When You Feel Disorder, Run for the Border

Bob Dylan Show : Cacaphonic Music Produces Symphonic Heart Smiles

(Entry for my niece Maggie’s journal)

Hey sweetie. When it comes to life choices…hobbies, careers, best friends, boyfriends…always go with your gut instinct. Beyond the mind chatter, in the silence of your heart space, listen to your heart. Bob Dylan wrote, “you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows”. After attending my first Dylan show, I might add…you don’t need a DJ to know when a concert blows. Which was just the case this evening.

Jon (the guy who inspired this journal) and I went to the Mark Knopfler and Bob Dylan concert tonight at the Santa Barbara Bowl. Our dear friend Will Jennings (google him!) treated on the tickets. It was a cool coastal evening, with a smoky half moon bashfully peeking her face out from the Pacific mist. We were warm and cozy with beanies atop our heads, and a Timbuktu bag of coconut macaroons, string cheese, and chocolate covered almonds.

Knopfler and his band were amazing. Dylan? Uh, Knopfler and his band were amazing.

I’ll never forget this show. Knopfler and his band were pure groove delight. Dylan and band were quite a fright. It was like watching Mr. Magoo take a nose dive going through the security checkpoint.

It was the best worst concert I’ve ever been to. Jon concurs.

Listening to fingernails on a chalkboard would have sounded like Yo Yo Ma playing the Beatle’s “Obladi Oblada”, compared to Dylan and his band of troubled troubadours tossing out lyrics, beats, and guitar licks like Mr. Toad’s wild ride at Disneyland. It sounded like a spoon caught in the sink trash compactor harmonizing with a shoe flopping around in a clothes dryer.

Dylan’s burlap sacked voice and his harmonica and piano playing made me want to punch somebody. His band’s playing was so off, it felt like I was experiencing my first California earthquake. It ranked a perfect 10 on the cacophony symphony scale. At one point, I said to Jon, this makes me want to chew off a hangnail. To which he replied, it makes me want to bite off my tongue and stick it in my ear. It was while walking away from the Bowl, when we realized we could have used the string cheese for earplugs.

We stayed for about six songs, (which was five songs too many) then ran for the border. As in Taco Bell. A couple at the end of our row, showed up about 5 minutes after we sat down. Damn funny.

I had not been to Taco Bell in about 10 years. Jon ordered for us…2 taco supremes and nachos. Oh yeah, and a Dr Pepper. On the way home, we delved into the snack bag and ate the chocolate covered almonds. All the while laughing as we rehashed the not so subterranean wackiness of Dylan’s show.

It’s been over an hour since we ‘macked on the tacos and so far, so good. No need for a di-gel. Note: your grandpa Tom favored di-gel whenever we ate fast food on the road, during the family summer camping excursions. In his OCD organized dashboard, he always had a pack of di-gel next to the peppermint tic-tacs.

If Dylan is still playing when you are older, don’t go. Instead, we will wash and dry dishes, singing to “Alice’s Restaurant”. I’ll tell you all about your Great Great Aunt Ruth and the Thanksgivings in Charlotte, Iowa. And when the last cup and saucer is in the cupboard, I’ll take you to Taco Bell for taco supremes, nachos, and a Dr. Pepper. On the way home, we’ll enjoy a dessert of chocolate covered almonds.

The moral of this story? Get up and go when a situation feels like chaos or disorder. Run for the border.

P.s. Always pack snacks. You never know when you may need them MacGyver style…like using string cheese for earplugs. Or to just enjoy them as dessert when riding home listening to the laughter of a guy who takes you to the smile space.

Pps. And always go with the guy who makes you smile. Best return on your investment. Music to your heart.