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the pioneer of Dylan Studies; writer, public speaker, critic; became a Doctor of Letters in 2015 (awarded by the University of York, UK)

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

JOHN BAULDIE'S FUNERAL...

... was ten years ago today. John was the founder and excellent editor of the best Dylan fanzine ever, The Telegraph. He died, along with four other people, on the evening of October 22, 1996, aged 47, when the helicopter chartered by the Chelsea football club Vice-Chairman crashed.

I wasn't one of those who'd known him from the start, and at some point at the end of the 1980s we quarrelled, but in between, for the great bulk of that difficult decade (the 1980s), John and I knew each other well, got on well, worked together and met up on a number of special occasions. (We suffered together the humiliation of seeing on TV Bob Dylan's appearance at Live Aid; we stood together to enjoy the outdoor Paris concert of 1984; we co-edited All Across The Telegraph: A Bob Dylan Handbook; we sat people-watching together on a Greenwich Village sidewalk. He even took me to a Bolton Wanderers home match.) And our falling-out, though it disappointed me, didn't prompt any reduction of my respect for his work, which was, at its best, an exemplary mix of thoughtful criticism and wit, and involved an attractively insistent holding out for high standards from all of us, including Bob.

I travelled to John's funeral with Nigel Hinton and his wife Rolande. On the way we were held up by cows that had wandered up somebody's garden path. The somebody seemed rather annoyed. I felt he should have been honoured; the cows were far more aesthetically pleasing than his bungalow and garden.

I'm told there'll be a special commemorative section about John in the next issue of The Bridge, due out at the end of November.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Glenn said...

i always feel sad that John didn't get to live to see Dylan's late career resurgance ... TOOM and L&T, etc.

i used to ring the "hotline" and always got a chuckle out of his little messages.

9:59 pm  

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