The Week That Was
Watching a Hall of Famer Play from where a Hall of Famer used to Play:
Trip five to God's Country for the Summer of '06 began this past Wednesday with a tasty dinner with the folks at a more-than-capable and delicious Asian restaurant in South County, called Seven Moons.
I've had two meals there and, so far, it's 2-for-2. My folks go there quite a bit.
But the first highlight of many this past week came on Thursday night at Pawtucket's McCoy Stadium. It was the first night of the Pawtucket Arts Festival. C'mon, don't laugh...there's art in the Bucket. Unfortunately, it's mostly on bus stops and walls rather than pristine galleries or museums.
But this night, Bob Dylan was playing an hour-and-a-half set on a stage set up in centerfield of the Red Sox' AAA affiliate. I went with Jeff and Matt - two veterans of the live concertry of Senor Robert Zimmerman. I, however, was a Dylan virgin.
After dinner at Hope Street Pizza - featuring a sighting of my man Monge, his wife, and two kids as well; and Jen, the bizarro Jennie Finch bartender - we headed for McCoy. Dinner was good, the company as always, and the beer cold. (Yeah, a bar. I know. Shocking) As Jeff so adeptly pointed out, when we were contemplating whether to have one more before the road, "C'mon, we have to have another one. We need to break this tie with Philadelphia."
(by the way, my consumption this weekend goes on Providence's tab, not MKE.)
Our first perch for the opening act of Jimmie Vaughn (Stevie Ray's brother) was in a left field patio bar. (Yeah, a bar. I know. Shocking.) But the boys wanted to head down to the field for a closer view. I was not opposed.
So we stood in between shortstop and third base. Bob began with "Cats In The Well" and "Going Nowhere." And a few things hit me: a. about 43 years earlier, my Dad saw Bob Dylan's first major concert event at the Newport Folk Festival. And that he at age 19 in 1963 and me at age 31 in 2006 were both going to see and hear the same songs. **and** b. I was watching a Rock n' Roll Hall of Famer from right around the spot where a Baseball Hall of Famer, Wade Boggs, came up prior to becoming one of the top hitters in American League history.
Following those two songs, Bobby D went to "Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum," before a terrific version of "Just Like a Woman." But then the fireworks started.
"Just Like Tom Thumb Blues" almost floored me and it's famous coda of returning to a certain Metropolitan locale due to being at the end of one's cord had certainly and certainly still is ringing true.
"Masters of War" remains one of the most powerful of all protest songs of that era. Dylan sang it with such an arrangement and the same sort of vitriolic passion and contempt of when the tune was recorded.
Back that up, quite capably, was "Hwy. 61 Revisited" (with no "wheeeeee" whistle) and "Shelter from the Storm." Closing out the opening set was "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight," "Tangled Up In Blue," "Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall," and "Summer Days."
For the encore, Dylan finally spoke to the crowd - prior to that, he had just literally just pounded out song after song. He closed with "Like a Rolling Stone" and "All Along The Watchtower." Both versions were astounding, as was the entire concert experience.
-----Sunni Daze, Sunny Days, and Wedded Bliss:
As for the wedding, I still can't quite adequately put it into words. Just a terrific two days. I come out of it just so happy for the bride and groom, relieved that I didn't shampoo up the toast, and with the realization that I have a real solid group of friends, both old and new.
One thing I did forget to describe is Sunni, the church's wedding planner. The Church Lady. Complete with Church Lady inflections in her voice, and plain, velcro strapped Church Lady shoes. I'm not gonna lie, they turned me on (I'm lying.)
I also come out of the wedding weekend ready for detox. (Yeah, from a bar. I know. Shocking.)
But seriously, and I've had convos with some of my friends about it, after this Labor Day, I'm going into a sort of retirement. My liver is ecstatic. Not to say I'm gonna be a dry county, but for the most part, this illustrious career of more than a decade is being dialed back. It's a salary cap casualty, like Lawyer Milloy.
Winnie's still got it. Strikingly beautiful. Unbelievably charming. A smile so warm that it could continue the growing trend of global warming...that is, if it really is happening.
A nice night to reconnect with an old friend, catch up on old times, recap some new times, and discuss everything from marriage, childbirth, jobs, working, and how some people just don't get it.
This week's mantra: it's almost Patriots season, it's almost Patriots season, it's almost Patriots season...
And a good point from a loyal TLBR reader, who is always on point, emailed this morning: "I hope Big Papi doesn't go to Reggie Lewis' doctors."
Harsh? Maybe. But I'm sure Dr. Mudge won't be reading those ekg's.
Look, I fly a lot.
Portable electronic devices, like iPods, DO NOT affect the plane's instruments, radio, radar, or anything in regards to the proper flight mechanism. The FAA and airlines want you to give your 100% attention to anything the flight attendant says in the two most common and likely points of an "aircraft accident:" takeoff and landing.
So they ask you to hold off on using them below 10,000 feet.
So look here, Abby, or whatever your name is...I have my iPod on. I have my Bose noise cancelling headphones (aka the "shampooing leave me the shampoo alone" headphones) on.
I'm listening to music, or whatever the hell comes up, because I have a toddler screaming its lungs off next to me.
Back to the bevvy cart for you. And I'll take a diet coke.
Spike Lee's HBO special on Hurricane Katrina is amazing. It's his best work since Do The Right Thing and Malcolm X.
It should be required viewing. (have a box of tissues nearby)
Ok, that's about it for now.