|The Cambridge Bob Dylan Society||TCBDS posters and newsletters here|
|Contact TCBDS: e-mail John Nye e-mail John Stokes|
|Our first meeting was:||
Click for larger image
|November 1984||Inaugural meeting, Jesus College [founding committee: John Nye, Chris Rolph, John Stokes, Chris Cooper]|
|February 1985||Regular meetings started, Jesus College|
|We then moved to:|
|May 1985||Christ's College [during our time at Christ's College we also held one meeting at Hand and Heart, Peterborough, March 1986]|
|1987||The Royal Standard, Mill Road, Cambridge [Keith Agar joins the committee around this time, replacing Chris Rolph]|
|September 1990||The Portland Arms, Chesterton Road, Cambridge [during our time at The Portland Arms, as well as holding our regular video-based evenings, we also held several audio/chat evenings]|
|November 1997||The Golden Hind, Milton Road, Cambridge|
|May 2004||The Rope and Twine, Pound Hill, Cambridge [renamed The Sino Tap, also known as The Punter] [during our time at The Rope and Twine we also staged the TCBDS 20th Anniversary, Holiday Inn, September 2004]|
|January 2006||The Boathouse, Chesterton Road, Cambridge|
|September 2006||The Unicorn, Church Lane, Trumpington, Cambridge|
|July 2007||The Red Lion, High Street, Grantchester, Cambridge [during our time at The Red Lion we also staged the TCBDS 25th Anniversary, Holiday Inn, May 2009; the TCBDS "Things Have Changed" Dylan 70th birthday celebration, Holiday Inn, May 2011 and first Bobchat meeting at The County Arms, 20 November 2012]|
|January 2013||The Red Bull, Barton Road, Newnham, Cambridge [for Bobchat meetings] [Allen Purvis joins the committee around this time]|
|February 2013||The Boathouse, Chesterton Road, Cambridge [for video meetings] [last meeting at The Boathouse: 7 March 2014]|
|Present day||Still at The Red Bull [in the upstairs Function Room], Barton Road, Newnham, Cambridge [for Bobchat meetings]. The meetings are a blend of audio, video and chat [mostly chat], committee now comprises John Nye, John Stokes, Chris Cooper and Allen Purvis.|
|Johanna's Revenge 01||From Tight Connection 01||Johanna's Revenge 25||From Tight Connection 25|
The Cambridge Bob Dylan Society - Stories In The Press
Below is the article (minus pictures) that appeared
in The Cambridge Evening News on Saturday 20 May 2006.
IN THE 60s, Bob Dylan was the voice of youthful protest, his songs soundtracking everything from the civil rights movement to a generation's outrage over Vietnam.
But even the voice of youth has to grow old some time and, this week, the man born Robert Allen Zimmerman on May 24, 1941 officially becomes a pensioner.
Not that he has any intention of settling down.
Dylan has been on a "never-ending" tour since 1988, and plays his
latest batch of live shows in the UK next month.
for larger image
One fan who's already bought his ticket is John Nye, from Cambridge, who has seen Dylan more times than he can remember over the past 40 years.
"My first concert was the Albert Hall in '66, when I was 15," says John, now 55. "That was my musical awakening. I went home with my ears ringing, absolutely mesmerised."
That passion for Dylan never waned and, in 1984, John got together with friends John Stokes and Chris Cooper [and Chris Rolph (ed. by JN after publication)] to form the Cambridge Bob Dylan Society. Still going strong after 22 years, it is now the longest-running Dylan society in the country and regularly attracts between 50 and 80 members.
"We're a meeting place for Dylan fans," says John, who still runs the society with John and Chris, plus more recent recruit Keith Agar. "We fill a niche; Dylan's always been very secretive about himself and fans always wanted to get a little closer to him. They want to hear more about him and understand what he's up to and keep in touch with developments."
The society meets every two months at The Boathouse pub in Chesterton Road, Cambridge. Members swap Dylan anecdotes and opinions, watch rare video footage and, occasionally, welcome live Dylan tribute artists or authors who have written biographies of the great man.
"It's very informal - it's more like a friends' society, really," explains John. "Around 20 or 30 of the people have been coming along since the beginning, while others come and go.
"People come along to be entertained - Dylan described himself as a song and dance man years ago. He's there for entertainment, and so are we."
Sadly, the society has never had any contact with Dylan himself. "I don't think he even knows we exist," laughs John. "Dylan lives a very private life. He's not a great communicator."
Not in conversation, maybe. But through his music, Bob Dylan is one of the great communicators of the age.
"Dylan's big achievements are threefold - as a songwriter, vocalist and musician," says John. "As a vocalist, he tried to break the notion that a singer had to have a conventional good voice. He sings with a very natural voice, and that opened doors for other people to do the same.
"As a musician, he sparked several genres of music, including electrified folk rock and country rock. And as a songwriter he pioneered different schools of songwriting, from confessional singer-songwriting to the hallucinatory stream of consciousness type of songs. If it wasn't for him, you wouldn't have had Strawberry Fields Forever or a Whiter Shade of Pale or anything like that. He was a huge influence on The Beatles and his influence is still seen today, with bands like Coldplay and Oasis. He's still as relevant as ever."
As for turning 65, John doesn't think his hero will use the landmark birthday as an opportunity to look back.
"Dylan always looks to the future," he says. "He's still writing, still touring - and he's started presenting his own radio show. The famous documentary film about Dylan was called Don't Look Back, and he never does."
□The society meets on the last Friday of every other month at The Boathouse, Cambridge. The next meeting is on Friday from 8pm.
20 May 2006
In the Press - about The Cambridge Bob Dylan Society
Click here to see the pdf of an article published in the Cambridge Evening News on 16 August 1989: "Superstar has superfan club".
Click here to see the pdf article about The Cambridge Bob Dylan Society published in the March 2005 edition of Our Time magazine, "Cambridgeshire's number one nostalgia magazine".
Click here for the pdf of the article about The Cambridge Bob Dylan Society published in the May 2005 edition of Cambridgeshire Life magazine: "Meet our Bob Dylan devotees".
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