guy knows all the lyrics of all the songs. Yippy!
Bob is in a great form; smiling and laughing (a bit drunk?).
The crowd doesn’t press to the rail so I have my space to dance. Not caring for the bad looks on me!
Tonight is MY Night with my Bobby in an excellent mood.
Like having Bobby Dylan in my living-room.
The sound is good, the piano clear and loud. Bobby at times doing a Jerry Lee Lewis trick.
New set list (but nothing I have not heard before). Great Rock and Rhythm and Blues. Some more nostalgic. But tonight I’m in the mood even to “Like A Rolling Stone” for the crowd sings along (in the back). In the front, except the rail with the BobCats, it doesn’t move too much. What do they need to move their feet and their ass?
Tonight I had my “SHOT OF LOVE” after a day so and so.
I wait for J. but I can’t see him nowhere. I check my emails and by chance the Hostel agreed to send me the door code to the Hostel. I rush to the train station to recover my backpack and walk quickly to MaxStrasse. I find my bed and crash on it. Tomorrow is off so I will take time for a good shower, a nice breakfast and time to write.
The second security guard is 'Big Bob'. Alright. With J. we think he’s not truly necessary as Barron is already a Big Boy!
The chase for the photographers is still going on. Strict in Germany. I wait for Spain and Italy to do some cell-phone photos. The Copacabana traumatic syndrome again!

I said a quick hello to Jimmy, the sound technician, always so gentle.

5th of July
One day off to travel to the next show. I take a breakfast at the hostel and move to the train station. Easy to reach Bad Mergentheim except that the train is late again and I have to wait one hour and a half in the middle of nowhere. I send an email to cancel my reservation on the 6th of July for I’m supposed to travel to Salsburg with J. after the show.
Arriving in Bad Mergentheim at 4.00 p.m. The city is in fact a village. The stage is up in a small recreational park. Capacity 3 or 4 000, no more. Weird for a Dylan show!
Walking around I spot Barron and follow him, more or less discreetly for half an hour. I find a beautiful hotel at the end of splendid Kurkpark ;The BEST WESTERN. That’s THE Hotel.
But as many Bob/BobbyCats are staying here as well I suppose Bob’s security will be at the most. He’ll be a recluse in his room. Hopefully able to do some bicycle riding in the park(disguised as a woman or a Hip Hop Lad?).
 I take photos.
I go back to the village and stuff my bags in a locker at the train station. I’ll sleep outside tonight, the rooms are at least 46€/night. Too much for my budget.
The day passes slowly and lovingly. In the evening I sat at a table with German BobCats. They speak German and drink beers before meal. I’m starving and I don’t understand German. I leave the table and find myself a Kebab Restaurant. Walking back I meet with Ryan for a cup of tea and then Rita, Duddy and Simeone accept me at their table. We join the German freaks and chat until 2.30 a.m. Everyone is a bit drunk. I’m just exhausted. I grab my sleeping bag from the locker and move to the KurkPark. Got lost. Finally reach the Best Western Hotel. I choose a bench underneath a huge umbrella in front of a music kiosk and facing the back windows of the Best Western. One room is lighted. I want to believe this is Bobby’s room. I wish him good night, dreaming he’s at the table writing a new song.
More probably snoring on his back! I’m wondering why in the Hell I can’t be with him!!!!!
I fall asleep well warm in my sleeping bag when the weather decides to be against me. Lights, thunder, the rain. Luckily no wind. I will stay dry. It’s 4.30 a.m. I’ve slept only two hours. The birds are singing happily, I’m crying of despair.
I move to the line at 8.00 a.m. First one on the line. Yea!
At 10.00 a.m. we are 6. That will be a long, long day. I hope my good friends J., Rita, Duddy and Simeone will keep me company.
Poor Rita, so sad hearing rumours and gossips from Frederika. That crazy girl started stories of Bob going with young women; one for every night. She kind of picture him as a “pervert”.
Not the followers that’s for sure, Barron (the Ninja) will watch for no BobbyCat approaching Bob.
We’re not young enough or too much of a problem being Fans. Where can he find young women on the road? The servants in the Hotels? Escort girls? I don’t see Bobby Dylan paying for a girl! And I hope he doesn’t have to do it!
Rumours and gossips!
“Oh a false clock tries to tick out my time To disgrace, distract and bother me And the dirt of gossip blows into my face And the dust of rumors covers me
But if the arrow is straight and the point is slick It can pierce through dust no matter how thick So I'll make my stand and remain as I am And bid farewell and not give a damn”.
Frederika is turning bitter like most of the Women Bobby disregarded or betrayed.
He had been a womaniser.
But I heard from a sure source that he married Carole Childs in 2009.
Though she doesn’t seem to be on the road or even live with him, for once he may have decided to be faithful.
My preoccupation at the moment is to reach the rail and be in front. The only sure way of seeing Bobby close.
On stage he’s BOB DYLAN the ARTIST. Proud and confident in his talent. Fidel to himself of being the best or the worst, but himself.
In privacy, with the person he had chosen to be with, he’s BOBBY. A sweet and fragile man.
In between … no one is sure how to define him.
More secretive with the time passing by. More troubled and unbalanced. Looking at the world through the T.V. screens blasting horrors of conflicts and terrors. An obsessive-compulsive; afraid of microbes and germs(him who had been discribed as an “unwashed phenomenon”), afraid of the cameras and looks focusing on his face, hamstrung by rheumatism and arthritis, confident only in his body guard (the last of the Samouraï).
My heart is aching.
The young Dylan asked ; Who Killed Davey Moore?
I ask ; Who destroyed Bob Dylan?

