Bob Dylan Tour U.S.A. summer 2016.



 From Israel to the U.S.A.


From January to May 2016 I lived in Israel. I said lived because that the way I feel about it, opposed to visiting.  I stayed with my Israeli family in the Negev. The Negev is the small part of the Sinai which belongs to Israel; representing 55% of the Israeli state. During the 6 days war in 1967 Israel conquered the territory all the way down to the Suez Canal but through the Egyptian–Israeli Peace of 1979 most of the Sinai had been reassigned to Egypt.
The Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty was signed in Washington, D.C., United States on 26th March 1979, following the 1978 Camp David Accords. The Egypt–Israel treaty was signed by Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin, and witnessed by United States president Jimmy Carter. Consequence of the peace move by Anwar Sadat he will be assassinated in October 1981.
Azuz is a tiny village of 15 families summing 70 inhabitants. Located one mile and a half from the Egyptian border. That border is today protected by a militarized fence, most of all to stop the illegal immigration from the African countries at war.
The situation being what it is in the Middle East, the Egyptian defense is not turned towards Israel but towards its internal enemy ISIS, infiltrating the Sinai and manipulating the Bedouins.
There is tension in Azuz but no paranoia. From time to time we can hear the nearby military base practicing, but the worst are the Military Airplanes flying low for practice.
But life goes on on the farm.
A family of 6 (2 parents and 4 children) managed to develop an oasis on a barren ground, all dry and rocky. The orchard is composed of more than 1400 fruit trees (olives, pomegranates, figs, grapes, almonds, plums, peaches, nectarines, pears, apples, oranges, clementines, pomelos, grapefruits, limes, lemons, …). The huge garden is switching from a summer garden to a winter garden. The watering system is the ingenious Israeli dripping system, conserving water. And when , by chance, there is a stormy weather and flood, the water from the wadies is collected and directed to the 4 plateaus of the orchard like in the time of the Nabatheans.
The agriculture, here, is totally organic, no chemicals of any kind are being used.
I belong to an association called WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms:
Linking volunteers with organic farms and growers). I am thus working (10 hours a day) as a volunteer. But after a while I just feel like part of the family and don’t even consider the work as work but as participation to the community. The work is physically demanding, the weather conditions are extreme : up to 42° C. or 110° F. in summer time but extremely cold at night in the winter time. We had frost in the garden in January and February.
I found there a certain Peace of mind. I woke up at 5.30 a.m. with the sun rise and went back to sleep with the sun set. I enjoyed the Shabbos off (Saturdays) for a day of rest ; sleeping, reading, learning Hebrew, drawing, painting.
Here, Shabbat is just a day of rest, so are the different festivities ; Hanukah, Purim, Pesach.
There is no religiosity, just traditions in that family of secular Jews. A paradox for a lot of people who don’t realize the complexity of Israel and Judaism.
Volunteers are coming and going, I stay the longest.
During my free time and rested mind I dream of the Bob Dylan Tour in the U.S.A. I don’t stress, though ; what has to be will be.




PART II.

Bob Dylan U.S.A. summer Tour 2016.


I love San Francisco (my favorite American City) and the Bay Area. I have special feelings for Berkeley University. So, I decide to fly to San Francisco for the two Bob Dylan shows at the Greek Theater in Berkeley.

I book a flight to San Francisco on the 8th of June with a return ticket from New York.
That Tour is a little bit complicated ; from North of California to the south of Cali, then Denver, going up north to Chicago, down south to Nashville then North East. I will not do the whole Tour for sure and for now I don’t know how far I will be able to go. I will try my best to attend as many shows as possible.
On that Tour I will not do any Couch Surfing. It is a complicated logistic to follow and as most of the shows are only one by city (except Berkeley, San Diego, Vienna) it is not in the principles of Couch Surfing to just have a night for free. The idea is more to share with the Hosts. I will switch between AirB&B and Youth Hostels depending on the possibilities.
Also a good friend of mine, Pat, invited me to stay at his home in Pittsburgh for the shows on the East Coast. I will use his home as a base for the end of the Tour.

June 8 Berkeley.


I step out of the plane in San Francisco airport with confidence. This is one of the American cities well equipped with public transportation.  I will hop on the BART (bay area rapid transit) taking me straight to Berkeley. Only few blocks away I find my AirB&B room.
I am tired from the flight and the jetlag so I go to bed right away.

June 9 Berkeley.

First thing in the morning I walk to the Greek Theater. The trucks are there and the roadies are setting up the stage. I feel in a familiar surrounding.
I have been here before, few years back, when I was traveling with Mr. R. We were friends then and I believed that was an indestructible friendship.
But I am not sad. I am in Berkeley, Bobby and the Band will be on stage tonight. Yippy!
I spend few hours just walking around, on Telegraph avenue and on the campus. Everything is calm; the 60’s revolution is over and forgotten.
I know there will be a sound check around 5.00 p.m. so I decide to take a chance to see the Band and Bobby walking in. At 4.30 p.m. the two black buses are driving inside the open parking lot. The boys step out of their bus one by one. Barron keeps guard by the musicians bus so I wonder if Bob traveled with his musicians. But no. Bobby steps out of his own bus accompanied by a technician. Barron just follows. Bobby looks in good shape trotting away in a casual outfit and shoes, hooded, of course.
This will be the only time I permitted myself to “spy” on him. I know , by now, that there will be no contact with the Fans. I give him his space and peace and privacy.
I go back to my room for a little rest and some food. I get ready for the show, not the first one on that Tour but the first one for me. I condition myself to focus on the show as I know well that Mr. R. and Miss. M. will be at the show.
For few years now I have decided not to buy any tickets in advance. I figured out that many Fans have extra tickets they don’t bother to sell or sell for a low price. I will take my chance show after show.
It works tonight. A nice couple proposes to let me in with them as they have their tickets on their telephone. We walk in to the first circle of seats.
My mind drifts away :

