Conversations With Robin

June 19, 2008

 

Conversations With Robin

Robin Mark and R.E. Prindle

Conversations continued from Post:  Lipstick Traces Part IX: Greil Marcus

 

     OK, OK, OK.  I’m getting it, took a while.  STONE.  Everybody must get stoned.  What’s your mother’s maiden name, Bob?  Stone.  Right.  Dylan might be tongue tied.  I certainly was.  Still am to a certain extent.  But, I think one place to start is the religious conflict he had to endure.

     His father, Abe, was a fundamentalist religious weirdo.  Just because one is Jewish doesn’t mean you can’t be as religiously weird as Mike Huckabee.  For Christ’s sake, Bob believes the Bible is literally the word of God.  Somebody recorded his rants between songs and published them.  Don’t have the book as yet but I’ve read a couple of exerpts.  I already know all that crap.  Spent much youthful time among the Nazarenes and other weird outfits.  They had me for a while but I threw them off.  The taste still lingers though.  Bob apparently hasn’t.  God, how can anyone believe that crap.

     Beattie in Thompson’s book say Bob sampled the various churches as well as attending Jewish sabbath.  Yes, I can believe that.  So he’s got a father who’s king of B’nai B’rith and ADL and a controlling mother who’s quieen of Hadassah.  As if this isn’t enough when he turns thirteen his old man straps him to the torture rack, pries his eyelids open with toothpicks and bombards the poor little bastard with Lubavitcher bullroar. 

     And then…and then, they send him off to be preached Zionist poppycock for a month or two every summer for four years.  I can’t tell you how much I hated church camp.  I mean, I can, but maybe later.

     Apart from the religious issue then we have the personalities of Abe and Beattie.  I got a vaguely uncomfortable mother feeling about Beattie from Thompson’s Main Street.  I wouldn’t say I didn’t like her but I probably would have been very respectful and kept my distance if she had been the mother of my best friend. 

     So then, how does Bob tell her and Abe how he feels?  Can’t just speak right up to his parents, who can?  Consider the successive titles:  Bringing It All Back Home and Highway 61 Revisited.  Like all artists Bob can combine several different influences into one song or even one line.  Highway 61 is nowhere near Hibbing which is situated North of Duluth so if Highway 61 figures in anywhere it’s down at Redwing or perhaps the run back and forth to Minneapolis.

     It is mere coincidence that Highway 61 continues to the Mississippi Delta.  Has nothing to do with Bob’s thoughts.  He can’t express himself plainly so he has a couple accusatory poses photographed looking straight at Abe and Beattie and goes into rants like ‘God said to Abraham…’

     All that’s possible.

     I’ve been reading on Bob’s religious odyssey in Restless Pilgrim: The Spiritual Journey Of Bob Dylan by Scott M. Marshall and Marcia Ford and also Marshall’s solo piece from the web on Jewsweek.  Very enlightening stuff.  Sounes and Heylin could have blended it into their biographies and given some sense to his later years.

     The guy actually believes the Bible stuff literally.  When he says:  God said to Abraham… he means it.  He thinks it actually happened.  I spent a lot of time with those people in my yout’.  Been there, done that.  No thank you.

     I am getting clearer on why I thought the Middle Period was so entrancing though.  Still don’t forgive myself but I was there so I suppose I had to go through it.

63 Responses to “Conversations With Robin”

  1. Jacob Says:

    Robin,

    I have the book of Bob’s gospel raps for sale on amazon.com right now if you’re interested. The book is called “Saved! the Gospel Speeches of Bob Dylan”

    Here’s the link –

    http://www.amazon.com/Saved-Gospel-Speeches-Dylan-Hanuman/dp/0937815381/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1213967757&sr=1-1

    Mine is the cheapest available ($39.50) from the “new and used” page – my store name is ottenfeld713.

    Jacob

  2. Dovid Says:

    Hi, I’m a fundmentalist religious wierdo too. I’ve done a fundamentalist religious ‘take-off’ of Like a Rolling Stone and you can read the lyrics by using this link: http://kernersongs.com/LandYoudBeShown.htm

    All the best,
    Dovid

  3. reprindle Says:

    Not bad,David. Nicely done. Good meter.

  4. Tim Says:

    Wow dude….
    You sure are open minded. Please note the sarcasm. Seeing the world through your church camp experiences…if you don’t get to be happy …nobody gets to be happy.
    Wow …you did the Bible trip…I was getting ready to read it…but being you’ve so influenced me…guess I’ll skip it.
    Wouldn’t want to get messed up like Bob.

  5. reprindle Says:

    Tim: Sarcasm is just another way of never having to say you’re sorry. Use it all the time myself. I approve. Open minded? I’m not religious enough to have to be open minded; I’ve got science to keep me warm. Note the sarcasm.

    This is the twenty-first century Tim, we’ve moved on from primitive religious excitement dating back to the age of Aries into the full light of knowing or, at least, of almost knowing. Look at it like God has given us the intellect to look beyond the veil. The universe in a grain of sand. Know what I mean?

    Like Bob I’ve sat in the pews through them all and came out laughing. No offense, I’m just not religious. Are you open minded enough to accept that?

  6. JAUNTY HUMPHREYS Says:

    BOB LOVES JESUS …….. GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?

  7. reprindle Says:

    Yes. That’s one of the reasons I wrote the essay.

  8. Rich/Luthsem Says:

    He could’ve mellowed in his old age and now be a more liberal minded Christian or a Jew that loves Jesus. I mean he praised Obama recently LOL

  9. reprindle Says:

    Rich: Don’t think I’m concerned about Bob’s individual choices. I’m just trying to work out and understand where he’s at and why. This guy was big influence on my life in the sixties but I’m not finding that much there now. After that the question is what he’s trying to do. His synthesis of Judaism and Christianity is absolutely correct from my point of view. If you take a religious stance.

    If he thinks of himself as a prophet trying to bring the world to one god and therefore peace as he’s stated his position is as ridiculous as those Christians who believe they can convert Jews.

    The human mind has moved beyond religion which is a relic of earlier thought processes. So, while I have no trouble with Bob or anyone choosing Jesus, which as a religious choice is a very good one, that one chooses religion and then becomes a ‘spokesman for his generation’ is, I think, misguided. Let us hope we all mellow. Thanks for commenting, Rich.

  10. R M Says:

    Wow!! This turned into quite a Tower of Babel!! (Excuse the “religious” pun.) Hadn’t expected it. I will read the religious rants later; the idea scares me a little, presently. And after the absolute DOUBT of “Every Grain of Sand” when he says that sometimes he hears footsteps accopanying him, and other times, he realizes that he’s just alone — well, it seems like he ended the whole period kind of where he started except that it helped him in some way. I dunno.
    It is hard for me to believe that someone apparently as “good with words” (thanks, Ms. Baez), could take the Bible “literally” and not as the wonderful literary piece that is simply and wonderfully is. But as for our head Blogger hear, look, you don’t have to agree with everything someone says on the ‘net to have wonderful and thought-provoking conversations. That, to me, is what the ‘net was always all about. I think some people forgot.
    From my experience, I see Abe as the typical small-town “joiner.” I remember asking my dad when I was little if I could be a “Brownie,” and he was oddly adamant: “we are NOT ‘joiners.'” I was too young, you would think, to understand this, but I did. As I said before, when I went to a school where I was the only girl in the 4th through 6th grades, a Mr. Fernandez simply included me in both Scouts (“Boy”!!!!!)and the little kids’ soccer team. I was banned from official participation in both, and so only on our campus could I participate. Fernandez, a Canadian, thought they were crazy to do this with little kids: he said it was foreign to him, and stupid. And I WAS the best goalie! But I guess I remembered that I wasn’t supposed to be “a joiner” anyway and accepted it. Bob’s “Abe” to whom God said “kill me a son,” WAS a joiner: he joined anything and everything there was to join! Remember his union stuff? Doesn’t seem the type, but he was “a joiner,” so he did what was expected. Bob was supposed to do what was expected. Not be a “high priest” or Rabbi or anything, but to be a “good boy” even as a man, go to as many temples and churches as he could (according to Mom, pleased as punch), and keep that huge “family Bible” in the middle of the front room of his house. She seemed domineering in the Toby interviews and had set and strong ideas about what she expected from her sons. But she’s not the “sweetie” “Yiddishe Mama” that Toby thought she was: when Abe took the boys out to the local Hibbing resturant (sp?), for “Sunday Dinner,” she wasn’t there!! That one thing jumps out of the book like a spring! It stuns. There’s something terribly wrong with the picture, and once you start pulling on a string, the whole fabric unfurls.
    And it’s that “unfurling” that became Bobby/Bob/Zimmy/Dillon/Dylan’s whole life and work (which as time goes on, become one: not reducing the artist to the life, but the one shining a light on the other. There’s a difference. Hell, after all these years, I just figured out Elvis LAST NIGHT. Will explain later. Let’s just say: listen again to “Never Been To Spain” and think of how many times (too many to count) he said “soon” or “next year” or “definitely AM coming” or worst of all, “ask Him” pointing toward his Keeper, Col. Tom. I realized that he was NEVER jealous of the Beatles’ fame or work (he said he’d heard their stuff a year before the rest of the country, and dug it — and he truly appreciated the Stones and their blues orientation, it is clear from so many interviews). NO: he WAS jealous of one thing: there they were, freely sitting in his living room, and he knew, even then, that he would never be able to sit in any of theirs, in England (later on, Lennon wanted to stay here, and fought for it: Elvis must have thought him mad, but also envied his freedom to fight for where HE wished to live or work when he could not. As I closed the book of interviews (hundreds of them), it hit me: Stockholm Syndrome!! After a while. I mean, yeah, he pulled a con on Nixon and everything, and tried to see Hoover ARMED (bought special shoes so he would have to bend over to tie the laces and the gun would fall out! Hoover, being who he was, felt the note was WAY over the top, and smelled a rat. He was right. He didn’t want to harm him: just scare the p— out of him – that’s all. Dylan rarely went in for such adventures because he IS free to kick the dirt off his shoes and go and DO what he wants, where he wants. With some regrets, sure, but not much. But some major ones. I am sure everyone here has hear “Diamonds and Rust” and has pictured him in that “phonebooth in the midwest.” One of the most desolate shards of imagery in the last 50 years of song. ‘Cause you know it’s true. She ends on a “bitter” note, but you know what? After you listen, you realize, she hung up the phone in a nice, warm home. And he walked away alone, at night, outdoors, from that phone booth in the middle of nowhere. Still a rolling “Stone.” Damned to live out whatever destiny his mother and father carved for him in their fervent indifference to him as an individual person, and not as the “joiner” they expected to do as expected. Sit behind a counter and age . . . or, as he imagined, become a miner!! (He really did see this as a very possible future. Why, I don’t know.) He hated the “old folks home” (the College) where he had what he called “a phony scholarship that I never had.” That blows my mind; what the heck is THAT?
    Anyway, he realized, young, that he just did not belong in this place. And, no matter the cost, no matter what parts of his soul he needed to sell, he left and became a ROLLING “Stone,” not a still and unmoving one. Was he happy? Of course not. Virtually NEVER. But he was under no obligation to “join” ANYTHING: “folk” music (or whatever they thought they were doing), then he turns his back on harder rock and goes “country” and then after this, he tries on Englebert Humperdink on for size.
    More later.
    RM
    P.S. — Will read other stuff above.

  11. R M Says:

    Oh, some clarifications. I am a little busy lately and rushed for various reasons. First and foremost, I was NOT speaking TO “our head blogger here” (spelling correction); I was really aiming at the sarcasm and “dissing” that seems to be so common in blogging. I mean, I was defending his right to say what he feels he needs to say (so long as it’s constitutionally protected speech, and it’s intriguing, well . . . that’s what the ‘net is HERE FOR), then why jump in and whomp him in the mouth and so on? I mean, if you do not care for a conversation, either return with a good post, or go to another blog or group. See, I used to use Usenet and newsgroups, and they had a lot of “rules” or at least you weren’t supposed to restrict speech, flame people, or use a group for a lark (a “troll” post, in other words . . . something to throw the group off its track – not to enrich the conversation, but actually to destroy it all completely). My thing is that people see Dylan’s background and its effect on his work in ways that are directly related to their own frames of reference. That cannot be helped. Gosh, there’s one sociologist — not very well liked by the other ones, as you can imagine — who claimed that no actual “data” existed! Yeah, really. He did a series of what he called “demonstrations” (some leaping beyond the boundaries of “ethics”) that clearly showed that people will “make sense” out of stuff that never made any sense by design. It was a nasty trick: mean, actually, but it worked. It showed that he had a solid point. I do not agree totally with him, either, but I do think that people do bring their own worlds to the worlds presented in various forms of culture. And that is why the “religious” nature of Abe Zimmerman could be substituted by something else! Tiger Woods had a golf club placed in his hands at NINE MONTHS OLD!!!!!!!!! It could have been a bible, or something “religious,” but it was a putter or whatever. My point is that it’s the *atmosphere* of the “Stone home” that strikes as most significant, rather than the particular “club” with which young Bobby was batted about. Do you see what I am saying? And, since I have little or no experience of a religious upbringing, I see other things in, for instance, Toby Thompson’s “Positively Main Street” book. I see a veneer of “oh, how NICE and ‘well-liked'” the Zimmermans were . . . when deeper research shows plenty of “not-so-nice” stuff that went down. (At some point between ’58 and the summer of ’59, by his own mother’s admission (!!!), Bobby Zimmerman was literally sent away, either to a reform school, as in the song “Walls of Red Wing” (for which there is stunning corroboration when you delve into the history of the place, and Bob is never mentioned: “farewell to ‘the minutes’; they threaten you with it.” That totally baffled me, until I came upon a 1989 study of two reformatories: one in Missouri (sp?), and Red Wing in Minnesota, and found out EXACTLY what “the minutes” were. I also saw lots of pictures that were kind of shocking in their resemblance to the song, and in that they were very tiny details that could come ONLY “from inside the grounds, behind the walls of Red Wing.” Not to mention the sarcasm of the title itself: “the ‘Walls’ were barbed wire; the gate was cast iron.” And the kicker of ’em all: he only sang it live once or twice in ’63 (and I believe it was once, but I could be mistaken), and the one time of which I am sure, is the ONE time that he flew his parents into New York, to see a concert. The were, of course, right up front, as I recall from accounts (correct me on this if you know more about where exactly they sat in Carnegie Hall), and he picked then, and just about ONLY then, to ever sing that song in public. Right in their faces. Since we know he was sent away, either to the reformatory, and/or to some place in Pennsylvania called “Devereaux” (sp? again — sorry: I’m a lousy speller on the fly). I’m beginning to thing that it may be possible that BOTH accounts might be true!! Ever, think that, as we muddle and ramble our way toward an answer? He’s clear that in Red Wing, you could be “no older ‘n 17,” so AFTER high school graduation, unless they played around with his unusual birthday just before graduation, would be OUT, since it is the very first thing he sings: “the age of the inmates, I freely remember.” And it’s a MEMORY, not a “topical song,” which by nature is contemporaneous with the early 1960s, and he’s careful to be clear that he is NOT singing about the early 1960s, but a “memory.” HIS memory. “I remember quite freely. And that this memory came “from INSIDE THE GROUNDS” behind the Walls of Red Wing. (Always listen to a song, rather than just the lyrics or sheet music. Trust me on this, ok? I’m also an Elvis fan, as anyone who has read my earlier posts must know, so I know how recording artists can totally mess around with the lyrics of a song until the original lyrics are just plain obliterated. So many people have been hammered with the notion that “Elvis NEVER wrote any songs,” and while this is LITERALLY not true (long story regarding an elderly Cole Porter feeling violated by what he must have visualized as an “obscene” young upstart having the audacity to write new lyrics to “Begin the Beguine” (or however you spell it). Gosh, if you read the liner notes to big 60s box, you’ll find that Red only even entered the picture AFTER Elvis was turned down and Charlie wrote a cruddy new melody and it had to be “fixed up” to well, fit. This was Elvis’s second foray into songwriting, but after the rejection came in the mail, he was so pierced through the heart that he never “officially” wrote again. But, unofficially, he changed songs all the time, especially after the “comeback.” Sometimes for laughs, and sometimes to dramatize his post-divorce, drug addled suffering. Dylan, if indeed he ever knew the true story, would have simply said “you SENT IN THE FORM???!!!” Hell, Dylan stole melodies and lyrics all the time: Woody suggested it, actually!! It’s part of the process.
    Soon, Bob was mostly on his own (don’t tell Chuck Berry, though!). And in “Red Wing,” he was so very careful with the lyrics. Can you imagine Abe and Beatty’s shock and horror when he sang this thing to their faces? In the oh so respectable Carnegie Hall? They came in expecting to be swelling with pride. OUR SON, CARNEGIE HALL!! And then, he lowered the boom. Betcha they made a hasty retreat! Was it cruel? Sure. But no matter WHERE they sent him, or when (and I now inclined to believe it was possibly both places and two different summers: you see, young Bobby soon became legend for his little “sticky fingers” problem. And even more recently, he told Bob Shelton when he was at least in his mid-forties that, “without remorse” (the writer’s words, and he was a very friendly writer!) that he was surprised to be “kicked out of Denver for robbin’ a cat’s house.” He thought it was so trivial to commit a robbery. And this was a man with almost grown kids: lots of ’em! So, clearly, despite their small town “joiner” respectability, he became its opposite. And after a nasty divorce, and other serious personal issues in ’77 and ’78, he became “SAVED.” Kind of the last resort of many lost souls (certainly not everyone! Please do not take offense; I know many sincere Christians, etc. who are by no means “lost souls,” but a lot of people who suddlenly think that Jesus has made their “room move,” may well be having some problems. He has freely stated that when he heard the news of Elvis’s death in August, ’77, he spent a week alone, speaking to NO ONE. He called it a “breakdown.” And I figure that if you can remain out of all human contact, save perhaps for the TV set, for a week, you got some serious issues. I just lost perhaps the closest person in my whole life, but though I suffered greatly, I can tell you that I will never be able to say that I “broke down” and spoke to no one!!! That is kind of beyond extreme. Everyone and their brother-in-law tried to get a quote in Rolling Stone mag., while Bob was literally blown away: his mind blown. I know he had a recent divorce, etc., but still. And not long after, when I finally get to see him in concert, and I travel from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham (that’s not that easy, ya know!), Bob sings ONLY RELIGIOUS SONGS. And not even ones we know! Only the stuff on the album. No, of course I did not “boo.” I would never do that to anyone; it’s cruel. But I could see he wasn’t kiddin’ around, either. Now, I’m glad I caught him at that weird time. I saw the “real” Bob: Robert Allen Zimmerman (“Dillon,” then “Dylan”) in some kind of mind-storm, still fighting with his strange youth.
    I could go on. Young Bobby did some strange things when he came to New York, and before that, too. Things he did not necessarily have to do. But he wanted to. And it’s very sad in retrospect.
    I’ll never forget one lyric from those days: “men will beg God to kill them, and they won’t be able to die.” I know it’s Biblical, but it was also straight from the heart at that time, and perhaps at earlier times.
    So that’s why I have to stick with those Hank Williams lines: “so help your brother along the way, no matter where he starts – The same God that made you, made you, too, these Men With Broken Hearts.”
    And the only way to ever comprehend is to go back to the house where the former Beatty Stone and her mom, Mrs. Stone lived while young Bobby grew up. Clearly, a house of “Stone.” A place where “truth just twists” and where remorse or real feeling: LOVE, just went the way of “complete evaporation to the core.”
    Loved the Jerry Reed tomfoolery, by the way. Perfect in its way. He was giving his new pal a sincere message about his so-called “friends.” Excellent. And, hey, it wasn’t covered by the guy about whom it was written (sorta). So he did get the message! You MUST read about Lamar Fike in Al Kooper’s new book!! Can you imagine Dylan’s terror of what “stories” he was going to bring back to Memphis?!? But, a dude gives you a Beautiful Caddy, and a HUGE bodyguard for a safe and luxurious session, so how can you say a word? You just, uh, well, PRAY! Hahhahahahahaha!
    Best to all,
    RM
    P.S. — There’s a hilarious tale of Lamar’s “actions” during a wild fight between Elvis and his mom in the kitchen at Graceland, with Lamar ending up UNDER THE TABLE: saving the peas from harm by eating them all!!!!!!!! (You see, Gladys Presley did not recognize “21” as adulthood . . . or probably never would see him as anything but her boy, who should stay home and be safe: forever. Well, guess what? Lamar is still eating, and she and her boy rest together at home, forever. And he never will see his next grandchild, on the way, last I heard. Dylan, were he normal, would count his blessings. But it’s “life and life only.”)
    Kudos, fellas! And thanks again for the title of this blog within a blog!!!!!!!
    I will never, ever hear “To Ramona” the same way ever again, especially when he tells her to dry her watery eyes. The song has been a great, great comfort to me in this most difficult of times. So thanks, too, Bob, for writing and singing it!

  12. R M Says:

    Sorry, ole Hank: it’s “. . . the same God that made you, made him, too: these Men With Broken Hearts.”

    There are mistakes, but that was too big.
    Hello there!
    RM

  13. R M Says:

    Oh, one more thing: on “Under The Red Sky” there’s this extraordinary song, other than “TV Talkin’ . . .” and the bizarre “Handy Dandy.” It’s called “Born In Time.” It’s also about ‘TV’ in a sense, but it’s way deeper. When he says that ‘you married young, just like your Ma,” you are first confused, until you realize that it’s DYLAN, and not just anybody. See, the “marriage” was through the “blue light” of the black and white TV screen!! The rest of it is then quite transparent.
    “Born in Time” is important, because any rock star (even the first!) will have fans that are approximately 4 to 6 years younger than themselves. The reporters are usually TWENTY years older than either of them, or more. Dylan and that individual in the blue light of the black and white device were both “born in time” and he also writes something lovely that I forgot about “dreams.” Like I said, the exact wording is important, so it’s better to look it up than for me to misspeak it. It’s really quite lovely. And it shows that “marriage” is a complex notion that old folks like those reporters in the bad old days simply could not comprehend, to save their skins . . . they could not. It was meaningless to them.
    But I found something freaky regarding “Handy Dandy” in a book of “Every Word Spoken (and documented by recording, generally)” about that fellow about whom I have virtually every book. There are several; this one is excellent, and very hard to find lately. There’s an old girl/friend, now a woman. And he says – on a telephone recording, “you got a gun? I’ll give you one.” On another page, he offers something else: “you got a [I forget what]? I’ll give you one.” He’s turned down each time, but that is NOT my point! You know my point. Since the book – and those recordings – appeared AFTER “Handy Dandy,” I was stunned, to say the least. I can think of only one explanation. I mean, this was originally a real cloak-and-dagger operation of extreme planning and secrecy, with Jerry giving the hotline number to “a girl” and the girl passing it on to Dylan, and then Jerry stops at Dylan calling very frequently . . . beyond that, NO ONE was EVER supposed to find out anything further – EVER, but that can never happen, of course. I have stuff from Memphis, written by Memphians, who reported what they saw, and these people had NOTHING to do with one another, except for their age, and a desire to see the legendary “Chicsa” where Dewey Phillips made history. And sometime prior to the writing of “Went to See the Gypsy,” these people, then teens, got WAY more than they bargained for. Watched quietly ’till they grew up and told their stories in Memphis ‘zines, and at the various meetings that are held every August, some of them in fancy Memphis St. and some in the old Howard Johnsons’ (which is gone now, I think: if not, please correct me). I spent quite a bit of time down there between ’79 and ’84, and also returned from time to time in later years. The wild-flying media rumor at the time about the funeral was false, totally. Dylan was NOT THERE. Period. (After all, if “Born in Time” is any indicator, he had earlier “married” the dude!! {joke!!} But, seriously, it is a beautiful song, and very touching.
    Bye now,
    Robin

  14. reprindle Says:

    Robin: Good news. I was born again today. Baptized by full immersion. I went out for my daily walk taking a new route. Why did I take a new route today? Why this particular day? I don’t know. I can only say I was guided by the hand of, who else, God. His invisible hand.

    I drove to a part of the city that was very familiar to me but which I had never walked before although I had driven through it often. Perhaps I should have known I had a date with destiny when I parked my car and looking up saw a sign with the nubmer 1. I had found the one path the Pope said a man must walk down to be a man. I felt at one with God and Bob.

    I got out and start walking. At first everything was normal. I had my camera and began snapping my usual pictures. As I followed the sign 1 and turned the corner I began to enter a haze. As incredible as it may seem, as impossible I might say, I became lost. I tried to retrace my steps but even though I seemed to be going around in circles I never passed my car.

