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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 6, Number 3, September 2012


Owen Bullock
Katikati, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

"Don't Think Twice, It's Alright"
Vector Arena, Auckland, 30th April, 2011

in a room of my own
listening to
It’s alright, ma
I’m only bleeding

singing for me

I collected Dylan's records, but there are still albums I’ve never heard; he could easily do a set of songs I don't know.

At the bottom of Queen Street, we follow the crowd to the venue.

Tim Finn comes on as support act, he says “Hello,” then “Well, better get on with it.” His singing is high and sustained. The songs, intricate. The guitarist produces a huge array of effects; the bass player is solid and inventive. At the end of his set, Finn says, “I hope you get out of it what you came for.”

sad not to be able
to watch the tennis
but they tell me
one person will win
and the other will lose

Dylan takes the stage, stays in the background until he steps up to sing “Change My Way of Thinking.” He's in good form—this is going to be great, not the disappointment everyone predicted.

After this he growls. It’s an interesting growl, but I can’t hear the words. A heavy, jangling riff drives "Desolation Row." The musical ideas are fascinating, but I want the words too. A verse of “Tangled Up in Blue” passes before I realise what it is.

The stage fades into darkness as each song closes; the musicians appear again when the drummer counts them in on his sticks. The band is tight, but the lead guitarist's skill is muddied by Dylan’s Hammond Organ playing (the drummer is a bit of a thrasher).

My eyes wander to the bank of seats on my left, catching occasional glimpses of the crowd as the lights change. There are younger folks, but grey hairs are the majority.

Bob sings
like a man who
doesn’t need to
any more



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