Amusing and Abusing -30 Years of Dylan at Stabler

     Good Day, Good People!

     While the K2 experiments still rage on, I found another blog that has been writing about similar experiments for quite a while, so no matter how much I like it, it IS old news. I knew it was out there but couldn’t find it until Ferd came up with it on the way to the casino. I still intend to use it and am having fun trying different flavours, despite all horror stories I have heard. The biggest horror is that Jennifer Mann is in office but that is not worth wasting a nice day on. We’ll save her for a rainy day.

     If we are abusing substances, we can go about entertaining ourselves in two ways. We can sit and stare at the wall, slack-jacked and foggy, daydreaming about nothing in particular OR we can find something amusing to stare at slack-jawed, while getting a little culture and laughs.

     Concerts are good to stare at, even while you are dancing. Stare at the stage. People have done it for centuries. I do most of my stage-staring at Bob Dylan. I see him once or twice a year. He will be 70 next year and I hope I keep seeing for many more years.

     Since I just got tickets and needed something to write about, I reckoned on noting that this will be the fourth time I have seen him in this particular venue. I could not find the stub from the first one, the October 25, 1981, show on the Shot Of Love tour. But the others are there. The 1981 show was excellent and I had seen it at the Spectrum two nights before. This was in the ‘old’ Stabler, Stabler Hall. The facility was rebuilt in the 80s. It was on campus of the school I dropped out of, Lehigh University. I dropped out because of the students, who were a rich, whiney lot and didn’t take kindly to certain ‘types’, of which I am one.

     There were a few good things about my time there and one was meeting Timothy Leary, after he gave a lecture on space travel. I was pretty high on acid and I shook his hand and stared into his eyes to see if he looked like he was tripping but I do not remember the result, somehow.

     So the 1981 show was very well done but some guy behind me kept pushing me and I guess he wanted to see around me because I am 6’4″ but that is no reason to be rude, so I had to put palm to chest and push him over six folding chairs to make him stop. Once I saw him go down, I turned my back and ignored him. I was there to see the show, not fuck around.

     That is why I avoid ‘General Admission’ at all costs.

     The next show wasn’t until 1995 and that was the great Paradise Lost  tour. You can read about it in Beatdom Issue 7, the one with Dylan tied up like Gulliver on the cover. That one is a story in itself and is covered over the material in two different articles in that issue. You can download it for free or be real and buy it in book form, which I prefer. The second article is about Allen Ginsberg and his role in rock, punk and other popular music. I didn’t write this to plug it, but thought it worth mentioning, Kind Readers.

     The next time was four years later, when Natalie Merchant opened for Bob. Now it was The Bob Dylan Show!  He was especially hot that time. On the road with the Time Out Of Mind LP, it was his first tour showcasing all those great new songs. Heavily into morphine at the time, it was a lovely disc to listen to. It was morbid, stark and real. So were the shows that followed it. He won Best Vocal Performance at the Grammy’s that year, which I thought was great since everybody who gives me that ‘he can’t sing’ shit are such base idiots.

     Natalie Merchant was good, as well, but I do not remember a lot. I do recall her doing a brilliant cover of Space Oddity and that song she sings with all the nanas in it. I think she sang a few like that. She had nice nanas and played a great set. That much I know.

     This time around, it is still The Bob Dylan Show  and I managed to get seats in the twelfth row, which is pretty close to perfect. Too close and you get a stiff neck and hearing damage. If the show is good, maybe I will catch him in another city. He is worth the drive and I try to pick a city I never visited before to make it a bit more fun. Maybe Poughkeepsie next, who knows?


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