    Then as I looked perplexedly across the street I noticed what appeared to be a country lane leading into some woods. I knew what street I was on. In thirty years I had never noticed this lane. A country lane in the middle of the city. Perhaps I had entered a parallel universe.

    I started down this lovely lane that curved to the right. I hesitated, not certain I should go on but then I heard the sound of running water. I looked to the left and saw a little rill perhaps a couple inches deep and several inches wide. the summer drought hadn’t deepened so this rill would have been dry two or three weeks from now.

    Then I crossed the one path to check out the right side. There was steep bank overgrown with grass and weeds that prevented my seeing where the rill issued from the culvert. I saw a flash from some water so leaning forward to get better look I put my left foot out. Consciousness disappeared and I had the sensation of falling. I dropped like a rock. When I became aware again I was submerged in the waters of oblvivion in a six foot deep pool of dirty water. Aware but still dazed I sank to the bottom where my bottom met it. I bounced up and hung suspended between earth and sky. Looking up through the murky water to the seeming crust of the surface it happened. I saw the light. At that moment a single word filled my mind as though from God- BILHARZIA.

    As by inspiration I realized that if I didn’t take some positive action I would quickly be meeting my maker. With my mind screaming bilharzia my feet mysteriously found the bottom and I gave a shove up. I burst into the welcome light and air. I was saved.

    But the bank I had fallen down stood eight feet above the water. I had fallen fourteen feet. Oh, I know now I could have turned around, paddled a few feet and walked out that way but I knew God was giving me a test and I had to climb out of the hole I was in.

    The route was straight up and there were no hand holds. At this precise spot all the vegetation had disappeared. ‘Oh Lord, you’ve give me a mountain this time.’ I said out loud. The bank was undercut by the water so there was no way to at least get my feet out of the water. Finally I got my knees on the ledge. Carefully inching my way up I somehow crawled to the one path.

    I stood up, a man again. But now, I had to get back to my car. The drought was upon us, it was a sunny day. I was probably the only person in the city who now knew of this pool which would explain why and how I was soaking wet in a virtual desert. I had to walk down the street drenched, dripping pools of water. While I knew I had been saved I stood unaware, since I couldn’t see myself, of the decaying vegetation that was hanging from me while specks of vegetation clung to my face and clothes. Bits of spiked blackberry bushes shot out from my hair like a crown of thorns. The filth of this world hung about me with a slightly vile scent. But I was saved, I knew it, on the one path.

    Saved I was but as I left the path for the street I looked like the Creature From The Black Lagoon stumbling down the street leaving a trail of weeds and pools of dirty water. Cars stopped, their drivers staring at me. What could I do? Realizing that I would never walk alone I walked on through this storm, head held high, with God at my side.

    Hallelujah, I found my car just where I’d left it. I’d found where I left it. I was back in this world.

    I drove back home. While I had been gone the mail man had been there. Good news on top of good news, my copy of Dave Van Ronk’s auto-biography had arrived. While I was grateful for the baptismal waters and flora God had provided I stepped into the shower and washed them off with cleaner water, combing the thorns from my hair.

    I sat down with my Dave Van Ronk and read it staight through. What a great book. What a strange day. But it wasn’t over yet.

    To sleep. To dream. Ay, there’s the rub. What strange dreams…? Well, I found out. During the night I entered a dream room in my skull in which the walls were papered with all my old dreams from thirty and more years ago. These were all the old nightmares that had haunted my nights, yea verily, even my days for decades. As I stood and watched these dreams that had terrified me they began to peel off the wall layer after layer disappearing down some memory hole until the walls were clear and shiny. Hey! If I hadn’t been born again at least I was being given a new start in life. A chance to begin again with a clean slate. Bilharzia! Hey, God, what the hell do I need with a chance to begin over again at this age? Time’s short. Thanks. Thanks a lot. Thanks for nothing.

    I’ll get back to you with more relevant material.

  15. reprindle Says:

    Robin: A key area that has to be investigated regarding Bob is the character of his family. In the first place they did seem to be very indulgent of Bob giving him things of great value in teenage terms. Only the very most well to do kids at my high school had the things Bob had although by my senior year cars were more common with the parking lot being full.

    Bob was allowed to buy a Harley 74 which was a big bike. If you know of the photo sharing site Flickr search Hibbing, Minnesota. There’s a guy from England with some good Dylan Hibbing pictures you don’t see elsewhere. One shows a young bob sitting on a friend’s Harley. Imagine a sixteen year old with a new Driver’s License astride that.

    My own photos, if you want to check, can be accessed by Googling dugwarbaby and clicking on Flickr Photos Of. Flickr’s not too good at finding its members if you use their search.

    Working sort of backwards I was not too impressed with the David Zimmerman portrayed by Toby Thompson. Of course Bob had mobilized family, firnds and apparently the whole population of Hibbing to disclose nothing about him.

    This leads to the sociologist’s favorite category of the Alpha Male. The Alpha son is the product of the Alpha female in her mother role. Alpha males are made not born. I think Bob displays characteristics of the Alpha Male so one must look closely at his relationship with his mother.

    I read where he suggested that a source for his mother could be found in Visions Of Johanna. So possibly Johanna is based on his mother.

    Another clue to his relations with his mother is his relations with women. Psychology precludes taking out one’s wrath out on one’s mother so the son punishes th women of his own generation. Of course a young boy or girl is inept in their early relations with the opposite sex but within a short space of time a pattern emerges.

    Thus key examples are Echo Helstrom, Suze Rotolo, Sara and Joan Baez. He also had long term relations with a couple of other women including his second wife. There are not too many details on the other women but Bob treated the four main women in his life shabbily. He really trashed and ruined their lives.

    Thus one can conclude that he believed his mother treated him shabbily and ruined his life. In fact he himself became shabby.

    From Thompson’s interview with her she gives the impression of being a controlling and domineering woman. Like any sensible mothers she wanted Bob to prepare for a real job but as he refused to do so both she and Abe indulgently allowed Bob to pursue what is virtually a fantasy. I have to believe that they gave him financial assistance in New York which he artfully concealed. That he succeeded so spectacularly is fantastic indeed.

    She had no qualms in sharing his glory. One is struck by the fact that Bob was her escort to an awards ceremony late in her life. Her escort! There’s some oedipal implications.

    As an Alpha mother however she had to infuse Bob with the drive to get where he wanted to go. Where his morality or lack of it came from I don’t know. I know some obvious places to look though. He was certainly a hateful bastard. That is almost universally agreed.

    So the first order as I see it is to excavate as much as possible about Mom and Dad and family life. Check out the picture of a young Abe and Beattie on Flickr. See what conclusions you can draw from dress and stance.

    What do you have on Sundays in the Zimmerman household?

  16. reprindle Says:

    Robin: Working up Beattie a little. I didn’t catch the significance of Abe taking Bob and David to Sunday dinners as you did. Let’s go for an instant to Bob’s portrayal of Ray Gooch and Chloe Kiel and keep them in the back of our mind as possible exemplars of Abe and Beattie. The significant fact being that Bob couldn’t tell whether they were lovers or brother and sister.

    I presume that Bob was Jr. High or younger when Abe took them out to Sunday dinner. It follows that Beattie had something else to do on Sundays but we don’t know what.

    Now cut to Angel Marolt telling Thompson about Mrs. Zimmerman’s furs and diamonds and Cadillac. That’s furs in the plural. Furs were really expensive back in the fifties and sixties while diamonds are pretty much priced the same all over the world. It seems likely Abe would have gotten them for her wholesale what with connections not only in business but in ADL and B’nai B’rith. Still, we’re talking about significant expenditures. Add that to Bob’s slew of motorcycles, slew mind you, his car, his amplifiers, microphones and whatever musical plus the money paid out for Bob’s accidents. That’s a big chunk of money.

    Abe was only one of three brothers in the appliance business. There could have been no business in Hibbing that could have earned so much money for a three way split of equal protions of such magnitude. Bear in mind that Abe died in May of ’68 and by October of ’68 the business was closing its doors. Say what?

    There’s something happening here but we don’t know what it is.

    What is there we know that can flesh out the picture?

  17. R M Says:

    The first “saved” post was hilarious!! Congrats. But, just last night, I must have played “You’ll Never Walk Alone” on the “repeat” button about 8 times. I love that song: what can I do?
    Anyway, your story was a gas.
    Speaking of “gas,” that very last post at the end, spoke volumes. Now, I don’t think he actually HAD a “slew” of bikes back then, but even one goes against Abe’s general character. And let’s not even talk about the mysteriously appearing and dissappearing little convertable. Like he was “giving him enough rope . . .” As for money for NYC, all I know is that they claimed that they “gave” him that year (which I take it means money?), and so I tend to immediately not believe it. I think he tried. He returned to Minnesota in the Spring, and then returned to NYC. You know by that time, he really was hurting for bucks. But asking and actually getting the money, well, that’s too different things. It’s possible, but I doubt it. He seemed still quite angry at both of them, and for a long time later. I believe they would want to see him fail, true. Have the last word, last laugh. So, who knows. But I tend to doubt that. For a long time, he just was not the boy they wanted him to be. A LONG time.
    And get this last thing: Bob is described as becoming emotional at his father’s pre-funeral gathering, so Beatty calls for David to escort him to the kitchen. HE STAYED THERE! Like he was sent, once again, East of Eden. That’s where the teacher met him, the guy who still called him “Robert.” Bob appeared to be in a strange mood, but not necessarily grief-stricken. He finally grabbed David and said “let’s go for a ride.” You can almost feel him suffocating. Terrible experience. So what does Bob do? Exactly what you would think. Next year, he returns, for . . . get this!?! His HIGH SCHOOL REUNION!!!!!! One of the weirdest tortures in American life! And of course it ends in a fight with Bob walking out. Duh. Hell, I wouldn’t go to mine unless the five million was in the bank! And even then, I’d be miserable.

    See ya,
    Robin

  18. reprindle Says:

    Robin: Thanks for enjoying ‘Saved’. Scary experience finding yourself underwater, that part actually happened. I haven’t shook the experience yet.

    As far as Bob and Abe go the more you look at it the more generous the guy appears. I don’t know if you’ve looked at my Exhuming Bob IX: Pensees 7 yet but Abe spent and spent on Beattie. I cite the Hibbing Chamber Of Commerce site where it would seem that Bob completely misrepresents his childhood a la his New Mexico road stories. I can’t believe there was more than the usual parent-child dissonance.

    Certainly there would be conflicting emotions at Abe’s death; it never hurts for parents to free you by leaving your life. First you leave home then you’re truly free of your parents. We all get old and I mean some get really old. It is quite possible that Bob supported the family from somewhere about ’64-’65 on. Abe died in June and the company was out of business by October. Sounds to me like it was a money loser for a few years anyway. Bob would have kept the company going to spare his dad embarrassment by going bust in front of the town in which he was a ‘Big Man.’ Can you imagine the good it would have done the hearts of the townspeople to see Abe go banko?

    Sure Bob had his issues but all the evidence is Abe treated him pretty well. Doesn’t change how Bob felt at the time but he didn’t have much to complain about. Compare Bob’s attitude with Jim Stark of Rebel Without A Cause and his dad with Bob and his.

    One can’t trust Beattie’s word in the interview with Thompson too far but I’m sure there’s something to what she says about Bob explaining what he thought he had to do. Mama, why are you so hard?

    I went to my twenty-fifth reunion. It wasn’t a pleasant experience but it did resolve some issues. I’ve missed all the subsequent reunions and I’ll probably miss any others I survive. Besides how long did you attend the school that gave you your diploma? How well could you have known the students? You had a tough schooling. I don’t envy you.

    Jerry Reed didn’t do the version of The Tupelo Mississippi Flash I was talking about, that was done by a group called John The Baptist. I did listen to Reed’s version but he was gross. Rewrote it and missed the point. More squirrelly thanthe Squirrel. Presley is God. Doesn’t matter what happened after ’56. He walked on water before then. Screw the army. I had to sit and wait for months in a recession waiting for a spot in the Navy and the army makes room for Elvis at the same time? Whoa, baby, something’s wrong with this picture.

  19. R M Says:

    I want to apologize to R.E. for being away for so long, but as he knows, I’ve been going through some serious personal issues. (He knows what happened, and nothing like this has ever happened to me before, so sometimes you find yourself withdrawing. Good Gawd, I finally understand why it was maybe “good” for Elvis to have been in Basic Training when it happened, and to spend the next 18 or so months just following orders and as he told his closest friends in handwritten letters “now it’s back to lying in the mud” They had him near the Siberian border! Freakin’ cold! Freezing, actually. He did NOT start his drug use there, but they gave him much greater access, and without his mother, who was the “tough one” [his “daddy” was kinda wimpy about the important things], the ” brakes were off. He was like Bob(by) Dylan in July ’66: wanting to fly over those handlebars. Only Bob got clean, and he’s with us today. Whatever anyone thinks. He’s here.
    Ever REALLY listen to “Where Teardrops Fall” — that ’89 song? It’s small, deceptively simply, and so beautiful, it’s heartbreaking. And then the album that followed (the one with “Handy Dandy,” “Wiggle, Wiggle,” etc.) was an extension, in my view. So simple, so uncomplicated that nobody understood it!!!! Ha!]
    Anyway, as I said I’m sorry, but I’ll be comin’ on back. It’s just that things are happening now that I do not understand. Not at this time in my life, anyway. See, I was one of those kids who was in kiddie school in the sixties, so all of the sturm and drang of that era hit little by little as I matured through the ’70s and ’80s (before I started getting jaded, somewhat in the ’90s). But 1968 and all of its fire: ALL of it, is still very fresh and real to me NOW. And yet, I am dealing with a personal tragedy that I was totally unprepared for. I know you had worse, and so did my mom, actually, by NOT going through this kind of thing, but still, sometimes, I am in such pain that I just withdraw for a while. My other friends have noticed, too. Then I zoom back in. It’s tough.
    Bob Dylan, despite any Oedipal exegisis we might want to do, simply did not experience this. Couldn’t have, for obvious reasons. I mean, his dad die when he was still not yet 30, and when he show SOME emotion, his mom called his brother over to escort him out of the room into the kitchen, where he me “Mr. Rolfzen” who still called him “Robert.” And would probably have been in shock to learn why he was in the kitchen in the first place, that it was not his idea!
    So, Dylan’s life is the reverse. Yet pain is still pain, even if it is the pain of being totally alone in the world, perhaps all of his life, from the start.
    It’s weird that Shelton was skeptical about the “11 pm Cowboy” stuff he told him about. I mean, gosh, it makes total sense. First, guys were still looking for him for swiping their record collections (10 of ’em, they said, right?), so he was sort of a fugitive, and then also, he felt literally “defiled” anyway, so why not? In any case, he seemed generous in splitting his take with the other kid, who undoubtedly did not look as young, and so was no draw. But things got rough, and they finally took the subway to the Villlage.
    That the guy is still cookin’ to a decent extent shows that he had strength. Maybe it’s not so bad being a ROLLING Stone, instead of a Hibbing one. Maybe I wish I WAS A ROLLING STONE, but I never was. Yeah, we moved everywhere, and I never had a hometown and went to all those schools and got the crap kicked out of me and treated like dirt my “peers,” but my folks were my friends. Often my only friends, especially in my formative years. As an adult, no matter where I lived, I talked to my mom EVERY DAY, sometimes, more than once. And now, I feel like I’ve hit with a concrete block on my head. Sometimes the pain is so unendurable that if it weren’t for Dylan and Elvis and the true greats, I wouldn’t make it at all.
    Hey, Bono wrote a great E.P. essay you may have read. I dig it. Here’s the web address of the printable version:
    http://www.elvis.com.au/presley/printer/elvis_presley_by_bono.shtml
    Gosh, check it out. Damn true, too: we’re generationally about the same, so it really socks ya.
    It’s an adventure for the “younger than Vietnam” age people (girls/women included even though they weren’t drafted) to cruise back in time through the ’60s and ’50s and early ’70s, and to dig through the rootsy music that inspired people like Elvis and Bob. Funny thing. I thought a lot about your comment on their age differnce. First of all, technically, Elvis is closer that my two cousins who are brothers, to Dylan in age, but because of his poverty, Dylan actually probably heard older stuff than Elvis, who as a child had no records, no radio (except in a truck if he got lucky), and the sometime live show that would come to Shake Rag (destroyed, Elvis later found to his horror in the ’70s, on a rare sojourn to Tupelo, by “Urban Renewal.” He lived in two black neighborhoods, and had to leave them to go to school with nicely dressed white kids while passing closer black schools. He wrote a poem at age 11 that is horrifying. “If a chicken comes into your house, you say ‘shoe, shoe’; when you get married and move into a shack, make your children’s clothes out of toe sacks.” That is the exact poem!!!!!!! It sounds like a scream of rage from a very unhappy little boy forced to go to horrible and mean school. He’s mad at his mom and dad, obviously, but too young to understand that it’s not their fault and they did their best. Vernon always worked during those years, and Gladys once got fired from the hospital sanitation job and waited in the mornings by the Mississippi bridge to pick cotton in Arkansas in a poor farm that didn’t have a machine and used only poor women, black and white. While Elvis was in HIGH SCHOOL in Memphis!!! No wonder she’d be pissed at him for buying a shirt on Beale before he made the big time!!
    Dylan’s working class experience in Hibbing gave him access to a world of music and art and literature and history that far outstripped Elvis, and so actually, in many ways, even as a young boy in the early 50’s, he was listening to Hank Williams, live and ALIVE. Elvis had to only HOPE he had the chance to do so. The first club he played, he took his Daddy’s only sportcoat: a worn out gray job that was pathetic and caused riotous laughter in the little club. His shirt was as wild as he could get, though! He fought for the Occassional Lansky’s shirt.
    But more than anything, I guess I envy Dylan, the ROLLING Stone, without a home, but . . . free. At least free from the kind of pain that “folks like us” (close “onlies”) have to eventually suffer. And no, I do NOT think it will make me a better human being. But I’m not reaching for the Dilaudid yet!! Hell, no.
    Read Bono. It’s cool. I think.

    All the best,
    Robin

  20. R M Says:

    How come that dang “smiley” pops up every time you close a parenthese?

    RM
    Check out the “Red Wing” area: I had a bit to add. Sorry for not staying here, but it fits better there. I think. Sorry if I misstepped.

  21. reprindle Says:

    RM: I haven’t gone anywhere. You haven’t mistepped. Stay here. Your post required a more thoughtful reply than my usual flip answer. I’ll get some thing out in the next couple hours.

  22. reprindle Says:

    RM: I don’t know where the Smileys come from. In checking previous posts I find them inserted here and there. I recently had ten hours of work disappear because someone selected all and deleted it while I was typing. Creeps abound, I guess.

    Anyway at to your 8/21/08 post. You don’t have to apologize for anything. If we’re still communicating after all this time I’m not offended or going to be offended by either your style or anything you say. Obviously I enjoy corresponding with you.

    Your childhood was particularly brutal. Comparisons are irrelevant. With all those constant school changes I’m surprised you persevered to graduation. Many a lesser person wouldn’t have. I imagine your mother was your anchor and refuge so I can understand your attachment. I presume it was through her encouragement and help that you went to college and graduate school.

    You can be thankful she made you strong and passed on her strength to you and left it to you when her electricity sparked out. You should take pride in your inheritance while now you have to go it without her aid and comfort.

    While the loss is devastating it was inevitable. There was nothing for it. It had to happen. There’s no real comfort I or anyone can offer but you must accept the fact and live on. As your mother’s child her finest attributes are yours. The torch hasn’t gone out.

    One can’t lose one’s childhood trauma but it wasn’t of your making it was just something you had to endure and hope it ended soon. I didn’t begin to shuck mine until I was forty-two but I think I’m in the clear now. Whatever happened happened to someone else, an earlier you. You have have nothing to live down. You were just handled a pile without a shovel. Luck of the draw as I have always told myself.

    You, like myself, have risen above those miserable beginnings. That’s something. It has to be enough because you’ll never get anymore. Most of those bums that beat on you have gone on to miserable and more miserable lives anyway. I know a couple of mine who haven’t but then don’t look for justice in this world.

    So, anyway, as hard as it may sound, take a deep breath, turn your face to the future and get on with it.

    Life’s just like that. There are blows you have to be prepared for and take. Nothing to be done. You’ve got your Ph.D and a professorship. Your mom left you in a good position.

    Hope this helps.

    PS. Your take on the Stone thing is beginning to make sense. I like the Rolling or wandering Stone bit. The Dylan self pity aspect fits in well there.

  23. R M Says:

    I don’t think ANYONE has been so understanding and truly helpful to me at this worst time of my life. Thank you, my dear friend: don’t let them get ya down: you’re a cool dude. And I always seem to get on better with folks who are somewhat older than myself, oddly. I think it’s cause people my age remind me of school. H—, the kid who did the “speech” at graduation in high school? He’s STILL THERE, or went back, and works in some dept., with a nifty title, sending out “come to homecoming” letters to alumni!!!!!!!! And I got my Phud, and started my own school, and was a college prof for a long time before that. Damn, ain’t that funny?

    But, truly, at the time, I wanted to be LIKED — every kid wants that. I can imagine a teen Bobby doing almost ANYTHING to keep Echo’s affection, if that’s what he believed it was. (The “richest family in Hibbing”? That struck me as almost a wink and a sneer, ’cause Hibbing was LOSERSVILLE, USA, but Abe was a Happy Little Joiner, and FELT like the Biggest Man in Town, and undoubtedly knew he wasn’t. And then his son EMBARASSED HIM!! For that, Bobby would PAY! Big Time!! That is my take on it. And his mother was probably a powerful force pushing Abe to seek the worst possible retribution for this “bad boy” of theirs. I see that woman as the kind in Rebel, actually (though you do NOT “knock her out” as Jim Stark suggests: good gawd: no wonder Dylan goes “can you cook, sew, make flowers grow,” and really MEANS it — after all Jimmy Dean MEANT it, didn’t he? It wasn’t acting to fifties youth: it was REAL. Hell, Elvis’ mom actually believed that all the actors were REAL DELINQUENTS, and she kept throwing fits about him bringing some of them to Memphis: finally, he begged Nick Adams to drag his own MOM out to Memphis to meet her!!!! I HAVE PICTURES!!!!!!!! HONEST!! When Elvis got busted for slugging those two guys in the gas station in ’56 – and this is almost too hard to believe – she actually, and like I said, this is very to believe, but TRUE – she freakin’ GROUNDED him for the weekend, along with his girlfriend, who decided to dump him both because “Natalie The Delinquent” was coming {Gladys ruined his relationship with girl she LIKED}, and because she couldn’t believe that Elvis would accept being afraid of his mom at 21, but she got the Col. to ship his brother-in-law to provide additional “security” – which meant that Gladys told him to not let the “kids” outside of the gate!! On Sunday night, he told his mother that they were going out, and he did, but his car got scratched up by some fans, and Dewey Phillips drove him home. He begged the police {who were helpful, actually} not to tell his parents, but the story was in the paper the next morning; Vernon cut it out of the paper, leaving a giant hole. June got sick of the whole damn thing, and gave him a professionally shot picture of her crying. And that was it. He got Graceland, and told her to stop in Memphis, and was gonna show it to her, but she told him, before the train left, that she was engaged to someone else. All of a sudden, Junior Parker’s “Mystery Train” made a WHOLE lot more sense as it took “my baby and gone.” No laughing this time. And his mom was still complaining about those Hollywood bad kids from that bad movie. Like every young person in America, I guess, Elvis stopped a milk truck, got the bottles, and drank right out of one, and wiped the white “mustache” on his sleeve, just like Jimmy Dean. As I said, who do you think was REALLY more mature? Elvis, or Bob? Heeeheeeeheee!}

    Now back to the present, which sucks.

