Posted tagged ‘bob dylan’

Chopped Liver – Time Passes Slowly

August 8, 2011
Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan - a source of inspiration (if only for his song titles)

Hi there folks. Still there?

More to the point – I’m still here.

Not that you’d know ‘cos I’ve been a bit quiet lately. That, my friends, is a good sign. When you are writing a blog about health issues and you have reported nothing for a long period of time – you are either dead or doing well.

Em… it’s the latter.

And still I have not much to report – except to inform you that today is 8th august.

I had my transplant on 9th February.

Which means I have completed my first six months with my new liver.

Unfortunately Bob did not write a song called Time Passes Quickly – beacuse that would have been apt. To say the least.

When I look back on it all, I do find it hard to believe it’s already 6 months – but it is and I feel good.

So let me just take this opportunity to say thank you to all of you who read my posts and supported me and thought about me – it has helped me a great deal. Writing this blog has been a great experience for me. Not a chore. Just a great experience.

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Chopped Liver – Death Is Not The End

May 24, 2011

It’s a momentous day. A day for rejoicing. A day for happiness and song. And reflection

It’s Bob Dylan’s 70th birthday.

Bob Dylan has been, for me, the most influential artist of my life. I’ve listened to his music for 35 years. I’ve read countless books about him. I’ve seen him a number of times in concert.

He is, as a human being, one deserving to reach this milestone and still be performing to adoring fans on his Never Ending Tour around the world.

I say, as a human being.

However as an artist? As a Rock Icon? As a historical monument of greatness?

This I want to explore. It may be the wrong day to explore this. It may well be the exactly the right day. So I’m going ahead.

Would it have been better for Bob Dylan (the artist, folk/rock icon, poet) not Bob Dylan, human being, to have died back in the mid 60’s?

Let me ask you this. What do you think of when you hear the name Jimi Hendrix? A young vibrant exciting, amazing guitarist playing to ecstatic audiences at Woodstock or Montreaux. Died at his creative peak aged 27.

Janis Joplin? Exhilirating soul singer and wild woman of rock mixing grit and beauty in her classic songs. Died aged 27.

Jim Morrison? Sexy, flambouyant sensational singer with The Doors. Died aged 27.

I could make similar cases for other young creative geniuses like Buddy Holly, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding and many others. Awesome singers/songwriters who left us legacies promising much, much more greatness.

And what do you think of when you hear the name Bob Dylan?

Ageing rock star who has ceased to produce anything of any relevance for the past 35 years or so, who, if you thought couldn’t sing when at his peak, well… you should hear him now?

Ok, I know this sounds unfair – but, please, I am only talking about Bob Dylan – the brand. Bob Dylan as he will be remembered in history books in a hundred years time.

Look, Bob released many classic albums throughout the 60’s and indeed the 70’s (Planet Waves, Blood On The Tracks, Desire), before turning a stranger shade of patchy.

His live performances were hit and miss (oh, how I would have loved to have caught one of the mid 70’s U.S. only Rolling Thunder concerts). His albums became good with the odd duff track, before being duff with the good track – Slow Train from Slow Train Coming is great, Covenant Woman and Saving Grace from Saved, even Shot Of Love had the absolute classic Every Grain of Sand. And of course Infidels had Jokerman. Great tracks from patchy albums.

And there followed the nadir of the mid 80’s – nuff said. Since 1991 there have been sporadic periods of joy – Oh Mercy had its moments, Time Out of Mind too, but then we really are scratching the surface. You can pick out a few songs from the past 15 years as being good songs – but wither the world is such a better place for having them or not is open to question.

But, I hear you cry, is Bob’s body of work and influence not sufficient for one man’s mortal creative output?

Well, yes indeed, it would have been more than sufficient had we been deprived of a future after 1966. Y’see, we would never have known what the future would have held had that occurred. We could only have imagined.

But, as in the cases of Holly, Cooke, Redding et al we would have felt the pain, cruelty, and injustice of a life taken so young with so promise.

I don't wish you dead - I wish Bob Dylan a Happy Birthday


Bob Dylan would have become as immortal as the great artists mentioned above – forever trapped in his youth and promise and for whom death would not have been the end.

But that did not happen. Happily for Bob, he is today celebrating his 70th birthday – and I will raise a glass (of water, natch) to him. The history books in a hundred years time, however, will probably suffix his name with something like “protest/folk singer of the sixties” and not “arguably the most influential and significant folk/rock/poet/icon of the 20th century”.

