Monthly Archives: February 2010

Bobs and Ends

Garnered from Garnier: Last week, Frank Beacham talked to Bob Dylan’s long-time bassist Tony Garnier, and reported on what Tony had to say about that show at the White House on February 9th. As far as the single-song performance, what Tony is quoted as saying implies that there only ever was one song under consideration — which contradicts other things we’d heard, and also lends weight to the theory (proposed earlier by a reader) that Dylan’s lingering on stage at the end was only in order to gauge whether a second take was called for. Continue reading “Bobs and Ends” »

Vatican’s L’Osservatore Romano disses Bob Dylan

So, they’re saying Bob Dylan was “snubbed” by the Vatican’s “official” list of ten great pop milestones

The Holy See’s top ten includes the 1982 album Thriller by Jackson, the video for which shows the late singer as a zombie dancing with other ghouls in a graveyard, and Pink Floyd’s meditation on time, death, mental illness and consumer greed, The Dark Side of the Moon.
The Beatles also make the list with Revolver, perhaps their most drugs-influenced, psychedelic album from 1966. In the song Eleanor Rigby Father McKenzie writes “the words of a sermon that no one will hear”. Continue reading “Vatican’s <EM>L’Osservatore Romano</EM> disses Bob Dylan” »

One more time

One last post about this White House thing. Here’s some notes from reader Sean S. on the previously mentioned clip that shows the awkward ending of Bob Dylan’s performance:

I have examined this clip like it is the Zapruder film and have two working hypotheses. First, Bob was looking for the green light to start playing the second song he had planned on doing. Second, Bob was not going to play a second song; He was looking to the director to make sure that he did not need to do a second take. Continue reading “One more time” »

A false clock tries to tick out my time

If, like me, you didn’t see the live webcast of that event at the White House on Tuesday, then you probably have not seen the awkward moments after Bob Dylan finished The Times They Are A-Changin’. There’s been speculation that he expected to do another song, and got the thumbs down from somebody off stage. However, the organizers have reportedly said that Dylan was only ever scheduled to do one song, and further that “the show was scripted to a T.”

Hmmm. Well, an enterprising character Continue reading “A false clock tries to tick out my time” »

Following up on Bob Dylan at the White House the other night

PBS has now posted a variety of clips of Tuesday night’s show at the White House, including Bob Dylan’s performance at this link. (Looks pretty darned dark on my screen; maybe they’re cutting back on their carbon emissions at the White House by keeping the lights low. Or maybe Bob just wanted it dark, since it doesn’t seem to be the same way with other performers.)

I’ve already given my review of his performance based on the audio, and there’s nothing to alter after seeing it. Call me crazy, but it continues to make the hair stand up on the back of my neck. Continue reading “Following up on Bob Dylan at the White House the other night” »

Bob Dylan at the White House last night

Well, all I know is that if I had Bob Dylan over to my house, I’d want him to do at least three songs. I guess there will be plenty of speculation regarding why things went down as they did at the White House last night, for the event titled “A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement.”

Bob Dylan performed one song, The Times They Are A-Changin’, a gentle acoustic version with his guitar, Tony Garnier’s stand-up bass, and with someone who has not been positively identified on piano. What do I think of it? I think that the adjective “elegiac” has never been more apt. I think it was an absolutely tremendous, epic, genuinely haunting and beautiful performance. And it gets better for me every time I replay it. Continue reading “Bob Dylan at the White House last night” »