Bob Dylan Tour North America 2012.

Donnie Herron, Tony Garnier, 'the BOSS'., George Recile, Stu Kimball, Charlie Sexton.

2sd of October

Things come and things change.
I was planning to do a little bit of the Fall Tour 2012.
TEMPEST arises some changes in the direction of the winds.
As the situation is now in New York and New Jersey that Album could have been a premonition.
"Duquesne Whistle" is my favorite. My second  choice "Soon after midnight". I believe "Duquesne whistle" is a left over from "Together through life". "Soon after midnight" sounds softer with the music.
I still believe Bobby lost his sense of humanity. The album is dark , gloomy, violent.
He will be Zimmy most of the time?
Just hoping that the songs will gain some 'humanity' on stage.

I take advantage of being healthy and kind of wealthy to hit the road again.
I was supposed to start in Santa Barbara and end up in Boston but my good friend D. had some other plan. After the last Summer Tour 2012 he stayed in Chicago for three weeks while I was back to France. He was waiting for the beginning of the Fall Tour starting in Winnipeg Canada.
He invited me to join him on his trip; Canada and then California until Sacramento.
I had done some traveling with D. during the Summer Tour - two weeks on the road together -. I had fallen in Love with him - and he knew it -. I had some dreams and expectations.

I took three weeks off from work - no pay -, book a flight to Chicago then a domestic flight to Minneapolis. D. will pick me up in Minneapolis and from there will be going to Hibbing.
On the 3rd of October he emails me that he's in Hospital with serious health problem. I was going to Chicago anyway, maybe just to take care of him.
Things changed again and it appeared that there was nothing wrong with him. So in Minneapolis will meet.
As for Bob Dylan, I read in interview in Rolling Stone magazine. I will remember NOT to sing along with him -I might sound funny - NOT to tell him that I Love him. I love only his music and his songs.
I got the message Bobby dear!

D. picks me up at the Minneapolis Airport. We drive straight to Hibbing but stop at a Motel between Minneapolis and Hibbing.
Reaching Hibbing in the morning  we go straight to Zimmy's cafe. We meet with Linda, her husband Bob and Bill Pagel. I haven't seen Bill since 1981. He can remember me well. He's in company of two women, they are journalists from Sweden writing some paper on the Greyhound company -that started here in Hibbing, owned by a Sweden company at first -. They also want to write about Bob Dylan since it is his home town - from age 5 to age 19 -. They interview me and take photos. I'm not sure I'll be mention but it's fun to be 'famous' for a little while.
We chat a long time with Bill before going out with D. and taking photos of Bob's house and visiting the Hibbing High School. A young student is giving us a tour. Great again!
D. wants to drive towards the old mine town. It's desolated and sad. It was the place of Hibbing town before they discovered some coal and moved the entire town further down to exploit the mines. It's a complet desert now and the 'new' Hibbing not doing so good. Only Bob Dylan history is making it alive. Bill wants to open a Museum here as well as in Duluth. Bill bought the birth house of Dylan in Duluth and recovered it as original. The house in Hibbing is not for sale - not yet -. Bill is living next to it.
I will contribute to the Museums with some of my paintings.

We drive away in the late afternoon. We'll stop in a Motel between Hibbing and Winnipeg.
D. is forever on his computer. I feel nervous for tomorrow for we'll have to cross the Canadian border and we don't know what gonna happen there.
I woke up D. at 8:15 a.m. since we're supposed to leave at 9:00 a.m. but he suddenly decides to erase some of his emails.. That will take forever!
We hit the road at 10:30 a.m.. I'm in a bad mood; anxious and angry. there is no communication between us. He will do as He plans.
The snow starts falling, the landscape is breath taking. That keeps my heart away from falling apart.
We spend hours together in the car, still no conversation. He's either on his Iphone, texting or calling or putting on some music - not necessarily Bob Dylan -. I have no control.
I'm already wondering what I'm doing here following again that GHOST of bob Dylan with someone who obviously doesn't give a cheat to me!
We're both nervous reaching the border. Everything will go smoothly;
the security guard has something better to do than checking on two tourists - playing cards ? -. He will look carefully at the passports, ask few questions about security. No search, no visa, no stamp! Weird!

5th of October Winnipeg

We find rapidly the venue and as usual D. will suddenly wake up from his lethargy and start talking to everybody around. He drops me at the Box Office. My plan was to find a ticket for 20 or  25 $, but it's hard. Frederika is out with her sign, she'll be asked to move further away.
D. comes in and right away buy a ticket at the Box Office for 133$, without talking to me first. I feel cheated. He goes park the car. I'm angry and buy myself a ticket for 133$, 5th row. D. is 7th row, it's his turn to be pissed off. It's a dirty game!
My seat is on the right facing the stage, I'll see Bob at the piano.
Mark Knopfler - and his Band of joyous wanderers -  is the opening act.
Good to perfection as usual; the sound, the music, the songs. I'm tired and falling asleep though.
Rapidly they switch the equipment - half an hour - and rapidly Bob jumps at his keyboard:hat on, dark suit pants with green straps, white shirt, black boots. He looks the same as for the last Tour.
"Watching the river flow", not too good. From where I stand the sound is no good. Hard to tell why it doesn't seem right.
bob's voice is not powerful, he's hardly articulating. He'll play the guitar for two songs but nothing exceptional. He sounds tired. The set list is classic, nothing I never heard before. I'm expecting and anybody else some songs from TEMPEST. He's supposed to promote that new Album. I know some Fans have decided to do this Tour and not the summer one for Tempest.
He will do "Scarlet Town". Well performed as on the album. It's a nice start and a promise for the future. That will be the only exception of the show.
"Blowing in the wind" and not even a final bow. He's running away.
He had a good view of him on the piano. Not once did he look at the public, just banging for himself on that beautiful grand piano, hoping his left leg up and down. His harmonica play is lacking of power. He can't blow no more?
What a deception!
We moved out. D. is mad he thinks Bob should make an effort when we pay 133$ for a ticket. I tell him Dylan is Dylan. Probably doesn't care about his public. Probably doesn't know where he is.
We drive to a Motel. At 2:00 a.m. we crash on our bed. I'm over tired and deceived -jet lag, bad relationship with D., an average show -. No magic!
Tomorrow will be 8 hours drive to Regina. I don't drive - it was clear with D. since the beginning -. He will do all the driving.
My dreams from France are not coming alive.

6th of October Regina

I wake up at 7:30 a.m. but can't do much. I don't want to wake up D.. I write in the rest room.
At 9:00 a.m. the alarm rings but D. doesn't have the will to get up. It makes me nervous when we finally leave the room at 11:00 a.m. We have six hours and a half ride but anything can happen. I'm like that, it's my nature, I'm anxious about the time, I prefer to be early. D. is the exact opposite, running late. He will stop for breakfast and again he will make me nervous - he doesn't seem to care -. On the way he tells me that we gonna gain one hour on that trip west. Why he didn't tell me that before?
The ride is nice passing through beautiful landscapes and to be true D. is a good driver, he doesn't over speed or get anxious at the wheel.
We reach Regina at 5:00 p.m. and start looking for a Motel since D. doesn't plan anything in advance and my only experience with commodities are the Youth Hostels. The rooms are all over 100$. I tell him it's too much for me. I'm used to 20/25 $ in youth Hostels. He agrees to take a private room in a hostel. He's easy going - at times -. We check in and drive to the venue at 7:00 p.m. I start looking for a ticket. D. stays in the car and let me do the search. Someone gives me a complementary ticket. I buy a ticket for D. but don't pay attention at the section. since it's not on the floor he doesn't want it and go buy one at the Box Office. Whoa! I'm stuck with a 70$ ticket. I manage to sell it back. I feel cheated again. D. will help me to go down the floor section -some bad, some good -. But later will ask me to share the price of his 133$ ticket. What an 'asshole'!
'm 8th row centre, not too bad. Mark and his Band are good.
He will change his set list and they are all professional. I'm really tired -jet lag again - and I fall asleep.
Bob is on at 9:00 p.m.; black hat, black suit with white straps.
"Watching the river flow" well performed.
"Girl of the north country". Very nice.
"The levee's gonna break", "Hollis Brown", "Lonesome death of Hattie Carol", "A hard rain's a-gonna fall", "Simple twist of fate" on his new Strato Caster.
Professional tonight with energy and power in his voice. The sound is globally better.

