U.S.A. Tour 2011



to Mr Jones. He will know who he is!


Wednesday 13th of July
The flight in Paris has been delayed for two hours. I missed my correspondence in Washington Dulles. I had to spend the night at the airport and catch a flight leaving at
6.19 a.m. It’s OK , I still have plenty of time to reach Santa Barbara.
Santa Barbara where will start the U.S.A. Dylan tour 2011.
I’m here again on the road after 81 Tour and 86 Tour. We are both a lot older but I can’t stop thinking of him as just BOB DYLAN.
Am I still chasing a ghost?
Some people will say why ? and I will cote Batya Gur that I’m now reading
“there comes a moment in a person’s life when he fully realizes that if he doesn’t throw himself into action, if he doesn’t stop being afraid to gamble, and if he doesn’t follow the urging of his heart that have been silent for many years…he will never do.”
And I will say with Françoise Sagan ;
“I love until craziness. What people call craziness but what is for me the only way of loving”

I’ve bought some dollars and I’m now waiting at the bus stop to L.A. My plan was to get to the Greyhound Central Bus Station downtown L.A. to recover my Greyhound Pass and then get a ticket to Santa Barbara. But as I’m waiting for the bus and talking to people, it seems that there is a bus direct to Santa Barbara for 48$. So I’ll get my pass in Santa Barbara. The bus driver is talkative and really friendly. He says that he will drop me in front of my hostel. Great! I made a reservation through Internet.
I walk around Santa Barbara before I check in. I search for the Santa Barbara Bowl. It’s accessible by foot from the Hostel. I immediately see that there will be no access to the backstage door.
I check in the hostel and take a good shower, might as well take a chance to get clean when I can!
I take a long tourist walk. Santa Barbara is a nice town by the Ocean. A bit fancy though.
By 5.00 p.m. I’m at the entrance of the Bowl. They’re having a sound check as I thought. Immediately someone offers me a ticket. Not a bad seat but 72$. I say “no, thanks I can afford only 50” and Yoav says OK. My first Dylan ticket for the 2011 Tour. The gates will open at 6.00 p.m. they say, I wait and observe the public ; old Dylan fans from the 60’s mainly. The boys are just accompanying their parents.
The security rules are strict ; no backpacks, no big bags, no video-cameras, no cameras but also no sleeping-bag. That might compromise my planning; I won’t be able to get to the concert halls with my back-pack or even my sleeping-bag? There’s no way I can afford a hotel room every night, where will I leave my back-pack during the show? But I refute the bad feelings. Here I am in Santa Barbara with a Bob Dylan ticket. Far away from the stage but a great view and I want to see the public. The show should start at 7.30 p.m. but by then only half of the Bowl is full. I start to worry ; if the front rows stay half empty that will be terrible for the Band. But no, people fill up the seats carrying around their food and drink.
The two black buses are parked on the side of the stage, one is Dylan’s. I bet he will be the first one to pull out right after the show, so I’ll keep an eye on it. Someone says something about his career ending by “Ladies and gentlemen a Columbia recording Artist ; Bob Dylan”
A roar from the crowd and here HE comes, on my right, wearing a dark suite with a strap on his pants and a white hat. He appears to me a little slimmer than in 2010, but I can’t see well and I can’t see his face at all, just that he doesn’t wear glasses.


Santa Barbara, California
Santa Barbara Bowl
July 14, 2011


1.
Gonna Change My Way Of Thinking
(Bob on keyboard, Donnie on electric mandolin)
2.
Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
(Bob on keyboard, Donnie on lap steel, Stu on acoustic guitar, Tony on standup bass)
3.
Things Have Changed
(Bob center stage, Donnie on pedal steel, Stu on acoustic guitar)
4.
Tangled Up In Blue
(Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on pedal steel, Stu on acoustic guitar)
5.
Beyond Here Lies Nothin' (Bob on guitar, Donnie on electric mandolin)
6.
If You Ever Go To Houston
(Bob on keyboard then center stage with harp, Donnie on pedal steel, Stu on acoutic guitar)
7.
High Water (For Charley Patton)
(Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on banjo, Stu on acoutic guitar, Tony on standup bass)
8.
Simple Twist Of Fate (Bob on guitar, Donnie on pedal steel, Stu on acoutic guitar)
9.
The Levee's Gonna Break
(Bob on keyboard, Donnie on electric mandolin, Stu on acoustic guitar, Tony on standup bass)
10.
A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
(Bob on keyboard, Donnie on electric mandolin, Stu on acoustic guitar, Tony on standup bass)
11.
Highway 61 Revisited (Bob on keyboard, Donnie on lap steel)
12.
Forgetful Heart
(Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on viola, Stu on acoutic guitar, Tony on standup bass)
13.
Thunder On The Mountain
(Bob on keyboard, Donnie on lap steel, Stu on acoustic guitar)
14.
Ballad Of A Thin Man (Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on lap steel)



(encore)
15.
Like A Rolling Stone (Bob on keyboard, Donnie on pedal steel)
16.
All Along The Watchtower (Bob on keyboard, Donnie on lap steel)
17.
Blowin' In The Wind
(Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on violin, Stu on acoustic guitar)

As soon as the last tune of “Blowing in the wind “ is stroked the first bus on the right lights up ; this is the one. The throng starts to step out, they push me around but I don’t move, I keep on reciting my mantra ; “Bobby ! go, go, go, if you don’t bit the traffic you’ll be stuck for hours”. Finally the bus leaves the venue and so do I.
“Bye, Bye, Bobby good night!”.
At the Hostel I crash on my bed and fall into a musical Maelstrom; I swirl and swirl at the rhythm of a drum.
“take me on a trip upon your magic swirling ship…”

07/15 Costa Mesa.
6.00 a.m. It’s a new morning, the day for Costa Mesa.
After a nice breakfast that will be the meal of my day I got my Greyhound Pass. There is no direct bus to Costa Mesa, I have to get through Santa Anna then take a city bus.
It takes forever to reach Santa Anna, traffic jam. Then a good surprise is waiting for me ; there is a fair and Bob is playing inside the Fair Area. A shuttle gets me to the fair and first think I try to find the backstage entrance. I realize after one hour that I’m been waiting at a wrong entrance when I see the two black buses passing by me. I move farther down the road. The two buses are parked in a public parking lot! The musicians are getting out and 2 or 3 fans are waiting. A white van pulls by the side of the Dylan’s bus and Bob gets out covered by his body guard. He turns his head away from us before getting in the van and then turns his back to us. The white van gets down the ramp. Bad luck!
The concert is sold out, it’s hard to get a ticket but the show will start at 8.15 p.m. and it’s only 6.00 p.m. After wondering and asking, a nice lady proposes two tickets. I find someone else looking for a ticket and we bargain for 100$ both. I’m planning to get out before the end of the encore and wait by the bus. But …I should not dream too much!
It appears that I might be able to get in with my back-pack. I decided not to bring any electronic appliances with me;no camera, no cell phone, no computer. Just clothes and a sleeping-bag.
Great show. They shorten the rock and roll songs, it’s better.
Costa Mesa, California
Orange County Fair
Pacific Amphitheatre
July 15, 2011

1.
Gonna Change My Way Of Thinking
2.
Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
3.
Things Have Changed
4.
Tangled Up In Blue
5.
Beyond Here Lies Nothin' (Bob on guitar)
6.
Sugar Baby
7.
High Water (For Charley Patton)
8.
Tryin' To Get To Heaven
9.
Summer Days
10.
A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
11.
Highway 61 Revisited
12.
Forgetful Heart
13.
Thunder On The Mountain
14.
Ballad Of A Thin Man



(encore)
15.
Like A Rolling Stone
16.
All Along The Watchtower
17.
Blowin' In The Wind

“Like a rolling stone”, “
All Along The Watchtower” ….I run out.
I’m not the only one by the bus and they added security. Few minutes after the last song the white van pulls right by the Dylan’s bus-door and Bob gets in by the slide-door.
“bye, bye, Bobby, good night !”
I take the bus back to Santa Anna to realize there is no more bus heading to Las Vegas, plus they will close the station at 12.00 a.m. until 5.00 a.m. I talk to a young guy and we step out. Three more guys are playing music outside. The two young musicians play some nice songs (“One more cup of coffee”) and bring some spirituality to a pretty bad situation. One  more guy is waiting for a bus but there is no bus nowhere to be seen !
Finally at 3.00 a.m. a bus pulls in and I ask the driver if he’s going to L.A. At least the Greyhound bus station will be open. So the bunch of us are going to L.A.
It’s 5.00 a.m. now and the first bus for Las Vegas will be leaving at 8.15 a.m. It’s a drag! I’m so tired!


07/16 LAS VEGAS
8.30 a.m., off we go, arriving in Las Vegas around 2.00 p.m. I search for a Motel. Find one for 40$/night. And immediately search for the Palms casino where the show will be taking place. It’s not centered. I start walking in the heat when suddenly the Dylan’s black bus passes me by. It’s 5.00 p.m.;sound check time. He’s going to the Palms, great! I try to find out where it parked but I don’t see any black bus around the main parking lot. It’s 6.00 p.m. now and the search for a ticket is on its way. At the Box Office they sell for 125$. A little bit too much for my budget. After one hour a nice guy proposes two tickets for 60$ and I sell the extra one for 45$. Good night! I paid only 15$ for a good seat.
At 8.00 p.m. the Pearl is not half full and it will never be completely full. Some rows are almost empty.
8.15 p.m. the Columbia recording Artist is announced. Dressed the same but with a black hat.
Starting with “Leopard skin pill box hat”, “tangle up in blue”, “Things have changed”

Las Vegas, Nevada
The Pearl Concert Theater At The Palms
July 16, 2011

1.
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat (Bob on keyboard)
2.
It Ain't Me, Babe (Bob on keyboard Tony on standup bass)
3.
Things Have Changed (Bob center stage with harp)
4.
Tangled Up In Blue (Bob center stage with harp)
5.
Beyond Here Lies Nothin' (Bob on guitar)
6.
Sugar Baby (Bob center stage - no harp)
7.
Summer Days (Bob on keyboard, Tony on standup bass)
8.
Simple Twist Of Fate (Bob on guitar)
9.
Highway 61 Revisited (Bob on keyboard)
10.
Forgetful Heart (Bob center stage with harp)
11.
Thunder On The Mountain (Bob on keyboard)
12.
Ballad Of A Thin Man (Bob center stage with harp)



(encore)
13.
Like A Rolling Stone (Bob on keyboard)
14.
All Along The Watchtower (Bob on keyboard)
15.
Blowin' In The Wind (Bob on keyboard then center stage with harp)

The set list is not too much different. The show is OK but the public is boring and bored. People keep on passing by with glasses of beer. A couple in front of me talks and talks non stop, not even looking at the stage. Old people make stupid comments on Dylan’s career or music.
I decide to leave right away at the end and wait by the side of the road to see the bus passing by and make a sign in case Bob is in the front. The two buses pass rapidly and no Bobby in the front. I start having bad feelings about the rest of the Tour. Going as it is going I’ll never be able to see him (personally I mean).
I walk by to the Motel, put the T.V. on and fall asleep.
I decided to go to Phoenix as soon as possible. I hate Las Vegas I call it “Sodom and Gomorrah”.
“What a sweet heart like you (Bobby) doing in a dump like this!”.
But destiny is the master of all and the Greyhound bus to Phoenix leaves only at 8.20 p.m.
It’s hot outside, I’m cooking.
The Casino I’m in now is noisy but cool.
I wish they had some gardens outside, but no, it’s Las Vegas!