“I have been here before when Bob played Oakland and some time previously
when he played the same Greek theater. I am losing track of time, tour
after tour and show after show.  Now traveling for 2 good reasons; Bob
shows and just ... traveling. Berkeley U.C. campus where all started in
the 60's. Mario Salvio and his flaming speeches, (the Free speech movement
Cafe is open here today), the anti - draft resistant, the sit-ins, the
stopping of the trains with human bodies... "there's music in the Cafes
and revolution in the air". And across the Bay ... Haight - Ashbury and
the Hippies ," turn on, tune in, drop out", Timothy Leary and Lucy in the
Sky with Diamonds, Janis Joplin, The Dead Heads... On the East Coast, the
pure and clean "folkies" and ... Bob Dylan.”the times they are a
-changing". The times of all the "possibles", all dreams coming true, a new
world, a new consciousness! And then ? "Things have changed" , slowly,
painstakingly. The feminists won more freedom, the Blacks are called Afro
- Americans, the Indians are called Native - Americans.  They won a
little more respect but still... What stroke me the most in Berkeley is
the homeless persons sleeping in the park close to my AirB&B room. Lucy
didn't open the 'doors of perception' but the 'gates to Hell' for some.
They got lost in their Artificial Paradise! The veterans are abandoned
when the army recruits the wretched of the wretched and drops them when
they are no good for service anymore.  The students are sage around me.
No revolution in the air! " The times they are a -changing " , again. Time
to study, time to work. Working to pay the rent, the bank loan. " No time
to think!" Revolution? The word is a 'four letter word". So...no
Revolution on the Campus. They just wonder if they will vote Trump or
Clinton. Or no vote at all. The coffee at PEET's is good. It is 2.20$ for
a latte. The change is one euro for one dollar. It is correct. I found
second hand clothes and second hand books/Lps at every corner of Telegraph
Avenue. I found 3 or 4 recycling trash cans at every home and every shop.
Recycling is the key word. Recycling but not anti-consuming. It gives a
good consciousness to put the paper cups in the paper trash, and aluminum
cans in the aluminum trash! The Greek Theater is out door, by the Campus.
The down floor is loaded with chairs, then a semi-circle of concrete
uncomfortable benches, then the steep slop of the lawn. At 5 p.m. people
are queuing and I ask why? General Admission? Not at all. Fans queue for
the pleasure of queuing. They queue for one hour and then. .. go straight
to the bar. Oh my! Except for the lawn all the tickets have a section, a
row, a number. Except for some 'freaks' (like me) no one will 'cheat'. The
public is largely over 30, 40?, 50? 60? The ones who don't mind the
Sinatra songs, not even mind the " fallen angels". Some don't even know what they are here for. For a drink and bite at the bar?”

The show tonight should start at 6.30 p.m. with Mavis Staples (once a Dylan's Girl?).
She takes the stage at 7.00 p.m. for 45 minutes of warm up. She speaks (never Bob), she entertains the crowd.
8.00 p.m. Right on time Stu is strumming his guitar. "Boom, boom" says little Georgie 's drums.
The back curtains open. Tony, Charlie, Donnie and ...Bobby. We are safe, HE is
here, flesh and blood! White shirt and white hat, dark pants and jacket
and the ever lasting Cowboy boots.
"Things have changed". A little bit weak. Something is wrong with the sound and the tempo? "She belongs to me". She was an Artist and she died. Rest in Peace sweet Suze!
 "Beyond here lies nothing". It was my favorite so far. But this one is lacking of
energy. The ship is sailing away. The number of sailors shrinking as time
is passing by. I saw few Bobcats sailing on THAT boat!
 "What’ll do". Good question Mister. Same here.
"Pay in blood". His angry mood is waking up the Band and my soporific consciousness. I could put the blame on the jet lag but that would not be fare or even true.
"Melancholy mood". It puts a smile on my face on the accented ME LAN CHO LY. Where this CHOLY is coming from?
"Duquesne whistle". And I remember ALL the lyrics. Tchoo!Tchoo!
 "I'm a fool to want you". This one brings me back memories. The time of a Love
Affair that had turned sour. It is weird how the same song could bring
different feelings at different times! The lyrics are the same, the melody
is the same. No more tears. I am a laughing fool tonight!
"Tangled up in blue". It could have been more convincing. Even the harmonica is weak.
And off they go for 20 minutes. And on the public goes to the bar. I don’t
know why they are thirsty. The temperature is cool and I can’t say they
sweated from dancing around! Except for three girls up front, the public is
static.
"Boom,boom" says Little Georgie 's drums.
"High water". They all had a shot of caffeine for it starts dynamic at last.
"Why try to change me now". Got the message Bobby!
"Early Romans kings". I keep my eyes on Stu.
Oh!oh! No maracas. Stu is unpunished. Yippy! He's on electric guitar!
Sounds lot better.
"I could have told you". A premiere for me. And Bob is focusing on every single line. A bit too much? I hear laughing in my back.
Bobby my dear! This is not a competition for "the voice". You have nothing
to prove. You would have lost anyway.
"Spirit on the water". Nice swing. I still love it.
"Scarlet town". Definitively the highlight of the show. I never focus on that one so much. Bravo maestro!
"All or nothing at all". A sweet melody which could be replaced by "love minus zero/no limit".
"Long and wasted years". It brings me on my feet at the end
as it used to be a final. No rush to the stage here. kidding?
"Autumn leaves".  Keep it for the fall Tour sweet Bobby. As the flowers are
blooming and the little birds are chirping, what about "Make you feel my
love"?
Break.
Bobby!Bobby!Bobby! Here they come again....of course. Sweet Donnie on violin.
"Blowin' in the wind". 54 years ago, it was a message, a promise? I just
come back from the Middle East. " how many times must the drones drop the
bombs Before they are forever banned?" Berkeley the pacifist is no more.
The crowd is nostalgic, point! On my feet now ready for the standing
ovation. Surprise! Charlie is getting nuts on his guitar. The whole Band
rebels. Finally the Revolution? “Free bird”.
It pays for ; 4 hours bussing to Paris, a short night in Paris, 1 hour RER B on strike in Paris, 3 hours delayed flight in CDG, 12 hours flight on United Airlines, 4 movies, 2 meals, 2 snacks, 1 run to the toilets,  snoozing from time to time, 1 hour BART to Berkeley ...I am a FREE BIRD.

Thanks
Stu, George,  Tony, Charlie, Donnie, Jason, Chris, Barron, Big Bob...the
ones working in the dark. Most of all Bravo Bobby Dylan!

As the crowd leaves the theater , apparently satisfied, my eyes are attracted by a red cap on the head of a tall man in front of the stage. I can’t miss Mr. R. With mixed feelings I decide to approach him (as he’s alone). I just say “Hi!” and move away. That will be the only time I addressed him on that Tour. Of course Miss. M. is around but no word will be exchanged on either side.
I quickly walk back to my room. I am tired but my head is clear and I am satisfied.
That show, the only one on the Tour, ended with “Free bird” from Lynyrd Skynyrd . Bob had something to say to someone?

June 10 Berkeley.

Bright sunny day.
I will spend my time walking on the campus, particularly Telegraph Avenue.
I have a meal of Chinese noodles at the apartment before heading for the second show.
I hang around searching for a ticket when I spot Miss. M. rushing to the Box Office. I ignore her as she ignores me the same way I will ignore other Fans I know. We met somewhere, in another life time!
I get a ticket rapidly and find a nice spot standing at the side of the stage along the walk away. I am surrounded by some “Hippies” also willing to have a good time and dance.
First we all dance on Mavies’s music. Except for the Sinatra songs we find good reason to Rock and Roll on Bobby’s songs
Miss. M. is there, first row of course, but I don’t see Mr. R. and for good or for bad I worry.

