“How do you like my sunglasses?” With that simple remark to a tabloid fashion reporter, the usually shy and reclusive superstar Bob Dylan touched down in Melbourne yesterday.
On his past five trips to Melbourne, the 62-year-old troubadour has been whisked away on arrival through an underground car park.
So it came as a great surprise and delight to the small contingent of diehard fans and mediawaiting at Qantas gate 2 when he emerged about 3.45pm in a faded red flannelette shirt, black jeans, black Cuban-heeled boots and large black sunglasses, holding a black hat and long, black leather coat.
Asked how he felt to be back in Australia, he was friendly but detached and uninformed. “What’s it like here?” – “Sunny and beautiful.” “The weather’s good, huh?” – “You’re playing on the same bill as some great artists: Ray Charles, John Mayall and Tony Joe White.” “Really? No kiddin’? Where are they playing?” – “The same festival, different nights.” – “Mmmmmm.” Any chance of Dylan getting up on stage with Brother Ray? – “Yeah, I hope I can to do that.”
Image © The Age, Melbourne, February 7, 2003
walking near Central Park in NYC 1983
© Lynn Goldsmith
PHOTOGRAPHER: ARTHUR ROSATO
Bob Dylan hanging out on the streets of Portland, Oregon prior to performing there as part of his Gospel Tour in January 1980.
Arthur Rosato recalls, “I was basically Bob’s guy whenever it applied to touring or studio. I would find instruments and amplifiers for Bob, hire the sound and lighting companies, and even audition musicians. So with this background I could find myself out on tour or in the studio with a camera in my hand and opportunities to use it.”
“One late afternoon, around 4:00pm, after arriving in Portland, Oregon, Bob decided to go for a walk and asked me to go along. It was already pretty dark and rainy but it was a chance to get out. Bob and I walked a few blocks, I had my camera, as usual. He stopped in this doorway because, hell, it was interesting. I clicked off a couple frames and that was it.”
Bob in a skit at the Montreal Forum in December
© Ken Regan, 1975
Dark Dressing Room Portrait, Germany, 1996
© Sam Erickson