At the show D. will meet with a Lady he knew from the last Tour. He will take her to the Youth Hostel and invites her to share our room, he doesn't even consult me on that. I'm over tired and loose my temper. I don't want to share with another one that small room. this Lady doesn't even speak to me! In the morning we are kicked out the Hostel, we have to leave at 10:00 a.m. The Lady was not supposed to be in, it's against Hostel regulation; no hosts. I knew it. D. is not a good Samaritan, he's a fool!

7th of October Saskatoon

We leave Regina at 11:00 a.m. for a quick tormented breakfast. That Lady joins us and D. is talking to her more than to me. That makes me upset. Jealousy I guess? we're supposed to be two on that trip, living side by side 24H/day. I believe in total equality man/woman. Conflict has nothing to do in that trip.
We reach Saskatoon in the late afternoon. I have an argument with D. about the price of the Hotel; 100$ is way too much for me for I'm honest enough to pay half of all expenses; gas, room, food ...
We finally settle down for a down town Hotel. I'll pay - nicely I believe - 104$ for two nights. does D. realize my sacrifice? I'm doing it for him to sleep comfortable since he's doing all the driving.
I'm mad and will go out for a solitary walk.
It's Sunday, late afternoon - after 5:00 p.m. - it's cold, the streets are deserted, I feel like a piece of cheat.
Head down and brooding I walk down the 2st Avenue when on my right walks a strange little man; gray hood sweater on his head, black leather jacket - well fitted - a scarf around his neck, black leather gloves, slacks - cream color - too large and too long - rolled on the bottom - gray nylon sneakers - running shoes -.
I recognize him immediately. Bob Dylan is walking the cold and deserted streets of Saskatoon all by himself. I happen to walk right behind him. I decide against all BobCats rules to follow him discretely.
He will stop to check some window displays about music/theater events.Does he see me passing behind him in the reflection of the window? He will enter a vinyl album store but gets out quickly. Did they know he was Bob Dylan? I stop pretending looking at some tourist's display. I will be again behind him. He will stop for one more look at a window display. this time it's a beauty parlor for some wigs(?). Does he see me in the window reflection? He pases me again. At a pedestrian cross path the lights are red. He stops. I catch up with him and stop next to him ,on his right. He looks at me but I don't move, looking straight in front of me. Does he recognize me? I doubt.
After 20 minutes following I'm confused; should I let him go or should I say few words? the temptation is too much. I'd not seeing Bob face to face since 1986.
I approach quietly on his right and say;
"Excuse me, Sir, do you know where I can find some coffee?"
"oh no, I don't know" he answers looking straight at me, his beautiful blue eyes wild open. He's pale and unshaven but looks and seems sweet.
I say'
"You're not from here?"
"oh no!" he answers with a smile.
I say'
"oh! it's ok".
I go on walking side by side with Bob Dylan for half a block. We cross a pedestrian cross path. He turns around and points at a 7/11 store on the corner. He says;
"you can find some coffee there".
I touch slightly his leather jacket - just a touch - and say;
"thank you Bobby".
By now he probably figured out that I'm following. He's not mad or paranoid, it seems. I'm glued on the pavement looking at him moving away. 20 meters down the street he will turn towards me and points again at the 7/11. I make a sign telling him that I understood the message. I'm not supposed to follow anymore. At a corner street he takes a run and turns right. Later I'll go to the intersection but he disappeared. I will not find him again, and that's ok. I don't want to be a pain in my ass.
I walk back to the downtown area and find a gorgeous Castle/Hotel by the river. Two black buses are parked in the front. No doubt there are the B.D buses. I move towards the back and see Bob again in conversation with his assistant - the Lady with the auburn hair - . She sees me and quickly mentions to Bob to move. He will get inside the Hotel by the back door. Why so much paranoia?
I pretend to take photos and the Lady will follow me where ever I go. She's spying on me? I'm now the one being followed! Some police car is patrolling. Some police men are entering the Hotel. Frederika, who had been seated on a bench in front of the Hotel all afternoon, disappeared. Why so much paranoia?
Bob was ok all by himself on the streets. Escaping his prison cell?

"Ain't talking, just walkin'"

one is Bob's room.

8th of October Saskatoon

I told my story to D., who doesn't seem to be impressed. I had been on his computer all afternoon. I'm upset again. Aren't we on the road for Bob Dylan? I just met him!!!
Tonight there is a show so I don't expect to see Bob in the streets again. Nonetheless since I have nothing better to do I wander by the Castle/hotel by the river. At 4:00 p.m. I see Donnie checking out. I wave hello to him. He waves back to me. Sweet Donnie!I take a strategic position; not too far, not too close from the bus. I see the musicians' bus being loaded and one by one the member of the Band are hoping in the bus; Donnie, George, Stu, Charlie and last but not least Tony. Barron is with Jeff Rosen(?). they see me but don't react. The bus will leave at 4:30 p.m. for the sound check. Bob's bus is still parked in the street. No sign of activity. Some time later the 'Lady' will dress warm and leave on her bicycle. I go back to my Hotel to be ready for the show. Come back around 5:45 p.m.. Bob is walking down the pavement towards the back door of his Hotel. Dressed the same as yesterday except for the pants; black with white straps. I move closer but the 'Lady' is arriving on her bicycle followed by two policemen on bicycle. Escorting Bob today? Was I a nuisance?
Or did he get caught without any I.D. in a residential area? With that hood on his head?
So, no sound check today? no new song?
I go back to my Hotel to find D. in a better mood. He will give me a ride to the venue and will ask me to go with him to Edmonton - I was ready to take the Greyhound bus -.
As bad as things were as good as they are now!
We leave for the venue. I find myself a free ticket and a floor ticket for D. for 40$. Great! We go both on the floor and take seats at the 8th row center.
after Mark - excellent as usual - we wait patiently for any TEMPEST.
"Watching the river flow" is good. They start all together and powerful. One of those great shows tonight.
"Shelter from the storm","Ain't talkin' " as two gifts. Beautiful. Bob is fit - all those walks -.
During "highway 61"  he will try some riffs but it doesn't work as he wishes and he will kind of drop his brand new guitar on the monitor in front of George. He's pissed off and will trot to the piano to finish the song.
He will keep his good energy until the end though.
Excellent sound! Excellent show!
As everybody else I wish he could do some songs from Tempest and change the set list more. The last five songs are boring, like a routine.
I go out for dinner with D. as a form of reconciliation. it's Thanksgiving, here, in Canada.
I go to bed at 2:00 a.m. D. at 4:00 a.m.

9th of October Edmonton

Up at 9:00 a.m. I take D..'s camera and do the walk I did with Bob Dylan yesterday. I take a photo for each one of the stop we made.
We check out at 11:00 a.m. It's six hours drive to Edmonton.
I start being really sick. I can't breath with pain that struck my stomach, my liver, my kidneys. I suffer for hours. We check in a youth Hostel; two dormitories separate.
We move to the venue.
My stomach is on fire -food poisoning? -.
I manage to get a free ticket on the balcony and fall asleep on the Knopfler set.
I wake up at the end feeling slightly better and move down the floor. I say hello to Jim at the sound board - always happy and kind. A good heart -. I can't get a close seat. I stay next to Jim's sound board. I slowly recover, the pain is gone.
"Watching the river flow" -  I remember the time where I was typing "Leopard skin pill-box hat" -.
then a surprise " Nettie Moore".
After a routine set list a sweet melody I don't know.
At the end Bob says; "It was a request, will do it better next time. It was in the wrong key".
The song is "Shadows", a Gordon Lightfoot song. Weird! That Dylan will do some other performer's song and nothing from Tempest! Dylan is Dylan!
the end of the show is as usual. Some people leave their seats so I move front for "Blowing in the wind".
The security is strict and the crowd kind of passive. Only few front rows Fans will stand up for "Blowin' in the wind".
Bob salutes and leaves the stage.
the Magic didn't work. He's always hidden behind his piano, playing for himself. I'm not the only one to believe there is something wrong with him. Siobhain says "he's lazy!". That's nice.
He wats so much to be detached from the world that he's living in his own Bubble and it's pathetic when you are a performer. It just doesn't work.
We comment on Tempest. We agree that it's dark and gloomy, violent even. no sense of Humanity.
Still the songs could become alive on stage if only ...