The show is equal to the first one without “Free bird”. For me, this one was a lot more inspiring.
I walk rapidly to my room for a good night sleep.


June 10 to June 18 Danville CA.

The next few shows will take place in south California : Santa Barbara, San Diego(2), Los Angeles.
I decided to skip those shows. First of all it is difficult to reach those cities by bus and then find a place to stay. Second that would coast a lot of money. Third I don’t like Santa Barbara (though it is a beautiful city it is a rich and expensive place to be). I don’t like L.A. That city is impossible to travel in (with or without car). I like San Diego but anyway I had to make a choice on that Tour. I will try to see more shows on the East Coast. And the top of it it’s probable than Mr. R and Miss. M. will be there. I’ve seen enough of them already.

So…
I belong to another organization called HelpX. The idea is the same as WWOOf ; working few hours in exchange for a place to stay and food. But with HelpX the work is not necessary on a farm, it could be in a city in a small structure or family.
I found a family in Danville, East of the Bay Area. I spend a week doing little works and sharing with the family of two children. It is a time for rest and discovering the American way of life. Though the family presents itself as spiritual, following more or less an Indian Buddhism (the father is from Bombay) I find them a little too much materialist. They have nothing to do with my Israeli family a lot closer to Mother Nature and on that a lot more spiritual. That American family is using Buddhism as a ‘religion’ detached from their way of life. There is a picture of the Buddha right behind a gigantic flat T.V. screen.
I don’t feel that much comfortable here so I decide to move on.


June 18 Denver.

I flew to Denver as it is a lot cheaper than the bus. A friend of mine, Jeff, offered me hospitality.
I arrived at the airport in the early afternoon.
I caught the train to Union Station then the free Shuttle to Civic Center.
So far so good. Jeff will meet me on Broadway street and walk me to his apartment. I arrived at the end of the ‘Gay Pride’ today. The ambiance is festive.  We have a frugal meal and a good night sleep.

June 19 Denver.

It's a new morning and there is a show tonight at Red Rocks. The problem
is to reach the place, far away in the wilderness. It is almost impossible without a car (like everywhere in the states) but miracles happen. Carol, a Fan and FB friend, will propose a ride from his hotel to the venue. 2 buses and 2 hours later we reach the hotel. Carol and Joni drive us to the venue parking lot where we meet with the Bob Dylan Fan Club. We have a pleasant 2 hours talking and drinking as it is hot. Then the Fan Club splits at 6.00 p.m.  Everyone will concentrate on his own Bob Dylan universe.  Mine is first to find tickets for Jeff and I.  Easily done. Most of the cheap tickets are G.A. Our plan is to .... stand up and dance.

Mavis Staples is the opening. I love her. She is so inspirational and
entertaining. 
The queue is moving slowly to the top of the Red Rocks
mountain. The Amphitheater had been built between the Rocks. It is a
breathtaking view all around. The Amphitheater is packed with 8 000 folks.
Mavis is on when we finally move in. We stand on the side, under the
trees. I can stand and sing and dance without disturbing the quiet crowd.
Thanks to Mavis to warm up the atmosphere.

15 minutes break and Stu is taking his position and George on the drums.
"Boom, boom!" And here they are all in white and Bobby all in black(except
his hat and part of his boots). Do I have to give you the set list?  I guess, no.
I anticipate each song and get ready for a sing along. A karaoke party for me.
Yippy!  As usual the crowd reacts to "Tangled up in blue" and "Blowin'in the wind". As usual the chattings are heard every time Bob puts a Sinatra song on. It is disturbing.  Disturbing the people constantly going to the bar to get a beer. We lost the respect Bob Dylan was inspiring in the 60's. Nonetheless the public is warm and happy, a lot more eclectic than in Berkeley, even young children are roaming around. A picnic Fest. The first part is a little bit slow.
It gets a lot better with "High water" and on.
The highlight for me is : "Scarlet town", a song I never really pay attention to until now. But tonight it is powerful.  As "The early Roman Kings" are. It must be due to Stu's powerful guitar, more inspiring than the maracas.
Great show. Well done Bobby! Not a mistake.
Slowly, so slowly we move away under the full moon (upside down?).
I have "Me lan CHO ly mood" in my head. Oooooh Melancholy mood!
Night, night Bobby D.
Travel safe! See you soon.

I spotted Mr. R. And Miss. M but I moved away.


June 20 Denver.

The next two shows are in Kansas city and Lincoln. I tried my best to figure out how to make them, transportation and accommodation, but it is a head breaking challenge so I gave up. I will stay with Jeff before flying to Pittsburgh P.A.  We have a good time resting and discussing Art (Jeff is a painter).

I fly to Pittsburgh where Pat picks me up at the airport.
From Pittsburgh I will do some more shows.

June 24 Chicago.

I arrived at 9 a.m.  with AMTRACK,  the American train company.
From Pittsburgh PA , it took 9 hours overnight. The train is a lot more
comfortable to sleep in than any bus. My AirB&B had been cancelled. The
plan B is to find a Youth Hostel. I found one, right downtown,  walking
distance from train station and bus stops. The Ravinia Park is far away
out of town. Thanks to the development of Chicago on their train
transportation,  there is a little train going there and ... back. I have
4 hours to spend before checking in my Hostel. I take a chance to see Chicago by
feet. And I am surprised. Happily surprised!
I’ve been here few times including one time where I spent four days at Mr. R’s condominium. We never did much in those days except ‘poisoning’ each others atmosphere ; him silent and subdued and stuck on his computer, I, reading a book about and by Keith Richards. Mr. R. even had the guts to flirt with a girl when we went out for lunch one day, making me upset and angry.
The last time I was in Chicago I had a Couch Surfing Host as Mr. R and Miss. M were together with other Bobcats and I had not been invited to the party!
This time I was as free as a bird and happy.
I discover a city of high scrapers of all kind of structures and forms : stones or glasses. The
river is covered with red iron bridges of complicated conceptions. The
bright lights of the sun sparkles all ; stones, iron and glass. People are
thronging in the streets going to work or to leisure, dressed in summer
clothes, drinking cold to refresh. Chicago might be harsh in winter, but
in summer it is a pleasant city. At 5.00 p.m. I decide to move on to the
Ravinia Park. I know there is a Metra train going there but I don’t know
where to take it. I have different information from different 'helpful'
persons but it gets me more confused. At 5.45 p.m. I am still running from
one station to the other when a man (coming from Paradise I believe) takes
me all the way to the station,  helps me to buy a ticket and puts me in the
right train at 6.00 p.m. Thank you sweet Angel. Shortly before 7.00 p.m. I reach
the Park. And I can't believe my eyes. Hundreds of people are slowly
entering the Park loaded with lawn chairs, blankets, coolers, pillows! A
Picnic? Again? This is not my cup of tea as a Picnic is distracting the
attention from what is happening on stage.  The show is just a background
attraction. I guess it is what it is for most of the Fans now a days. I
have no problem finding a lawn ticket. The pit is covered with numbered
chairs, for the privileged. Few hundreds protected by security and
surrounded by rails. I find myself a spot on the rail, on the right,  but
the stage is far and the piano invisible. The rest of the crowd is on the
lawn , picnicking. Chatting about their lives and eventually remembering
Bob Dylan and his Band are on stage! Mavis is on. Delivering exactly the
same speech, night after night. I am so happy Bobby doesn’t play that
game. It could be seriously annoying! Nonetheless she puts on an inspiring
short show. Mavis is projected on 2 big screens, each side of the stage. I
doubt Bob will agree with his face on a screen. But what do I know? The
night is getting dark and Stu's guitar can be heard. To my big surprise,
the 2 screens are on, and a camera crew is shooting and projecting the
stage. Oh my! Bobby is on screen. But his face is shadowed by his hat. He
is wearing again black. Those dark pants with the white stripes. His
assistant forgot his beautiful embroidered suits? Is he in his dark mood?
"Things have changed" . The sound is muffled, and metallic. It will get
better with "Duquesne whistle " and on. "Duquesne whistle " is my
favorite tonight. The folks around me don’t recognize most of the songs
and start chatting on the Sinatra ones. A large part of the public will
move away after "Scarlet town" , the pit included. Again , I could do
without "Tangled up in blue", unfortunately the only one bringing reaction
from the audience. And "I could have told you" the least successfully
interpreted by Bob. No surprise tonight. This audience doesn’t deserve
it. Moving out I hear ; "we want the old songs" from people rolling out
the lawn chairs, the coolers, the blankets, the pillows, the trash plastic
bags and their... drunkenness. Why oh why, do they want to hear "a hard
rain’s a-gonna fall" or "the Masters of war". What consciousness? What
feelings? As for "like a rolling stone" ?? I seem to be the only Stone
rolling back to my Youth Hostel tonight. Thank you Bobby. I hope YOU had a
great time in Chicago. I did.


