We find ourselves half-blindly pecking at the keyboard to give you an account of the Bob Dylan/Leon Russell show the CFYSA crew took part in this evening, or last night or last month or whenever you read this…to all Gentle Souls.
The trip to the show began with the drive to collect Ferd, who dressed surprisingly normally for a victim of dementia (haha), with the exception of too many gadgets, which posed later problems, as you shall see. Ferd saw the last Dylan show in the area with us and it was a great show but this one was better. The sound was spot-on, although we still heard morons in the parkinglot after the show saying ‘couldn’t understand a single word’. Perhaps if one has a vocabulary, one notices words and understands them and if one does not read and has no vocabulary further than rudimentary gobbles and the drive-thru menu at McDonalds, it would be hard to understand. They should buy a dictionary and try to read one book a year, for a start…then see if they understand.
So, the show was great and the setlist is available on www.expectingrain.com …the link is on the page above. We shall comment more on the event as a whole, rather than the sterling performance of the most influential force in pop music over the past 50 years. Ferd played a key part in the fun. While ‘dressing down,’ he still managed to be turned away at the entrance when they scanned us for metal items and found him to be carrying a knife, among other contraptions…ironic, since earlier in the day, we had told our close friend and confidant, Electra, about his gadgets and about his cap with the four mini-mad-lights on the brim, with a flashing light for good measure, and the knives and radios and Three Stooges Zippo and the myriad of junk he carries. Electra was amused but nonplussed at why a person should outfit themself in such a way.
At the Main Entrance, he was sent away, instructed to hide his knife under a rock…which he did and after standing in line again – while we drank cider inside the venue – he entered and was proud to note that they only found one knife and that the better one was in his back pocket. Why do we need knives in this day and age…portable knives, not at the workplace, that is? They come in handy for crude types to pick their teeth with but are an inconvenience, otherwise, as evidenced by Ferd’s second trip through the entrance gate, where he still ‘beeped’ on the security equipment; but they were so tired of him they just flagged him through…terrorists, take note! haha…
As enjoyable as the show was (the highlight for me was Dylan playing guitar while singing Beyond Here Lies Nothing, the first song on his latest LP, and theme song for the first season of some hoodie-kid-vampyre=tripe show, the name of which escapes us in our slight inebriation, post concert…True Blood perhaps?) we were disturbed by an idiot urging us to sit down. Our seats were in Row 13, so twelve rows of standing flesh would have blocked our vision, were we to comply. It turns out the person was handicapped and did not want to sit in the section where he could have seen the show nicely. Perhaps he was being independent by shining his flashlight in the faces of four rows of people while hissing/begging, “sit down, you bastards!!!” …Not an effective approach!
He poked Your Humble Narrator in the back twice with his finger, Your Narrator being 6’4” and often suspect of shenanigans when tall people are guilty of things…but personal intrusions like poking are bullying behaviour and we had to inform the patron that his index finger would soon be handicapped, should he poke one more time…an empty threat but effective.
Handicapped people at public events can be quite mean. They expect special attention but do not make arrangements ahead of time. Some people have themselves declared as handicapped just to get a good parking space. More power to them? Having cheated cancer the hard way, we have no mercy…we live on borrowed time, so do not disturb!
Another bully memory goes back to when we were in the employ of a regional daily newspaper and, carving a niche in entertainment writing, was sent to do a review of a Linda Ronstadt show, when she was at the height of her fame. This was in the 1970s and Ferd was home on leave from the Navy and we were bending the rules of chemical consumption and blending hallucinogens, when it occurred to Your Humble Narrator that a story was due at the city desk by 1030pm…Putting two words together was a challenge, much less opining on the performance of songs we were only half-familiar with. Heart Like A Wheel was her best LP to date but she had gone pretty commercial. While not knowing what to write, the City Desk waited…Deadline waited…and so we made our way to a payphone in front of an ice cream vendor and put a dime in it…yes, a dime, and yes…a payphone!!!
The editor, a true friend, was helpful, writing the story for us while pumping for details so it sounded like he was writing about an event that actually happened! The reporter’s notebook in my hand contained most of the names of the songs she sang, but that was it, aside from what she wore. He took the information and crafted it into an acceptable concert review, slapped my byline on it and saved my career – but it took a bit of time to get the facts over the phone to him.
Dimes were no problem, compared to what was to come next. A small army of handicappers in wheelchairs surrounded me at the phone. Our brain was split betwen two realms of psychedelia. These pushy, wheely cretins wanted to call to get their ride home. They deserve the designation of ‘cretin’ due to behaviour, not handicap.
The story was only half done and the phone could not be given up. By the time we finished phoning in the story, no less than ten handicappers were cursing me with tongues a-snarling and using language most foul, they waved canes menacingly…multiple canes ready to strike…it is always shocking to hear the infirmed curse you and wish you unwanted anal penetration and this is not a blanket indictment of all people in wheelchairs. They were mean. They were bullies in wheelchairs. They have a way of milking the sympathy out of a person to get away with anything. Shocking, is what it is!!!
It reminds us of Richard Widmark as Tommy Udo in Kiss Of Death…
If this blog seems intolerant, it IS. We paid close to $90USD for those seats and we do not need to be stressed in our post-cancerous state, It is stressful. It is mean. It is bullying…from now on, we think twice about “hiring the handicapped” and will only hire the ones who have good manners…because manners, Dear Friends, are the glue that holds society together!!!