Archive for the ‘Bob Dylan’ Tag

Bruce Langhorne, RIP   2 comments

Bruce Langhorne died of kidney failure a couple of days ago at the age of 78.  In these pages, I refer to music he was, in part, responsible for all the time (like here, and here).  Also, he looks like my cousin, Chuck.  Godspeed, sir.

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Posted April 17, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in music, Obits

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Havelock Tavern, Shepherd’s Bush, London   3 comments

havelock-tavern-shepherds-bush-sign

A half block away from the Bird in Hand, the Havelock Tavern was my last hope for a place that would have — with no prompting from me — some Dylan on the piped in music (I had this ill-advised idea that I could bar-hop and listen to the new Nobel Laureate’s back catalog). The bar looked spare and busy and a bit more eclectic than the others but I was glared at almost immediately by a bartender I’ll call Beardy McOneSleeveTats (shit, more fucking hipsters).

There were also way too many Americans stinking up the joint but the menu looked fantastic — if I was eating there that evening I would definitely have killed the roasted 1/2 pheasant with cauliflower and cabbage (only £13, about the same as 3 pints of the Hell’s Pilsner I was enjoying).

Then, the most marvelous sequence of events took place.

At the opposite side of the bar there was a table of a bunch of Russian kids, six of them about 20-25 years old. They had been pounding drinks and twice I saw tequila rounds executed. It looked the place to be if you were that age and they seemed to be having a great time and would be violently ill in the morning (and probably later this evening). I had to pass by them to get to the loo and a verrrry drunk Brit coming out at the same time hit one of their chairs with the door.

He started apologising in a very Ealing Comedies kind of way, more of a drunk from the 1950s than 2016; none of them seemed to know what he was on about and he felt it his duty to explain that they should be offended for him hitting them with the door. Pointing at me, one of them said, “our friend here is going to hit you with door, soon.”

I went in and drained my bladder then decided to head home when the door crashed open and one of the Russians sort of fell forward into the urinal. His buddy behind him in the tight alcove said, in a great cartoon-Soviet accent, “apologies, sir, but my friend he has been too much drinking.”

At this time, the door to the ladies’ opened into him and I said to the startled woman in as close to the same accent as I could, “don’t mind them… they have been too much drinking.” I looked at the kid standing there and as his eyes refocussed, said, “you’ve got a lot of nerve.”

Without missing a beat, his buddy who was still trying to stand up in the loo sang, “to say you are my friend.” Just outside the loos at the table, the others instantly joined in with,

“When I was down you just stood there grinnin’.
“You’ve got a lotta nerve to say you got a helping hand to lend.
“You just want to be on the side that’s winnin’.”

Sometimes, you get lucky.

havelock-tavern-shepherds-bush

 

Posted October 14, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Bird in Hand, Shepherd’s Bush, London   2 comments

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“We ain’t a pub,” one of the bartenders pointed out to the manager of the Bird in Hand. They have pizza on the menu which might actually be pretty good in spite of — or, even due to — the hipster atmosphere. The music was a bit more avant-garde, this time, but I still held out hope that this might be my successful Dylan Pub Crawl bar.

 

 

bird-in-hand-shepherds-bush-bar

 

Once again, it was mostly young professionals in for group meals and large, complicated drinks orders. One such was placed by one of the 18 identical blonde girls distributed around the window tables who wandered off while the bartender looked for one of the oddly specific glasses for part of the order. When she looked up, only me and a guy drinking a cider and reading a novel were there as she scanned the horizon helplessly; I threw a thumb over my shoulder toward the woman retrieving a credit card and muttered that this seemed like it could be a great prank: place an expensive order then leg it.

The music was lovely; I still hadn’t completed the task but knew of one more bar to try before heading home in disgrace.