10th of October Calgary

In the morning we relax for it's only three hours drive to Calgary. We eat breakfast and at 11:00 a.m. we check out. As we pull out with the car I spot Che in his car and Siobhain. They had had a fight and Che wants to take Siobhain back at the airport. We pack Siobhain luggage in D..' car and we all three go to the Museum of Science for a good time. Hoping that Che will make it to Calgary and they will reconcile.
We hit the road to Calgary to Gino's house a friend of D..
We arrive at Gino's shortly before 6:00 p.m. and quickly have a nice dinner before heading to the venue.
7:15 p.m. we take position in front of the venue looking for tickets. Che is here. Great! I get a 80$ 4th row ticket for D., a free balcony for Siobhain and a free floor ticket for myself.
We're all on the floor with the Technique from the story of "the farmer, the wolf, the goat and the cabbage crossing the river on a boat".
I remark like all the venues have the front rows - three or five - plain, no aisle, no way from the back to reach the stage. Only the front row can touch the stage.

11th of October Kamloops

Next day we leave at 11:00 a.m. for a long ride to Kamloops, 10 hours with a two hours lunch stop at the Fairmount hotel; a beautiful castle. The landscape is breath taking. We cross the rocky mountains under a coat of snow. The night comes quickly. I start to feel the fatigue as we reach Kamloops. D. who had been driving all the way should be exhausted. But against all logic when we reach Kamloops and meet with Che and Siohain he wants to drink some beers. I start crying from exhaustion and he will nicely - maybe Che said a word to him - drive me to my room. I'm over nervous from the strong coffee from Gino. Night of nightmares when I find D. on his computer in the middle of the night. We argue again. He'll be on his computer until 6:00 a.m. working on some 'F.' recordings.

12th of October Calgary

We check out at 10:30 a.m - unusual for D. - to reach Vancouver in the early afternoon and bit the heavy traffic. We have booked a private room in a central Youth Hostel, two blocks away from the Rogers Arena. We even have time to walk around the old city with shopping streets. 
art galleries with Art from the Inuit - or Canadian Indians - 
We walk peacefully towards the venue at 6:45 p.m. D. managed to get two V.I.P. tickets from two American friends who didn't get their passport quickly enough. We are Bob Dylan V.I.P. 5th row central. Howsome!
Mark is excellent, looking at the public. Trying to find out if the audience ids for him?
I look straight in his eyes for I'm dancing in the front, and the only one.
The break is short. I don't find Che/Siobhain. I take my seat.
'Jewel', the sound engineer is not here tonight. I miss him and his long white pony tail.
I'm in good spirit for anything.
Bob is dressed all in dark except with his cream color hat. He's wearing short boots.
"Watching the river flow" and the first row is up, good crowd.
"Love minus zero/no limit" Whoa! My favorite love song.
A splendid "Things have changed". He will play with the lyrics, adding some 'yeah' and 'what?' smiling back at Tony and Donnie for the first time on that Tour.
The security guard seated on my right doesn't stop looking at me. I'm annoyed. Some Fans from the back are trying to make their way up front. The three first row are plain row though, no way to reach the stage.
Some usher asks people to seat. I won't. To my relief the security guard is moving back.
I enjoy myself dancing on the aisle, bob is good, his voice is clear. No eye contact though.
Midway in the show Siobhain appears at my side. With D. we squeeze her into the 4th row. I know Che, Jay, Frederika are somewhere. That's it. Nothing like the European Tour in Summer.
At the end it seems like Bob is waking up through the song "Trying to get to heaven".
The front rows were up but most of the people will seat down when Bob is at the piano, no view of him anyway.
The set list is classic after "Highway 61", we know what's coming up.
He doesn't even do "Like a rolling stone" in a way that people could sing along.
The little bow at the end is short and off he goes.
We move out, again, deceived. No surprise.
I say hello to the BobCat from Norway. He will be following awhile on Greyhound bus. 
D. and I move back to our youth Hostel and I crash on my bunk. D. goes to the Lobby working on is computer. I'll come to sleep at 2:00 a.m.

13th of October Seattle

We get up at 10:00 a.m., the ride to Seattle is only four hours but check out time is 11:00 a.m.
We take time to have a breakfast out before packing up and moving. D. wants to buy some pottery from a 'first nation Artist. We go back to that beautiful area  with the old buildings and shops. D. will buy for more than 900$ in pottery. I don't get it when we sleep in cheap hotel - hostel tonight -. He's got money.
He's a good heart and will buy a pottery for me.
We leave Vancouver and one hour later we cross the border. No problem.
We reach Seattle at 5:00 p.m. going straight to Allison's house, D.'s friend. from High school.
Tony - from the previous Tour - will pick me up to take me to the venue since D. has a dinner with the Fans who gave us the V.I.P. tickets in Vancouver.
At the venue at 6:30 p.m. Tony and his friend Eric start to be nervous about finding tickets. They don't trust me and buy expensive tickets from scalpers. I don't want the 80$ ticket I know I can find better. Tony is mad at me and walk inside the venue without me. What a friend! 
The situation is tougher than in Canada. American people are less generous than the canadians. Some prefer to walk inside with their extra tickets instead of getting the 20$ I offer. Stupid and rude! 
A couple will sell me a 5th row ticket for 50$. I have to promise that it is for me. The paranoia again!
Allison and I wait for D.. He's supposed to retrieve their tickets at the will call. We get in right on time for Knopfler.
Professional as usual. The difference here is the audience.  Knopfler and Band will get a big applause and an exceptional standing ovation.
Half an hour for the switching of equipment. Stu comes from the back with his blues riffs.
Bob is on for "Watching the river flow"; black pants with white straps, hat on, dark shirt with a white scarf, his beard around his mouth.
"To Ramona" - only three verses out of five - "Mississippi", "Cry a while", "The lonesome death of Hattie Carol", followed by "Hollis Brown" - it is usually the other way around - "Visions of Johanna", and all the 'classics'. Harmonica more than guitar tonight - not one on guitar -. The piano is far and the spot lights flashing my eyes. Hard to see his face. That's exactly what he wants!
The public is enthusiastic, big roar from the back for each song. The venue is huge but Bob doesn't react more than anywhere else. Does he know where he is?
The show is good, the sound clear and loud. the Band is doing his job. No Magic.
I move out to find Che/Siobhain, say hello to the tall guy from Norway, say hello to Jay - who will skip Portland -. No more BobCats.
Allison wants to go back home to sleep. D. and I, we need to eat. We find a Japanese restaurant in a downtown crowded area. Later Che/Siobhain will join us and we're having a good time. Complaining about the 'routine' of the shows.
We go to bed at 2:00 a.m. I don't know if D. will drive me to Portland, if not I'll go with Che/Siobhain.
At this time of my Tour I don't feel like going farther than Sacramento when D. will stop. I don't feel like taking Greyhound again and traveling 'hard'. I'll see.

14th of October Seattle

It's a day off. I help Allison in the garden in the morning while D. is on his computer.
He's willing to drive me downtown in the afternoon so I'll be able to take a walk with Che/Siobhain.
We were supposed to go to the Jimmy Hendrix experience but at 4:45 p.m. it's too late. They close at 5:00 p.m.
I buy some bread and cup cakes for Allison cooked some lasagna for dinner.
I say bye to Che/Siobhain and D. - who had been watching T.V. in Che/Siobhain Hotel room - drives me back. We have a pleasant dinner and all go to bed .. except D. again on his computer.