07/18 Reach Phoenix at 6.00 a.m.
I was able to catch about 4 hours of sleep. The Greyhound station is in the middle of nowhere. It takes me one hour walk to reach the down town area and I’m lucky enough to find right away where the Comerica theater is; right down town. I hope that iced cappuccino will wake me up, Phoenix seems to be a nice city to walk around. But the heat is a killer! I’m already cooked from Las Vegas. I find myself a motel room for 35$, take a shower, wash my clothes and out I go for a salad at Mc Donald’s.
I take a walk down town and guess what! I find the back stage of the Comerica Theatre. The artist’s entrance is right on the street. A chance to approach him? But since Costa Mesa I fear that they might find some tricks to avoid the fans. Anyway I will be ready. I buy a card to write a note and add the T-shirt I printed with some of my paintings on it, all in a plastic bag. I might have to “use” Charley Sexton to pass it. Tonight maybe THE night! I went to a church to say a little prayer. Well! Everything can help.
But things don’t happen the way you dream them.
I hang around the back stage door. Six people are waiting on the side walk. One is a kid in a wheel chair, no more than 16, with his father by his side. I’ve seen him at 1.00 p.m. when I passed by the Theater and again at 3.00 p.m. It’s extremely hot outside, we can hardly breath and this kid is handicapped.
The two buses pull in at 5.00 p.m. Bob steps out a large cowboy hat on his head. He doesn’t turn his head when we call him. He’s in and sure he won’t get out again, so I go to my room to pick up my sweater. When I come back the people still waiting tell me he stepped in the bus again. Whoa!
So we wait and wait….At 8.00 p.m. He steps out, cowboy hat and all dressed up. We clap and call his name. He turns his head slightly but keeps on walking to the entrance. And I know why he’s ignoring the fans. Though I keep on telling the people to put their cameras away, they focus on the bus door with their F. cameras. Of course they won’t listen to me; He just doesn’t want people to take photos! He’s no monkey in a zoo! I’m sorry for the kid in the wheel chair and sorry for Bobby who would have done something for that kid, I’m sure. He would have come to sign if not for the cameras. He will never know of that kid who waited in the heat in Phoenix for more than 7 hours!
I run to the front of the Theater for I still need a ticket. I get a front row for 60$. This is an answer to my prayer somehow. I rush in the front when he starts on his keyboard. He looks great, a bit puffy though, is He on pain killer because of his back problems? I don’t understand why he’s not wearing his dark glasses, for sure he doesn’t see anything!
The show is fantastic, the best so far. Incredible surprise with “Desolation row”, my favorite song at the time.
I dance in the front, finally getting rid of the beer drinkers. The public is great. Or is it because I’m in the front? The feelings are always different. After the deception of the pre-show that’s what I needed to go on.
Phoenix, Arizona
Comerica Theatre
July 18, 2011

1.
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
2.
It Ain't Me, Babe
3.
Things Have Changed
4.
If You Ever Go To Houston
5.
Beyond Here Lies Nothin' (Bob on guitar)
6.
Tangled Up In Blue
7.
Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum (Bob on guitar)
8.
Sugar Baby
9.
Summer Days
10.
Desolation Row
11.
Highway 61 Revisited
12.
Simple Twist Of Fate (Bob on guitar)
13.
Thunder On The Mountain
14.
Ballad Of A Thin Man



(encore)
15.
Like A Rolling Stone
16.
All Along The Watchtower

 I also learned few things from the staff; that is mainly using his bus as a refuge(he doesn’t use the back-stage room). So for the future I know that I will have to wait by the bus until show time. If the bus is close enough to be able to see him, that is. And maybe call his name, catch his attention, “remember me Bobby from the past? The French Gypsy girl who was so good, you said once!”.

07/19 Tucson
I will have to spend one night in Tucson then one night in the bus to Albuquerque.
I realize that I don’t have time to read and often just not the courage to do so. No much time for drawing neither. I start to feel exhausted; at the same time extremely tired and extremely anxious. And I just got a sun-stroke for walking all the way from the downtown area to the Greyhound station, like 7 miles in a super heat. I hope and I know that Tucson is a small city, I expect to find rest in a park. But as the bus will be leaving at 2.30 p.m. and it will take more than two hours to reach Tucson, I’m not sure I will have time to rest before 5.00 p.m.; sound check time.
I arrive late in Tucson; 4.00 p.m. I ask for the Tori Amphitheater. It’s way out of town, next to a Casino. It takes me more than one hour to get there with the city bus. So I missed the arrival of the bus. But anyway I wait by the back stage gates where the buses are parked. The security starts to hustle me; “no photo, no autograph … “,-”OK, big boys!”.
Soon I see a white cowboy hat emerging from my left side. Yes, it’s him, with a body, re-emerging from the sound check, getting to the bus. I scream “ Bobby!”. He turns his head, I make some foolish signals with my arms, unable to pronounce a rational word. He keeps on walking to the bus. I know he will be in there until 8.00 p.m. The security asks me to move away. I do, but keep my eyes focused on that bus for more than two hours. Unfortunately I don’t have the power to see through metal!
A girl gets out with a suit on a hanger; his stage suit.
That stage-outfit I have some problem with; old fashion dark pants with straps on the side (red or yellow or white or green) and long black dark jacket. Since the beginning I have the feelings those long jackets are hiding something; a cast to hold his back straight or a bullet-proofed jacket. His back seems rigid up to the neck.
And if only he could stop pulling his pants in the middle of a song with his left hand!
The waiting starts and except for three youngsters coming to check around for few minutes, I’m the only fool focusing on that bus!
At a quarter to eight I move a little bit closer, hiding behind cactus. 8.00 p.m. the body guard takes his stand by the bus. 8.05 p.m. Bob gets out and I move screaming again “Bobby!” (like if he doesn’t know his name). Immediately two guards are on me, chasing me away. I start panicking. Could they arrest me?
I see Bob taking some steps outside. Is he smoking? I can’t see well.
8.10 p.m. He’s on his way to the stage so I move to the entrance and get myself a ticket for 15$. I grab a lemonade since I haven’t eaten all day. I stay on the side of the stage and dance during the whole show. I feel more detached than before, I’m not sure I enjoy all the songs so much. These two guards chasing me broke the magic. I don’t get the point of so much brutality!



Tucson, Arizona
Sol Casinos
Anselmo Valencia Tori Amphitheatre (AVA Amphitheater)
July 19, 2011

1.
Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
2.
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
3.
Things Have Changed
4.
If You Ever Go To Houston
5.
Beyond Here Lies Nothin' (Bob on guitar)
6.
Tangled Up In Blue
7.
Cold Irons Bound
8.
Visions Of Johanna
9.
The Levee's Gonna Break
10.
Tryin' To Get To Heaven
11.
Highway 61 Revisited
12.
Forgetful Heart
13.
Thunder On The Mountain
14.
Ballad Of A Thin Man



(encore)
15.
Like A Rolling Stone
16.
All Along The Watchtower

Only two encores and I run to the back. Already the musicians’ bus pulls out and Bobby’s next. I look with a lot of attention but he’s not in the front.
 “bye, bye Bobby, good night!”.
Walking around the area I find a spot where I can spray my rain-poncho on the ground and unfold my sleeping-bag. It starts raining. Shit! I use my poncho as a tent and fall asleep for few hours. At 5.00 a.m. the ants start breakfasting on me. I move back to Tucson with the city bus.

07/21 Albuquerque
Leaving Tucson to El Paso in the afternoon. It will take more time to reach Albuquerque than I thought.
That gives me a chance to save the money of a night in an hotel. From El Paso I grab the bus at 6.50 p.m., arriving 12.00 p.m. In Albuquerque I finish my night sleep in my sleeping-bag inside the Greyhound station.
6.00 a.m. in Albuquerque. It’s a new morning. I walk to the downtown area for three hours, but there’s nothing much to look at except the buildings; banks mainly. I have to find the Hard Rock Pavilion and a motel for the night. There is no show tomorrow. Of course I keep on dreaming about Bobby and I keep on thinking that his outfits are terribly old fashioned.
10.00 a.m. I start looking for that Pavilion. It’s not downtown. Nice people direct me to bus 53.Then at the end of the line … I’m lost. The driver directs me to the Hard Rock Casino. I have to walk along the freeway for many miles in the heat. There is no add at the Casino for any Dylan show. I ask the ticket seller who tells me the Pavilion is again few miles away, so and so streets. As I start to melt on the road an old man picks me up and drives me … all the way downtown. Shit! I hitchhike the other way around.
A really nice guy picks me up, finds the direction by phone and drops me right at the spot. Thanks!
In the middle of NOWHERE stands a stage and some seats. Beautiful view on the desert but so dry!
I meet with one of the Dylan’s instruments truck drivers, nice guy who recognizes me from Tucson. He gives me some water and saves my life!
3.00 p.m. I catch some sleep in the shade on my sleeping-bag. I hear Bobby singing? They try the sound system with some recordings.
4.30 p.m. I move to the side of the road where the buses are supposed to come. Mr X. spots me, but I’m not in the secured area (not yet!). We have suddenly a dust storm, pretty bad!
5.00 p.m. the buses rolls down the road and to the parking lot. I’m the only one around but two guards ask me to move away. I spot Bob heading to the stage for the sound check wearing a pair of brown trousers, a shirt and his cowboy hat.
That will be it for today; I won’t come back at 5.30 p.m. nor after the show. No way to approach him. I move to the front of the Pavilion looking for a ticket. Someone sells me two lawns for 20$. I sell one for 20$. Tonight the show is free. At the gates we are informed that the lawn is closed and that they will exchange the lawns for seats.
At 8.05 p.m. the Pavilion is half empty or half full as we want to be pessimist or optimist. But the public is great. Youngsters sing and dance next to me. So I don’t seat even if my feet are killing me. I dance and dance.

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Hard Rock Pavilion
July 21, 2011

1.
Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
2.
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
3.
Things Have Changed
4.
If You Ever Go To Houston
5.
Beyond Here Lies Nothin' (Bob on guitar)
6.
Tangled Up In Blue
7.
Cold Irons Bound
8.
Visions Of Johanna
9.
Summer Days
10.
Sugar Baby
11.
Highway 61 Revisited
12.
Simple Twist Of Fate (Bob on guitar)
13.
Thunder On The Mountain
14.
Ballad Of A Thin Man



(1st encore)
15.
Like A Rolling Stone
16.
All Along The Watchtower



(2nd encore)
17.
Forever Young

“Visions of Johanna”, “Sugar Baby", "Cold Irons bound”…are better than ever. The young fans know the new songs. Great! I forget about my bad day; the heat, the lack of sleep, the deception of not being able to talk to him or even to approach him. He’s great!
 “Like a rolling stone”, “All along the watch tower” and I start moving away for a drink.
I hadn’t have a drink since the afternoon and no food since the morning. But surprise! they’re back on stage for “Forever young”, that they seem to rehearse on the spot.
I move fast out to be able to see the bus, silly me!
“bye, bye Bobby good night!”.
Then I know I will have to hitchhike to the Greyhound station. I put my thumb up, and I have to wait quite a while before someone stops. I can’t believe it ; the same ones who where singing

“Once upon a time you dressed so fine
You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn’t you?
People’d call, say, “Beware doll, you’re bound to fall”
You thought they were all kiddin’ you
You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hangin’ out

Now you don’t talk so loud
Now you don’t seem so proud
About having to be scrounging for your next meal
how does it feel to be without a home, like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone”

don’t stop to pick me up.
Ricky will stop and I’m so happy to talk to somebody that I tell him my story; following Bobby (I will tell about my foolishness less and less on this Tour, I will be regarded as a “nuts” more often than I need to.).
He asks me to explain to him the meanings of  “changing of the guards”. I have no idea of any meanings. He seems to believe that there is some subliminal message in it.
He drops me at the Greyhound station and I have just the time to catch a bus to Dallas with a stop over of nearly 4 hours I don’t know where.
I start thinking about the meaning of  “ the never ending tour” (Bob doesn’t like the name).
-Not for money; with the royalties from his songs he can live as a millionaire until forever.
-Not for the contact with the public; his mike is far away front the front row. He doesn’t wear glasses and being badly short sighted he can’t see anything. He doesn’t want to see anybody on backstage door. And he doesn’t want people to look at his face (the truck drivers have some instruction). No binoculars are allowed in some concert halls.
-Not for fun with his musicians; they don’t seem to have any contact, except when they have the sound check (which Bob will stop doing after Leon Russel joined), and when they are on stage. The Band is  technically good but seem “dead” on stage, like they  all want to be somewhere else!
At 6.00 p.m. I have to catch a bus going to Gainsville. Then I will have to find a way to go to Thakerville, a casino show again!