    And you want to please your folks, and in 9th grade, in a public school in a new part of the U.S., I flunked, plain and simple. But the new school promoted me with a few strings attached (I had to stay in their little dorms so I would have “structure” — and they were right . . .} my dad told me midyear that maybe we might go back to Florida and even went and got a yearbook from some unknown school down there. I said NO!!!!!!!!! I was finally old enough to stick with the devil I knew, and not with the one I didn’t. And so I had 3 years of high school there at that last school. And happily went on to ‘Bama, where I could play flag football {girls’ intramurals, but I was too rough, cause at my school, our powderpuff games were ROUGH: you pulled the flag, and THEN made the tackle!}, and not have to take MATH! Yee Hah!!! My mom supported all of my decisions and trusted me. I never did dope, and never acted irresponsibly in, uh, other ways. Which is not to say I didn’t have fun, but I made sure I was always aware of what I was doing, and I never wanted to “go wild” on Spring Break. I went home. And I was happy to do so, and I was offered an engagement by senior year’s end, but he was a problem {pre-domestic violence . . . very little, but I could sense it would not stop at just that, so I demurred, but did not terminate the relationship for much too long: my mom DID make me strong, and I knew what was right: I couldn’t have kids anyhow, but I didn’t know it then. My doc said it might have killed me, even probably, so all for the best at the time.}

    Yeah, it was rotten most of the time when I was a young kid, but there were a few good things. Like I really became a PART of a region of the country, for real. I became a southerner because I was young enough (I had been there since I was only in 8th grade in Fla. for a short, very short time, and missed most of 8th grade in Atlanta, and thank heavens for THAT!! I think I was still about 12 when we moved up south, though I cannot be sure. I know I missed most of that year, and it was fine with me. I rarely have told people that I missed so much of that year, but I feel at home here, somehow. A kid there was trying to break my foot, as I think I once told you. So, I was in the south for some time BEFORE even going back to school. And I went to CHURCH every Wednesday when I got to the new school, and the new young minister and I got along swell. I found out about 1 Corinthians 13, wrote my term paper about it, my final one, and got an A+!!!!!!!! It’s like he couldn’t stand the interdominational fighting in his native south, and I was new to it all except that I knew quite a bit about the Bible, because I practically grew up in Holiday Inns and Gideon Bibles, which I would bring to class, along with the “New English” one he assigned. The new one wasn’t as poetic, and I prefered the King James, and didn’t know you could buy them in stores!!!!!!! Damn straight!! I didn’t know that. I brought a beautiful gold color brocade, and he smiled a little, although I really didn’t get it at the time. And my yearbook, so bereft of signatures all three years, has a long essay (almost) from the guy. See, to me, by that time, I was starting to realize that spirituality and religion were two different things, but I did not yet have a language for it. But he could see it in me, I think. And I think it was my mom’s solid faith that I would do well later on that, as point out, made that happen. She was a little pushy when I was younger, but I was all she had, especially when my dad was commuting to NY when I was still very young and had to leave my running buddies at Lake Grove and move to Florida because some fool doctor said it would help a cough I had. Gawd, I HATED Florida (no offense, if you don’t,} but we lived on the Beach because of business stuff that I don’t even understand today, and everybody was like 92 years old, and there were NO children AT ALL. Then we moved to Coral Gables to a rental house with a real bomb shelter!!!!!! I had no idea what it was for; I was too young to comprehend such tomfoolery of the grownups years before (again, no offense if you had one: those were scary times, only I had no idea). But in ’69, we all laughed, for obviously different reasons. Anyway, that was where my mom “saw the bruises.” All those years in school (a child’s “time” is much longer, esp. if it’s miserable, than for those over 30 or 40, or even 25), and I never told either of them what was happening until that day. I remember it like yesterday: I was wondering why Borden called the cow Elsie, as I studied the container, and she looked at me, kind of wide-eyed, and sort of ruptured to find out that I was getting clobbered, constantly. And they went to the {expletive deleted} school, and they said “let them fight it out themselves.” Even though it was 6-7 against one. And throughout the day, never knowing when. And so, they just pulled me out a little early, and one summer’s day, my dad announced we were returning to NY (Long Island). I was overjoyed. But after a number of schools, I was back in Florida, this time due to business. My dad forgot Christmas, and my mom’s birthday, but he didn’t mean it. But she was sad, and I was rummaged all over the house looking for a hidden gift!! Kids! He didn’t remember it years later, and neither, really did she, I think. It was an error because he was so excited.

    He’s suffering a lot right now, but hates to cry. I can tell that only when his brother is around, can he start to cry, except last year on their anniversary, and she couldn’t speak. I never heard him say “my darling wife” before! Not like that. I mean, he loves her madly – still and forever, but expression of “mush” is hard for guys his age. (He was really Korea-age, but he managed to get himself in The Big One, and so did his YOUNGER brother.} Boy, were they sorry when they got there. See, he has to be a little tough skinned: he saw his best little friend (and the kid was really “little,” when it happened!) get his head blown off in action. And then he got out (the war was well over, but they kept him – his age, I guess) ’cause his dad died. I don’t think his dad was too expressive. Anyway, his mother got cancer, and he alone tended to her till she died. He had 4 brothers, a cousin who was like a brother, and other folks who were always there when she was well, but they got married quick, and well, he didn’t right away, so it was him. I don’t blame him for all the jumping around, and anyway, I got sick in ’01, and he asked for forgiveness. He didn’t have to ask.
    But my mom was strong, ’cause only the strong could have survived her life growing up and very young adulthood. My dad sort of rescued her. But she always seemed lonely. They tried for many years before a baby actually lived, and it was me. In ’69, in NY, she was with child again, but she lost it again. I didn’t understand how great it would have been to have a sibling then. I was too young: I would have been jealous then, and I knew it. But I did feel bad for her. And to cheer herself, she insisted that we have a real BIG Christmas that year, with ALL the trimmings, and we did almost ever since, except for that one year with the Florida business thing. Well, you know the rest. We were broke the following year, and I had to pick out my own present and all that jazz, but in Atlanta, we REALLY put on the dog at Christmas, and every year since. Even last year, we found a way to include her. I thought she had beaten the odds, totally. I really did. I felt victorious. My dad and I ate out at a good buffet, great tree at home, all of that, and then brought lots of food to the hospital for the staff. Looking back, I guess I feel so foolish. But we WERE celebrating her tenacity. What do we celebrate this year? I am so lost in thinking about my favorite holiday and her birthday, Dec. 25. Yes. December 25 is her birthday. I think I told you. I feel terrified, almost. Lost, so lonesome, I could cry rivers . . . There’s like no Hank Williams song sad ENOUGH for me this year. Last night, I listened to “It’s Midnight” and “I’ll Take You Home Again (Kathleen}” … rhymes with her name Hit the repeat button, and it went on and on, and cried and cried. My dad . . . I told him, and he was like “why do you want to torture yourself?” I said that guys just don’t understand: gals LIKE to cry. AND, I was young enough to actually become a real southerner, and he never really did. Down south, why, we spent hours with this girl whose DOG died, and she wouldn’t stop, and was begging to know if they had a heaven, and we all said yes, “but what if they don’t?” She went on like that. I just started knowing Elvis, and so I didn’t have either “Old Shep” or a record player (not allowed). I wish I did. Elvis can be so helpful to crying your eyes out. And since I finally kind of understand his monumental grief over his Mama, I can truly cry for him in a way I never understood before. He “got over his childhood at 42” ALSO. But I am NOT 23; I am older, and I should know that while I expected a longer time with her – I even sort of figured it out in terms of heredity, stats, and women living longer these days, and the fact that her mom was a lot older in the ’70s when she went (in a lousy environment!) that I was sure she’d have a long, long time left before this happened! Like B. Kennedy said the night of Nov. 22, ’63, “Why, God, why?” I keep wondering. Is there SOMETHING, somewhere? Is Bob a LITTLE right?
    You don’t know, but at the service, outside in the biting winds of March, I was yelling “I’m coming, soon, Mom!!” I can’t believe I did that, but I couldn’t help it. I couldn’t believe or even BEAR what I was seeing. I picked out a beautiful Mahoghany (ya gotta have wood: it’s the rule), and when I saw it, and when my dad saw it, well, he WAS crying and said “see, I got the best . . . that you wanted . . .” and he was really balling. And I was like in total shock-horror at seeing it. It was . . . it seemed so big, and time seemed to slow down. I wanted to go right there and then, I swear. But my cousin in NY, he held me tight: his sister is nearby, right there, and his dad, and he knows grief, and he knows I don’t. I just love him for that, he doesn’t even know how much.

    So, I don’t feel so strong at the moment. I feel pulverized. My mom and I were SOOOOOO close. I still remember her taking me on the balcony in Florida to look at the moon when Buzz and Neil were walking on it, on TV. I just kept turning my head back and forth from the moon over my head, to the TV, and was spellbound in joyous wonder. She said she wanted to go in space some day. Maybe there’s some theory that says there’s somewhere that she is?????? I mean, I read a lot of physics and M-Theory and string theory and cosmology . . . for the last five years or more. Maybe? Aw, that’s stupid.
    Maybe I should remember her eyes and the wonder she was showing me as a little kid? Maybe that’s the most real thing that’s the most important thing. She wanted me to dream and make them come true. It wasn’t about the “moon” at all! It was about working toward a dream and doing it. She wanted me to FEEL that!! And I did.

    And that’s a good place to stop. On an UP note!! She gave me strength, joy, respect, and wonderment! And she was my friend, my buddy . . . my dad doesn’t know the gossipy stuff we used to share from the “dirt rags” at the supermarket and on TV, but which we so enjoyed!! I miss so much of that. It’s always the little things. But the big things, they will sustain me. You are right.

    All the best, and thank you,
    Robin

  24. reprindle Says:

    RM: I quite agree with you. I don’t think Dylan would have been sentenced to Red Wing if he were eighteen. He would have had to have been treated as an adult.

    In Chronicles he mentions leaving school at the beginning of April. If he was sent to Red Wing at that time it follows that he would have been released by 5/24 or his eighteenth birthday.

    If the shame were on him he may have been reluctant to attend the gala graduation party his parents threw for him. They overcame his reluctance and he is said to have had a great time. The Leadbelly 78s given to him by an Uncle may have been an extra special prsent to make him feel better. You know, The Midnight Special.:)

    Until we have an adequate explanation of why he left school in April I think it safe to hypothesize that was when he served his sentence.

  25. R M Says:

    Hi,

    I gotta tell ya something right quick: if you search Michael Gray’s Dylan Encyclopedia on Amazon.com, the couple pages on the various “theories” on the place and time of the meeting suggested by the song is CENSORED!!!!! Amazon says that because of “legal” reasons (Dylan, I guess), you cannot read those pages!!!!!!! This, after the You Tube videos (quite creative, but not usually even close to accurate) were “cease and disist” ordered to be stopped, and WERE stopped!! I mean, good gosh, Elvis is gone for 31 years (sad enough, but the point is, what is the damn point?), and even Col. Tom (who was the reason for the original “cloak and dagger” nature not just of the song, but of what actually transpired in the sixties. Heck, Lamar Fike’s involvement in the “Blonde on Blonde” sessions is already under hard covers, and Jerry Schilling’s maddeningly abstract and goofy telling of how any of it actually happened (as if he is still afraid of . . . something, but what is a total mystery) is available (see, there was this girl, who in recent interviews has become a “platonic” mutual acquaintance, rather than the “pretty ‘dancing’ girl” who is likely more acurately described in the song (if you know that in small, repressive towns, “dancing” is almost a covert word for “knowing” in the Biblical sense, but ok, “platonic” . . . in the rock world?! Of the sixties???????? Anyway, this girl was given the hotline by Jerry, and then Jerry was supposed to remove himself. He does describe several phone calls, but was originally VERY vague, and now suggests, but NEVER says that Elvis did not take the calls. NEVER. After all, the guys did NOT give out the hotline to another star “just like this” . . . especially so soon after the Beatles Media Event that made Elvis almost damn near kill himself out of embarrassment, anger, fear, and shattered self-esteem (what was left of it in that horrible year of ’65 . . . ’64 would have been better, but he was nearing his wit’s end (sp???) at that time, and told Ray Walker “if it hadn’t been for you, there’d be no me” several years later. Walker was utterly confused, since they did not join him until after “Heartbreak Hotel,” etc. and told him so. He told him “no, no, no!! I mean later, in the sixties, when I didn’t care.” You mean about recording those movie songs? Walker asked. Again, “NO!” Elvis then explained that he meant “didn’t care,” period. About anything. In other words, “there would have been “NO ME.” See, in May ’66, they recorded not only the “How Great Thou Art” album, so well-liked, even by the Grammy-folk, which was very rare, but led to Jerry Reed, to Guitar Man, and first to “Down in the Alley” and that “recording I cherish the most” (Dylan’s quote) of “Tommorrow is a Long Time.” All of that led directly into the ’68 comeback, and a couple years of REAL LIFE in his nightmare life.
    My point? If Ray Walker is ALLOWED to say that Elvis talked suicide with him and allowed to put it in print, then what is all this cloak and dagger nonsense about “Gypsy” and everything that led up to it’s composition and recording. I mean, we know about Lamar. We know, after a lifetime of “Harley-love,” at about the same time as Lamar was offering protection, a TRIUMPH came into Elvis’s life!! A 650, and he loved it!!! He bought other Triumphs for the guys, ’cause how could he get a gift that was JUST FOR HIM. Unlike the rest of us, that would be unbearable. It is not said where the Triumph came from. Left very vague, I’ll put it that way. Looking at the context, doesn’t seem vague at all. I figure Elvis got the better of the deal. Dylan got Lamar (who knows about the Caddy; doesn’t matter anyway — he was not into cars, anyhoo), and Elvis, somehow, got a great, fast, “little” bike that he had never tried before. Definitely the better end of the deal.
    Seems to me that Ray Walker was not the only one who helped during this difficult period. Sure, I can imagine that after the Beatles’ debacle (fans outside screaming insults at each other and Lennon inside chastising Elvis as if he were a child about the films that were already making Elvis “violently ill” (Elvis’s direct quote, recorded). Can you imagine how awful it all felt? But Geller says that in ’72, E.P. caught a Mike Douglas show where Lennon says “you wanted to make us scared, well, we’re SCARED!” He was talking to the Nixon administration and the INS. Elvis must have wonder if any remarks he may have made (and none are documented; you have to believe Egil “Bud” Krogh . . . Larry said that Elvis expressed alarm at the Beatles TEETH, not knowing that it was a British thing, not a Beatles’ thing, and likely, that’s what he mentioned. As for “unkempt,” well, look at the (in)famous photo: Elvis did not even bother to comb his hair to meet the Prez of the USA!!!!!!!! It’s flyin’ in the breeze, and in following weeks, DID grow to “shoulder length” despite denials by Vernon Presley to the local paper(s) at the time.
    Nixon, stupidly, had let a lyin’ connivin’ FREAK into his office!!!!!! He actually offered, $50,000 to Finlator for the badge (claimed “for your drug program”). Finlator probably told him to think about what he just said and somehow put the words back into his mouth. Finlator was on the verge of busting him, and he knew it. “I’m not going anywhere with this {bad word regarding the issue of a female canine}” he wailed in pain to Jerry on the phone. Then Krogh got the green light and ushered a ONE WEIRD YOUNG DUDE into the Oval Office. Nixon later admitted he knew that this person (who he hardly knew anything about) was on “junk” {Nixon’s words}, but then remembered the big business his library was already doing with The PHOTOGRAPH, and amended his comments with “but they were all by prescription, which was simply false. Elvis did grass, Acid, cocaine {not just the legal kind: that soon proved too weak for his needs}, and as I said, once outright robbed a dentist’s office. (And Lord knows what else he did to get what he wanted.} A lot of people think he was “kidding himself,” but recent evidence shows that to be nonsense. The autopsy revealed tracks, and Ricky Stanley said his body was like a “pin cushion.” He had gone WAY beyond “kidding himself” and was only concerned about his dream to see London, etc., and the Customs problems he could have. It really got to him, because he wanted to go so badly, and now it was no long just Parker’s fault: it was his own.
    Dylan got clean after the Motorcycle Flight; Elvis got worse after his accident a year later. (A fall and head injury: he was probably trying to copy Bob’s flight to freedom, but it just didn’t work out the same way. It couldn’t. Bob, for all his faults, had an inner strength that has kept him alive. In that business, without it, you will not survive. Period.)
    And no matter how badly he has treated people – esp. women – over the years (and he’s not alone in this in the rock world!!), Bob knows he did these wrong things: “I did not do it knowingly.” Well, that’s kiddin’ yourself, but he tried. Baez’s “Diamonds and Rust” (I remember that one from when I was in school . . . goes way back) kicks him hard in the a–. She paints a picture of desolation and lonliness that is what you get when you mistreat the people in your life who love you. And ya know why she wrote and sang it, and made sure it was a hit? BECAUSE she loved him, and always would. She knew it then, and knows it now. But it’s no longer that kind of love. But it is love. She just wanted him to find some love; instead he found God, and that is not necessarily the same thing.
    The why is so easy: if you don’t get love early in life, you cannot give love. It’s just that simple. So I do not think he had a “commonplace” relationship with his parents. Something happened along the way to make it very UNcommon. Well, just telling you’re kid that he’s likely “defiled” is quite enough, but we know they sent him away (where? I think the evidence is quite clear).
    Remember the very last verse of “Ballad in Plain D”? That song has no allegory in it whatsoever. “My friends from the prison,” he related ask how it feels to be free, and he asks in turn “are the birds not chained to the skyway?” Well, actually they’re not. Only in Orpheus Descending and the original play,and in “The Fugitive Kind” does the guy with the sharksin jacket (duh, uh, uh for for the ’57 re-write!) and, now, guitar (earlier, it had been a poetry book: together, they make Dylan!) there’s a monologue about a mythical bird (oh, Tennessee Williams; forgot} without feet. It flies until it dies. Williams told Hal Wallis that once Brando accepts, that’s it: don’t look for anyone else. But Elvis, who wasn’t into reading Tennessee Williams, I don’t think, said he was OFFERED “The Fugitive Kind” but the col., of course, turned it down. So, on to Brando, who accepted. See Williams never said to ask Brando FIRST! A loophole!!!!!! Anyway, a director said he wasn’t sure
    EP could have done the monologue. Watch King Creole; I have NO DOUBT. But that’s me. And hey, wasn’t it his life? The bird that could not stop flying until it died?
    I’m sure Dylan read the plays and saw the film. On ‘Under The Red Sky’ he’s wearing what looks like sharskin boots. Took at least 12 years to write about what he experienced in ’77, so unexpectedly. But if you have ever heard the studio version of “I’ll Take You Home Again (Kathleen),” you’ll know why. The emotion is so powerful and overwhelming, that at the time, it was hard for many people, people who were truly touched, like James Brown, who put his hand over his buddy’s HEART, and gently said, while alone with him “You RAT!! Why’d you have to leave me?” A few more words, and he was getting weak in the knees so he came out, and let his father and daughter back in the room.
    Dylan was never capable of that kind of open show of affection. It is just like him to exactly what he did. Shut down. And withdraw from ALL HUMAN CONTACT for a week. But the actual emotion there was the same. Dylan just cannot express it in such a way. Not at all. In fact, this recent flurry of shutting down all web offerings regarding “Went to See . . .” is evidence of his fear of anyone catching him in the act of being . . . I dunno . . . REAL. The whole cloak-and-dagger operation, needed back then, is something he STILL needs. I think Schillin is not taking orders on this account from the estate: I think he’s getting orders from Bob Dylan. SHUT YOUR MOUTH. And “act like we never had met.” (From the tune titled, “I Don’t Believe You.”) Do you really think Jerry was in the car with Joan Baez and John Lennon????? Or more likely, with Bob and John??????? I mean, it just doesn’t seem like Joan would want to sit with thousands of shrill screaming teens to hear “yeah, yeah, yeah.” In fact, the very idea is totally antithetical to the person she was and is. It’s just nuts. John was not yet the person he would become. (Much less not the person who he would LATER become, just before the horrible thing happened. He really had changed.

    Gosh, that went on a little longer than I had planned.

    Best,
    Robin

  26. R M Says:

    Stupid me. Chronicles is so weirdly written that I never actually bought it! I thought it was all a lot of words that tell nothing. NOW, I will get it for sure!!

    It does not explain Echo’s behavior with the ID bracelet and her lonliness between Jr. and Sr. year, and his seeming lack of presence during the summer, but perhaps the incident occurred in the fall, and the docket was crowded, and so was Red Wing (and it was VERY crowded at this time, which was their excuse in dragging their feet regarding promised reforms. They were still doing some bad s— to the kids, but said they’d stop as soon as the overcrowding calmed down.)

    Thanks,
    Robin

  27. R M Says:

    Forgetting for a minute the weird “summer” whining on the part of Echo, perhaps the incident DID happen in the Fall semester; she doesn’t give an exact time when the bracelet incident happened as far as I can tell. So, it would have been a “secret” at that time, and then she makes a big SHOW of throwing it at him, and he kinda flips, and is crying later, and everything. In other words, she gave it back AFTER it happened, told a “cover story” about the reason (I think it should be clear that he was not hopping down to the Twin Cities BEFORE senior year. And he was making an effort to improve his grades that year, which had fallen. Now, he would have to show top grades! So, he circulated a petition to try to get an English teacher fired (not Mr. Rolfzen). This speaks of a desperation bordering upon madness. I never heard of such a thing in high school, but in this context, it’s easy to understand. He needed to be “an honor roll kid” in front of a judge.
    The only answers we will get as to what exactly he did have to be in the songs. Cold Irons Bound offers much. A girl hurt him REALLY bad “you’ll never know what you did to me,” and he protected “you because I cared” and “the winds of Chicago . . .” cutting of slicing him up. Sounds like they went on a little ride, and somebody — clearly Bobby, fell asleep, and awoke to strange winds – not the winds he was used to (border winds seem to “punch” real hard), whereas Chicago winds bite and cut and slice. And you can bet if it was all night, and there was daylight and the street signs said CHICAGO, well, you can imagine sheer terror.
    Anyway, on returning, they would have found out that the parents of both had been looking for them, and they simply were not in town, along with the vehicle!! Oh, boy. So, the cops would have already been involved, and if the car was not in the kid’s name, but in his pop’s name . . . UH OH!!!!!!! I mean, two months is an awfully short sentence, but it jibes with everything, including the time he says he left high school, BUT graduated!!!!!! (Red Wing had classes!) A “Devereaux” would NOT. Especially not ones that would count in the state of Minn. So graduation was covered, and then there’s that “phony scholarship that I never had.” Well, maybe he LOST it, because if he was already cutting classes the first year (and with the sure knowledge of his drunkenness when he should have been in school, you BET he was cutting classes), and yet they re-enrolled him in the Fall. That’s hard to believe. And remember, it was the fifties; tuition was very low at the time, and he was an in-state kid. Jeepers, MY tuition at ‘Bama was very low, and I was “out-of-state” but it was ’70s-80’s and so I’d imagine that in the fifties, going to a state school of any kind would be very reasonable, especially since his parents (I’d bet his mom, especially) had their hearts set on it, anyway. So, yeah, they’d still brag all over town that he had the scholarship. And in Shelton’s first book, it seems as though he ran off from the party, and only came back at the end, and then saw the records and was truly touched at this gesture. But I do not believe they considered making music any kind of “life choice.” It would be crazy to them. His whole music fixation, they would think, was just childish. His mother apparently could not connect his ‘poems’ with music!!!!!!!!! And that earliest known song “Swing Your Troubles Away” is simply horrid!!!!!! No sense of rhythm on the guitar, until the very end. It’s on the “No Direction Home” CD. At the end of the song, though, something magical happens. He lets loose a kind of low growl, and then starts hitting those strings much harder until he’s in a rhythm. AND I RECOGNIZE THE SOUND! You’d better believe that in ’56, one of the sparsely attended concerts by a certain King of Rock ‘n’ Roll had a boy with floppy hair staring at the hands of front-man, and watched those strange bass runs between chord changes, and the . . . I can’t explain in words because I know it when I hear it. It’s a uniquie rhythmic signature that was not on those early records. But if you watch the entire ’68 sitdown concerts, and then listen to “Swing Your Troubles,” it is unmistakable. It was a last resort for the Minnesota kid. He could find a rhythm, a beat for his “song” . . . so, he just growled and let what he remembered just FLOW. That signature is very, very, difficult for others to copy. Others have commented on it. But Bobby found it. He was really lost . . . no rhythm at all, and then he growled his way into THE rhythm of rhythms. (And his idea of “Little Richard” was to scream his name a bunch of times and pound the hell out of the piano. Believe it or not, Pennimen’s treatment of his piano playing was actually quite more complex than that. It looked that way, but it wasn’t. All the great origials from that first decade of rock/’n’roll made it “look easy” but it was anything but that. E.P. especially is unmercifully underrated: his guitar playing is really quite wonderful when he stood still enough to do it! And, later, boy, when he took the piano, you get chills. I have mentioned “I’ll Take You Home Again {Kathleen}.” WOW! The piano virtuosity and yet gentlness is quite simply, chilling. It follows the emotions of the voice. You can almost feel the pads of the fingertips. And yet it is not the showboating of a studio pianist, which is, by comparison, usually too loud and just too much. Sadly the vocal on “Danny Boy” is accompanied by a “pro.” A studio pro.

    Later,
    Robin

  28. reprindle Says:

    I don’t know about first thing in the Fall, RM.