 

bird-in-hand-shepherds-bush

 

Posted October 14, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Jameson, Hammersmith, London   2 comments

jameson-hammersmith

 

My quest for Bob Dylan music in a bar continued after the otherwise perfectly lovely experience at the Queen’s Head ended in abject failure.  I found the Jameson quite by accident and, upon retrieving a London Pride from the bar, felt that all signs were good that this might be the place (as Leonard Cohen enigmatically gazed over my shoulder):

 

jameson-hammersmith-leonard

 

Very much a locals pub, everyone seemed to know one another and I got the feeling that this may be one of the last refuges of the Hammersmith native.  I was definitely the only stranger in the confines.

Oh, the music was much better than the last place and I’m sure they would have put on Dylan if I asked but that’s not how this is meant to work.  I drank up and continued on toward the Bird in Hand.

 

jameson-hammersmith-bar

 

Posted October 14, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Queen’s Head, Hammersmith, London   3 comments

queens-head-hammersmith-sign

 

It was a fool’s errand to seek out a pub playing Dylan tunes, but I’m a fool and the man just won the Nobel Prize so out I wandered to find one.

At the Queen’s Head, I found the ‘fools’ part of the errand as three dimwits around the corner from my snug were engaged in the most boring conversation ever about lottery strategies and their history of near misses. “Then, there was this other time I had a 6, an 8, a 22, a 32, a 40, and a 51 and the numbers drawn were a 3, a 7, a 12, a 22, a 47, and a 49. If I just got two more numbers I would have won £25. That happened once when I had a 9, a….” This was going on when I arrived and showed no signs of ending as I left.

 

queens-head-hammersmith-stout

 

 

I had a Black Cab Stout which was viscous and bitter and the colour of burnt motor oil. I highly recommend it. Great wine selection there, too.

The house leaves the impression that it might have been an old post office. The sign has a postage stamp motif and there are shipping artefacts used as decorations all over the exposed beamed, flagstone floored warehouse of a pub. But, no, it has always been a pub dating back to at least the early 19th century.

 

 

queens-head-hammersmith-bar

Every table in the front 2/3 of the bar was reserved so the early drinkers were squidged up together toward the back. The music was the most banal kind of pop you could hope to avoid and the house seemed geared toward the sort of bland, professionally employed, thirty-something consumer of this autotuned nonsense. No Bob here…maybe at the next one.

 

queens-head-hammersmith

Posted October 14, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Bob Dylan Nobel Prize in Literature Pub Crawl, preview   7 comments

bob-and-beer

I have started — but, never finished — The Magic Mountain annually for over 30 years. I did lighting once for a student production of Strange Interlude but whenever I hear the title I think of Groucho Marx. But, as Nobel Prize Winners in Literature go, Bob Dylan holds a place in my heart that the others can never approach. I have attended literally dozens of his shows, some of them actually good and two or three of them among the best experiences of my life.

So there I was, no shit, when an email arrives from Jackie with the subject, “this is not a joke.” Inside, it had two lines which read

“Bob just won the Lit Nobel,” and
“Sooo boring at work today.”

Assuming she’d been reading some parody website, I replied,

Ain’t it just like the web
To play tricks
When the library’s
So quiet.”

She shot back,

No, no, no,
It ain’t fake, babe.”

I checked it out and the ridiculous and sublime Bob-head had actually been elevated to Nobel Laureate. I came into work an hour and a half early and had toiled through lunch so I didn’t think twice (it’s alright) to leave a half hour early to find a bar with either an appropriate soundtrack or some other Dylanesque trait.

My train arrived in Hammersmith at sunset. It was time for my boot heels to be wandering. The first stop would be the Queen’s Head (approximately).  The quest continued at the Jameson and the Bird in Hand before a most remarkable success at the Havelock Tavern.