June 25 Indianapolis.

The ride on the Megabus from Chicago was fine. I was sleeping most of the
time. I search right away for a Starbuck Cafe. It is the only place with a
sure Wifi. I don't even need to consume, just seat and connect. The venue
is walking distance so I ... walk. Got a little bit lost in the Park
before I find the entrance of the venue. It is 4.00 p.m. but already a Lady
is waiting in line! She is in a wheelchair. Looking closely to her, she
has only one arm and one functional leg. Well! Things happen! After a
while I don’t even pay attention just chat about Bobby. She happens to
have an extra ticket. My luck. She is first one in line, me second. For
what it is! There is a section with reserved seats in front of the stage
and then the lawn, so no way, what so ever, to be close to the stage.
Nonetheless she wants to be FIRST in line. Alright! By the time we wait, I
manage to buy myself a Greyhound bus ticket for Nashville, leaving right
after the show ; 12.30 a.m. Talking with the security I find out there is
a section for handicapped Fans. I manage to have a space for both of us
inside the front section. We are right behind the chairs which fortunately
are low down on the ground. The view of the stage is perfect, in the line
of the front mikes. One hour to wait for Mavis. A tour to the toilets and
the bar where Katy buys herself a glass of wine for...9$. I grab some ice
in a glass for…free. 7.45 p.m. Mavis puts on her show. An enthusiastic
public sings along. I start to know some of the lyrics too. About Love,
happiness, positive vibrations. She mentions she was around in 1962. I
believe her. Peace, Love and Happiness!  A mix of Blues, Reggae, 
Gospel, Soul .... entertaining for 45 minutes. 8.45 p.m. The sun is down,
the air is cooler when Stu strums what ever he has to strum. Bob is
wearing the same suit as yesterday. Same shirt? Life on the road is hard!
Oh! Those white straps on his pants! The public is immediately up and
dancing on "Things have changed". Beautifully done by the Band and Bob. I
can tell that will be a great, great show. Bobby is in a swinging mood.
'Electrified' is the word that comes to my mind. Some one plugged him to a
100 volt circuit. So much as he will (finally ah!ah!) make a mistake on the
lyrics of "Duquesne whistle" and another one on " Spirit on the water". He
is grabbing one of the center mikes to dance with it. It is when I realise
actually 2 mikes are functional and not pure decorum. The public is
picking up on the Rocking mood and the Fans are a lot more respectful of
what is going on on stage than Chicago. But I am on the floor section, it
might be the reason. I am dancing barefooted as my feet by now are a mess.
For me , this is the best show so far. Bob finally woke up and took the
public somewhere else. Why Indianapolis?  I guess no specific reason. The
sound was perfect since the beginning. Thanks Jason and the guys working
so hard,  day after day. Katy wanted a stage rush. With her wheelchair
that would have been a disaster. I am glad she didn't make it. No more
stage rush! The Black buses are rapidly moving away. I rush to the
Greyhound station. Next one Nashville. "I'm a fool to Love you". Night,
night Bobby! Safe trip.


June 26 Nashville.

