1978 – Street Legal, Bob Dylan


Dylan at Blackbushe Airport 1978

This was just around the time that ‘Street Legal’ came out and a few of us decided to get tickets. Christine had been a Dylan fan since the early sixties, in fact it was Christine who first got me listening to him. Like a lot of other people I had heard him and thought he couldn’t sing. But when I started listening to his early albums I realised what a phenomenal songwriter and singer he was. The first album that made an impression was ‘Another Side of Bob Dylan’. There are some fantastic songs on there – ‘My Back Pages’, ‘Chimes of Freedom’, ‘To Ramona’. It was a move away from the protest songs with which he had, much to his displeasure, become associated. But the album I was ultimately most impressed by was ‘Bringing it All Back Home’. This was where he made a big move from acoustic to electric music. Although he had used electric guitars and drums before this, on ‘Bringing it All Back Home’ one whole side of the album was electric, starting with what is, in effect, a beat poem put to music, ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ which, in D.A. Pennebaker’s documentary ‘Don’t Look Back’ is the music to what I think is the greatest music video ever made, long before music videos were the mindless accompaniments to music they have become. See what you think…..

Anyway, back to what this post was meant to be about, Dylan at Blackbushe. As I said earlier a few of us decided to get tickets. I can’t remember exactly who went, my memory generally isn’t of the best. It surely can’t have been the alcohol and valium that I was consuming. Christine and I were there, of course and, as far as I can remember, an old school friend of mine called Roy and his wife? girlfriend? companion? There may have been others. We travelled down in, I think, Roy’s camper van. When we got there the place was huge, a massive field surrounded by a fence and then further surrounded by car-parks. I recall later in the day deciding to go back to the van for something and it taking forever to find it. Continue reading