Saturday, February 18, 2017
Bob Dylan's fans
Because of my personal friendship with Bob Dylan, coupled with my lack of interest in preserving his dignity, I am in the rare position of being able to offer some behind the scenes glimpses of the great man. My small coterie of readers take this sort of thing in stride, but usually these accounts slip out to the Dylanophiles, who, starved of gritty information on the musical legend, tend to get a little excited.
Yesterday I posted the following:
Messing about with his phone Bob lets out a groan. "Aw geez, why are you quoting me in the press again?"
"Do you have to check your phone for quotes about yourself when we're trying to have a civilized drink together, Mr. Tambourine man?"
He laughs. I will say this for the man, no matter how funny he might think a joke I make is he'll do everything in his power not to laugh at it, but if the joke's about him he doesn't mind letting out a snort. "Don't change the subject." He says.
"I've run the numbers." I explain. "I average seven more readers for every blog post in which I quote you."
"Clown." He says. Then he hoists his cocktail glass in my direction, a very pretty drink called an Aviation, made with crème de violette.
Lifting my own I say "Weirdo genius."
We clink glasses.
I have a pretty quiet blog out here in the deep woods of the Internet. And though I have camouflaged it heavily in local twigs and lichens, Dylan fans are well accustomed to peering through the layers to find, well, more layers. And so my usually quiet blog suddenly and instantaneously is deluged with questions, actually both questions and comments from Dylan fans, Dylan Scholars, Dylan acolytes, Dylan haters, and Dylan Marketers:
"Could you ask Dylan what his earliest memories are of jugglers and clowns?"
"Dylan is not the tambourine man. Rather the tambourine man is a figure of light, a pied piper to God, who..."
"Where can I buy crème de violette?"
"When you called him a "Weirdo genius", what did you mean? I have a theory that..."
"If you had to describe Dylan's mood these days, what verbs would you use?"
"Can you get a photo I have to Bob? If he could just see it for a second I know he'd understand."
I don't know if these are good questions or bad questions or crazy questions. I just know I have no idea how to answer any of them. So I call Bob.
"Bob," I say. "I'm getting all these wild questions about you all of the sudden."
"Tell me about it." Bob says in his strange gruff voice. I start to do so, but he interrupts me.
"I meant that rhetorically." He says.
"Oh." I say. "But what should I tell them?"
"Believe me, man, there's nothing you can tell them. Just let it go."
So I tried to do this, but I felt kind of bad ignoring them all. So I sent each of them an autographed picture of myself.