Here are a few Bob Dylan news odds and ends:
The new Bob Dylan video for the song “Duquesne Whistle” is available on a handful of “exclusive” sites. It has been analyzed and criticized by so many fans already, there’s not much to add at this point. Instead, I’d thought I’d just share a few personal observations.
First of all, it’s a dark video. Literally. If you are going to watch it, make sure it’s been “enlarged” so that it fills your entire screen. The first two times I viewed it on a small screen, the details were lost in the shadows. Once it was blown up, there is so much going on in the background I had missed. The visuals added to the subliminally humorous flavor of the story.
I did not think much of the video initially. It made no sense, and certainly did not appear to relate to the lyrics. However, after repeated viewings, I was able to look past the violence and creepiness, and saw that the video is full of funny, surreal passages. In fact, I now focus mostly on Dylan and his bizarre posse, which includes one member dressed as Gene Simmons of KISS. The rest of the story feels less unsettling after a few viewings.
(Trivia: Dylan co-wrote the song “Waiting For The Morning Light” with Simmons. Here’s one report:
Original title: “Laughing When I Want To Cry.” One day, Gene called Bob Dylan as he wanted to write a song with the legendary musician. Dylan came over to Gene’s house and came up with a chordal pattern pretty quick. Gene came up with the rest and a few weeks later he finished the entire arrangement, which sounded like a Traveling Wilburys tune. Gene demo’d the music with Tommy Thayer and two other musicians. When he ran into Dylan again on tour, he asked him to write the lyrics but Dylan said Gene should write the lyrics himself. So, Gene came up with the lyrics and claimed: “The lyrics are okay, but they sure ain’t Dylan.”
When Bag heard Gene’s demo, he came up with a different arrangement, to finally release the song as ” Waiting For The Morning Light ” on Gene Simmons “A**hole” 2004 solo album.)
You can view the slide show above to check out some of the more interesting images in the video, including a John Lennon poster, a marquee for the “Gasolio Brothers in concert,” and other subjects that may or may not have any significance.
Speaking of “Duquesne Whistle,” I think I have found where Dylan may have gotten the phrase “You smilin’ through the fence at me/Just like you’ve always smiled before,” located in the second verse. While searching for something else, I came across a song titled “Watermelon on the Vine,” described as “Bill Monroe’s theme song.” The opening line is “See that watermelon smiling through the fence.” It is pure conjecture, but the idea of including a phrase associated with Bill Monroe is certainly within the realm of possibility.
When Dylan played Cincinnati a few nights ago, guitarist Stu Kimball did not appear on stage until the fourth song. Last night in Youngstown, he was missing in action until song number five.
When Kimball was M.I.A. the first time, a few of us wondered if he was rehearsing “Blowin’ In The Wind” backstage with special encore guests, the McCrary Sisters. However, now that it has occurred at two concerts in a row, fans were more puzzled than ever. Dylan fan April Melody was at both shows, and told me the McCrarys were seated in the audience throughout the Cincinnati show, so Kimball could not have been with them.
Melody also reported that in Youngstown, during “Things Have Changed,” “Something was wrong with the mic (I think). Bob sang two lines, turned and left center stage, walked over….waited a moment then sat back at his baby grand then he started the song over.” She also mentioned that it was so hot, “Bob took a sweat shower” on stage.
On Mark Knopfler’s Facebook page, there was the following post:
It has come to our attention that Ticketmaster has mistakenly listed Mark as a being on the bill for a number of dates with Bob Dylan, beginning today (August 29). The actual first date of Mark’s tour with Bob is October 5 in Winnipeg.
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