6th of July Bad Mergentheim

Back to the line in Bad Mergentheim. The line formed at 10.00 a.m. I find it a bit ridiculous since the main crowd will arrive at 4 or 5 p.m. Only the Bob/BobbyCats are fanatically crazy, maybe even insane. I have that bad feeling that Bob Dylan doesn’t care about those freaks and may even resent it as a pressure on his back. Always the same faces in the front (and not only good looking girls!), ready to comment on each and every mistake he’s doing, expecting THE Set List of the year! THE personal look or gesture! A bunch of kids searching attention from a Big Brother!…a substitute Father or substitute Lover?
On the other end and since I’m one of them freaks, some of the shows would not be alive without us. We create the atmosphere of the 60’s and on. We go because we like the songs and the music not just to see a LIVING LEGEND, not to look at a statue in a Museum. We encourage the Band as well. Stu on this Tour took a special place in our heart. We discovered his great solos and his nice attitude off stage. I've seen Charlie signing an autograph. We like to share with Jimmy (the sound technician). We’re part of the “Circus”.
 We love Bob Dylan as an Artist; “the song and dance man”.
”We go to the ends of the world to make him feel our Love”. Rita, Duddy and Simeone did the last American Tour. I haven’t seen them around. Too bad! They plan to go for a month for the Fall Tour 2012. Some will do the Summer American Tour. And the MUSIC goes on!
We’re all impatient to discover “TEMPEST” the new album. What Bob Dylan has to tell us?
They open the gates early around 5.30 p.m.. The show is programmed for 8.00 p.m. My gate is opening slowly for again the usher is a shmuck! I see people on my left running like fools! I run and run and hold the rail at my usual spot. I hold a space for Rita. Ryan, the nice kid from England makes a sign. He’s on the right but his view is blocked by a speaker. I motion to him that he can join us on the left. Great! We’re a bunch of enthusiastic freaks! Too bad if Bobby is sick of seeing my face. Though being as short sighted as he is I doubt he will see me. Only Barron can notice me. The “last of the Samurai” is on the watch on the right inside of the stage. I heard he’s got the authority to remove freaks from the front row. I’ll be a nice girly! A little kiss Barron?
We wait quietly until 8.00 p.m. The technicians were diligent and the stage is ready. I’m sure Bob will be on time but … He’s Bobby!
We see Al Santos (road manager) and Jewels (sound technician) taking their stand, then something happened and they leave the sound keyboard. The crowd starts to be impatient. I’m over tired and so all of them who had been travelling long hours. I’ve suddenly the feeling that Bob is sick or having problem with his back. He needs medications?
At 8.35 p.m. Stu picks up his guitar and starts his riffs.
Bob appears dressed with a black jacket but  large white pants that don’t seem to fit him….without hat. He rushes to the keyboard. Starts “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat” slow and without passion. He looks again like coming strait out of his bed, his eyes closed.
He will wake up on “Thinks have changed”, be wild until the end, without smiling or laughing. Seriously articulating each word of each song.
To Ramona (no mistake)
Honest With Me
Sugar Baby
The Levee's Gonna Break
Make You Feel My Love
High Water (For Charley Patton)
Desolation Row
Great set list, mainly on the piano. His hands hurt? His back is killing him? I see clearly his legs making movements on their own from the bench he’s sitting on. The erratic walk turned into an erratic jumping. The disarticulated puppet again! He’s bending so low on the piano that at times he totally disappears from the view.
Good show, worth the pain, a bit too short.
At the final salute I have the feeling that his eyes stay on me few seconds.
Illusion! Just my ego!
Bye, Bye Bobby!

The crowd moves away so slowly. J. informed me in the late afternoon that he won’t be able to give me a ride to Salsburg. I cancelled my reservation for my room. No place to stay for the night, no plan for tomorrow! I see Tim selling his posters and ask him if he could help me for the night. I don’t feel like sleeping again on that bench. I know Bob won’t be in that Hotel. He always leaves right after the show for the next city in his Black Bus.
Tim introduces me to a friend, Peter, who has a Volkswagen van and he’s nice enough to invite me and my sleeping bag to crash on the back of the van. I agree gratefully for I’m exhausted. I know I will sleep anywhere. At one o’clock in the morning I unroll my sleeping bag on two big posters of “Bob Dylan and his Band”.
I will sleep “on” Bobby tonight!
I find my cell-phone inside the sleeping bag. What a relief! I thought I had left it in a Café.
I sleep until 6.30 a.m. Not a bad night, not a good night; it had been raining, the roof sounds like a drum.
Peter is nice enough to drive me to the train station. He’s a “Rolling Stones” freak and a follower. He will occasionally follow Dylan. We exchange about Jimmy Gallaghan who he knows well. Dear “Big Jim”. I miss him.
I catch my train at 7.53 a.m. Changing trains four times before reaching Salsburg. Easy trip.

7th of July SALSBURG
I check to my Hostel, take some time to do my laundry and eat. I relax a little bit for tonight there is no G.A. The show will start at 8.00 p.m. I still need a ticket. I move to the Venue “messe arena” shortly before 6.00 p.m., easily accessible by bus. The usual crowd is queuing(what for?). I meet with a guy from England. I say hello to Rita, Duddy and Simeone, always happy. Get myself a ticket for 99.50€ (expensive), move in with the throng.
I won’t be part of the “Circus” tonight for I’m far back on the floor section. I don’t mind. That will be a little rest from the BobCating. I don’t even claim my seat but seat where I can move my legs to dance a bit. Right on the side back of the sound system board.
My Bobby is almost on time (no long nap today, Bobby dear?).
Watching The River Flow”,  so sweet of you!
I see the first row being hysterical. Whoa! The rest of the venue is quiet and static. I realise the vision from the stage should be weird; some few crazy freaks knowing every line of every songs, every chord. The rest of the audience just waiting, wondering what they gonna get.
Some people already leave the venue. Expecting an acoustic Dylan? Deranged by his “sand and gravel” voice? I love that voice.
I’m sure now he’s not looking at the individuals in the front. He has a global vision of an anonymous public.
Few times I have to ask people to move, for they stand in front of me, blocking my view. I don’t see much but still want to see his hat. Then a drag! Barron (the Ninja, the “Last of the Samurai”), tall and large, takes place at the sound board and stand right in front of me. I’m furious and not in a mood to be nice. I move up to him, touch him on the shoulder, push him aside and notice him that I am right behind. All this without a word. I retrieve to my seat.
Barron turns around and fixes me for few minutes. Suddenly realising he’s seen me before (in the front row) he walks up to me and for the first time addresses me :
“Please, to be nice”
I move him away with my hand, Bobby being in the middle of a song.
“Please, to be nice. Don’t be an asshole down there”.
Then he moves back, deliberately blocking my view.  Who’s an asshole?
I quickly move to another seat and keep on focusing on Bob’s music.
Barron will eventually leaves the sound board going back to his job of guarding his Boss.
I feel disturbed but not guilty.
I don’t quite understand his remark. I just remember that the day before while I was on the line queuing, Stu passed by and I said “Hello Stu!”. He gently signalled Hello with his hand.
Barron passed by and I said “Hello Barron!”. No answer. I stupidly added :”You could be civilized”. He was not in “service”, no Bobby around to protect. I thought he had been rude. All the Boys we have seen during the day; Stu, Tony, Charlie had been civilized. Even Charlie had signed an autograph and Stu posed for a photo.
That incident will perturb my feelings of the show. I hear in the “distance” , “Every Grain Of Sand” (that I love so much). “Ballad Of Hollis Brown” followed by “The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll”. A great Set List but no Magic for me. The audience is cool. No movement in the front. No singing along on “Like A Rolling Stone”. Barron broke the Spirit.
I move out before the end to check on the buses. After one hour I haven’t seen any bus leaving. I’m not at the right spot. Oh well! One of those bad days.
I catch a city bus to my Hostel and prepare my bags for tomorrow; Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.

