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CAN YOU TELL ME WHERE WE'RE HEADING?

BY CHRIS COOPER


This seems terribly quick somehow, that is after the last few months of frenzied activity on the Dylan front. At least in this household (And a few others I know of) Hardly seems like there is time to do anything else recently.

The recent Convention also coincided quite closely our Cambridge meeting. To be honest I wasn’t expecting a large audience especially as we were having a live band. Does that sound disparaging of them? I hope not as Dylanesque were very good, and they have played Cambridge before. But talking to the punters it is DYLAN they come to see and other things are just a diversion. Diversions are Ok as long as they don’t last longer than Bob does. Oh, better say in case you were wondering we are talking about Bob on the TV here, he does not make any personal appearances. (Though we have from time to time been asked when he is “on”) But there was a large crowd again. It made my evening a little easier to be honest as there was less material for me to juggle. However it was not entirely an easy evening. During the course of it I seriously considered resigning from the whole event, as I was given some pretty heavy criticism by one of the fellow members that I was “always on edge” lately.

This has certainly started me thinking since though. So please bear with me , this is not a soul searching session. But I would like to ask you all some serious questions?

One
When does a hobby become an obsession? And when does the obsession threaten your normal existence??

Yes it is rather heavy isn’t it. Sorry about that. I started playing Bob Dylan records back in 1965. And he has been constantly assaulting my ears ever since. I play music all the time, in fact. Of course not always Dylan, as is well documented here before. I have tried to keep a balance but really you cannot when you collect Bob as much as I do. To balance it would mean getting literally hundreds of other records all the time and then you cannot play them all. I know. I have tried!

Then you start Bob-projects. Dylan base my database is one. It requires constant updating and work as Dylan continues to tirelessly trudge the roads. And the John Green Days, and The Cambridge meetings, and Freewheelin-On-Line stuff. ??? See when I explain this it DOES sound like I am whining I guess. So, am I?

Tell me people, how do you handle these things.

Two
How do you prioritize these things?

I have a “things to do” board like you cannot believe. The days when things arrived and I rushed them to the decks are over. Nowadays I usually have about 20 cds waiting to be played at any one time. Does this happen to you also?

Be honest now.

I often have to put off one job to do others. I guess I am “old school” and try not to keep people waiting so I do copies and things for others first. This causes delays on things like Dylanbase that have to wait. Nowadays I find it also impinges on other things. E.g.: I love to read but have little time spare to read anything purely for pleasure. SO I have a large quantity of novels waiting in line, crazy or what?

Then it’s a question of:

Three
Who do you let down?

The internet has made our lives quicker not easier I fear. I can see one way to resolve my own problems dear reader is to just stop doing something’s. But what?

Because whatever you stop probably lets other people down. I don’t enjoy upsetting people, and Like to think I “do my share of sharing” but whatever I stop means upsetting someone somewhere, and thanks to the internet many others, who will probably communicate their concerns very quickly.

SO

Before you post me any valium or tell me to bugger off lets put some perspective in here.

Four
Is Time an enemy or not?

I often had put things aside by saying “I will have more time soon” now this is partly true. I can retire in a couple of years and I used to think that was going to be an answer, but as I get nearer I can see that it isn’t. As I get older and nearer the date I am less in favour of sealing myself into the collecting world. I find I should give more time to many things. Any of you get that feeling also.

You know I have a great family who put up with this nonsense. My Dizzy must really love me to put up with it all. No matter what I do she always stands by me. I could name many collectors who became casualties of Dylan’s constant activity. You know. “Choose Bob or me?” (They don’t always stay with their partner either!) I have never been in such a position and sometimes I find myself wondering perversely if that is for the best or not. Have you ever had to make such choices??

So it’s onwards and upwards .

Let me know how you fit life in with things. Email me ChrisC@dylanbase.freserve.co.uk

And if anyone bothers I will let you know.

By the way I have started on the path to rehabilitation by removing myself from trading circles outside of Dylan. Well it’s a small start down the path to freedom!

 
 
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