That fuck weasel editing The Evening Standard couldn't find opening night review space 4 the greatest poet of age, my man Bob, in Metropolis's greatest theatre, Palladium dum.
Rattle your fucking granny’s Jewellry, Georgie, you loathsome shit heel!
Maybe George Osborne didn't do this by design, maybe he was already orf for Tatton-ger and Totty weak end (Natalie Rowe, Rowe, row the boat ashore?) but ( in my diseased mind,at least) it does show a political prerogative.
Osborne is the “thick and ignorant” upper class English scum skewered so adroitly on Dexys Midnight Runners This Is What She’s Like. That is those who, with the help of Corbyn, have done what, for over 100 years, his craven class n kind couldn't - requisition the part of London I'm now leaving, for the upper classes.
Draw a Hoxton/ Jesus Green psychogeographic circle and ponder.
Moved in there end of 1989 and the BNPscumerati were still putting their leaflets of hate n filth thru the door of the terraced houses that now sell for a million and counting, cunt in.
Houses rented by young lawyer hipsters pulling down 100k a year, in a burg that’s multicultural Britain in Mircrocosm folks.
Hackney Momentum, yah, for the Trustifundarians, minimal interface with the Bengal families predominating in public housing surrounding their rent me down, daddyio’s.
Modren day Little Lord Fauntleroys, too, with their bijou pedigree hounds, being stopped n fondled over by the gentle lady imports in the hood, while aforementioned holds the lead, like some Regency dude.
Well I guess, not to make too much cliche out of a signature tune, the times change.
And Bob changes too.
But the lineaments of his art, its elevation and extolling of vernacular culture in its manifold glory.
That has been one great unifying theme and thread of his lifework -from the Woody Guthrie jukebox days to the current masterclass zeroing in on the sweet intoxication and heady endearment of vintage perfumed songart,
First time live for me with The Bobby Dazzler was July 7 1984 Wembley Stadium the day of London tube strike , NME was on strike too.
Mick Taylor was in the band, Ian Maclagan (lovely Ian who, years later, at lunch, very dubious when I told him that at the Roundhouse gig that I had reviewed for Radio 4 Today, getting poshed socked out of the wireless by Sarah Montague for me trouble, Bob had done a little Faces tribute in I Don't Believe You, dropping into Cindy Incidentally). Show was with Clapton and Santana guesting Bob getting through the stadium years with also Chrissie Hynde and Van up for the Baby Blue encore.
How did it feel while it was happening, for me ?
Even as an absolutely true believer finally getting the never thought possible benediction?
That this was time marking, not vintage Bob.
But Bob, man, to live in his time, to get to see him in the flesh . I never thought it would happen.
I was 9 when I first met that guy. The Crawl To Your Window song, B side of Highway 61 7 inch, which was always great, but not THE track on that sainted album, when it came into my hot little hands.
How did THAT feel?
The world changed when I got it, in all its gospel revelation glory, speed head crazed sleeve notes precipitating a meet with Uncle Bill Burroughs, Queen Jane's majestic flow, the postcards of the hanging the it takes alot to laught, train to cry. Oh fuck, yes
It was 1972, the push button cassette, the £12 bounty for passing the 11 plus, liberated that fucker to TDK tape and I strapped the evidence on the back of my bike and played it, fucking LOUD.
Clarion call time, too good for the world not to hear, my dear, what he was putting down, blending together. The rock n roll I loved from Rosko's show now remade (it was Ireland, I was young, there was a lot of catching up to do) in vivid macro/ micro chromosomes and psychic energies, myriad and multiplying, pulsating, like some mystic fire, flowing, brandy sweet, through his tunes.
Meant something extra, maybe, presented an added psychic edge, for the mid 70s adolescent Mick looking for a way out of the bog.
A feeling, fixed magnificently in Jim Sheridan’s In The Name Of The Father, Gerry on the Ferry, drunken ecstasy unbounded.
“How DOES it feel?”
And after all the years and all the shows... I've seen Bob play all over the world - always, in a way, getting better, more detailed , more nuanced, sculpting and refining the metre of his art and the meanings of his vocal artistry.
And his band, oh what a band.
