Saturday, October 27, 2012

Dont start me talkin' Michael

Had a night out with my mate John. We went to hear Michael Gray author of the Bob Dylan Encyclopedia at the Bedworth Arts Centre in a talk called Bob Dylan and the Poetry of the Blues. First time of hearing Michael, whose Blog is also well worth a gander here.

Michael has always struck me as a master of the bon mot, and of course much more, and he didn't disappoint last night. He was urbane, witty and erudite by turns and displayed a complete grasp of the Dylan oeuvre and a wide ranging knowledge of the blues. Although he started slowly he warmed to his task and the audience and the second half of his talk really sparkled.

The highlight for me was his account of an Live appearance by Dylan on the Letterman show in 1984.
Michael told the story that Dylan recruited the punk band The Plugz to help him promote his new album "Infidels" on the show. After a week in Malibu he had rehearsed dozens of songs with them and then on the day of the live broadcast agreed a set list of three songs from the album.

Apparently when Letterman introduced him Dylan turned to the band and completely unexpectedly called for a version of the Sony Boy Williamson number "Dont start me Talkin", unfazed the band backed him in this glorious performance

Talk about being in the moment. I wonder if Bob could do a knee bend like that now?

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