Meeting Bob Dylan.

Okay, I admit it. I am a fan - have been for more years than I care to mention. Why else would I lurk outside Glasgow's most exclusive hotel in sub-zero temperatures. I'd seen Dylan play Glasgow the year before but decided that a "festival seating" policy at the S.E.C.C. excluded me from shelling out to see him again. Twenty years ago, I didn't mind standing for gigs - but not now.
So, it was down to trying to get a few words with the great man - and - if possible, an autograph. I had a small collection of carefully chosen bits that the addition of a signature would have elevated to holy relic status (1966 tour programme; Isle Of Wight programme; a copy of "Writings and Drawings" and a couple of PR pix).
It was one of those incredibly cold, crisp days when your breath billows out as a cloud of steam and for two hours or more, I tried to keep moving just to keep some warmth in my body. God knows what the folks in the hotel thought. I must have been mad - but I was one of only two people there, so I figured I had more of a chance than ever before of getting to Bob.
Eventually, a tour bus pulled up outside the hotel; it was sound-check time - the adrenelin surged. The hotel door was unlocked and out walked ...... the minder. For a few moments, he just stood at the top of the stairs surveying the scene and obviously assessing the risks to his employer. I walked up to him and asked what he thought were the chances of getting an autograph and, surprisingly, he said I could try - so long as I didn't hassle and accepted it gracefully if I was ignored. That was fine. I knew the rules. Now, all I had to do was get Bob to sign something.
After about five minutes, what looked like an old "bag-man" shuffled out of the hotel wearing at least three jackets, one with its hood pulled over his head. Hands in pockets, he seemed to take an age to walk across to the steps of the bus. It was only then that I knew for certain - It was Bob Dylan. I reached forward with the '66 programme and a pen - he took them both. I had done it!
Reality hit me. It wasn't a blow from the minder or a speeding car - it was Dylan speaking to me. Sorry, I have to write that again - it was DYLAN speaking to ME. My brain snapped into gear, my senses were at fever pitch. "What's this?" he said.
"Uh? It's your 1966 tour programme" I replied. His hand moved. The pen moved ever closer to the cover of the programme. I was willing him to do it. His head turned upwards. He looked directly at me. The expression reminded me of a rabbit about to bolt. Bob glanced at the minder and then looking straight into my eyes, he said, "uuhh!"
Panic set in. I had to do something. I was frozen in a moment of incredulity but something made me say, "Could you sign it, please?". His hand moved again but in my mind all I could see was a rabbit racing across a field. It made it to its burrow and I sensed this was the end. The hand stopped. We were both frozen in the same moment. I knew he sensed it as he let out a short but oh, so significant, "mmmmmm".
I realised I would have to admit defeat but it seemed that it was Bob who surrendered in the way his arms went out, offering me back the programme and pen. His eyes had gone back into the darkness beneath his hood. He turned and walked on the bus. I had failed.

© 1995-2003 Rockmine Archives. All rights reserved. No part of this web site may be copied, redistributed, broadcast or published in any form without approval. Read our conditions of use for legal and commercial restrictions applied to this site. Use of the site signifies your agreement to all of these terms without condition.

Back to the Dylan menu.

Back to Rockmine