Dylan on My Lap in a NYC Taxi

Do you see any stars when you cum?

I've always been huge Bob Dylan devotee--before this event and even more so today. I was 17 years old, babysitting for Amerika, Abbie and Anita Hoffman's toddler, while Abbie was underground. Anita invited me to a benefit concert for the Chilean leader Salvador Allende at Madison Square Garden in NYC.

After the concert, we were led backstage into a dressing room where Dylan was holding court amid Joan Baez, Phil Ochs, Patrick Sky, Dave Van Ronk, Tom Rush, et al. Dylan was drunk and berating a young band member about his sex life. Dylan was sharp and unmerciful, and everyone--all those stars--were laughing at Dylan's remarks at the expense of this poor guy. (Must be hard to be treated like a star by stars and never get honest feedback.)

Anyway, Phil Ochs invites all to his Central Park West pad for a post-concert party. Dylan says he wants to take the subway there. (This is around 1973, when Dylan was at one of his super-peak fame levels.) Dennis Hopper convinces Bob that he just can't take subway...not the best idea.

We go through a secret underground tunnel to the street, where a fan rushes up to Dylan as we hit the sidewalk and grabs his hat and runs off. Hopper makes flying tackle of the fan and retrieves Dylan's hat. With the entourage, I find myself sitting in the middle spot in the back seat of an NYC checker cab, with Baez to my left and Ochs to my right. The cab door opens again, and Hopper pushes a very inebriated Bob Dylan into the cab.

He stumbles into the cab, lands on his back, and onto my lap. He stares up at me with the bluest of ice-blue eyes--with a multitude of thin spider-thread-like scars under each eye (I guess the result of the motorcycle accident)--probably trying to figure out who the fuck I was.

Me. I had died and gone to heaven and was hallucinating that the Pieta was in my lap. I cradled Dylan's head in my lap, sorta felt like it was an out-of-body experience, while Dylan kept asking me, "Do you see any stars when you cum?" And, "What's so great about cumming?"

We arrived at Phil Ochs's place on CPW. Dylan sat on the living-room floor drinking from a bottle of scotch and talking to three not so intriguing looking or sounding young women. But I was still in too much shock to know for sure what was happening.

Years later, while living in mud-brick thatched-roofed hut in West Africa, I wrote to Bob telling him I had the largest collection of Dylan tapes in all of sub-Saharan Africa. In my book, Dylan is a national treasure. So I cut him a lot of slack.


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