London, England 20-21 November, 2011
We've come to the end. Tonight is the final show of a three night run in London and the wrap of our Autumn With Bob tour. It's been relaxed, too much fun and the six weeks have flown by quick as anything, I can't believe it's over.
We've loved being in Europe and the U.K. this fall, a different angle as we're normally touring in summertime. For the most part the weather has cooperated and bent over backward to give us mild and sunny days. Most of the warm, heavy clothes packed for this trip never came out of the suitcase. The long night bus rides were not bad and always musically educational thanks to Jim, Guy, John and Mike's vast and varied i-Pod holdings. This tour was different in other ways too from the usual; as it was a double bill, our show time half of what it normally is and Bob liking to take a day off every two to three shows, the whole thing felt like a holiday, scarcely work at all. Of course, there's been tables full of remarkable food, cases of delicious wine with an occasional martini thrown in for good balance. Dylan's staff, crew and musicians are great and we've all enjoyed getting to know and work with them. Above all, every single show we've performed has been memorable and never less than a joy to play. Oddly, none of us, apart from Mark, ever encountered Bob. He keeps very tightly to himself and I suppose after 50 years in the spotlight he's earned that right. 2011 finds Dylan still a man of mystery, an ever-touring charismatic performer and role model of what 70 years old can be.
It is usually with a touch of sadness that I sign off at the end of these tours, the wind coming out of the sails, however not so this time. Following tonight's finale, we head straight into the studio tomorrow morning with Mark for another couple weeks recording, adding to the album we started last June. We've never come right from the stage to the studio before with everyone firing on all 12 cylinders. We're really looking forward to getting back under the headphones again and tackling some new tunes. It will be another two weeks of music, friends, dinners and beloved pub visits in London followed by a welcome return to Nashville and my family in December.
As soon as I get back home I'll begin a new album with Iris DeMent. My pal and great musician Bo Ramsey and I will be playing and co-producing. It'll be good working with Bo again as well as Iris, having played on some of her recordings 20 years ago. That project will take me right up to the holidays and tie a nice bow on the end of another very fortunate year.
And so I'll leave it here, the last posting of these road notes 'til the next tour, and will return to my regular/irregular 'Notes From Nashville' updates. There are too many people to list and thank for making this tour happen night after night, but rest assured, everyone has my heartfelt appreciation. I would like to single out Tom Calcaterra, my guitar tech who keeps me in tune, turned on with the right instrument in hand and a nail file always on call...Tim Hook and Pete Mackay who make my life a sheer luxury while on tour...Paul Crockford for the endless stream of antagonistic affection and keeping at least 2 wheels of this car on the road at all times. My love to the wonderful, talented, funny bunch of beautiful guys that make this a band, Glenn, Guy, Jim, John, Mike, Ian and to the finest cat and captain around, MK. Here's to another one behind us and the next ahead.
Finally, my sincere thanks to you all for your readership and tagging along on tour with us through these note from the road.
Until next time......