15th of October Portland

Next morning I decide to go to Portland with Che/Siobhain for I see that D. is already on his computer. I can't stand it anymore. D. will try a 'reconciliation' being sweet and kind but I'm sick of that game. He's probably sick of me for being upset all the time, frustration and jealousy are not showing the best of a person. D. will drive me to Che/Siobhain Hotel and ask me again to go with him. No.
We take the road at 12:30 p.m. it's raining like crazy but the ride will be only three hours long.
I check in my Youth Hostel and the three of us go for a slice of Pizza before the show.
We're at the venue at 6:45 p.m. looking for tickets. the 'scalpers' are not making things easy but we manage to get two floor tickets and one balcony for reasonable price. Mine is a e-ticket and the scan doesn't work on it. the usher is nice when I explain that my printer doesn't work too well. He will tear up the ticket and let me in. For Mark we stay on empty seats by the sound board, up and dancing.
At 9:15 p.m. I try to get to my seat but there is no seat 15 on row 10(?). The main security usher asks me to follow her to find out what's wrong with my ticket. I run away as fast as I can on the other side of the venue, hiding behind D. - who made it to the venue -. Bob is on for "Watching the river flow". The audience is up in the centre, I move there. I don't stop dancing and singing. This is Magic for the crowd is enthusiastic. The usher will never find me!
Suddenly the beginning of a new song. D. recognize it right away "Chimes of freedom". Whoa! My favorite ever.
I sing along and Bob will change a bit the order of the verses; first and second verses are ok. He will start the third one and finish with the end of the fifth one. then the sixth one.
That will be the only surprise of the night but what a surprise!
A beautiful "high water", "Tangled up in blue" standing on harp. No guitar again tonight but for the third time in a row "Cry awhile". "It's all over now Baby Blue" in second song. After "highway 61" we know nothing will happen. The Magic is here.
Bob is professional but not really with us.
We slowly move out. I was so lucky to be able to get in with that fake ticket. Thanks God!
I say bye to D. who had found two drivers to help him to drive to San Francisco. I was one too many. I will travel with Che/Siobhain. My heart sigh. I wish my relationship with D. could have been better. I love him but not the way he wants. I don't know how to love a man. I'm so sorry but that won't make any difference.
I booked three nights at the San Francisco Youth Hostel. After that .. I don't know.


I checked out the Youth Hostel and I'm waiting for Che/Siobhain to pick me up. They will arrive at 2:00 p.m. and we drive towards WEED to sleep there and cut out the 11 hours drive to San Francisco; 6 hours to Weed and 5 hours to S.F. cool!. We take some time in weed to relax and have some good food. We cross the dry Valley between two chains of mountains; the Rocky Mountains split in half south of Seattle  They grow olives and rice and all kind of vegetables and fruits. Flat and dry. Pleasant weather, warm as I like it.

17th of October San Francisco

We reach S.F, at 4:00 p.m. Che/Siobhain check in their Hotel while I rush to the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. A line of 30 people had formed already. I say hello to Matt, Julia, Sarah,Alrik, Ryner and Noel , D.'s friend. They're first on the line. I join the queue, I'' be something like 50th. I got a ticket for 30$, it's ok. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. and by some kind of miracle I find myself on the rail, left of the stage. Thanks to D..
I enjoy very much Mark Knopfler and Band, so close.
Then Bob is right in front of me on the keyboard. I'm wild. First time on this Tour that I hold the rail. The feeling is always good no matter what gonna happen on stage. Stu, Charley, George and Tony are kind of far. But this time I can see Donnie on his steel guitar. Bob is not smiling or even looking at the public.
He will do "Man in a long black coat" and "Beyond here lies nothing" but on piano - the energy is not the same as on guitar - The sound is not too good. I scream "Joey,Joey". And yes, he gonna do "Joey". Of course it was on the set list but nonetheless I feel good. I see Donnie picking up his violin. I believe he will do "Forgetful heart" first time on this Tour. Bob is at the piano. no Magic! That piano is taking the Magic away. Plus I have those spots light in my eyes I can't see Bob's face. I believe that's exactly the point. Bad Bobby Boy!
After ...the routine again
"highway 61", "Thunder on the mountain","Visions of Johanna", "Ballad of a thin man", "Like a rolling stone", "All along the watch tower" and the final "Blowing in the wind".
I'm wild in the front. some Fans are dancing. 
Bob is not happy, smiling only once at Donnie, then serious again. What's wrong Bobby Dylan? What's wrong Bobby dear?
His outfit has been the same for 4 or 5 shows now; black pants with white straps, same hate, boots, only the shirt will change but always Black and White.
I'm right in front of the piano but at no time I will have eye contact, not a look, not a glance.
We meet with Che/Siobhain and decide to go to a Chinese restaurant with D. and Noel. We grab a cab to Chinatown and we have a good meal then time to go to bed. I decide - against all wisdom - to share a room with D. and Noel. I will share a bed with D. even - a mistake? -

18th of October San Francisco

Next morning I rush to the Bill Graham Civic auditorium at 9:00 a.m. for today, again, it's general admission, a chance to be in the front. The day will be long and pleasant. The same people are in front. We take turn to hold the spot, to go to eat and rest. At 5:30 p.m. I spot the musicians' bus and in the back of the auditorium one by one the musicians will go in for the sound check. No Bobby's bus yet.
6:00 p.m. the doors open and again Alrik is cheating me on the line. I'm mad. I've been here since  nine in the morning, I'm short , I don't run fast. No need to cheat me that way! I run and take a spot on the left next to Noel but the view is no good. So I move to the left with D. whose gentle enough to let me on the rail. - he could be so sweet !- Next to me are Siobhain then Matt.
Mark is good, delighted to have such a good responding public. At times I have the feelings that his set is better than Dylan's. But Dylan is Dylan! THE ARTIST.
"Watching the river flow". Of course, because I'm in front, I'll take anything tonight.
He will do his routine, smiling at Tony but not at the public. The oval mirror is blocking Siobhain's view so I move a little bit on the left. What a drag that mirror!
What a show even if we don't have any Tempest.
We move out with mixed feelings for we're still expecting a miracle.
We go for beer and tea. Noel, D. and I we go out for dinner.
We're having fun in the deserted streets of San Francisco before crashing on our bed at 2:00 a.m.
I share a bed with D..
Noel will tell me that in the night D. had his arm around me. I didn't feel any thing. No touch, no kindness, just sleep.

19th of October Berkeley

Tonight is the Berkeley show. No G.A. but reserved seats at the Greek Theater, open air.
I relax in the morning while D. is away. I do the laundry then take a walk to the Fisherman wharf. I've a good time.
At 4:00 p.m. with Noel we take the BART to Berkeley. I want to see the campus. I want to walk around. But... D. calls and ask us to join him at his sister's house for a dinner. I don't feel like it; more people I don't know, more confusion. I want to please him, so I obliged. We all go Noel, D., Matt - who decided to stay one more show - and I to Oakland to have a Pizza at D.'s sister house. I'm nervous for it's getting late and I'm the only one without a ticket. So much for his friendship!
I get a ticket for 30$ and get in to take an empty seat on the top of the Theater. It's full tonight. I enjoy Mark's show from far away and move around during the intermission. Some woman gave me a seat but as soon as Bob is on for "Watching the river flow" I know I won't keep my seat. I spot Noel dancing in the aisle. I move next to him. I will dance the entire show. The sound is good, the set list ok since I don't expect something revolutionary anymore. More Fans will join us for the dancing on the aisle, the security freaks out.
Noel is wild and so I am.
Some drinks after the show with D.. We all retrieve to our room in San Francisco.
I share a bed with D..
Beautiful day with beautiful friends.