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Sort of related, I seem to reference Bob in these pages more than any other writer or musician:

A photo that looks like the cover of “Bringin’ It All Back Home”


Quoting “On the Road Again” in re: a trip to the States
Quoting “Outlaw Blues” for a Toronto Mayor’s obituary
Quoting “Like A Rolling Stone” in my Citizenship announcement
A tourist trip past the site where the film version of Subterranean Homesick Blues was shot

Subterranean Homesick Blues 2
A plethora of Dylan lyrics for a house move post
A weird one about the move from Cambridge Uni to the U of Oxford
Nudity, beer, and a tiger refuge in Tennessee


Mis-heard lyrics from “On the Road Again”

And, “Bringin’ it All Back Home,” again, on a birthday run write-up

Posted October 14, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in art, Books and Movies, Drugs, music

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London Run (You Can’t Always Get What You Want)   5 comments

Temperence Society

With the Dylan sight-seeing Sunday fresh in my mind, I quickly looked up some other rock sites to lend structure to my Monday morning run. A bit hung over as I left the hotel, I didn’t really need the Temperance Society house looming over me from across the road especially because I was doing the run without a map and only some addresses memorised…what could possibly go wrong? First stop: Bob Marley’s house near the British Museum.

 

 

Bob Marley's House London

This was not at all what I expected. This neighbourhood is one of the poshest I’ve trekked through and his flat is in a row of spectacular buildings on a park (at 34 Ridgemount Gardens, if you are making the pilgrimage). I really expected something more like the shittier parts of Notting Hill or Kensington Gardens but this looks more like an investment banker’s house. At this point I was about 4½ miles in.

 

What's the Story Morning Glory

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I knew where the cover of the first Clash album was shot but even at 6 am, Camden Market is full of pretentious dickheads so I worked my way down to Berwick Street where, just below the intersection with (appropriately enough) Noel you find yourself on the cover of What’s The Story Morning Glory by Oasis. You might think the next stop would be something from the Beatles (as heavily as Oasis borrowed from them), but this close to Mayfair I had bigger aims. 5½ miles and counting.

 

Jimi's and Handel's places

 

For a bit of his tenure in London, Jimi Hendrix lived in a flat adjacent to the one occupied by George Frideric Handel.  I ran past this several times before realising it was obscured by scaffolding while the museum part of the house is getting refurbished. 6.2 miles, but less if I had been paying attention.

Next, I searched for Heddon Street which is mostly an alleyway of Regents Street a half mile or so away. The attraction here is a phone box that, while not the original one, is in the same location as the one featured on the back cover of the Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. The front cover was shot here, too, but I really just wanted the rear, you know, like the line,

“The kid was just crass, he was the nazz
With God given ass.”

 

 

 

Ziggy Stardust phone box

 

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars back cover

Now at 7.2 miles, again mostly due to poor sense of direction, I sought out 12 Curzon St where my drumming hero (that is, after Gene Krupa), Keith Moon, died in flat 9. I spotted number 9 (number 9, number 9…Beatles keep haunting me) and figured 12 would be nearby. I eventually found it, now a hotel on the corner which is probably why the madman’s death doesn’t merit a Blue Plaque but two doors down Nancy Mitford’s part-time job did.

 

Keith Moon RIP

#12 Curzon Street, just down from the Saudi Embassy. RIP, Keith Moon

 

Nancy Mitford's job

 

Pleased with how well I had done on the run so far, I headed for one more site before looping back home. The Chelsea Drugstore really existed as a pharmacy on King’s Road (and even appears in A Clockwork Orange) back when the Stones were getting what they need. I followed the edge of Green Park to Buckingham Palace but with the overcast skies my internal compass, rubbish in the best of times, was all I had to work with and instead of Chelsea, I zigzagged around the western bits of Westminster. Just as well, 49 Kin’s Road is now a McDonalds.

 

The Chelsea Drugstore now

Got this from Google Street View…same building so maybe worth getting an order of chips there sometime

 

I did spot a companion piece to Jackie’s ‘Willie Pusher’ from Sunday’s Imperial War Museum visit:

 

Great Peter Street

The run was soon over (13.5 miles total) and we had a normal London tourist day ahead. We returned home exhausted and flopped on the couch watching some YouTube clips related to the music tour I had done. One of the link trails we followed led me to this treat which also shares a theme with the holiday:

 

You Can't Always Get What You Want Run