The city of Country and Western Music.
I arrive with Greyhound, (the bus not the dog), at 6.00 a.m.
I had a terrible bad night on the bus.
At 7.00 a.m. I start walking towards downtown in the heat. The streets are
deserted. Not a cat, not a dog. Oh my! Where is my Starbuck Cafe and
coffee? No where to be seen. On the pavement I walk on "Cash and Dylan
photos", the advertisement for the exhibition at the Country Music Hall of
Fame. I find a ‘Panera Bread’, a cafe and bakery combined, close to the
Ryman. Good! I will spend a big part of my time in there, comfortable in
the cool air with Wifi. I search in vain a solution to reach the venue,
again , far out of town, with no public transportation to get there. I
decide to pay a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame. If I can't make
it to the show, well, at least, I can see Bobby in videos. For 24.95$
(they don't make discount for a Dylan Fan) I spend 2 hours watching and
listening Country and Western. The Dylan/Cash exhibit is neat, covering
Dylan period from 'Blonde on Blonde' to 'Nashville Skyline', his
recordings in Nashville Studios with Nashville musicians and producers. 
Plus the videos of his appearances with "hello! I am Johnny Cash" or 'The
Man in Black'. As I step out the streets are feeling up, particularly
Broadway, the main avenue, where we find the music bars and ... the loud
music.
I start panicking when I realize the venue is far, far away from downtown Nashville. The two fans I have been counting on for a ride are not available.
I have a rush of anxiety. I absolutely want to see Bobby in Nashville. It was even the only show I planned to do long time ago. But reality doesn’t fit dreams. Though I have been traveling for many years it is still depressing to have a changing of plan at the last moment. I contact FLBobcat, a friend on FB, through messenger. She promises to pick me up at the Ryman at 6.15 p.m. for a show at 7.30 p.m. To make things worse I don’t have any phone and the battery of my tablet is down. I run from one bar to another (the bars are loud!) to find an electric plug and a WIFI connection to keep contact with FLBobcat. This was my most desperate time on that Tour. Missing Bobby Dylan in Nashville! Oh no!
At 6.15 p.m. to my great relief FLBobcat’s car pulls along the Ryman front door. The same door I have seen Bobby getting out after his show in 2011.
God bless you my friends ;  FLBobcat and Dough.
We are in the queue when I spot Miss. M. with a Bobcat I know from Europe. No Mr. R.?
She’s truly switching from one to another indifferently. Why she didn’t leave Mr. R. for me?
The only one for whom I had a soft heart.
We don’t exchange a word. What for?
The queue is slowly moving. I find a ticket from someone around me and join my friends in the line. I feel relaxed after those moments of panic.
Another friend salutes me.
I find a spot on the side of the fence, as close as possible from the stage, but again behind the chairs. The lawn and the picnic are behind me.
I am pretty close and no one, what so ever will stop me for dancing and Karaoking. I
start with Mavis. By now I know her repertoire by heart. She mentions
having a Mc Creary sister with her? I have to find out. I don't  believe
she is Regina though.  I shake hand with her as she will pass by me. The
air is not cooling of. It is stifling and I sweat a lot.
8.30 p.m. "boom! Boom!" Says Georgie's drum.
"Things have changed" (or will,eventually! ). The sound is loud and metallic as the atmosphere. Bobby in... black. Who stole his stage suits, the nice ones with the 2 swords and
embroidered? Where is his assistant? Fired? I saw Barron wearing glasses.
Oh my! We're all getting old!
Bobby 's voice is clear and loud. Maybe they finally open the 2 mikes in front of him? He's on fire. Electrified as yesterday in Indianapolis. But today there is no mistake on "Duquesne
whistle". He is focusing. The public reacts appropriately,  a Nashville
crowd, used to music. They know the Sinatra songs as well. Charlie and Stu
are particularly painstaking, so is sweet Donnie who is from Nashville?
The steel guitar fit the electric atmosphere. The thunder storm is on
stage. Bob is even rushing the lyrics out, faster and faster. The
highlight? 'I'm a fool to Love you'. It brings tears in my eyes! I finally
made my show in Nashville! Of all the cities I didn’t want to miss this
one! The only PERFECT one so far. As the crowd moves out I hear no bad
comments. A respectful and happy audience is packing up on the side of
the path to leave place for the Black buses to move away...to the next
show. Bobby's already sleeping in the back of his Rock and Roll Home?
Night, night!

Right after the show FLBobcat and Dough drive me back to the Ryman.
I didn’t plan any night in Nashville so I walk around. Broadway is now crowded. I am all by myself and I don’t feel like a drink in a noisy bar. The bands are too loud.
Exhausted I find just enough energy to walk to the Greyhound bus station and snooze on a bench.
By chance a bus is leaving for Pittsburgh around 3 a.m.
It is a long way back home with two stop over ; the first one in Louisville.
My plan was to skip the next show in Kettering and join Pat for the one in Toledo, driving from Pittsburgh. Destiny decided otherwise (without asking me!).
Because of a stupid changing of time (one hour less) I miss my bus in Louisville. The next departure is at … 7.00 p.m. I have more than 8 hours to wait in Louisville. I depress just a short moment before using my Zen attitude : what has to be will be!
I walk towards downtown looking for a Starbuck Cafe, not that I love those Cafes but they have a great WIFI connection. I wish a competitor could expand with a more ethic goal ; no Monsanto.
After all I could make it to Kettering and then Toledo in the run. I book two bus tickets (on my tablet), find the public library, print the E-tickets and go for a bite in a … Moroccan restaurant. It’s one of my few real meals ; pita bread, falafel, salad, French-fries. That will do for a while!

June 28 Kettering.

Kettering is the suburb of Dayton. Downtown Dayton is dead and
not inspiring but thanks to the municipality they have great public
transportation. I reach easily the Faze Pavilion in Kettering .  To my
surprise I know the place, I've been here before and of course for a Bob
Dylan show. History repeats itself and I take a nap on the grass, in a park, in a
prosperous neighborhood.  Nothing like downtown Dayton.
Around 3.30 p.m. I wake up to see that the black buses are already parked in front of me. A
short sound check from the Band , followed by a short sound check from
Mavis. I didn't hear Bobby's voice as usual but Mavis is present. Time to
snooze again. At 6.00 p.m. the crowd piles up in front of the gates, loaded
with lawn chairs and blankets. I will call that Tour the "Picnic Tour". I
get a lawn ticket and take my place on a wet grass. After all the blankets
are useful. Mavis speaks more and more, and sing less and less. She's
funny!
The Boys are all in black, so is Bob, not even the white straps on
his pants. White hat though. It is hard to distinguish the members of the
Band from far after sun down! The sound is again metallic; the piano has a
high pitch sound. A little bit too loud? Or is it my tired spirit today?
I have seen some folks seated outside the venue. At least they were able
to hear for free. The set list starts the same. But the 4th is " The night
we call it a day". I heard it before and it's not my favorite. During the
introduction of "Melancholy mood" the white hat disappeared. Where is Bob?
He trots to the mike right on time for the first lyrics ; "Melancholy mood
forever haunts me ...".  At least he didn't change this beautiful one. A
little mistake on "Duquesne whistle". He has difficulty memorizing this
one? And then....the Band put together a tune I never heard. Oh! oh! I wake
up from my torpor, pay attention to the lyrics. I  can hear " And if I
ever lost you, how much would I cry? How deep is the ocean? How high is
the sky? The words are clearly articulated but definitively not a song for
Bob. He's struggling in the high notes. Good try though, courageous! Then
back to the normal set.
My mind drifts away. I have no place to stay after the show, the temperature is dramatically dropping and I fear a cold night out under the sky and the starts. The show might have been as good as Nashville but for me it is not the best. The public is quiet. Except few
girls dancing here and there, the ambiance is cold as the weather. "Love
sick" wakes up the left over of the audience: a lot packed up the chairs
and the blankets already. I move slowly away. After all I have no where to
go. I am glad I was here to witness that little surprise. Thank you Bobby!
Good night and safe travel!

Alright! It is time to count on my good luck. I walk around the venue, ask here and there where I could find a cheap Hotel, try to engage the conversation with some Fans. My luck had run away!
I crush under some bushes and, like the animals, I dig a hole in the ground. Hopefully there will be no bugs as ants and other nasty insects. Some birds, in the branches above, signal me that they are not happy with my presence. At 3.00 a.m. the temperature drops. I am now freezing. I realize how fortunate I am when I can sleep in a bed. We appreciate what we have when we lose it or else we just take it for granted. That was the worst night on that trip. Even a Greyhound bus is more comfy.
I get up as soon as the sun is up, find a spot in a clear and open sky to warm up my shaky body.
I catch the first local bus at 5.45 a.m. going  to the Greyhound bus station. One large coffee and two donuts later I step inside the bus towards Toledo.