23/07 THACKERVILLE
The Greyhound bus has dropped me at a gas station next to a motel. I take a room for 40$, not bad! I take care of my poor feet and take a good shower, wash my clothes in the sink and watch “Erine Brockovich” on TV. I fall asleep but wake up early, always nervous. I go to the lobby of the Motel to connect to Internet. I tell the owner I need to reach the Winstar Casino, he then proposes me to drive me there.
So here I am again in the middle of nowhere! I find some shade underneath some trees, I believe I will take a nap on my sleeping-bag. The 3 roadies trucks are unloading but nowhere I see the black buses. He’s not staying at the Casino Hotel unless they have an underground parking lot. I will start moving by the backstage door at 4.30 p.m.
I walk around the cars on the employees parking lot. It’s so hot again. No shade. The access is free of security, it seems to be an easy one. I’m prepared to call out his name, to catch his attention, to say few words. I’m optimistic or maybe just crazy nuts!
I see the security guard walking towards the entrance of the parking lot, unfortunately he sees me to. Almost 5.00 p.m. , the buses are rolling down the parking lot, I move closer when a police car stops by my side “You’re looking for something?” –“no! just walking around” –“Are you an employee?” – “no” – “so you have to move away from this parking lot” –“ok”
I fake to move away but they’re on my back. Two cops get out of the car and accompany me to the entrance of the Casino. What an humiliation!
The security guard called the cops on me!
I feel pretty down and start thinking for the first time that I must be terribly out of my mind.
What am I doing ?????
The time passes slowly until 7.00 p.m. when I wait by the Box Office for a spared ticket.100$ for a front seat. Some youngster completely drunk gives me one ticket for 20$. Good enough!
The concert hall is strange; all the seats are on the floor. For what I can see it’s pretty full. The guy next to me came from Dallas to see the show. I try to talk to him but he’s pretty cold, playing with his cell-telephone during the entire show.
“Ladies and gentlemen…”
Here He is. He changed his outfit but always the straps on his pants and the long black jacket.
The sound is terribly bad! My view to the stage is blocked by a big guy. Not the best show, even the worst so far. No second encore.

Thackerville, Oklahoma
WinStar World Casino
July 23, 2011

1.
Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 (Bob on keyboard)
2.
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (Bob on keyboard, Stu on acoustic guitar)
3.
Things Have Changed (Bob center stage with harp, Stu on acoustic guitar)
4.
If You Ever Go To Houston (Bob on keyboard, Stu on acoustic guitar)
5.
Beyond Here Lies Nothin' (Bob on guitar, Donnie on electric mandolin)
6.
Tangled Up In Blue (Bob center stage with harp, Stu on acoustic guitar)
7.
Summer Days (Bob on keyboard, Tony on standup bass)
8.
Visions Of Johanna (Bob on keyboard, Donnie on electric mandolin)
9.
Cold Irons Bound (Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on electric mandolin)
10.
Sugar Baby (Bob center stage, Tony on standup bass)
11.
Highway 61 Revisited (Bob on keyboard)
12.
Simple Twist Of Fate (Bob on guitar, Stu on acoustic guitar)
13.
Thunder On The Mountain (Bob on keyboard)
14.
Ballad Of A Thin Man (Bob center stage with harp)



(1st encore)
15.
Like A Rolling Stone (Bob on keyboard)
16.
All Along The Watchtower (Bob on keyboard)

My priority now is to find a ride back to Dallas or a drop at Motel6.
I put my thumb up and again I wait a long time .
After a Dylan show? “their hearts is as hard as leather!”
A song like “like a rolling stone” don’t mean anything anymore. They come to see the Legend and to be nostalgic for 80 minutes, then back to their car, to their T.V., to their American way of life.
Obama keeps on talking about the economic depression. What depression? For Who? Those people at the Casino don’t look like in an economic depression. They spend hours in a terrible noise, pulling on the handles of those slot machines(I wish that “the vandals took the handles”). I can’t believe so many people can be so much brain-damaged.
A Lincoln car stops in front of me, an old man asks me where I’m going –“Dallas?” – “I’m going to Gainsville” –“OK, I need a Motel6 or a Greyhound station”.
This old man is a good soul (though he wants to strangle Obama!). All the motels is the area are full due to the show. He will drive me until we reach the Airport close to Dallas. I book a room for 45$ in Motel6.
I sleep 5 hours, take the shuttle to the airport where I’m supposed to catch a bus downtown.
Nothing happens the way it's supposed to.
It’s Sunday and there is no bus. I get a cab for 60$, a fortune. But there is a show tonight and I can’t afford to be stuck at the airport.
No Greyhound is going to New Braunfels(Canyon lake). San Antonio being the closest, I will move there.


We are Saturday the 24th of July. Canyon Lake, Texas
I reach San Antonio at 3.00 p.m. Really neat city. I take a walk along the Canal. I start to be nervous about how to get to the show; no buses, no trains. It’s miles away. I start asking people around if they are Dylan fans and if they’ll go to the show. But they are mainly tourist coming to visit the town.
It’s 6.30 p.m. I ask a taxi driver the price of a ride to Canyon Lake, we agree for 110$. As crazy as it seems I will get to the show on a cab. Near the hall the traffic is dense. The taxi driver runs out of gas and asks me to join a couple in a car in front of us. The lady is really nice, she’s seen 35 shows starting in 2002.She offers me a free ticket, general admission.
Tonight Leon Russel will play the first part, I can hear the band already on stage.
Security is tight and they refuse me to go in with my back-pack. I have to leave it somewhere. Will I find it back after the show?
The place is strange; few seats in the front then a stand up ground next to the bar.
His bus is parked inside and I see his security guard.
At 9.00 p.m. he’s taking the stage with his band. Not the best show ever. I could hardly see him on stage and the back crowd is acting the same as usual; talking, drinking, taking photos. Some people dance.
Canyon Lake, Texas
Whitewater Amphitheater
July 24, 2011

1.
Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 (Bob on keyboard)
2.
Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (Bob on keyboard, Stu on acoustic guitar)
3.
Things Have Changed (Bob center stage with harp, Stu on acoustic guitar)
4.
Tangled Up In Blue (Bob center stage with harp, Stu on acoustic guitar)
5.
Summer Days (Bob on keyboard, Tony on standup bass)
6.
Sugar Baby (Bob center stage with harp, Stu on acoustic guitar, Tony on standup bass)
7.
Cold Irons Bound
(Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on electric mandolin, Stu on acoustic guitar)
8.
Tryin' To Get To Heaven (Bob on keyboard, Stu on acoustic guitar)
9.
Highway 61 Revisited (Bob on keyboard)
10.
Simple Twist Of Fate (Bob on guitar, Stu on acoustic guitar)
11.
Thunder On The Mountain (Bob on keyboard)
12.
Ballad Of A Thin Man (Bob center stage with harp)



(1st encore)
13.
Like A Rolling Stone (Bob on keyboard)
14.
All Along The Watchtower (Bob on keyboard)



(2nd encore)
15.
Blowin' In The Wind
(Bob on keyboard then center stage with harp, Donnie on violin)



He will add  “Blowing in the wind” at the encore.
I meet the same couple who gave me a ticket for the show, I ask if they could drop me to a Greyhound station. They leave me at San Marcos. Bad choice for the station is closed for the night. I take a room in a Motel.
Next morning. Bad start; the bus and the train left earlier. Against all prudence I decide to hitchhike.
I wait half an hour in the heat when I hear a honk in my back. A beautiful Lady in a 4x4 asks me where I’m going. I get in the car and we start talking. She will take me all the way to Austin to the Greyhound station and she will explain to me what is the BAPTIST church she belongs to. She will be my sun shine for the day and in my heart for the rest of this trip. A truly good soul. She reminds me of Klydie King whom I miss a lot.
I get a salad buffet and stuff myself with food. I start to be tired again.
In the bus to Houston a young boy accosts me, gives me some nuts and raisins and talk about his Faith; he’s Anabaptist. Talks about the fact that every morning we should wake up and give to God our desires and wait on God to decide to fulfill our desires, or also God may decide otherwise. As Sonia said a while ago God knows better than us what is good for us, like a parent with a child, and even if we don’t understand he’s choosing the best for us.
My following Dylan appears suddenly quite silly, or do I have a message for him? Do I have a goal without knowing what that will be? I’m confused; balanced between rationality and belief. I might be just a crazy nuts!
At least I understand in which spirit Bob Dylan was in the late 70’s early 80’s. The “precious Angel” might have been Sonia or a “sister”.

I feel better after some sleep on the bus to Houston. I wait three more hours to reach New Orleans.


07/25 New Orleans.
“Le café du monde”. I love New Orleans; Art galleries, Antiques Shops, Music in the streets. I will have a good time. I have to find the backpackers’ hostel to spend two nights there.
Things don’t happen as they should.
I don’t find any backpackers’ hostel and end up booking a room at the Holiday Inn. That costs me a fortune. But I take the chance to have a good wash up, to iron my laundry, to wash my hair with good shampoo. Unfortunately the Internet connection is out of order.
At 5.30 p.m. I start wondering how to reach the LakeFront Arena which is not in downtown area. There is a bus going but not returning. I will have to hitchhike back. This is a drag (when it could have been a time to share with some fans).
The Leon Russel part is also a drag, that put the Dylan show start at 9.00 p.m.
The musicians’ bus is around but not the Dylan’s bus. Do they still make a sound check?
I got a free ticket from an Afro-American guy (pretty rare) that will be seated next to me. One of the few “coloured” people in the public, the majority being white, old 60’s, nostalgic. They get wild on “highway 61” or “Like a rolling stone”. I will prefer “Cold irons bound”, “Beyond here lies nothing”, “Thunder on the mountain” or “Forgetful heart”.(that he will do tonight). The set list is not too much different, nothing new. He will finish with “Blowing in the wind”. The sound is good, it’s an inside concert.

New Orleans, Louisiana
UNO Lakefront Arena
July 26, 2011

1.
Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
2.
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
3.
Things Have Changed
4.
Tangled Up In Blue
5.
Beyond Here Lies Nothin' (Bob on guitar)
6.
Sugar Baby
7.
Cold Irons Bound
8.
Simple Twist Of Fate (Bob on guitar)
9.
Highway 61 Revisited
10.
Forgetful Heart
11.
Thunder On The Mountain
12.
Ballad Of A Thin Man



(1st encore)
13.
Like A Rolling Stone
14.
All Along The Watchtower



(2nd encore)
15.
Blowin' In The Wind

It started raining in the afternoon in New Orleans. The weather is now uncertain. I have to hitchhike back to the quarter. I don’t even try to see the bus pulling out. Again I have some difficulty finding a nice soul to pick me up. People in their air-conditioned cars look at me and laugh. I don’t understand. I scream out that all I need is a ride to New Orleans. They take me for a "nuts". Cars, cars, cars, half empty most of the time.
How they gonna move around when there will be no more oil?
And those are Bob Dylan fans : “the collective unconscious of the nation”? Well, definitively “things have changed”.
His songs have no meanings anymore, they belong to the past, like if there is no more wars, no more segregation, no more poverty?
Bob Dylan is a GHOST that will re-appear for 80 minutes and dis-appear again.
I’m more aggressive now and knock on a car window, explaining I just need to get downtown.
A musician from New Orleans picks me up and drives me right to my Hotel. Thanks guy!
Trying to find at what time tomorrow I will have a bus to Pensacola, but the Internet connection is dead.
I will get up at 6.00 a.m. anyway.
Step out in the streets of the French Quarter, on Bourbon St., hoping to hear some good music. People are drunk and girls half naked.
I retrieve to my room.
The Greyhound bus leaves at 7.50 a.m. to Pensacola, arriving in the early afternoon. I’ve no idea what Pensacola is all about.

