how could bob dylan ever disappoint me?


dear anderson,

sorry it’s been so long. i know, i know, i say that every time. but i do mean it. i guess i feel that because i watch your show so much, i do feel like we’re still in touch. the highlight of the past couple weeks for me was when you and stephen colbert did a trivia contest. if that was a show i could watch every day, i would be so happy. consider it. i can’t be the only one.

anderson, i have a confession. you are not the only famous person in my life. you’re my best friend. justin timberlake is my sometimes husband. and bob dylan is my soul.

i love bob dylan. he is the number one artist on my ipod, most played, most versions of the same song, most songs over 5 minutes long. i can’t get enough of him. i’m not one of those people who hunts for bootlegs, but i see myself doing more of that in the future.

i always really liked bob dylan, but it wasn’t until university that the true love began. i took an english course as an elective called ‘bob dylan and the literature of the sixties’. i picked the class mostly because i could get credit for reading my favourite book, ‘on the road’. but the lasting impression was dyaln. every day we got to listen to a song and discuss the lyrics and the history and politics associated with it. it was like heaven. i never realized what a poet he was. i mean, i’d seen ‘dangerous minds’ with michelle pfiffer so i had an idea, but i never knew what a profound effect his music and words would have on my life.

so, last week bob dylan was in town. i bought tickets a few months ago – second row seats to see the man up close and as personal as he can be. he’s on tour with mark knopfler whom i’ve never seen live so i knew i had to go. when i hit ‘confirm’ on my ticket order i burst into tears. i was just so excited. over the next few months, the excitement ebbed and flowed. but as the day approached i started getting a bit overwhelmed. many people will say that dylan has lost his spark, and that at 71 seeing him live just isn’t worth it. but i will take what i can get. i wasn’t alive when he was the awesome troubadour singing about civil rights, i wasn’t even alive when he turned electric or went all religious. but it’s still him up on that stage and that’s enough for me.

this was the fourth time i was going to see him live, so you would think it would be old hat. but the last time, the show was less than stellar. the kids sitting next to me talked the whole time, the sound was lousy and bob barely moved. so the more i thought about it, the more worried i was that this would be a similar show. but i tried to remain hopeful. i did my usual routine of looking at recent set lists to determine if he would play my favourite song – he played it the first time i saw him a decade ago, and then never again. but i was convinced it was time to play it here again. i read reviews that were very mixed and my excitement started to fluctuate. i was getting worried the show would be a disappointment and that if this really was the end of his never-ending tour?

at work, the whole day leading up to the show i listened to mark knopfler’s new album. i wanted to get prepared for non- dire straits music, and distract myself for bob dylan hysteria. i think knopfler is amazing and actually really like his new stuff. secretly though, all i really wanted to hear him play was the songs from ‘the princess bride’ soundtrack. i love that whole thing, from the instrumental songs to the theme that i once lip synced to at my friend’s tenth birthday party. when preparing myself to see mark, i could be pragmatic. i knew he would be playing songs i didn’t know, but he is a guitar legend so who cares. but with bob i was working myself into a real tizzy.

i left work and decided i had time to sneak in a nap before meeting my stepdad for dinner before the show. i couldn’t find a parking spot near my house and i was getting hysterical, but i finally parked and fell asleep so i thought everything would be fine. i am so naive. the tizzy didn’t stop, but i tried to just get over it. it didn’t work. i was about halfway through my meal when my emotions of the better of me. i don’t know if i’ve told you yet, anderson, but my stomach and i have a really complicated relationship. not only can i not digest milk despite my deep love of cheese, my stomach does not like it when i’m emotional. so here i am, sitting at the restaurant getting more and more excited and then nervous that the show won’t be everything i hoped it would be. i told my stepdad i was feeling a bit ill, and then i cried. thank goodness we were in the corner, but still, sitting on top of that high bar stool i felt so silly. but, that wasn’t my first public cry and it sure won’t be the last. unfortunately, getting some tears out and talking about how things will be great no matter what didn’t help. i sauntered to the bathroom and threw up. i felt better and we headed to the show.

obviously, the show was amazing. possibly the best dylan show of all the ones i’ve been to. mark knopfler was so amazing, and his band was ridiculous! i think those 8 guys played about 60 different kinds of instruments. it was so much fun! and then there was bob. he seemed to be in a great mood and was jamming out on the piano, so what if he played a few wrong notes here and there – he’s bob dylan!! the songs were not how they are on the records, but i’m totally ok with that. this time, they were all still recognizable and distinct. and the best part of all! he played my favourite song. and yes, i totally cried again. like a lot. i may even be crying a bit right now just thinking about it. seriously, i just can’t contain my love for bob dylan.

i know i need to work on not letting my emotions get the best of me – happy or sad and i still throw up. this is not the best way to live. i hope that next time i get worked up and nervous, i remember this bob dylan concert and remind myself that i wasn’t even remotely disappointed despite all of my anxiety. but i do think i may stop going out for dinner when i’m emotional.

until next time,

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