8th of July Montreux.
So far so good. I reach Montreux on time. I get Swiss money (since Switzerland is not in the euro zone, not even in Europe zone). A scalper at the station proposes a ticket for 200 Swiss Francs (double price), standing. I decline for now.
At the venue there is a line but not the Bob/BobbyCats. Strange! The reason is that the G.A. is not right in front the stage but behind 25 rows of seats. I then walk away to see some of the Montreux Festival stands. Meet with J. and Roberto. Get in the short line to be at a good position standing. When the doors opened there is a rush of people running the stairs up. Then few more minutes of waiting at the door. The sound check is not over?
I find myself at the same spot but 25 rows from the stage. Strange! The venue is beautiful, made of wood, class!
Quincy Johns will appear to present Bob Dylan with respect and emotion. Then Bob is on. The sound is not too good, the mike on the piano is too low, we can’t hear well. Next to me stands a nice fellow from Brazil, speaking French. He knows all the songs right away and sings along. My kind of Fan! A Lady is also dancing. Great to be here for the V.I.P. rows are quiet.
Bob will do “Forgetful Heart”. He’s right, this is the place to do it, in a quiet atmosphere. The show seems short and definitively not the best but I’m happy to be in Montreux. It is a prestigious festival.
In the afternoon I met Stu and said Hello. He’s nice Stu.
After the show I’m supposed to meet with J., for I’m supposed to sleep in his car and in the morning we’re supposed to ride all the way to Bordeaux for a night sleep. I wait for J. for one hour and a half. With tears in my eyes I have to leave the spot and find a plan B. I walk around but this is Montreux in Switzerland, I’m sure all the hotels are extremely expensive. I walk desperately for one hour when suddenly I see J. buying some toys at a stand.
He tells me a story about having been caught by the security (movie recording) and having been rescued by Barron. Barron the saver. Whoa!
What a relief! We go together to his Hotel to meet with Roberto and Francesca.
We talk and we talk and finally I crash on the floor in my sleeping bag. A short night but I’m so happy to be with good people. The Bob/BobbyCats are not always friendly, pretty much individualists.

9th of July Zurich.
A good shower in the morning, a good buffet-breakfast and we pack. We’re all going to Zurich for a Bruce Springsteen show. Bob will play in Bilbao in three days from now. We take a break. That is, a Dylan break.
We arrive in Zurich early enough to check in a Novotel, to go around for food and to rest a while. We then walk to a big stadium; 70 000 people.
I find rapidly a ticket and with J. we slip as close as possible to the stage. We’re in the second section of the G.A., far from the stage. But Bruce is not Bob, he will allow the big screens turn on. Right away the crowd is awake and dancing on the first chords. The E.Street Band is a group of 15/17 musicians and singers. Bruce is the same as in 79 when I saw him for the first time in the Bay Area CA. He’s the exact opposite of Bob. He will move often to the limit of the stage, so the Fans will be able to touch his legs. Often he will go inside the public to touch hands. He talks a lot and makes the audience participates. He will bring on stage two kids to sing. He will carry on stage a young girl to dance with him.
I recognise some of the old songs “The river”, “Bad lands”, “Born in the U.S.A.”…
The new songs don’t say too much. The show is a big party for 70 000 people. After three hours standing, my back is killing me. No way to seat or get away. Trapped in the Boss folly!
I’m glad I came but once is enough. The music is loud but not too much sophisticated.
Everything seems “fake”. A cult of personality! The Boss is JUST a show man.
I miss my Bobby! His reserved attitude and his restraint. I don’t want to touch his boots.
A sweet kiss on his cheek? If and only if he accepts.
We retrieve to the Hotel under the rain. I take a shower and go to the bed with Francesca. J. and Roberto are sharing the other bed.
We listen to Bobby Dylan until we all fall asleep.
Up at 7.00 a.m. Everyone packs up. Roberto and Francesca are going back to Italy. J. and myself driving to Bordeaux. 10 hours ride, a sleep in Bordeaux, a ride down to Bilbao. I’m looking forward to seeing Bobby again. He’s definitively my type. I miss him.

J. is a long time BobCat (1997). He’s a source of information. We talk a lot during the 10 hours. He’s been to Japan and Australia, he knows the musicians and the staff people.
He’s adding some pieces to my puzzle of  Bob Dylan’s identity. Some of my intuitions were right, some information comes as a big surprise.
I know now that I have to be careful with Barron. He’s not the man I thought he was. More powerful.
I know now that Bob can see the first row and decides who can stay and who has to move back!
Please Bobby! Don’t break my heart! I like to be front. I don’t mean to hurt! I will happily leave the rail to a kid or a beautiful young girl Fan. But no way to a Yuppy!

11th of July Bilbao

We arrive in Bilbao under the rain, around noon, and check in a fancy Hotel just across the venue, next to the Guggenheim museum. There is already a small line so I take stand with Rita, Duddy and Simeone. Daniel is on my left, a 24 years Fan from Germany. Johanna Parker on my right doesn’t dare talking to me! “Expecting rain” is not my cup of tea anyway.
At 7.00 p.m. the gates opened. There are steep stairs to run down, slippery. I can’t make it fast but Duddy will hold the rail for Rita and myself. Thanks Duddy! A gentleman.
Soon a really young boy approaches the rail. Rita and myself decide to put him right in front. The girl next to me is only 15 years old.
The show is almost on time; 9.10 p.m. The crowd is wild, younger than usual. Only few Bob/BobbyCats in the front. I see Barron on the right of the stage but he doesn’t move to scold me. Just 'Big Bob'passes in front of me and throw me a look! I don’t move!
The welcome is loud and clear from the audience and immediately Bob picks up on the good karma and smiles broadly to Tony. Yes! He’s happy!
“Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat”
a beautiful “Man In The Long Black Coat”. The kid in front of me knows the lyrics. Only 12 years old and from Portugal! The youngsters of all the Dylan Fans I met until now. So cool!
The audience is singing along “A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall”.
It’s a hard … and it’s a hard …and it’s a hard… it’s a hard rain’s a gonna fall.
The kid is in heaven; dancing and singing and clapping and screaming Bobby’s name like a pro.
I feel like 24 years old again when I was so crazy and carefree during the 81 Tour. Only Rita and Duddy are part of the Hardcore fans next to me. And it’s good.
Bobby is great. The Band is playing clear and loud. Every popular song is sung along by the few first rows. It sounds like we’re a big family. The audience I love the most. As for Bob, I’m not sure, but I think he loves it too.
He will do his encore with “Blowin' In The Wind” and at the end he will move to the centre mike to salute the public. I hope for a kiss but it will not come. In fact “not even a word, not even a smile”. He  looks tired.
The crowd disperses in the night, I grab a Kebab and a soda for I’m starving.
I move to the Miro Hotel, few doors away, take a shower and wait for J.
We talk and talk until 6.00 a.m. and we crash on the beds for few hours of sleep.
I’m glad to be with J. He’s looking at the Bilboa show at a different angle. I’m a woman in Love, he has different objective. I want to enjoy the ‘here and now’. “Today belongs to us, tomorrow belongs to God”. 

