Monday, July 15, 2019

Random Thoughts of the Day

I usually don't comment on politics, but I think Bill Di Blasio is doing the people of NYC a disservice by running for president.  The Mayor of NYC is a 24/7 job and I think he is shirking his responsibility by going to Iowa to campaign.  Why is the presidential election process so long?  Iowa caucuses are not until February which is 7 months away.  Will he drop out when he gets 3% of the vote.

Right now Melinda Katz is leading Tiffany Caban by 16 votes in the Democratic Primary for Queens District Attorney.  I think the best way to resolve this is to have a runoff election between those two.  There were several other candidates who were many votes behind.  I also suggest there be another registration period for this election with no affidavit ballots allowed.

New York Mets pitcher Zach Wheeler just went on the injury list as a precaution.  I hope he will not be traded since the Mets would likely get a few low-level minor leaguers in exchange for Wheeler for 2 months.  I think the Mets should try to sign him.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Day at Hudson Yards: The Vessel and The Shed

The Vessel from the inside

Hudson Yards is the section of Manhattan on the extreme west side south of the Javits Center.  In recent years it has been developed with shopping malls, tourist attractions, museums, residential and office buildings.  Since there is a new station on the #7 line right there, I thought we would take a ride over and see what is there.

We first saw the Vessel, a spiral staircase that allows people to enjoy new perspectives of the city from different heights, angles, and vantage points.  We found out that we had to get tickets with a smartphone for a few hours later.  We did walk the stairs to the very top.  Since I grew up in a walk-up apartment, this trip upstairs was a "piece of cake."
View from the Vessel

While we were waiting we stopped by The Shed, a new arts center.  We saw two exhibits:
  • Collision/Coalition - Three new commissions exploring social and cultural confrontations and alliances
  • Open Call - New work from 52 NYC-based emerging artists and collectives
The nice thing about The Shed is that it is free.

It's a good thing that we left when we did as a few hours later there was a power failure in parts of Manhattan,

Friday, July 12, 2019

Visit to MOMA at PS1 in Long Island City

French Fries and Ketchup
by Gina Beavers

Since the Museum of Modern Art on 53rd Street in Manhattan is closed until October, Karen and I visited their satellite location PS1 in Long Island City.  There were several exhibits there including:
  • Gina Beavers: The Life I Deserve
  • Hock E, Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds
  • Julie Becker: I Must Create a Master Piece to pay the Rent
  • Simone Fattal: Works and Days
  • Nancy Spero's Maypole
Nancy Spero's Maypole from the Top

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Response from NYPL

Sometimes the squeaky wheel gets oiled and I did get a response from NYPL on my complaint about poor service.


Dear Mr. Slutsky,

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. As we always strive to provide the best possible service, your feedback is extremely important and appreciated.

While we do aim to deliver materials in 40 minutes, occasionally there are issues that need to be resolved by our librarians and staff members in real time; unfortunately, that was the case with your request. We have already taken steps to resolve the issue that caused the delay, and while our staff members did everything possible to rectify the situation quickly, we do apologize for the wait.

If you would like to discuss this situation in more detail (or share any further feedback) please feel free to contact me directly

Thank you again for sharing your experience


To use another cliche "A chain is as strong as its weakest link".  NYPL has a beautiful building and a very rich collection, but if patrons are frustrated by waiting for their materials, they will not return.  I am sure that numerous other patrons experienced long waits for materials but did not articulate a complaint.

I consulted the staff list of NYPL and feel that they are too "top heavy" with administrators.  If stack maintenance and delivery is their "weak link" I suggest they hire more staff in that area who work directly with patrons.  When I visited the Performing Arts Library of NYPL, I received my material much faster.

I observed that most people in the reading room were using laptops and tablets and did not appear to be using the resources of the library.  In my later years as a research librarian, I observed that students are reluctant to use print resources.  There were many visitors to the library who saw it as a tourist attraction.

Enough said.  I don't want to make a "federal case" about this and would like to bring it to closure.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Poor Service from NYPL (New York Public Library)

When an organization asks its patrons for money they should provide good service in return.  I went to the main NYPL at 42nd Street and 5th Avenue to do some baseball research, but my experience was dampened by poor service.  Below is a complaint that I have sent to some of their executives.

I regret to inform you of the very poor service that I received today (Monday, July 8) at the General Research Division.  At 11:15 AM I submitted call slips for 3 books and told it would take approximately 30 minutes. I did not receive them until 12:30 PM.  I properly filled out the slips with the call numbers, authors and titles.  This poor service is not acceptable.  I understand that there are miles of stacks at NYPL, but a 75-minute wait for monographs which should be easy to locate is unreasonable.  According to this article in the New York Times, the “retrieval system aims to get the materials from shelf to scholar in less than 40 minutes”. Do the library pages get proper training on how to locate materials?  I hope this situation can be rectified.  I would appreciate a response from someone in your organization.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Happy 79th Birthday to Ringo Starr

It's hard to believe that he is 79 years old already.  Nine years ago today we saw him at the Radio City Music Hall for his 70th.  Happy birthday and many many more.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Do-Over of my May 17 Trip to Staten Island

View of Lower Manhattan From Staten Island
It Was Somewhat Hazy Today

Regular readers of Bruce's Journal may remember that on May 17 my solo trip to Staten Island was cut short since there was an unexpected rain shower when I arrived.  Today I repeated this trip along with Karen and Lee since there was no chance of rain.  We walked to the stadium and continued to walk along the promenade as we viewed lower Manhattan.  The only interesting landmarks were:
  • The Memorial to Staten Island residents who perished on 9/11
  • The Memorial to first responders from Staten Island who subsequently passed away
We walked around the new shopping mall and then returned to the ferry terminal.

