Dylan cartoon

He not busy being born...

by Chris Cooper



With only one issue left to go, and with the outlines laid for that one, I guess this is my last unrestricted article in FW. Almost passed me by as I nearly skipped this issue completely by accident. If the ever vigilant Mr. Stokes hadn’t reminded me .. Maybe I was just in self denial or selfish? Whatever… 

Quite a few of the new shows are arriving now. I know that feelings are split about whether this is a good band or not. For me they are certainly interesting,. I would like to hear the violins used more effectively. They do cook on some of the later songs from the last few weeks. The band still sounds a little unsure what to do.  Some of the tracks seem to meander rather more than they should. I think Bobs at least partly to blame here. He’s found his (or somebody’s) voice again and he is making good use of it. The old Bob “lets try something new” Dylan is back, the set lists are changing and he is trying out different arrangements. But if you are part of a new band you may need to some time to establish your place in the scheme of things and this isn’t the easiest way. I guess they are forced to learn as they go “seat of the pants” stuff again. This will ultimately makes for a tight band, if they don’t leave first that is!  I would certainly not ask Bob to slow up, and I guess the band do not feel secure enough to. At least this time, the “rehearsal shows” are of greater interest than they were when he did the same thing in ’91 and ’93. Mind you then he did stick to more or less the same set. 

Either way we are hearing different versions of old songs and that’s interesting to me. An’ if sometimes it doesn’t work I am ok with that too. Better he tries and fails than he never tries at all. So I  enjoy them as they are.  Different as only Bob can be, and whilst some are saying to me, “well this groups not found a groove yet”  I like to think that that’s one thing that makes him interesting. After all these years you can still go see Dylan in concert without being too certain what you will get. To my way of thinking that is saying  a lot for an artist of his age. Of any age for that. 

On a less happy note I see that some problems with the  distribution of these shows to us fans have begun. I am sure that most people who collect more than a few are now moving over to bit torrent downloading to get these things. It has made them available to a lot more people quickly.  I’ve talked about the philosophy of this more times than you care to recall I fear, From what I understand of things, the main site “EZTREE” stopped hosting torrents suddenly. They stated they had received a letter from 4  lawyers basically saying “stop or be sued”. Of course they stopped. The news flew round the internet very fast, causing at least 2 other, much smaller sites to close for fear of retribution. 

We all know that other sites will quickly pop up to take their place. But if only these lawyers could get together and sort things out. Eztree NEVER uploaded any official material, everything was always either audience or radio/soundboard recordings. I know that the songs are still copyrighted and licensed to companies, but here we have  a  chance to rectify the bootleg problem a little. Let these things go around and you would  bring an end to the larger bootleg companies. In the long run I think it would benefit the industry rather than damage it.  I fully agree with stopping the downloading of commercial material of course, You know we started Freewheelin with the idea that we would freely distribute this stuff. And here we are being given a very easy, and cheap way to do that. If we permitted too Once again the industry tries to keep a stranglehold on new technology, you would think that by now they would realize that it’s an impossible task. 

Hey not busy being born...

Till Next Time

PS. No MM this month but next month will see one final MM, and as it’s to be a closing I felt I would simply do my five favourite audience videos vs. my five TV ones. Be here.