Bob Dylan 960709 in Salsburg, Austria
Subject: Salzburg, 9th of July 1996: My odyssey (long) From: Werner Haas (Werner.Haas@UIBK.AC.AT) Date: Sat, 3 Aug 1996 11:28:15 +0100 Organization: University of Innsbruck, Austria X-Mailer: Pegasus Mail v3.22 Salzburg, 9.7.1996 It was a two hour train ride from Innsbruck to Salzburg. I didn't know the city and it took me some time till I found my way past the house were Mozart lived, over the Salzach, past the house were Mozart was born, through the Getreidegasse to the Domplatz. The Domplatz is a nice square surrounded by a prominent cathedral and some smaller buildings. On one side of the square they had a stage and opposite to it were ascending rows of bleachers. Every summer they have performances and concerts there. This time Bob Dylan would play. Without HWY61-L I wouldn't have known of this. Even in the musicmagazines they only advertised the concerts in Germany. I had to ask around to find out who sells tickets in Salzburg, call them up, order one ticket and let them send it to me C.O.D. The people at Ticket-Service had only standing-room tickets but I didn't care: I was also standing the two other times I visited Bob Dylan concerts, so why not this time also? It was quite a warm, sunny afternoon. A few tourists were wandering around the square, it was quiet and peaceful. It was roughly three hours before the concert should begin and I wondered, when the security would cordon off the square as I noticed a poster. In fact there were many posters all around the square and they were all the same. It said: "Attention! Bob Dylan concert transferred. The Bob Dylan concert today at 8 pm at the Domplatz had to be transferred for technical reasons. It starts at 9 pm in the Sporthalle Alpenstrasse, admission 8 pm. Seat tickets are still valid and are accepted as bus tickets on all lines of the Salzburger Stadtwerke-Verkehrsbetriebe from 7 pm till the end. Please use this offer and drive with public transport. Standing-room tickets will be refunded at the selling points." It still was a nice afternoon, but somehow I felt out of place with my now invalid standing-room ticket. And I didn't even knew, where the people from Ticket-Service were located. I thought I should rather ask them what this meant. Ticket-Service was conveniently nearby at the Mozartplatz, some people were asking directions and the same poster was also there. When it was my turn I showed the lady at the information desk my ticket and asked what this was all about. "Oh, I'm sorry", she said. "It's true, they transferred the concert and the standing-room tickets are no longer valid. You aren't from Salzburg, are you?" - "No", I said. "From Innsbruck." - "Dear me. And you came especially for the concert to Salzburg? That's too bad. Didn't we call all out of town customers?", she asked another woman. - "Yes", the woman said, "but nobody answered the phone when we called this gentleman's number." - "When was this?", I asked. The woman turned and took a piece of paper. "We got the fax at 13.04 and called immediately after that." - "I was already on my way to Salzburg then", I said. - "Too bad", repeated the first woman. "We can only refund your ticket." - "Please do", I said and while she filled out some form the other woman told me that there were rumours the local promoters had not been able to finish the stage on time and this was the reason for the transferrence but she couldn't confirm this. - "It's just a rumour", she said. The woman at the desk stopped writing: "Why don't you try it anyway?" - "Pardon me?" - "Why don't you try it?" she said again and turned to the other woman. "Don't you think the gentleman had a chance, if he went to the Sporthalle Alpenstrasse with his ticket?" - "Yes", the other one agreed. "You should really go there. If it doesn't work you can always send your ticket per mail from Innsbruck to Salzburg and we remit the money to your bank account." I had nothing else to do in Salzburg so I thanked them, took my ticket back and went in the direction they showed me. I had too much time to kill and I also needed to do something, so I walked the whole distance. A light summer rain came and went and I reached the Sporthalle Alpenstrasse after half an hour. The street I was on ran past the backside of the building. A door was open and people were rolling equipment in and I heard someone play something on a guitar. I thought I'd stay awhile and listen to the distant music but they soon closed the door and I went to the front of the gymnasium. People were standing in front of the entrance or went into the small restaurant that was attached to the gymnasium. I also went in, had a cup of coffee and listened to the conversation of the people. No chance for standing room tickets, all agreed. Maybe there are some seat tickets left but this is quite doubtful. I went out again. More people came and joint the waiting crowd. Some people made themselves signboards: "NEED TWO TICKETS", "ONE TICKET PLEASE". I wandered around. On the parking lot in front of the gymnasium stood two busses with English licence plates and tinted windows. One skalper turned up with three tickets to help those in need and