Readers of this newsgroup will, I am sure, be saddened to learn of the death late last night (Tuesday October 22) of John Bauldie, editor of The Telegraph magazine and long-time Dylan admirer. He was killed in a helicopter crash in Cheshire, UK, returning from watching his beloved Bolton soccer team play Chelsea.
-- Steve Harrison
for the tree of life is growing where the spirit never dies and the bright light of salvation shines in dark and empty skies It's a sad day for The Telegraph and for all Dylan fans Wally Brooker
This is terrible news, if true. As regular readers of the group will know, John was an occasional writer to this group. He was an an absolute authority on Dylan, often invited to talk about Dylan on radio shows, etc. He was also an excellent journalist, often writing reviews for Britain's Q Magazine (according to whom knew more about Dylan than anyone else, including Dylan!!). Most casual Dylan fans will remember him as the one who penned the notes for the Bootleg Series.
He will be sorely missed.
In the short while I knew John Bauldie, he did me several generous good turns I will not forget. Despite the virtually unforgivable fact that I've never subscribed to the Telegraph, he delivered great assistance. Once in awhile we meet a person for whom positive enthusiasm comes natural. I wrote to him last evening, for the first time in many months, to voice agreement with a post he'd written. hope he saw it. God bless him. -FO
John was a leading authority on Dylan and will be sadly missed. His sterling work as both editor of The Telegraph and administrator of the Hotline was without equal. He will be remembered as the author of several Dylan related books, and for the notes to The Bootleg Series, the often recounted the tale of which demonstrated his excellent sense of humour. He was a valuable source of tour and other information from his friends at Dylan's office and when Bob was performing in England John would make every effort to ensure that everyone who contacted him had good seats at the shows. He was instrumental in the instigation of the group tour arrangements into Europe that have now become an institution among British fans.
He will be sadly missed.
Remember - Death is not the end.
I really can't find words to express the loss I fell for his death. I knew him and he always had a nice word or a good advice. I'll miss him.
As the news of John Bauldie's death reaches us, we grow saddened in the knowledge that one of Bob's biggest fans is gone.
He will be missed............
I found out about the sad, sad news about an hour ago, am still shocked. I will remember John's sense of humor, his help in solving a number of tour problems in London and abroad, his tour-de-force in federating Dylan collectors around the Telegraph, and the coded Dylan references he always managed to sprinkle Q magazine with. He also helped in his way for the Marianne Faithfull autobiography "Faithfull". Not all the French people who knew John have access to Internet, the bad news have deeply affected all of us.
Serge Mironneau - Robert Schlockoff - Dominique Roques - Michel Pomarede
and many others
I'm just going to post this from the London Evening Standard tonight, without comment-- -too upsetting:
Multi millionaire Matthew Harding, Chelsea Football Club's vice Chairman, was among five people killed in an air crash last night on their way home from a cup match. The helicopter bringing him back from Bolton crashed into woods and exploded in a fireball. (........)
(One of the others) was John Bauldie, who shared a passion with Mr Harding for Bob Dylan, and had published a book on the singer. Mr Bauldie, who lived in Richmond-- but had travelled to the match because he was a Bolton Wanderers supporter-- worked as a subeditor for Q magazine.
News of John Bauldieís tragic death is sad tidings, indeed. In our occasional correspondence over the past decade Mr. Bauldie was always kind, generous and witty. I found his publication, The Telegraph, to be first-rate. With so much disparaging nonsense being written about Bob Dylanís work, it was always a pleasure to read the thoughtful and insightful articles which made up the lionís share of Mr. Bauldieís publication. It is my loss that we never had the chance to meet. He will be missed.
"Go tell my companion and children most dear To weep not for me now Iím gone The same hand that led me through scenes most severe Is kindly assisting me home" ~ Lone Pilgrim
" wherever you might look tonight, you might get a glimpse of me."
-wanted man, bob dylan.
