The nearest I’ve come to a real rock n’ roll star is when Shane McGowan
kissed my hand and signed his girlfriends’s book ‘Angel in Disguise’ for me.
The inimitable Shane wrote gra is gra (love and love)-and included an old saw
“Enjoy yourself it’s later than we think”-in scrawly handwriting.
Shane, indisputedly is a great songwriter, but the songwriter who I really
would like to meet is Bob Dylan. I might manifest a meeting, at some point,
through sheer synchronicity, but in the meantime here are 7 reasons why I’d
like to meet Bob Dylan.
1/That face of his when he was younger-a luminous visage full of mischief
and melancholy,tenderness and cool. Anyone who had a face like that is well-worth
saying hi to, somewhere along the line.
2/The fact that Dylan followed his star, out of Hibbing, Minnesota and launched
himself on an unsuspecting and sometimes jealous Greenwich Village, New York. I’ve
been to Greenwich Village twice and Bob definitely had the right idea. You could sit
on the pavement there and wax creative, just soaking up the atmosphere. What Im trying
to say is that Dylan had the balls to follow his dream.
3/Which leads me to The Clancys. You’ve got to love Dylan for loving The Clancys,
a shower of Aran sweater clad good-time boys, with the souls of poets. Particularly
Liam. When I was a kid I wouldnt spit on the The Clancys, but a few years before he
died I got the chance to see Liam and Odetta in Vicar St (wonderful, they had the whole
audience singing) and then again at the National Concert Hall. Liam had an audience at
his back and of course in front of him.
He said, chuckling, “Those at the front are fed up of looking at my face, those at the
back are fed up looking at my arse!” Liam Clancy on No Direction Home applauded Dylan for
leaving behind small-town narrow mindedness. A thing we Irish know all too well.
4/The lyrics Dylan manages to fish out of the pond. Effing A. Desolation Row,
Blind Willie McTell, The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll, She Belongs To Me,
Talkin World war Blues 3, It Aint Me Babe, Blowin in the Wind (Pope John Paul 2
commented “It’s not the wind that blows things away, my friend, but the wind of the
Holy Spirit) Mr. Tambourine Man, I Shall Be Released, the list goes on and on. Baby
Stop Cryin-“You’ve been down at the bottom with a bad man, babe, now you’re all back
where you belong.”
5/The wonderful way Bob Dylan thinks. He has a different take on things to
most people. Witness the hilarious interviews he gave in his mid sixties period. The
sheer cheek of his nonchalence and sweetness. (I mean he never swore, and sometimes
carried a lighbulb)
6/ To ask him about his love of women. Sinead O’Connor tells in her recent interview about
his Bobgorgeousness, how someone told her he’s crazy about women. I’d like to know why he
seemed to hurt women he got close to, (Rotolo, Baez, Lownds) but he’d never tell.
7/The fact that I stood for two hours at the very front of the stage last time Bob
played the 02 in Dublin and had a great view of his legs. But what I’d like to know is,
why he made those funny hand gestures when he left the stage, like a priest half-heartedly
blessing the public!
Most of all I’d like to meet Dylan just because…