I have to say that I am sometimes at a loss to
know what to put here. I can rattle on forever about non Dylan things
and some of you even seem to like that but really it isnít entirely
cricket is it? Then I often think that matters that have some importance
to me in the year, things that maybe will affect me for the foreseeable
future are not necessarily my ďTop TenĒ material. For example I am
currently holding a very expensive battle with DVD burners that I see to
finally be winning but whilst that has been a serious issue to me there
have been many times I was ready to toss it out the window. Hardly
rates as Top Ten does it?
I know, lets begin by looking at what I considered my
Top Ten last year.
LOVE AND THEFT
Was first last year, an album of maturity and humour that I find,
amazingly for me that I am still playing today. So it was a good choice
last year. I think its fair to say that new Dylan official material
usually makes my top ten so I guess that predictable. On that level but
in no order I would say that.
Would be one of this year top ten. I was fully expecting this to be
a dead loss but itís far from it. The intimacy of the shows has been
brilliantly preserved , oh sure I can think of some criticismís but they
are minor gripes on a major album. I play this in the car quite a lot
(always a good sign with me) but it does change places with Love And
Theft a lot so I would say that these two constitute the first two
items. Now there i s that a first for me?
Same thing two years running.
Well then the next thing holds true too.
THE FIRST JOHN GREEN DAY
Was in there last year so I can say that No 2 was even better
in some ways. Better because we had more of an idea what we were going
to do this time. I certainly enjoyed it more. We had a new band in Cold
Overture who took the place by storm. I really enjoyed Julie Felix also.
She had a warm friendly approach and I think she really enjoyed the day
also. We had more people we had more fun, it was good. I can imagine
some of the group read this and wonder why I get so tetchy then say it
was good. Itís the old problem, not enough hours and too much to do.
That feeling that your life is starting to revolve around this obsession
and welcoming the involvement whilst hating the responsibility that it
brings. I have not found the answer yet, but hell at least I am still
motivated to look. But lets keep this on an up, ok?
STEVE GIBBONS SET was in there last year but I
donít think I would place Julie Felix in its place this year, she was
good but Gibbons was better. Curiously I donít think a lot of people
will agree with me on that. Well I am usually contrary you know. However
for my fourth choice I would pic a small gig we (Dizzy and I) went to in
October (no not those) It was the Stan Tracey Quartet doing
ďUnder Milk WoodĒ in Milton Keynes. Full of life and vitality it was
marvellous to hear the skill of the old quartet again. You know, there
really is no substitute for hearing and seeing music live, and when you
get to it, no music has more life in it than jazz. (Pause for
complaints) Sorry, I just think thatís how it is. But of course that
brings me too.
BOBíS UK VISIT
Now this got in in 2001 on the strength of Liverpool and Stirling.
Both great shows in their own way. This year was an odd one. Bob in
kianky mood and so-so voice at times. But you always enjoy him donít
you. Wonít say these were the best shows, but Iíll go see him as long
as he can make a noise and I can drag myself to the gig. Oh yeah, I did
Ďem all again of course!
So we continue with last years repeated because this was in for
sure. As time goes by, and after losing a few mates I find I appreciate
the others more than ever. IF I had to chose the most amusing part of
the tour it would be spending some bizarre conversations with the
Crystal Cat and sharing some drinks earlier than expected with Dave H in
Brighton. The day we cannot have a laugh at ourselves is the day we
stop. Well I will anyway. This stuff donít make sense to me no more.
That used to feel like me, but the truth is itís the fact that it all
doesnít make sense that keeps me going!!!
Always true for me I guess, good to see so many new people in after
a pretty bad previous time. Freewheelin-on-line a reality now and
blossoming all the time. My most earnest wish is that we could get you
all involved much more than you are. Maybe someday. (I just wish that
one day I can look round and not see JRS standing there saying ďnow we
got this to doĒ.)
Next time the next thing was:
I made that statement about VCDís taking over in this area. Twelve
months later I have already abandoned them and moved into DVDís! One
area that has proven correct is that the general quality of circulating
videos is now starting to improve again. But no, this is not included as
a top ten this year.
THE OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2001 CONCERTS was there
last year. Now thatís really spooky as again in 2002 we saw an uplift
for these shows as Bob returned to the keyboard and has produced I would
suggest the best tour this century. He sounds and looks so animated.
Co-incidentally the first video footage from this year is featured in
Magnetic Movements this month so check it out there.
Well we cannot repeat that one this year, though itís still fun to
watch isnít it. Now last year we ended with:
BOB ON THE NET
ďThis has to be the big new thing. So much
information out there now just waiting for us. News gets around so
fast. Then thereís our own rapidly developing website. I can see the
world as a much smaller place since the net. I cannot begin to imagine
how much it has changed my collecting habits. Certainly this is the
communication medium now.ď
And then we had FW-On-Line. I obviously thought it
was the way forward then and even more so now.
1. Love And Theft
2. Live 1975
3. John Green Day 2
4. Stan Tracey Quartet and live jazz
5. The 2002 UK Tour
6. Our Mates
9. Winter 2002 Shows
Leaves me with one last choice.
I could probably think of something more dynamic if I
tried but I think I would just plump for family life here. I had a bad
year in 2001, it would have been disastrous if my family had not rallied
round me. But they did and I am still here because of that. So thanks to
them all, especially my Dizzy who remains my best friend an inspiration
now and after more than 30 years thatís a record even Bob canít beat
Have a happy new year.
Till Next Time.