By Jane Gilday
by Jane Gilday
To Be Alone With You She Belongs to Me Cry A While Just Like A Woman It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) Highway 61 Revisited Queen Jane Approximately Cold Irons Bound Girl Of The North Country Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum Ballad Of A Thin Man Summer Days
The encore: Don't Think Twice, It's All Right Like A Rolling Stone
Lakewood long-ago-once-resort town Pastel hotels gone corkscrew seedy Mookie of the NY Mets lived there where Springsteen 88 and 9 intersect where Ma would send me for BBQ chicken, giving me a twenty whose change I could keep, town where I bought my red Fender bass, 2 blocks from the site of my Dad's Irish wake 4 miles from the Greenwood graves of my folks, Lakewood the town where I heard Bob sing and play his Hohner like Lester Young looked in a Porkpie Whitman Chaplin suit from beyond the toy piano. The Ides of June two thousand and five, today must be my lucky day. Loving the songs since sixty-four but never once seeing he who sings them, a friend calls up: "I forgot your birthday, here's the money for a ticket to Dylan." Bob and Willie are touring the Diamonds with green Outbackers doing High Lonesome American poets and minor league towns ain't nobody can sing like they ain't nobody can sing like they. Arrived in Lakewood after driving through ghosts, one thought fills me seeing the ballpark: "Bob is here, Bob is here, holy shit Bob is here." It's real but still I don't hardly believe it. Like Stephen Foster comes over to jam bringing along Bo Diddley. Things you never imagine. Gimme the chill bumps lemme tell you Daddy loved Willie. His last years on Earth at family dinners Blue Skies would play surrounded by kids and the kids of the kids Daddy would beam as Willie let forth with that voice carved fine as turkey in corn, worn as born and warmer. Lemme tell you things about chill bumps. The Greencards start up, it's like batting practice the stands half full people are eating nachos and dogs and beer and more beer the play of a fiddle and excellent sound Tea for Texas and whoop-ass ancients made new on the strings' regime. That Clinch Mountain two-step that backstep clip-clop that Maybelle flex the one and the five twining like flowers on sunnyside slopes A Monroe doctrine worth singing about. What a mix of people are here. 6 pack gals in cowgirl boots 2 inch roots in outlaw halters beer belly boys with Waylon buckles stroll the concourse with rainbow types rasta tie-die ganja eyes Family paisans with kids under twelve free admission standard magnetic rolling rock thunder roadhouse under the lights tonight in Jersey, Lakewood in The Pines. The Jersey Devil may be down the road a piece here on the pineland's edge but the stadium feels pastoral and right Circus tent Chataugua show A roar goes up, Willie's below. Nelson's a name like Williams or Rodgers plain as dirt like Jimmie or Hank Like Will, Amelia or Uncle Dave been long on the old plank road. Willie's a voice as creased as his face as long as a Cherokee braid twisted and worn as a beat-up guitar all full of holes from the shook up things worn down to essentials, cedar and gut rosewood and fretting deep in the night. Some pal named Paul slapping the time while the kids and Pa get down in the pocket, boy on the harp is making it weep. The wrong guy from Texas pulls strings in D.C. The right guy from Texas is touring bush leagues. The Spirit loves jokes. It's clear from these scripts. Willie's corny, incredibly hip, the opposite of shouting "FIRE"! in a crowded theatre. Crowd is restless, ballpark food crowd the overpass which performers go under they wanna see bob stroll to work walkie talkie men hollering people "bob ain't gonna come til ya get off the overpass" the people move but not by much. Every light in the place goes dark and people scream and the roar is big in pitch black rows and aisles. announcer's vaudeville voice blares: "ladies and gentlemans he invented folk rock turned the beatles on, discovered folk music, met woody guthrie, got married got divorced, invented country rock after inventing folk rock then he met jesus then he got divorced then invented country-rock protest hamonica solos in a neck brace on carreening motorcycles then fell into a morass of booze and dope then fell out of a morass of booze and dope then came back timely out of his mind ladies and gentlemans BOB DYLAN! Jack Fate declares to Sweetheart "I need some boys kin play" Well, Bob got them boys, the very ones kin play in waco greasy suits dunno his name the guitar next to bob does the chuck berry chug-a-lug riff it's like keith minus that UK cool being iowa and american from maize & arrowhead meadows and this is american jazzland rockhound shit who would have expected and BOOM TO BE ALONE WITH YOU! it's bob berry and hank dylan not to mention carl orbison and elvis perkins in east st. louis on memphis street and they're all hairdressers with more girlfriends than the other guys they've stolen style like spade coolie's network eightball broadcast on the bakersfield run this here truck stop special music diesel fumed across the divide where leo fender tinkers with RCA tubes so that love can be sung plain both dirty and innocent or homespun clean everyone wants to be alone with someone of a like mind where and when things get wet and this is such cookin' music and i'm laughing out loud cause nobody told me there'd be noise like this bob is banging piano and i can hear it clear the ivories of lower midrange where every harmonic beneeds the song anchored with tony's bass and that kickass drummer in a paris beret so the twang boys can mountain dew they some the grand ole' opry dead of slick so long live mickey stuff like this everybody in the park feels like they're alone with bob tonight's good god amighty ain't love grand and yo! bob is wearing orthodox amish homespun black with breast-pocket dangles and a flat brim hat all the better to rabbi shuffle and blow harp like never before bison traces olay! clear and clarion trumpeting reedy and swiss and polka 2-beat and building and