    Remember Bobby was attending Camp Herzl every year from ’54 to ’57. His last year, at 16, he showed up in a mini motorcycle cavalcade. Herzl was run as a Kibbutz or Israeli settlement in the US. English was suspended as much as possible and Hebrew substituted. It was a US wide Jewish camp as well as international. Bobby met a lot of kids from Minneapolis there. So he stopped Herzl after ’57. In ’58 he was running down to Minneapolis to visit those acqaintances one may assume. So Bobby’s Jewishness was heavily emphasized by the time.

    Coming back to school in September he was confronted by an angry and deeply offended Echo. She undoubtedly demanded an explanation. We don’t know Bobby’s reaction but it was sure to be completely self-centered. Her very first reaction would have been to give him back his ring. Then she thought he would really humiliate him by giving it back in school before their classmates.

    That probably didn’t faze Bobby all that much so she needed a more satisfying revenge. She may have worked it out herself or she may have discussed it with others. I think the latter. I think you have to give her at least October and November to come up with the plan and perhaps another month to put it into execution. Perhaps just before Christmas. That would be a nice ironic Christmas present.

    Not certain, of course, but I have to opt for a later date.

  29. R M Says:

    Fascinating, and certainly possible, but the only thing is that high school kids’ “revenge plans” are usually very spur of the moment. I somehow just get a feeling that what she says about the summer just doesn’t have the ring of truth. I can’t say exactly why, but something is just not right with the story. She mentions going to see that D.J. “Jim Dandy” way up by the Canadian border, and a winter trip would be out of the question. Summer seems far more likely, and he was very involved in music in early summer of ’58 — starting to try to get something going, and singing “I got a girl, and her name is Echo . . .” Not exactly brilliant “songwriting,” but he at least was trying to tell her that he loved her AND music. I just cannot accept that he just up and abandoned her, but if he did have that little car, perhaps when he did finally get his pop to uh, “pop” for it, he might have taken some rides without her, and girls that age are as insecure as boys, even if they try to hide it. But her insecurity seems to have been stoked by the OTHER BOY — I see the kid as jealous . . . remember the old song “when you bring a friend into your love affair . . . brother, that’s when your heartaches begin.” Well, hell, that’s just a universal thing!! She did ask him, and of course he said “probably.” Now, “probably” doesn’t seem enough to rouse her to rage, and I do not think rage was the motive!! From Toby’s account, I see her as kind of, no, VERY “loopy”! A kooky girl. Toby was doing handstands while drunk when she got him going!!!!!! I mean, she seemed the type to create a goofy, craziness in young guys, because she had a goofy, crazy quality to her, even a decade down the road. And I think whatever happened, probably started out as just a simple lark, and then whatever happened – whatever – got WAY out of hand, and Bobby “protect{ed}” her because, as he sang “I cared.” It was the “manly” thing to do, or so it seemed. To take all blame. And also, her father was quick to grab for that shotgun. Can you imagine him after some kind of incident?? Good gravy. Bobby would have to assure that it was all his fault. Which, in retrospect, was a bad move: “you’ll never know what you did to me.” And in my view, it was THEN that she made the big show of giving him back the ID bracelet. She never gives a concrete date or even comes close. But it was in the Fall semester: that’s all. I do not believe that nonsense about her doubts about him having other girls, since he made his feelings so open to her as summer began. And I am not sure he really made “friends” at the camp: he was a little leader, but once it was over, it was OVER. They did not want him back, and I don’t think he wanted anything more to do with it. When he was there, he just wanted to shake it up. And by golly, he did. But by next summer, I am sure that music was tops with him, and then Echo. And like so many once and future rockers (male ones, I mean), music and girls simply don’t mix.

    I mean, music and relationships. The date I see for the cloak and dagger “Gypsy” meeting between the two rock giants (who were just two married guys who would not be married for long . . . Bob gave it a better try, I think, but the issues are usually pretty much the same, so they’d have plenty to complain about} was late ’69, which would account nicely for the “Gypsy” label: Gypsys are on the move, and during that time Sept. to Nov., ’69, E.P. was jumping from city to city to city ’cause he hadn’t had that much downtime since he was, oh, maybe in 6th or 7th grade, and maybe not even then! Well, actually, since the first record came out, but things moved quickly immediately thereafter. He could not TOLERATE boredom, even when it offered opportunity(!)(and Dylan certainly could!! And several people who knew EP closely said that they felt strongly that he undoubtedly had the talent for songwriting {those amazing adlibs are proof: difficult internal rhymes with some alliteration, etc., even if he liked to rhyme things with words like “truck” a lot, if you know what I mean – I mean, to rewrite Percy Mayfield, “The Philosopher of the Blues”! Wow! Takes guts. But it just came out, and kinda summed up his life situation, right there. “Just popped out of my head” is what he ALWAYS said about “That’s Alright Mama” (the version Dylan codified, and which is TOTALLY different than either Crudup version, one of which had a different title, and all of which had different verses, completely, for the most part, hardly any chords {it was made for banjo!}, the new chords that Dylan codified are completely different and account for that delightful “ringing” sound on the rhythm guitar that is so joyful, and THE MELODY is different – and that’s the legal definition of a different song, BTW, plus the “time” of the song is different, and the whole rhythmic feel, and . . . well, once Bobby learned to write music (I’d guess Joan Baez taught him? Yeah, that’s a good bet. ‘Cause that’s when he did it. It was like he felt he HAD to do it: it was the right, no – righteous thing to do}, once he learned to write it out, he did. And he deserves a big thanks for doing that. But, see, my point is that if he wanted to ask about that, or about the transformation of “Blue Moon” {a transformation so filled with genius that Phillips pulled away from it, oddly} — to take a pop “classic” and turn it into a terrifying, misty blues filled with mud from The River and wails from the mist, well, Dylan would have wanted to dicuss this! And the other fellow would want to compare marriage notes. And talk about how it “should be abolished.” And about their mutual adoration of James Dean. Which is well known that they did from that weird quote: {Dylan to Sam Shepard: “Know what Elvis said?” Shepard: “What?” Dylan: “That if James Dean had sang {sic], he’d have been Ricky Nelson.” Which meant that it would have ruined him and made him ordinary, taken away his “Dean-ness.” So it was a warning to the somewhat younger star: DANCE WITH THE ONE THAT BRUNG YA!! He was telling him not to do films. They were both offered “Midnight Cowboy,” and both were {bad word} out of it for different reasons. Dylan even wrote “Lay, Lady, Lay” for it. What if that smoother voice was just for a demo at first? I mean, what if they told him that EP might have something to do with the picture? That would explain his dramatic switch to almost his real voice for a demo, which then became an album. But I think Dylan would have made a wonderful Ratso Rizzo, and EP, a perfect, innocent “Cowboy” — hoping for dignity {as with his film career} and ending up in the alegorical gutter. PERFECT. That IS what happened! But because of the “X” rating battle, Col. Tom ruled it out, and Dylan was scuttled for reasons unknown. Or unknown to me. (EP was told that “Charro would have full nudity {women, though}, but that was simmered down considerably, to his disappointment.} They were both ready for that picture {“Midnight Cowboy”}. Maybe they got together to b-word about both not getting it!!!!!!!! And anyway, it was a LONG meeting: all night, and a few teens caught it. It was in Memphis, but NOT in Graceland, but perhaps the “livin’ in a big hotel” was actually the Howard Johnson’s that I personally know about? And saw rock solid proof. Perhaps. “Dim and Crowded.” Bob Finkel says that in Vegas, on opening night, he and his wife were sent up a back elevator, and entered an almost pitch black room, except for the television. The “telecide” killer shot out the set, according to Finkel’s account, and his wife was so frightened, they left immediately. {Actually, he was very upset that Steve Binder was apparently not there; Binder was at the BACK DOOR, not allowed in by the Col., and only found out in th 21st century that EP had been asking for him! That is so sad. So he took it out on Finkel, I guess.} But there were no other human beings in the room, so {crowded with whom or WHAT? Only Bob knows what he meant, but it’s almost perfectly in sych with the song. Perhaps there were people there who did not recognize him? You never know. Jerry was no longer working for him at the time, nor Red, so who knows? But it was NOT Las Vegas: of that I can be quite sure.} I can also be sure that the topic quickly turned to music and chicks not mixing well at all. “Marriage should be abolished,” his repeated mantra. {Not Dylan’s!!} And then Bob would wander back in time to Echo, and without a doubt, in the strictest secrecy, tell what happened. And that is hidden in cold hands of Death, which gripped the rock guy with whom Dylan wished to understand, to perhaps really get to know. And I think he told Bob a few things. Certainly, he warned him about films. They talked Dean, but he said DON’T!! And he did, and he should not have. The warning stayed close to his heart, especially not long after EP met his apocalypse-then. He was saying: be as great a singer (and writer) of songs as you can be and don’t try to be James Dean, because nobody can be, nor could Dean be US. Sadly, this warning is a double-edged sword, for in those next two years or maybe a little more, EP started “popping out” {as he would put it} with song lyrics and had always had sounds and musical licks in his head that many of the musicians could not play! He either had to show them, or grab the instrument himself (like that bass on “You’re So Square”). And most of all, Bob would want to talk about the weird, almost wild, yet doom-laden blues version of “Blue Moon.” From such a young kid!! He was only 19. Bobby was still struggling with writing at that age. Getting there, sure, but that was almost too much; he would want to KNOW, but he could not explain, anyway: it just “popped into my head.” Bummer for Bob. But the conversation undoudtedly turned to chicks and dreams that should remain scuttled. “Did I cross the line?” Dylan asks, in “Shooting Star”? The line, he wrote “that only you could see.” I thought maybe it might be about his father, until I realized “last time you’ll ever hear the Sermon on the Mount.” Hell, Abe was an orthodox Jew: he NEVER heard the Sermon on the Mount!! So that leaves only the guy by the River of Tears. (He was a “shooting” star in one sense, and he also was a star at “shooting” things!! Like TVs! So, it’s not Buddy Holly. Especially if you listen to all the lyrics. It goes into to much interactive detail.} And maybe there WERE tears that night. Tears for Echo, tears for Dixie and June, tears for Jimmy Dean, their HERO, tears for dreams that would NEVER come true (like Midnight Cowboy, and aw, well, films ain’t the way to go anyhow!) Tears for an authentic life that eludes such people. Tears for parents who were gone, and words left unpsoken. (Did you know that Elvis protested graduating high school so forcefully, that he ran away to drop out — for about a week????? Yup. True fact. Trust me on this. He was hunted down by his “daddy” and dragged back. He had pushed it TOO far, and lost, big time. So, in some ways, yeah, Bobby was just being an adolescent, but his parents were DIFFERENT!!!!!!!! Not him, really, THEM! They were the ones who made HIM look like some kind of “bad kid” some “delinquent” and then a “traitor” to their “kindness” that they claimed. And then, later, when he sort of calmed down, he was no longer a “traitor,” but a “good boy.” As long as the truth were nicely buried, they could rewrite – not him – but THEM. Well, his mother could, anyway.
    All famous people’s families do some re-writing, but this was extreme. He killed them psychologically as a very young performer, and then crept back. Wanting to be “normal.” Aronowitz was NOT supposed to tell anyone, you know. Bob was mad. Or part of his phyche was mad, anyway. But he knew for sure that there was that one person on this Earth that he could truly trust with this secret, because he didn’t want anyone to know about this meeting in the first place. (Perhaps they agreed on “Well, well, well. How are you? How are YOU?” And that’s it. NO MORE.} And he could tell the dead man’s little secret advices, but once the man was dead, no telling would ever happen. Perhaps the nervous breakdown was partly guilt? That he was so afraid of what he had told him that he felt the briefest moment of relief, and then, realizing what he had just thought, just collapsed in guilt, shame, horror, and all what-not. Of course, it would be wise not to speak to ANYONE for a week. He needed to collect himself ALONE. I mean, a gifted, shattered young man had just died, and he had one selfish thought, and he probably wanted to run himself through with a sword. Not just any young man, but someone so special, he could trust him with ANYTHING, and KNOW it was safe, while ALIVE. If the guy had lived to 100 or more, Bob did not have to worry. But, knowing that, he still may have had a moment of weakness, and wanted to just, well, put his head through a wall. I AM EVIL!!!!!!!, Bob would have thought. He had a little girl and a “Daddy” (after a whole night with him, the words “Dad” or “Father” would have disapppeared from anyone’s idea of Vernon, for sure, and forever.} And not long after that, he FOUND JESUS. Make sense to you? Does to me. I mean, watching those reports of his father going “my baby’s dead, my baby’s dead . . .” over and over: if he any thoughts that were even remotely selfish, gosh, he would have felt so badly about himself.

    So, no, relationships and music do not mix, but was Echo an evil “planner” of revenge? I think she was just a goofball, and didn’t know or CARE about what she had done to him, and that would really hurt. She was justifiably afraid of her dad. She had to show the school that he was NOT WITH HER ANYMORE, even before he left in early April, or whenever it would happen. But to a kid like Bobby, at his age, she was fun, before this happened. He didn’t count on her shaming him in front of the whole damn school, practically. He called her and cried. And cried some more, I’ll bet. But listen to the music. “You’ll NEVER KNOW what you did to me.” And maybe she never will understand the depth of it. And it just kills him. Destroyed his relationship with his father, caused him months of misery and hopeless hoping, and finally, being told he was “defiled,” and so he further “defiled” himself. All of this because of “a childish thing to do.”

    Dylan wrote that there are some memories that will strangle a man.

    It may seem like “stream of consciousness” but it really is very connected to Dylan’s “defilement,” his guilt trips that turn into “breakdown(s),” to his being “saved,” to fighting with all of this, still, still, still. 12 years after that August 77 “breakdown,” he could start writing about that, a little. Well, actually, one whole album, and two or so songs just before. “Where Teardrops Fall” is so simple, so delicate, so heartbreaking. Only Dylan could get away with “Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, I might just have to come see you” over the wall where teardrops fall. (I think I was exact in the end, but I want to be sure, so you’ll have look it up, or listen.)

    Imagine how long it will take him to tell the whole story that he does not want to tell?

    Best,
    Robin

  30. reprindle Says:

    RM: Elvis was a babe in boyland when he got to Hollywood. I can’t begin to tell you how filthy that place is. Remember for a twenty mile diameter pornography is LEGAL there. Pornograhy equates crime on a sado-masochistic level. There’s the first 2, add another and see if 4 comes up.

    Now that you’ve got Hollywood and the Jewish-Sicilian organized crime scene of New York and Chicago together, Baby, we’re on our way. For quick background read Gus Russo’s The Chicago Outfit and Supermob. The guy comes as close to laying it all out and staying alive as anyone can. If you’ve never seen The Girl Can’t Help It, chuck that into the mix too.

    I used to be in the record business, spent a fair amount of time in LA. Filth and crime.

    Now, entertainment and the entertainers were owned by the Jewish-Sicilian mafia through the early fifties. All entertainers were vetted and put into slots. Did you ever wonder why Georgie Jessel acted so nervous?

    Elvis was never vetted. As far as the country at large was concerned he popped up out of nowhere on the Ed Sullivan Show and he was there. Big, getting bigger and a wild card. He had to be brought under but nobody wanted him around because he was, well, a hillbilly cat. Too cool to fool. Not Jewish enough and definitely not Italian enough even though the Jews now claim that his great-great-great grandmother was Jewish so that makes him Jewish. Christ, even Hitler only went back two generations.

    And then that clown Parker made Elvis his alter ego. Double bad for EP. Tom the Clown could only create his alter ego in his own image- a Clown. Hence those terrible movies that Parker probably thought were great.

    The estalishment wanted to murder Elvis, as they did Dylan, so Elvis had the added problem of staying alive. Why did he go to the Jewish-Sicilian crime capitol of the world- Las Vegas? I suppose he liked it but more importantly he was big bucks and those Big Bucks belonged to the Mob. He either worked Vegas or died younger than he did.

    Can you imagine how one of the Chosen felt when the Hillbilly Cat outdrew her three to one. Streisand must have stewed for years somewhat like Echo. Then she came up with a plan. Parker knew what he was doing when he wouldn’t let Presley subordinate himself to the Superslut in A Star Is Born. Look at the psychology of that very Jewish movie. An Adam Sandler dream.

    Well, well, I better stop here before I get ahead of myself.

  31. reprindle Says:

    Snappy patter from a site called getback.com

    Bob’s never ending tour needs to end. He’s taken to playing nearly incomprehensible versions of his songs while perched behind an electric piano wearing a cowboy hat. He’s like some folkie Yosemite Sam piano-bar singer impersonating Bob Dylan.

  32. R M Says:

    Actually, I wouldn’t compare Streisand’s gargantuan (sp?) to ANYONE else’s – I mean, I just do not see any major cultural way to understand someone who is simply a megalomaniac. Period. I know a lot of people say this is sexist, etc. (or even racist, or ageist, or whatever . . . but I think they are wrong: I think she feels that the Earth, Sun, Moon, and Entire Milky Way revolves around Barbra: no room there for ANYONE else at all, much less an entire culture. So, it was jealousy, pure and simple. She opens the place, and he makes them forget all about her!! Bummer for her! NOBODY does that without extracting some measure of revenge (and your comparison to the emotions of a high school girl are apt here!). So, she comes up with the idea of remaking an old movie that was really quite wonderful in the Judy Garland version and never should have been made again. I mean, these things do happen in true life, but not necessarily with such a dramatic ending (take Joan and Bob!! Actually, though he treated her badly later; it was because it stung HIM that he needed any help at all . . . he clung to the myth that he could have done this ALL BY HIMSELF: always a dangerous delusion). But Joan did fine forherself in the future, and the STAR that was born was actually quite a sad sack when “Diamonds and Rust” came out. In so many ways. So truth is generally more complex that convenient myths.
    Meanwhile, Ms. Ego Herself wanted to put down the Guy Who Ate Las Vegas For Breakfast. So she makes him a suicidal loser. Yes, it was wise on all accounts to turn it down: 1} the guy in that movie is REALLY portrayed as a loser (big mistake for Kristoferson (sp?}} and 2} Shoot, by the time the movie was to be in production, I do not believe EP could ever have, or even would have submitted to the insurance “vetting” for reasons that led directly to ending up shortly in, as Dylan so touchingly and genuinely put “The Place where teardrops fall.” (My emphasis, ’cause so many people complain about the song using “Roses are red; violets are blue . . .” Shoot, that was extremely deliberate: he wants to emphasize the genuine sincerity of emotion, and the simplicity of it, and yet the enormity of it that “words” – in the sense that Dylan would ordinarily use them – cannot do justice. It’s a heart-clutcher for that: it really is. Takes the dude around 12 years to even start writing about the feelings that literally floored him, and even still, he finds that words fail him, and wishes to communicate this. So, as Michael Gray realizes, with great care for accuracy, he still aknowledges a “First Contact” face-to-face meeting is certainly not to be ruled out. And this from THE expert, and from one who has studied the literal geographical movements of both with microscopic care. I was stunned actually to see what he did say! I know it from elsewhere, and I’d bet almost anything he does too, but he knows that for whatever reason, he’s not supposed reveal the precise coordinates, much less the details. (Personally, I think the Estate has little to do with it at this point. I think it’s Bob himself. And it makes no logical sense to do so, but this is not about “logic” or “reason.” It’s something precious to him: these clandestine contacts that began sometime just prior to the “Blonde on Blonde” sessions, peaked with the first face-to-face in, I am almost certain, late ’69 (but not close to Christmas, because that was Elvis’s time to gather the “guys” to rid the entire multi-state area of all firecrackers, and blow them up over the holidays at home. Something he would not want this fellow to know about, let alone witness. So it was a tough window, and frustrating enough to say to himself “he must a G–D— Gypsy!!” No other reason for calling him that. And his “Elvis Atlas” book was, I think, simply an extenstion of his quest to find out where and when it DID happen!! I mean that.
    Oh, and I was not offended by certain words used in the previous post; I may take exception to “chosen” or whatever, but especially at this time in history, I think it is almost NECESSARY to say things that offend one or another person or groups of persons, just because our fundamental rights to our basic rights as citizens of the U.S.A. are in danger. Everybody on all ends of the political scale (and even those who are apolitical!) would, I think, agree. Without those fundamental freedoms, we will cease to exist. That’s my take on it. Yes, I believe in being polite and respectful of other people’s cultures, etc., but unless we are all free to say “the forbidden,” then even that respectfulness will die on the vine! You see what I mean? Unless some are free to stir the pot, those who embrace diversity in this nation will not HAVE a nation to protect or embrace! I know this may sound strange to some, but in order to have mutual respect, we must have those who are free to NOT express this respect . . . just to at least be able to know we can speak freely, think freely, etc., we must have those who offer up those itchy wool sweaters instead of the more comfy fleece. Because without making some people uncomfortable, NONE of us are free, and so while I prefer the fleece, I must fight for the fellow who offers the itchy, scratchy wool. (Notice that I did all that without ever saying Pol. Correct!!)
    And as for the Mob and Vegas, and the Col., these are genuine concerns, and EP was at times so afraid for his life during the “comeback” years, that I think the kind of fears that would lead to the kind of drug use he got into. Plus, it’s in his FBI file that the Mob itself was getting him Coke and perhaps other dope. And they said this without any doubt. Once he hit the road after the 3rd Vegas gig (and what a punishing schedule they gave him! He didn’t know he didn’t have go through that . . . he didn’t know any of this worked at all, but the Col. was not only a compusive gambler and needed his human insurance policy singing in the Big Room more than anyone ever worked, he also did some things from ’68 to ’70 to literally threaten his life. After MLK was killed in Memphis, EP desperately wanted to make a statement; he felt as though the whole world would see him as a dumb, violent cracker when he knew that he had lived his life in an entirely different way. The Col. told him to shut his mouth or he’d end up either like King, or maybe like RCA Victor labelmate Sam Cooke. He had representatives of what was described as “the Dixie Mafia” visit him on a film set during one of his last several films, and he was told to curtail “his associations.” Or Else. And so, right after his triumph of Dec. 3, ’68, he gets him a Vegas gig. EP insisted this was just a warmup for a world tour: his dream of dreams. All he wanted was simple: to walk into a London musical instrument store, handle the great variety of basses, and some of the other intriguing and even odd guitars, etc., and buy a bunch for his own pleasure. This was guy who liked to make music ’round the clock. Yeah, he was into other “hobbies”: crackpot spiritualism {some would say}, his contributions to the abolition of marriage {joke, sorta}, the “study of drug abuse” (and, whoa boy, did he ‘study’ it!!!!!!!!), but really, most of all, he loved to make music, as often as possible. I don’t necessarily mean on stage. I mean, he just loved to make music. And he could play guitar (rhythm, of course, but a wild lead, too: a Chicago blues kind wild and crazy lead . . . loud and thrashing, but damn exciting), bass {and he fully understood McCartney’s playing above and below the melody line even before Macca was doing it!), piano, of course, and he also played bongos, drums, and other percussive intruments (there’s that wonderful basement picture from the fifties, with cigarette).
    Anyway, there’s more to all of this, but to finish today (’cause I’m under the weather and it’s hot), yes, Vegas was all about the mob and Col. P.’s connections due to his gambling. And Col. wouldn’t go overseas for reasons not fully understood by the world at large until around 2003 and the publication of some terrifying information regarding why he was ever in this country – for keeps – in the first place. Why he took an alias. And all of that. Whatever you are thinking . . . it’s already likely been published. Look it up. There’s no way to prove anything due to Dutch law, but her name was Van Enden. No way to prove anything, okay folks! But, it’s been published widely. One makes up one’s own mind.
    As for that mid-’70s film, nobody liked it anyway! It was a critical disaster. And in Midnight Cowboay, The Cowboy was NOT a “loser.” That misses the whole point of the deeply affecting end to the film (which, if played by Presley as The Cowboy, and Dylan as Ratso Rizzo {1}, would, I think, have worked even better: great vocalist-performers are often fine actors, though hardly ever the other way around}. The Cowboy is actually heroic in his tender care and concern for this guy who . . . he never wanted to care about at all. It works on a variety of emotional levels, and works throughout. With a better Cowboy (your call on Ratzo}, I think it would have been even better. Besides, the Cowboy’s search for the glamour of the Big City is almost replicated precisely in the storyline of the ’68 special, taken from a very old dramatic work called “The Blue Bird.” So, he already did it, in a way. But this is grimier, more contemporary, and is rougher around the edges. Which makes the tenderness of the film all the more affecting, and I’d insist, heroic. THAT was a great opportunity. That and The Fugitive Kind, which was about the “swingin’ little guitar man.” The Sharksin Jacket was in a Lynch film (taken directly from Tenn. Williams sudden re-write of his first play upon Hal Wallis’s description of this new young kid they’d signed up: the “wild beauty” and the guitar suddenly substituted for a book . . . one director had his doubts that he could have carried off the monologue about the footless bird that flies ’till it dies. I have studied the films, and Dean, and early Brando, and I have no doubt. It would have been BETTER, in my view, ’cause he had already experienced much of it! And then he’s chased to death by the authorities, and the attack dogs tear him to shreds?? Gosh, you bet I believe him when he said it was first offered to him. After all, Williams said that when Brando said yes, look no further. He did not say to ask him first!! Ha!
    Anyway, back to Bob and Echo later. I will say that I think that Echo’s “performance” in tossing back his bracelet was JUST THAT: a “performance.” I think the event happened soon before she severed herself from him, not knowing when the case would be adjudicated. And if it involved that automobile, I’d wager that it’s just possible his folks decided to press the charges. Maybe not. But it’s a possibility and would explain a whole lot. A whole lot!!! Then, again, perhaps they feigned disgust, and had nothing to do with it. I dunno. You gotta sometimes trust your gut on something like this. His mother does say “that Echo,” blaming her! So, we just do not know.
    “This ain’t the felony room; I ain’t no judge: you don’t have t’ be nice ta meeeeeeeee!!!”
    Pardon, Bob, “felony room”? Judge?
    And “my friends from the prison” in that most literal of songs “Ballad in Plain D.” And on and on.
    All the Best,
    Robin

  33. R M Says:

    Oh, I forgot. Hitler was NOT Jewish, even though it was closer (one Granny – from HIS FATHER, not mother). Elvis was, even though it was his Granny’s Granny. (His mom’s great Granny: STRAIGHT MATERNAL LINE.) See, it stops at the male. His issue(s) are Gentile. If Elvis was a girl, Lisa would be Jewish, but she is NOT, since her Daddy was not her Mama. {I find this side-splittingly hilarious, not to mention hair-splitting!! But, it pissed off Hitler, and that IS NOT FUNNY, even if he had it wrong.}
    Funny and stupid as all this is, it has caused so much heartche in this world. “And no religion, too,” Lennon sang. He did NOT say no spiritual life; he said “religion,” which is not the same thing.
    Robn

  34. R M Says:

    A couple of closing thoughts tonight.
    1) The Neverending Tour: why should he go crazy in private? He always went crazy in public before . . . well, almost always.
    He’ll pull it together again, I think. Honestly. But I think it’s just too much work. He’s now hawking “signature harmonicas” and so that tells you he needs the dough. He would NEVER do that! Well, “people have to eat and live,” he once said.
    2) The discovery of Elvis “Granny’s granny” in a straight maternal line was discovered by someone who is definitely NOT Jewish to an author who definitely is NOT.
    It just IS, is all. PLUS, EP IS NO, I REPEAT, IS NOT related to Oprah, and Henry Louis Gates Jr. has confirmed this in any extensively researched book on her lineage. His people were both iternerant Scots-Irish and Cherokees on the Trail of Tears, some of whom blended in with the Chickasaws on the way. No slaveowners in the bunch. Just the truth. His “daddy’s” side; his mother’s side has first cousin marriage to begin with and then double 1st cousins with the Presley’s and all what-not. But that woman, Burdine: she was “Dodger’s” granny. (When he was five, his grandma dodged a baseball he’d thrown in a fit of temper. She was “Dodger” from then on.)
    Robin

  35. reprindle Says:

    RM: A preliminary note: one more hit on this post and it goes over a thousand.