Mazel Tov to Justin and Rachel Shapiro

Karen and I have a new grand nephew as Justin and Rachel just announced the birth of their second son, Theodore Sawyer Shapiro who will be called Teddy.  A hearty mazel tov to the entire Shapiro family at this joyous time.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Random Thoughts - Woodstock, NJ Transit, Mets Roster Moves

This past week there has been much ado about the 50th anniversary of the World Champion 1969 Mets.  But August will mark the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock Music Festival.  I just bought a 10 CD boxed set featuring music played there.  There will be a 38 CD set out in August which will be more comprehensive.  I must assume that the film will be re-released this summer.  A milestone anniversary is an excuse to make more money.

I must gloat every time I hear about a major delay on NJ Transit.  Yesterday there were no trains on the  Northeast Corridor Line for a few hours since an Amtrak work train was on fire near Trenton.  I heard on the morning news that 9 trains were canceled since engineers did not show up.  The governor says he is committed to improving the service, but I still hear about major delays.  Thank goodness that is all behind me.

The Mets activated relievers Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson and Luis Avilan from the injured list and recalled infielder Luis Guillorme from Triple-A Syracuse on Tuesday.  Relievers Brooks Pounders, Chris Flexen, Chris Mazza and Stephen Nogosek were optioned to Triple-A in corresponding moves.
The bullpen can only improve.  Familia has to be the biggest disappointment as he performed poorly after receiving $30 Million for 3 years.  I hope that Chris Mazza will return as he pitched well in his first major league appearance after a long minor league career.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Mets End 7-Game Losing Streak by Beating the Braves 8-5

Things have been going very poorly for the Mets as they lost 7 games in a row.  In many of those games, their bullpen was not able to hold leads.  In last night's game which was the final weekend game celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1969 World Series-winning team, the Amazins finally pulled through.

Noah Syndergaard started the game after returning from a short stay on the Injury List.  He was not as sharp as usual as he allowed 3 runs and 7 hits in 5 2/3 innings.  Reliever Chris Flexen was not effective as he allowed 2 runs giving the Braves a 5-3 lead.  The Mets rallied in th3 8th inning to score 5 runs to take an 8-5 lead.  Beleaguered reliever Edwin Diaz pitched a clean 9th inning to get the save. 

Now it is 2 games against the Yankees who killed the Red Sox in London.

Game recap

Friday, June 28, 2019

Another Visit to the Paley Center

I hadn't been here in over a month so Karen and I went over and did a few searches "on the fly".  We saw:

  • Carole King: A New Color in the Tapestry - this was a concert shown on PBS.  No date was given.
  • American Masters - The Life and Times of Allen Ginsburg.  This aired in September 1997, a few months after his death from liver cancer.  This documentary profiles poet Allen Ginsberg through interviews with family, friends, and colleagues; archival footage; and clips of television appearances and poetry readings.
  • American Masters - Joan Baez: How Sweet the Sound.  This documentary explores the lives and achievements of folk singer/songwriter and political activist Joan Baez, tracing her fifty-plus years in entertainment.  It includes interviews with Roger McGuinn and Bob Dylan.  It included some footage with Dylan that I don't remember seeing before.  It originally aired in October 2009.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Yankees 8 Blue Jays 7 - A Walk-Off Victory on a Wednesday Afternoon

Back in the old days on a  summer weekday afternoon, I would have to cope with beancounters and scatterbrains.  But now that I am retired I can pick myself up and see a ball game.  Since the Yankees had an afternoon game Karen and I took the subway up to the "big ball orchard in the South Bronx" to use a phrase popularized by the late Art Rust, Jr. when he did a sports talk show on WABC.

The Toronto Blue Jays took an early 5-0 lead with home runs by Lourdes Guriel Jr. and Danny Jansen,  The Yankees fought back and tied the score at 5 at the end of 4 innings.  Both teams scored in the 5th inning to re-tie the game at 6.  Luke Voit drove in Aron Judge to give the Bombers a 7-6 at the end of 6 innings.  That lead held until the top of the 9th when Cavan Biggio singled off reliever Zack Britten to tie the game.  Gleyber Torres singled in the bottom of the 9th to drive in Didi Gregorius with the winning run.

The time of the game was 3 hours and 43 minutes.  In my opinion, the major reason for long games is deep counts and foul balls.  I guess there is nothing that can be done about that.

Game Recap

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Quiet One - A Documentary about Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones

When people think about the Rolling Stones Mick Jagger and Keith Richard usually come to mind.  Only music enthusiasts are aware of bassist Bill Wyman.  He narrates this documentary directed by Oliver Murray.  The film is derived from archives that Wyman compiled over decades.  It shows how it became interested in music and his involvement with the Rolling Stones.  Some concert footage is shown but is mostly autobiographical including his ill-fated marriage to Mandy Smith and his friendship with artist Marc Chagall.