20th of October Sacramento

I wake up at 7:30 a.m. but wait for waking D. at 9:00 a.m. That crazy Noel put some music on at 8:30 a.m. I'm mad but D. will go for his friend against me. I'm the bad one!
Noel is upset and leave the room. D. is on his computer until check out time.
We're supposed to drive to Capay Valley for D. wants to buy some land there. We spend the afternoon visiting a farm after another. Nice experience, I'm having a good time. We do something together.
We go for a Pizza then move to the venue in Sacramento. As usual we're running late. I get a second row ticket for 60$. I'm far on the left but it's ok for I can stand up and dance, and I will.
a big surprise tonight the first song will be "You ain't going nowhere". the BobCats are hysterical. 
then the routine with a nice "Ain't talking". The music is good, the sound perfect. Stu is wild on his guitar. Only few fans are up in the front, Nothing to be happy about, I feel like a crazy freak. Bob is cold as usual, the final bow is really short. He wants to get out. We're deceived. One surprise, some in a while, what a drag!
I've been crying all afternoon; crying for real or crying in my heart. I'm tired of the situation with D.. I feel part of his problems but not part of his life. I feel like a little dog following him. At times it feel secure at times I would like to have more consideration. We don't really get along. I'm trying to be patient for he's taking me to the shows. It feels comfortable. Comfort Vs. Freedom.
Sacramento is the last show D. will do.
I found a ride with Ryner - from Germany - to Santa Barbara. Why not. Noel will join.

21st of October on the way to Santa Barbara

D. takes us - Noel and I - to Ryner's hotel for a ride to Santa Barbara after a turbulent night. Those two don't sleep too much. They had a good laugh on the phone when John - who borrowed D.' jeep - was stuck on the highway, running out of gas. He explains that he had to hide his 'weed' before the police patrol made a search of the jeep. Eventually the AAA will rescue him. They go to bed at 4:00 a.m but I don't feel like sleeping anymore. I write on my paper blog.
I get up at 8:00 a.m. and with Noel we have some kind of continental breakfast. 
D. will stay in the Bay Area to deal with some business. I don't know if we'll meet again.
The ride to Santa Barbara is pleasant, Ryner is a careful driver.
I chat with Noel. It appears that he had been in Blackbush in 1978. He was right on the rail, centre stage. Possibly next to me.Whoa! destiny!
We split in Santa Barbara at 5:00 p.m. I take a private room in a youth Hostel not far from the Santa Barbara Bowl.
I take a walk and find right away the two black buses parked at the Hilton Resort, facing the Ocean. By a pure luck I see Big Bob - the second security guard, whose name is Bob and not Chris - entering the Bougainvillia section of that huge Hotel. I believe Bobby is here also.
I take a walk to the wharf and go to sleep, a good night sleep, quiet and peaceful. I miss the exuberance of D.. I miss the whole of him.
view from the Hilton Resort balcony

22st of October Santa Barbara

I eat pancakes in the morning and walk along the Ocean for few hours. Back at the Resort I check around. No sign of nobody from the Band or Bob. The musicians' bus will leave at 2:30 p.m. Bob's bus is still around so no sound check.
I leave the Hilton Resort at 5:00 p.m. to be ready for the show. I walk up the hill to the Bowl. I see Ryner, Noel and Glen - D.'s friend - at the terrace of a cafe. 
They don't invite me to seat! I have to ask about D.. D. is not coming. Too bad for I had bought him an 
Hawaiien shirt in the afternoon.
I move in front of the venue to find myself a ticket.
I meet with Che/Siobhain doing the same. A nice Lady proposes me a ticket for 35$. I don't have any change so we move in together and we chat. she's impress about me following Bob and will offer me the ticket. We sta side by side and we have a good time.
The show is good. The set list the best for me on that Tour. A lot of Rock and roll songs that I love.
For two songs "Things have changed" and " Tangled up in blue" a third guitar player is on stage . He's Freddy Koella - who previously played for Bob -.
After the show I was supposed to meet with Noel but he doesn't show up. Che/Siobhain will drive me to my Hostel. Thanks to them, real good friends.

23rd of October to San Diego

I booked a Hostel in San Diego and will travel AMTRAK along the coast. I'm on my own. D. didn't answer my mail. I start to think about our two weeks on the road like something from the past. I try to forget about him. We had some good times but some hard times - for me - trying to figure out how much he cares about me. In Sacramento he almost forgot to give me a hug when we parted. He's more attached to his 'boy' friends. Women have no big place in his life. no sex for two weeks and we had been sleeping in the same bed many times - too often ? -. what's wrong with him? Or me? D. had been generous but he's this way with everybody, anybody. I don't feel any special. I want to be exclusive. No way with D.. I feel I was a little dog on a leash. He was thinking for me, making plans for me, taking decisions for me. I don't want it. I want an equal share of the trip.
As Bob said
"there is no good guy, there is no bad guy
there's just you and me and we just disagree".

I will now focus on Bob Dylan; getting to the venue, getting a ticket, a room after the show...
"It's alright Ma
it's life and life only!"
I thought it was the beginning of a beautiful adventure , it was just an episode in my crazy search for the Ghost of Bobby Dylan.

24th of October in San Diego

At the Youth Hostel I talk with Daniel, a middle age man from Quebec, who decide to leave everything behind and go for a trip around the world. He never traveled before. what do we know of people. I convince him to go to the show with me. 
 I have a pleasant walk to Ocean Beach. nice and peaceful. Never thought of that from San Diego.
We meet at 5:45 p.m. with Daniel in the dinning room and head to the venue.
On the arriving we 'bump' in Bob's bus. Bob is not doing any sound check. I get rapidly two tickets for 30$. They happen to be on the floor section, middle row of the venue. Che/Siobhain are right in front of us.
Alrik, Sarah, Julia - from Europe - are still around. Dave from Seattle is here and the tall guy from Norway. Nobody else(?). the BobCats are tired!
The venue is huge - 16000- not too good but the public is warm even for Mark.
Stu appears on acoustic guitar, so that will be "You ain't going nowhere".
Bob is on fire tonight, the energy is back. The set list is Rock with a tender "Forgetful heart" center stage. I enjoy myself, I'm trying to forget my 'so called friends'. I wish Bob could do "Positively 4th street for them".
A surprise; for "Summer days" Mark in on stage for some riffs of guitar. When he leaves the stage Bob says "thank you Mark'. So sweet!
"Thunder on the mountain" put the venue on fire, I'm just part of it. Anonymous among the crowd. I feel lost; Daniel is not D. and Bobby is a ghost. I feel old and ugly. where is the tenderness and kindness I so much need?
Bob seems fit and happy, dressed as usual; those black pants with white straps that he loves so much and the hat - the same -. No playing any guitar. His hands hurt?
I feel so hurt tonight from my breaking apart from D.. I'm wondering how Bob can sustain so much pain, losing so many friends and lovers.
"The door is closed forever more". Is that the way to sustain the pain, to close his heart?
The last bow on stage is quick and impersonal but so is the audience. They rapidly move out with no afterthoughts, going back home to their 'crappy' life, back to the reality of times.
I say bye to Che/Siobhain, my two good friends.