    Presley is a special problem. I seem to recall a song in which he sings: I’m caught in a trap, I can’t get out. This was certainly the case. Everyone was using him for their purposes. Parker’s are complex but on the whole obvious. The hatred and spite Elvis received from the old guard was especially nasty. There was no pressing reason for him to be drafted other than an attempt to ruin his career. This hatred was shared by a very large percentage of the population who tried to set up Pat Boone as the ‘good’ pop singer to siphon fans away from Elvis.

    When he stepped into the vile snake pit, sink hole, of Hollywood he was firmly in the trap. Since you seem offended that Jews should accept responsibility for anything let me say that all problems whether from studios, club owners,or whatever type of businessman, they all despise performers. They all see themselves as working and taking risks for the money that singers and dancers and fine romancers ‘think’ they are earning. Business people resent and hate performers. That’s why performers are invariably exploited. They think they can get by on a smile and their good looks.

    Thus the very active attempts on their part to emasculate, humiliate and sexually subordinate them to the very dregs.

    Now, unfortunately Hollywood is a Jewish suburb. Nothing happens in Hollywood Jews do not approve of. This is just a fact. If the truth gets in the way of one’s fantasies then fantasies will give before the truth. That’s just the way it is.

    As I pointed out, with few exceptions, mostly female, the singers before 1953-54 were Italians and Jews. The great public characters were Jews. They believed themselves beloved.

    Then along came Presley, literally from nowhere, and he was bigger by ten than any of the vetted performers including Sinatra and ten times more beloved. In addition, while we thought Presley was cool, they didn’t. Presley wasn’t even as tough acting as Frankie Valli. And Elvis was the first. If he could be turned back the whole Rock n’ Roll circus could be defused, they thought.

    Elvis survived the Army so that left the movies as the second line of offense. There can be no doubt that the Judeo-Mafia was out to get Presley. Streisand was not a lone operator any more than the very evil Adam Sandler is. They are Jewish, they are Hollywood, they are Fascists. So Holywood would try to humiliate and emasculate Presley by giving him humiliating criminal roles, King Creole and Jailhouse Rock. The latter was a very subtle defamatory effort that ultimately paid off big.

    Then you have the problem of that carny clown Parker. Parker was living through Presley as his alter ego. Why do you think that Presley was given the role of Roustabout? Because Parker was a carny roustabout and he symbolically united his meager personality with Presley’s in the movie. He could watch the movie and imagine that that was Parker up there.

    So elvis was ‘caught in a trap.’ Perhaps the 1968 concert was his attempt to break out of it and return to a pre-Parker existence.

    At any rate a very petty Barbra Streisand humiliated by comparative attendance figures in Las Vegas conceived A Star Is Born as a revenge where by portraying herself as the make believe dominant figure on the screen and Presley as a loser both screen and reality would become fact. This is Hollywood remember, the porn capitol of the world.

    Parker must have seen through the plan immediately. Kristofferson obviously didn’t. I can’t say that his career was negatively affected but I could never look at him the same way again. As a matter fact I detested him. What a simp. They wouldn’t even let him sing (or would have let Presley sing): Neil Diamond wailed: They’re coming to America…

    It is a sad fact, I admit, but to understand the situation you have to know who is Jewish and who isn’t.

    The hate and pressures Presley endured plus what seems in retrospect incompetent managemant would be enough to swamp a better prepared person than Elvis. As it was he did a magnificent job as a person with very low self-esteem.

    Screw Barbra Streisand and Denny Miller too.

  36. RM Says:

    I think a lot of hits are a good thing? And yes, of course I, personally, am offended (but not to the point where I don’t want to talk about it!) if I am held responsible for the actions of people I have absolutely no connection with, and have nothing to do with. Besides, there were Jewish people who tried to help Elvis. Sure, without a doubt, Hollywood was created as the the “software”-producing end of the new concept of projecting flickers on to a wall (the guy who did it was NOT Jewish, but he was from Pittsburg), mostly by Jews (the others were Greeks). Also remember that many immigrant groups, especially those with a Jewish ethnicity, were barred at the time from many other professions – most, actually. And most immigrant groups and “Others” of various kinds, get involved in gangster-type activities before assimilation. Marlon Brando’s point on that controversial Larry King appearance was that Jews, of all people (they were slaughtered in Europe, as everyone knows, and not wanted much of anywhere else) should be the ones shouting when they see injustice. Why does it have to be him: an Italian/American Indian (Native American-First Nations People, or whatever is the latest: why don’t they just use the actual name of the nations . . . Elvis had A LOT of Cherokee in him, and he usually referred to it that way when he did . . . it’s kind of a “duh” thing, in my view).
    So, no I didn’t kill Christ, join the mob, make motion pictures, or what have you. My dad started out as a tradesman, and in a sense still is and is proud of that. Yes, he’s a manager, but he’s been at what he does a long time. He built TV sets from scratch, by hand in the ’40s and ’50s. And he was into telephone networks — answering services and suchlike (I remember playing with the push-things when I was like 6 or whatever). And any kind of construction, he can pretty much handle. And I was first wielding a hammer and nail when I was like 4, at the most. (Though I’ve always wondered if he would have truly apprenticed me if I were male . . . but that’s silly now. My mom told me that they both wanted a girl. Whatever.)
    Mainly, I knew one thing for sure: “we are not joiners!”
    Boy, does that make a difference in a life. Shouldn’t be taken to extremes in either direction, I guess.
    Anyway, I saw Bob on that old “Johnny Cash Show” appearance. “I Threw It All Away,” and “Girl from the North Country” duet. Unlike most of the artists on the show, he did not speak a word. He did shake hands. Now I have lots of moving pictures of Dylan during the wild pre-motorphsycho “accident” and boy, is there a difference! Perhaps this is the real guy as he was when he was young. I swear, and no offense is meant to anyone who might be reading this, but I swear he looked autistic to me! I am not goofing around. You know those “bobble-head” dolls they sell at Knotts, or wherever? Well, that’s a start, and his eyes! You basically saw mostly cornea (the whites of his eyes), and they seemed to “bobble” freely within his eye sockets. He wasn’t making any kind of genuine eye contact that I could tell with anyone. See, he got “clean” for a few years: even knocked off the nicotine for a while. If he had this appearance as a teen, it wouldn’t surprise me if he did spend some time in Devereaux (but I am still even more convinced regarding Red Wing for so many reasons, not the least of which is that comment in Chronicles that you pointed out: that he left high school in “Early Spring.” He says he went to college in the summer. I think that after his graduation (and that ridiculous party that he sure didn’t want), that perhaps they saw that now he was actually damaged, and THEN sent him to that Devereaux place. Possibly, but there is not much of a clue to that, but it’s possible from what I saw. Remember him typing furiously and constantly in “Don’t Look Back.” That can certainly be a sign of autism: hypergraphia. Other people have said it, but I just blew it off. I cannot do that anymore. But if the Red Wing experience included anything truly traumatic (plus a whole bunch of other stuff he went through early on), he could potentially been harmed for a long, long time. Even at We Are the World, he seems extremely shy. But also as if he is emerging from something. So if he needs religion as a crutch, who am I to judge. I know he did treat the women in his life well at all, and he knew it. But, gosh, in one of his most regretted acts (releasing “Ballad in Plain D”), there’s that last verse regarding “my friends from the prison.” And this song is pure narrative realism. It happened, and he was later sorry for releasing the thing. It’s not even much of a song: just one chord! which means it isn’t hardly music or even poetic at all. It just is what it is.

    As for Elvis, I am seeing things I never noticed before, and I can see how so many different kinds of people crushed him. And the few who want to help were tossed off. Barbra wanted revenge. He must have known it, but he was so whacked out, he couldn’t have done the thing, anyhow.
    But a long time ago, Elaine Dundy, in her wonderful study “Elvis and Gladys” (EVERYBODY should read this book who has EVER enjoyed an Elvis song: even once), has a real different take on Sam Phillips. I dismissed it for years until I came upon a lost album booklet YESTERDAY. Not only does he say that he didn’t have the “knack” for writing songs (yeah, especially, if writes a brilliant blues at the mike, works for at least 12 takes, and you send it to radio, and pull it within a day because of a publishing deal!), but also says that he could barley SPEAK!! I am serious. Gosh, so the kid was insecure (what new kid isn’t? He was a teenager just out of school who had experience dire poverty: they were literally the poorest family in Lee County, as evidenced by the fact that they were the only white family in either Shake Rag or N. Green Street, in the few shanties designated “white”: which was kind of a joke, ’cause WHO the heck would WANT to live there, anyway?). And this kid had a stutter. But you don’t stutter when you sing. And I can see Panic Disorder right there on the second “sit-down show” in ’68. He grabs for the crib sheet, and somebody starts joking – they were supposed to – and he very seriously says, HARD: “COOL IT, MAN!” You can see him breathing hard and having difficulty. But he gets past it. And then when Elvis hated that stupid Campbell’s Soup jingle for “You’re Left (or Right), {same}, She’s Gone” and makes up his own song at the mike, tossing out almost all the words and music, but using the story idea as the base for a slow, country blues that he works and works and works, Phillips actually sent the thing out to radio, then pulled it! Know why? Because of a publishing deal with Arnold Shaw!!!
    And Leiber and Stoller did NOT call him an “idiot savant.” Everybody loves to take that out of context. They EXPECTED him to be such, but were most pleasantly suprised by his musical expertise and knowledge. And he could play every instrument, WELL. That bass part on “Baby You’re So Square” is a rock classic, and when Bill Black huffed off in frustration, Elvis picked up the Fender bass and played it through. Because they were using that goofy “binaural” system, he was able to easily overdub. (Not to mention that at Sun, he once ran from guitar and vocal mike to piano and vocal, on the same song, live.)
    “Billy The Kid” Emerson, who knew all participants, said he would make demos at WDIA after B.B. King’s radio show.
    This is super important because the authorship of both “Blue Suede . . .” and “Heartbreak . . .” has been thrown into serious dispute. And Elvis didn’t care ripping off hit singles. (Although we won’t talk about Johnny Cash grabbing “Sunday Morning Coming Down” just as they were working out the publishing on it with Kris. DAMN! And he didn’t HAVE to sing the line “wishin’ I was stoned,” ’cause he WAS STONED, and that’s obvious from all the other lyrics anyway. The notion that the protagonist is clean is really silly, actually. Oh, and did I mention “Tiger Man”?! Sam took have the writing credit on that one, and half went to Joe Hill Louis, who apparently recorded it, but really, it was Rufus Thomas who had the original on it. And Elvis, especially in 1970 (a crucial year, because it’s in about September that he went off the wagon completely), kept mentioning the simple but direct tune as his second record and it went “pifff’d.” Nobody believes him. It has no real “structure” (‘there’s no end to this song man’), but just perfect for a young kid screaming about being King of the Jungle and ‘I get up on on a mountain and I call my palcat back/my palcat comes a’runnin’ and the houndog can’t get a way back a away back . . .” No end to it.
    That sounds like a perfect demo to me. And why not give Joe Hill Louis the writing credit. Demos often have fake names. And why did Mae Axton come to the studio to watch Heartbreak Hotel being recorded? Why did the demon guy say the whole thing was “silly.” Yeah, if the song is cut, a demo is “silly.” People have said it sounds like an Elvis impersonation, but since Elvis never sang that way ever before . . .

    Well, then there was the movies. Hall Wallis was a creep, ’cause he knew better: he’s the one who sneakily offered the kid the role in “The Fugitive Kind” (which was re-written about Elvis!) BEFORE Brando. Col. Tom, the govt. diagnosed “constitutional psychopath” rejected it out of hand.
    And that was THE END.
    Not completely: Hill and Range still strangled him when given the chance, but really, “I didn’t Make it On Playin’ Guitar” when only the guitar is miked, was less a song (though it is) that a cry of rage at everyone who put him in his place ALL of his life. Who put his father in Parchman Farm for a few bucks. The “so-called” friends from “above the highway” (the poor whites of Tupelo) who cut off contact after they moved to Town, and lived first in an alley tucked into a corner off Shake Rag, and then on N. Green St.

    So yeah, poverty sucks, but it seems like the gift (of coal in the stocking) that keeps on giving.

    Dylan grow up in poverty: not that kind, so he made his own. But there are all kinds of “poverties.”

    All the Best,
    Robin
    P.S. — I know I am erratic lately, but I’m sure you understand.

  37. RM Says:

    I meant Elvis didn’t care FOR ripping off hit singles. He regarded that as really wrong.

  38. reprindle Says:

    RM: As always your posts are so l0aded with interesting viewpoints it’s difficult to know where to start. I suppose the most important place to begin is your feelings. I don’t hold you responsible for anything anyone else says or does. However as a member or members of a group to which you belong does reprehensible things those things are not above criticism because they are of your group.

    Judaism is a religion based in the Arien Age. Religion is an anterior stage of consciousness that one passes through to a higher scientific consciousness. Judaism is still fighting the old religious wars. Of such it is a hive mentality. Every member works toward the hive goal whether consciously or not. Some are workers, some are warriors, etc. but all strive for the same goal- the triumph of the hive.

    I don’t hold you responsible for anything nevertheless the hive which you adhere to marches on. The hive is not above criticism or, indeed, attack. They are initiating and fighting a religious war.

    While you are perhaps somewhat disinterested I have recently been attacked by warrior or watchdog members of the Jewish hive. I have to deal with it and so long as you remain devoutly Jewish you have to be held accountable for the actions of your hive.

    In the recent Yom Kippur sweeps that claimed the life of Jorg Haider, the Jews and anti-Semitism conference was held in London and various anti-Semitic stunts were staged around the world by Jews. I submited my Exhuming Bob X: Lubavitcher Bob to the Dylan aggregator, Expecting Rain, by coindicence at this time. While LB is a serious investigation into Dylan’s religious background two watchdogs, undoubtedly instigated by some other Jewish organization or organizations, decided my essay was ‘anti-Semitic.’ They sent threatening emails to the webmaster behind my back and very probably are still doing so while publishing denunciatory exposes of me without the courtesy of mentioning my name on their websites.

    One calling himself Right Wing Bob (Sean Cornyn) refuses to have a response box on his site and put me on his refused email list so he is even too cowardly to take responses or respond to me. The other one Mick Hartley sniffs and doesn’t reply.

    Cornyn seems to be in the US while Hartley is in England. As you can see ‘the Jews’ work behind the scenes but refuse to come out and play with someone who knows the game. Thoroughly disgusting behavior but what else does one expect?

    I don’t hold you responsible for what they do nor what Streisand (against whom I have a complaint) does.

    They do act as members of the hive for the furtherance of hive goals. So long as you hold yourself and the hive as one entity there must always be misunderstandings. The actions of others are reflected on me in no way or manner; if any group to which I might belong acts as reprehensively as the Jews have I must either accept criticism or abandon the group. It’s like that. I don’t hold you responsible for the acts of Cornyn and Hartley but neither can I excuse them because they think on the basis of religion that they are entitled to defame me.

    You see the dilemma.

    More later.

  39. reprindle Says:

    RM: I haven’t seen the Dylan films you have so I can’t comment on his eyes. I’ll look more closely. I did see a Gene Vincent video recently, you can get it on You Tube, in which Vincent rulls his eyes back in his head much as Dylan did on the British Tour as portrayed by Scorsese. Vincent looks like he had some real problems but then it seems that most of these people and ‘we’ come from that some social milieu.

    I can’t put my finger on where or why Dylan went sour although it seems certain that he did. I hate to keep bringing this up since you dislike it so, history can’t be discussed without reference to Jews and society, but I think there is a serious division between the Jews and Gois of Hibbing. I think that Abram probably made himself obnoxious to the townspeeople and they may have retaliated on Bobby. Sins of the father, you know; happens all the time.

    I am amused at the description of Abram and his big black cigar. The cigar stuck in the face is a statement of assertive manhood. If the mercantile Jews had a conflict with the town and won that would explain the cigar. In that case Bob would be snubbed in revenge. It does seem that he was snubbed. This would cause him to withdraw and become so vile that even his parents would reject him but God could lead him back. This would be a plausible explanation of the Jesus/Lubavitcher trip.

    There are a lot of timeframe blanks between his graduation and the beginning of the school year. I am not entirely satisfied with the Bobby Vee accounts. Since he was off the rails at Minnesota, definitely in reaction to something, it is possible that Devereaux can be squeezed in that summer. The only possible reference to psychology I have come up with is when he mentioned Freud to Ray and was told that was the province of admen and they only dealt in air. Bob put Freud back on the shelf and never refers to him again. It’s possible that that was a reference to and dismissal of Devereaux but one can’t be sure.

    I suppose the psychological withdrawal of the never ending tour, for that is what it is, could be taken as a form of autism. I know that as a child in the orphanage I came very close to an exclusionary withdrawal but was talked out of it. I don’t know that the whites of my eyes were showing though I did have that bobble head feeling from time to time. I’ve seen that staring look around a lot though.

    The retreat into religion itself is a form of withdrawal so that perhaps by ’79-’84 or so Bob was running into some heavy weather.

    I don’t know whether you read my new stuff or not but check into Exhuming Bob 13 Fits 4 & 5: Bob As Messiah and see what you think. I’m not sure I’ll do his later years because I’ve never listened to his later stuff and I’d really have to lean on Marshall but maybe I’ll give it a try.

    Do you know whether the staff of Deveraux was Jewish or not?

  40. RM Says:

    You nailed it in the last line of your first paragraph. But I do not “adhere” to Judaism as such. I have a 6 and 1/2 Christmas Tree, that it being my Mom’s anniversary of her birth, will have a huge, beautiful Angel at the top, with her name inscribed, and I would like it to have her hair and eye color, just so it’s as symbolic of her spirit and being as possible. I only “adhere” to those who love me, and those who love them, and as for any relatives other than my dad, I don’t agree with a lot of the propagandistic bullcrap with which they were raised, and which my dad simply ignored. He knew substance from “appearance.” Or which country club will accept you or any of that s–t. And as for the thought police, remind them this despite the freakin’ “Patriot Act,” this is STILL (I hope) a free country, and if YOU ARE NOT FREE, NEITHER IS HE!!!!!!!!! In Yiddish, they call such a person a “schmuck.” Jerk, sorta, but not perfectly translatable. Ignorant jerk, perhaps. Something like that. Remind him about the nesscity of having the itchy wool sweaters, so as to have been inspired to invent the lovely fleece. Can’t have one without the other. We must be able to disagree, and it’s good for it to happen now and again, even if it’s the really itchy, scratchy type of wool. Gotta have it. ’cause culture of any kind counts. I took 4 sesmesters of graduate-level “Sociology of Religion” from a Jewish guy who thought (thinks?) the greatest Jewish prophet was probably Jesus of Nazereth (sp? oops: mortal sin or something!). He also loved Ghandi even more than King. But he wasn’t nine years old as I was when I heard a dead guy give HIS OWN EULOGY at his own funeral. Little set; voice bounded off all the walls and floor and ceiling, and everything, captivating ALL the kids. And changing my life. But if Ghandi’s his dude, cool. We’ve had different experiences: different ages and so on. Hell, I never heard of King ’till the night I heard of his death. I was pretending to be “John Wayne” or somebody on my bed with my empty red water pistol, pretending to “ride ’em cowboy,” and my mom and some other woman was in my room, watch my set and said BE QUIET! MARTIN LUTHER KING WAS JUST SHOT!!! Hell, I didn’t know who the dude was. And I know of a famous black author who also did not know, at the same exact age. Wonder what Barack knew in “Tiny Bubbles”-Land. I mean, he’s about as black as Pat Boone, but way cooler, that’s all. Black, my ass. Yeah, in physical makeup, he’s half African, half white, born in Hawaii (a weird tourist trap place: like growing up in Disneyland, sorta). So, I guess that’s the way it had to be. But he is a hottie. I AM a hetero-female, and he is long, lean, and cool. That’s just whatever hormones are left after they did that operation they had to do several years ago. I am free of pain now, and I do get the vapors, too!! {hee, hee} Don’t want to talk that kinda politics or race politics. PLEASE, let’s not.
    I want to talk POP CULTURE, and how whatever effects it, effects it.
    Just listened to the vinyl version of “The Complete Sun Sessions” and am so pissed off at “Massa Phillips” – late though he may be, and rest his soul and all o’ that – but what he did for money to a kid’s artistic development was disgusting. And to his self-worth. He tricked him! Released a version to radio!!!!!! And the very best one: he clipped the tape!!!!!!! I wanted to scream. He grew up on a plantation: he was not the son of a cropper or a field hand. His daddy was in charge. First, Orville Bean tortures young vernon, who with his baby face and delicate features gets tossed around Parchman like a plate of cookies (the Farm was segregated, so the white guys did it! If you want to know one reason why Elvis was raised different, never mind being saved from starvation by John Allen Cooke). And then Elvis’s first real girlfriend complains that “he acted like a ‘female'” I guess cause he helped with the dishes or whatever food they have. Meanwhile, he kept hauling paint cans even after hospitalizations for spinal injuries, and then everybody calls him lazy and mean and even ‘female’!! And close with a buck. And oh, yeah, by the way, he tried to save his son’s life, but he WAS scared that he would hate him. His own father beat him real bad ’till he eloped at 17. He did not want to repeat that pattern in any way. He did lose his cool a couple times with his grown son, when his grown son should have had his ass kicked from here to China!!!!!!!!! (“If I wasn’t a celebrity,” he told a musician, “they would have locked away.” Guy laughs. Elvis says, “hey man, I ain’t kiddin’.” Guy goes “what? Why?” Elvis jumps down from the riser, guy follows, and says casually, but dead serious: “because I’m crazy.” More than one source on that.) And he was. Crazy. He almost sleepwalked right out of a 12th story window at age 22 in Hollywood. He cousin, half-asleep himself, tackled him just in time. As a teen, he would walk out in his undies and bang on the walls and scream, while asleep!!!!!!! Having dreams of being attacked by men. (Vernon’s real life nightmares somehow transferred to the boy. How? Dunno. I do not believe Vernon EVER did anything like that to his boy. Gladys should never have let him in the bed, especially when Vernon goes “ok; I’ll sleep on the floor.” Man alive. Elvis could sense his father’s fears, for sure. And internalized them, and his own issues.)
    And then there’s our Bob. The more I learn, the more I feel for him. That’s the way women are, and probably why we get hurt. But to call your kid “defiled” so young. To make him feel so erased that he erased them. “Tears of Rage” indeed. Why did he have a “nervous breakdown” when Elvis died? What did they tell each other in the most utter secrecy?: just them and the moon, Bob thought. (Oh, “the lights on the River” is blues-speak for Memphis, Tenn. and always has been. Dylan knew this for sure when he wrote “Went to See the Gypsy.”)
    When he told his reaction, I felt there must be some serious bond there. Like Bob said on the dust jacket of Guralnick’s “official” account, I can sorta feel them breathing: the same air that Autumn night, ’till almost dawn. I can feel the relief of having someone to “tell” your “troubles, troubles, troubles” and know it will never be revealed. The mutual respect. (Check out Elvis’ stunningly lovely treatment of the chorus of “I Shall Be Released” repeated for 48 seconds of total emotional immersion, and then his single word, with such finality and sheer respect: “Dylan.” God, you gotta hear it. First, it sounds like he might be telling them who wrote it, but then you realize that is ridiculous, and then you really hear the strength of the word to the guy saying it. THAT’S what he wanted to tell them, to answer their “question” – “what do you think of him . . .” Boy, he couldn’t have been more clear and strong.
    And then he DIES!?! Can you imagine all the searing, mixed and mixed-up emotions in Bob? I can. I can see him rolled up in a ball, just sobbing, a wreck, as the TV blathered on. I can FEEL it. And my feelings have a good track record. They do, ok?
    More later.
    Robin