I highly recommend it to my music enthusiast friends, but it is being shown at limited theaters.  Karen and I had to go to Greenwich Village to see it at the IFC Center.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

For Residents of Flushing Queens - Stop the Construction of a 9-Story Complex on the Site of Whitestone Lanes

The owner of the Whitestone Bowling Lanes is asking for a zoning change of his property to permit construction of a 9-story building on the sight which will include Bowling Lanes, Wellness Center, Medical Offices, and over 300 apartments.  The building will be on Linden Place, Farrington Street, and the Whitestone Expressway service road.  To approve this application, the Community Board would have to vote a zoning variance. Any change in zoning that would allow them to further erode the Mitchell-Linden Community by adding to what is already a congested, overcrowded, dense, and heavily trafficked area.  We fought to keep the Board of Education from building two High Schools on that property and we must continue our commitment by denying them the opportunity to develop this project.

Please sign this petition and pass it along to your neighbors so we can stop the construction of this complex.

Friday, June 21, 2019

My Favorite Musical Moment of 1969 - Girl from the North Country - Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash

Right now Bob Radil is featuring the music of 1969 on the 60s 70s show heard on Rewound Radio.  My favorite musical moment of that year has to be Bob Dylan teaming up with Johnny Cash singing Girl from the North Country.  The video seen above is from The Johnny Cash Show in June 1969.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Echo in the Canyon Another Documentary Another Dylan

Jakob Dylan, son of Bob, is the executive producer of this documentary that examines folk-rock stars of the 1960s who were part of the Laurel Canyon music scene.  He interviewed musicians including:
  • David Crosby
  • Roger Mcguinn
  • Brian Wilson
  • Michelle Phillips
  • John Sebastian
  • Stephen Stills
  • Graham Nash
  • Tom Petty
  • Ringo Starr
  • Eric Clapton
The "Echo" refers to a group of younger musicians who gather for a tribute concert covering some of the hits of the artists mentioned above. These included:
  • Fiona Apple
  • Beck
  • Norah Jones
  • Cat Power
  • Regina Spektor
I highly recommend this film for all 60s music enthusiasts.  I was able to see it at the Kew Gardens Cinema.  Luckily, I didn't have to travel to Manhattan to see it.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Random Thoughts of the Day

The big news of the day is that O.J. Simpson 25 years after the notorious car chase is opening an account on Twitter.  Does the media report the news or create it?

It looks like Brandon Nimmo's injury is more serious than originally thought.  The Mets are starting out on an 11-game road trip against the Braves, Cubs, and Phillies.  Poor performance over this stretch could knock them out of contention.  Some of the moves made in the off-season have not worked out.

There are major renovations this summer in New York Penn Station.  It seems they are trying to clear out space for pedestrian traffic.  I am hoping that the situation will improve for future commuters.  The long commuting nightmare is thankfully over for me.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Researching Bob Dylan Fanzines at the Performing Arts Library of NYPL

At the recent World of Bob Dylan Symposium I heard the following talk:

James Adams, “Get in on the Action and Scribble” – The Fugitive World of Bob Dylan Fanzines

I have been a subscriber to the British fanzine Isis for a few years and at one time subscribed to On The Tracks which ceased publication.  I wanted to go to NYPL and find some of the fanzines that he discussed.

The Telegraph - NYPL only had the Autumn 1991 issue which marked its 10th anniversary.  It was published in the UK by the late John Bauldie and had the full cooperation of Dylan's office.  It considered literary, musical, cultural, and photographic aspects of Dylan.  Past issues included interviews of D.A. Pennebaker and Allan Ginsberg.  The issue I viewed had an interview with Robbie Robertson.

Changin' - the Dylan Magazine - NYPL only had one issue no. 10 from Summer 1979.  It seemed amateurish.  Brian Stibal was the editor and publisher.  The issue I viewed included an interview of Happy Traum

Series of Dreams -  this was the companion newsletter to On the Tracks published by Rolling Tomes in Colorado.  It was ephemeral as it included announcements and concert reviews.  It seemed unusual that NYPL had some copies from 1993-97, but nothing of On The Tracks.

Cardinals 9 Mets 5 as the Bullpen Implodes

The Thursday Night game was suspended in a 4-4 tie as wet grounds prevented the game from resuming.  The game was picked up in the bottom of the 9th inning at 6 PM on Friday, but the Cardinals scored in the top of the 10th to win 5-4.  We left the house at 6 PM, and by the time we arrived at Citi Field that game was completed.

The regularly scheduled game began at 7:10 PM with Steven Matz starting for the Mets.  The Cardinals led the game 4-2 in the middle of the 7th inning.  The Mets scored 3 runs in the bottom of the 7th and took a 5-4 lead.  Mickey Callaway brought in Jeurys Familia in the 8th inning who promptly gave up a game tieing home run to Paul DeJong.  Later in the inning, he gave up a 3-run home to Dexter Fowler to make the score 8-5.  Familia was given a 3-year $30 million contract and he has just sucked this season with a 6.75 ERA.  The Cards scored 1 more run off Hector Santiago in the 9th inning to make the final score 9-5.

Game recap

Thursday, June 13, 2019

My Comments on Rolling Thunder Review: A Bob Dylan Story

I went to the Elinor Bunin Monroe Film Center at Lincoln Center today to see Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese.  It was a much different documentary than D.A. Pennebaker's Don’t Look Back which documented Dylan’s tour of England in 1965.  Most of the film consisted of footage of the 1975 tour where Dylan and his entourage played before small audiences.  Filmmaking is certainly an art as Scorsese combined concert footage, dialog from 1975 and interviews that were done recently of Dylan, Joan Baez, Allan Ginsberg (died in 1997), and other performers.  A film that showed only concert footage would be boring, so Scorsese did a good job at combining components.  I didn’t see the point of showing Richard Nixon who was out of office by 1975.  Likewise, a scene showing the attempted assassination of Gerald Ford was not necessary.  I did enjoy scenes with Jimmy Carter who quoted Dylan in some speeches.

