I was thinking the other day about the time I discovered Bob Dylan. Not like all the times I'd heard and inherited songs growing up, but the time I borrowed my dad's Desire cassette and the first song on side A was Hurricane and it blew my mind. I listened to it approximately 12 times over, which is quite a bit of listening when you think about it being an eight minute song. I was about 14, and my sister and I still shared a room, but she must have been out because no one told me to stop being such an idiot and rewinding the tape every eight minutes. And so I just listened to it and wanted to be twenty and impassioned about something.
I listened to it as I was getting ready for a concert. My friends Kell and Laura and I were going to a show at the Thebarton Theatre called - I promise - Gig For World Peace. It was as 90s and brilliantly ambitious as it sounds, and Kell's brother had organised the whole thing with a heap of big-time Adelaide bands and all the money going to charity. It felt like rock and roll and being worldly and generous and we knew there'd be lots of guys there that didn't go to our school. I was really happy with my outfit as I had a new pair of dark blue jeans with just the right amount of flare to be flares, but for people to still notice my limited edition black and dark green Converse All Star high-tops (that I'd covertly 'borrowed' from my sister for the occasion). After a lot of thought I had gone with a plain white t-shirt because I didn't want it to look like I'd tried too hard, even though I'd tried really hard. I knew Laura was going to wear her navy blue 8-hole Doc Martins which I was in awe of, and Kell had a new cardigan that looked like it might be 'vintage' even though it was really from Just Jeans. Because we were Kell's friends we got to work the merch desk and go backstage and her brother gave the three of us bottle of Coopers Pale Ale to share and introduced us to his friend who was wearing a faded Violent Femmes t-shirt.
I think Oh, Sister might be my favourite on the album these days, but those first few bars of Hurricane get me every damn time, especially when the violin kicks in. It always feels like I'm 14 and it's early afternoon and I'm certain that the gig and the rest of my life are going to be amazing.
* Image not my own, found via Pinterest…