Dylan cartoon

   Top Ten Time

by Chris Cooper



Another year flies by. Pretty strange one for me but we wonít go there this time. 

It would be nice to keep this to an all-Dylan Top Ten this year if I can. After all this is a Dylan mag last time I checked. Yeah I know, Iím as, if not more guilty of straying from the fold than most.

But this year looks good.

The Book

ďChroniclesĒ what else? Honestly if this isnít your number one than  have to question what you are doing here. This is amazing stuff. We knew Bob could write, but was he a author? Could he keep the public interested? Well now we know he can, better than that even, heís got a best seller on his hands.

His memories are freakily detailed, maybe too much so. But his insights into his reasons for doing what he does are far more revealing than certainly I hoped for. Iím not a fast reader, but Iíve done this one twice already an that makes it not just in the top ten, TOP of the top ten.

The TV Interview

In December Dylan appeared on ďSixty MinutesĒ depends what you read as to whether you think this is good or not. If you only read my transcript (FW 231) then you must get to see it too. Because his body language easily says as much as he speaks. An anyway the old bugger still holds you fascinated at the screen. Only real criticism must be that they did 90 mins of film but only screen about 15.

The Tour

I feel this is a hard choice. To be honest Bob was not in good form for most of the shows. Thatís not to say I donít enjoy the going, meeting old mates etc etc. Of course Barrowlands  was extra-ordinary. But I suspect this will be the last time I do every show (well at least for this year).

The Album (Bootleg Series Vol 6)

This is an easy thing to forget. The famous Halloween í64 Concert. Weíve all had it a a bootleg for so long. But the packaging is first class and the sound pristine. And if I had to chose one early how to play well it would probably be this one. Itís always seemed to me that if he enjoys it so do I. and he clealy enjoyed himself here.

The DVD (Masked & Anonymous)

Not only did we ge a cracking book. We got an equally cracking film. Cheating a bit but this was officially released on DVD this year. Little aside, you may not be aware but the UK and US versions have different extra footage!

The Convention (Ours)

John Green Day. Hope you were there. Not sure if they get easier, or we just get toughened, but they are still  a blast to do. (Well when we sit in the bar afterwards it feels good to me.) Itís a great meeting place. We really should incorporate a FW get together there somehow also.

The Cambridge Anniversary

A special one this 20 years!! I cannot believe it. We went out on a limb a bit for this. But the turnout was amazing. I cannot believe so many people showed. An Dylanesque were the best I had seen them. Well done chaps. Especially, Keith, & the two Johns.

The Second Book (Lyrics)

Now this is also compulsory I guess, though I struggled a little with including it as most of course was in the last version. But, if you believe (as I do) that Bob has written the best songs ever then you just have to have a copy right?  (Please tell Dizzy thatís so.)

The Third Book (Mind Out Of Time)

Earlier I said IĎm not a fast reader, then include 3 books in my top ten! I have al three of Paulís books but this one really stands out as it covers a period that is not often written about, the Nineties. An I really enjoy the way he writes. Yes I know itís a bit trainspotterish. Well so am I!

An One Meander

Nine out of Ten isnít bad is it? Well??  One non Bob thing has crept in I fear.  My love for jazz got a huge boost this year. I went to the London Jazz Festival to see Ravi Coltrane, son of John Coltrane. He isnít his dad, no one could be, but he is very good. And to my surprise accessible. I got to  not only meet him afterwards but we had a short chat and after he signed a cd, he shook my hand. (told you I was a trainspotter)  Itís the nearest I will ever get to the single biggest influence on my listening habits other than Bob. An thatís gotta figure here. 

I also considered the release of the original Star Trek series on DVD (yeah I bought am all) And stumbling across all 60 issues of that landmark sci-fi mag ďMetal MenĒ (what? I hear you saying!) 

Hope your year was better

Till  Next Time.