Allan Ginsberg was certainly an active player in the Rolling Thunder Revue, but I felt that he got too much screen time.  I would much rather have seen more of Roger McGuinn.  My favorite scene was when Roger introduced his own lyrics to Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.  Dylan gave him a look that is indescribable.  An article in Rolling Stone states inaccuracies in the film, so we can’t expect perfection.

This film is a must for all diehard Dylan fans.  The casual listener may not understand much of the minutiae.  Since I don’t have a subscription to Netflix, I had to see it in the theater this week.  I assume it will be eventually released as a DVD.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Random Thoughts of the Day

I had a dental appointment this afternoon so I had to miss the rescheduled Subway Series game.  I guess I was lucky as the Mets lost to the Yankees 12-5.

So far I have listened to 7 of the 14 CDs on the Rolling Thunder box set.  I will be seeing the movie on Thursday at the Lincoln Center Cinema.

In September there will be no more ESPN Desportes on 1050 AM radio.  The national feed on ESPN radio will be heard on 1050 AM while the local programming will continue on 98.7 FM.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Mets 6 Rockies 1

Let's hope that the Mets are ready for the Subway Series Part 1 in the Bronx as they have won 4 out of their last 5.  Todd Frazier seems to be out of the doghouse as he hit a 3-run home run in the first inning and added an RBI double in the fifth.  Noah Syndergaard was superb as he allowed only 1 hit in 7 scoreless innings.  Jeurys Familia for the second outing in a row pitched a clean inning.  Hopefully, his problems are now solved.

Game Recap

I want to make a comment about many patrons (I can't call them fans) who come on Sundays.  They often bring small children who are restless and obviously are not interested in the game.  Likewise, there are groups of adults who are gabbing about non-baseball matters.  Tickets, even in the nosebleed sections, are not cheap these days.  I would suggest taking the kids to an event that they will enjoy.  A picnic would be more appropriate and less expensive.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Whitney Biennial Today

Artwork by Ellsworth Kelly - Part of the Whitney Biennial

Sixth months ago we saw the Andy Warhol exhibit at the Whitney Museum.  It was time to take a walk on the Highline from 14th Street to the end to see the Whitney Biennial which opened a few weeks ago.  It is an event curated by Jane Panetta and Rujeko Hockley who want visitors to know what is happening today in American art.  It features 75 artists and collectives working in painting, sculpture, installation, film, video, photography, performance, and sound.  It was introduced by the museum's founder in 1932 and is the longest-running exhibition in the country.

There was obviously no single theme or artist singled out which is obviously opposite of the Warhol exhibition.  I picked out one work at random to put in this journal entry.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Mets 7 Giants 3 in a Thursday Day Game at Citi Field

Guess What? This journal entry is not about Bob Dylan.

One nice thing about being retired is that I can always go to weekday afternoon games and not have to worry about missing work.  Since the NYC schools were closed today, Karen had the day off, so we could go together.

The game started for the Mets with back-to-back home runs by Amed Rosario and Dom Smith.  It was only the third time in Mets history that they started a game with 2 home runs.  Brandon Belt hit a 2-run homer for the Giants in the top of the fourth to tie the game while a solo homer by Pablo Sandoval in the 6th gave the Giants a 3-2 lead.  Jeff McNeil drove in Juan Lagares with a single to tie the game.  Todd Frazier hit a 2-run homer in the 8th to give the Mets the lead.  A double by Lagares and another single by McNeil gave the Mets some insurance as they took a 7-3 lead.

Mickey Callaway brought in struggling reliever Jeurys Familia to hold the 4-run lead.  He pitched a clean 9th inning as the Mets won 7-3.

Game Recap

World of Bob Dylan Symposium - Final Thoughts and the Trip Home

There were sessions on the morning of Sunday, June 2, but I couldn't go since my flight out of Tulsa left at 12:50 PM.  Sunday's events were held at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame that was very close to the hotel.  If I knew the schedule in advance, I likely would have booked a later flight. The three full days were enough for me. 

I must thank and congratulate Sean Latham and other at the University of Tulsa for arranging this major event.  There were no logistical problems in running this symposium.  The accommodations at the Hyatt Regency were excellent.  It was fun meeting and talking to other Dylan enthusiasts.  This meeting was academically orientated, and not in any way to be a fan fest.  Dylan songs are always vague and open to interpretation.  I didn't agree with all of the statements made by presenters, but I respected their opinions.  I met Scott Warmuth and Laura Tenschert whom I'd been in touch with online.  There is a Facebook group associated with this event.  Hopefully, many of us can keep in touch that way.  There was a hint that there would be another symposium in 2 years.

I was anxious about the weather and how it may affect travel.  There was not one drop of rain in the 4 days I was in Tulsa.  My flight from Tulsa to Chicago left on time.  The connecting flight to LaGuardia was delayed for about 2 hours.  That certainly was not the worst thing in the world.  There was so much construction about LaGuardia that I had to take a shuttle bus to get to a yellow cab.  I finally arrived home at 10 PM.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

World of Bob Bob Dylan Symposium - Roger McGuinn Sings and Talks Dylan

I just saw Roger McGuinn at the New York Society for Ethical Culture at the end of April, but it was certainly a pleasure to see him again in Tulsa.  He was interviewed by music journalist Jeff Slate who also wrote the liner notes for the recent boxed set More Blood, More Tracks.  Roger talked about how his career developed in the 1960s including his meeting the four other members of the original Byrds.  He described his original recording of Mr. Tambourine Man and the inception of folk rock as a musical genre.  He had anecdotes about Dylan and as you can see from above he had his guitar and sang some Dylan songs.