Chopped Liver – I’m Not There

January 29, 2011

Welcome to my 300th Chopped Liver blog post.

That’s some achievement.

Given the circumstances, that is.

I expected, from what I was originally led to believe, that there would be, say, between 90 and 180 pre-transplant posts. In other words, I would be called within 6 months. But, 300 represents, well, give or take the handful or so of missed days, a few weeks short of one calendar year.

Now, that is some considerable time to be hangin’ on waiting for THAT call – that call that never came. YET.

So what did we do today? Well, Weedy has been poorly all last week – including a very traumatic febrile convulsion – traumatic for us, not for him – as he was oblivious. In fact he was oblivious of his own existence.
Maybe I’ll do a post on febrile convulsions in the future – there are some things you should know.

But today, I want to talk about our first venture out for a week – to the Victoria and Albert museum.

B thought Weedy would love it. I was less than convinced – but then none of us had ever been so bring it on.

Look, I’ll skip the detailed descriptions of the countless rooms filled with artefacts from all over the world – it’s just not really my thing. If it is your thing, then I’m sure it’s the best thing of its’ type in the world, but it’s not mine.

But what is my thing is a luvverly cuppa tea and a piece o’ cake on the side. And when I say that the V&A has by far the best tea room I have ever ever seen – EVER! – I am not exagerrating.

Listen Guys ‘n’ Gals, if you want to impress – seriously – you could a lot worse. I have!

But why the title of this post? It’s not just an homage to that wonderful film about the life of Bob Dylan, it’s about how I felt at one point of my memorable tea break. So impressed was B with the decor, she decided she wanted a photo of her enjoying the experience.

Now, the tea room, despite its vastness, was packed – but the tables are big enough to allow us to share with others and still keep our privacy. So, we had 3 chairs (hip hip hooray!) on one side of a round table.

B says she wants this photo and asks me to take it.

The ceiling of the V&A tea room - well, I couldn't find a chair to take

B stands up and poses between 2 pillars. I stand up and take the photo. Man comes up and says to B, “Is this chair free?” B replies without any hesitation, “Oh yes!”.

Post photo shoot, she goes back to the table and sits on the now only free chair left, while I am left standing.

A word of warning.

If you decide to take my advice and invite a potential loved one to this tea room for a smoochy afternoon cuppa – do not give up her chair to a total stranger.

Now there… are 3…. steps to… carry a donor card – ooh, wap wap!
Just follow steps

Chopped Liver – Life’s a Gas

January 27, 2011

I probably should have called this post “Shameless” or perhaps “Plug One” for reasons that will shortly becomes apparent.

Hard Rain?

It’s just that I, and the silent nation, am getting just a tad concerned at rising fuel/energy costs. I think the fact that we Brits don’t seem to be complaining about them right now, is not that we are not hurting – it’s more, I think, that costs have gone up so much recently we simply can’t quite believe it they will be allowed to stay so high.

We secretly hope, if not expect, petrol to go below the £1 a litre again soon. It never will. It’ll be £2 a litre before we know it.

We, the consumer, have never understood our Gas and Electricity prices. Never. None of your – “you want three of these sir? No Problem, they’re £25 each – that’ll be £75 to you, thank you sir – Have a Nice Day!”

Instead we get bills every month/quarter with the most complicated breakdown of costs known to mankind.” That’ll be 22.6784356p per kWh for the first 19,786 units, thereafter it’ll be 7.56643p per kWh – on a tuesday, wednesday or the third friday of every month provided it’s a leap year – and the year has a nought in it.

So, how do you capitalise on this doom, gloom and uncertainty? Simple. Sell Energy.

And that is what I do.

And, let me tell you I can save the average business or reside…

Ok Ok – enough, stop the plug.

I was just going to say that for Commerc…

ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!

But, but…

NO BUTs

Yeah, but, IF you..

NO IFs

Aw…

Listen, if IFs and BUTs were pots and pans, there’d be no need for tinkers!

Oh. Did I ever tell you that that Marc Bolan took his surname from “BO” from Bob and “LAN” from Dylan cos he was a massive fan?

Yes. You did.

Or that the “Bobby” in question in Telegram Sam is also B…

Yes. Yes. Yes. You Did. Now go and write about your dodgy liver.

Now there… are 3…. steps to… carry a donor card – ooh, wap wap!
Just follow steps

Chopped Liver – Too Much Of Nothing

January 11, 2011

I apologise for not blogging for day or two. I know some of you are wondering if the silence means I’ve had the call – but, hey – if I had had the call – I’d have found a way to let you know. I owe you that much.