07/27 Pensacola.
Here I am in a cemetery writing my journal. The bus dropped me in the middle of nowhere, far far away from the downtown area (if there is a downtown area?). Pensacola is sprayed out for miles and miles. I walked three hours in the rain before reaching the Civic Center, close by an highway intersection. There is nothing you can do in the Sates without a car. I’m a paradox in this universe of vehicles and incessant traffic. No way, nowhere I will see Bob. It’s not like a little town village in Europe. I just pray that it won’t rain again for I walked these three hours underneath my rain-poncho. I try to dry my clothes on a cemetery bench. I fall asleep on that bench for two hours. Pretty quite.
Oops! It’s 5 to 5.00 p.m. I see the musician’s bus pulls in the parking lot. No Dylan’s bus yet. I move closer to observe. The rain stopped and there is a cool breeze so I feel OK.
6.00 p.m. the Dylan’s bus rolls down the parking lot, far far away in the back. Not even hearing distance.
Two or three people are waiting. Two teenage black girls approach with a camera (Dylan’s fans?). They give up rapidly. An old Lady is waiting patiently, so I start talking to her. She comes from Mobile and she had seen some shows from the 60’; 63 with Joan Baez (whom she met) and she’s been around for the “Rolling thunder review”.
I explain my trip. She doesn’t take me for a "nuts". She even proposes to drive me to a Greyhound station in Mobile after the show. Great! I dreaded walking three hours in the rain. Now I have to find a ticket. Shortly before 8.00 p.m. a young lady comes around and offers me a ticket for 20$. I take it before I realize it’s a third row ticket. Whoa! Suzanne and I wait until 9.05 p.m. Bob gets out of his bus, does some walking, probably smokes his cigarette hiding between two buses (does he know two crazy ladies are watching him?). He’s so far, what the danger?  He moves in. That’s it, no luck today! We waited three hours non stop! In the mid time I said hello to Jeff and Chuck, 2 of the 3 truck drivers, they’re nice.
We get in, my seat is INCREDIBLE; third row center. A guy next to me lends me his binoculars. You look good Bobby, unshaven and pale but quite OK. He’s so close that I see him spiting in his mike. It’s the time for me to dance and I stand up non-stop, singing and moving. Though he doesn’t smile once, he seams to take pleasure in his performance and seems almost happy when the public makes a stand up ovation at the end. Is this what he’s looking for? Though I’m pretty sure he doesn’t see anything, anybody without his glasses. The anonymous public fits him alright. Not me so much! I would like a little bit of intimacy. But I’m happy altogether. The suffering of the day was not in vain. Suzanne drives me to the Greyhound station in Mobile. I’m dead tired and it takes forever for the bus to load the “merchandise” and moves towards Atlanta.

Pensacola, Florida
Pensacola Civic Center
July 27, 2011

1.
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
2.
It Ain't Me, Babe
3.
Things Have Changed
4.
Tangled Up In Blue
5.
Beyond Here Lies Nothin' (Bob on guitar)
6.
Mississippi
7.
High Water (For Charley Patton)
8.
Simple Twist Of Fate (Bob on guitar)
9.
Highway 61 Revisited
10.
Forgetful Heart
11.
Thunder On The Mountain
12.
Ballad Of A Thin Man



(1st encore)
13.
Like A Rolling Stone
14.
All Along The Watchtower



(2nd encore)
15.
Blowin' In The Wind

07/28 ATLANTA

The Greyhound bus station is downtown. Thank you lord! The downtown area is sympathetic with nice buildings and green parks. The population is in majority Afro-American. After a non-efficient walk I go to the tourist information center for maps and information. I buy a two day metro pass  (there is a nice underground railway). I found out a Youth Hostel  and the Chartrain Amphitheater. It seams that the metro plus a bus will take me there. I have plenty of time before the Youth Hostel opens so I go for a tour at the “World of coca Cola” and drink all my thirst of free soda.
By 5:00 p.m. I check in the Youth Hostel : 35$. Not too bad in Atlanta. I try to catch the 5 o’clock bus going to Chartrain Park Amphitheater and walk few kilometers to get there. Tickets scalpers are on the spot selling for 50$ and more. I propose 20$ and they laugh at me, saying “good luck!”. “well! Maybe guys I know better than you!”. A strange hippy offers me to go in with him for free. First  I can’t believe it and turn him down, but after half an hour I bump on him again. He proposes me to get in for free again. Oh well! I go in and it’s not a trap. In fact he followed the Tour since Santa Barbara and saw many shows. Never saw him nor his son Rolfe, who is 17 and a Dylan fan. The Amphitheater is set up with tables and people get in with ice-boxes full of drinks and food. I really hope that they won’t drink and eat while Bob sings. For the first time Leon Russel seems to have a purpose : let people stuff themselves before the show. Rolfe’s father starts to be loaded on I don’t know what and gesticulates non-stop. I concentrate on the stage. “Ladies and gentlemen …”. I stand up to dance and will never seat. It’s a great opportunity to enjoy 100% even if the stage is a bit far. No beer-drinkers will bother me tonight. The buses are certainly parked inside the vicinity. No good night Bobby tonight.

Atlanta, Georgia
Chastain Park Amphitheater
July 28, 2011

1.
Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
2.
Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
3.
Things Have Changed
4.
Tangled Up In Blue
5.
Beyond Here Lies Nothin' (Bob on guitar)
6.
Mississippi
7.
The Levee's Gonna Break
8.
Sugar Baby
9.
Highway 61 Revisited
10.
A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
11.
Thunder On The Mountain
12.
Ballad Of A Thin Man



(encore)
13.
Like A Rolling Stone
14.
All Along The Watchtower

I ask Rolfe’s father a ride downtown to my Hostel, but the guy is “gone”, strait stoned and I start to panic. I really need a good night sleep in a good bed. I don’t get it but this weird guy has a driver and the driver is more rational. After I’d explained that I met Bob in the past when I toured 78, 79, 81, 86 he’s so impressed that he will drive me all the way downtown to my hostel with a G.P.S. for I forgot the town map and the address altogether.
I sleep well, take a shower and get some coffee and bread/jam. I will stay in Atlanta until the evening then catch a bus to Memphis.
 By the way, I learned that Bob owns a house in New Orleans. Did he sleep there? He owns also a  property in Nova Scotia, something in New York, a something in London, he used to have an apartment in old Jerusalem, plus the property in Malibu and the farm in Minnesota and he lives … in his black bus!
And for someone who said that all he needs is “a dark street and a guitar” not too bad!
His road manager is Al Santos and his personal body guard Barron Tabura, for some years now, but no friends of mine.

07/30 MEMPHIS

7:00 p.m. Elvis Presley is all over the place. Downtown looks nice and easy to walk around. Calm in the early morning. They have some wheel boats on the Mississippi river. If I find a cheap hotel I may take a trip in the afternoon. There’s no show tomorrow and Nashville is close by. I may rest one day. I don’t feel like going to Graceland (the ancient property of Elvis). I’ve seen it some years ago but it probably didn’t change much. I found a street full of  “blues cafés”. I’ll see how I feel after the show. The show will take place at the Mud Island amphitheater, across the Mississippi river. Some kind of cable car is going there, something to check on as soon as the city wakes up, at 10:00 a.m.
No way to take a room in a Motel or Hostel, they are few and full. The Greyhound station has got some lockers, so I leave my bag in one. I go to the river bank and by 2:30 p.m. I take a trip on the Mississippi river. It gives me a new “shot” after few hours of Bluesy mood. Then I seat across the river just in front of the Mud Island Amphitheater. The musicians’ bus pulls in at 5:00 p.m. They start the sound check. Dylan’s bus pulls in at 6:00 p.m. and parks in front of the Mississippi (a song he will do tonight for sure). Some one will tell me he asks specifically to be away from the stage. Not to hear Leon Russel set? People steps in and out of the bus, I can’t see well. Some are small, maybe children or teenagers.
7:00 p.m. I start looking for a ticket. The throng packs up at the foot of the cable car crossing the river. The crowd is again 60’s middle class. I don’t look so good after an afternoon in the sun and my Israeli sandals at my feet. People look down on me. I start feeling bad but I need badly that ticket. I don’t see the “freaks” from yesterday, Rolfe and his Dad (they promised to be here tonight).  Three scalpers are buying and selling tickets, it’s no good for me. They buy for 30$ and sell for 40$. I was going for a 20$ ticket tonight! I wait until the last minute and buy a ticket for 34$. Since I’d saved the money of a hotel night tonight, its OK.I cross the bridge walking and go “above” the black bus. I meet Jeff, we exchange few words. Bob gets out of his bus shortly after 9:00 p.m. I can’t believe it but he’s smocking! Pretty bad for his voice! A way to get the tension out? He walks from the bus to the stage surrounded by two bodies. No way to call for him, he’s too far away. I just say a little prayer. ”good luck Bobby! Be good!”.
I get inside the Amphitheater, get down and down, near the stage. I don’t know where my seat is and for now I don’t care. I’m three rows from the stage and here HE is starting with “Leopard skin pill box hat”. Unfortunately a Lady signals the usher that I’m not supposed to be here. Bitch! I have to move few rows up and knock in the freak from yesterday. He’s loaded again. We stand up by the handicapped people stand and I enjoy myself really much. The public is good. People join me to dance and dance.
Bob will do “Forgetful Heart”. Thank you Bobby! I love that beautiful sad song with the violin of Donnie so plaintive. Feel like crying. Crying for all the broken hearts. Why this woman left him? Why they all leave him?
 “the most beautiful poems are coming from the deepest pain”. Rimbaud

Memphis, Tennessee
Mud Island Amphitheatre
July 30, 2011

1.
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat (Bob on keyboard, Donnie on lap steel)
2.
Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
(Bob on keyboard, Donnie on lap steel, Stu on acoustic guitar, Tony standup bass)
3.
Things Have Changed
(Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on pedal steel, Stu on acoustic guitar)
4.
Tangled Up In Blue
(Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on pedal steel, Stu on acoustic guitar)
5.
Beyond Here Lies Nothin' (Bob on guitar, Donnie on electric mandolin)
6.
Mississippi (Bob on keyboard, Donnie on electric mandolin, Stu on acoustic guitar)
7.
The Levee's Gonna Break
(Bob on keyboard, Donnie on electric mandolin, Stu on acoustic guitar)
8.
Sugar Baby (Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on pedal steel.
Stu on acoustic guitar, Tony on standup bass)
9.
Highway 61 Revisited (Bob on keyboard, Donnie on lap steel)
10.
Forgetful Heart
(Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on viola, Stu on acoustic guitar, Tony on standup bass)
11.
Thunder On The Mountain (Bob on keyboard, Donnie on lap steel)
12.
Ballad Of A Thin Man
(Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on lap steel, Stu on acoustic guitar)



(encore)
13.
Like A Rolling Stone (Bob on keyboard)
14.
All Along The Watchtower (Bob on keyboard)
15.
Blowin' In The Wind
(Bob on keyboard then center stage with harp, Donnie on violin, Stu on acoustic guitar)

He seams to feel the good public reception and will do a third “encore” with “blowing in the wind”. Excellent performance and I wish I could have  been closer.