I'm very sad to have to inform r.m.d members that I've just read in this morning's paper of the death of John Bauldie in a helicopter crash. John was the editor of the Telegraph magazine and the Wanted Man Bob Dylan information service. The helicopter crashed near my home in Cheshire, England, taking Matthew Harding, the vice-chairman of Chelsea Football Club and his friends back to London after watching the game between Bolton and Chelsea. John was a life-long fan of Bolton, and also a friend of Harding, so had gone with him and 2 others to the match.
I've been a subscriber to the Telegraph for some years, and have really appreciated its information and scholarship about Bob under John's enthusiastic editorship.
I didn't know what to do when I heard about John. This was one of my favorites of his stories. I thought I'd post it as a tribute to him. I will miss you. Goodbye John.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------- More stuff from . . . The Telegraph The Best Bob Dylan Magazine In The World ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- A quick word of explanation . . .
Diary Of A Bobcat is an ongoing series of accounts and reflections of the on the road experiences of a Bob Dylan fan, ie me, which are published erratically in The Telegraph. A collection of these articles was privately published in 1994. Er, that's it. --------------------------------------------------------------------- ON THE ROAD AGAIN: DIARY OF A BOBCAT by John Bauldie Monday, June 28, somewhere west of Milan I'm riding on a train going West. No, honestly, I am! Don't you just hate it when writers writing about Bob Dylan write in Bob Dylan lines? And yet sometimes you just can't help it. So sod it, here I am, riding on a train, going West, from Milan to Marseilles. The long distance train's rolling through the rain . . . no, no, stop! It isn't raining at all. It's hot. The sun is . . . blistering. It's not stopped being blistering since I landed in Athens the best part of a week ago. I'm in the process of seeing seven shows on the latest leg of the Never Ending Tour, from Athens to Toulouse, hundreds of Greek, Italian and French miles down rock'n'roll, Bob Dylan style. I did think of writing a day by day account of what went on, but . . . well, sometimes, you know . . .
The shows have been really good. First Athens was good. Greek photographers were allowed to take pictures for two songs. Bob threw his harmonica into the crowd at the end of the show. The band soundchecked Series Of Dreams, John Jackson singing, before both shows. Second Athens Bob played Shooting Star just after a shooting star had shot across the sky - honest! He's looking clean and healthy. He's stopped drinking, completely - not even a glass of beer - and is almost smart, although the bottoms of his new stage trousers, with silver studs cascading down the seams, have been clumsily, slightly ridiculously rolled up instead of being properly shortened. It could be in affectionate homage to J. Alfred Prufrock. Then again, Suzi Pullen's still on the case.
I see Bob, briefly, backstage in Athens. I'm sitting by myself at a table and he comes out - rare event! - of his dressing room to sniff the air, and the food, and just look around for a few minutes. He walks right behind me and stops . . .
Oh, look, I don't want to dwell on this gossipy stuff. Funny thing is that I'd almost bought him a little present earlier in the day. I'd seen this book in a shop in Omonia Square. It was a volume of lyrics to Om Kalsoum's songs - Egyptian words, rendered in Greek - but it also had a bunch of scratchy, blurry photos of Om Kalsoum, on stage, off stage, that I thought Bob might like to look at. But for some reason I didn't buy it. Later, I wished I had. There was Bob, standing right next to me, sniffing the warm Greek air. wearing a nice green denim jacket and light brown 1964-style suede boots, and there was I, empty-handed . . .
In Naples, a couple of nights later, Bob's playing in a circus tent, a big top. It's a neat setting but a pretty thin crowd. The three Italian shows haven't, it seems, sold very well. True, they haven't been very well publicised, but it could be that the frequency with which Bob Dylan has been coming around recently is beginning to take its toll on his audiences' enthusiasm. It's inevitable, really, isn't it, and somewhat disconcerting a truth for us all. The Italian promoter stands to lose a lot of money on these shows. Bob doesn't come cheap and when the promoter discovers that only around 1,000 tickets have been sold for each of the Naples, Pisa and Milan shows, the morose fellow declares that it's positively the last time he'll be bringing Bob to Italy. So desperate is he to shift some more tickets that two days before the Naples show, he faxes Greece, pleading with Bob to do some press interviews to help whip up some punter enthusiasm. Astonishingly, the following day, three incredulous Italian journalists get phone calls from Bob, who's willing to talk about anything they want him to talk about.