12th of July
We wake up late, hurry to pack and check out.
We go for a visit at the Guggenheim Museum. They have a David Hockney exhibit. Great! I hope Bob had the time and will to see those beautiful paintings and enjoy himself without pressure. J. tells me that Bob doesn’t understand why some Fans are following, dedicating themselves to follow a whole Tour or Tours all around the world.
After a long, long ride and talk with J. I try to fall asleep in a fancy Hotel by the Airport of Barcelona. I don’t remember my dreams but I feel a urge for Love. I want to be in Bobby’s arms and soothe his pain and sorrow. But who am I?  ANONYMOUS is my name.

13th of July Benicassim
We get up at 11.00 a.m. Get ready for the trip to Benicassim. After  four hours drive and a fortune spent in pay tolls we arrive in a small village by the Mediterranean sea.
The organisation is a mess so we park on the street between two huge garbage cans. We rush to the festival. I imagined a situation like in Blackbush 78. Not really. They have three stages with groups taking turns for  4 days of festivity.
I immediately go in front of the main stage and take the second row centre at 7.30 p.m. Unfortunately Bob will be on only at 9.45 p.m. Before a loud English group is on. The girls next to me are hysterical, they jump and scream. I try to keep calm and focus on Bob who gonna be on stage in one hour and a half. I hope that the youngsters on the rail gonna leave so I’ll be able to rest my back a little. The standing is hard. Fortunately it’s not too hot and the security distributes water. After one hour of torture for my poor ears the “egomaniac” leader leaves the stage. Only a young girl will leave the rail. I grab it immediately and don’t move. I hope Bobby gonna be on time for the day had been long. No Bob/BobbyCats on the rail. In fact many didn’t want to make it to Benicassim, fearing the worst. I see only Frederika, Rita, Duddy and Simeone and another Rita from Switzerland. Bob is on time. Right since the beginning there is something weird, the sound is not great, the musicians out of time, not playing together.
“Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat” is poor.
« Things Have Changed » don’t bring any connection.
He will do songs that have nothing to do with that kind of festival. The Set List is wrong.;
Honest With Me
Make You Feel My Love
Spirit On The Water
To Ramona (only three verses)
“Make you feel my Love” is catastrophic. It seems like they are rehearsing  the song right on stage with no knowledge of what Bob wants. Bob looks at Tony and makes signs to Donnie. Donnie is lost. At the end of the song I can read on Bob’s lips “Stop playing”. Tony, Donnie are terribly sad. The song is demolished and anyway a bad choice.
“Tangled Up In Blue”. At the beginning he makes a mistake and cracks a desperate smile towards Tony.
“Simple Twist Of Fate”. Those two songs are welcomed by the audience. The solo of guitar is poor.
On “High Water » he can’t properly blow his harp. Two times he sings in the mike but no sound comes out, as if he’s too tired to sing.
Desolation Row » is poor and slow. So boring that the kid next to me falls asleep on the rail (too many beers?). I hear some requests like “Tambourine man”, “Hurricane” …
For once Bob Dylan had to give the public what he wanted for this is not a Dylan audience. The young kids came here to have a good time.
But Bobby doesn’t compromise. He feels miserable up there. He looks down, his eyes turn left down  like if he’s looking at something sitting on the floor.
At the end of “Ballad Of A Thin Man” he quickly salutes and leaves the stage. I can’t believe it! He’s done? He will come back for a poorly done “Like A Rolling Stone” on piano, far away in the back. The only one the audience will sing along. He runs away. He will definitively leave the image of an “old angry man”.
Why oh why? Why so bad a Set List?
Why so bad a performance?
Why the Band didn’t react?
Why he didn’t play what he knows the best,
“Man in a long black coat”
“Blind Willy Mc Tell”
“Hollis Brown”
“Summer’s days”
“The levee’s gonna break” … good and heavy Rock!
Oh Bobby! You looked so old in those crazy baggy white pants!
Only the little bow he’s wearing since Montreux made him class.

In a state of despair I walk to the car waiting for J. to see how he feels.
Not too much happy. It was a drag to come all the way to Benicassim, a drag to go back to the Hotel. At 4.00 a.m. I start to argue with J. about stupidities.
I’m so sorry for Bob but I can’t express my pain to a man who didn’t go to  the show for the same reason as me.  We decide to stop our collaboration. I won’t even get a ride to Cap Roig.
As a G.P.S. I have to recalculate my plan.
I leave the room at 8.00 a.m. going towards the airport, trying to catch buses all the way to Cap Roig.
Tonight Bobby will be FANTASTIC. He HAS to be.
I cry on the bus to Cap Roig. Benicassim was a mistake, a dark point!

14th of July Cap Roig.
I arrive at noon in Cap Roig; a kind of sea resort on the Costa Brava.
The sun is shining, the sea is deep blue. I’m lucky to find right away a camping site ‘Moby Dick’! I inquire if they have a tent for rent. No. But the guardian is nice with me and find me an abandoned tent in a cellar. I pitch my tent, take a shower, a change of cloth and walk straight away to the Botanical Garden. The Box Office will open at 6.00 p.m. No reason to panic, the show is not Sold Out.
I relax playing the Tourist. I take photos with my cell phone. The atmosphere is relaxed. Many tourists are having a good time on the beach, at the cafés and restaurants. I don’t step on any of the Dylan’s Staff or musicians. They may be staying in a Hotel by the beach somewhere out of the village. I hope my Bobby is having a good time swimming or even he’s gone on a boat for a fishing party?
I take a quick nap on the rocks facing the sea. Few minutes of total relaxation.
I step on Frederika, Rita, Duddy and Simeone. Frederika goes her own way. I share an Espresso with my Italian friends. Duddy also needs a ticket. In late afternoon we take that walk up to the Garden. We sit on the grass facing the Mediterranean sea. Roberto, J., Mickaele, Maximo, Carolina, Monica, Johanna Parker and her friend will join us, little by little.
The ticket is sold 255€ for a front row. The most expensive so far. We pay for the view and the air we breath.
At 8.00 p.m. the doors open and we’re allowed to walk inside the Botanical Garden. Magnificent!
I say hello to Stu who will answer me with a kind “Hi! Sweet heart!”.
Charlie is around more discreet.
Rita from Switzerland is discussing geology with her friend from Spain in front of a rock cliff and Tony Garnier, curious, will join the conversation. Nice!  No sign of Donnie or George.
I say hello to Jimmy(the sound technician), always smiling and busy.
They close the Garden from the Tourists, making me think that Bob should be around somewhere getting ready for the show. Will he have time to take a little walk in that dream setting? Do it Bobby! Get away from the bad news on T.V. Dark propaganda. We don’t live in a “Political world”.  There is Love and Beauty. Open your eyes and your Heart!

