Happy 71st birthday Bob Dylan. I remember seeing you and Joan at Club 47 in Harvard Sq in the mid-60s when we were all young and adorable. I was never much of a fan because you were weren’t political enough for my tastes, but I must say I got a lot of good use out of your tune “Lay Lady Lay.”
For old times’ sake we went to see your very expensive concert in the Boston area a couple of years ago. The sound sucked big-time, the music was muddy – we couldn’t distinguish one song from another, you mostly kept your back to the audience, and you never addressed a single word to us. Everyone says, “Well that’s Bob. He’s moody.” That’s not the word I would use (more like arrogant prick), but I won’t argue on your birthday.
It’s hard to understand your life choice to perpetually tour when you seem to resent performing so much. You yourself have explained it this way: “A lot of people can't stand touring but to me it's like breathing. I do it because I'm driven to do it.”
My best Dylan experience by far happened at the home in Rome of my friend Sergio. He lived in a modernized ancient building (the one on the left in the photo) overlooking the Trevi Fountain. He suggested that we dine on his balcony while watching the Americans throw their coins in the water. I have something to play you, he said, and put on Time Out of Mind. It was definitely my favorite album of yours since the old days, despite your voice going down the crapper. Happy birthday – you’ve been in my life a very long time, for better or for worse.
Here’s a recording of Till I Fell in Love with You (Time Out of Mind)