Bob loves bands,The Band (“play it fucking LOUD!!”) , a band, your band... The Stereophonics!
But ain't no band like his own and it's a thing of mystery and wonder tonight, the way the lush fading tremors and crepuscular spell of his most recent recording release trilogy slams and mingles with the Texan Roadhouse guitar blasts, the keening pedal steel and that Recile funk beat.
The Chess House band licks and the Berry acknowledging flips and paradiddles
As I watch Bob now, at the Palladium on April 28 2017, sat in the seat that shoulda been for the reviewer from Gideon’s sad and withered free sheeted organ, I am reminded that...
Bob is not, simply, the celebrity, the weirdo, the myth, the legend, the fantasy, the old hoary rocker trying to conjure up magic from the dead ruins of an ancient time - though he IS, decidedly, ALL that, and mo - Bob is an at the top of his craft magician (honest, check it out, same root as magic).
Tim De Lisle is there beside munching on some foul smelling crisp style , possibly Scampi flavoured snack. Which he is kind enough to offer me. Thanks Tim!
What I want to know is has Tim had any thoughts at all on the link go my album that I sent him?
But Im too bashful to bring that up so, after the show, after Bob’s moistened the tendrils of the ancient trees in Autumn Leaves, cast up the pearly dew drops on Stormy Weather, stood like some magnificent Roue or wizened Gigolo , hand on hip swagger, Bette Davis style, as he illustrates how this recent consummation with past masters has been party to a plan to re energise and formulate his own elixirs.
Long And Wasted years, wasn't the only time I laughed out loud tonight.
Who says Bobby doesn't do the ironying the sarcasm or whatever?
Such a fucking charmingly intelligent and giving performer.
From recent vintage pearl Beyond Here Lies Nothing, to back to his roots (as Bobby Vee band piano man circa late 50s) offering comittedly cranky and eruptive pianistics to tonight’s by common consent perfectly stunning Desolation Row.
Forgive me Im a loon in a swoon.
Desolation Row of course is a song that George Osborne has been instrumental in insuring the world has increasingly come to resemble.
TIm De Lisle not so impressed though. Different strokes, cricket compares and that, off the bat.
Tonight Im getting a big extra kick watching the magnificent Charlie Sexton - who I first heard on a cassette tape in Townes Van Zant’s Nashville abode , at Townes 40th birthday.
Townes had gone to sleep, guests like Guy Clark and Jim Rooney had gone home by this time, but down in the basement Townes good and grand Texan lady Jeanene, who’d prepared the day’s magnificent barbecue accompanying spag bol, was still lining up tunes and beer.
A back a home hotshot kid, the 14 year old Charlie, was tearing several shades of shit out of the speakers and Janine was demanding my allegiance.
And I swear Sir there was no problem there.
And how was I to know after all those long and far from wasted years of seeing Charlie in Bob bands, with multi instrumental marvel Larry Campbell sometimes too -often - them doing that high mountain intro stuff and the deep dark clanging electric blues.
30 odd years after Janine’s introduction chances that I’d be watching that 14 year old turn magnificent guitar man wrangler is Charlie better than ever?
Dunno but you can betch yer T Bone Walker wing dings of pure blasting magnificence, he is.
What can I say about Bob that hasn’t been said?
The air gets exciting around him. There was so many people - Angus, David B, Frazer's dad - I was excited to talk to there and meet and spend time with, but I had to go get the train.
I dunno its just better to be around when Bob does his thing, if you can - thats how it felt last night.
You didn't come to a Bob Dylan blog to read about matters of affairs of state, did you?
Leave that to the big boys, Christopher Ricks, the great human that is Heylin, Marcus up and lets get Greil here .
Neil McCormick doesn't let me down though.
Unlike DeLisle, who hums and haws about the merits of the show, Neil gets it in all its magnificence and HE MENTIONS MY ALBUM!
What a hunny!
I had promoted it earlier at the stage door. Gave an impromptu rendition of The Pistols of Sex, the second single out that very day. I wasnt doing it for Bob, was he even around? Just for the (bemused) crowd.
The back door man but , the back door of The London Palladium man, gotta take your chance when it presents, no?