I move out. The two buses are gone already to Nashville. Tomorrow is a day off.
I pass by the “blues” street, it’s packed and I don’t feel like being in the crowd again. I retrieve my back pack at the Greyhound station and fall asleep in my sleeping bag on a bench. At 2:00 a.m. a damned security woman wakes me up ; “you have to seat up! You have to seat!”. “OK ass…!”. I seat. My night sleep is ruined. I will catch some more sleep, one hour here, one hour there until 6:30 a.m. The bus leaves at 9:10 a.m. to Nashville hoping to find a Motel or a Hostel, I need to wash up and wash my clothes, I sweated like crazy in Memphis in the heat.


08/01 NASHVILLE

Alright, I reached Nashville by 2:00 p.m., right downtown, found the Y.M.C.A. but they don’t rent any room, walk a while and found a Comfort Inn for 89.99$. I spend some time washing up and doing all my laundry in the sink. There is an iron in the room so I use it as a dryer plus I put the air-conditioner on heat. It works OK. I then take a walk downtown to find the RYMAN auditorium. The streets are animated and the bars are diffusing country music. Nice atmosphere. I find the Ryman, but what is it? Some kind of church? Don’t see any backstage entrance, except the one strait to the street. Go back to the hotel loaded with food for a good night sleep. No dream of Bobby though ! I must be over tired.
Woke up at 7:00 a.m. good. I’m rested. It seems that the hotel provides a breakfast. Yep! free meal. I stuff myself for the day coming. I go downtown at 11:00 a.m. and get a ticket for the “hall of fame”, kind of museum for the country and western celebrities. Nicely done. I stay in there (freezing in the cold air-conditioner) for 4 hours. Johnny Cash is of course a big name and they show on a small T.V. screen the Johnny Cash session with Bob Dylan for the album Nashville Skyline. Some photos with Chris Christopherson on the movie “Pat Garett and Billy the kid”. Hank Williams has a whole room for himself. I recognize Jimmy Rogers, Emmilou Harris, Linda Ronstad, Dolly Parton, of course Elvis (though I’m wondering what he’s doing with the country and western stars). The Carter family and more. I finally find myself a book; “Shelter from the storm” about the Rolling Thunder Review  and the 70’s in general. I read until 5:00 p.m. then move to the Ryman. The buses are parked right there on the street. No security what so ever! How they gonna hide the Dylan bus? 6.45 p.m. some anxiety from the security man and yes, the bus pulls down the road and parks right in the street. Whoa! People start to surround that bus and stick to it (how do they know Bob is in it?). He won’t be out before a while so I move around and find my “friends” Jeff and Chuck, the truck drivers. Jeff leaves me with Chuck who starts to explain to me the functionality of this big truck. Really sophisticated. All electronically and computerizally run. He lives in this machine; some room behind the driver seat. Of course there is no way for me to get a ride in it from show to show; the policy is strict. The 60’s even 70’s are over. No “groupies” allowed behind stage or around the stage. It’s a business machine! No fun!
At 8:00 p.m. it’s time to look for a ticket, but the scalpers are not here any more. More people are looking for tickets. I start to panic. Is this a joke? I won’t be able to get in, in Nashville?
I go back to Chuck who tells me he can get in trouble if he sneaks me in, I’m desperate and he knows.
At 8:40 p.m. I got a ticket for 75$. I can’t believe it! the most expensive so far and not even a first row, a balcony. I drag Chuck with me to the Dylan bus. At least 20 fans are waiting right next to the bus. He won’t get out in the middle of them, I’m sure. They will find a way to sneak him out! And they do; Bob walks to the side and  back of the bus where a big car picks him up and drives him to a side entrance door. The fans are deceived, not so much myself for I knew. I go inside the Ryman with Chuck. I persuaded him that at least, for once, he had to see the show. I can’t believe that someone with a pass don’t even go for it!
We find a seat by the light projectors, up the balcony. The sound is terribly bad. I can’t hear what he’s singing, but I’m in. The show is short though he will do three songs for the “encore”.

Nashville, Tennessee
Ryman Auditorium
August 1, 2011

1.
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
(Bob on keyboard, Donnie on lap steel, Charlie on Gretsch guitar)
2.
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
(Bob on keyboard, Donnie on pedal steel, Stu on acoustic guitar, Charlie on Telecaster)
3.
Things Have Changed
(Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on pedal steel, Stu on acoustic guitar, Charlie on Telecaster)
4.
Tangled Up In Blue
(Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on pedal steel, Stu on acoustic guitar, Charlie on Telecaster)
5.
Beyond Here Lies Nothin' (Bob on guitar, Donnie on electric mandolin)
6.
Mississippi (Bob on keyboard, Donnie on electric mandolin,
Stu on acoustic guitar, Charlie on silver Telecaster)
7.
High Water (For Charley Patton) (Bob center stage with harp,
Donnie on banjo, Charlie on black & white Telecaster, Tony on standup bass)
8.
Sugar Baby (Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on pedal steel, Stu on acoustic guitar,
Charlie on black & white Telecaster, Tony on standup bass)
9.
Highway 61 Revisited
(Bob on keyboard, Donnie on lap steel, Lukas Nelson on guitar* - no Charlie)
10.
Forgetful Heart (Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on viola, Stu on acoustic guitar,
Charlie on silver Telecaster, Tony on standup bass, George on bongos)
11.
Thunder On The Mountain
(Bob on keyboard, Donnie on lap steel, Charlie on silver Telecaster)
12.
Ballad Of A Thin Man
(Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on lap steel, Stu & Charlie on Telecasters)



(encore)
13.
Like A Rolling Stone
(Bob on keyboard, Donnie on pedal steel, Stu on electric Gretsch, Charlie on silver Telecaster)
14.
All Along The Watchtower
(Bob on keyboard, Donnie on lap steel, Stu on Telecaster, Charlie on silver Stratocaster)
15.
Blowin' In The Wind (Bob on keyboard then center stage with harp,
Donnie on violin, Stu on acoustic guitar, Charlie on electric slide guitar)
At the end of the song, Bob signed and autograph for a 12 year old boy.
Click
here to read the story

 I leave the hall before “Blowing in the wind”. They moved the bus by the front entrance. A bunch of fans is already waiting right by the bus with only one security man. We will see him for sure, no escape. Fans get ready for an autograph or a photo. Surrounded by two bodies he simply walks in the bus. No autograph, no nothing. He looks happy though!
“Bye, bye, Good night Bobby!”.
I go back to the crowd out and find Rolfe and his Dad who had been to this show. Rolfe tells me that Bob had signed an autograph to a kid from the stage. So he can see? And he looks? Contact lenses? What a beautiful surprise! I’m so happy for that lucky kid.

Next show Evansville. My bus leaves at 12:25 a.m. I do have mixed feelings. I have to be careful with my money, cut on my expenses. I will skip Toledo and see for Kettering witch is in fact in Dayton.


WEDNESDAY 3rd of August.
Bob will be playing in Toledo and I won’t be there. I can’t get there on time with Greyhound. I reached Evansville at 4:00 a.m. in a terribly bluesy mood and Evansville is not a happy city. The Greyhound bus station is closed so I catch some two hours of sleep on a bench outside. I start walking to the downtown area. Emptiness. Everything is dead and ugly. Terribly ugly city! Everything’s falling apart. I need to find a cheap hotel for two nights, how to get to the Robert Stadium and a cup of coffee. I meet a nice man (homeless) who guides me around. I’m rejected by the Y.W.C.A. and of course there is no Youth Hostel. I get two nights at the Economy Inn for 90$, not too bad! I wash and  rest before a walk to the downtown area. 

“Everything inside is made of stone
There’s nothing in here moving”

After getting information on how to reach the Robert Stadium (by bus n°6) I go back to my room and read “Shelter from the storm”, a book on the Rolling Thunder Revue. Not as good as Ratso’s book “on the road with Bob Dylan”, though. Pretty negative on the Rubin Carter story.
At 5:00 p.m. I move, take the bus and arrive at the back of the stadium. The musicians’ bus is parked and I hear the sound check, but no Dylan bus yet.
At 6:00 p.m. Mr X. starts to get nervous and talks in his walky-talky. Suddenly the bus pulls in, right in front of me.
Two hours of  waiting; dreaming of this and dreaming of that. Three fans are waiting with me; Suzanne, Mick and Ronny from Ireland. Suzanne and young Mick want an autograph but Ronny has an obsession with taking a photo. I keep on telling them that Bob doesn’t like being taken in photo and if his bodies see the cameras they will sneak him out like in Nashville. But they take me for a fool. I loose my temper and tell Ronny that he’s an assH…with no respect and he’s ruining our chance to just say hello. I’m super mad and I regret talking to them. Mick is not even going to the show! What kind of fan is this?
They ruined my evening those stupid! And of course the security sneaks Bob in a white car that disappears around the bend. So sorry Bobby!
I get inside the stadium, half empty and half full. I got myself a ticket at the box office for 25$, far away in the back. The sound is no good, I don’t see Bob well, the public is pretty bad, the worst of all the shows for me. I leave before “Blowing in the wind” and run to the back stage. The bus is parked down the ramp, the security starts to bullshit and play “cat and mouse”. The bus pulls out.
“Bye, bye bobby! Good night!”.



Evansville, Indiana
Roberts Stadium
August 2, 2011

1.
Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
(Bob on keyboard, Donnie on lap steel, Stu on electric Gretsch, Charlie on silver Telecaster)
2.
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (Bob on keyboard, Donnie on pedal steel,
Stu on acoustic guitar, Charlie on black & white Telecaster)
3.
Things Have Changed (Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on pedal steel,
Stu on acoustic guitar, Charlie on black & white Telecaster)
4.
Tangled Up In Blue (Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on pedal steel,
Stu on acoustic guitar, Charlie on silver Telecaster)
5.
Beyond Here Lies Nothin' (Bob on guitar, Donnie on electric mandolin,
Stu on electric hollow body guitar, Charlie on white Stratocaster)
6.
Mississippi
(Bob on keyboard, Donnie on electric mandolin, Stu on acoustic guitar, Charlie on Stratocaster)
7.
Summer Days (Bob on keyboard, Donnie on pedal steel, Stu on electric hollow body
guitar, Tony on standup bass, Charlie on white hollow body electric Gretsch)
8.
Visions Of Johanna
(Bob on keyboard, Donnie on electric mandolin, Stu on acoustic guitar, Charlie on Stratocaster)
9.
Highway 61 Revisited (Bob on keyboard, Donnie on lap steel,
Stu on electric hollow body guitar, Charlie on silver Telecaster)
10.
Sugar Baby (Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on pedal steel,
Stu on acoustic guitar, Tony on standup bass with bow, Charlie on black & white Telecaster)
11.
Thunder On The Mountain
(Bob on keyboard, Donnie on lap steel, Stu on electric guitar, Charlie on silver Telecaster)
12.
Ballad Of A Thin Man
(Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on lap steel, Stu on Telecaster, Charlie on silver Telecaster)



(encore)
13.
Like A Rolling Stone (Bob on keyboard, Donnie on pedal steel,
Stu on electric black & white Gretsch, Charlie on silver Telecaster)
14.
All Along The Watchtower
(Bob on keyboard, Donnie on lap steel, Stu on electric Gretsch, Charlie on Stratocaster)
15.
Blowin' In The Wind (Bob on keyboard then center stage with harp,
Donnie on violin, Stu on acoustic guitar, Charlie on white Stratocaster)

Again, it takes me forever to get a ride out. There is no bus running at this hour and I don’t even know the direction of downtown. The cars pass in front of me and if they could, I have the feeling that they would crash me flat. An old man who just works inside the stadium picks me up, not a Dylan fan, just a good old man. He drives me all the way to my motel for a good night sleep. Thanks old man!
I will take a day off to think about a new strategy. I don’t feel like encouraging the fans to get close anymore. If they don’t put away their cameras I will start to bullshit like the security, telling them he’s already in, to give me a chance to see him close and talk to him. Don’t  I deserve a little more?
But my conviction is that I won’t be able to reach him. The body guard is not Jimmy and the manager is not Howard Alk, not even Bob Meyers. I don’t know what is Bob’s real position. About the photos I’m sure, about the rest I’m still uncertain (after all he DID sign an autograph!). If he doesn’t want people to look at him, he’s got a big problem, for after all he’s on stage almost every night and the first row with binoculars is closer to his face than anywhere else. And what about getting out to do some shopping and go places? Does he keep also in his hotel room as well as in his bus?
So sorry Bobby !

