the 30th at the beautiful Beacon Theatre on Broadway
We arrive in New
York for what are to be the final dates of the tour. The Strangers
get a room in New Jersey and
Haggard get room
in the Beacon Hotel. I find a nice place just a block and half from
the theater and settle in for
the week and what
it may bring.
Bob and Merle At The Beacon on
and his phenomenal band, a sound so rich and tight it basically rendered
even Dylan's storied lyrics irrelevant"...For there was an effervescent
vibe in the air that told you that most of the people here had come
to celebrate each other. ..And that they had
made it across four crazy decades with
him, through eight Presidents,
through three or four wars, through disco, punk,
yuppies, heavy metal and the advent of rap, and through 9/11
the terror age. They had even
survived Dylan's odd but entertaining autobiography, which was another
example of Dylan being Dylan by claiming he
the Dylan anyone else wanted Dylan to be....Good for him."
(Dan Aquilante New York Daily News)
Come gather round people
Where ever you roam
And admit the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You will be drenched to the bone.
If you time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimming
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a -changin' Senor Dylan
Dylan made his way to New York in 1961, and in no time was making an impression
on the folk community in Greenwich Village.
was moving through
Farm (Bob on piano, Donnie on pedal steel)
on piano & center stage harp, Stu on acoustic guitar, Donnie on mandolin,
Tony on standup bass)
A While (Bob on piano & harp, Donnie on banjo)
And Bye (Bob on piano, Donnie on violin, Tony on standup bass)
Of Hollis Brown (acoustic)
on piano, Donnie on banjo, Denny on acoustic guitar, Tony on standup bass)
You See Her, Say Hello (Bob on piano & harp, Donnie on violin)
Bruce (Bob on piano, Donnie on pedal steel)
With Me (Bob on piano, Donnie on pedal steel)
Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll (acoustic)
on piano, Donnie on mandolin, Stu on acoustic guitar, Tony on standup bass)
Water (For Charley Patton) (Bob on piano, Donnie on banjo)
Shall Be Released (Bob on piano & harp, Donnie on pedal steel)
61 Revisited (Bob on piano, Donnie on pedal steel)
Boy (Bob on piano, Donnie on violin, Stu on acoustic guitar, Tony on standup
Along The Watchtower (Bob on piano, Donnie on pedal steel encore)
During the 39 show tour I kept
watching the 4 incense buckets that someone
would line across the back of the
stage and light a bunch of incense in each
bucket. Then at night after
the show is being broken down you would see
the buckets make their way one
by one to the big 18-wheeler trucks.
Feel the spiritual burn
Incense has smoldered on magicians' altars for
thousands of years.
It was burned in antiquity to mask the
odors of sacrificial animals,
to carry prayers to the Gods...today it
is burned during magic to
promote ritual consciousness, the state of mind
necessary to rouse
and direct personal energy.
Some magicians say it helps create the appropriate
necessary for the practice of magic or their
art. Incense can help
set a mood.
photo credit Michelle DiFrank
doesn't necessarily focus on his hits or even his own songs.
this point in time he seems more interested in playing what he wants
play and having fun though plenty of his classics song were included
right up front to get things going. Tonight however, he received
ovations on quite a few songs including "Mule Skinner Blues."
had a certain stubborn magnifigance - like a groaning, rasping objection
homogenized blandness he perceives in today's pop
His reaction of the modern
may be curmudgeonly but it brings out the best
in him too. "(Ludovic Hunter-Tilney)
"...through clad in hats and
matching grey suits
they look like time travelers
from the 1950s recording of The Grand Ole Opry. " (Hunter-Tilney)
interesting thing was even after two months on the road he didn't seem
quite sure which songs
work. For the two shows I saw
he ignored his 2003 quite good album
"Haggard Like Never
which included Woody Guthrie's "Philadelphia Lawyer" and a quite interesting
swing song co-written
with his keyboard player, called "Lonesome Day" which includes the lyrics,
songs of freedom when freedom goes away and "When the big boys with
stuck and back away and they're afraid
to say the things they know they
ought to say."
Peter Stone Brown, musician
Two Pioneer Troubadours
meet...I had done a previous interview with Les Paul, in that he is a Pioneer
Troubadour in a
project we are producing with the Eric Clapton camp. Merle is also
part of the project with the song "Troubadour"
that he penned some years back. I had shown Merle some footage I had
also done of Les
Paul for a documentary I am producing on Jimmie Rodgers. Merle told
me that it would be such a
great honor for him to meet Les Paul. So on the road to New York
I began calling Mr. Paul to set up the
meeting. Merle said he would love to go down and meet Les and hear
Jazz Club (1650 Broadway), where Les plays
every Monday night.\
Right after Merle
got off stage opening for Bob Dylan at the Beacon Theater on Broadway,
we had a limo there to
pick up Merle Haggard,
his wife Theresa and Frank Mull to head down to the club for the 10 p.m.
sell out show.
It was a very historic
meeting and night to say the least. Merle and Les played "Trouble
in Mind" and "Pennys
The audience went wild. One could see the mutual admiration that
Les Paul and Merle Haggard shared
for each other. In my 40 years in the biz, to be the man that
introduced these two icons will stick with
next night Les Paul came to the Bob Dylan and Merle Haggard show.
and Merle hung out on his bus some before the show then we took
to his seat to watch Merle's show. After the show he came backstage
Merle's band room and they talk and talked. One could see the great
that was begun here...and the historic moment.
Paul invited Merle to record a cut with him for his duet CD that was
produced. Working with Frank Mull and Bob Cutarella, who is
the CD and some phone calls to make the dream come true,
was proud to be part of the energy that brought these two icons together.
Honorary Pioneer Les Paul comments on Troubadours...
TOUR? DON'T THINK TWICE, IT'S ALL RIGHT
Still, Haggard agrees that he and Dylan could
be seen as an odd couple. "At first glance, it looks complex,"
Haggard agrees. "But we aren't the same
America we were 35 years ago." We've become, he says, "a country
that's afraid. And we've got a government
using that fear to make us give up the freedoms the country was founded
on." Merle goes on to say, "I see
a lot more government now in places it's never been and doesn't belong.
We're fighting a war to bring freedom to others when
we don't have our own freedoms in a first-class manner anymore...
We're afraid to stand up or even have fun, "he
adds. "Our national question is, "how much Valium do you take?
How can anyone in their right mind say we're
going in the right direction today."
New York Daily News
I think that the
Dylan Haggard show will make a mark in music history, and we will see a
wave of change in music of these two
men and the energy that flowed from their combined affect/effect on the
many thousands of people that experienced
the show. Add all the many many articles that came out all over the
country, and the synergy of Dylan going out
now with Willie Nelson and his new venture in sound...and the waves left from these ole outlaws ridin' the trails
together is going to send music off on a new track...as these three outlaws have done in the past...