25th of October Hollywood

I took a walk on Hollywood Boulevard, trying to find the Bob Dylan Star - didn't find it - after 12 hours of sleep in the Youth hostel right on Hollywood boulevard. I check out the venue; a huge bowl open air. A pit in front of the stage difficult to access -they call it the Pool - The people in Hollywood are incredibly nice, warm and friendly. I feel so good! This morning I had a good laugh at the communal breakfast table with one guy from Italy and another one from Brazil. No pre-judgement about sex, age, color, religion ... We talked for over an hour like long time friends. Why it never happened with D.? I was always so tense and nervous trying to please and seduce him.
"But all the good things in life add up to zero"

26th of October Hollywood

I take a long walk on Hollywood Boulevard then move to the venue by 6"00 p.m. People start to crawl in. I put my sign up. No luck, people are cold, some snobbish Yuppies. I don't see anyone I know expect a freak who followed since Portland. He's not nice. The scalpers are doing their business. A young fellow wants to sell me a ticket for 35$. The security comes around saying he's not supposed to be selling. so he will give the ticket to me for free. for the first time I can thanks the security guy! The seat is all the way up, no good. The Bowl is so big - 18000- it will be hard to reach the floor section. I keep on searching> Che/Siobhain will join me. That will be their last show so they're willing to spend a little money. A couple will sell me a ticket for 30$, I sell the other one for 10$. Not too bad.
I miss the first Knopfler song. I'm far away from the stage, stuck in the middle of Yuppies.
Bob is on. The 4 big screens don't have any close up, of course! The sound is not too good, even Mark sounded like he had a cold.
Bobby will do a beautiful "Love sick", just for me, it seams.
"I regret I've ever met you
I'm trying to forget about you,
I'll give anything just to be with you".
Exactly the way I feel.
"Cry awhile" and "To Ramona" are right in my spirit too.
Nothing special in Hollywood, he didn't even change the lyrics of "Things have changed"
I'm in the wrong town, I should be in Hollywood
I say "Bobby, you ARE in Hollywood"
At the final 'encore' I see Barron rushing from the right of the stage, grabbing a girl trying to get to Bob, then dropping her in the public on the left. Good catch 'Ninja'!
I don't see Bob reaction but he moves quickly out of stage.
The throng is moving out. A folly!
The Bowl is vomiting 18000 'goats'.
Che/Siobhain walk me to my Hostel. The streets are full of 'characters'. It's Halloween before time. In Hollywood it's Halloween every day, it seems.
I try to catch some sleep. At 6:00 a.m. I take a taxi to the Greyhound bus station. Downtown L.A. is a 'jungle'. High level of criminality. Going now to Las Vegas; another kind of folly!

27th of October Las Vegas

A city in the middle of the desert. Yes, another kind of American folly. Nothing for the poor. No tourist Information Center. I have to take a taxi to the Youth Hostel. Only the third taxi driver will accept to pick me up. I don't look like I gonna spend too much money here.
The Cat-Hostel is cool. A bit funky. For 15$/night what do you expect? I buy myself a bus pass for 8$/24h.
I try to reach the Mandalay Casino. It takes about one hour from the Hostel. Back to change my clothes and back to the Mandalay at 5:45 p.m. The venue is inside the casino, same situation as in 2011. I find myself a ticket for 40$, bad seat, but by now it doesn't matter, I will move to the floor anyway.
At 7:30 p.m. - show time for Knopfler - the venue is 3/4 empty, even the floor sections. Casino crowd!
Mark is good, good humored tonight - maybe he won few bucks in the slot machines? -
I move my way down by the sound board. I meet with a Fan who flew from Mexico City for the one Dylan show. Whoa! and I thought I was crazy?
I stand up dancing for the whole show. Bob is in a good mood, good energy. Few Fans center floor are up and dance. This is Las Vegas, who cares about bob Dylan?
I will meet with Jay and Johanna and the tall guy from Norway who will stop the Tour right here in Vegas.
He will nonetheless takes the Greyhound bus to Denver tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. We agree to travel together.
Bob will put Mark on stage for "Beyond here lies nothing" himself on piano. It's lacking the energy it used to have in 2011. I used to Love that song to much.
"Tweedle dee, Tweedle Dum" is funny, "Mississippi" is good. A new song tonight I have some hard time to recognize. a song from "Love and theft" says the guy from Mexico. But no, it's from "World gone wrong"; Delia.
Delia was a gambling girl, gambled all around,
Delia was a gambling girl, she laid her money down.
All the friends I ever had are gone.
Appropriate for Las Vegas. So Bob knows where he is.

The Mexican Fan invites me for dinner in the restaurant of the Mandalay Bay where he's staying, probably Bob and the Band too.
I crash on my bed at 2:00 a.m. I didn't gamble a single penny. I'm looking forward for escaping Armageddon.

28th of October to Denver

I check out at 11:00 a.m. and walk to the Greyhound station. At two we are on line Magne - the tall man from Norway -and I. The ride will be  15 hours long mainly by night, with few stops that will break our sleep. No major problem and only 10 persons on the bus. The ride fee is 100$ if you book on line.
Denver is a nice town. the downtown area is clean and neat. It's not too cold.
I drink a cappuccino at the Starbuck coffee waiting for the Visitor Centre to open. I go in there at 9:00 a.m. They're efficient. I find rapidly a Youth Hostel downtown and a bus going to the venue, back and forth.
I check in the Hostel and take a walk, unfortunately all the Museums are closed on Monday.
I talk with some nice guys at the Hostel and two of them are willing to come with me at the show tonight.
We leave at 4:00 p.m., arriving at the venue at 5:00 p.m. a little bit too early so we seat down for a cup of coffee and a chat. Nate is stoned crazy, a so called 'philosopher' but for me just an egomaniac big mouth doing some monologues. Good looking but 'Nut'.
At 6:00 p.m. we put our signs up; "I need a ticket, please".
I'll get a free complementary ticket and my companions two tickets for 55$.
I'm out when who I see coming towards me? D..
I'm so happy to see him that I give him a big bear hug. I thought he'd come for me. Illusion!
We go in together on the floor section but I lost track of him - or he deliberately lost track of me -.
I stay far back on the floor and up to dance on the usual excellent Knopfler set.
At the intermission I spot D. in conversation with I don't know who - and he doesn't know either -.
I move front stage with him and take an empty seat on third row right. I'll be able to see Bob on piano. I'm happy for D. is second row center and Bob is in a good spirit, smiling at Donnie and looking at the public.
Good show. The venue is small, the audience warm and cheerful.
Bob is wearing the same outfit and will never do anything from Tempest. But four songs relating to water;
"Shelter from the storm","high water","The levee's gonna break","A hard rain's a-gonna fall". Influence by the news? Sandy, a tropical storm, ravaged New York and part of the East Coast.
I move out in a really good spirit for I'm expecting to be with D.. tonight or at least to exchange some words. He's nice enough to drive the three of us - from the Hostel - to downtown Denver when he's himself staying at a friend's house in Boulder. He will invite us for dinner but spend most of his time chatting with that 'nut' of Nate. I feel like a 'piece of cheat'.
He drops me at the Hostel.
I crash on my bunk at 2.00 a.m. crying out on my frustration and my broken dreams.
No word from D. the next day.
I go with 'nut' Nate to the Museum of Science the next day and rapidly 'lost' him in the crowd. He's so full of himself that he's monologuing incessantly. I don't understand 1/100 of what he's talking about.
I relax in the afternoon - taking a nap - before reaching again the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield but this time all by myself.
I'm less lucky with the ticket. I feel terribly bluesy. No mail from D..
I'm desperate for a ticket when who is coming rushing like a demon? D.. A bulldog tonight.
He screams at me; "I need a ticket, floor section for 100$". Sure, easy!
By some kind of miracle a man appears in front of me with two floor tickets for 200$. I buy one for myself - being so happy to be with D. - and D. buy the other one. He says in a strange tone "oh! we gonna be together?".
He wants to disguise himself - tomorrow is Halloween - and bought himself a costume of an Ancient Roman King.
For Mark Knopfler set we are on the side of the aisle.
At the intermission D. will present me two friends for whom he had bought two tickets for 300$. Whoa! -better friends than me, for sure -
The friend and D. and I move to the smoking section where they smoke a joint. Until then D. had been about nice. His attitude will suddenly change. He will start to be mean and aggressive towards me.
During the show he's constantly on his Iphone, that disturbs me for this is a good show. We're 10th row center and the audience is cheerful. Of course D. is recording and I'm supposed to be quiet; no clapping, no singing along, no cheering ... I obliged but feel frustrated that we can't even appreciate the show here and now.
The show is good, Bobby full of energy. The set list not as good as yesterday but "Rollin' and Tumblin'" is strong. The hit will be "Thunder on the mountain". The venue is on fire! Public up and shouting.
For the 'encore' D. pushes me in the front. We're third row center for "Blowing in the wind".
I see Bob close, he looks tired, old and bloated again. His back is so straight I can't believe it's natural.
He's centre stage blowing on that harp so hard I believe he will soon collapse.
In front row left, three Fans are disguised as personages from the "Titanic" movie. They have signs saying TITANIC. Did Bob see them? That will not influence his set list. No Titanic tonight but a beautiful "John Brown" and a sweet "Love minus zero/ no limit" my favorite love song.
On "Ballad of a thin man" he will blow his harp a bit longer. He will stay a little bit longer facing the public on his final bow.
I move out with D.. More and more distant with me. He will speak for a long time with the personages from the Titanic himself disguise as the Ancient roman King. They all have a good time playing kids. I'm freezing for someone stole my woolen scarf inside the venue. I'm tired, I paid 100$ for a ticket that was supposed to be free and D. dis-regard me.
He will nonetheless drive me back to my Youth Hostel bunk. No word in the car. He will keep silent the whole half hour. I can't believe he has that volubility with anybody, everybody.
I know the dark side of D.; silent, moody, mad, angry and at times violent. I regret I didn't catch that bus back to Denver.I believe he's just a big mouth a 'show off', superficial and macho with women.
I believe I was in love but it was an illusion. I feel cheated, I feel I've been abused. I spent more money being with D. on that trip that being on my own. So what was the point?
Most of the BobCats will travel alone and I understand why now. It's like Bob Dylan is putting the craziness out people. I was thinking he could confederate a bunch of loving Fans -like the Grateful Dead -. It's not the case. There is few solidarity, just a harsh competition to have a good seat, a good view of Daddy Bob. To be seen by Bob Dylan and recognized. I believe Bob doesn't give a cheat! And he's right. Those freaks might be annoying him even - I'm one of them -.
Those American followers are just 'nut' for a Dylan show. In reality they are 'conservative' for most of them. They have good jobs and good money; bankers, lawyers, Masters of war(???). No Hippy kind - just the time of a show -
But isn't that the case for Dylan himself?
He will put his Bob Dylan mask on for the time of a Bob Dylan show then ...
We separate with D.. It's a farewell with harsh words from his mouth.