June 29 Toledo.

I arrived in Toledo in the afternoon.
Toledo is matching Dayton as an empty and depressing city.
I search a long time for a cup of coffee, even the passers-by don’t know where to guide me.
I finally find a Bigby’s cafe with WIFI.
I connect to Google map to find the direction to the Zoo Amphitheater. I decide to take a walk there.
I walk through an area that had been rich and prosper considering the size of the houses, but it looks now all abandoned and neglected. Half houses are empty, half inhabited by Latinos families. I find a small Mexican bakery where I get food and drink. The walls of empty and abandoned buildings are covered with beautiful murals.
People here are poor but not desperate.
It takes me one hour and a half to reach the … Zoo. Bobby Dylan playing in a Zoo!
Tonight a friend, Pat, will join me for the show, so I have to find 2 tickets, as good seats as possible.
Luck is with me; a person is selling two seats on the floor. There is no lawn here but a floor area then behind, benches on a slop.
The public is average of 50 or 60 years old. The old nostalgic crowd. No picnic tonight but no Rock and Roll fantasy neither.
Some folks I know are hanging around but they will ignore me, as I will ignore them. Instead I have a nice talk with a priest from a new Church; Spirit Truth. I am profoundly agnostic but I don’t mind a spiritual conversation with a true believer; a good Heart is a good Heart.
Pat arrives from Pittsburgh shortly after 7.00 p.m. Mavis is already on, as the show tonight started at 7.00 p.m. Who knows why?
The venue is far away from being full, even the floor seats.
It is still day light when Stu moves on to the stage, strumming his guitar but no one seems to pay attention. Only when Bob takes the centre mike, there is a reaction from the first rows.
Bob is all in black, wearing the black pants with the straps.
The public will stand up for the few first songs. I am wondering how many of my neighbors know the songs Bob is doing with professionalism, as if it is the first time he is performing that set list.
The first great reaction is of course on “Tangled up in Blue”.
As usual the crowd, in its majority, came to see the Legend.
The young girls next to me are chatting non-stop.
Few of the Fans will realize that Bob is doing a lot better on “How deep is the Ocean” than yesterday.
I am standing and doing my Karaoke trip.
“The early Roman kings“ are powerful.
I believe there was a music bridge missing on “Beyond here lies nothing”.
“Scarlet town” was electrified by Charlie.
“Spirit on the water” was as swinging as ever and brought attention to a young fellow next to me. I gave him the title of the song.
All together that was a pleasant show. I was happy to be there with a friend to share.
And tonight I will have a ride to a home, sweet home.
For me it is time to take a break.
Bobby will go on. So good luck my Dear.
Safe trip!

June 30 to July 4 Pittsburgh.


I will skip the next three shows as it is impossible to manage without a car. I spend those days in Swickeley in the suburb of Pittsburgh.
I read a lot of books, on Bob Dylan (of course), on the life of Ernest Hemingway, Israel/Judaism, The Dead Heads, Renoir (the painter). With Pat we watch movies at night.
I prepare for my next shows ; Vienna. I booked a room for two nights at the Wolf Trap Hotel. I booked a bus ticket to Washington D.C.


June 5 Vienna.


Vienna is in the suburb of Washington D.C. accessible by Metro Orange
Line.
I arrived at Union Station early in the morning on the 5th of July.
It is already hot outside but I take a walk towards the Capitol and find
myself inside the National Garden.
It is a nice place to relax among the dance vegetation.
I then walk farther down towards the Smithsonian Castle. It is a nice building but there is nothing much to see inside.
It is now time to find my way to Vienna.
I booked a room at the Wolf Trap Hotel, not so close to the venue after all.
So Jamie (a FB friend) accepted to pick me up and gives me a ride to the venue.
As most of the venues on that Tour, the Wolf Trap is an outdoor building.
The first few rows have numbered seats, something like 30 rows, with a special pit of 4 or 5 rows right in front of the stage. There is a balcony they call Boxes on the top of the building. Then behind a walk away … the lawn. Fans will carry lawn chairs, blankets, pillows, and coolers for a Picnic party.
As much as I love picnicking in the wilderness as much as I hate those Picnic shows. I would not mind a picnic party with the Grateful Dead but here we are with Mr. Dylan, the Master of Poetry and Lyrics. I hate hearing folks talking about their business affairs or the next
beautiful piece of junk they will purchase at Walmart or the dramas of the broken hearts on the top of ‘Melancholy mood’ or worse ‘Tangled up in blue’.
I am sure the next day they will all be bragging about the so cool Bob Dylan show they have been to, not even able to name one song (they could name the brand of their beer though!).
Well! So, by now, I know the trick; getting as close as possible to the
rail, behind the chairs, with no freak in front of me. For the ones next
to me I have a technique; to be as mean as possible like “could you,
please, shut up, I want to hear Bob Dylan songs”. I am no cool, no nice,
no polite, no good. I lost my heart at the Beacon! So glad that Mr. R. and
Miss. M. are living somewhere else their happy yuppie life.

I put my ass on the stone wall, on the right side of the stage, right in front of the alley way to the stage. I can see the centre mike and the piano and this is all very good to me for I got a free ticket. Thank you the young Lady who didn’t even wait for a ‘Thank you so much’. If there is a God (which I doubt but who know?) God bless you.
Mavis is a great soul. All her songs are about Peace, Love, Happiness, positive … vibrations.
And I believe HER. So sorry the 60’s didn’t exactly turn into a Revolution. An EVOLUTION of some kind?  Unfortunately, I don’t see so many COLORED PEOPLE tonight, some
Afro-Americans, here and there.  As for the Native-Americans? Bobby should do a Tour in the reservations, they do have Casinos (for good or for bad).
So, Caucasian I am tonight.
As the lights dim dim and the bells ring ring (they have bells here asking the folks to move their asses from the Bar and take their seats) Stu and George march the Band to the stage.
From my position the sound is terribly bad. They change something in the tempo of “Things have changed”
I am still wondering who is the Artist in “She belongs to me”. I
always thought it was Suzy.
“Beyond here lies nothing” attract the attention of the ushers on me. I can’t hold my stand still. What do I care; ushers today, ushers tomorrow! What a life!
“The night we call it a day”. It is when I have to put on my mean face and look menacing to my neighbors. Rapidly the space around me is emptying.
Yippy! I can focus on the stage.
Bobby sounds tired. He is suffering from the heat. I am sure they are all sweating up there. But I don’t see him getting any drink.
“Pay in blood”. The lights on the curtains are different. Chris is doing a good work. That puts Bob and the Band more and more in the dark.
“Melancholy mood” oooooh! Me lan CHO ly mood.
I pay attention to the next one “Duquesne Whistle”. It gives me the
temperature of Bobby’s concentration. Tonight he is out. The Band is not together and Bob mixed the lyrics; third verse for the second verse…. oh! oh!
“That old feeling”. No good. The worst.
“Tangled up in Blue”. Yea! A cynical Bobby tonight?
20 minutes break.
The picnickers will pee all they have been drinking! What a waste!
Ding dong Daddy.
“High water” is botched. Donnie is constantly tuning his banjo. The
heat and the humidity don’t fit the instruments.
“Why try to change me now?’. No I won’t. But Bobby Dear, won’t you
change your pants? Black with white straps AGAIN?
“Early Roman kings”. Badaboom! Badaboom! That Rocks the Wolf and the
Trap.
“I could have told you”;