wanted thousand Austrian shillings for each. The sun came through the clouds again, it promised to be a nice, beautiful evening. The restaurant had some tables on a small terrace. I ordered a glass of wine there, looked in the evening sun and waited for a friend. We had agreed to meet before the concert and that he would take me back to Innsbruck in his car. Before too long he appeared with an aquaintance. The first thing both said, was how sorry they were for me. They had seat tickets. - "Oh well," I said. "Let's have a drink before you see the show." Then I told Juergen, that he apparently had to change his tickets for other ones that were given out at the ticket-window. He went to the ticket-window and I talked to Lonnie who had been to the same Bob Dylan concerts as me: Innsbruck 1991 and Meran 1992. Suddenly Juergen came back: "Quick, go to the ticket-window. They'll change the yellow tickets, too. If you hurry you can also get in." I hurried. I hardly said: "Goodbye" or "See you later". I just dashed in the direction Juergen showed me and was in front of the ticket- window - with about 60 people before me. We waited. Long. Some people talked but most of the crowd just stood there and looked at the two windows. Nothing happened. About 45 minutes later they began to change the tickets. We moved slowly to the windows, inch by inch. At one window people could change the tickets they had bought at Bootleg, a local music store. At the other window people could change the tickets they had bought at Ticket-Express. My ticket was from Ticket-Service and that wasn't good enough. "Aren't there any seat tickets left?" I asked the woman behind the counter. - "No", said the woman. "Maybe someone doesn't pick his reserved tickets up. You can never tell." So I waited again. And with me about 20 others. People with seat tickets were now admitted. They looked quite cheerful to me. Obviously they were looking forward to the concert. We were still waiting at the ticket-windows. Nobody knew if there were still tickets available. Except for us, the security and some guests of the restaurant the place in front of the gymnasium was empty. We heard some rumours. One of them was, that everybody with a ticket was now allowed to get in. I didn't believe it. It was a quarter to nine. Suddenly there was some commotion behind the counter. A man came to the window and said something. - "What, what?" asked the people at the back of the crowd. - "Even with this ticket?" asked one at the front and showed the man a ticket that looked similar to mine. "Everybody", said the man and nodded. I moved in direction of the entrance. - "Just a moment, please", said a security-man. Some people were checked at the entrance. I had my ticket in my hand and was quite nervous. - "May I see your ticket, please?" said the security-man. I gave it to him and he studied it carefully. - "Standing room, alright", he said and gave the ticket back to me. Then he stepped aside. I went on. The checked the ticket again at the entrance and asked if I had any weapons or cameras on me. And then I was in the Sporthalle Alpenstrasse. I couldn't believe it. I looked out through the glasfront to the place were I had been standing. Some people were still coming from the ticket-window to the entrance. I looked around. There were two stairways. I went to the left one. A security-woman tore of my ticket stub and I ascended the stairs. I followed a corridor that ran behind the stands till I found a stairway to my right that let me down to the playing field. All stands were filled and the people talked and looked at the frontside of the playing field, where they had build the stage. In front of the stage was already a crowd of people waiting for the the concert to begin. I tried to get as near to the stage as it was now possible. It was 9:14 pm, I heard the buzz of the audience and was for the first time certain, that I would experience Bob Dylan's concert. Werner
Subject: Salzburg, 9th of July, 1996: The concert (long) From: Werner Haas (Werner.Haas@UIBK.AC.AT) Date: Sat, 3 Aug 1996 11:57:45 +0100 I was standing in the Sporthalle Alpenstrasse, Salzburg, Tuesday, 9th of July. Around me were hundreds of other people and we were all waiting for Bob Dylan to appear. Originally he should have played at the Domplatz put the concert was transferred and he was now playing indoors. I had a pencil and a piece of paper with me, because I intended to report as thoroughly as possible to HWY61-L what I would experience at this concert. It was 9:14 pm. The house lights darkened, a voice said: "Would you please welcome Columbia recording artist, Bob Dylan." The stage lights went up, and the band began to play "Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat." Bob Dylan had no guitar, he just held a microphone and wandered a bit around the stage while he was singing. I got my piece of paper and began to write the fashion details down. J. J. Jackson had a smart blue suit, black t-shirt and wore tinted glasses. Winston Watson used a more simple style: Black t-shirt and black trousers. Tony Garnier wore leather trousers, a white shirt, a grey jacket and a hat. Bucky Baxter had also leather