Poems for Bob Dylan

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Poems for Bob Dylan

Post  pinhedz on Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:10 am

I remember one time there was a poem-writing contest for Bob's 65th birthday Smile

Upon Robert Zimmerman's 65th Birthday

A rocker who at sixty-five
is still alive and full of jive
doesn't need an ode or sonnet
or a great big cake with candles on it
to make it worth his while to rhyme
"Utah" with "me-pa" one more time.

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Re: Poems for Bob Dylan

Post  Yakima Canutt on Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:53 pm

"ass in stir"
"triple mur ... der"

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Re: Poems for Bob Dylan

Post  Yakima Canutt on Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:56 pm

love Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell and Bob; if you want a negative
review you'll have to go elsewhere. It was my desire going in that each
artist would succeed in achieving their goals. What follows is what I
believe to be a rational and acturate observation, albeit from the
perspective of a (in the case of Joni) casual--in the case of Van,
demonstrative--and in the case of Dylan, determined, fan. I hope what
follows will be an accurate, though incomplete, chronicle of the

I have never been to the San Jose Arena prior to tonight's event. Skip
and I went to dinner at a delightful pub--The Rose And Shark--in San
Pedro Square just a couple of blocks from the arena. I mention this
because the Edlis pre-show gathering was announced to happen at another
venue--Patty's Inn--also a couple of blocks from the venue. Here's the
comparison: R&S--beautiful wood bar, oak tables laid with linens,
who-knows-how-many-ales-on-tap (I had a couple pints of a delightfully
balanced and crisp and perfectly cold Lost Coast IPE Ale) and a great
menu. (Skip had Fish and Chips, served with garnish and his choice of
toppings; I had the Chicken with Artichoke Hearts pasta, cooked in
Virgin Olive Oil and served with a lightly toasted french bread). We
left just as a Dylan tape of a live show came over the sound system in
order to get to Patty's.

Patty's: No draft; No wine; No food (except for airline-sized bags of
snack peanuts). When I asked the sole bartender (ess) if there were
Polish available, she told me she couldn't serve any because she was too
busy. And she was. She was the sole waiter in a typical dive bar.
Ummm, this is a dive bar. If you've been in one, you know what I mean.
However, the juke box did have Dylan's GH Vol. 3 on it, and we selected
every tune!

Was able to give a person an extra ticket for face value; that made him
happy, and pissed off the scalpers who were trying to buy tickets for
thirty dollars and sell them for who-knows-how-much. Bill was from
Chicago. Wished I was able to visit with him, but spent my time after I
got into the show going places I probably shouldn't have been.

I have a friend who works the Arena; she told me about the security
measures they were putting into place after a couple of near-disasters
recently staged there (one of which was a WWF wrestling event just last
weekend, where a patron threw a bottle into the crowd which struck a
woman who had to be hospitalized as a result.) She told me that the
security would be tight. "If you try and get to the stage, or start a
stage rush, you will be kicked out or they will stop the show!" she
said. The Arena was to have eight employees with radios for
"emergencies" roaming the floor; fifty ushers; sixteen "BIG"
bouncers; and eight people in the catwalks above the arena floor with
video surveillance patrolling for trouble spots.

"What about people with herb?" I asked.

"It's a 'no-smoking' venue," she answered, "but we're not going to worry
about that; there are more pressing matters at hand."

Yeah. Like me trying to organize a stage rush and get onto the floor,
center stage, before the night's out.

San Jose Arena. Home of the Sharks. 20,000 fans. Tickets sold out in
25 minutes (if you can believe the propaganda.) Blue-jacketed $10.00
and hour pimps everywhere you look.

