Dylan On The Beach

Dylan As long as we're mining this Brush With Greatness theme today, Sally Swift had a surreal one with a certain mystic from Hibbing, Minn., whose early days get a two-part Martin Scorsese examination starting tonight on public television.

It's a period piece, her post called Bob Dylan - My Personal Chronicle. The time is the late '60s, a June morning. She's a Penn student weekending at a classmate's vacation home in sedate Connecticut. It's been a hazy night, and her wake-up call is not welcome at first - music coming from the house next door.

At first groggy, then annoyed, then stilled by the plaintive, haunting sounds drifting through the clear morning air. We listened, confused, and said to each other, "God, that's incredible. I didn't know Dylan had a new record."

He didn't.

It was Dylan himself, a house guest of the next-door neighbor, sitting in his room, playing and singing.

Was he still composing? Playing for his own pleasure? We never found out. We just lay there and listened, entranced, as he sang, to himself and to us.

Lay, lady, lay, lay across my big brass bed
Stay, lady, stay, stay with your man awhile
Until the break of day, let me see you make him smile
His clothes are dirty but his hands are clean

It progresses - eye contact, a gesture, and then something the imagination struggles to provide pictures for: pale, thin Bob Dylan on the beach, eying young ladies in bikinis and talking about the world. A crowd gathers. Read on at the Daily Sally.

Sally Swift
Posted 09/26/2005 02:04:40 PM

Been telling this way-cool story for years, about time I wrote it, nice to see it appreciated - thanks, Dan! Just for the record, it's all true ... who could/would make that up? Well, maybe somebody, but not me. I sometimes wonder where the others are now (we've all lost touch), and how their memories measure up.

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