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Return to Paris, Coolin and a Dylan Quote

November 6, 2012

I arrived back in Paris from two weeks absence just in time to go directly from the airport to the Coolin open mic and a bacon and cheese burger at this great Irish pub in Paris. It was also time to catch up on my reading, and I opened my June edition of Acoustic Guitar magazine after fishing it out of a huge pile of unread magazines from the past several months. And I suddenly had a sign facing me as to which song I was destined to sign at Coolin: There was a page devoted to Bob Dylan’s “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go.” It is a song I have been singing almost since the album came out in 1974. The album being, “Blood on the Tracks.” One of my favorite albums. And then….

There was this amazing quote in the preamble to the music chart they suggested for the song. It was from Bob Dylan about the album: “A lot of people tell me they enjoy that album. It’s kind of hard for me to relate to that…people enjoying that type of pain.” I couldn’t believe how beautiful and true that quote was. So much did it strike a chord with me – more so than the chords they suggested for the song, which were not what I use – that I decided to try to break through the talk of the Coolin when it was my turn to play, by reading the quote aloud to the spectators before I played the song.

That, unfortunately, kind of unnerved me, and when I actually played the song, I forgot two or three verses and cut the song off before the end. Unbelievable to for a song I have sung so often. On the other hand, it was the first time I had sung even for myself, since I had lost my voice in Abu Dhabi last Thursday to a crappy cold. So I was a bit out of shape, nervous, and low. And I thought of another quote, from some famous violin player that I had noted at around age 17 when I began daily practice of various things: “When I do not practice for one day, I notice it. When I do not practice for two days, my family notices it. When I do not practice for three days, my audience notices it.”

I’m not up to that level – but I get nervous about it anyway.

Coolin was as cool as ever, although I was also dead tired from the two-week trip away to India and Abu Dhabi. But I enjoyed filming the other musicians, especially the stuff from behind them. Check it out!

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