08/05 DAYTON
This is Dayton, the Lincoln Park where the Fraze Pavilion stands.1:00 p.m.
From Evansville I reached Louisville then Cincinnati. I was stuck at the Greyhound Station for more than four hours. The Greyhound transportation system is not the best!
I reached Dayton in the morning without too much sleep and inquire immediately for the Fraze Pavilion, accessible by bus. But Dayton is like Pensacola a spread out city, with nice little red bricks houses. I have time to get a sandwich and a coke at the close by Subway. The population is agreeable, much more than in Evansville where I took refuge in the library and wrote my “blog”. I posted the link on “expecting rain forum” and get immediately bad reactions. Harsh reaction. Mean reactions. Like I’m not supposed to follow Bob Dylan, like I make him paranoid, like what I’m doing is the sure way not to get to him, even to bring a restriction ordain on my person! Whoa! Am I so bad? I don’t stop crying for a whole day and a whole night. I must be really out of my mind!
I just finished reading “Shelter from the storm” by Sid Griffin. Bob is often described as a madman, erratic and moody, but so talented. That’s not the image I remember from our encounters; I remember a lovely man, attentive to my needs, kind and sweet with a great knowledge of people’s personality, a soft voice.
There is a Bobby for each person? A multi-faceted man? a chameleon ghost?
I’ve decided to chance my strategy. I’m sure now that I won’t be able to approach him so I will leave him his space, I will stand away from the bus, to allow him his privacy. I will be more cautious with the fans. I will withdraw from “expecting rain forum”. They might be right but after all I had been able to meet Bob with my craziness. I owe nothing to anyone.


08/06 in Columbus.
Yesterday I arrived in Dayton and as soon as possible. After a drink and a sandwich I caught the bus n°17 southbound to get to the Fraze Pavilion.
The Fraze Pavilion is a part of the Lincoln Park. I find myself a bench not far away from the trucks and roadies buses and fall asleep. When I wake up the two dark buses are parked not far from where I stand. It’s 4:30 p.m. and I hear some sound check already. I remember that tonight Leon Russel won’t be the opening, another group that I forgot the name.
I start re-reading “Shelter from the storm”.
At 7:00 p.m. I ask someone at what time the show will start
“Could you kindly tell me, friend, what time the show begins?”
7:30 p.m.
I will just go to the show, I will stay away from the bus to allow Bob to smoke his cigarette in peace. I move to the entrance to get a ticket. I have no chance for a spare ticket so I buy myself a lawn for 38$. Still a lot of money but I want to be in.
I come back on my bench and meet an old lady who happened to follow few shows all by herself with a Greyhound pass. Am not the only Dylan "nuts"?
She advises me that there is a city-bus going back downtown at 12:10 a.m. OK, so I won’t be sleeping outside after all! In the mid time I met Chuck, the truck drive being nice and helpful. He gives me an “appointment” in Cleveland for a dinner together. We’ll see!
For now I wait for Bob to get out of his bus at a reasonable distance, he won’t see me.
I’m the only one with my eyes on this bus so I hope they won’t sneak him out.
At 8:35 p.m. the young woman with the auburn-hair steps out the bus and leaves the door opened. Bob steps out and walks strait to the stage. No cigarette!?
I run to the entrance, seat on the grass shortly before Bob appears. The security guard passes by me and glances at my back pack! I almost say hello but restrain myself. What does he care?
“Leopard skin pill box hat” … then a surprise ; “Girl of the north country”. Beautiful!
The song is perfect, his voice at the best, phrasing clearly and tingeing the tone of his voice.
Then “Tangled up in blue”, “Things have change”, “Tweedle dee & tweedle dum” and another surprise “Desolation row”. Whoa! Thanks. The one I expected. He’s in remarkable form; dancing at his keyboard, exchanging glances with his musicians. Communicative at last! The guitars sound clearer than before even the harmonica sounds different . I feel good, enjoying myself very much.

Kettering, Ohio
Fraze Pavilion
August 5, 2011

1.
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
(Bob on keyboard, Donnie on lap steel, Stu on Les Paul)
2.
Girl Of The North Country (Bob on keyboard, Donnie on pedal steel,
Stu on acoustic guitar, Tony on standup bass, Charlie on black Telecaster)
3.
Things Have Changed (Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on pedal steel,
Stu on acoustic guitar, Charlie on black Telecaster)
4.
Tangled Up In Blue
(Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on pedal steel, Stu on acoustic guitar)
5.
Beyond Here Lies Nothin'
(Bob on guitar, Donnie on electric mandolin, Stu on hollow body electric guitar)
6.
Mississippi (Bob on keyboard, Donnie on electric mandolin,
Stu on acoustic guitar, Charlie on silver Telecaster)
7.
Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum (Bob on guitar, Donnie on pedal steel,
Stu on hollow body electric guitar, Charlie on black Telecaster )
8.
Desolation Row (Bob on keyboard, Donnie on electric mandolin,
Stu on acoustic guitar, Tony on standup bass, Charlie on silver Les Paul)
9.
The Levee's Gonna Break (Bob on keyboard, Donnie on electric mandolin,
Stu on acoustic guitar, Tony on standup bass, Charlie on Stratocaster)
10.
Tryin' To Get To Heaven (Bob on keyboard and harp, Donnie on pedal steel,
Stu on acoustic guitar, Charlie on white Stratocaster)
11.
Highway 61 Revisited
(Bob on keyboard, Donnie on lap steel, Stu on Telecaster, Charlie on silver Les Paul)
12.
Simple Twist Of Fate
(Bob on guitar, Donnie on pedal steel, Stu on acoustic guitar, Charlie on black Telecaster)
13.
Thunder On The Mountain (Bob on keyboard, Donnie on lap steel,
Stu on hollow body electric guitar, Charlie on silver telecaster)
14.
Ballad Of A Thin Man
(Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on lap steel, Stu on Telecaaster, Charlie on silver Telecaster)



(encore)
15.
Like A Rolling Stone
(Bob on keyboard, Donnie on pedal steel, Stu on Les Paul, Charlie on silver Telecaster)
16.
All Along The Watchtower
(Bob on keyboard, Donnie on lap steel, Stu on Stratocaster, Charlie on Stratocaster)



I’m sure he will do three songs for the encore, but who knows?
I move out after “All along the watch tower” but by the time I reach the bus, it pulls out already. No “Blowing in the wind”.
“Bye, bye Bobby, good night!”. I just wanted to tell you how good this show was!

I’m not sure any more about the city bus so I start hitchhiking. Two young guys are nice enough to drive me back to the central city bus station. The old Lady catches the same bus. We move to the Greyhound bus station, supposedly closed. But surprise, there is a bus going to Columbus (close enough to Cleveland). Now we’re stuck in Columbus and the old Lady and myself we have to sleep outside, she in her blanket and me in my sleeping bag. Some young fellow believing we are homeless will give us 5$. Do I look so desperate?
A coffee and two pies later, we’re waiting again at the gate n°3 for the bus to Cleveland.


08/06/ CLEVELAND
We have to find the Jacob’s Pavilion. It seems not to far from downtown. I take a walk in the downtown area. Like most of the downtown areas in the American cities  I see mainly business buildings; banks and offices. Skyscrapers. There is an inside mall with air conditioning and shops and restaurants (fast food). I get myself a salad with fries. When I go out the old Lady is gone. I don’t understand her; she bought a greyhound pass for a week to follow some shows but when I asked her the songs played the previous night she said she didn’t know (and didn’t care!). She’s old, 70 or more and dressed old fashion with a long skirt and a black jacket; she’s got a small bag and a blanket. She doesn’t talk much except this night, outside in Columbus, when she started to tell me that her brother was not exactly her brother but he had been swapped with the son of Hitler’s niece? Reality or fiction? I don’t understand her purpose, following Bob, and finally I’m glad she’s not here anymore. I prefer to be on my own. It’s complicated enough as it is; she’s no help and no comfort.
So I walk alone to the Jacob’s Pavilion. Strange location by the side of the Lake Erie in an ugly and inaccessible neighborhood. The trucks are parked, but no sign of Chuck. I move back to the mall. As it starts raining, it’s a refuge. I fall asleep on a table for 10 minutes, I just can’t keep my eyes open anymore.
Then 7:00 p.m., time to move back to that horrible place. As I walk I find two tickets on the pavement, I can’t believe my luck; two Bob Dylan’s show tickets at the Jacob Pavilion. Whoa! thanks God!
I sell one to a strange guy who will give me 70$. Whoa! I feel better now.
Chuck emerges from his truck, comes to me and says he wants to eat somewhere. We find a bar close by and he orders a B.B.Q. sandwich. He talks about himself and his problem as a truck driver. He doesn’t like the Tour and he wishes he could quit. Of course it has nothing to do with Dylan and his view on my project is narrow minded as usual. He’s no fan. His idea about why Bob Dylan is on Tour (“until I drop” said Dylan) and about the tight security is common, not to my philosophy. Chuck is nice but he just needs company.
By 7:30 p.m. he goes back to sleep and I hang around a little bit more. I don’t want to hear Leon Russel.
By 9h05 p.m.  I watch the Dylan bus from far. The body guard sees me but he can’t do anything, I’m not a nuisance. Bob gets out with his hat and his outfit on and some fans way above the parking lot, on some kind of bridge, call his name. How did they know he was still in his bus?
I move quickly to the entrance but my found ticket is rejected. It had been refunded. Shit! I go buy another one at the box office for 45$. I’m sorry for the guy I sold the ticket to but I really believe it was OK. You win some, you loose some.
The show is good, he will do surprisingly two anti-racist song “The lonesome death of Hattie Carole” and “Ballad of Hollis Brown”. Why and why specifically in this city? I will have to find out about the city’s history. He didn’t change the melody and articulate perfectly the words. I love the “Lonesome death of Hattie Carole” ; great story with a great morality. I feel move again by his spirit on stage. I try to be oblivious of the crowd surrounding me which keeps on moving in and out to the bar. Why do people go to the show if they just want to get drunk? Above my understanding!

Cleveland, Ohio
Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica
August 6, 2011

1.
Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
2.
To Ramona
3.
Things Have Changed
4.
Tangled Up In Blue
5.
Beyond Here Lies Nothin' (Bob on guitar)
6.
Mississippi
7.
Ballad Of Hollis Brown
8.
The Levee's Gonna Break
9.
The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll
10.
Highway 61 Revisited
11.
Simple Twist Of Fate (Bob on guitar)
12.
Thunder On The Mountain
13.
Ballad Of A Thin Man



(encore)
14.
Like A Rolling Stone
15.
All Along The Watchtower



Bob has some difficulty keeping his voice clear at the end of the show. He’s constantly drinking something behind his keyboard and blows his nose. A cold? I know he won’t do “Blowing in the wind”. No more voice.
I move shortly before the end of “All along the watch tower”, the bus pulls out.
“Bye! Bye! Bobby, good night”.
I walk rapidly to the Greyhound station. Surprise! The old Lady is already there. We don’t talk so much. She says this is the best show she’s heard. I disagree.
We wait until 4:00 a.m. for a bus to Detroit, trying to catch some sleep on a bench outside. It’s too cold inside. Why do they keep the air-conditioning so cool?


