MUSIC  NEWS

Bob Dylan
House Of Blues, Thursday, February 23, 2008
Dallas, Texas

Night 3 of 3

There is very bad news for Bob Dylan fans worldwide this morning; he is going to jail, for an undetermined time, until his fate can be decided by legal authorities. He was arrested in Dallas, Texas tonight after a performance that literally slayed the audience. All 1600 concert goers were found dead or dying by Dallas police as they responded to hundreds of frantic cell phone calls from those trapped under his violently great spell at House Of Blues. 17 people reportedly escaped just as his encore was beginning, and told police that the show literally 'killed', a popular term in the entertainment field, akin to the phrase 'knock 'em dead' or 'go break a leg.' Dylan, most famous for his protest anthems of the 1960's, said, "I guess I took it too far. I blame my band, they shoulda brought it down a notch." Mr. Dylan had to be carried on a stretcher with a police officer in escort to a Dallas Fire Department ambulance, to Parkland Hospital Emergency Ward, because he literally broke a leg. Long considered a show business cliche, it seems that entertainers, once they reach a certain level of intensity or excellence, do actually break a leg. His last remark to reporters before being taken to Parkland was, "I guess fat ladies really do sing as well, while people kick buckets on farms they just bought."

Dylan's management are expected to make an announcement in the next few days regarding the singer's upcoming tour dates in Mexico City, Argentina, and Brazil. The dates are expected to be postponed until Mr. Dylan's right leg recovers to the point where he can be questioned in a Dallas court regarding the death of his capacity audience. It is presently unclear whether it is illegal or not for an entertainer to kill his or her audience by sheer force of greatness.

The few survivors offered shocking statements to the press before being taken to local hospitals for examination. "When he did "Senor (Tales Of Yankee Power)," I actually fainted," said Roger Melton, a 47 year old architect, who had travelled from San Francisco to see the exclusive Dallas performances, the only American dates on his current tour. I mean, he didn't play it Thursday night or Friday night, so when he started into it, I just went. When I woke up, Tony Garnier (Dylan's longtime bassist) was playing a beautiful part on standup bass on "Spirit On The Water." I knew then it was time to get the hell out."

Other survivors were less fortunate. "My boyfriend dragged me out of the club when he played "Lay Lady Lay," which he had not performed the night before," said an obviously distraught Marilyn Tukoff, a Dallas native. "I mean, the song is more bittersweet for the brittle, aging tone of his voice. I literally felt my heart falter when he began the first verse. I'll be okay, I got out in time, but I'm gonna miss a lot of work and need some therapy or something. It was just too much. I can't believe any of this is actually happening."

Evidently, most of the fans were killed by the sheer force of Denny Freeman's guitar soloing during an unexpected encore performance of "All Along The Watchtower," which had not been performed the previous two nights and replaced a blues shuffle version of "Blowing In The Wind," the show closer on Thursday and Friday nights.

"Mr. Freeman's prowess was unforgiving, and when combined with the shattered expectations created by the omission of "Blowing In The Wind," which had been the last song performed on Thursday and Friday, their hearts could not take the shock," explained Dr. Walter Troughson, a noted Dylanologist who has written 27 books on the various estimated powers of Dylan's music. "You must understand that while fans of Bob Dylan like to claim understanding of his apparent constant need for change and self reinvention, they actually sometimes crumble, in a sense, when confronted by an unexpected choice of song, or a particularly emotional vocal delivery on a treasured favorite, such as "Knocking On Heaven's Door," or "Forever Young" performed in a different key than the recorded version they have known for decades. Evidently, the closing Dallas performance was so unbelievably potent, that just under 1600 lives were lost. This is a terrible, personal calamity for the victims and their loved ones, and for the future of Bob Dylan and rock music. This, I'm afraid, might be the last performance ever by this treasured genius. I don't see how he can continue, legally or ethically. It is simply going to be too much of a risk for himself and his audience from this point on, assuming that he is even allowed to remain a free man. I mean, who is going to buy a concert ticket knowing the quality of the performance might be lethal?"

As details emerge in the coming days, the entertainment industry, already on uncertain ground from declining sales, could be further damaged by what is the first recorded disaster in known history resulting from the overwhelming power of a live concert performance of well known pop and rock standards.

"He should've known better," said a weeping Aretha Johnson. "I mean, no "Like A Rolling Stone" or "Hurricane" is harsh enough, and then he whomps us with "Working Man's Blues 2" off of Modern Times. Damn, a girl can only take so much!" "Ms. Johnson was one of the lucky few," remarked Dallas police officer Jeff Hintenwrun, one of the first responders to the scene. "She lived to tell her story."

Reported by Bucks Burnett, shortly before he expired.
c. 2008 Bucks Burnett / XIV



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