I wish he had answered some questions from the audience.

World of Bob Dylan Symposium - June 1 - Presentations Return to the Hyatt Regency

H4. Panel Stardom: Celebrity, Fans, and Covers

David Shumway - Dylan on Celebrity and Identity

Dylan, of course, is an icon.  The star actually creates the persona.  Fans want to know the person behind the persona.  The role, persona and the person are all separate.  Everyone has heard of Bob Dylan, but nobody knows who he is.  I mentioned the book Alias Bob Dylan by Stephen Scobie.  Dylan's identity crisis went on for years.  His midlife crisis was his evangelical period.

James Adams - The Fugitive World of Bob Dylan's Fanzines

Fanzines about Dylan started in 1964.  They became more common in the 1980s when photocopying became more common and cheaper.  Some fanzines:

  • The Bridge
  • Isis
  • On the Tracks (defunct)
Many fanzines are held at the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame library.

The Internet and Podcasts have in part replaced fanzines.

Keynote by Ann Powers - Bob Dylan's Body: Sex, Love and Gender

Ann is a music critic on NPR and has published - Powers, A. (2018). Good booty: Love and sex, black & white, body and soul in American music.

Bob Dylan has always been a sex symbol;
  • How does it feel from Like a Rolling Stone
  • All I Really Want to Do
  • It Ain't Me Babe
  • Lay Lady Lay
  • Simple Twist of Fate
  • One More Cup of Coffee
  • Victoria's Secret commercial

J2.  Different Voices Politics and Fandom

Nicolette Rohr -Them Screamin' Girls - Folk, Rock and Dylan Fandom

Dylan is often aloof and even hostile to his female fans.  Young women often pick their music on the cuteness of the performers.

Laura Tenschert

Laura Tenschert (host of Definitely Dylan).  Please see my review of this radio show.

What is a Sweetheart Like You Doing in a Dump Like This?  Women in the World of Bob Dylan. A Case for Diversity in his cultural reception.

She strongly feels that there is sexism in criticisms of Dylan.  Out of 88 books about Dylan, only 5 are written by women.  She specifically singled out Clinton Heylin who criticized Dylan's use of women backup singers.  Heylin also criticized Helena Springs and Clydie King who collaborated extensively with Dylan.

K1. Dylan at Work: Blood on the Tracks

Blood on the Tracks (BOT) is arguably Dylan's best album.

Ann Margaret Daniel - Blood on the Tracks:  The Notebooks and Drafts

There is a small spiral notebook shown at the Morgan Library where Dylan wrote out the lyrics for the songs in the album.  There is a facsimile of that notebook in the book included with the boxed set More Blood More Tracks.  The extent of the revisions is large as Dylan is a perfectionist.  All BOT songs were composed at once.

Kevin Dettmar - Dylan Plagiarized Emotion and the Phrasal Imagination

Dylan has often "borrowed" from other writers.

BOT is considered the breakup album

Anastasia Karel - Tangled up In Tracks

She is the librarian at the Rock 'n roll Hall of Fame

She states that all of the songs in BOT are linked.  BOT is not the "Divorce Album".

World of Bob Dylan Symposium - May 31 - Presentations at the Gilcrease Museum

There was another building across from the Gilcrease Museum where there were meeting rooms.  Let me list the presentations that I attended there.

B4 - Out of the Archives: Infidels

My favorite song from Infidels that was released in 1983 was Neighborhood Bully that was not discussed at any sessions that I attended.

R. Paul Yoder -
Jokerman at the Ritz; Bob Dylan, Alexander Pope and the Revision of Jokerman.
Jokerman and Man of Peace had similar origins.  Some concepts from Jokerman were taken from Alexander Pope's  Essays on Criticism.

Terry Gans - From "Too Late" to "Foot of Pride" A song's Evolution and Abandonment
I first heard Foot of Pride when Lou Reed played it at the "Bobfest" in October 1992.  It was the book of revelations.  The expression "Foot of Pride" was from Psalm. 36.  The spirit of the song is anger.

Walter Raubichek - Man of the Mountain Jokerman Reflects on Dylan
The Infidels album introduced the messianic period of Dylan's career which persisted through several albums of the 1980s.

E3 -Twisted Truth: Dylan's 60's Rock

Sarah Gates - The Truth Just Twists. Psychedelic Irony in "Gates of Eden"
She discussed the song in detail. It was the B Side of Like a Rolling Stone.

D. Quentin Miller - It's Chicken Dylan's Comic Absurdity and the Beat Generation
Dylan was always a good friend of Allen Ginsburg

Christine Hand Jones - Bringing it All Back Home and Dylan's Postmodern Apocalypse.
She is a singer-songwriter.

Keynote:  A Deep Dive into The Bob Dylan Archives with Michael Chaiken and Anne Margaret Daniel

The speakers stated that Bob Dylan Archive was purchased by the George Kaiser Family Foundation and is housed at the University of Tulsa.  It is not intended to be a shrine to Dylan.  It is now open to serious scholars and is in development.  There will be anchor exhibitions representing the archives which include 38,000 photographs.  Much effort has been expended in digitizing films of Dylan.  More information about the archives may be found at

G3. Panel: Dylan at Work: In the Studio

Robert Hurd "Basement Noise" Audience, Technology and Value in Dylan Bootlegs.
He mentioned Clinton Heylin's book History of the special recording industry which I am getting from the Queens Public Library.