  41. RM Says:

    Look it up. It seems to have changed over the years, I think, anyway. But they would have to be knowledgable Jewish people; not like my little family. We DO NOT PRACTICE!!
    I eat PORK. BACON: LOVE IT!! Christmas is my favorite holiday and time of year, and it is my mom’s birthday, and I’m goin’ f’in’ nuts in dread. The Italian doc says to me early on “so what if “it” [her birthday] was tomorrow?” What an asshole!!!!!! I am trying to say what if I lose my mom and my favorite holiday and time of the year, TOO!!!!!!!! It always made me feel so happy and safe. I made scratch eggnog, hot mulled wine and cider, and roasted eggnog on a coal stove or woodstove (however we were using it that winter when we lived in Huntington). And THE LOG. When the son can see his father’s image in the fireplace thingy from childhood, and his dad is gone now. He has dealt with it, but IT’S HER BIRTHDAY!!!!! I already said something about an angel, but I still feel dread and confusion. I am sure you can understand that.
    So, NO I AM NOT “DEVOUT.” Good Grief!! My uncle made fun of a question I asked about “is it for the bread or is it for the wine?” The prayer. Just asked. Gosh! “It’s just like “saying grace” he jabbed with a wink of sarcasm. (Kid spent TOO much time down SOUTH!!!! He figured. He don’t know nothin’ ’bout that. There are devout Jewish southerners, but we were not among them. We were NOT JOINERS. At all. Weddings, funerals, bar mitzvahs. That’s it, babe. That’s it. I respect my grandparents and their attempts at “adhering” but I reserve the right to critize Isreali policy to the point where there are times where I say “screw zionism.” Not always. But it’s the wrong damn place. Of that, I am sure. Like the funnyman said, howsabout where the Ricolah cough drop dudes abide? Wouldn’t that be more appropriate a location for a “homeland” if one is felt to be so needed? I guess it’s needed for a while longer, historically, but hey, just because out people were “abused” doesn’t give the Isreali govt. the right to abuse others. Simple as that. The personal is the political, I was taught. You can learn a lot studying family politics and pop culture and suchlike.

    Best,
    Robin
    P.S. — I believe it was the “stony” home atmosphere that created Bob’s seeming “autism” if that’s what it is, ’cause it sure looks like it to me. You don’t give love; the kid pulls away from love.
    Maybe he was curious about Elvis’ “overdose of love” and how THAT could hurt a person. Would have mystified him, totally.
    And if you want to keep knitting some itchy wool just to stir the pot and get people thinking The Forbidden thoughts, consider yourself contributing to free speech and what this country is for. To express, to produce knowledge through free thinking, to be free to think and talk just so long as you’re not hurting anyone physically (and I do not see that — if I did see you cross that line, I will tell you. But I will NOT shut you up when all you are doing is doing what you are supposed to do in America: think!)

  42. RM Says:

    I meant; Look up Devereaux. Today. They’ve expanded and everything. And the craze of the ’80s for locking up kids changed many things. I think they threatened him in absentia even when he became a star. That’s why the secrecy surrounding his care after the motorcycle flight. ORDERS. Never tell Mom or Dad. Who did not immediately fly East, BTW!!!!!!! 25 years old!!!!!! Like if they couldn’t use it to lock him up, screw it. I know his dad had a heart attack in the months following, but I’m talking about that week! Damn! He had a broken neck! The first few days are always a question mark with that. After about five days, the swelling reduces, and you know. Most people make it ok. But you never know. Especially before the invention of the Halo device.
    Sigh.
    Robin

  43. reprindle Says:

    Well, you know, RM, I’m one cold, hard Dadddy. I don’t do no truck with dudes like Ghandi. He was one evil guy no matter what his reputation might be. He merely perfected the art of sabotage and institutionalized it. On the other had sabotage may be the only means of defense we have against this emerging totalitarian ‘global’ dictatorship. Of course, there’s always open revolution, leave ’em a pile of rubble to call all the wealth in the world.

    Suffice it to say that what we’re discussing is ancient history. Happened in a different world, at a distant time to other people than we are today. Here we are in the NOW.

    Couldn’t find a Devereaux but there was a Devereux. Is that the same thing? Sounded lit it. The audio even pronounced it Dever-o. Somebody ought to teach the dummies French. I can see Abe and Beattie sending their boy there. Would have been relatively mild so that a simple dismissal of Freud by Ray would suffice. All the more interesting as Ray and Chloe are imaginary hosts so in talking about it to an imaginary Ray the conversation would have been an interioir dialogue of Bob’s. Nice touch on Bob’s part, maybe, hey?

    I can’t say what Bob’s state of mind actually was in those several years but since record addicts fall within the same narrow psychological parameters I’ve got a good idea, especially given the obvious depression he lives in.

    You have to remember that the Bobber steeped himself in records and the radio. I don’t think he was knee deep in the blues either, hip deep in C&W is where he was at. I’ve got three years on the punk so I go back a little further than he does. Patsy Montana- I Wanna Be A Cowboy’s Sweetheart, Montana Slim and a host of others I only remember when I hear a song. A great one I’m sure Bob remembers will be Ghost Riders In The Sky by Vaughn Monroe.

    For me this stuff was all psychology. Elvis may have thought he was crazy, the romantic little fool, but he sure wasn’t crazier than anyone else. I’ve lived my life among crazies, I know. How can anyone be crazier than George B. If he isn’t on tranquilizers he’s got one hell of a private fog to walk around in.

    For me I used to listen to these records and know that the singers and writers were discussing some serious private stuff in ‘poetic’ terms. Naturally I gravitated to singers who reflected my own personal anxieties. ‘I’ve Got A Trouble Mind’ by Hank Snow; Weary Blues From Waiting by whoever; Worried Mind; Worried Man Blues’ great old tunes like that. Tell me ten of your favorite songs and I’ll tell you who you are.

    So, I began to collate the themes of all these songs and with a minimum of analysis I knew where I was even though I didn’t know how to get out of the bind at that time.

    I have to believe Bob did the same thing. His only problem was he couldn’t find a way out. Just got on the busa and rides, rides, rides but everytime he turns around there’s Bob Dylan’s blues looking him right in the eyes.

    There ain’t no future in the past.

    At least he’s got a great collection of songs ramblin’ round his brain. Real sorry he had those three great Lps thought. Fixated me, they did.

    Where’s Patsy Montana when you need her?

  44. RM Says:

    Hey, I’M the dummy who can’t pronounce or write French. I hate it!! Went to this school for a month, tops, and they taught French (I HAD been learning Spanish, and was interrupted. Spanious Interruptus!! {silly grin}. And man, they were weird. Didn’t like the way I climbed the stairs (use BOTH feet, equally, forgetting that I was a little, bitty kid), made us brush after lunch, and there was a hole in the toothpaste tube, and it fell in the sink. In front of like 50 kids, she goes “WHO LEFT TOOTHPASTE IN THE SINK?” It was across from where we had moved. Manhananite B.S. Glad to get away: whoo, boy!
    And, of course I knew you wouldn’t have not truck with a grown man walkin’ around in a damned diaper in public!! Looked like a goofball. Just that a beloeved teacher of mine loved him, but he wasn’t close to me: too far from my world. King was way more bada–, even with the nonviolence. Like Jesus. (Sorry about that . . . religion! Oops.) But he did kick butt, in my child’s mind’s eye. It was a shattering experience, I’ll tell you. Dead man giving his own eulogy, and the POWER of it. No way to explain, except to say this: “child is the father of the (wo)man.” That’s history, to me. It lives inside us all. You’re not fixated, in my view: those records are speaking to a deep place inside you. And yeah, Bob was deep into Hillbilly music. He pulled in the Opry, the Hayride (imagine the 13-year-old hearing Logan go “He’s only 19 year’s old; let’s give him a real nice hand . . .” And than he dove into “That’s All Right, Mama.” It must have been like an electric shock, and the guy was a teenager!! Wow!
    But while Bob could disappear into the radio and suchlike, when Elvis was just seven years old, he DROVE {first time, ever, for him} his mother having a miscarriage {bloody as hell} to the hospital in town. How did he know where? He used to hitch {with permission} to allegedly see and hopefully get a spot on WELO’s Sat. afternoon’s amateur hour. Heck, he just wanted to get into TOWN, to see the bluesmen, on the porches, the juke joints, etc., rehearsing for Saturday night. When they moved there, he almost starved to death, but he mainlined the blues. I’ve got the vinyl of “The Complete Sun Sessions” and wow! First of all, all those takes of “My Baby’s Gone,” and then his “impudence” {read: “uppity”} when he was teaching Scotty blues lead, being more helpful that “Mr. Phillips.” “Elvis, I told you to stay back from that mike; I can’t hear myself!” EP tries to lighten the air, but the kid was getting a lot of confidence, and he didn’t like it. He was not intimidated by HIM anymore. And he sold him out, is what he did. Sold him out and tricked him, both. Since quite early, Elvis discovered Beale, and got his wardrobe “one piece at a time.” And the mostly older men of Beale clucked around the weird little white sweetie like mother hens. They knew he was taken crap from the crackers, and he just didn’t seem to care, but actually, he was scared to death of them. In the presence of someone like “Mr. Phillips,” and others, he stuttered very badly. “Ah, ah, ah . . . yessir.” And so on. These men gave him the confidence to flip the bird to the world!!!!!!! And Bobby was the “distant younger brother” in a sense who, among many, with whom he knew he was communicating. “If I can just know I gave ONE kid some hope,” he said in ’56, then he felt it would be all worth it. Even the slings and arrows. When he lost his mama, maybe he wasn’t so sure. And in the freakin’ Army, which angered him ’till the day he died. He refused, Pricislla said, to wear anything like Khaki, or brownish, or dark greenish. Reminded him of the Army. He did a stupid thing. “I’m strictly for Stevenson. I don’t dig the intellectural bit, but man, he knows the most.” Oh, and next question: should the draft be abolished since there’s no war now? “YES!” So, naturally, Eisenhower and Tricky Dick said “Draft the Punk.” He learned then about the power of the federales, and next time, he would USE THEM, not the other way around, or so he thought. They were investigating his drug use, anyway, and Nixon got in a rough dig, right to his face; he worked up to the “punchline”: “why, you could do a “Get Hight on Life” PSA, or song, or perhaps . . . an album, performed live from within the drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility in {forget terrifying city name, temporarily}, Kentucky. His voice suddenly became serated, went from butter knife, to knife-knife. Elvis was done. The other guys wanted a look around, and to eat slowly in the white house “mess” (I don’t thing they call it that: you know the other name, like in Hollywood – but they called it that). Elvis was like “man, let’s blow this place!” He got what he wanted, didn’t get to drop that gun in front of Hoover, but all in all, he got what he came for and showed the folks back home that he was “powerful.” Dylan decided he’d be clean for a while. Better decision.
    But back in ’69, EP was really different, so Bob met a different guy, a guy who was like a light bulb getting superbright, just before it died: ’cause he began his true ride to death somewhere around late ’70. It is absolutely amazing he survived in ’73. Being threatened with being locked up in a Tenn. rehab shocked the hell out of him, and so even though he was {too briefly} placed on methadone maintaince {which is like saying: YOU ARE A JUNKIE, FOOL! And you’re gonna die, if you don’t get clean!!”}, he quickly enough returned to his ways. He went up and down for the next couple years, and then roared downhill, with coke binges, robberies, shootings {at people!}, and finally, Dead Man Staggering. And then he just dropped dead. Back then, people had no conception of “age” in the Boomer-time, but he was so very young, and when you see that last photo in the car that night, with young Lisa, you think, gosh, he looked so young! And then you realize: I’m a fool; he’s been dead for 31 years; he WAS YOUNG! Godammit!!

    Back to ’69. He was somewhat timid, stuttered, but Gawd, was he a stunningly beautiful sight! About a dozen straight men have said they got aroused in his presence around that time. He wore love beads and let his hair flop around loose. He was tan, and enough to make a woman faint. Man, the girls in the dorm would watch “Change of Habit” and all of ’em, black or white, would just be . . . I can’t quite explain the adolescent female in heat. Guy already dead. Damn. But Lordy mercy!
    In still photos of that time, Bob looks pretty damn good too, but in the film I just saw, he looks weird. Nice looking young man, sure, but it’s hard to get past the weird!
    But do not regret those albums and how they grab you. Dylan grabs me, too, obviously. And I generally, from those times, see a very troubled “kid” who is trying to cope. And really can’t. But who nevertheless is a genuis. And who realized pretty early that the vultures, from everywhere, were circling, and he’d better protect himself and “never make a foolish move.”
    God awmighty, I just love “Harding” {the album}, and a lot of other stuff, and “Tears of Rage” and “I Shall Be Released” which was never recorded properly by just about anyone, until I heard that 00:48 on “Walk A Mile in My Shoes.” Wish he had done the whole song, but it’s almost not necessary, because in lasering in on the chorus, he traps lighting in a bottle, and much more. He was really upset when he did it, and he like, just HAD to. Can’t explain. It was something he just had to do. There was no “ever-lovin’ light” in this song. It was different, more personal, deeply so: “I see my, {key change} I see my light come shining, from the West ‘n to the East/Any Day Now, any day now, I Shall Be Released.” And you think he’s done, but he’s not. He repeats it, fully, and it’s even more emotionally afftecting. And then, “Dylan.” You feel puhched in the heart, kinda. History lives inside of us. Or we would not even be human. So, yeah, I didn’t think you had any truck with the diaper-dude, but I just really wanted to share that childhood experience which really shook me. I realized that power of the human voice, and of soul force, and so many things. And of fighting for what mattered.
    And in this moment in history, it is ESSENTIAL that we, as Americans, assert our right to speak freely. Unspoken thoughts, even if they’re outright “wrong” (I am not referring to yours, really, as it is not even an issue on the table right now, and very complex ’cause I don’t think they understand your tough mode of expression), would be far worse than spoken thoughts, no matter what. Colin Powell made that point, but without that woman and McCain’s response, the issue would be unspoken, but speak loudly to so many. Lives could be lost from not speaking the not speakable, sometimes. Not this, of course, but you know what I mean. It was important that she said that, and important that the answer was off, and important that Powell said what he said and made a whole lotta people cry. And understand. You cannot just bury stuff. That is assine, and if they don’t like to hear that, to heck with ’em. Can’t they hear your strong connection with Bobby Zimmerman? Can’t they see past THEIR agenda to what is so vital to our culture, today? That you, for me, brought out?! The lies. The covering up. The scrambling to cover up. The yearning to tell the truth. The battle within the man, that without you, I would not even know if I was just nuts. And I know now, from what I have seen and read, and everything, that I am on the right track. We must, though it hurts, “revisit” “Highway 61” — where the road and river meet near the town in the valley near the ‘dark dirty prison.’ {I forget the song.} So they wanna light it up? Try to pretty it up? It’s all their B.S. and we know it!! {The aged brick has yellow mold . . .}
    And I know the child is the father of the man. And the fifties-sixties-early ’70s are the bedrock of everything we see today, good, bad, or indifferent. It’s alive!!!!!!!! The past lives. In us. It shapes us. It holds us in its grasp, sometimes. But it’s alive and it crackles.

    All the Best,
    Robin

  45. reprindle Says:

    RM: You shouldn’t be too hard on Sam Phillips. Without him there wouldn’t have been an Elvis Presley.

    Consider how many things had to come together for Presley to even get a chance.

    H.G. Wells wrote a short story called The Door In The Wall. In it a young boy walking down a street in London comes to a door in a wall. Seizing the moment he opens the door to find a lovely garden in which was seated a beautiful princess who treated him grandly. He left only to be unable to find that door again.

    Years later as an adult he was walking past a wall when behold he saw the door again. He opened it but instead of a garden and princess there was now just a deep excavation for a construction site. The opportunity once lost is gone forever.

    Consider Presley the Squirrel as he was called and that affected his psyche so profoundly. Like Cinderella cleaning out the grate the Squirrel was driving a delivery truck in a rundown neighborhood of Memphis. His route takes him past a hole in the wall with a picture of a rising sun. Sun Recording Studios. What are the chances of the premier recording act of the century beginning there? Nil.

    Sun has a sign in the window saying they’ll record your voice for a few dollars. The Squirrel wants to record a couple songs for his mother. The Squirrel is kind of a cute guy. Nice haircut. When he goes in, anybody could have been behind the reception desk, but a woman named Marian , Maid Marian, coincidence?, is there. Phillips is out but the Squirrel makes an impression on Marian.

    Phillips is looking for ‘a White singer who sounds like a Negro.’ Marian remembers the Squirrel, kept his address, and has him come to this most unlikely of venues.

    The Squirrel as his moniker might imply has had a rough time in life. He’s shy, diffident, tongue tied but for some reason Sam Phillips sees something in him. Desperate for his one big chance Phillips works patiently trying to find the right angle. The Squirrel gives it to him and presto! Elvis Presley is born.

    Phillips knows how to bring out the innate talent in Presley and is patient enough to do it. He hasn’t the money to provide big label backing so its just Presley and a couple back up musicians who also are standing around waiting for that elusive big break. How dumb do you have to be to stand around in a hole in the wall like Sun Records waiting for a break? Miraculously that was the sound! Phillips has contacts, gets Presley’s song on Memphis radio. As the saying goes it was all in the grooves where it had to be.

    So, there was only one place and one time, one chance, in the entire history of the universe, past, present or future, that Elvis Presley could have realized his dreams. He saw the door, he opened it, he walked in, destiny took its course.

    Sun, Marian, Phillips, Elvis it was there and ready but it didn’t have to happen; if it hadn’t what would have become of the Squirrel?

    So, if Phillips pulled a couple little tricks nothing comes for free. But what was the price compared to Elvis’ future success and what did Phillips really get for his faith and labor?

    Dylan wrote: She said: Everybody must give something for something they get.

    So I reached in my pocket and felt with my thumb and offered her my very last piece of gum.

    Also says something of Bob’s attitude toward women. Irrelevant but what the heck.

  46. RM Says:

    That last bit of “at the crossroads” soul-selling is not at ALL irrelevent! But, no, it was not for his mother at all: they didn’t even have their own record player, but he spent hours in the listening booths of the time. It was for him: he asked for an advance at his first post-high school job (and it was IMMEDIATELY post-high school; EP tried to run away from school by running away – ok, for a week and a half, but for him, it was a lot; he was a little Squirrel in a Hurry). He did two things immediately that we know for certain; made the first demo, and bought a used upright piano on credit (how, I dunno, and Gawd awmighty, can you imagine his mother when they delivered the thing!? They didn’t even have a telephone! {Although the boy got himself a TV, who knows how, back in 9th grade!!!!!! Only home I’ve ever see with more TVs than ours! Graceland, I mean.} There was more. There was a short-lived R&B label in Memphis, and he appears to have auditioned, and he pestered the “Songfellows” – who claimed he could sing “harmony” {a lie, ’cause he sang with his parents, for free, for years in Tupelo: gospel; they didn’t like the “wet” sound, which was a latter-day way of explaining the difference btw. white and black quartet singing.} And most significantly, now confirmed by a number of people over the last few decades {and before, as well, some} that late at night, early on and on into his Sun career until the touring became prohibitive, he cut demos at WDIA: “The Mother Station of the Negroes” in Memphis {exaggerated, as there quite a few others} after B.B. King’s radio show at first, and then after Rufus Thomas’s. If Thomas didn’t write “Tiger Man” (even in a four-man jam}, then The Cat DID. It was NOT rocket science, and “My Baby’s Gone” is a much more complex piece by every measure. He claimed throughout 1970: after which their seemed to be NO more contact with Phillips, who was not, to my knowledge, spotted at the funeral, nor at the house, either when he lost him mother, or when Vernon lost his only child. That’s cold, man, cold. And I don’t mean cool. Maybe he snuck around, but why? That’s silly. At a certain point in his life, soon after the comeback, and just before he careened off The Wagon, Big Time, he was getting very angry about certain things from the past. And in ’69, using very rough language. He mentioned “Tiger Man” as his “second record” but it went “p’fffd.” No one believes him, but if Phillips wanted to hide it, it would have been easy. And I loved hearing him singing “… Suede” as “White Suede Bucks” ’cause that’s what he wore that night that he met Scotty and scared Scotty’s wife! Perkins was there that day or night when the air got thick as they were cutting “When it Rains, It Really Pours.” If I were Carl, I think I’d wanna run! “Mr. Phillips” sounded scary as he kept barking at Elvis to shut up because he couldn’t hear, and he was too close to the mike, and you can hear him losing patience and temper. Elvis was getting confident and cocky, and he was into putting him into his place. Perkins was a country boy, not a city boy. It’s hard to imagine WHY he would want “Blue Suede Shoes” if were not a Beale Streeter. Wonder if The Squirrel, now The Cat, slipped him an unfinished jam from WDIA?? “Go, go, go!!!!” you hear on one TV show as the the three of them fly out of control! Elvis keeps his finger on those frets, boy, most of the time on that number, and the “consonant plus “l”” combo is PURE ELVIS, as EP repeats bl, blu, blue Suede Shoes . . . over and over. He opened his first real live performance (in ’69) in from of a large crowd, with the song. It, he knew was identified with him, but he sure wouldn’t have done the same with “Johnny Be Goode.” I think. Years later, in possibly a druggy haze, Cash said “it was ME.” And so on . . . Perkins never really complained and really is only protective of the “liquor in an old fruit jar” line, which IS country. But he can’t dance worth a damn and keeps pointing at his feet. It wasn’t a great fit, but it was a super-cool number.
    You get the feeling that most people sort of KNOW, but would never let on. Anyway, nobody stole nothin’: if it happened, it would have been a gift because Carl might have been terrified of Phillips at first. Elvis was really no long scared of anyone or anything, and THAT’S what led to his undoing. A terrified boy gained confidence and was building all the skills he would need, at a normal rate (see Dylan’s recordings at that age: “Blowin’ In the Wind” is “No More Auction Block” with new lyrics. Elvis wrote that searingly sad poem at age 11. And throughout his career, in the studio, and completely re-wrote songs, usually adding enough profanity to assure that they could never be relealesed (god, what he did to The Prisoner’s Song, six or seven different, increasingly filthier versions . . . You don’t want to know what he was thinking of doing to the man in the moon, I’ll put it that way. {grin}). Other times, he gets at home with alliteration, double internal rhymes, the whole bit. And he CHANGED the MELODY OF “BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND”!! Stone of Steel to do that!!!!!! Alright, it was at home, but still . . . Just like he could act the britches off of anybody, but after his mother died, he just didn’t give a flip. For too long, he really didn’t, and then it was too late. Don Siegal, who had seen “J. Rock,” K. Creole, the Screen Test, etc., was shocked: “there was no blood and guts left in this man. Respectfully, he called the 25-year-old a man, not a boy, but he was also shocked at his passivity and how he seemed literally a broken man (or boy, or whatever). He was a young man, yes, but also a lost, motherless child who was in quite a daze for some time. In the service, he once got into BIG trouble because he was very loose with his fists. Karate lessons were NOT his own first choice. It was either that, or everybody had a publicity problem on their hands. Because when he lost his temper with peers, he could be pretty brutal. They were really in a pickle, because another GI would have been subject to deep trouble.
    MOre later,
    Robin

