On BOB DYLAN steps 1978 europe.

This blog is the journal I wrote in my travels in Europe and North America (Canada, U.S.A.) when I followed Bob Dylan Tours or parts of Tours since 1978.
This is not a fiction, all the facts stated are accurate (within the limits of my memory).
These are personal stories and feelings. Everything is subjective.
Under no circumstances does this BLOG value of information on the public and private life of Bob Dylan, and especially not of truths.

I mention for 2011
       - The names of Bobcat (followers).
They may be misspelled. Thank you to those who agree to send me a mail for correction.
- Descriptions of Bobcats (followers).
Thank you to those who recognize themselves and wish to send me a mail with their name.
For those who do not wish to be mentioned, thank you to email me.

For those who wish to add some comments on any part of the stories, thank you to email me.
For those who have written and published their own blogs, thank you for sending me a link I'd be happy to add.

If, in my stories, I hurt the sensitivity of some person, including Mr. Dylan, I apologize, but I wish to express my feelings as they were at the time.

To all those who have helped me on the 'road' and to all of those who have helped me to help myself.


I am seventeen years old, we are in 1974.
My brother brings home a record of a super woman with the voice of a nightingale: Joan Baez. It’s Farewell Angelina”, in my opinion her best album. The voice only cling because I do not understand anything yet. By looking carefully at  the cover I come across a name in several places: BOB DYLAN .
In a record store I accidentally hands Highway 61 Revisited”. Is Dylan a singer? I buy it.
While browsing in a bookstore I found his name on a book “Dylan” by the writers of the review Rock & Folk. So if there’s a book on him, this guy must be known. I buy the book.
From six o’clock in the evening  to six o’clock in the morning, I will not pause down the book and the disk that does not stop spinning on. When the clock strikes six, I rise my eyes up. The sun ignites the horizon and the world turned upside down. It’s A New Morning”.
I will never resent  this feeling again ; to pass from one world to another, quietly, in peace. Enlightenment. It took only twelve hours to change my life. I do not know exactly what but I want to be someone like Dylan.


The next year I turned18 and I’m “major”. I dropped out, from school, from home, from society.
I joined a band of Jesus Christ’s Illuminati. They don’t succeed to bring me their point of view on Faith. The Faith we have or we don’t (and I believe I do have a certain type of Faith) but they teach me a lot of tricks for “The Road” and a harsh contact with society. I left after nine months completely disgusted. There is so much hypocrisy and brainwashing that I do not know where my head is at anymore. It will take me years to get over it,  trying to get read of my guilt.

I do some summer jobs, make myself a passport and “Bound For Glory”.
Of course to the land of my dreams and the country of my Darling : The United States of America. However it is not him I go to see. I had read, since that night, so many things: he is untouchable, unapproachable, a paranoid .... fairy tale Charming Prince. As I can not see the King of Folk, I ‘ll go for the Queen: Joan Baez. My English has improved a bit  listening to his songs. Luckily for me because as soon as I set foot in the United States, despite (or because) of my eight years of academic English, I do not understand a single word. Joannie is supposed to be charming nor neurotic or paranoid! Big mistake ...
I do the normal trip New York (that I find dirty) - San Francisco with Greyhound. My first contact with that country will remain superficial so enjoyable. After a fruitless search of the Madonna in California, I return home. Surprise! She’s touring in France. Just enough time to wash my socks and “on the road again”. This time I’m sure to see it, I’m on Tour. I meet a “super fan” who was the first secretary of Amnesty International in Paris and we team up. No doubt we can discuss with the “High Priestess”. But ....
She’s not in a mood to see us nor in Paris nor in the south, so we do a little raucous at the next concert. She kicks us out the Frejus Arena. We are not spiteful, we buy tickets for the up coming show in Orange, put them in an envelope with an apology
 “If you will,please, forgive us let us return the tickets for tonight.” We’ll never see them again. My friend is on the verge to commit suicide and I lost faith in pacifism, dropping “Amnesty
International ” and “The League of Human Rights.
I fly for a quiet beach in Greece, where I’ll stay day and night for three weeks, eating watermelon and watching the waves to wash my brain.
Lire phonétiquement


And Bob Dylan is announced in France. What a shock! After twelve years of long absence, here He is with us and for a great World Tour. After the “slap” received by his girlfriend of the 60’s, I hope for nothing more than to see him on stage. I expect him being surrounded by “an army on a war footing”. I’m 21, He changed my life at 17 and I’ll see him in the flesh and blood.
I’m in London when they sell tickets for Earl’s Court concerts. I queued for 16 hours to get two tickets. The craziest were at the door the day before with sleeping bags. They slept there. What patience those English!
So me, at the end of the queue, I get  two seats at the top of a large “Bowl”. A tiny puppet out there on stage. That’s DYLAN??
I try my luck in Paris and buy a ticket. Surprise! seats are not numbered in the Pavilions. First in, first seated. I, who have nothing else to do, I’m at the doors at 2:00 p.m. for a concert at 9:00 p.m.. The doors open, I run to the front- it’s a ritual, you must run and push everyone - whoa! right in front of the microphone, three yards, I can even receive his postilions!
One word : MAGIC! It’s MAGIC.
With his Pierrot makeup (from the rolling Thunder Review) his “philharmonic orchestra”.
It is a dream.
The music is sophisticated, more sophisticated than on his records. But what impresses me most is the performer. It’s the sincerity that goes through. This guy is naked on stage, releasing all its guts without shame or complex, as a guy who is free on stage in front of the audience.
So I decide to buy all the tickets, one for each night. I’m in the front for six concerts. I’m pretty loud and screaming “Bobby!” when it’s time for the show, he will never be late, I’m his clock. He eventually sees me and looks at me and smiles.
Of course I do some attempts to see him behind, at the “stage door”. It’s full of big guys who play hard with the big dogs. a brave fan will be bitten. It’s too much for me. I give up. I’m glad to see the bus arriving and leaving when He and his band are coming and leaving. No limousine, just a regular bus(no tinted windows). At the end of the fourth concert I met a girl with a strong English accent. She asks if Dylan left already.
”Yes” I reply and I naively ask
”Do you know the hotel?”.
She gives me the address. (I will find out later that it’s not so easy to know)
The next night after the concert, I decided to go to the hotel with the intention of getting a closer look at my Hero, that’s all. Another fan declines the invitation to join me
 “We have no chance, there is too much security.”