I stopped at the merchandise venue going in. Spent too much money on
not enough cool stuff. A cd holder with the Bob logo; four posters
(two each of each color, with great writing on them: Bob Dylan
"Sensational!"; Joni Mitchell "fantastic!"; Van Morrison
"incredible!" DON'T YOU DARE MISS IT! (I just had to laugh...of
course, none of these posters were available PRIOR to the event...the
only people who could buy them were people who had tickets! Guess I'm a
sucker, but I couldn't resist the title slug spread across the top of
the glossy thick card stock: A VERY SPECIAL ENGAGEMENT! SAN JOSE

And the music began before 7:30, but not before I bought two patches, a
"To Live Outside the Law You Must Be Honest" bumper sticker, a set of
three other bumper stickers, a couple of event t-shirts, and the coolest
ski hat I've ever seen. Thanks Skip!
(Oh, also a Hwy 61 keychain...no Zippo lighters...)

Relieved of my immense burden of $150, we went into the show; our seats
sucked. So, Skip and I headed down onto the floor and spent the rest of
the night there. The adventure of the evening is worthy of a film
script; I'll spare the details here.

Van did not appear at first, though his band opened the show. A slight
man, tenor, sang a couple songs--I thought I'd remember what they were,
but you know how that goes!

Then he introduced Van. Now. I like Van. A lot. And he delivered
tonight. Van gave a good, solid set. He played a nice mixture of the
old and new (Days like These, Van Loose Stairway, and a taste of Thank
You For Letting Me Be Mice Elf Again), hit the harmonica and sang
through his harp mic for some nice distortion effects, and he dedicated
a song to Frank Sinatra (My Life). But there was something a bit remiss
in San Jose.

The recent reports of Van's performances seem to be largely accurate.
His routine stage routine has come to resemble a Las Vegas Show. Van
hits the stage in his suit and hat and dark sunglasses. He stands
rather sedate through most of his performance. The two guitars flanking
him remain untouched throughout the set. The lighting is serviceable
but pedestrian. His horn players take their eight bars without any
necessary inspiration, and Van performs the obligatory "turn to the band
and bring the hand down" signal when the songs are supposed to end.
However, the most aggregious and offensive fault of his set lay not with
Van, but with his Tenor Claque.

The gentleman, whose name escapes me, is a brown-nosed employee of the
first order. This guy has Brown 29 running from stem to stern. His
posturings smack of learned gestures from the Bob Barker School of
Performing Arts. Not that he wasn't a good singer; it was just that he
seemed to have a priority in being servile. And therein lay the
problem, if, indeed, there was one. When Van would exit the stage, the
little weasel that serves Jabba the Hut would run to the lip of the
stage and call out Van's name over and over and over again. Now, once,
this is fine. Repeated after three different songs, ummm...And, when
Van ended his closing number by calling out the name of "James Brown!"
over and over, and then his lacky came to the mic after Van's exit and
called out "Van Morrison! Van Morrison!" over and over...well, that was
a bit too much; it was a bit over the top for a crowd that had risen to
its feet over and over again in appreciation of the talent and gifts
that Van delivered to the South Bay. We were all in the palm of his
hand. We were there before he entered the stage. We were there when
the sound op screwed up on the mixing board and sent the night's sole
feedback echoing through the arena. We were there when Van, at the end
of his concluding encore, picked up his mic stand and wrenched it from
the stage, slung it across his back and walked off the stage trailing
the cord behind. It was the only touch of Rock and Roll Anarchy the
night was to see; not that such was needed to validate the performances

In short, Van gave a deliberate and craftsmanlike performance. Take it
or leave it.

Joni's review will be much shorter (as it's now almost 2:00...) She hit
the stage with a very interesting backdrop: four muslin panels
suspended from a batton, each panel with a visual painted image
that--with the other three pieces--formed a mural image of a Thinker
sitting on a hillside overlooking a chasm, on the other side of which is
a cross and land. The panels are lit variously throughout the evening
to evoke different moods for the eclectic set Joni delivered.