  47. RM Says:

    The slide show isn’t working quite right, but the title is fascinating: including “wives” as “girlfriends.” Hmmm. With the first one, I don’t think Dylan saw it that way at all. He was intense in his insistence on how he was taught that marriage, no matter even if it was in error, a shotgun marriage {which, since she was around 8 months along, it WAS), or whatever, that marriage gotta be like the preacher-man says! No matter what. She left him. The real lyrics to that blues on “Blood On . . .” “Children cry for mother/tell ’em mother took a trip
    {Repeat blues line}
    I walk on pins ‘n’ need, hopin’ my tongue don’ slip . . .”
    He dumped those lyrics, and replaced them for the actual album, but decades hence, allowed them for legal release. First Bootleg, series, 1-3, I think. Gosh, there’s still so much more stuff from that time!! Even Shelton suggests “Red Wing (live version)” for a potentially legal bootleg: this was BEFORE it was released on the bootleg series, or in any other way!!!!!! Man alive!! It must be DIFFERENT!!!!! Or more intense, or more angry, or something. I would be intrigued by the crowd’s reaction. Interesting that the liner notes dude, after insisting that “Dylan, of course” did no time there (duh, of course “Dylan” didn’t), also points out that the material is such that making a demo would not lead to many takers (I think only Joan Baez did a version, and of all his songs, it’s really quite stunning that the woman who sees herself as someone who gave him a port in a storm when he was “heading for a fall” would choose it. There are so many more, after all, and there has ALWAYS been controversy. More recently than ever, for some reason. I saw one of those cable “Lockup” reality shows where they just film, and with the juvie show, they kept saying “behind the walls of {insert reformatory here}.” Like EVERYBODY KNOWS!!!!! Intriguingly, the album was originally released WITH the song on the west coast, and the excuse was the Ed Sullivan flap over another number. Doesn’t hold any water as to why they excised that song for so very long. And you get to hear SO many concerts, but not Carnegie Hall, ’63? Though it was an edited giveaway with something eles a while back, I don’t have it, and don’t know if “Red Wing” made the edit.
    There are only a few things in his life with which he really “giveth and then taketh away.” One is “Red Wing.” And the other is “Went to See the Gypsy” and everything connected with that. The fact that he admitted to a quite unexplained (or not suitably explored by him or others) “breakdown” – and he said “I had a breakdown!” He wasn’t frontin,” jack! He meant he really did have a nervous breadown over a guy who gave him his “hotline” through one of his most trusted guys {not Lamar! Good Grief!}, but then removing him by getting him to give the number to a mystery lady. {My assumption is that they both “knew” her in the biblical sense. [clearing throat]}. No one ever knew why “Gypsy” or why he called him that. One check of E.P.’s movements after the first Vegas gig [Phil Ochs was an invited guest, along with Michael, the rock archivist], and Elvis is said by numerous observers to have walked right over to him and sang to him. Phil was in hog heaven. {Don’t know any yankee slang for that one.} But I have to think that even if Dylan was invited, he would hide. I mean, wouldn’t that make it all the more “mysterious” and fun?! Of course. He was still pretty skinny, and he could choose his height according to footwear, so he could have been ANYWHERE. But he says, in the song, that he was “from the rear,” but that could also mean backstage just as could mean nosebleed balcony. I’d vote for hiding backstage. But the song is perfectly in synch with my direct information: “lights were shining on the River of Tears” because “lights on the River” is bluespeak for Memphis. And he would not have written ANYTHING without his permission, anyway. Just think of it that way. Hell, Parker doesn’t listen to “New Morning.” They all said he was “tone deaf” and hated the music!! All of it. Old sunofab was older than EVERYBODY’s daddy!!!!!! And that description of the horror miscarriage that a 7-year old Elvis got his mother through {literally}, with his tiny hands struggling with the wheel, and his small body trying to see the road, and his little feet reaching for the pedals (with clutch! No less.). The baby would have been younger than Bob. Which means, if the meeting happened after Vegas, and before the first recording of the song, by the lights on the River, in ’69, in btw. EP making like a Gypsy, so that everytime Bob tried to meet him, he’d find out “oh, uh, hey man, I’m in Nashville. But I’ll be over there right quick . . .” And he went bouncing around some more. And then there was the Bahamas, and Vegas {where his behavior with women in middle of the casino!! stealing soul kisses from two cuties, one on either side, while he messed around with a little gambling {but what was the REAL gamble?}, acting like the most immature jerk imaginable, then oh, L.A., and Memphis her and there . . . “MUST BE A DAMNED GYPSY!” Anyone would say that. If Dylan saw him then, and DIDN’T have his breakdown at the time, well, he sho’ nuff made it an adventure, and when he finally bagged him, it must have seemed like “Goalllllll!” But from the info I got, the conversation itself was cool.
    Later,
    Robin
    P.S. — More on “girlfriends” and any other photos that give a window.

  48. RM Says:

    Let me complete that important thought; was called away at an inoportune moment. What I was trying to say is that if the baby, which was 8-9 mos. along, had survived, he would have been just about a year younger, almost exactly than Bob. And even in light of the fact that the younger sibling did die, and the little guy WATCHED his gory death while struggling to with that vehicle (though supported with much corroboration, it still seems quite an accomplishment for such a small child. When he was 13, his father put him on THE FLOOR of the driver’s side to work all the pedals (3 of ’em) while “Daddy” worked the wheel and the stick-shift. So, imagine a 7-year-old, with his apparently (to him) dying {he was, without doubt, already dead by that time} sibling, and his mother bleeding all over the vehicle, thinking of how much he wanted that little “brother” (perhaps} in his mind to LIVE. And so, years later, outside the back of a hotel by the River with the shining lights, over walks one of those kids to whom he had, indeed, “given hope.” Unlike the Beatles debacle, this one had to feel real good. To sit there and watch your absolutely bewildered {by the cloak and dagger routine of the whole thing} “kid-brother-substitute” walk over to you and take a seat. “Well, well, well!” indeed. “How are ya?” “I said it back to him.” {Joke, folks; Bobby Zimmerman asking the apparently goy/boy King {he was always known, from Jumpstreet, as “The Boy King.” I’m sure Bob’s folks enjoyed needling their son’s idol {one of several at the top, and around that time}, as “The Goy King.” At which young Bobby would grumble under his breath. So, in the song, he throws in THE joke: he answered a question with a question! {Imagine his surprise when EP told him that not only was HE Jewish, but so was Fike, and Fortas, and GK, and Marty, and {I think Schilling may have been half Jewish and half Catholic, because at one of the two weddings in Dec. ’70, Elvis, as the Rabbi read the traditional words of the service, Elvis jumped in just a beat before with all the words, in Hebrew. The preacherman was both shocked, and as it went on, increasingly annoyed – as HE had to read it out of a book, and this apparently “Hillbilly” weirdo had it all memorized. (He memorized many speeches, and the entire script of “Rebel Without a Cause.” You can imagine Bob’s shock and sheer thrill at “hearing” the movie, until he said “ok, ok, I remember it quite well. You can stop.” Not that it would have been easy to stop him. Which is undoubtedly how the “If James Dean had sang {sic}, he would have been Ricky Nelson” thought EP pitched to BD, and which he would always remember. When either of them brought up “Midnight Cowboy,” it would have spurred EP to say “DON’T!!!!!!!” Don’t do films. Films were for Dean; music is for folks like us. You can, he felt slide down a slippery slope by “steppin’ outta line.” Which was, I think, wrong. Sinatra is one of many examples, and even if you think of King Creole, it can work. When it failed, it failed because, as Don Siegel said of the fellow who was chosen INSTEAD OF BRANDO for “Flaming Star”: “there was no blood and guts left in this guy.” Well, yeah, in 1960, so soon after his incarceration by Uncle Ike {uh, “Sam”} and his literally psychotic reaction to the loss of his mother {they spent about half a year believing that he would not see her for two years after boarding that bus. It took two months before he found out about the “dependents” loophole. By then, she was just gone. She had severe hepatitis, and likely, Cirrohsis (sp?!?!). There was no going back, and no way she could go overseas, and so she continued to turn to oblivion until she found it.
    If you ever listen to “You’ll Be Gone” – the song Cole Porter allegedly said NO to EP’s lyrics {I strongly believe it went through Madison, Tenn., or Hill and Range.
    More later,
    Robin

  49. RM Says:

    I kinda keep cutting these missives quick, but can’t be helped. I hoped that my main point was clear: the infant was born a year AFTER Dylan was, almost exactly, so it’s easy to see how the Gypsy was indeed anxious to see a guy even OLDER than his kid “brother” {he probably never knew the gender, since such horrors are often not discussed in families}, but the point was “he smiled when he saw me comin’ and said well, welllll, well!” He said it back to him. After that, Dylan deliberately creates smoke and mirrors (in fact, he says The Gypsy can get you back through the mirror [pronounced “Mir” in his Iron Range drawl, which so many foolish people seemed to think was a Guthrie affectation, when none of these people had EVER been anywhere NEAR the place where Dylan came from. In fact, he sees the sun come risin’ “from a little Minnesota town.” Naturally, everyone automatically assumes: Hibbing. He knew they would. By this time, he could manipulate his tormentors in the press quite easily. But really, which town? And which side of the river is Hibbing on, anyway, since the river ends before you get to it? Is it west or east? Sun rises in East, sets in West. So, if he’s in Memphis, looking as far as his eyes can see, and sees the sun come risin’ “from a little Minnesota town,” one has to first know that the sun rises in the east, sets west. (God help me, I believe I’m right!!!!!) So, if he’s east of the river, looking north, the sun is rising, imaginatively, from HIS side of the river as he looks northward. Doesn’t really matter WHICH “little Minnesota town” to which he refers, actually, but it doesn’t have to be Hibbing, with all that we now know. Because, if you are gazing north to Red Wing, well, I need a map to see which side of the river it’s actually on, but from this great distance, it no longer matters. He sees, from the south, looking as far as his eyes will carry him, to the Minnesota town that is actually ON the river. And the sun rises from where he’s standing: that’s all. He cannot actually SEE the “little Minnesota town,” but we know that the River ends before Hibbing. Enough so that it was probably quite out of his vision as a younger kid. The one “little Minnesota town” from where he really could see the sun come rising could ONLY be Red Wing, actually. The “music in my ears” is a memory by “early dawn,” in either case: whether it’s 1958, or 1969. Matters not. That music is in his ears still today. It rang so loud the afternoon of Tuesday, August 16, 1977, a little more than 7 and a half years after the only time this meeting could have happened where he says it did, and where I know did (and when), that he just broke. “Shattered like the glass.” If he slept at all, he “awoke in anger” and wondered if he was among the ones who put the once innocent boy “out to death.” Did Woody ever wear a “coat of solid gold”? Ok, maybe that’s going too far, but you gotta admit that Woody did NOT. And if he tried to see the Gypsy after losing him “nearly early dawn,” he could forget it. He would have blown the hotel where he was just “staying” and gone home to sleep. That’s why the Gypsy seemed so like a Gypsy in the first place; he was not only hopping about that fall like he had jumpin’ beans in his jeans, but he slept the days, and awoke no earlier than 4 PM, when he had breakfast. And NO WAY would the “plan” work if he ever let him inside Graceland in his lifetime. Bob must have felt this sense of foreboding as the night wore on. But the original “pretty dancing girl” and the symbolic words he puts in “her” mouth still called to him. “Go back to see the Gypsy . . .!!” But for then, there would be no going back. And as I said, if Bob {and the Gypsy, separately], went to the lobby to begin their actual talk, long, long before “early dawn,” which is what happened, as the night went on, the calm of the dark, dim night would start to give way to a jittery nervousness that would have started to give way to obvious panic. It was time get “real gone.” Time to disappear, and take whatever was in his stash at this time in his life [and clearly, it was already significant, but not yet debilitating: and they probably smoked some pot, surely, and so there must have been some sweets in the gypsy’s pockets, and laughs, but the impending doom of the light of day {and yet Bob LOVED morning! Just the opposite} was coming like that “slow train.” This first face-to-face, would have to end, much as Cinderella had to flee without her slipper {actually, I get a Cinderalla: or “Ciderfella” feeling to it! I really do. The young prince of rock could hold the slipper of freedom, but the dawn was coming, and if dashing and still-young King didn’t get back in time, he might . . . gosh, TURN INTO A PUMPKIN!! – well, if he didn’t get to bed in his “mansion” {real rich people do not call their homes “mansions,” of course}, and if you’ve been inside, it ain’t no mansion, I assure you. And you can feel the “pumpkin” feeling in the song itself, the sense of flight when it was “nearly early dawn.” He makes you feel, really feel the sense of terror The Gypsy lived as normally as did Cinderalla. And the young Prince is left to ponder the rising of the sun as he looks north, the Gypsy having flown as quickly as when the Prince arrived arrived (but not nearly as casually! “He smiled when he saw me coming.”) The Prince would have to find him again, to finally give him the “slipper” (of freedom): or really, “the slip” . . . meaning escape from his chains. But clearly, there was never a future time that was ever as satisfying. And he never got him that “slip” to freedom, and so the King, by the end of the very next year, began his Thunder Road to Death. But of course, the Prince did not, COULD NOT imagine that if he had seen the dashing, young musician with the floppy black hair and the tanned, beautifully sculpted features of that moment. So I guess, despite seeing him IN CONCERT, in 1972, when things were swiftly rolling out of all control and sense, the person who died in 1977 was not the horribly disfigured, helpless and pitiful figure he had so swiftly become, but the figure of beauty he remembered from that dark night. And only Dylan could put it into song in such a way as to capture the feel with such lovely perfection. Even not knowing where it would end. It’s almost like any listener, if they were really listening, could feelt the wind of flight back into chains and hopelessness after perhaps a night of freedom’s dreams {with someone who’d broken free! Who told his “landlord” to “shove it” — and not just in song [I heard an old bootleg tonight, where a song becomes progressively more angry and downright dirty that THE BOOTLEGGER censors it! An Elvis bootleg: I should have made that clear. Dylan didn’t feel any need for profanity to really rip somebody. If he ever did, I haven’t heard anything to show of it. Whereas, those Other bootlegs are filled with . . . well, nevermind. Anger, actually. Words, are after all, just words. But you can feel the rage in some of these rarities. The refuge of the trapped.}
    Dylan would not be trapped. He’d been through that, and would not be again. A lot of good women would get hurt along the way, but I think some did understand the “why” of it. Of his “dissing,” and keeping several girls on the burner at once, etc. He is not alone in this practice, but that does not excuse it, or anything else. I don’t even think he’s trapped by religion. It’s a choice, I feel strongly: perhaps one he feels he needs, like a lame man needs a crutch, but still a choice. There are other ways. {He sure does dismiss therapy out of hand, don’t he?} You’d think after seeing so many tragedies along the way, that at about the time “the room moved” he might have chosen therapy. Unless his parents used it against his will to correct something they’d created in the first place. (I’m saying that the boy who returned from downstate, “out on Highway 61, where “the killin'{was}done” was not the boy they knew before. So, yeah, it’s reasonable to conclude that they’d tried some therapy before sending him off to college, where clearly, he demonstrated the limitations of whatever sort of therapy they tried. Remember, what Beecher describes happened very early: he was just 18, a freshman . . . and there he was at mid-day, a human swamp of alcohol and what all else that I’d rather not even go into. Perhaps this was the incident that brought them close? It seems like a Good Samaritan act to me. Maybe, unconsciously, he wanted to see if there were any. Any there was.
    Maybe in a life, it’s a little thing like that – that can allow a man to survive the type of life that kills spirit, soul, and finally, body of others so young? Bob did push it close, but I think he sort of grabbed control just in time, even as he flew to the ground. He didn’t really want to go. The other young man, who purposely left that ironing cord across the bathroom floor, so he’d fall and maybe fracture his skull, and maybe just end it there, he was NOT in control at all. Even though Steve Binder insists that EP was utterly “clean” during the time of the special {and he should know, ’cause their star, stunningly, starting hauling cots for EVERYONE into the Burbank studios in ’68. And let them know that they were all going to sleep there ’till it was finished. Having a brand new baby {and wife . . .}, this must surely have puzzled both Binder and Howe, but they went along. He couldn’t bear to go home. He knew something was terribly wrong with him, phychologically, not to be able to be a functioning husband to the mother of his child, but it was so wonderful to have the “cover” of the show to avoid it all and bring in the cots. And still, without his dope, he almost walked out of the greatest perfoming night of his life. As I said, there was one point where you can see him practically gasping for air in panic. Now Bob may have some autism {which has acutally fueled his writing genius}, but nothing like that. God Gawd, as James Brown would grumble!
    Well, it’s late and I gotta go, but ain’t it funny how things sorta come full circle: I come here to seek what’s truly eating Bob, and I get answers to questions I thought were put to rest long ago, but were not.
    Dylan has that power. Do not be ashamed of your fascination; you are not alone. And believe me, it is productive in so many different ways. These people do not make their popular art so no one will be affected by it!! They may say they don’t want to change the world, but they do. Even when they say they don’t.
    Best for now,
    Robin

  50. RM Says:

    Wow, what a blogsite that guy has! But, no, having seen President-Elect Obama attempt to “dance,” I daresay I would NOT want to hear him play the banjo. But it couldn’t be any worse that Arthur Crudup, who not only never leaves the KEY of “E” but usually uses that chord, and maybe one other. His playing is so horrible, I never wanted to play the banjo in MY LIFE. Feller started playing the guitar at age 30, and he was no Jesus of Nazarath (who started HIS career at 30). But, really, a bad banjo player is WAY worse than a bad guitar player. (Just got the new Dylan bootleg set, but not the “Deluxe.” It’s still remarkable. There’s one “rockabilly” type tune, forget the name and some super-specialist “fingerpicker” named Larry SomethingorOther. I read that AFTER his guitar playing alarmed me because I heard what I have previously called “THE rhythmic signature.” I was taught country fingerpicking like on “Don’t Think Twice,” and I hated it. But the blues are different, and the fellow who was supposed to be helping me, was no blues guitarist. Weird thing about that signature that goes rocketing into deep space on the ’68 Comeback special on Lead Electric guitar is that it was the result of an accident. A broken pinky finger enable the fellow of whom I speak to play that way. He did not do so before it happened. The pinky curved outward, then inward, almost perfectly for using it to pick the lower strings over the body of guitar, while he’s somehow doing bass runs with his left hand in tandem, and while using a pick to not actually “strum” the first two strings. I use the pause button a lot when I really like something I see. Done it with Dylan A LOT. He was deeply into minor chord lead/rhythm electric or acoustic that gave songs like “Gates of Eden” such gravitus (spelling! Doggone it!). More on the Highway 61’s overdetermined nature (revisited, that is) and Dylan’s HEART FUNGUS in ’97!!!!! Oh, and a low rent songwriter (Mac Davis) stole the story arc of “In The Ghetto” from “Hollis Brown.” It’s only the sing that makes it gorgeous and moving, and that Dylan cast so wide a net of inspiration. But Dylan wrote about “next door.” The singer on the hit single of Mr. Davis sang about his own life and of those around him in a variety of real ghettos where real mamas cried when babies were born, or died. But still, only Dylan could provide the inspiration, and should have been commissioned as the best songwriter to write for the best singer, dammit. At that point in time, there was no going back. {More about that later, although I think you already know what I mean.} But hilarious as “Bear Mountain Massacre” is, it’s a one-joke deal. 61 REvisited is overdetermined with deadly serious meanings, even if it started with, either Bob Newhart, or probably with Bill Cosby’s monstrously funny and powerful “Noah” routine, which Bobby saw in person as a kid. And which I based a paper upon years ago and which is now ensconsed in a popular culture encyclopedia for academics (weird as that is}.
    For now,
    Later,
    Best,
    Robin

  51. reprindle Says:

    Anent the the Rolling Stone motif. I have to opt for Hank Williams as the main inspiration:

    I’m a rolling stone all alone and lost
    For a life of sin I have paid the cost.

    Bob all over again. Now he’s out there rolling down that Lost Highway endlessly and forever just like Ahaseurus. (The Wandering Jew)

    I like your Stone familiy reference that adds a little piquancy to Bob’s dilemma.

    Rolllingstone, Minnesota is a good joke. Bob may have picked up the story out on Highway 61 near Rollingstone in Redwing.

    I got a copy of Rolling Thunder and The Jesus Years. It’s not a bad examination of Dylan during 1975-81. Could have been a little more comprehensive but the people he interviews go into depth and are very credible.

    Weberman says that the Jesus thing helped Bob kick the habit. So if he was an addict he hit bottom in ’79 what with Sarah and everything and naturally when you hit bedrock you turn to Jesus. At that point he was so defiled, a la Abram, that he fulfilled the prophecy and found Jesus (God) to lead him back. If he’s back.

    Serious messed up guy.

