New in the collection: Bob Dylan Charlotte concert poster

Poster that includes a photograph of Bob Dylan and reads "Cricket Arena, Sunday, February 10th, 8pm, in show and concert, Bob Dylan and His Band, In person."

“The crowd of at least 5,000 welcomed the new and old Dylan, dressed in a dark suit and white cowboy hat. The show was general admission, so hundreds of people packed the arena floor, some dancing and others sitting along the perimeter nodding their heads appreciatively.

“Dylan’s influence on music is undeniable, from his political folk songs of the early ’60s to his electrified folk-rock of the mid-’60s. Sunday’s show attracted a range of fans representing his impact, from hippie throwbacks dancing next to tie-dye Phish fans to yuppies with young children….”

— From “Band steals show as Dylan delights fans of all ages” by Tonya Jameson in the Charlotte Observer (Feb. 11, 2002)

Remembering a Minnesotan’s Miscellany mentions

Excuse our immodesty, but surely Bob Dylan’s appearances over the years in North Carolina Miscellany played a small part in bringing him to the attention of the Swedish Academy:

— On his view of Billy Graham as a rock ‘n’ roll model

— On his performance in Charlotte during Watergate

— On his debt to Thomas Wolfe

— On his visits to Carl Sandburg and from Bland Simpson

If only he could’ve waited for Love Valley before going electric….


Bob Dylan on Billy Graham: ‘like rock ’n’ roll personified’

“When I was growing up, Billy Graham was very popular. He was the greatest preacher and evangelist of my time — that guy could save souls and did. I went to two or three of his rallies in the ’50s or ’60s. This guy was like rock ’n’ roll personified — volatile, explosive. He had the hair, the tone, the elocution — when he spoke, he brought the storm down. Clouds parted. Souls got saved, sometimes 30- or 40,000 of them.

“If you ever went to a Billy Graham rally back then, you were changed forever. There’s never been a preacher like him. He could fill football stadiums before anybody. He could fill Giants Stadium more than even the Giants football team. Seems like a long time ago. Long before Mick Jagger sang his first note or Bruce strapped on his first guitar — that’s some of the part of rock ’n’ roll that I retained. I had to. I saw Billy Graham in the flesh and heard him loud and clear.”

— From “Bob Dylan: The Uncut Interview” by Robert Love in AARP the Magazine (February/March)

When Bland met Bob… and when Bob met Carl ….

“Sara Dylan answered the door, gave me a blank look, and closed the door. About two minutes later Bob Dylan himself appeared and stepped out onto the small porched entry. He wore blue jeans, a white shirt buttoned all the way up and a black leather vest, and he was very friendly and relaxed.

” ‘Bland. What kind of name is that?’ ”

— From “Christmas With Dylan: A true-life pilgrimage” by Bland Simpson in Creative Loafing (Dec. 15, 2004)

I don’t know which I appreciate more about “Christmas With Dylan” — its unforgettable, out-of-left-field last line or its serendipitous parallel with Dylan’s own youthful pilgrimage:

“On the porch was Mrs. Lillian Sandburg. She didn’t seem startled. …. Dylan announced: ‘I am a poet. My name is Robert Dylan, and I would like to see Mr. Sandburg.’ She disappeared into the house….Finally, the poet appeared, a genial, slow-moving man …. He wore an old plaid wool shirt, baggy trousers and a green eye-shade over shell-rimmed glasses….Sandburg: ‘You look like you are ready for anything….’ ”

— From “No Direction Home: The Life And Music Of Bob Dylan” by Robert Shelton (2011)


Dylan’s fans found lyrics more than just ‘Alright’

On this day in 1974: Having set off an Elvis-level ticket-buying frenzy, Bob Dylan makes his first visit to Charlotte at a time when Watergate is threatening the Nixon presidency.

Reports the Observer’s Polly Paddock from the original Charlotte Coliseum: “The high point of the night had to come with ‘It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding).’ When he reached the prophetic line, ‘Even the president of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked,’ Dylan’s fans went wild.”


Memoirist Dylan was ‘hiding behind a wall of Wolfe’

“Given [Jonah] Lehrer’s offenses, it is interesting that among the trickery in ‘Chronicles’ [Bob Dylan’s 2004 memoir] are misattributions. In one section…  Mr. Dylan appeared to take a phrase from the letters of Thomas Wolfe and put it in the mouth of U2’s Bono.”

— From “Freewheelin’: Bob Dylan, Jonah Lehrer and the Truth,” an op-ed piece by David Kinney in the New York Times (August 2)

Dylan, Wolfe and Bono? Wow!

What follows is cut-and-pasted from the wildly obsessive Dylan fan site

Dylan takes on the voice of Wolfe himself when describing his frame of mind and his interactions with producer Daniel Lanois while recording the album “Oh Mercy” in New Orleans. Here are a few examples.

Chronicles: Volume One, pp. 217 – 218:

There had been a clashing of spirits at times, but nothing that had turned into a bitter or complicated struggle.

The Letters of Thomas Wolfe, p. 395

You say nothing of the bitter and complicated struggle which has been going on between two people for two years.

Chronicles: Volume One, p. 221:

I try to use my material in the most effective way. The songs were written to the glory of man and not to his defeat, but all of these songs added together doesn’t even come close to my whole vision of life. Sometimes the things that you liked the best and that have meant the most to you are the things that meant nothing at all to you when you first heard or saw them. Some of these songs fit into that category. I suppose all these things are simple, matter of fact enough.

On the record, I had to make spur of the moment decisions which might not have had anything to do with the real situation.

The Letters of Thomas Wolfe, p. 343:

You mention the fact that I have worked hard in an effort to learn how to use my material in the most effective way.

The Letters of Thomas Wolfe, p. 341:

…that the story has been written to the glory of man and not to his defeat.

The Letters of Thomas Wolfe, p. 343:

That is that I should like my work to be of one piece with all my life, and that to me the labor of writing does seem to be united to a man’s whole vision of life

The Letters of Thomas Wolfe, p. 368:

To me it is and always has been the most difficult kind of reading, just as it is the most difficult of writing, and the poems that I have liked the best and that have meant the most to me are those that meant nothing at all to me when I first read them.

The Letters of Thomas Wolfe, p. 389:

All these things I suppose are simple and matter-of-fact enough, but all the strangeness and mystery of time and chance and of the human destiny is in them for me and they seem wonderful.

The Letters of Thomas Wolfe, p. 395:

What you did not say in your story, however, and what you know to be true, is that the Guggenheim fellowship and this sudden spur-of-the-moment decision had nothing to do with the real situation.

Chronicles: Volume One, p. 221:

That being said, I had wholehearted admiration for what Lanois did. A lot of it was unique and permanent. Danny and I would see each other again in ten years and we’d work together once more in a rootin’ tootin’ way.

The Letters of Thomas Wolfe, p. 315:

…I’d like to say to you that he has the most genuine and whole-hearted admiration for your genius and power as a novelist – he feels, as I do, that your talent is unique and permanent, that there is no one like you, and that if they read any of our books in the future they will have to take account of you.

The Letters of Thomas Wolfe, p. 226:

rootin’, tootin’, shootin’, son-of-a-gun…

The Letters of Thomas Wolfe, p. 644:

rootin, tootin, shootin, son of a gun…

Much of Chronicles: Volume One is constructed in this rootin’, tootin’ manner, from dozens of different sources. In this particular stretch Dylan appears to be warmly letting you in, but he’s not doing that at all. It’s a freeze-out. He’s hiding behind a wall of Wolfe.