trouser and a white shirt but he wore a flashy red jacket. Bob Dylan was unmistakable himself. He wore black trousers with stripes, and a white braided, glitter-shirt. On "Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat" was his voice at the beginning faint but became stronger during the song. He also played harmonica and ended the song with a harmonica solo, blowing sometimes very hard as if to be sure, that some notes still worked. The people cheered strongly after the song. In fact they had already cheered and whistled during the song. It seemed that many were happy that all the difficulties regarding the transfer of the concert were solved and simply enjoyed this concert. On "I Want You" he played guitar but it was Bucky Baxter who had a nice solo. "All Along The Watchtower" was as always a crowd pleaser but I didn't expect J. J. Jackson and Bob Dylan to play so well together on the first solo spot. The two guitar-melodies were complementing each other and it seemed that Bob really enjoyed playing his guitar. After this song he talked to Tony and the band then played "Simple Twist Of Fate." You could hear an awed murmur from the crowd, as they recognized the song. After that the band played "I Don't Believe You". Everybody seemed to be in a good mood. The band was excellent, Bob was relaxed and the audience simply had a good time. Bob Dylan said his first words on this night: "Thank you". And then they started "Silvio". I'd always thought, that no song would be more popular as "All Along The Watchtower". It's one of his best known songs and they play it well. But tonight "Silvio" was the killer song. The crowd was electrified by this song. The dynamics of the almost a cappella chorus against the full blast verses was very effective. A friend of mine said after this concert: "Hey, I never liked 'Silvio' before, but this version really rocks." Bob Dylan started the acoustic set with "Boots Of Spanish Leather". He played also his harmonica and had even some kind of cheering contest. He played his harmonica, went to the left front of the stage and the people there cheered. He then went over to the right front where I was standing and we cheered of course louder. Bob Dylan than went back to the left front and they topped us with their cheers. We all enjoyed this little game ;-). He than continued with "John Brown" with J. J. on banjo. After that he went on in the same mood with "The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll". He played both songs in subdued versions, never letting the listener off the hook with some musical outburst, always concentrating on the lyrics, just telling these stories. "Tombstone Blues" was the next electric song and Bob Dylan sang a wrong line. He must have felt it coming because he sang the line away from the microphone, J. J. looked at him, he looked back and shrugged his shoulders. He played two solos and both were of the notorious three-note kind. The next song was quite a puzzle for me. Bob Dylan had his guitar but he didn't play. He just held his microphone and sang. But I couldn't make out the song. Was this one of the Greatful Dead songs? No, this sounded like another band. I knew the melody and tried to remember the song's name. "... this wheel will explode." I couldn't believe this. "This Wheels On Fire". I never imagined I could hear this song live. Wonderful. "Thanks everybody", he said afterwards and introduced the band. J. J. Jackson, Winston Watson, Bucky Baxter (Weren't there enough cheers for Bucky? Anyway, Bob Dylan said. "Once more for Bucky Baxter"), Tony Garnier. As he was turning away from the microphone someone shouted: "And who are you?" - "Aah", we could hear from an amused Dylan. And then he played a monster "Stuck Inside of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again". Two solos by J. J. and two joint solos by J. J. and Bob. Yes, and Bob even smiled. The stage lights darkened and the band was led with flashlights off the stage. The audience cheered strongly. They yelled, hollered and stamped with their feet. And then the band came back. Bob Dylan played as first encore "Girl Of The North Country" and made his little cheering contest again. We liked it. Suddenly I noticed, that J. J. gesticulated "smoking a cigarette" to the left stage side. What did he want to say to audience on the stands? Stop smoking? Gimme a cigarette? Your fingers' burning? I have no idea. The second and last encore was of course "Rainy Day Women Nos 12 & 35". The houselights were on and it seemed that everybody was standing. The audience liked the party mood. Bob had also fun and sang: "When you are young " - he made a slight pause and raised his eyebrows - "and able". He and J. J. had one last joint solo and then the song ended. We all cheered, whistled and clapped. Bob Dylan shook a few hands at the front and then just stood there and moved his hands. It was almost like "pistol-shooting" but he moved the entire open hand in this way. And then they all went off the stage and were gone. It was 11.08 pm. Werner P.S. Yes, you've guessed right: I really would like to hear this concert again. So if you can help, please don't hesitate to contact me.