  52. RM Says:

    Serious messed up guy, indeed. But he breathes the air yet, makes music yet, satisfies his “hypergraphia” urges, yet. (Ratso {Larry Sloman}, in the new set says that Bob got his hand “mangled” in an accident a few years ago, which would explain his movement away from guitar to another instrument.) BUT, as I earlier explained, accidents such as these can turn into weird, unexpected gifts. ‘Cause, I tell you, when I heard that “fingerpicking wiz” or whatever he called him, with a blues style of fingerpicking {d–n that guitar “mentor” of mine! I must have made my damn fingers bleed on “Don’t Think Twice” – his choice – years ago, and had no idea there were other styles!} And that this was country-western Chet Atkins kinda fingerpickin’, and that picking the blues is both more complicated, but filled with so much rhythmic excitement, that it’s perhaps a little easier, or at least a lot more fun, to slide into. It shocked me when I heard the sound! I could have sworn that one of those “sightings” had occurred (sp?) right there! Man, alive! But it was missing something. The bass runs with the left hand are not really there; those low-down and dirty runs that combine with the right-hand’s lower strings picking with the pinky (especially), and the ring finger, followed by an “uhhnnnhhnnn” {kinda hard to transcribe: let’s call it a climactic “king snake moan” that suggests both relief, and expectation of more joy. See, a studio pro is not a real “bluesman.” He doesn’t sit with his buddies “on the porch” {wherever that may be}, and just keep playing and playing and playing as they shout “play it dirty,” “hit it, hawg!” and such. But the guitar sound is there. There are still idiot rock critics who can’t even hear it or, heaven forbid, LOOK AT IT, and just see, that the rock era’s greatest rhythm guitarist could play a blues lead that leaves you in a puddle. THAT makes me mad. Bob, at least gets credit for what he does!! Even when he’s pounding out history on the piano, and he does it very well indeed – I’m not sayin’ that – but they kneel at the alter. Why is it that no matter what the line, they gotta have a punching bag, even when it’s a lie? Bob doesn’t do this. And they avoid the obvious. They know damn well that on “Born in Time” he cannot be talking about a chick, or even his father (Oh, Babe: to his *father*????? No, he addresses that directly elsewhere, without making a lot of sense: blaming others, the press, I suppose, for his father’s early demise. It was a combination of living on the iron range and trying to be everything you’re not while you knock your kid in the teeth, betray him, call him “defiled,” and then are all bent out of shape when he declares you erased. And then sings his horrors to your face, in front of the world. That’s what really angered Bob about the Newsweek article: they got it all wrong!! Like he secretly took his parents with him all the time. When in fact, he blew out of U. Minn., according to a number of direct witnesses, without uttering a word to them. They came down and to search his room, and it was cleared out. And worst of all, they DID NOT go after him, worried that their teenage son, who looked much younger than his age, and was beardless, etc. might be in terrible jeopardy as his made his way to the village (by way of TIMES SQUARE!!). He must have been frustrated that his father died before Shelton wrote it: he told him in ’66 (when it was definitely NOT in vogue to say such things: Midnight Cowboy got that initial “X” rating because the middle-Americans who ran the relatively new ratings board were quite in shock to learn what really goes on near good ole Broadway). Well, I can imagine Bob finding out a WHOLE bunch of truths, myths, and legends {some quite true} about that road that runs by Red Wing {not to mention the River of Tears that ran beside it} nearby. And I can see Bob in the place they called “The Lights on the River” looking toward the North Country as the sun rose way down river. And his feeling of loss, when there were no further “instructions” {symbolized by the now-missing “pretty dancing girl” who first gave him the map-maze like instructions on what to do and how and when to do it.} As soon as the dawn got close, The Gypsy flew back the way he came, and even checking the room, its door was open, the maids busy making up the room for the next customer, and no sign of him. The whole thing had been set up just for Bob, and set up so that he could flee before dawn. You can feel the sense of confusion, and just a little sadness. But only a little – we’re talking about 1969 to 1969. Not much to get out of joint about, really. Not yet. But to sit in the audience {he rarely chose the “celebrity prison” in the Garden; I believe Lennon took that path, though why I cannot imagine} and see the distorted form on stage again, and in the way he spoke, with a certain meanness and hopelessness mixed in with his so quickly distorted physical form. Remember, the people who went to the garden had not seen “Aloha” yet, or even the 2nd concert film. So, if you had only seen the early gig(s), it could have a shock. A very bad, bad feeling. A vision of so many others who plowed down the road of rock death from ’69 through snow-coked ’70s {not to mention Qualuudes, then so in vogue, Diluadid abuse if one didn’t want to get busted for heroin, there was a STRONGER drug, along with many others, and lord knows what else people took as they rode the ride to early death: to see someone you not only respected, but got a chance to meet and feel good about it at the time . . . at least on the surface, it had to be chilling and fear-inducing, until that day in August when despite a dozen OD’s in just the last year of his life, when his father learned CPR, and then successfully had to use it!, he made it to summer {NY TIMES, 1977(8?) – naw, ’77}: that came not so much as a “shock,” but a feeling of “why did I leave ya? Or bereave ya?” which he sings in the earlier version Of “Born In Time” Check out the first version of “Born” on the new Bootleg series: done over a decade or more after he “bereaved ya {the other person}” and before that “why did I leave ya? Or bereave ya?” Was it all some kinda “scheme” or a maybe a very bad dream {who knows whose?} when he let the TV person get in-the-flesh close, maybe on and off between 69 and 72, and that was perhaps when he “went blank”? Was it worth the pain? In the end, the answer is clearly, YES. Which makes song even more lovely. If you’ve seen the DVD of the “uncensored Aloha”: especially the “cut-in songs” {“everybody’s entitled to ONE STUPID MISTAKE!!!!!!!” And waterfalls of profanity and meanness dripping from his uncurled lip. (Director: “Hey, if you can’t cut it, we can always get Charlie.” Hahaha. No. Bad move: “Charlie CAN’T CUT IT EITHER. SHIT!!” Director: Silence.)} And all the other words you can think of. Only Dylan can sum it up in a phrase: “just when I knew who to thank, you went blank.” Very much like his childhood shock when Hank Williams died in the back of that car. But he could never have gotten physically close to Williams: this was different, and he partly regretted letting himself get close to an idol (and regretted not getting close enough to really be of any help}, and yet closes with the idol who was nevertheless magical to him, as being always inside him, still. It ends beautifully. From a televisual beginning, to a flesh and blood grabbing of a reaching hand: “you were gone and you came back . . .”
    The two version of the song make you wonder how many versions of “Gypsy” there were!!!!!!!! The Bootleg series will only go so far. But Bob doesn’t do this cheaply like Bruce or dozens of others; he need not use a name, either in early 1970, or almost 20 years later, when Bob had long since passed The Gypsy in age. {Must have seemed even longer then than it does now.}
    In the store, I saw a B.B. King record: a brand new one. B.B. is older than my dad, and is still kickin’ it. And he loved that weird little white kid with the mascared-in sideburns {at first}. Just loved him. But for some reason, Bob seems far more punched around {well, the cloak-and-dagger nature of at least that first meeting, and possibly others, created a tension that raised the bar – and I get the impression that it was Bob himself who waxed rhapsodically about those “groovy” London intrument shops. {It all started in the MID-sixties, when people like Bob actually said “groovy.”} And ooohhhed and ahhhed about Triumph bikes, and sent one southward in thanks for Lamar {that tickles me!}
    You see that river and its tributaries IS American music, if not America itself. And to Bob, that is kind of sacred. Even if the River brought HIM “tears.” Hank Williams’ music rode that river to Bob’s ears {he was mostly into radio, as he usally lacked spending money: this was Abe’s way of maintaining control, he thought). The two parents just wanted an ordinary “good boy.” And no matter how famous he got, even then, he simply “defiled.” Even more so, for many reasons. He just would not go along. He would not join.
    (Oh, and about “wandering,” Bob frequently slips in those little stereotypes into his songs, dripping with sarcasm: it was fun, and would further irritate his folks!}
    It’s hard for me to see that world of the ’50s and ’60s as something other than what they were. Because it was an intense time. SUCH an intense time. I don’t want to talk about the election, but there was supposed to be so much crying, but one guy – it won’t matter, but let’s just say he was there for it ALL, said simply “I haven’t got anymore tears to cry.” He kinda looked like I felt. Like “Happy Days are HERE! Let’s forget history!!!!!!! It doesn’t matter anymore.” I would love to believe that, but that, as you point out, is always dangerous. History matters, and you’d better know it. In that I cannot argue.
    But I do want a better world. Can’t help it. Why do you think I even listen to music at all?
    Best,
    Robin

  53. reprindle Says:

    To Ramona
    We threw it all away.

    Why do you listen to the music? I hope not because you think anything is going to change for the better. Nothing is going to change for the better. As difficult as it may be to believe the period from 1945 to 2001 in American was a paradise such as the world has never seen. It’s all gone now. We didn’t have the will to maintain what we had. The inherent evil of mankind triumphed. It’s all gone now, been stolen actually. Willfully destroyed.

    I can put the finger on it but then when offering blame you’re going to anger a lot of people. I don’t mind being called meaningless names, that doesn’t bother me, but it’s all so useless. Obama? What kind of joke is he? Africans have had 200.000 years to get it together and they never have. So what’s changed? Nothing. There is no hope there.

    The Semites have contributed nothing over what? 125 to 150 thousand years? Nothing. They live their lives as they’ve always lived. They push their silly stupid ‘religion’ on the rest of the world because they think their level of stupidity is the standard of intelligence.

    The seed bearers don’t even have the strength and intelligence to impose their will on the Africans and Semites. So what happens? In the clash of wills the baby gets thrown out with bath water. To paraphrase Bob, you’ve got to offend somebody.

    Why do you listen to music? Because it makes you feel good. Youre the whole story, Robin. It’s all up to you. You’ve got to have the strength to make the world about you as good as you can. That means you have to be good. So how good are you, am I, are the people around you that you know? I don’t know. So far I’ve made my own life reasonably satisfying but at extreme vigilance and cost with many defeats. I’m not necessarily who I want to be nor can I be. The world’s too tough a place and it’s never going to change for the better, especially now. It can’t. That’s why they had monastaries in which you withdrew from the world, literally withdrew from human intercourse. Spoke to no one. Even that didn’t work.

    Think about it. For a brief moment we had it as good as it’s ever going to get. To keep it we had to do some things no one wants to think about such as what the Isrealis are doing in Israel, what the Moslems and Africans are doing in Europe and America, what the Chinese are doing in Africa and the world.

    We didn’t do it. Missed the boat. Didn’t have the stomach for a tough job. Made all the wrong decisions if for benevolent reasons. What did benevolence get us? The scorn of the world.

    Does that sound hard and unfeeling? Hard and unfeeling for who? Not for us. The pygmies and gorilas were pushed into the least habitable places by smarter and more able species. Pygmies and gorillas didn’t always live in those dank forests nor do they do it by choice. Now those wastelands are needed so the gorillas and pygmies are being exterminated. That’s the way it is. That’s the way G-d planned it if you want to put a religious gloss on the thing.

    So buck up, kid. Toughen up. See things the way things are. Make the best of it. Don’t lose your head when it hits the fan and they rev up the fan. It didn’t just happen; it was planned and executed. We let the crazy bastards triumph. We threw it all away.

  54. RM Says:

    Well, first of all, we all have to hope (or pray, if that’s one’s style) that the new president is NOT “a joke.” Because we are in worse condition now than in 1929. This comes from Fox, man! We’re in trouble. I sure wouldn’t WANT to be president NOW. Good golly. You’d have to be mad. I mean, the press is jolly because they’re calling it “Bamalot” for the “second coming — of Jack and Jackie and the two cute kiddies.” But seriously, JFK came in to find a mild recession which was handled swiftly with the help of lil’ bro’s strong-arm tactics, but they got that done, and opened up some floodgates that needed opening. For people, intellent people, I would assume, to think this is the same situation is maddening. Obama is facing a catastrophe of cataclysmic (sp?) proportions. He doesn’t appear to look like he knows it, but then he has that cool manner of his, so perhaps he does; I dunno. But for the “first ladies” to chat about “decorating” at a time like this!!!!!!!!!!!???????!!!!!!!! Makes my head spin. Ya know, Jesse Jackson cried all night the night he won, as if this pure symbolism meant anything real for his people or any people. Yeah, it made them, as you point out, “feel good.” Very good. But the problems are so overwhelming that crying tears of joy seems almost obscene: I know, both personally, and because of the families I have worked with in connection with my little school (which hangs in limbo with all-whatnot is going on right now: people are so frightened and desperate). John Lewis had it pegged that night: the guy asks him: “why aren’t you crying happy tears like everyone else?” He looked like I felt. And spoke true, good words: “I haven’t got any tears left to cry.” He just frowned at the camera. And this was a guy who hoped like almost no one else back in the sixties. He ran to every hope that seemed available, but seemed like there was just nobody left after a while. And they could not truly understand that stoic, frowned look. Everybody’s running, crying: all colors, all religions: why, we’re in that Promised Land of which King spoke!!! So they felt, and feel. I know the feeling myself, but things get REAL in a big hurry. They get real.
    I might disagree with a number of your points, but the general theme suggesting that Happy Days are NOT “here again” has weight. I hope under that cool exterior, the President-elect knows this, ’cause if he doesn’t, wow! That fierce wind is gonna blow him down to the point where he just loses hope and runs out the clock. And that would be awful. But, hey, I’ve been there: I know what it’s like to try to keep doing your best, and doing right by every human being you encounter. And I’ve been bitten so many times just like that reporter the other day who said “here, Barney {the dog}” and got bit clean through!!
    I never want to lose whatever idealism I have though. There’s a firefight going on in Jeruselem, of all places, for mayor. The secular majority is facing down the ultra-orthodox, but heavy voting majority (the arabs who live there and are elibible to vote are “protesting” by sitting it out: stupid is as stupid does! What kind of a protest is that? If you don’t build coalitions, you simply die on the vine. People can be so idiotic. But idealism still moves me: like the Palestinian artist who painted a portrait of Obama hold a dove and an olive branch of peace. That guy has hope. You gotta be impressed by somebody who can still hope, even if his hopes go unfulfilled. But this brutal contest in intriguing, because it suggests a kind of hope that nobody would believe. If the “seculars” fail, I guess we can call it a day.
    Sigh.
    But, as to why I listen to music? Not just to “make me happy,” that’s for sure. I listen because I learn something new every time. The more I read, investigate, retrace my steps, and listen some more, I learn things that are absolutely shocking. I will go into more detail later. (Ok: a little shred: you know that Bob would NEVER, out of worship, EVER change the words to a Hank Williams song, let alone, his greatest. He once said the Luke the Drifter ruminations were his real “Bible.” Fine. But, it takes stones of steel to do what I heard when I picked up a little album of EP castaways, cut in Autumn, ’73, right after he couldn’t breathe and had to be hospitalized. He insisted his girlfriend gown up, and NEVER leave the room. Clearly, he thought the plot was that she would be “getting her magazine downstairs” while those mean, mean men from a locked drug unit in Tennesse, who had placed him on methadone, already, would spirit him out before he knew what had happened. Because on the record (CD) of a home recording he did in Linda’s parents’ home, he goes from sounding like a jerk-addict-a–h— almost to the voice of a small boy, though one who could play a mean blues guitar, and sing black gospel on THE country song. But that’s not all: he takes that rarely heard second verse and CHANGES IT COMPLETELY!! “Have you ever seen a night so BLACK, that CLOUDS go FLOATING by/The moon just went behind the cloudS
    TO HANG ITS HEAD and cry” All caps represent the changes, plus there is black gospel melisma that Williams would not have been able to do. It’s a shocking performance (he does the other verses with more subtle differeces, but skips the first) 1st, because YOU DON’T rewrite Hank Williams!!!!!!! Unless you don’t worship him, like most “country” singers. (Which means Bob IS a country singer, most of all. And that is quite clear.) Secondly, there’s the changed tone of voice from the July sessions when he acted like such a jacka– and his eyes and skin were a stark and shocking yellow. He was dying, right there, and for once, he father snapped the whip, and after that shock, he put down some damn good tracks in December. But something weird happened, and on the “Rhythm and Country,” you can actually hear it: he sings “Columbia Stockade Blues” and says “man, that song is old; I did that when I was three years old.” He remembered singing it. THREE!!!!!! That’s when he was taken to Parchman to visit his father!!!!!!! Bukka White was there, and probably other musicians. White was acutally busted in a recording studio: a shooting incident. (In the following years, Elvis would start shooting, for real. Though no one was seriously injured, they could have been very easily. And he’d be in one or another kind of stockade himself. And he knew well that his father, when he was only 13, and they just arrived in Memphis, living a stone’s throw from the [future?] Lorraine Motel in North Memphis, sharing a bath with 15 other families – that his father told him simply one thing. “Only one thing would break my heart, and that’s if I had to talk to you between bars. That’s the ONE thing that would break my heart.” Vernon could not even IMAGINE that his only child would reach “middle age” at age 21. That was unthinkable. In 1973, it was VERY thinkable, and he scared the p— out of his son, and you can hear it on the record. The cover of “Rhythm and Country” {from the Stax sessions, with much dialogue} shows him looking up at a guitar, with large child’s eyes, and frowned mouth open. He looks like a frightened child, and sounds like it, especially on the “home” tape, despite the brilliance you hear. The voice is high and sweet, yet there is no “command” to it. And no humor, really. Yeah, I know about the “joke poem” that he made up and told on that tape, but it was kind of sick, actually. On the part that you can hear, he sounded scared, and terrified of a future he knew he could not control, but really wanted to. Bob has NEVER, to my knowledge, ever sounded that way. So, if you want to know how he survived when others dropped like flies during that era, it’s right there. He never completely lost complete control of his own life. There nothing truly “heroic” about the things he’s done, but maybe he had to do things he wished he had not done. And I thing he knows that at this time. Most of all, he knows he’s alive, when by all rights, that would seem impossible. He had no one, really, but him, in the last analysis, to save himself. And despite great travail, loss, defeat, “very few” nervous breakdowns, he made it. He has grandchildren. He has a real life. Strange, but not too strange a life.)
    So, in listening to music, and I listen “all kinds” {little in-joke there}, I learn. Gosh, I even have a record called “The Last Castrato” and it’s legit. Shoot, I would not let Dylan in my house!!!!! I have too many rare records!! Some of them just unbelievable. And all that “junk” I’ve picked up over the years at conventions and music flea markets . . . some have proved mighty enlightening at a later date: more so than I ever could have imagined. Too bad I let them get all yellowed, brittle, and torn. But I can read them, with effort, but I can. Amazing that some of never even interested me years ago, and now . . . wow.
    And in listening to music, I’ve learned a lot about the world, too. And think, so have you. Don’t let it get you down! All might seem hopeless, and sometimes it is, but hope can come from the strangest places. One should never say, as an extremely popular once-young performer wrote over a quarter century ago “Hope is dead.” Don’t go to that place. The person who wrote that lost everything he ever worked for, and fell harder and further than anyone ever has: AND he lived through his own social death. And lives it still. Bob has some awesome lyrics that could apply. Just never say “hope is dead.” Just don’t. Because you just never know.
    More late,
    Best,
    Robin
    P.S.: Ever see a REAL “pygmy marmoset”? Big as your thumb, but looks like a chimp. Scares the —- out of ya! Nature is full of surprises, of all kinds. (I’m not talking about the creature on Johnny Carson’s head: these are super-tiny. Gives ya the creeps, but is instructive ’cause you’d never expect to see anything like that, and yet it exists.)

  55. reprindle Says:

    Robin; Time to start a new page. Go to Conversations With Robin page 2

  56. R M Says:

    Yeah, you knew I’d be back, but I cannot locate “page 2” of our chatter. So this is all I’ve got. HELP!! Internet Horror!

    Anyway, after what Bob babbled about in Rolling Stone, indirectly, but directly in actuality calling Jerry Schilling a liar (and we know it’s Bob who’s always been the “deny-er” – Jerry’s actual mother died when he was a baby. Bob had a mother and father, but said in MANY interviews that he did not. He might have kept it up if he could have.
    But the fact is that he called the house – quite more than once. So, to say “I didn’t want to meet {you know who} is just simply a . . . an untruth. The truth in the music. Never trust the artist; trust the tale.
    Also, Elvis denied meeting Buddy Holly IN A SYMPATHY NOTE! “I never met Buddy Holly, but” Yup. And THERE IS FILM!!
    So take this from whence it comes.
    Also, there’s more to it than that. Elvis knew the Jay Sebring “Acupulco Gold” crowd in “that scene” in the Hollywood Hills. Dylan wasn’t naive at all (neither was E.P.: he was just trapped at the time, and reached out to Bob several times, and for that there is much corroboration, including Bob’s! Oddly enough. And oh, 1968 happened in a different plane of existence, I guess.} In any case, it was extremely rare for E.P. to reach out like that. He sensed someone who understood the same music {Sister Rosetta Tharpe!!!!!! Check out te Deluxe version of the new album, and the theme: FRIENDSHIP!] He wanted a real friend, not a paid so-called friend. Very badly. If Bob walked past a drowning person, someone who inspired his whole life, BTW, and continued walking, then shame, shame, shame. But, I have the goods, so I know it’s not true. He also said “I don’t have a mother . . . ” Hard to imagine someone doing that under almost any circumstances.
    So this ain’t nothin.’ And there’s something good here, too: everyone who’s spent 15 minutes with E.P. is good for a book, a half hour: 2 books, more than that, AN ENCYCLOPEDIA filled with bogus B.S. I am damn serious.
    Out of the still growing number of books, probably going past about 500 by now (heck, I only have about 300), only about a dozen have any worth at all.
    They say you better have a good reason to write one.
    Guess what? I DO. It has to do with the process of “song-making.” Songwriting is a Westernized concept. In the hills and Deltas of America, songs are “made,” not “written.” And when business intrudes brutally, the process can be ravaged, as can lives. This is just one well-known case. There are many more. That is why there is a good reason to write something.
    I am sorry I was gone so long. Combination of computer trouble, and personal trouble.
    Please guide me back to where I once belonged!! I’m lost.
    Best,
    Robin

  57. R M Says:

    I can’t find page 2 of our chatter (with others, too, I think). Please help!!!! Don’t want to overload this, but I can’t find it.

    Anyway, I came here this morning, curious to go back to the several Tommy Durden sites on the ‘net. He was much loved in Jacksonville. He is the 3rd writer-credit on “Heartbreak Hotel.”

    See, I just listened to Roy Brown’s “Hard Luck Blues,” and damn if it isn’t a “pre-write” of “Heartbreak . . .” I can even hear the piano solo, on some kind of horn, note for note. He’s walking down the road to nowhere. Has so much trouble, he could cry. Lays down on his mother’s gravestone to die. Also mentions praying (in the outtakes of Heartbreak Hotel and the alleged demo). It’s just TOO much, okay, so I tried to go back to the Tommy Durden sites about the DJ who wrote the song and Mae Axton took half credit, initially, and he just wanted to “get it out there.” It was a country ballad: Hank Williams knock-off. Said he sang it for YEARS on the radio! Most importantly, he said he DID NOT RECOGNIZE Elvis’s version when he saw it on TV; said the tempo was completely different, and the lyrics. Now they come out with a really creepy book with two CDs. “Writing for the King.” Says he’d still be driving a truck without all these writing pros. MM. Hmmm. And one of the discs has the Glenn Reeves demo that Tommy seemed never to have heard of in 1982, but later said that Elvis even “breathed” in the same places (total B.S.: on one “I c’die” he “gets it” but for the rest he just sort of squeal in an attempt to imitate him. Guralnick does not mention Reeves! Because in his interview with Axton, she says SHE changed to tempo {“this song needs a beat”} She thinks the Blues are just “a beat.” Guralnick, against his better judgement {he’d prefer to waterboard his interviewees . . .}, leaves Reeves out of the thing.
    Anyway, all the Durden tribute pages, and his talk about the song itself have vanished.
    She was very tight with Col. Parker. They dragged Elvis into a hotel room at some Nashvill DJ convention and supposedly (all parties are DEAD now; Elvis was way younger than most of them) played him the Reeves demo and he says “Hot Dog, Mae, play it again!” She told one guy that she never heard him ever say that again. {Had she watched the ’68 comeback special?} I think she played him Tommy’s song after her “hillbilly music” interview with Elvis. Said she was a “folk” specialist. Yeah, right. I think he played her “Hard Luck Blues,” and she immediately thought of Tommy’s radio ballad. And in the hotel room (the REAL “Heartbreak Hotel,”) asked him if he could pop it up – you know, make it pop and a big hit. So he says “Hot Dog, Mae, play it again!” He’d done this before, easily. “My Baby’s Gone,” for instance, and other stuff on sun. He pulled in a lot from Roy Brown’s masterpiece, but lightened it up and glossed it over for a huge audience. But, boy, can you ever hear it!!!!!
    No wonder Tommy didn’t recognize it. And he spoke, originally of no “anonymous suicide note” and an equally anonymous person from the Miami Herald. I wish I could dig through the microfilm and try to find it. After all these years, NO ONE has come forward to say who “he” was?
    I’ll tell you who the guy was who said {in his “note”} “I Walk a Lonely Street.” His name was Elvis Presley.
    Remember the headline: “A Lonely Life Ends on Elvis Presley Boulevard.” Graceland was Heartbreak Hotel, and everyone knew it. What they didn’t know was WHY it applied so perfectly. Elvis heard himself in Roy Brown’s “crying blues,” and was excited about the possibilities of making the song “go pop.” But it couldn’t be that song, exactly. So on hearing Durden’s song, he’s struck through the heart. But it’s still wrong: strictly country. He wants a pop blues. And he knows he can do it.
    Love to hear the first performance.
    By the way, Axton attended the first recording session, and heard him do it in the studio.
    Glenn Reeves version does NOT sound like it was done in “a house.” It sounds like a studio to me.
    The other CD is of Elvis versions, almost all live. Awful versions; they picked ’em on purpose. “Don’t Cry Daddy” was chosen because he can’t stop laughing through the tearjerker, and sounds like a real jerk high on Mary Juana. They did this on purpose. Why?
    You know: MONEY. And Mae Axton was the Col.’s little helper. I have caught her on so many lies and inconsistencies. If this were a murder case, she’d get “old Sparky.”

    Now, tell me where the page is! Please! I don’t want to be rude.

    No, that wasn’t a joke.

    Best,
    Robin
    P.S. — Poor Bob; he never knew that Hank Williams bought songs. And he don’t wanna know it now, I know. But he sounds really pissed at Johnny Cash. Like never before. Weird.
    Maybe he’s just learn some awful truths, and wants to leave the issue of Elvis ALONE. I can understand.

  58. reprindle Says:

    Patience Robin. The only way I can figure out to do it is to google Conversations With Robin. It should be in about the first ten. There is no internal site search on WordPress that I can find so if I wanted to locate it I’d have to go searching through my index of posts. I suppose I could list the stuff in a cloud index. I may have to do that. My list is getting quite long.

    Back to you in a little. Check google and note that you’ve got it. Been a long time.

  59. R M Says:

    Oh, lemme explain: SONY PUBLISHING owns TREE PUBLISHING (Heartbreak Hotel). If Elvis combined Roy Brown’s song with Durden’s independently, I think it goes to something called Copyright Control. You get my drift? SONY is HEAP BIG MULTINATIONAL; Elvis and Tommy and Roy were NOTHING. MUCHO BIG PROBLEM; MONEY HELD UP for maybe, years. So trash Elvis, if neccessary (sp?).
    SONY NEVER LOSES.

    Robin

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