A demand for bootleg recordings was created as there were no official releases from May 1966 to December 1967,  Bootlegs like The Great White Wonder appealed to cult fans rather than normal fans.

He quoted from Greil Marcus who said that the recording industry may have to respond to the demands of fans.  A Bob Dylan bootleg "museum" may be found at

Christopher Rollason - Dylan the writer at work:  On the Multiple Versions of "Dignity" and Two Versions of "Ain't Talkin'"

Dignity was an outtake from Oh Mercy.  There were two versions of "Ain't Talkin'" 2008's Tell Tale Signs

The buses then took people back to the hotel where there was an evening keynote:

The Bob Dylan Archives Collections 1963-2001

Michael Chaiken, the curator of the archive, presented rare television and concert performances spanning 40 years of Dylan's career including:

  • North Country Blues (1963)
  • 1966 Tour of England
  • 1975 Rolling Thunder Review
  • 1986 Hard to Handle Tour

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

World of Bob Dylan Symposium - May 31 at the Gilcrease Museum

On Friday morning the organizers hired buses to take the attendees to the Gilcrease Museum about 3 miles away. The museum houses the world's largest, most comprehensive collection of art of the American West, as well as a growing collection of art and artifacts from Central and South America.  There was an exhibit called Bob Dylan: Face Value and Beyond which featured his artworks.

There was an exhibit titled “Shakespeare’s in the Alley: A Tribute to Bob Dylan.” The text-based art installation features some of Dylan’s most loved songs reproduced on large banners that will hang from the ceiling of Helmerich Hall inside Gilcrease Museum. The work consists of more than 49 fabric song-panels, each representing a different lyric from Bob Dylan’s long and ongoing career.

World of Bob Dylan Symposium - Evening of May 30 - Keynote by Greil Marcus

Greil Marcus is an American author, music journalist and cultural critic. He is notable for producing scholarly and literary essays that place rock music in a broader framework of culture and politics.  He published extensively with his some books specifically about Dylan.

Marcus, G. (2013). Invisible republic: Bob Dylan's basement tapes.

Marcus, G. (2006). Like a rolling stone: Bob Dylan at the crossroads.

Marcus, G. (2015). Bob Dylan: Writings 1968-2010.

I encountered in the early afternoon and reminded him about his appearance in New York City in December 2010.  The title was Bob Dylan and the Band: What Kind of Love is This.  I documented it in this journal.  Greil did not remember this appearance.  Either I have an excellent memory or he has a poor one.

The title of his keynote was "Kill Everybody Done Me Wrong" Blues and Bob Dylan.  He extensively discussed how the blues influenced Dylan's very early works.  He also stated that it is stunning what people will do to avoid art.

Monday, June 3, 2019

World of Bob Dylan Symposium - Afternoon of May 30 - The Presentations Begin

This was a professional meeting, not a fanfest.  Most of the attendees were academics who are researching the poetry and music of Bob Dylan from 1962 to the present.  Some have published extensively about him.  This meeting had concurrent sessions, so any person could attend only one session at a time.  I can only comment on the presentations that I heard.  My remarks will be cursory.

A4 Panel: Carnaval  of Characters
Certainly, there were many characters in Dylan songs.  The speakers at this session were:

  • Jim Salvucci
  • Erin Callahan
  • Nina Goss
  • Sara Martinez
Here are some notes:

Street Legal was recorded in only 4 days.  It was a crucial album as it was astonishing and strange exultation of the mind.

There were gender issues in several works by Dylan.

The motorcycle accident in July 1966 created a second life for Dylan.  It forced him to slow down.

The basement tapes reinvented traditionally American folk music.  Dylan never intended to release the songs from the basement tapes.  There are many excellent cover versions.  The female characters in the basement tapes created a carnival.

There was multifaceted masculinity in Dylan from 1962-66.  In my opinion, this continued in later years.

B4 panel - England Calling

Speakers were:
  • Christine Hands Jones
  • John Covach
  • David Thurmaier
  • Glenn Gass
These speakers were Professors of Music.  They considered many parallels between the Beatles and Dylan, especially in the 1960s.  There were similarities in their album releases of that decade.  Bob Dylan's 115th Dream made reference to a scene in A Hard Days Night.  The horns and drums in Rainy Day Women #12 and #35 were almost identical.

World of Bob Dylan Symposium - Morning of May 30 - Trip to Woody Guthrie Center

Since the symposium did not begin until 1 PM, there was a large block of time to do something else in Tulsa.  I organized a small gathering of people using the symposium's Facebook page set up by Bennett Brier.  Six of us walked from the hotel to the Woody Guthrie Center.  Scott Warmuth, whom I met through Decalcomania, a radio club, was in this group.  The center featured a multimedia demonstration of the life and works of Guthrie (1912-1967).  I was impressed by a screen where one can press a button and hear "This Land is Your Land" by various recording artists.  It was so sad that he suffered for many years with Huntington's Disease which eventually took his life.  The center also includes an archive which can be used by serious researchers by appointment.

Pictures of Guthrie at the Center 

World of Bob Dylan Symposium - May 29th - Traveling to Tulsa

I didn't take my laptop on this trip as I didn't want to spend hours a day surfing the web as I do at home.  I had my Kindle fire and iPhone so I could keep abreast of things and was limited on how much I can write.  I took notes at the meeting, so it may take me a few days and several journal entries to catch up.

