Saturday, August 15, 2009

How Does It Feel to Be On Your Own?

Word is coming out that, last month, one of the legends of popular music was unrecognized when he was found wandering in a residential neighborhood in the rain by police in Long Branch, N.J.

The word "legend" is often applied to people who may or may not be legends. But in the case of Bob Dylan, it may be — if anything — inadequate.

Dylan's influence on music, on culture, on society may be measureless. Granted, he isn't the 20–year–old who burst onto the scene in 1962. He is in his late 60s now. But when he stumbled into the yard of a home with a "For Sale" sign, the sight of an "eccentric–looking old man" apparently made the occupants of the house nervous, and they called police.

Police officer Kristie Buble, who, at 24, is only a few years older than Dylan was when he recorded his first album, went to "earnest lengths" to establish Dylan's identity, reports Chris Francescani of ABC News, but he had no ID on him.

As Francescani observes, Buble probably should have been able to determine that he was, indeed, Bob Dylan. He was in the area as part of a national concert tour, but she apparently was oblivious to that fact. Francescani also points out that Dylan was "hooded, disheveled [and] rain–soaked." That — and 40–plus years — made him look different than the youthful Bob Dylan she had seen in old photographs.

"He was acting very suspicious," Buble said. "Not delusional, just suspicious."

And her suspicions increased when he said he was touring with Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp.

Anyway, she took him back to the tour buses to verify his identity. Once she did, apparently she just said, "Have a nice day," and left.

I think I would have asked for an autograph. Or maybe a picture of me with Dylan. But that's just me.

At the very least, I think I would have honored his request to take him back to the neighborhood once his identity was verified.

Buble admits she was skeptical of his identity when they were driving back to the tour buses. But there would have been no doubt about her passenger's identity on the return trip.

And how many chances do you get to chat with Bob Dylan?