I will stay four days in Denver, skipping Dallas and Tulsa too far South for me, in a funky but sympathetic Youth Hostel.
Not too clean, not too neat, three days without hot water in the shower and no cold water from the tap, but only three girls in the dorm, a small kitchen, a T.V. room, free access to Internet with a computer from 8:00 a.m. to 10:oo a.m. then 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Sympathetic residents - long term for some of them looking for job or a home -.
I take a chance to visit the Museum of Science and also a Van Gogh exhibit at the Fine Art Museum.
I sympathize  with Jeff, an Artist falling in Love with me(!). I write , I read and I sleep.


3rd of November Omaha

I take a night Greyhound bus to Omaha. Reaching the town at 5:45 a.m I wait until daylight in the station before taking a walk downtown. I find the Century Link Center and check in a EconoLodge Hotel. A bit expensive but I don't have much choice, there is no Youth Hostel here. It's a University town.
I take the chance to have a computer in the Lobby and free access to update my BLOG.
In the late afternoon I take a walk downtown. Nothing is moving in here. Few people in the streets, stores are closed, I can't even find a marker to buy food and drink. It seems like a Sunday but we are Saturday. I retrieve to my room to be ready for the show. The capacity of the venue is 16000. I doubt that will be sold out.
I walk to the venue side by side with a Mark Knopfler Fan. We exchange. Arriving at the CenturyLink Center I spot Stu outside. I want to shake hand with him when I realize I'm wearing gloves. I take them out and he gives me a hand shake. I doubt he recognizes me. But it's nice anyway.
I find myself a ticket for 20$, up on the side.
For Mark I take an empty seat above the stage. I have a good view of the Band and I can move my body without disturbing anyone. The audience is reacting warmly. Mark is happy – or seems -. Hard to tell with him. Easier with Bob who doesn't hide his feelings when he's mad or happy.
At the intermission I see two Fans I know from Germany. I move to the floor – with no problem – to chat with them. They did the two shows in Broomfield and will go up to St Paul. I also met with a friend of Siobhain and Jay is here to. That will be his last show of the Tour.
I stay by the sound board for there is hardly an empty seat in the front.
Bob is on, dressed as usual.
“I'll be your Baby tonight”. Yes Bobby, happily!
Mark is on stage for the second song; To Ramona”. I sing along and I don't believe Bobby will mind since he can't hear me.
“Things have changed” with again Mark on stage. Bobby seems truly happy. So far – from where I stand - he looks really young. Even more fit than Mark who starts to be fat and 'banding over'. Bob is straight and class with his suit.
“Tangled up in blue” with Mark always here and one song I recognize immediately; “Beyond here lies nothing”. An incredible interpretation since Mark is on fire. The dialog between the guitar and the piano will add what was lacking when it was only Bob on piano.
The hit of the night. I'm having my “Shot of Love”.
Bob knows. At the end he will say “Thank you Mark” and will add “this was Mark Knopfler on guitar”.
A sweet melody on piano and Bob starts “In the time of my confession ...” Whoa! “Every grain of sand”. So sweet!
“The levee's gonna break” powerful, the venue is on fire, people up and dancing.
I hear Donnie tuning his banjo. “John Brown”? “High water”?
Bob picks up his harmonica and I hear the first notes of “Blind Willie Mc Tell”. For the first time on that Tour.
I'm in heaven. I forget about all my troubles and communicate with Bob, over there on stage. So far but so close to my heart tonight. It's like I sing - every single word I phrase - with him, I breath with him, I move with him, I blow in that harmonica with him.
Even if the rest of the show is something I know by heart it's not important now for that's what I want tonight; be part of it.
The audience knows it's 'fucking' good. The public is up, dancing and screaming for Bob Dylan , the PHENOMENON!

An incredible performance. My Bobby is back!

Thank you Bobby Dylan. I'm not gonna say I Love you – for you won't believe me –.
I will say What an ARTIST I have so much admiration for!

In Omaha every individual I met I'd been nice to me. I move out with Peace in my heart and mind.
I sleep a good night sleep, alone, in my king size bed.

5th of November Madison

Leaving Omaha at 8:45 p.m., reaching Madison at 10:30a.m. next day.
The ride was pleasant with two transfers. I check in a Youth Hostel by the Capitol.
The streets are in chaos, why?
President Barak Obama - and his supporter Bruce Springsteen - had been here in the morning for a Democrat campaign. Bob Dylan was also here last night.
Did they meet?
The town is alive though it's a university town like Omaha. It's a lot more animated. On the main street called State st. students are moving around with sacks on their back. The street is provided with restaurants of all sorts, bookstores, cloth stores. I spend one hour inside the Library to do business on my computer., booked a trip to St Paul for tomorrow. On my way back to the hostel I buy myself a pie at Papa's kitchen. Some one tells me he's the best pie baker in the whole Wisconsin. I'm glad I found him. I eat my pie and drink a cup of coffee. By 5:00 p.m. I decide to take a walk to the venue. A pleasant one hour walk along the lake. It's dark but not too cold.
At the venue a man sells me a 4th row on the right for 50$. I take it for I don't know if I'll be able to see Bob that close until the end of my Tour.
I check around. All the buses are parked except the Dylan's bus. Definitively no sound check.
I go inside to see if I recognize any BobCats. Only the two from Germany - they will be seated behind me - and later April Melody and her husband and J. No one else.
I enjoy Mark Knopfler and Band.
Bob is on for "I'll be your Baby tonight", his back towards me, straight as a I. His voice is weak.
He's rushing through his set list, one song after another, no pause.
The only good thing is Knopfler on guitar, center stage adding some 'life' in that dull performance.
"Man in a long black coat" Bob on piano.
"Rumblin' and tumblin'" and "Tweedle dee, Tweedle dum" that should not be on the same set list - I think -
"a hard rain's a gonna fall" lacks of conviction.
"Chimes of freedom" that I sing along - with a little mistake in the lyrics at the end -.
Only "when the deals goes done" new and sweet will highlit the show.
Bob looks really tired, no smile at Donnie, no laugh with Tony, no guitar, no harp, no crazy leg moves at the piano!
I worry about him. What is his pleasure?
In the middle of "Blowing in the wind" he will say few words about Obama, predicting the re-election.
So he knows where he is and who was here this morning!
That was an average show, nothing to be proud about. The audience was cold with only a standing ovation at the end.
For me it had been a nice day in Madison