The good news is – I have been busy.

So, let me tell you about my state of health.

Physically, I’m not too bad. I get bloated a lot – is that liver-related? I dunno.

I itch a lot – is that liver-related – Yes.

Have I had any recent bouts of cholangitis? Nope.

Do I get tired? If I do, then it’s my own fault – I stay up too late.

Psychologically – it’s not too bad – but I am finding the waiting and uncertainty all a bit disconcerting – sometimes it does my head in – but I am still in the camp that says I’d rather not go through the operation right now if possible – but if the call comes then I’ll embrace it.

Now there… are 3…. steps to… carry a donor card – ooh, wap wap!
Just follow steps

Chopped Liver – Alone Again, Naturally

December 22, 2010

Naturally, it could’ve been Alone Again Or or Alone Again Naturally but I chose Naturally.

Primarily, as I have never before started and ended a sentence with Naturally, correctly – naturally.

The point is that B and Weedy have landed – and will be experiencing weather close to 25 degrees higher than what they have left.

The road to Heathrow was a doddle. We arrived early – and that is early by El Al standards – 4 hours rather than the obligatory 3. The check-in hall was clear. You might think that was a good thing – in fact it was most frustrating – as we were not allowed to enter for fear of congestion. No fear of congestion from where I looked – it was empty.

So we were cattled across the road to a massive marquee where we were informed that free tea and coffee woould be provided – yeah right – as if we could get close to it. No, we had to stand in the smoke-polluted freezing cold – where everyone stood.(*) (**)

We were told that we may be there for 2 hours. That was the cue, after 20 minutes for us to get the “EL AL passenegrs only” call. As B said – it must leave on time and there must be the customary stringent security checks.

In fact, as I waited till B had checked in her suitcase, a heavily armed security guard approached me to enquire as to my reason for hanging around the El Al queue. “Ah, y’see sir, my wife, y’see, she’s bin laden with her case an’ all”.

No, I did not say that.

And so I am home alone for the next 11 days – hoping more than ever that I don’t get that call. They need a holiday.

And so do I!

(*) Obscure and somewhat contrived Dylan reference
(*) Well, it tickled me, anyway

Now there… are 3…. steps to… carry a donor card – ooh, wap wap!
Just follow steps 1, 2 and 3.

Chopped Liver – One More Cup of Coffee

December 6, 2010

I long suspected something was up.

At times I felt like a character in Coronation Street – you know the guy is oblivious to what everyone else knows. Until gradually he starts to piece together the facts, and then suddenly, it all clicks into place.

So, for… I dunno, years, B has been leaving the house on a Monday morning at 9:00 to go do her weekly shop at Brent Cross. Conveniently this is an event I never witness, as I am still doing the morning school run.

I have often asked, however, why she leaves so early, as the shops don’t open until 10:00 and we are an 8 minute walk away..

But, gradually, the script-writer starts dropping the little clues and I put 2 and 2 together and come up with, what I believe to be 4. Finally, I pluck up the courage to ask my wife just what it is she gets up to at 09:00 every Monday.

Oh, nothing, she offers. Just working out what to get for the week.

I know this is baloney as she gets exactly the same every week. In fact I am sure she walks into the supermarket and is greeted at the door by the checkout assistant who says “The usual, Madam? I have it all here ready prepared for you”.

So this is what I deduce.

I deduce that she has a coffee in Costa Coffee and reads the paper from front to back.

Well, perhaps not quite to back – as she has no interest in the sport – you know that part of a newspaper that is the only bit worth reading?

And so I challenge B with my conclusion – which is hotly refuted. In fact, as Billy Shakespeare might have said – “The lady doth protest too much”.

And so to the denouement.

Today, Weedy, B and I were having a coffee in Costa Coffee. Not in Brent Cross but in a different shopping centre – a few miles away. After a couple of minutes, one of the staff comes straight up to B and says “Hello again” “I see you are drinking your usual!” “I haven’t seen you for a while as I have moved to this branch.” “How are you?”

Load of old Bull


Now that is what I call being RUMBLED.

Hey, it could have been worse. He could have said – “Where’s your husband today?” Or perhaps, “Where’s the other lady today?”. Or even, “you haven’t been returning my calls…”

Now there… are 3…. steps to… carry a donor card – ooh, wap wap!
Just follow steps 1, 2 and 3.