I missed a special event down the peninsula that my pal Karin was involved with last night because we were at the Bill Graham Memorial Civic Auditorium for a joint (heh heh. The SMOKE in the building!) concert with Mark Knopfler (who was excellent) and Bob Dylan (who was sounding very much like Dr. John).
Back during the first Live Aid (1985), our daughter Anne came in from watching part of the concert and said, “But who was the funny-looking guy who can’t sing?” We were able to guess correctly without much trying.
Dylan’s voice is raspier. His range is abbreviated. He’s changed his music to reflect those factors. I could, every once in a while, recognize a lyric and realize he was, f’rex, singing “Highway 61″ or “Like A Rolling Stone.” But when you’re straining to hear lyrics and it takes you a good twenty seconds to recognize he’s singing “Blowin’ In The Wind” =despite= the fact you’re hanging around at the back of the venue for the predictable encore and you are willing to lay bets that the predictable encore will be “Blowin’ In The Wind” being as it’s an election year … well, that says something.
He sounded so much like Dr. John it’s as though he’s been taking pointers. But he’s in fine shape. Looked good. Was obviously having a good time. Fine fettle. Good musicians backing him.
And there’s nothing wrong with sounding like Dr. John.
But I’d seen Dr. John at The Independent a few days after my birthday in August and hadn’t been expecting him or a Dylan who sounded like him last night.
We bumped into the illustrious William T. Quick et compagnon whilst waiting for Muni to deliver us home. They, too, had been at the concert albeit in upper crust seats rather than standing with the plebes on the general admission floor. Animated dissection of the concert followed and continued on Muni for two stops, where we disembarked and caught a surface-street bus to the bottom of the hill.
Up the hill and down again and home, with memories.