Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A.O. Scott, the New York Times reviewer, was positively bolluxed in his praise for Todd Haynes' new movie "I'm Not There" which apparently has several actors playing Bob Dylan, including Richard Gere, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Cate Blanchette, and some others. Like reality TV, this should spawn any number of imitative concepts, such as six actors each playing a version of Bruce Springsteen, or Hillary Clinton, or Bill Gates. In the meantime, it never hurts to become yet again confused by Dylan.

I will never forget my first Dylan spotting. It was the mid-1970s, perhaps 1975 or 1976, and Dylan's tour was called the Rolling Thunder Revue, appearing at the Tarrant County Convention Center in Fort Worth, Texas. I was playing that weekend as I always did at the New Bluebird Night Club on Wellesley St., with Robert Ealey and the Drifting Heartbreaks. T-Bone Burnett was on tour with Dylan, and had also produced Robert live at the Bluebird, so he was going to bring Dylan around to the blues club. Surely enough a limo pulled up around midnight or so and out stepped two important people, both in big hats. One was Dylan and the one with the floppy hat was Joni Mitchell I think. I suppose it could have been a hoax but we let them be when they sat at a booth in the corner and it sure looked like them. They stayed quite a while. The motto of the club was "Everybody is somebody at the Bluebird" and the locals would have noticed B.B. King or T-Bone Walker before they would have noticed Dylan. So, the celebrity visitors had a nice unhurried time of the blues, hosted by T-Bone (John Henry Burnett). Nothing changed on the bandstand but I may have drank more beer than usual out of nervousness. The next time I saw him was on his baseball diamond tour in Pawtucket, R.I., and on that bill was a gal blues singer from those Bluebird days who may have been singing with us that long-ago night, Lou Ann Barton. Thanks Bob for keeping your Fort Worth ties!

In our store at moneyblows books and music, we have some Dylan items of interest:

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