As I mentioned in a previous entry there was some anxiety about traveling to Tulsa after the heavy rainstorms and flooding.

I left my house at 10:30 AM to make sure I caught my 1:00 PM flight to Chicago.  I called a local car service but had to wait about 30 minutes to get a ride to LaGuardia Airport.  I arrived in plenty of time.  The United flight left on time, but I was afraid I would not make my connecting flight to Tulsa.  However, the connecting flight to Tulsa was slightly delayed and I had plenty of time.  When I arrived at the airport, there were no taxis in sight, so for the first time, I called a Uber which came within minutes.  My trip to Tulsa was largely unenventful.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

On My Way to Tulsa - Wish Me Luck With Traveling

I guess when you plan a trip, you just don't know what the weather will be.  There are afternoon thunderstorms predicted in NYC, but my flight to Chicago will leave a 1 PM which is before that weather will come.  There will be floods in the Tulsa area, the organizer of the conference said that the conference venues are on high ground.

This article in Tulsa World state that there will be about 500 people at the conference.  I hope that my anxiety about travel will be relieved and I will not have to face delays.   I have brought much reading material in case I have to wait.  Hopefully, the conference will be a stimulating experience for me.

I am not taking my laptop to the conference.  I feel that I should get away from surfing the web for a few days, but I am taking my Kindle Fire to know what is going on.  Thus, there will not be entries to Bruce's Journal until next Monday when I will summarize the conference.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

24 Hours From Tulsa - Maybe

In 1963 Gene Pitney had a hit called 24 hours from Tulsa.  Tomorrow, I am scheduled to leave for Tulsa for the World of Dylan Conference.  However, there have been heavy thunderstorms and tornadoes in the midwest including Tulsa and Chicago where I would have to change planes.   Yesterday, the organizer of the conference made the following announcement on Facebook:

We have received numerous questions about how the storms and flooding in Tulsa might affect The World of Bob Dylan conference this week. These have been challenging days for many in the Tulsa region and we have been monitoring the situation closely.

Currently, we do not believe that the flooding on the Arkansas River will have any effect on the conference. All our venues are safely elevated and the weather forecast looks relatively stable for most of the event. The major highways and turnpikes in the area remain open, though we urge you to check your specific route if driving.

Many people have been displaced and homes in the area are underwater. We ask you to keep those affected in your thoughts and we'll plan to set up a donation point for the Red Cross at the registration table for those who wish to help.

Please keep an eye on all our social media channels for ongoing update

Right now I am worried about the situation in Chicago.  I just don't want to be stranded at an airport.  All of this is hobby related and I just don't want to undergo a great hardship over this.

I will come to a decision later today.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Mets 4 Detroit Tigers 3

About a week ago the Mets were 20-25 and there were rumors that the manager was going to be fired.  They returned to Citi Field and won 6 of 7 to reach the 0.500 mark.  Today's game was part of our 13-game package, so off we went to see the game.

The Tigers took an early 3-0 lead with a home run and RBI single by Nicholas Casetellanos.  In the 4th inning, Todd Frazier got an RBI single by beating the shift and pushing a bunt into right field.  One out later, Adeiny Hechavarria hit a three-run homer for a 4-3 lead.  I was hoping for some tack-on runs since the Mets' bullpen has been inconsistent.  Starter Zach Wheeler was relieved in the 8th inning by Jeurys Familia who struck out his 2 batters.  Closer Edwin Diaz was shaky in the 9th inning but struck out JaCoby Jones with runners on second and third to secure the save.

Game Recap

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Another Visit to the Guggenheim Museum

I was last at the Guggenheim in February, but since the exhibits have changed since then, I thought it would be time for a return.  The major exhibit was:

Artistic License: Six Takes on the Guggenheim Collection

The following artists - Cai Guo-Qiang, Paul Chan, Jenny Holzer, Julie Mehretu, Richard Prince, and Carrie Mae Weem had influential solo shows at the museum sometime in the past.  Each was asked to make selections to shape a discrete presentation, one on each of the six levels of the rotunda.

Since this exhibit is scheduled to run until January 2020, it will not be necessary for me to revisit the museum until next year.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Thoughts on Bob Dylan's 78th Birthday

Every year I post something about Bob Dylan's birthday so here I go again.  I woke up to WFUV this morning and heard New Morning and I Want You played back to back.  Don McGee said the station will be featuring Bob Dylan music all day.  After 9 AM they will be playing Dylan covers as suggested by their listeners.  I remember back in the 1990s WFUV would devote the entire day's programming to Dylan.

When I listen to Bob Radil's 60s 70s show later today I will mention that and recommend that the 4th-hour theme be devoted to artists whose name is Bob, Bobby, Robert, Roberta or Bobbi.

All of a sudden I am becoming more anxious about traveling to Tulsa for the World of Dylan Symposium.  I am just afraid that I will miss my plane connection in Chicago,  I guess the organizers didn't want to do it on Bob' Birthday since it would conflict with the Memorial Day weekend.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Mets Beat Washington 6-5 on a Walk-Off Infield Hit by Amed Rosario

We had tickets for the Met game on Friday Night April 26 when the game started at 9:50 PM after a long rain delay.  The team announced that ticketholders could redeem those tickets for a game played Monday-Thursday.  Thus, we went to last night's game.

