Posts Tagged ‘9:30 Club’

Been Too Long A Time

01 Jan


Bob Dylan


Date: Thu Jan 1, 1998 8:14:17 AM America/New_York

Oh, fatter than ever, but the only time I hear that old handle is from the Nuthouse gang, and in particular, from you. That's cool though. Too bad "Space" was long taken before you got to AOL. Man, I had written you off for good after two phone calls (I think) were not returned and you blew me off a mere week before I thought I was traveling to Philly for a ballgame or hosting you here in DC. Whew! Glad to see you made it back into the scene. We'll certainly have to catch up.

Life is pretty much the same ole shake for us. I'm been doing freelance web design for some time now in addition to working on my own stuff when I can pull something together. What's your computer fix look like these days? Oh yeah, that reminds me, we were gonna lend you this old Mac Classic. Reckon now that you've resurfaced on AOL, you must have finally snagged a modern machine somehow somewhere.

We kept a rather low profile this holiday season, and for most of this year actually. We're definitely feeling our ages, even Sue, a wonderhorse for years of party thirst for rowdy times far beyond the call of duty. She still keeps close to her wine bottle on a nightly basis, but I have cut back my drinking to almost a monthly rather than the thrice weekly routine of the past decade or so. Of course food, bad greasy, chunk exploding food has a way of finding itself into my mouth, and it's not a pretty sight or a healthy feeling. I've really got to get myself on a healthier track. My pains are too mind-numbing to detail, and all these bloated beastly Hollywoodites are dropping like candied farley flies. Scary man. In this age of processed instant gratification, we have processed on an accelerated scale. The fork in the road has a greater fraction of us living longer well past what our grandparents expected and another greater fraction are dropping even earlier than diagnosed due to all the crap we pump through our eager holes and soft machine cylinders. No doubt I fall into the latter category. A complete mess, a distant cry from that young sprout glistening with undeniable untapped potential oh once upon a time.

See there, see here. Sob stories abound. You know you're gonna have to cough up some tales of the torrid past eventually, but yes, you have found me. It's good to have you back on the E-train. The phonecalls were fun but I'm usually far too self-conscious and enfeebled in telephone conversation unless I'm drunk (with its own accompanying pitfalls) but writing just flows like blood on the money most of the time. Besides I can get away with pretentious floods of irregular phrasings the oral traditions just don't usually allow, eh.

Yes indeed. Seattle's back on the map. Atlanta's a dying breed. The front office has lost its mind, and the bats grow cold in the clutch. Geez, Louise, what's there to say. You'll have to check out my web sites one of these days, if'n you've got enough machinepop. Since I don't know your condition I'll save the details of that stuff for later. Happy New Year and all that jazz. The neighborhood was crackling last night for about a half hour after the calendar flipped pages. I was suprised Sue didn't even roll over in bed because she was insisting that she wanted to watch the silver ball drop on TV, but I knew she wasn't going to make it since she was already nodding out at eleven.

Meanwhile I was standing in line debating whether I should sell my ticket for a profit and leave the lonesome scene with Sue & Ken instead. They insisted I stay to see the man who was nominated last year for a Nobel in Literature (believe it, it's true. He lost to a Italian septegenarian novelist whom I'd never heard of . . .)
Saw Bob Dylan in an up-close and personal venue a few weeks ago, early December, when he was in town to receive a lifetime achievement award at the Kennedy Center. I wasn't there THAT night, but we caught him at the 9:30 Club the night prior to the Kennedy. We'd stood in line for several hours in the cold gnarly AM when tickets went on sale earlier that month only to be among about three hundred turned away. On the second night of the show (he played two nights there to a thousand bobbing heads each), Sue, Ken Borden (an old friend of Bob Blumstein), and I stood again outside hoping to score three tix. Borden had successfully found entry the night before, benefactor of a simple twist of fate. An old friend of his carried an extra after his girlfriend bailed with sickness. Instead of drawing lots, we rationalized in which order each of us would be entitled to tickets as they surfaced. Three hours later the line hadn't moved and no tickets were within shouting distance. Finally I saw an old friend. Lo and behold, he had a friend trying to dump one. That was mine. Bought it for fifty bucks, fifteen over advance price. Borden and another chick we chatted up that night had paid eighty the night before. I owned the first ticket since Borden had seen Dylan the previous night, and Sue had gone to the Stones at the Air Arena (basketball/hockey) a few week prior, a gig I passed on even though the tickets were free. Sue, at my suggestion, then invited and was escorted by old pal Tom Howell who enjoyed himself much more than I possibly could have sitting in the stars and seeing nothing but smoke and hearing little but poorly packaged noise. Meanwhile I was standing in line debating whether I should sell my ticket for a profit and leave the lonesome scene with Sue & Ken instead. They insisted I stay to see the man who was nominated last year for a Nobel in Literature (believe it, it's true. He lost to a Italian septegenarian novelist whom I'd never heard of . . .)

Finally the line was moving. We hung together until I was frisked at the door. I waved goodbye. No more tickets. Sue was to get the next available entry, since she hadn't seen Bob, but now even that seemed a moot point. I had barely pushed my way into the place, among the last dozen in line, up cozy to the closest bar, when I hear Borden wailing and Sue jibberishly in joy waving arms akimbo. They'd made it. Two more tickets at fifty bucks a pop. We were all there snuggling among other Dylanistas, an older crowd speckled with the occasional fresh bunny or hardly harried hipster comfortably awed. Downside. Beers cost $4.50 apiece, and we all wanted at least three.


P.S. Bob lived up to expectations again, spending most of the night banging out notes on a twelve string. This was my fourth time seeing Dylan. Worth every dime. Most money I've every spent on a ticket.


"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""