6th of November St Paul

I wait two hours at the Greyhound station in Minneapolis for only half an hour ride. The best would have been to take a local bus. I didn't know. St Paul doesn't have a Greyhound station, it's the AMTRAK station.
Two black girls and a black man are stepping out the bus with me. I ask them where I could get a cheap hotel. They say, half seriously, half mockingly, they're also looking for a cheap Hotel. They say we have to take a bus and I follow them. They play a trick on me, dropping me at a Days Inn - for 81$ /night -.
That's not what I call cheap. We move farther down with a local bus and again they drop me on the street. I move on my own.  The situation is too weird. Racism, lack of consideration, indifference? I feel bad.
I find myself a Motel for 50$/night. I watch T.V. - election day - and fall asleep.
Tomorrow Obama will win. Yippy! Though I'm not sure that will change a lot the condition of the poor people in this country.

7th of November St Paul

I'm sure to find a youth Hostel downtown so I checked out. I walk many miles before reaching the ..Office of the International Youth Hosteling. The man sends me back to Minneapolis. No way!
I drag my luggage with me to the Public Library and spend some time in there.
Johnny will come to the show tonight so I email me asking him if it's ok for me to put my luggage in his car during the show. He says it's ok and will meet me at the entrance of the Public Library - with his wife -.
The library will close at 5:30 p.m. I'm out in the cold for one hour in front of the Library.
I start to be desperate when who I see coming on my left, walking in the pavement?
Bob Dylan and his bodyguard - Barron -  both hooded, Bob in gray Barron in black.
I look at them coming to me. Bob looks at me. I can see his clear blue eyes in the dark. I don't say anything, I don't move.
When Barron passes in front of me  I say; "Hi Barron!".
Bob says something to Barron, he will answer. I don't hear what.
Did they recognize me? For Bob it's uncertain for Barron probable - he had seen me often in the venues, front stage -.
At the end of the street Barron turns towards me. I didn't move.
They cross the street and Bob steps in his black bus parked on the street. Again Barron looks  towards me.
I'm ok body, no fear, no stress!
Whoa! after such a bad day, a little warm to my heart. Bobby was walking fast. He's fit. He looked young and fragile next to Barron. Sweet Bobby!
Five minutes later arrives Johnny and his wife. We move my luggage to their car in the parking lot.
I start my search for a ticket. Tough tonight, the scalpers are not helpful.
Bill Pagel will join me for a search. He also needs a ticket. After one hour and when Mark is already on stage we decide to buy tickets at the Box Office. We are all the way up.
At the intermission we make a move down, easy. Bill will stay at the sound board with Jimmy, I will be pushed away by the security.
Bob is far - when he was so close in the afternoon ! -
And YES! " The ancient Roman Kings" as a treat for the day. YIPPY!
The audience doesn't seem to appreciate that excellent surprise. I do!
Bob is fit, happy even with Mark on guitar at his side for the few first songs.
Sound is good, voice is good, spirit is good.
The venue is full and wild, up most of the time on the floor.
Bob will stay a little longer than usual for the final salute.

Then for me it's a nightmare.
I want to go back to my cheap hotel but we get lost and Johnny will drive for one hour around St Paul.
I realize how efficient and competent was D.. I miss his intelligence. I'm sorry that I had cursed his G.P.S.
Poor soul! I love him!
Finally Johnny and his - not so nice wife, I have to say - drop me at a 'Days Inn' far away from down town Minneapolis.
That will cost me 60$ for the Hotel and 25$ for the cab to the Greyhound station in the morning.
I dream of Bob .... his blue eyes looking at me.

8th of November Milwaukee.

I take a cab to the Greyhound station. The bus will be leaving at 7:00 p.m. We have a young man in a wheel chair on the bus. At the breakfast break the door loading the wheel chair will be jammed. We'll be one hour delaid. It's not to bad for me for Milwaukee is my final destination.
Reaching Milwaukee at 3:00 p.m. I find out there is no locker at the station to get rid of my luggage. I go to the public library and work for a while on a computer. I email J. who's supposed to give me a ride to Chicago. He will not answer me.
At 5:00 p.m. I start moving around the venue. I ask if I could check in my luggage. It's alright, no problem. I buy myself a ticket for 40$, lower level. I get in to spot Bill inside the venue. Nobody else I know.
I'm over tired and fall asleep on Mark Knopfler set.
Bob is faraway but I have a good view on the stage. Bob is all dressed in black. I see well his cowboy boots. He's moving well on stage. No sign of any pain, though I can't see his face.
"Watching the river flow" ... then Mark is on stage. "It ain't me babe","Tangled up in blue", "things have changed"... and at last a surprise; "Million miles". Thank you Bobby!
The public is static, no movement. The huge 20 000 people venue is half full, some seats are empty even on the floor but I won't move down.
"A hard rain's a-gonna fall", "Ain't talking", two long songs. His memory is vivid. He won't be on guitar but he will blow in his harp powerfully.
for the first time on that Tour I don't stand up to dance, I stay seated like if I'm in my living room, watching a T.V. show.
After the show I retrieve my luggage and meet with bill and some women Fans. We'll be all sleeping at the Hilton. I share a bed with a nice Lady and bill will sleep on an air mattress.

9th of November Chicago

In the morning we chat about the mirrors on stage. We then go for a breakfast at the Starbuck cafe.
We split; I go with Bill to Chicago. Easy ride.
We immediately go check at the Box Office to find some tickets. Nothing good. We have lunch at  Mc Donald's and later a snack at Donuts - something -.
At 6:30 p.m. we move to the venue. Christie, a friend and C. - from the previous Tour - are disusing about the mirrors and speakers blocking the view of Bob on piano. They have two first row tickets, they have to decide which one is for me. I'll get the one on the extreme left of the stage. I'm satisfied, I'll be on the rail no matter what! I'll see Bob close.
I take my seat for Knopfler and enjoy myself.
I chat with a young man next to me who had been to many shows,nice!
Stu is on, right in front of me.
Bob will be surprising; he will trot center stage, hat less, a guitar around his neck. He's wearing a green flashy shirt, the stage suit with the green straps on pants and jacket. Whoa!
Bob will play his guitar again and again, a long intro with no lyrics. Weird!
Then on his piano "To Ramona" hat less and Mark is on stage.
"Things have changed","Tangled up in blue". Mark will leave the stage and Bob puts his hat on.
The sound is good, a bit too loud for I'm in front of the huge loud speakers.
Donnie picks up his violin, the young man murmurs "High water"? I say "John Brown"? but Bob picks up his harp so that will be "Blind Willie Mc Tell". One of my favorites with "Man in a long black coat","Beyond here lies nothing","Shooting star" the only one I won't hear on that tour.
"Desolation row" and Donnie picks up his viola. That will be "Forgetful heart". The public is quiet and respectful. A beautiful and painful poem. Bob is center stage. "Love sick", just for me?
Then the regular set list. Good show, good voice. I don't see him smiling though.
The standing ovation is a little bit longer, the first row is on the rail - had been since the beginning of the show -.
Good bye Bobby! see you in Japan!
I say bye to Jim and we chat with J. in the parking lot. Bill and J. try to agree about the first musical intro.
Bill drives me to the Hilton by the Airport where Barbara invited us for tonight.
A good night sleep, an excellent breakfast.
I take the Shuttle to the airport, back to France.

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