Just before the show I was warned by one patron that the Joni segment
was (politely) lacking in substance. I, personally, could not disagree
more. Joni received a rousing ovation (as did Van and, subsequently,
Bob). At one point she even apologized for her set not "going back too
far," though it went back far enough for me: Big Yellow Taxi,
Woodstock...Joni sang with her heart and soul, often accompaning herself
solo on the electric guitar, other times flanked by her back-up band;
nevertheless, she delivered a soothing and satisfying set, perhaps a bit
longer than required by her union contract in favor of the satisfying
response the crowd returned.

Ah, but then...Bob. (Before, Bob, though, there was the trip to the
clubhouse and a sampling of the wonder fare offered there...man, this is
a class joint! A full-service bar, pasta, entrees...I would bring a
date here...)

What can I say about Bob? He Was ON! Decked out in his basic
grey-to-black pants, two-inch high heeled patent leather shoes and his
dandy shirt, Bob came out looking thinner and in better shape than I've
seen him in years. Push the Grammy's aside; He looked young and
gentlemanly at the same time. A.J. Webberman should see Bob live
sometimes; he would trash his site and erect the "Bob is the King"
website instead of the tragic travesty he's propagating now. BOB

I could tell you about the head checks, the smiles, the knowing grins,
the acknowledgements of the front row's response (oh, yes, by this time
I ended up third row center...BITCHIN!) Bob was on fire, but it was a
controlled performance. He rocked when it was time to rock. He
mellowed when it was time to mellow. I ran to the side of the house to
get a different view of the master and it struck me: this is the 90's
version of the mid-seventies shows...it's not Bob with the Band...it's
Bob with his new band--The Jokermen--and they are able! Bucky makes the
pedal steel sing and plays the mandolin with masterful accomplishment.
Larry, though looking bored with playing the rote lead notes of "Just
Like A Woman," did seem to not distain his duties as Bob's lead
guitarist. I missed the interplay I witnessed with Bob and JJ at the
'95 Warfield shows, where JJ actually egged Bob into transcendent
moments of guitar virtuosity, but Larry did his job ably and with great

There were even moments of genuine electricity.

I was bummed Bob skipped Blind Willie from the set list. Ahh, well.

The rest of the songs you've hard before, except perhaps the rare
inclusion of "Man In Me." That rocked my boat (and the free world!)

13 songs. Would have liked 14. Better than 11. Silvio still at 5.
(HOw about "Lay Down Your Weary Tune instead?)

Masters was great to this crowd. I hope they got the message. (Me?
I'm just a poor boy that does theatre for a living...)

Am I the only one who completely digs the opening of Cold Irons Bound?
Man, I love the sonic quality of those opening licks.

And Bob! Dancing, swaying, cutting his knees into one another, rising
up on the pads of his feet, tension in his legs, energy coming from his
body with his head rising and falling, his mouth in a grin, his eyes
darting life and energy and joy--the joy a musician delivers when at the
top of his game.

I ran out back when Rainy Day Women started, hoping to get a glimpse of
Bob, a pen and paper in my hand. Within a short period of time the
windbreaker clad lackys of the Arena came running up from the gated
loading dock at the rear of the venue crying, "Stand Back! Clear the

I wondered if I should bow and scrape. I was only hoping Bob may stop
and smile and say "yeah, thanks." I knew he wouldn't, but it didn't
diminish my hope, nor those of the four other fans standing there, two
of which brought their record albums (GH 1 and a Times), the third a
beautiful woman with full, pouty lips in a long white coat, and the
forth an--I don't know--Pat.

The black-windowed bus came out and left. I went back in and got a set
list. I'll wait until later to say "Hi" again to Tammy, Darien,
Melanie, Mary, Frank, T, Kyle, Mark and the rest.

It was a great show. I hope you'll be able to catch the new, adult,
temperate yet still energetic "Eight Leg" Tour. It's a great event.






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Re: Poems for Bob Dylan

Post  Yakima Canutt on Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:02 pm

Yakima Canutt

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Re: Poems for Bob Dylan

Post  Yakima Canutt on Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:48 pm


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