We have a little drink in the inside Café with Duddy and Rita. They drink champagne here and are dressed with suit and evening dress!!?? The exact opposite of Benicassim.
Who booked that Tour? So eclectic?
Bob might also like that kind of high class society. After all he’s now part of it, being a multi-millionaire and playing Golf. The ragamuffin from the Greenwich Village is long time gone.

At 9.45 p.m. we take our seats. The show is at 10.00 p.m.
If they expect a quiet public, up there on stage, they’ll be deceived for 20 Bob/BobbyCats took position in the first rows.

Right away the show will be one of the best.
“Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat” perfectly executed by the Band. A stand up from the front row.
We’re close to the stage. No rail.  Barron is vigilant, passing in the gap, observing the faces seated close to the stage. I feel his look on me, I don’t turn away my eyes from Bobby.
I’m here for Bob Dylan the Artist!
The set list is ingeniously made, like in Montreux. An alternate of Rocks and Ballads.
Some of the songs I like the best on that Tour
To Ramona
The Levee's Gonna Break
Every Grain Of Sand
Ballad Of Hollis Brown
The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll
Rollin' And Tumblin'
Visions Of Johanna
I miss “Man in the long black coat” or “Blind Willy Mc Tell”. “Forgetful heart” would have been a great one here, but maybe too much sad. Bob doesn’t want a broken heart tonight.
He’s standing at the front mike often, picking up his guitar for “Simple Twist Of Fate”.
The young fellow on my left is a Fan singing every song along. I do the same. The Yuppy on my right look at me with curiosity. But I’m seated with respect.
Bobby smiles at Tony and Donnie. He’s in a good mood but seems nonetheless old and incredibly pale in that atmosphere of sun and tanned people.
He moves his legs as he used to do last year. A little gymnastic?
There is no rail. At the end of  “Ballad Of A Thin Man” the front row moves forwards to hold the stage under the vigilance of Barron who doesn’t react. I move quickly right to the front of the mike. When Bobby moves to the centre mike I can see his blue eyes. So close … and so far away! Untouchable!
A girl throw a rose on stage. He leans over and picks it up.Thanks Bobby for accepting that sign of Love.
He’s coming back for a beautiful “Blowin' In The Wind” sung along by the front row.
Neither happy nor sad he will salute the public one more time. His clear blue eyes fixing no one in particular. He looks tired.
We move away. I crash inside my tent for a good 6 hours sleep. The best night so far. If  I dreamed of my Bobby … I don’t remember.

A day dream:
On the train to Cerbere then Nîmes I’m dreaming of meeting Bob and talking to him.
Explaining why we love following the Tour and why it is important even for him.
Last night we were a bunch of 20 Cats with different philosophy but all fill with Love, Energy and mental power focusing on that little man on stage. A beam of good Karma surrounded him. Even Barron felt he had nothing to do for the atmosphere was quiet.
I explain to Bobby that true love exists or else why so many intelligent people (you have to be smart to be on the road) are spending so much time, money, energy on the road? Expecting nothing but a good Set list, a good performance, an inspired Artist on stage.
It might not be what you want, Bobby, it might be what you need.
“Though I'd never say
That I done it the way
That you'd have liked me to
In the end
My dear sweet friend
I'll remember you.”

15th of July Nîmes
I arrive in Nîmes at 4.00 p.m. Find the Arena by the train station and check in a private room in a cheap Hotel right by the venue. The black buses are parked on the street, finally a chance to see if Bobby is wearing that hood?
In the afternoon, a team brings a massage table, a big ball, some cushions … Bobby’s back is bad! He needs a massage. His personal chiropractor will work today.  The Band is rehearsing. Is Bob in there? His bus is parked in the parking lot but might be empty. They’re all staying at the Novotel close by. I’ll wait by the bus all afternoon. No Barron. Only 'Big Bob'checking the security around. The bus pulls out in the late afternoon and back at 7.30 p.m.
Bob is in for sure. There is an opening act tonight, Bob is due at 9.30 p.m.
Curious people pack up around the bus but will loose patience. I am the only one left around with a crazy one trying to get photo. He’s too close to Barron and 'Big Bob'. He won’t make it.
I wait two hours focusing on the back of the E.T. bus where Bob is probably sleeping.
Sweet dreams my dear!
At 9.30 p.m. 'Big Bob'and Barron take position and my Bobby, all dressed up for the show, appears for  4 seconds in front of me. He walks his Bobby’s walk towards the 15s century old Arena.
I rapidly take my seat inside. 12th row centre, good view, good sound.
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
a beautiful “Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
Rollin' And Tumblin'
Tryin' To Get To Heaven
Summer Days
Sugar Baby 
Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum   so cute
Visions Of Johanna
Nice set list, well executed. Only “Simple Twist Of Fate” will be played on guitar.
He’s seated at the grand piano. Resting his back?
His position is weird; his body facing the piano but his legs facing the public, moving on their own. He’s not feeling comfortable.
No smile. He’s in pain?
After “Ballad Of A Thin Man” some fans rush in front. I follow to give a special touch to the evening and sing along “Blowin' In The Wind”.
A nice Arena. Not the best of the shows. I’m suffering for Bob!
I don’t want him to suffer for me.

16th of July Barolo.
Woody Guthrie and Patti Smith

On the road to Barolo with Mikaele (Italian), Maximo(Italian) and Caroline(from Brazil) and Kate (française). We are in a camper. For the first time I had to beg for a ride for all the trains to Italy are full.
The travelling has nothing to do with the one with J. The Italians are organised, quiet and ready to hit the road early. We leave Nîmes one hour after the ending of the show. Drive two hours and stop in a recreational area for few hours sleep. A 15 minutes breakfast then at 8.00 a.m. we follow a beautiful coast road along the Mediterranean sea.
We chat about … Bob Dylan. The last news being the claim for paternity test from a 48 years old man. Bob refused the test?
How many more little Dylans in the world?
It doesn’t come as a surprise to me.
Bob Dylan lives in his own World, with his own Rules, his own sense of Morality. Who are we to judge?
Hoping that will not put a veil over his career.
The ARTIST is great, the MAN must manage his own conscience.