“I could have told you
She'd hurt you
She'd love you a while
Then desert you
If only you asked
I could have told you so
I could have saved you
Some crying
Yes I could have told you she's lying
But you were in love
And didn't want to know
I hear her now
As I toss and turn and try to sleep
I hear her now
Making promises she'll never keep
And soon it's over
And done with
She'll find someone new to have fun with
Through all of my tears
I could have told you so
I hear her now
As I toss and turn and try to sleep
I hear her now
Making promises
She'll never keep
And soon it's over
And done with
She'll find someone new to have fun with
Through all of my tears
I could have told you so”

And if I put a HE instead of a SHE…it goes straight to my Heart, like an
arrow.
Funny how Bobby can read my mind!
“Spirit on the water”. The best of Bob on piano.
The public doesn’t react anymore. “You think I'm over the hill” .No!
”You think I'm past my prime” No!
“Scarlet town”. Charlie’s good on that one. I haven’t seen Charlie
out on his telephone for a while.
One time I saw Tony.
“All or nothing at all”. Nice swing.
It is when the rats start to desert the boat. Folks are leaving by groups, they know by now they won’t get what they came for; ‘Masters of war”, “Mr. Tambourine man”, “A hard rain’s a-gonna fall”…. They want Bob Dylan and most of them the Bob Dylan from the 60’s.
But why? When they all live their yuppie lives in comfort and security?
“Long and wasted years”.
“I think that when my back was turned
The whole world behind me burned”
“Autumn leaves” switching back to melancholy.
“Blowin’ in the wind” the song that will stick forever to Bob
Dylan’s name like Guernica to Picasso’s.
“Love sick”. There is something different in the tempo. It is a lot slower and Bluesy.
Dark spirited instead of Rock moving.
It shows Bob in a gloomy mood.
I leave on a note of sadness.
Jamie drives me back to my Hotel.
Thank you so much.
I sleep well with the T.V. on.

June 6 Vienna.


Good morning America!
A pot of coffee, a glass of orange juice (or substitute), two bagels and two muffins later I dress up for my day in Washington D.C. Museum.
I picked up the Fine Art Museum (surprised!).
It is free and cool. The temperature outside is over 90°F. (30°C.).
In the early afternoon I catch the train back to Vienna. I take a shower, put on my customized Bob Dylan T-shirt and join Jamie who will drive me to the venue.
Jamie has two extra tickets. She gave them to me. I meet with Liza and Tim at the Box Office. Tim, also, has extra tickets. So … I find myself with three tickets for that show. I choose the best seat for myself and give away the two others. This is the best seat I have ever been on that Tour (10th row left). From where I am I don’t have the feeling, anyway, that Bob is relating with the public. He looks ‘blind’ to me, literally or psychologically. The spot lights on stage are dimmer and dimmer. They light the curtains behind, creating a shadowy atmosphere. It could be nice in a cabaret of few hundred Fans but here, it doesn’t help to focus on the stage.
It’s a good show, similar to the one last night. I am not disturb by my neighbors so I enjoy myself in Peace and quiet.
Jamie didn’t like that show as much as the night before. Everything is a question of perspective!
Jamie drives me home. I take a good shower and fall asleep with the T.V. on.

July 7 and 8 Pittsburgh.

I tried my best to make the next show in New York (Forest Hill Stadium) but it was too complicated with the accommodation (twice AirB&B had been cancelled) so I renounced. The same for the show in Bethlehem. So the next one, for me, will be Atlantic City followed by Philadelphia. I will also skip Canandaigua, New York.

July 10 Atlantic City.

I reach A.C. in early morning after a night traveling Greyhound.
I found rapidly the Youth Hostel, clean and friendly.
After a quick shower I take a walk to the boardwalk.
A.C. could have been a beautiful Beach Resort where families could have been able to spend some quiet and healthy vacations, swimming and enjoying the fine grey sand. "But power and greed and corruptible seed Seem to be all that there is". The boardwalk is flanked on one side by the Atlantic Ocean (still free of access) on the other side by casinos, restaurants, junk stores... "In Scarlet Town, the end is near The Seven Wonders of the World
are here The evil and the good, livin' side by side All human forms seem
glorified".
I hate those casinos cities, and I don't think much of casino people ; fat ugly folks spending their small pensions in the slot machines in an incessant noisy surrounding. Do they truly believe they will become millionaires? And for what purpose? Gambling even more?
Nonetheless Bob already played Casinos and one more tonight. The little Jitney bus takes
me to the Borgata for 2.25$. I dread that show, specifically here at the Borgata where a chapter of the 'adventure of Mr. R. and Miss. M.' took place few years ago. What ever people say, the blows don't go away. They are just back somewhere in our memory and the scares are reopening with the visual reality. But tonight I will meet with Jack Fate and his wife and we have a pleasant conversation and a soft drink before the show. I have to be oblivious of the noise and lights and focus on my search for a ticket. This is not a Picnic adventure, there is no lawn chairs, blankets and coolers but I know the public is not necessarily the most attentive neither. The audience is an average of 50 or 60 years of age (luckily the casino people are not the young crowd, they hopefully have something better to do with their life).
Tonight we have the nostalgic kind of Fans. They came to remember the "good old days". They may be familiar with the Sinatra songs but they will certainly expect "The times they are a-changing" or "Mr. Tambourine man".
Do they know that Bob Dylan doesn't play the guitar anymore? I get myself a complementary ticket (many extra tickets are hanging up in the air). My row, up there on the balcony, is ... empty. Though the venue is small (few thousands) it is far for being full, not even the floor. The person next to me (with a free comp ticket) doesn't even know who will be on stage tonight(?). The two on my left will leave after a couple of songs. It sucks!
It's Mavis birthday tonight, she’s 77 years old. Some folks will sing "Happy birthday to you". Mavis is happy(I believe she's always happy anyway). She will perform a couple of songs I didn't hear before. She doesn't have a static set list, but few songs will be 'classic' like the final "I'll take you there". I rush to the restroom before the line forms and move back to a better seat, all by myself, so I can do my Karaoke trip. I wish the public could disappear all together. The sound is good, the kind of metallic sound I heard some places before. The piano and the banjo will be on high pitch notes. Donnie Heron is doing an excellent job. Bob's voice is clear and loud. Every song is executed professionally. The first part of the show is excellent with no mistake on "Duquesne whistle". Jake Fate texts me there is an empty seat next to him on the 5th row. I move there for the second part of the show. I have a better view of the stage,
particularly of Stu and George. Tony is far in the back, almost in the complete darkness. The three girls in front of me are chatting incessantly. One will make a point of honor to agitate her arm at the end of each song! Even on "That Old Feeling". I am tired of those American brat kids! Goddamn stupid and full of themselves. Well! Bob is true to himself. Here or there he doesn't seem to care anymore. Does he know he has a public? Does he know he is in Atlantic City? After a long while on the road the notion of place and time is blurred.
Thanks to Jake and Kimberley I had a good time at the Atlantic City show.
The Jitney bus takes me back to my Hostel and I chat with a young man who also had a good time at the show.
Here and there, in the public, some people could still appreciate Bob Dylan
for who he is ; a great Artist.