building then building some more before going all out skywalking dots thoughtfully moving miles minus all the doo dad bop masters do it with only 8 notes she got everything she needs and bob is playing with the melody the inflections, the lilt, soft singing old man tender not rancid or bitter of course she belongs to him love songs in ballparks might as well be magic these things require craft and skillfull careless and bowing down on sundays upsinging and shit why not? most good things are up and this world has too much down. enough down to make ya cry a while and thensome the both-ways backbeat second-line stumble of boys that kin play some blues beyond the rote route blues has become blues is a woman just like a woman and bob is tender again nobody feels any PAIN is a question inflected like it should be pain not just a word to rhyme with rain blues is zippered up came and went he never called again baby got no daddy at home and rent's overdue blues is tonight with country descent into a well of sound where prayers and tears swim together with sorrow, regret and enough empathy to quench a love thirst. i can't even write about all this nor do the disservice people don't write novels about clouds or troutstreams or hillsides but they try and that harmonica keeps trying like bells work against stained guilt in empty rooms after check-out, in poor rooms with fans and all the money in the world can't help ya flee being human the flypaper hangs from the pull chain one 60 watt bulb got the flickers tonight. short hand and mores' code. to reinvent all the inventions to die before going senile to trod the boards and let it rip. bob's doing all this willing and avid nightly the st. james book the whitman hotel's bedside attraction with cable or mormon best western urges to take them tablets and look at them closely since nobody else pays attention put it all to music and make it last strumming or honoring domino, minnesota fats, the hustle of green rocky roads and bullrushed babes where children float hidden away from pharoah's barge in france or harrar now or then. this american type writer poet who sings with a band of cowboy humbucking strangers is asking queen jane and ma or anyone with ears to dance on death's shadow where shades of homer run free from base to higher ground as the pitchmen sell shirts and logos means you heard something you wanna wear a while hart crane is still drowning and 10 people heard howl woody is crippled or in jail so who keeps going? and if not, why not? rosetta tharp wasn't doing it just for the damn fun though that sure helps a lot when pa is still obessed with burning altar boys just because he gotta bad mood about skulls and bones and gimme some dinner. bob's mask isn't there when his fingers push the keys it's clearly 'sing it and they will come' he's so anonymous it hurts everybody else is dancing with mariah mussolini on soprano icon road near survival traffic island with gap genes on backwards getting mauled with plenty so someone has to honor the human heartbeat's angelic apple dance of twain vines and river salt sea mist and mud chanteys if you can take one dust mote one hazel summer night sky one more bit of rock and stir it well the dance might still be gracious and amazing tho most are indoors amazoning themselves to the casket the old man and the c note containing runaway dreams seized and stolen and given because the spirit sang to who it chose to while the moon knelt down so low. this ridiculous shit is still rolling time's suspended been here for weeks the stasis of great momentum the simple stroke of graphite on a napkin over hoagies midwestern counter punch to the city's heap big dirt paying expenses daily for tabloidal noiseballs gossiping about asses. i am so happy because all that has vanished in lakewood tonight bob's band is cracking fierce too much higher primate business i focus on tony and oh thank god no slap happy funk junk his bass can oom-pah or stride or nail the one bob could sing the alphabet over bedrock like that and does alpha omega and tennessee walls of pride torn down it takes Lot to be patient and a cliffwalker to listen the streams in the pinelands flow red from tannin and the water tastes of cedar captain kidd buried treasure there and bog iron was in washington's barrels soon to be in king george's cheeks, jersey gnats and mosquitoes are not fooling but nobody cares. bob is still going summer days summer nights like this screw that George Will crap like Our Grand Experiment In Democracy. Our hoedown experiment in Live Let Live is the truer stuff hick opera with jumbled roots
jones still don't get it and never will
afeared to get in trouble with the scout troop masters and their merit badgers of water gone to bad blood, bad stock and surety. gonna need somebody on your bond. bob is paroling the open ears. girl of the north country breaks my heart sung like it still hurts and always will this guy is not photo opportunities on carrier pigeon marked decks or jetstream vacation commando centers where humans are units and obstacles in the path of central planning girl of the north country you can smell fresh wash on lines strung under clear heavens and the gummy hot macadam given way to autumn's riot weeds every color a cider of barrelhousing with the sense of vast always there and not forgotten or trash heaped unto civility or saturday in town when town was still town and not a bypass mart of foreclosured tumbledown. girl of the north country vagabond denim pinball machinery for grain and gravy scuppers in parlors linens and sundries and drive in dreams sunbeams on oak and cherry once was a true love of mine are the sweetest words tho sad and going sadder because the true in them was not cast aside for casinoed routines and synthetica grins as the bombs go bursting in air until otherwise notified or entombed. leaving the ballpark, 'hard reign' japanese on. i turned it off fast. needed silence to drive on home thinking since then all about this. chill bumps and grandmas. about this always all about this.
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