Zach Wheeler started for the Mets and pitched well for 6 innings but yielded a 2-run homer to Brian Dozier in the 7th that gave Washington a 3-1 lead.  J.D. Davis hit a 3-run homer for the Mets to give them a 4-3.  Jeurys Familia was ineffective in relief in the 8th innings as the Nationals regained the lead at 5-4.  In the bottom of the 8th Pete Alonso hit a home run that tied the game at 5.  In the bottom of the 9th, Amed Rosario hustled to first base and beat a throw from shortstop Trey Turner as the Mets won 6-5.  Walk-off victories are always exciting.

Game Recap

Monday, May 20, 2019

Can the Mets use Yoenes Cespede's Non-Baseball Injury as Grounds to Void His Contract?

It was reported today that Yoenis Cespedes fractured his ankle in a violent fall at his ranch.  Until now the Mets hoped that he could return to the team sometime this season.  He is now being evaluated by physicians in New York.  He is in the middle of a $110 million contract that runs till the end of 2020.

In 2004 Aaron Boone's playing contract was voided by the Yankees since he was injured in a pick-up basketball game during the offseason.  Can the Mets do the same thing with Cespedes?  I don't think he has done much since the 2015 season.  All of the Mets fans are paying his salary unless it is covered by insurance.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Tampa Bay Rays 2 Yankees 1 in 11 Innings

Even though I am a big Met fan, I like to go to Yankee Stadium about 2 times every season.  I was able to get tickets through StubHub in the upper deck behind home plate.  We arrived at the ballpark at 12:50 PM, but had to wait on line for about 30 minutes to be screened.  This is what everyone must face in this post 9/11 world.

The Yankees have performed quite well this season in spite of losing so many players to injuries.  At this point in the season, they are fighting with Tampa Bay for first place in the AL East.  However, the bats died in today's matinee.  They only scored one run as Brett Gardiner scored on a Blake Snell wild pitch in the third inning.  The Rays tied the game with a 7th inning home run by Brandon Lowe.  The game went into extra innings with Austin Meadows hitting a home run in the 11th inning to win the game for the visitors.

Game Recap

Friday, May 17, 2019

I was on the Staten Island Ferry Today for the First Time in Decades

Over the years I have passed through Staten Island many times, but I rarely stopped there.  Back in the 1970s, I met a club to hike through Clove Lakes Park.  I once interviewed for a librarian position at the hospital.  I'll never forget that this was the only time that a Human Resources Manager actually phoned me a few weeks after the interview to tell me that I didn't get the job.

I don't remember the last time I took the ferry there.  Since I didn't have anything planned for today, I thought I would take the free ride and look around.  When the boat docked on the island, a light rain began.  I quickly walked over to the Richmond County Bank Ballpark where the Staten Island Yankees play.  From there I walked over to a new outlet shopping mall and looked around.  Since it was still raining I thought it was best to go back to the ferry terminal and begin my journey home.  Had it not rained at that time, I would have taken a longer walk through the borough.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

I am Looking Forward to the World of Dylan Conference but with Some Anxiety

A few months ago I registered for the World of Dylan Conference to be held at the University of Tulsa from May 30 - June 2.  I have been a Dylan fan since 1965 and have written extensively about him in this journal.  Many of his songs have moved and stimulated me over the years.  Over the years I have had online contact with several Dylan fans and hope to meet some of them at this conference.  I am especially looking forward to seeing Roger McGuinn for the third time in the last year. There is already a Twitter tag (#DylanWorld19) and a Facebook Page for the conference.  I have already made a few new Facebook friends with people in that group.  I am looking forward to the conference, but am anxious over a few things:

  • Traveling - will there be plane delays?  I will have to change planes in Chicago as there is no direct flight from NYC to Tulsa.  On my last vacation, our flight from Phoenix was canceled and we had to wait 11 hours for the next available flight to JFK airport.
  • Will the people at the meeting be friendly?  Very often online "relationships" change when people meet face to face.
  • Most important, will the meeting be too "academic"?  There will be many presentations by Professors of English whose talks may be "over my head".   Will the speakers pick apart Dylan's lyrics? I had subscribed to a Dylan journal where I felt one needed a doctorate in English literature to understand it.  I appreciated Dylan's lyrics on how it affects me personally.  

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Random Thoughts of the Day

Since the beginning of the year, I have become less prolific in writing entries for this journal.  There seem to be fewer things to write about.  I don't want to bore my reader by repeating myself.

Today is the third day in a row that it is rainy and dreary.  I just don't want to sit around the apartment and watch TV all day.  My number one activity has been walking over to the public library with my own books and magazines.  I am just getting a little tired of doing that.

I am looking forward to the World of Dylan conference at the University of Tulsa in 2 weeks.  There certainly be several journal entries about that.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see Play it Loud Instruments of Rock & Roll

 I think it has been about a year since I last visited the Met, but this exhibit, Play it Loud Instruments of Rock & Roll, prompted me to make a return visit.  Most museum exhibits are devoted to one artist or musical genre, but this must be the first to feature instruments.  The exhibit was co-organized with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and will present approximately 130 instruments, mostly guitars, alongside posters and costumes.  There was a catalog of the exhibit at the gift shop, but it was much cheaper at  Below are some photos that I took.

Beatles Drum Set

Bo Diddley's Guitar

Buddy Holly's Guitar

Ravi Shakar's Sitar

Poster from Bob Dylan Concert
at Town Hall in April 1963

Friday, May 10, 2019

Do I Really Need This Business Card?

Just for the heck of it, I had this business card made up.  I thought I could give it out to people that I meet at various hobby related gatherings.  500 cards should last quite a while.
Personal-Journals blog