Arriving in Barolo at 2.00 p.m. A splendid little village in the country among the viniards. The red vine here has a great reputation.They also do white vine. Bob drinks mainly white vine. Will he find some happiness?
There is already a line of 20 fans and so. I still need a ticket.
My good friend Claude Angela is on the line. We talk a lot about Bobby. We are some old BobbyCats from the 80’s. We did the same crazy search for Bobby then and succeeded to meet him. It was not impossible in those days. It seems so far and so close. So broken hearted.
My Bobby is gone, the one who called me the  “so good Gypsy girl!” looking strait in my eyes.
What did they do to HIM?
Roberto, my savior, will bring me a ticket right on time. The gates open at 6.30 p.m. The run to the stage. Not too bad. A small crowd of few thousands packed in front of the stage.
At my usual spot with Claude … and all the others from Italy, Germany, France, Swizerland. The japanes girl from last year is next to me.
The atmosphere is joyous. A young crowd hold the rail. Bob will be happy after a taste of the regional vine.
“Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat”
why didn’t he do the river flow?
Bob smiles at Donnie, good sign of his good humour.
Donnie is his comfort on stage. It used to be Klydie King …. In those good old days.
Two of my favourites
The Levee's Gonna
A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
I’m in a mood for asking “High Water”. First time it doesn’t work. Again I scream.High Water”.High Water”.
I see Donnie picking up his banjo.
And yes, he will do it.
Thanks Bobby! Even if it was on the set list, it feels good.
After  “Simple Twist Of Fate
He will get together with Tony and the Boys. Something new, I feel it.
“I'll Be Your Baby Tonight”
Whoa! Yes I will Bobby dear!
He doesn’t look at me doing that one but I crossed his look many times. He was actually looking at me for half of the show. Or so I want to believe! For sure he had eyes contact with the public, I even see his lips moving to say something to somebody in front. A beautiful young girl?
Great mood or a little drunk? Both.
No erratic movements though. Since the harmonicas don’t seem to work tonight he will do the breaks on piano.
The audience is great. The first row moving a lot.
The Band is answering well. A bit of that red vine?
Claude is happy so is Rita.
One of those memorable shows.
I ask for “Forever young”, he will do the usual “ Blowing in the wind”.
But we had 18 songs tonight.
Will he be the Baby of someone tonight?

The crowd moves slowly out. Claude, Julia (a young Fan from Austria) Roberto and myself decide to have a little drink in a Barolo café. Then we all retrieve to our room. Except I don’t have any. I ask Claude if I can sleep in her car. She’s ok with that.
The car is small, I don’t sleep very well but I’m happy, Bobby was happy.
In the morning Roberto proposes me to drive me to Lyon. Ok. Great! We get in the car with Julia and Hans from Stockholm (a discreet follower).
We stop in an Italian little village for a lunch of pastas before reaching Lyon.

That will be one day off.

17th of July Lyon
My hostel is right by the venue, an old Arena in the old part of Lyon. Nice surrounding. I check in for 2 days and 42€ with breakfast. Never been so close to the venue on that Tour. It reminds of Buenos Aires.
We meet with Julia and Roberto in the evening for a nice evening meal of salads and crêpes.
We go to bed early. Some sleep to catch. In a dorm of 6 girls, not so easy.

18th of July Lyon

All the German Bob/BobbyCats are around again. I’m no friend with them. Too much competition. I’m a freewheeling and I will ‘fight’ for my spot tonight.
I check the venue in the morning. The doors are opened and we sight seeing with Julia who just joined me. We take photos. The stage is empty but the roadies are all up at 9.00 a.m.
Rapidly the Germans’ group is packing up at the entrance. I stay away.
Al Santos then Jimmy are walking by. I move to Jimmy to say hello but Santos will interrupt our conversation. Work is work? Or no talk with the Fans?
J. will arrive later and we go to the venue to make photos of the crew people preparing the stage.
We  go down the street for a little something to eat passing in front of a splendid church. Earlier I entered that beautiful church to burn a candle for my Bobby!
The afternoon is passing slowly. The weather is fine.
The tension will amount rapidly for the Germans are aggressive. The line is forming early. I claim the right to be the first one on the line. They mock me. In the name of what do they decide to make the rules?  I just want my regular spot on the left. I don’t run fast so anyway they’ll be in front of the mike. I put Julia next to me, she was the second one to arrive. Bob wants young pretty girls in the front, not those big tall loud mouthed German boys!
Rita and Duddy arrive later but I will hold the rail for Rita.
They open the doors. Of course the Germans are front mike but I manage to take my spot.
I will put Rita(Italian) and Rita(Swiss) next to me. I want some decent fans around me. Good people, good feelings for Bobby. We’re all three in Love with Bobby. The two youngsters on my left are ok. Though the kid will ask me why Bob doesn’t talk on stage. He SINGS, he doesn’t have to talk!
The front row is wild. We call for Stu ;“We want Stu, we want Stu!”. We know he will open the show. We like him. Hoping Bobby won’t be jealous.
Stu is on under a thunder of applause from the front row. The Boys arrive one by one; Charlie being more and more “recluse”. He doesn’t seem to be too much happy there. Maybe he should be allowed to develop his talent as a guitar player with some solos. Stu is taking the lead. Donnie always discreet back there behind the piano. His banjo and violins always welcomed.  Tony the ‘Maestro’ of the Band and George, wild on his drums (too much sometimes!).
Bobby appears, well dressed; nice white pants (not the baggy ones), beautiful black jacket with the yellow straps, white boots and white hat, his little bow-tie from Montreux on an immaculate white shirt. He looks thin and fit. His back strait. So sexy!
The stage is low and the rail close to the stage. I never saw him so close. Looking strait to his blue eyes when he’s centre stage.
He’s looking at the front row. No fear, no sorrow. Confident that we are respectful and will not show any sign of camera. I renounced to my photos with my cell phone. I don’t want to make Barron angry at me. And of course not Bob.
Right away I sense a GREAT show is profiling.
Absolutely Sweet Marie » WHOA ! what a surprise!
The sound is a bit weak from where I stand but Stu’s guitar is clear.
Man In The Long Black Coat
Rollin' And Tumblin'
 High Water (For Charley Patton)
 Dee & Tweedle Dum
Forgetful Heart
 Blind Willie McTell
The must for me. All the songs I love in one Set List.
Why he didn’t do that Set List in Benicassim? Except for “Forgetful Heart” that would have been a killer.
He’s smiling broadly at Donnie (visible today for the stage is large). He’s trying his harmonica.  He often switched the harmonica solos for piano solos on that Tour. I prefer.
I was in pain to see him blowing so hard in that harmonica.
We all give an ovation to Stu on “Highway 61 Revisited”.
What a performance in that magnificent décor! Some marble colons are sited in the back of the stage.
Ballad Of A Thin Man” comes too fast. That will soon be the end.
The day had been too long, or the show too short. But the pain is rewarded.
Bye! Bye! Bobby! Good night!

Four good shows in splendid decorum and atmosphere. Except for the standing on the line, everything went smoothly; Cap Roig, Barolo, Nîmes and Lyon.
Hoping for another great surprise in Bayonne.