July 11 to July 14 Philadelphia.


Philly is one of my favorite city in the States. I know I can find plenty of paintings to study or just admire.
I booked a bed at the Youth Hostel downtown. It is well located (next to the Freedom Bell) and has a cool atmosphere.

July 11.
We have a free ‘Ghost Tour’ and a beer in the evening.

July 12.
I walk to the Fine Art Museum. And there, again, memories are hitting me ;
I had been in Philly with Mr. R., on a Tour.
We arrived late one evening, we ate in an Italian restaurant, we walked to the Bell in the dark, and we spent the rest of the night in the car. A strange and (after all) stupid idea. We had forgotten to charge the batteries (for his camera). In morning we went to the Fine Art Museum (probably at my request). Mr. R. made a big fuzz over the batteries. He was, then, a photos freak. We lost 45 minutes trying to buy batteries inside the Museum. They were none available. After some time he declared he was tired and was willing to leave. I opposed. He went to sleep in his car. I was trying my best to enjoy the Collection.
I promised myself to come back with a more ‘artistic’ attitude and feelings.
So … here I am.
I take all the time I need to swallow the Master Peaces, one after another, and back.
I forget the misogynist who has the sensibility of a bull and the brain of a jelly fish (but a loaded credit card and a bloated ego).
I walk again towards the Youth Hostel. I cook a little something in the communal kitchen (Chinese noodles). I take a shower and change into relaxed clothes as tonight the Y.H. proposes a movie on the T.V. in  the salon. The choice is “Stars War”. Not a good one! But a free beer.

July 13.
I walk again the long walk to the Museums’ area but this time my choice is the Barnes Foundation.
They have a fabulous collection of Renoir(more than100), Cézanne, Picasso, Soutine, Modigliani … oh my! I could live in there!
I walk back past the RitzCarlton, the Hotel Bob and the Band were staying in the last time they played in Philly. I don’t see any black buses. Too early? Not staying here?
I get lost, retrieve my path and find my Hostel. By now I am exhausted and my feet are killing me but there is a show tonight.
I lay down on my bed for some time. I revive on my tablet the way to reach the venue by public transportation.

And this is when starts a real adventure;
I have been traveling a lot, for many years, in many countries, all around the glob. Rarely I had any fear about my personal security. First of all I travel light and I don’t wear or carry anything fancy, ostentatious. Second, I avoid the non safe area or the non safe transportation.
But security is also a state of mind.
What is fine with me ; metro, bus, Youth Hostels seem to be hazardous for others (like the Yuppies) who will prefer to take a cab, stay at the Hilton, relate with people of their kind.
This is the reason why I have some problems of relationship with some Bobcats (Dylan Fans or not, you’re a Yuppie or you are a … Freak!).
That trip to the Mann Center scared me a bit.
I found my way with Google Map ; the metro to 40th street and then the bus number 40.
I catch the metro, alright.
When I stop on 40th street I am in another world. I am surrounded only by Afro-Americans. Not that I mind but … weird! I am obviously in the Ghetto.
I inquire if the bus n° 40 is passing by. I don’t have a clear answer. But a while later the bus stops by. I inquire from the driver if that bus stops at the Mann Center. I don’t get a clear answer. I expect to see a bunch of BD Fans walking by the venue to give me a clue. Or maybe the driver heard me? We ride and we ride. Patrons get off and patrons get on. All Afro-Americans. Not that I mind but … weird! That bus doesn’t say ‘Black only’ so …
I ask the driver again and one more time. I start being nervous.
I ask inside, the bus, to a young fellow where the Mann Center is. The answer is clear :”We passed the Mann Center, long time ago”. Shit!
As calm as possible I address the driver again :”The Mann center?”.
Maybe at this point he realizes I am a ‘stupid’ tourist and articulates :”I will take you back there”. Of course the bus has to turn around and go back to the city center but how long that will take? Fortunately I am always careful about my timing. It is only 6.00 p.m. I have more than one hour before the show. Nonetheless I feel bad. I try to relax not expecting any gun shots or fights. Everyone entering the bus is paying is fare or showing his bus card politely. No more hardship than necessary. After all those people need that bus.
The strangest is that I am the only person not being black skin (though I am not quite white neither). I would not find it strange in Africa, of course, and truly wouldn’t mind, but this is the States, a multi cultural country!
Well! I spent one hour on that bus before the driver signals me to step out.
I put a big smile on my face and say : “Thank you so much”. And I mean it.

The venue is out door, another picnic. I meet with a nice young man who carries an extra ticket. After making sure I am a real Fan (close to 400 shows at my counter should do) he hands me the ticket. It happened to belong to a friend of mine on Facebook. Thank you guys!
I meet again with Jake Fate and Kimberley. Jake will provide me with drinks and food and this is more than welcomed after my adventure.
I try to enjoy intensely every minute of that show as I know now that will be my last one on that Tour. I don’t move my eyes away from Bobby.
Will I see him again, one day? It is never certain neither on his part, neither on my part.
The final song is “Stay with me”. Is it a sign? A message?
It is impossible for me to do the last three shows. I learned later that Mr. R and Miss. M were there. Finally it was all for the best.

I am again in a stressful situation. How to return to my Hostel?
I search in vain for a shuttle or a bus. I can’t find any. I am spotted by some guys who were not at the show, obviously. They are “taxi drivers” (UBER). They charge 40$ to go to the Bell. No way.
Another guy is strumming a guitar and I address him. He agrees to drive me for 20$. I don’t have much choice so I step in. I start talking about music. He’s a nice fellow and confirms that the Mann Center is right inside the Ghetto and not a safe area. I don’t mention my bus ride.
He drops me right at the Youth Hostel. Thank you kid! I hope you’ll succeed being a musician.



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