I’m sitting here watching a Dylan concert on DVD . So far no Dylan , but other musicians each play one or two of Dylan’s songs . Neil Young just got off the stage . Eric Clapton is belting out ” Don’t think twice , it’s alright ” right now . Sinead O’ Connor got booed offstage before she could get around to singing a song . She proclaimed something about child abuse . The concert occurred two weeks after Sinead’s appearance on Saturday Night Live when she went after the pope in 1992 . I think it was 1992 . And , I guess she was right , speaking truth-to-power , as they say , now that the child abuse within the clergy has come to light over the several years since then .
Ronnie Wood , Lou Reed , Chris Kristofferson , Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash , Tracey Chapman , Willie Nelson , George Harrison ………………
I saw Neil Young at Royce Hall at UCLA in 1971 . Rambling Jack Elliot opened for him . I paid two dollars for my seat and I wasn’t way at the back of the hall either . ” Old man , take a look at my life , 24 and there’s so much more ……..” I don’t know , were those the words ? It’s late . I wouldn’t trust my memory just now .
George Harrison is playing on the DVD right now , wearing a pink jacket . ” Sweet Marie ……..where are you tonight , Sweet Marie ? …………..” Ada and I have been recounting how many of these artists have passed away : George , Johnny , Lou , Richie Havens ………
Tom Petty , now , and The Heartbreakers ………………..what song will they sing ? Tom Petty , a tried-and-true Dylan imitator , eh ? I don’t recognize the song ………..License To Kill ? Tom is cool , not jumping around like Neil Young or Ron Wood . Lou Reed-ish , I’d say , dignified in a stage sense , cool . Now another song by the Heartbreakers. This one I know ……” but I would not feel so all alone ; everybody must get stoned …………..they’ll stone you when you’re walking down the street…………………Everybody must get stoned…….They’ll stone you at the breakfast table……………..”
Richie Havens played ” Just Like a Woman “. That’s probably not the name of it ; but , you know the song . Dylan . Wait……..a third Dylan song by Tom Petty . Hey , Mr. Tamborine Man , play a song for me , I’m not sleepy and there ain’t no place I’m going to …….”
Wait. Here’s Bobby Dylan . George Harrison introduced him . Acoustic guitar . The new Bob , 1990’s version . If you’re not busy being born you’re busy dying………….even the president of the United States sometimes must stand naked………..It’s alright , ma ……………money doesn’t talk it swears ………………..”
I waited all night for the ticket booth to open in 1971 to get the two dollar tickets for the Neil Young concert . My girlfriend at the time was with me . Students were partying in Meyerhoff Park , drinking wine , waiting for the ticket booth to open .
An old story : Several year later she asked me who was the girl I went to the concert with . I was dumbfounded , gob-smacked . ” You ,” I said , but no longer certain . ” Don’t you remember we waited all night , ” she said . ” We drank wine . ” Yeah ; yeah , I remembered that . ” And in the morning , when the booth opened , you bought two tickets and then turned to me and asked ‘ How many are you going to get ? ‘ ” No , I didn’t remember that .
Bob is singing Knocking on Heaven’s Door . I sang that once onstage , believe it or not , in Switzerland with Willie Nininger . I didn’t know most of the words , besides not knowing how to sing . But , what the hell ! Another American onstage was good for the Swiss . I guess that was Willie’s idea . I had my flannel shirt and blue jeans . Danny Counts from West Virginia was there playing bass guitar . My shirt stank of cigarette smoke the next morning from the Swiss smokers . I remember that . Otherwise the performance was forgettable .
Bob is now singing Girl From the North Country . He is bowing . Looks like he is wearing a running suit . Dylan .
Neil Young had a much better voice than me or Dylan, at least in 1971 . Ada showed me a picture from the internet of Neil now. Well , we all get old . Some of us should retire . Are you listening , Bob ? Willie (Nelson) ? Retirement ain’t so bad . Yeah , Bob , you . Think about it . Neil Young in 1971 : Old man , take a look at my life ; I’m a lot like you were…………..