08/07 DETROIT
8:00 a.m. The Greyhound station is right downtown, I will need to find a room for there is a day off on the 8th. I walk to the central bus station trying to get information about Rochester Hills and the Meadow Brook Music Festival.
I meet a “homeless” who seams to be well “articulated” collecting cans and bottles to make some “bucks” for the bus fare. He directs me to the bus lines and even takes the city bus with me to the Birmingham neighborhood; nice place, fancy place, with rich people walking their fancy dogs on leash. I offer my friend a cup of coffee at the Starbuck café and he talks and talks. Not too crazy, even bright. We decide to go watch a movie at 11:45 a.m. “Rise of the planet of the apes”. First time I’m able to see a good movie with Pop Corn. The movie is good but the scenario predictable.
Then Steve directs me to a book store. I still want to buy a Dylan’s lyrics song book from the 90’s and on. But I end up with the Bible illustrated by Marc Chagall. OK, we get what we need not always what we want.
3:00 a.m. time to find out about Rochester Hills and a room for the night. I trust Steve who seams to know everything about the town. After two hours of walk in a nice neighborhood and an unceasing talk by Steve I find a “Super 8” Motel. But …the Meadow Brook Music Festival is no where close, in fact 11 miles away. Steve is not so “articulated” after all. I’m pissed off, tired and mad. I decide to check in anyway and call a taxi to reach Rochester Hills. The young girl at the desk is helpful and calls me a cab. I take a quick shower and off I go. The driver lost his route. The ride will cost me 45$. Bad day! We win some, we loose some!
The concert is in the middle of country fields, like a country festival. In fact people come with blankets, chairs and coolers; a picnic.
I put aside the return to the motel (hitchhiking appears compromise with that kind of public!), for now I need a ticket. Three guys are looking for tickets. No scalpers. Good! Those scalpers make it difficult for me to negotiate a good price. A young guy offers me a free ticket and a good seat. That will balance the taxi fare. Thanks kid!
In I go for there is no way to hang around the buses, the back stage is accessible to no-one without a badge. Completely closed up.
I “take” Leon Russel for 45 minutes. Still too loud.
8:35, 8:40, 8h45 … Bob is late. The couple next to me went to the Toledo show, as some others it seems.
“Leopard skin pill box hat”. His voice is back, no more cold. The set list is the regular one, no big surprise ; no “Girl of the north country”, no “Desolation row”, no Hollis Brown or William Zanzinger,  no “To Ramona”, no “Forgetful heart”.
“Trying to get to heaven” is nice.

Rochester Hills, Michigan
Oakland University
Meadow Brook Music Festival
August 7, 2011

1.
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
2.
Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
3.
Things Have Changed
4.
Tangled Up In Blue
5.
Beyond Here Lies Nothin' (bob on guitar)
6.
Mississippi
7.
Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum (Bob on guitar)
8.
Summer Days
9.
Tryin' To Get To Heaven
10.
Highway 61 Revisited
11.
Simple Twist Of Fate (Bob on guitar)
12.
Thunder On The Mountain
13.
Ballad Of A Thin Man



(encore)
14.
Like A Rolling Stone
15.
All Along The Watchtower


08/09 ROCHESTER
It’s pouring rain and I’m tired. It’s 11:00 a.m. I don’t know if I’ll be able to reach the show. This is a poor/ugly city, not much to do. Maybe try to reach the public library. I have to keep my back pack dry most of all.
A nice lady from the Information Center gave me some clues about how to reach the C.M.A.C. in Canandaigua; first take the city bus then the C.A.T.S..
 I still have some time left but it’s raining so I take refuge in the Public Library for one hour and a half on the computer, taking care of my home business.
Then I hit the road. It takes me three hours by bus and C.A.T.S. to reach the C.M.A.C. located in the middle of a university. I offer myself a nice dinner and walk to the place.
I wait by the entrance and observe the public going in. Again some old hippies well dressed and who look down on me; seated on the grass, with my back pack at my feet. They carry folded chairs and blankets, it’s gonna be again a picnic concert.
Not to match my moody mood.
I see Chuck cleaning his bus but I can’t approach him. The security is vigilant.  Of course the Dylan bus is here but parked very far away from any disturbance.
I make a V sign to a good looking guy who smiles to me.
At 8:00 p.m. I get myself a lawn ticket and enter the picnic! The forum is half empty, half full.
The nice guy comes to me and invites me to join his friends. They’re loaded on some substance: beer and marijuana?. They help me to sneak closer to the stage and I see Bob very well. The sound is not the best but anyway I stand up and dance all the show. Surprise! he will do “Love minus zero /no limit” my favorite of his love songs. He didn’t change much the melody, so I sing along.
What a wonderful feeling when Bob Dylan is right in front of me!

Then another surprise ; “Blind Willie Mc Tell” with a supreme final on harmonica. It sounds like a Dixieland jazz song strait from New Orleans. Magnificent! I love that song so much!
No “Blowing in the wind” tonight.



Canandaigua, New York
Finger Lakes Community College
Constellation Brands - Marvin Sands PAC
August 9, 2011


1.
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
2.
Love Minus Zero/No Limit
3.
Things Have Changed
4.
Tangled Up In Blue
5.
Beyond Here Lies Nothin' (Bob on guitar)
6.
Mississippi
7.
John Brown
8.
Summer Days
9.
Blind Willie McTell
10.
Highway 61 Revisited
11.
Simple Twist Of Fate (Bob on guitar)
12.
Thunder On The Mountain
13.
Ballad Of A Thin Man



(encore)
14.
Like A Rolling Stone
15.
All Along The Watchtower

I wait for Tommy, Handy and Steve to give me a ride back to Rochester as they promised. First they drive to Steve’s home for a drink then at Tommy’s home I watch a video made by Winston Watson, Bob Dylan’s drummer from 94/95. I like what he says about Bob. He doesn’t describe him as a maniac or a madman but has a friendly man encouraging his musicians and as a serious and professional musician/performer. In the documentary by Watson I recognized Barron Tabura, the bodyguard. 17 years with Bob?
In the afternoon I was feeling so down that I wanted to quit the Tour and go strait to New York. Now I’m waiting for the bus to Syracuse, then Scranton for the next show. Thanks Tommy for not taking me for a "nuts"! Thanks Bobby for doing two of my favorite songs “Love Minus Zero/No Limit” and  “Blind Willie McTell”.


08/10 SCRANTON
Early in Scranton 1:00 p.m.
I take a walk downtown to feel the atmosphere. Nice little city, close to the European architecture. I take a Chinese meal at the mall and find a motel not far away. Great!
Now I have to find out about the show. A bus driver advises me to take the Mountain View bus. After a tourist walk in the city I wait by the bus stop near 45 minutes before I realize there is no more bus after early in the afternoon! Well the American public transportation is certainly not the best in the world. I rush back to my Motel and command a cab. That will add to the coast.
I get there at 7:00 p.m. and meet Alec who’s looking for a spare ticket and we talk. He’s a fan but he’s broke. He’s got a car and he’s willing to give me a ride back downtown. He’s crazy, but crazy GOOD, really articulated, with a good charisma. He sneaks us to the third row, right in front of the Bob’s keyboard. I have some difficulty to believe we’ll be able to stay right here until the end of the show. I hear “Ladies and gentlemen…”. I’m extremely nervous.
But I’m soon captured by the music coming from the stage and I will dance and sing until the end with Bobby right in front of me. I can see him well, he’s happy. The set list is not too much different with “Desolation row” (I like so much) for the third time on this Tour. But no “Blind Willie Mc Tell” and no “Forgetful heart” (I regret). I move right in front of Bob for the encore, but he doesn’t see anybody without glasses. I keep on saying in my head as a mantra “I love you Bobby, I love you”. Maybe he heard me.

Scranton, Pennsylvania
Montage Mountain
Toyota Pavilion
August 10, 2011

1.
Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 (Bob on keyboard, Donnie on lap steel)
2.
It Ain't Me, Babe
(Bob on keyboard, Donnie on pedal steel, Stu on acoustic guitar, Tony on standup bass)
3.
Things Have Changed
(Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on pedal steel, Stu on acoustic guitar)
4.
Tangled Up In Blue
(Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on pedal steel, Stu on acoustic guitar)
5.
Beyond Here Lies Nothin' (Bob on guitar, Donnie on electric mandolin)
6.
Mississippi (Bob con keyboard, Donnie on electric mandolin, Stu on acoustic guitar)
7.
High Water (For Charley Patton)
(Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on banjo, Stu on acoustic guitar, Tony on standup bass)
8.
Summer Days (Bob on keyboard, Donnie on pedal steel, Tony on standup bass)
9.
Desolation Row
(Bob on keyboard, Donnie on electric mandolin, Stu on acoustic guitar, Tony on standup bass)
10.
Highway 61 Revisited (Bob on keyboard, Donnie on lap steel)
11.
Simple Twist Of Fate (Bob on guitar, Donnie on pedal steel, Stu on acoustic guitar)
12.
Thunder On The Mountain
(Bob on guitar, Donnie on lap steel, Stu on acoustic guitar)
13.
Ballad Of A Thin Man (Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on lap steel)



(encore)
14.
Like A Rolling Stone (Bob on guitar, Donnie on pedal steel)
15.
All Along The Watchtower (Bob on guitar, Donnie on lap steel)



08/11 No show today.
Alec is supposed to pick me up and we’re supposed to spend the afternoon/evening in New York. I would like to go back to the Greenwich Village. I’ve the feeling Bob is in New York maybe with his family.
But we’ll see. Everything can happen and I don’t want to day dream too much for I don’t want to be deceived.
I received a lot already, we’ve share a lot with Bob; I gave him my Love my way and he gave me his love by being on stage again and again.
“I’ll remember you
When the wind blows through the piney wood
It was you who came right through
It was you who understood
Though I’d never say
That I done it the way
That you’d have liked me to

In the end
My dear sweet friend
I’ll remember you”

Alec is at the motel at 10:30 a.m. We start driving toward the Big Apple, nice feeling. Until we reach the Lincoln Tunnel where we’re stuck in a huge traffic jam. This traffic gets a little bit on my nerve, it’s taking time away from the Village trip. But finally we reach the middle of Manhattan and we walk 30 blocks to the Village suffocated by thousands of people and thousands of yellow cabs. We eat rapidly slices of pizza and I inquire about the Bitter End. Different people say that it could be closed. They closed the Bitter end?
But no, it’s still open with some Bobby Boy memory photos.
I wish that eventually they will turn it into a museum; a sort of Hall of Fame. Even with contribution from the fans. I’ll give 100$ for that.
The Village is packed, the ambiance is fun, but where is the music?
It’s late and we have to drive back to Scranton.
I sleep on a coach in Alec’s home.