19th of July Bayonne

before the 'flood'

Rita (Swiss) will travel on trains to Bayonne. So will I. She’s first class, I’m second class but we agree to meet at each train stations; three together. We have some coffees and food, we sleep, read or dream in those trains. Nine hours later we are in Bayonne. Not too warm, not to cold.
I don’t have any Hostel reservation, counting on my luck. Of course I don’t have any show ticket. I never buy my tickets in advance, never sure to make it to the venue on time. It’s risky but until now except last year at the O2 in Berlin I managed to get inside every venue. Front row most of the time! That costs me a fortune!
“My money comes and goes
My money comes and goes
My money comes and goes
And rolls and flows and rolls and flows
Through the holes in the pockets in my clothes”
A song I would like to hear from Bob. That’s a funny one.

Since I have nothing else to do this evening in Bayonne I search for the Arenas. I got lost in a fancy residential area. The Arenas are small, lost in the middle of expensive houses. Weird!
I take a walk around downtown by the river, buy myself a sandwich and decide to sleep in luxury in a private Hotel room. I need a good night sleep. Some weirdoes are making noise at three in the morning. So much for a good night sleep!
20th of July Bayonne
8.00 a.m.
I move to the train station to get a cup of coffee and a croissant. I see Kate at a café and we take two coffees. Julia will join us. We three walk to the Arenas.
Pierre, a 19 years old Fan from Angers (my home town) is already waiting on the steps.
He looks truly like the young Dylan from 63 ; clear blue eyes and frail silhouette. Nice spirit.
Claude Angela will arrive later and put our bags in her car. The “German crew” takes position. We’ll be 20 waiting until 4. 00 p.m. when most of the crowd we’ll be arriving.
We take turn with Angela to go to the toilettes and the shop.
Angela and myself we suddenly have the brilliant idea of buying Bob some flowers like we used to do in the 80’s. I always sent red roses either to his Hotel or to the Venue in those happy days!
We go to the flower shop down the street. We ask for a composition of : two white lilies, three pink roses and three red roses. We add a little card with our names and Love. In the early afternoon we are sure that the delivery had been done. The security of the venue assure us that the bunch of flowers is inside Bob Dylan’s dressing room.
The questions are:
-    Will Bob go to the dressing-room?
-         Will Barron and 'Big Bob'leave the flowers inside the room?
The rule is that nothing can be given to Mr Dylan on back stage.
Will they give us a chance? Or will they play a dirty game?
If they read the note, will they know who we are?
If Bob reads the note will he remember us?
Too many questions from what we’ll never get any answers.

The waiting is nice at the beginning, sharing nicely with Fans around. A guy just arrived from Biarritz and had seen Stu and George in a shop over there. They are in Biarritz. Good! Bobby is safe for the Fans are here in Bayonne. He can relax on the beach and take a swim.

With Pierre we go to the back stage parking lot. We would like to say hello to the Boys arriving for the sound check. For some reason I don’t quite understand the Musicians’ bus arriving at 6. 00 p.m. is not pulling inside the parking lot. The sound check starts at 7.00 p.m. and is short.
Going back to the front gate, we find hundreds of people piled up against the fence. The Germans had the guts to get in front. Alrik is not fare for he arrived a lot later in the afternoon.  I squeeze in the front, first in line. I claim the right for Pierre and Julia to be front. Young and beautiful, they HAVE to be front. A Spanish schmuck is causing trouble. Aggressive and even violent. That will be a tuff run!
The security as fool as they are open two gates at the same time at 8.00 p.m.. A panic!
Alrik cheated  to be the first running. As tall and large as he is why does he want to be first?
I do not like him.
I run to the right line(my ticket is a e-ticket, only the right line is taking the e-ticket), pushing people running strait. Luckily the usher woman is nice enough not even to scan my ticket. I get my spot. Claude Angela at my right, the two Ritas at my left. We have one hour and a half to wait but we’re front  as well as the 25 Cats. Pierre and Julia are right front. Great!
But why? Why do we want to be front?
Tim told me that we don’t want to see, we want to be seen. Not wrong.
Also the feeling is different. No one in front of me, means I can feel being part of the Band on stage. I have room to move my little hands, sing along with Bob without bad remarks.  Follow the lyrics on his lips. See everything he gonna do between songs (get his drink on the side).
It was a time when they would turn the lights off between songs. They don’t do it anymore. It was a time when the musicians would make ‘noise’ between the songs they don’t do it anymore. Eventually we can “talk” to Bob. We usually don’t. I can scream “Bravo Bobby!” more often than necessary but where’s the problem?
The front line is the closest we can get to Bobby! So close and so far!
We paid the price. Being on the road is not easy. Queuing is not easy. Who can blame us?

In Lyon Bob was happy with the situation. Tonight?
The Boys arrive all in dark. Stu the first.
And here is Bobby, looking tired, right away.
“Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat”
The sound is not the best. His voice is weak. No energy. Biarritz didn’t do him any good?
Claude and I are waiting for the answer to our flowers. …
Barron and 'Big Bob'are both on the right inside of the stage trying to figure out who are the two fools who tried to break the rule.
As an answer Bobby will start ;
“Love Minus Zero/No Limit”

“People carry roses
Make promises by the hours
My love she laughs like the flowers
Valentines can’t buy her”

We react when he mentions the flowers ; “people carry roses”
The lyrics are controversial though. “Valentines can’t buy her”.
I want to believe it’s a message for this is my favourite Love song.

After that … He’s playing the songs one after the other, quickly. Mainly at the piano. No guitar, not once. Being in front mike is annoying. He doesn’t have the presence of the Lyon’s show; no eyes contact, though he’s “scanning” the front row. The same faces again!
We are more than enthusiastic after so many hours of waiting. We’ll take anything.

The Levee's Gonna Break is not finished properly.
He’s grinning more than often. In pain?

Make You Feel My Love.
 I sing along
 “go to the ends of the earth for you
 to make you feel my Love”

Honest With Me
Spirit On The Water
He’s mellow tonight.

Forgetful Heart
He’s like crying, so do I.

The screaming and clapping of the first row will never wake him up.
He doesn’t want to be “with” us tonight.
Stu will get an ovation for his solo on  “Highway 61 Revisited”
Donnie is hidden behind the grand piano.
Charlie looks like he wants to be somewhere else.
George is erratic on his drums.
Not the best show ever.
Thanks Bobby for “Love Minus Zero/No Limit”.

I believe and I hope he will fly private jet to Bretagne and have some good sleep.
Take care and have some rest before Carhaix my Dear!