I’ll remember all my life;
I was there in front of this super-luxurious hotel to play hide and seek between the arcades. Fifteen minutes pass and the bus arrives. There is nobody else but me on the sidewalk. Bob comes out of the car and I approach, as soon stopped by two “gorillas”.
I Call “Bobby?”. He recognizes me and told his guards
”it’s alright”.
He shakes my hand and gently asks if I would be there on Saturday. It was the next and final concert.
”Of course” I reply.
And I simply leave.
I never thought about  doing anything else.
At this time the sky fell on my head. All the nonsense I read about this man fell the deepest abysces. He’s paranoid, aggressive, vicious, he’s a great egotist, a viper’s tongue, blah blah blah .... He was alone and lost as a solo empty musician after a concert.
This approach was certainly the second turning point in my life. I could have become nihilistic to death, junky, tramp, or even kill myself. But hope it was He who gave it to me.
Obviously, this last show was The Show. I arrive on site at 2:00 p.m.. I sneak in and hide under on the floor, under the benches. I also see, the sweat on my forehead, passing by me, first the cleaners, second, the secutity guards with their dogs searching for I don’t know what. And if the dogs smell me? Worse than an escape from prison! I promised Bob to be there tonight. I’m lucky, or the dogs lack of flair. I attend the rehearsal. Sacrilege of sacrileges: Bob hates it. And then I missed the signe he gave me when they arrived. A girl told me that from the bus he pulled the curtain and greeted someone in the queue. Who else but me? (Oh, it starts to get to my head!).
I leave my hiding place and rushe to the forefront. I wait as a good girl, when I see the manager approaches me
”Bob says hello, what is your name, will you go to Blackbushe?
I say shocked,
” I do not know”.
The Picnic. I saw the poster when I was in England. A super-outdoor concert with Dylan as the Star and then Eric Clapton, Joan Amartrading.... I did not thought about  returning to England. And, yes, at Bob’s request, I will return.
The concert tonight is great. Bob looks at me (illusion?). I melt!. And to satisfy my libido, I feel that this concert is for ME. He’s happy tonight, I can tell. He enjoys himself.
But suddenly, at the end, some fans throw their lighters on stage.
He receives on in the chest, and everything capsized ; his smile disappears, his look turns black. He is angry. Does He think that this move was voluntary? He is so fragile.
I disrupt the crowd and rush to the hotel. This time there is about thirty fans waiting, parked right at the door. I start walking down and when Bob gets out the bus the guards are too busy with other fans.

In any case they have received an instruction from the Boss because they do not stop me when I put my hand on his shoulder and whisper
 “I’m sorry Bob.”
He looks at me and murmurs “it’s OK.”
Of course it was about the incident, he understood but he keeps his dark look.
I left a little sorry. Will he live Paris on a bad feeling?

All the next day I hang around at the door of the hotel. Kids who wrote a letter ask me how to spell “Zimmerman”.
“His name is Dylan”, I say.
They lose patience and leave.
Around 1:00  pm., I’m cold, I’m hungry and I’m tired. I must say that I haven’t slept much for a week. I pitched my tent in the Bois de Boulogne, but to go there after one o’clock in the morning, nothing ; no bus, no train. So I dragged myself in Paris, at the Latin Quarter and slept outside under the stars with Italians fans who came hitchhiking to Paris to see Dylan.
At 7:00 p.m. he gets out. I’m not “fresh”, He’s impatient. We check hands without too much conviction.
“How are you today?”
”OK, see you next at Blackbushe?”
He salutes me from his white Mercedes.

The DREAM was over. But it was not a dream. And that was just a beginning.

I come home, and rewashe my socks and start “On the road again”. This time my mother and my sisters will travel with me. We visit London, gray and cold. We buy 5 Blackbushe tickets. We get up early and we catch a taxi. The driver does not know where it is and drops us off near a country station. We have to change train twice. A young well-dressed guy passes close by us, to go to the bathroom and returns with a T-shirt and frayed jeans. Undressing for a rock concert!
Getting up at six o’clock we arrive at nine in the morning. We walk on feet to reach the front row. The first singers will be on at 2:00 p.m. and Dylan at 9:00 p.m..
Clapton is not at his best. One has the impression that he’s just the companion of his choir. Graham Parker and his Rumours are correct. Joan Amartrading has the misfortune to play  just before the highlight of the evening. The crowd grew impatient and called
”Bobby, Bobby, Dylan, Dylan.”
The main stage disappears and a stage fully ready, mounted on wheels, rolls in the front. We’re at the right spot to receive bottles of beer and water on the head. It’s the ritual “seat, seat!” we don’t care. Even the guy next to us kept his bike helmet on. And it had been more than three hours since we’re be standing right in front of the stage.
I’m here Bobby! As promised!
It once again MAGIC. He borrowed a Top Hat from a hotel porter and unless the symphony orchestra behind him it could be the Dylan of the 60’s with 250 000 people to support him.

The lights go out, we move away slowly. We have the feeling to cross a gigantic public dumpster, fires are lit to warm the atmosphere and deformed bodies huddled in sleeping bags stretch for miles. We are extending the list. It’s cold outside.