08/12 WOODSTOCK.
The show tonight will take place in Bethel, witch is the site of Woodstock 69. We spend the morning fixing Alec’s car and doing other errands and we hit the road at 2:00 p.m. We reach Bethel woods shortly before 5:00 p.m. We park and enjoy the landscape. Beautiful area. It’s where Dylan’s family lived between 66 and 69. but I don’t know if the Woodstock festival took place precisely here to “force” Bob to get on stage. Anyway he never did it and left the place shortly after to escape from the crazy fans intruding in his property.
It’s all in his book ; Bob Dylan: Chronicles: v. 1
At 5:00 p.m. we spot the two black buses rolling down the road, but the parking lot is sealed. No spotting by the bus today. We still don’t have any ticket. When the Box Office opens Alec tells me we can get two front rows for 130$ each. As I believe this will be my last show I buy them. A crazy move? The only way to see Bob close is to be first row.
I would like to find a ride to Wantagh the next show, the next day. Alec won’t be able to drive me, he said. But how to know, in that crowd, who is going tomorrow? I know some fans will. It’s not exceptional for some fans to do 3 or 4 concerts in a close area.
Thousands of people, the place is packed. The proximity of N.Y. or the memory of the place?
At 9:00 p.m. we take our seats while Leon Russel is finishing his set. The seats are in the front but on the side. The front row center is almost empty. I move right in front the mike praying that no one will claim the seat. “Ladies and gentlemen…”
The front row is up and will be up all the show. Great! The best ever.
He’s doing “To Ramona” and I sing along with bob Dylan right here at his keyboard.
I scream “Blind Willie Mc Tell” and yes! He’s doing the song I love so much. I feel like crying.
He will also do “Desolation row”. I feel in paradise. Can we stop the time, please?


Bethel, New York
Bethel, New York
August 12, 2011

1.
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
2.
To Ramona
3.
Things Have Changed
4.
Tangled Up In Blue
5.
Beyond Here Lies Nothin' (Bob on guitar)
6.
Mississippi
7.
Desolation Row
8.
Cold Irons Bound
9.
Blind Willie McTell
10.
Highway 61 Revisited
11.
Simple Twist Of Fate (Bob on guitar)
12.
Thunder On The Mountain
13.
Ballad Of A Thin Man



(encore)
14.
Like A Rolling Stone
15.
All Along The Watchtower

But no, the time doesn’t stop  and already he’s back for “Like a rolling stone” and “All along the watch tower”. It brings me back to the reality of time. The little bow at the end is cute and sweet but he doesn’t look at anybody in particular, he doesn’t see. He looks happy but hardly crack a smile.


08/13
I won’t be able to take the trip to Wantagh today, I take a nap in Alec’s home.
He promised to drive me to Asbury Park  tomorrow then to the Newark airport for my flight. We’ll see.

08/14 ASBURY PARK.
We leave the house at 1:00 p.m. loaded with hope and good spirit. Alec told me it will take  two hours and a half, let say three.
The two first hours are well spirited with talks about Dylan shows and Art and music on the radio. As we approach to the point we’re stuck in a traffic jam and flooded by a pouring rain. Alec gets nervous in traffic jam; he smokes, eats, drinks… and asks the direction every time it’s possible to pull off; one, two, three times he will ask the direction but doesn’t seam to memorize the answer. We get lost few times, that will add to the tension in the car.
We reach the Asbury Park at 6:30 p.m. It took us  five hours, a lot too much.
Alec rushes to the Convention Hall without speaking to me. I don’t get it. I buy us two tickets for 80$. General admission. That's what he forgot to tell me. With the general admission the first ones at the gates are the first ones in the front. As we’re running late we’re not in the front. Shit!
We’re ten rows behind, standing up. For the first time on that Tour the front rows are standing up. I check my ticket, the show is supposed to start at 6:30 p.m. with Leon Russel. I check my watch it’s  8:00 p.m. I’m trying to squeeze in closer but some mean people will stop me with some bad remarks. Decidedly I hate this crowd. In the front the public is mixed; old hippies (turning into middle class yuppies) and relatively young people even some in their 20’s. I move close to some young girls, exited and enthusiastic with the new songs. Bob is close but the visibility is not always the best. Hard to move without stepping on people’s feet. The songs are nothing new but the stand up fans in front the stage seem to boost the band and Bob, who looks surprised, in front of him, strait to the public. His eyes are closed, hurt by the spot lights. Why doesn’t he wear his dark glasses?
On “Highway 61” he changed slightly the rhythm which crack a smile on Donnie’s face and Bob looking at him broadly smiles. There is a definite communication between these two. Donnie looking at his Boss with admiration. I even surprise a look of admiration from Tony Garnier, standing up on his bass and seeming “alive” for the first time of the Tour. Bob moves to the mike for “Simple twist of fame”. It’s like he can’t stop laughing inside but he tries hard to control himself. Happy at last?
I recognize quickly one song after another. He will do “Blind Willy Mc Tell”. The magic is not the same, I can’t dance! I like the New Orleans tempo as I will never be tired of “Beyond here lies nothing”(my favorite from this Tour). “Simple twist of fate” is sweet. “Mississippi” could be swapped for “Desolation row”, “Summer days” still moves me. “Ballad of a thin man” is theatrical, the echo being more tempered now than in the beginning of the Tour.
Bob being in a good spirit I expect an encore more surprising. But no! the usual. “Like a rolling stone”  with a good public back up, an “All along the watch tower” that seems to end up the show abruptly, too short. I wait for “Blowing in the wind”, but they started late and it’s time for Bob to go to bed!
“Bye, bye Bobby. Good night!”.


Asbury Park, New Jersey
Convention Hall
August 14, 2011

1.
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat (Bob on keyboard)
2.
To Ramona (Bob on keyboard)
3.
Things Have Changed (Bob center stage with harp)
4.
Tangled Up In Blue (Bob center stage with harp)
5.
Beyond Here Lies Nothin' (Bob on guitar, Donnie on electric mandolin)
6.
Mississippi (Bob on keyboard, Donnie on electric mandolin)
7.
High Water (For Charley Patton)
(Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on banjo)
8.
Summer Days (Bob on keyboard)
9.
Blind Willie McTell (Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on banjo)
10.
Highway 61 Revisited (Bob on keyboard)
11.
Simple Twist Of Fate (Bob on guitar)
12.
Thunder On The Mountain (Bob on keyboard)
13.
Ballad Of A Thin Man (Bob center stage with harp)



(encore)
14.
Like A Rolling Stone (Bob on keyboard)
15.
All Along The Watchtower (Bob on keyboard)



For five days I had not been able to hang by the bus but I had front rows center and after all I could see him closer and with no shame, look strait at his face.
I’m anonymous and that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

We decide Alec and myself to take a motel room for the night and tomorrow he will drive me to Newark Airport for my flight back to Paris.



Back home.
I participated, as a public, to 21 concerts over 28  during the Bob Dylan 2011 Tour in the United States from July 14 to August 14.
After 25 years of "separation" my admiration and love for a great artist has not diminished. I now call him the "Picasso of modern music" and I wish him, as Pablo, to finish his days in this world as late as possible doing what he loves most in the world; do his Art for his audience.
My dream was to meet him as in "the good old days", but times have changed.
Jimmy Callahan is no longer my friend bodyguard. Howard Alk who had invited me to the studio in Santa Monica is gone, the studio is now closed. Bob Meyers is no longer the " luggage man " and Klydie is no longer there to support Bob.
There is always that nagging question about the rationale and effectiveness of his personal safety. Mr X.(the security man) and Barron Tabura (the bodyguard) left me no chance to approach him.
Boss’ paranoia or security’s paranoia. At times, perhaps they have made the situation too "dramatic". The four fans in Evansville would  have not "injured" him, unless what he didn’t want was the insistent look on his 70 years old GrandPa’s face.

Besides the autograph for the little boy in Nashville, no autograph, no direct contact with the fans during this tour of 28 concerts. Isn’t it  part of the "contract" as an artist?
Has he been too abused and disillusioned by autograph re-sellers?
Security does not seem the real reason because many times in recent years some fans jumped on stage without being interrupted by the guards. And what if those fans had been "armed"?
Is it a bullet-proof vest he wears under his jacket?
The message is clear "buy tickets and come see the concerts, the rest is my private life." Even the stage door.
I can not understand why he spends so much time in this black bus, with tinted windows, with no natural light. Does he ever leave his hotel room?
I know he liked to test his "invisibility" by walking in the cities where he was supposed to play in the evening. He was not such  an Hermit as said (I had seen him several times in Berne, Montreal, San Francisco, Santa Monica). And today? I don’t think he changed so much. Why Bobby? Why so lonely?
I just wanted to spend some time talking about painting and painters. I had no camera. During all these 'actions' and these brief encounters, I have never taken a single photo of him or with him. I have asked for an autograph only once, in 86, on a book he said he loved ; "bringing it all back home."
My approach was not “correct”?
To those who remind me that John Lennon was murdered by a fan (and it was the only Rock Star I know of) I would say
1) it was not during a Tour, but in front of his private property
2) the Rock Stars who died young were not killed but they killed themselves before reaching 30 : Janis Joplin, Jimmy Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse ... died of loneliness?

Responsibility is never too clear, perhaps equally, the paparazzi, the “business men who drink my wine”, the fans too 'obsessed' (as Weberman).
Who Killed Davey Moore?
Is to be listen to again.

The handicapped child in Phoenix was not a threat, why the guards don’t distinguish between 'good' and 'evil'? Bob him, made the distinction in Nashville for the child in the front row.
He did for me in the past.
Why so much hostility, why so much brutality?
As pointed out some fans: the fans buy tickets for the concerts that will pay the manager, the bodyguard, the musicians ... a little respect!

Having said that and hoping that the European team in 2011 will be different and less brutal.

I also went to the United States to check out the situation of this country "in economic crisis".
Given the constant traffic and the number of cars circulating the environmental awareness is far from won. And I went through many miles.
Given the number of people rushing into the casinos to lose money the economic crisis does not touch some part of the population (not yet!).
I approached quite closely two population groups: Greyhound passengers and the Bob Dylan public. Completely dissociated.
-The Greyhound population is mostly "colored" African Americans and Chicanos and some very poor "white" (teenagers with children). Obese (mostly) and uneducated (many Chicanos do not speak English) but generally friendly and supportive.
-The Bob Dylan audience, mostly white, mostly old 60’s, middle class (in terms of clothing and cars), nostalgic (in terms of reactions to the 60’s songs), paranoid (in terms of lack of success in finding cars to bring me back to the center of the cities after the concerts), who come to concerts to see or review a "Living Legend".
In recent years many of these fans took part in several concerts (sometimes in the wake of the same tour).

What makes Bob Dylan also  a specific performer ; the number of concerts viewed by each of his most fanatic fans; the BobCats. It is not uncommon for some to have participated in over 100 concerts (in my case, not unique).
This may explain the lack of attention of some fans who go to a concert as to a party; drink, eat and talk.
We can’t find the attention and respect of the 60’s anymore, which I regret.
Dylan is aware that some of the audience follows him, especially when sites are close by. Why did he not  change radically the list of songs played in those concerts? His repertoire would enable it without problem.
Personally I'm a little tired of hearing "Like a Rolling Stone", especially when the words do not mean to much for the public anymore. Similarly for "Highway 61" or even the hymn to peace "Blowing in the Wind", that unfortunately the Americans associate  with the Vietnam War (which the song does not mention).

A peculiarity of Bob Dylan is also something new : with the "old"  making “new” songs, either by the lyrics (forgotten or sometimes mixed, sometimes changed) either by the music (fortunately for
some, a little less for others). Making it difficult to recognize by the public or hard to sing along. But what makes Tours and Shows interesting and never boring.

Despite the difficulties of travel and the “Blues” striking me at times, this 2011 U.S.A. Tour was rewarding and each concert as "A Shot of Love."
The sentence lighting up my mood :
"Ladies and Gentlemen a Columbia Recording Artist; Bob Dylan."
At that moment I knew I had reached the end of the search for the day (to be inside the concert hall) and that I will see appearing, on my right, the Artist that I admire more than any other, the “Picasso of modern music” .

The evening ended with a general
"Bye, bye Bobby, Good night!".
Then back to reality ...