Some of the Cats are moving up to Carhaix but most are going back home ; Germany, Italy, Nederland …
Claude Angele looks tired and sad.
The Bobby we both knew is gone.
I have the same feeling, it’s broken hearted.
“Things have changed” he will repeat night after night.
But “Things have changed” for the worst. That is a terrible blow for all the people he had left behind. We’re just ANONYMOUS in the crowd.

I spend a night with Julia in an Hotel room. She was nice to share her family room with me.
I leave Bayonne at 6.24 a.m. Back home.
That will take me ten hours and three trains.
I  collect my mail, open the door of my apartment-studio, turn the lights on, take a quick shower, read my e-mail, turn the washer on and … crash on my futon.
during the 'flood'!!

22sd of July Carhaix.

Next morning is the last trip to Carhaix ; Le Festival des Vieilles Charrues.
It’s Sunday the train/bus are sparse. I’m stuck in a little village for one hour and a half. I try to hitch-hike but in vain.
I reach Carhaix at 4.00 p.m. Fortunately the show had been delayed to 8.50 p.m. from 6.30 p.m. Bob needs his nap in the afternoon. Don’t they know?
Thousands of freaks are enjoying  4 days of festivities and music, today is the last day.
The little Gaulois Village is like invaded by the Romans.
I follow the throng. Right away I find the main stage and move down.
I spot Rita (swiss) and her Spanish friend in second row left centre mike. I join them.
The stage is far far away. A huge security gap to protect the Stars. And High. Bobby will be invisible behind his Grand Piano.
Kate, Pierre, Simon, Claude (not my friend, she’s back home), Olivier, Frederika, Rita, Duddy , two or three more are packed up as close as possible to the front mike. No German Cats. We’re a handful in a non-Dylan-fans crowd.
A group named “the garbage” will be on stage at 7.00 p.m. Right name. They are trash. I put the ear plugs. The bass is tragically loud. They’re trying to kill us!
At 7.30 p.m. the Dylan’s crew rolls the equipment. The piano is so far. For once Bobby should have put the piano first. Wrong strategy for a festival!
At 9. 00 p.m. 50 000 freaks are packed behind me. They have great expectation.
For hours the security had been hosing the public and distributed bottled water. The sun is down now, the air is cool. No more hosing!
Stu appears on the left, striking his guitar. Under a thunder of applause considering the number of people Bob takes his stand on his keyboard.
“Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat”
not too bad but the Bass of Tony is too much loud. The “garbage” didn’t clean up after them?
The drums don’t sound to clear, disconnected from the rest.
On this show, for the first time, no one will request us not to take photos. 'Big Bob'is not even present. The big screens are on but no close up, just the general stage (on that the journalists will bitterly complain the next day).
Bob is doing his usual gig. A mistake again. This is not a Dylan public!
This Wheel's On Fire” not a good choice for this is an obscure song. Only the handful of truly fans can appreciate.
The rest of the Set  List is ok but he’s too much on the piano. Only “Simple Twist Of Fate” on guitar. Not enough harmonica. Even if it’s painful for him to blow on that instrument we need the staccato of “High water” or “Cry awhile”. The special effect of “Blind Willy Mc Tell”. The beautiful rhythm of “Man in the long black coat”.
Unfortunately they also have sound problems. The mike will be off on part of “Highway 61 Revisited” . Bob is singing but no sound is coming out. He’ll make solos on piano.
On “Thunder On The Mountain” a crash comes from George’s drums. Jewels (the sound technician) will move from his sound board to reconnect some wires.
Those two songs should have been killers.  What a mess!
Ballad Of A Thin Man will be well perceived for he’s centre stage with special light effect.
A desperate effort to make the public react on “Like A Rolling Stone” . The Bob/BobbyCats are wild , for us this is the end of a long, long journey with Bob Dylan. We love him no matter what. Those festivals were a challenge. A courageous move.
We salute joyously each member of the Band on “All Along The Watchtower”.
I cry on “Blowin' In The Wind”.

"Simple twist of fate"

I say bye to Rita, Duddy.  They’re planning to do part of the U.S.A. Tour in the fall. Rita always positive on the Dylan’s shows. She finds him marvellous, no matter what.
Rita (Swiss) and her Spanish friend are also satisfied.  We take a drink. We promise to e-mail and they go.
I have no where to go.
I check the camping site. It’s a mess. I don’t have a tent just a sleeping bag. No way to sleep on the floor. It’s probably full of vomit or pee or I don’t know what.
I move out towards the little Village transformed into an immense dumpster.
I meet Tim and Kevin selling posters. The business is not good. The bad comments on the Dylan show are numerous. 
Not a Dylan public!! They don’t know him, they don’t understand him.
I move on to step on Steve, a Fan from England. Him too, has no way to go. So we go nowhere… to the train station they had the brilliant idea to close.
It’s cold outside, even my sleeping bag is no use against the low temperature.
6..00 a.m. frozen to the bones and tired, I catch a bus to the train station, then a train, then a train ….
I reach home in the late afternoon.

End of the journey.

and for Bob
"As for me, I was also in Carhaix, along with Mrs. Ruth Goldshmit Platel.
you must know, the concert was to take place at 6.00 p.m.. He was shifted to 8:45 p.m..
must say that the bus left at the end of the concert strait to Spézet Landeleau.
, suspecting that the journalists would follow it parked on the Conan Spézet hotel parking lot.
It  remained
parked about 40 minutes.
Then left
towards Gourin.
From there,
to Rostrenen.
The aim was
theLaunay Castle”.
stayed thre three days, since Carhaix was the last date before

and there,
it's not hype .....
I was in the
car with Mrs. Ruth Platel.
I think
you know who is this lady?
She is
a very close friend of Mrs. Sarah Shirley Lowdes!
I only stayed one night at the castle.
Forbidden to see
our Star!!

Jean-François Fidel


1 commentaire:

  1. Hi my friend Laurette,this is your friend Claude Boni, just a short comment to say that to my opinion, Bob was fantastic on piano in Bayonne and his voice was clear and strong just like in Barolo, I was not in Lyon so I can't compare Barolo and Bayonne with Lyon, but I was really enthusiastic during all the show in Bayonne except for "Highway 61" which was no good at all and even shrinked , I felt Bob was not into it.But all the rest was so good. Don't you remember my screamings during all the show? Bayonne was a great show Bob was great all the time, and I didn't left tired and sad, I was just anxious, wondering about how I would find the way to my hôtel... And obviously I got lost and I had to call the hôtel to ask for some help! I can't drive at nignt!I arrived one hour later instead of ten minutes! Anyway Bob had our flowers and I'm sure he liked it... And we got what we deserved with "Love minus no limit". But ... I will not queue up again! I don't want endure again that endless waiting in the sun ... I agree with you people like Alrik cheating all the time are a real pain in the... neck! They have nothing to do with Bob and they should be banned for ever!And in the end, my dear sweet friend Bob will remember YOU not him! And me also... of course!