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Jun 21, 2010

I AIN'T ALL VIDEOS

In the fall of 1963, before the sadness of November came to darken our youth, I was affiliated with YPSL, the Young People's Socialist League on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington. A guy by the name of Joel Rose, who is still teaching at SUNY Buffalo, was President, and I was...well, everything else. We only had about a dozen rag-tag members, but we tried our best to make a bigger footprint than our own shoes. Somehow or other, and I just can't remember exactly why or how, I had the phone number of Manny Greenhill in Boston, who was Bob Dylan's manager. So one day Joel and I cooked up an idea to promote a concert in support of Cuba at the Lilly Auditorium on campus and I proceeded to call Manny to see if Bob's schedule would permit him to appear. We had no particular dates in mind, and the chances are we would have ended up outdoors, anyway. Well, when Mr. Greenhill finally came on the phone, he told me that there was no way we were going to get on the schedule, which, as you can imagine was filled way in advance. But before he hung up, he asked me to wait, and said someone else would be back on the line momentarily. Within a couple minutes, Bob Dylan himself, who just happened to be in Boston meeting with Mr. Greenhill, came on the phone. I can't remember exactly what was said on either end, but it was a pleasant exchange, and he thanked us for our interest. Three minutes with Bob Dylan and no tape to prove it...Oh Well. We never did have any concert for Cuba, because anti-Communist feelings on campus were so strong we were probably lucky to have escaped without serious injuries. Then Dallas came, and the world turned upside down. Over the years I saw Dylan about ten times and was in his presence three or four, but never got to thank him for the memory of a lifetime.

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