Hmmm. Maybe I should fax through to tell him that Telegraph subscriptions are tailing off disastrously and that it would really be helpful if he could give me a call and talk about anything he wants to, and I want to, for, oh, a couple of days or so . . .
In Naples, Bob sings I Believe In You with extraordinary passion, and lets Mr Tambourine Man go dancing on for ages at the end, searching for its swirling essence in minor cadences, harmonica chiming amid magical guitar mayhem. Naples is a great show. One of the 10 best shows I've seen. Maybe one of the six best. Four best? Do you play this silly game too? Barcelona 1984 is elbowing Meadowlands '86 for the lead while one of the early 1988 Jones Beach shows tries to push its way through on the rails and here comes Paris 1990 with a late run . . .
In Pisa, the following night, I'm running a little late, but not too late. I swerve sweetly into the historic Piazza dei Cavalieri, and there's that unmistakable figure, head tilted slightly skywards, shoulders slightly hunched, knees bent, perfectly defined muscles rippling in his bare arms and legs . . .
The statue's been there for three hundred-odd years. There's no sign of Bob. That's probably because the show's been shifted to the Campo Sportivo, a couple of miles away. It's the local athletics track and it's a balmy Sunday evening out for the locals. The interviews have helped, perhaps, but there can't be more than 1,400 people here, if that. The promoter's looking ever more gloomy.
Speaking of gloom, I find myself wondering if a potentially blubsome Bob might be moved to play some "thinking of Suze" songs - Tomorrow Is A Long Time, perhaps - for was it not the artistic promises of Pisa that Suze Rotolo preferred to being with Bob all those years ago? He doesn't, of course. He sings Lay Lady Lay, just like he did on Nashville Skyline. Lay Lady Lay, Bob. I remember you playing that song in Barcelona in 1984 . . .
The next night, the crowd in Milan are just fantastic, wildly enthusiastic, 100 per cent committed, just great, and suddenly, there's Bob with the greatest opening sequence of songs I've probably ever seen - bam, bam, bam, bam, bam - Stuck Inside Of Mobile! Wow. Waaaooow!!! It's terrific, impassioned, spine-tingling. It's the archetypal version! He's feeding off the crowd's frenzy and in turn the crowd are going crazier and crazier. It's quite extraordinary, it's totally wild and then, after the fourth, or maybe the fifth, song, the magic suddenly, mysteriously dissolves, and the Milan show becomes like any other of these shows. Good. Really good. But, oh my, those first 20 minutes . . .
That was last night. Today, the train I'm riding rocks and reels and rolls on, smoking down the tracks (well, OK, not exactly smoking), taking me, and all of my well taken care of memories, to France.
Monday, June 28, Marseilles
"We lived an adventurous life, without complications. We screwed women. We drank. We ate. Nothing else. At first, Dylan was really surprised at it all, but soon it seemed he liked it. The whole came to mean something to him, especially Marseilles. He even wanted to write a song about the place. I told him not to. Structurally, it couldn't work. As we often slept in the same bed because he was afraid to sleep alone, I could hear him trying to find a rhyme for "Marseilles". I told him to think of something else."
Dylan had arrived at the house of painter David Oppenheim, whose work was used on the back cover of Blood On The Tracks, in early May, 1975, "completely despairing, isolated, lost, confused . . . he was having problems with his wife. She was supposed to have come with him but she hadn't arrived. He phoned her every day." He spent six weeks with Oppenheim, and then he went home, as alone as he'd been the night he arrived, but somehow different, changed, renewed.
Eighty-four years earlier, a young woman arrived early at the Hospital of the Immaculate Conception in Marseilles, to visit her brother. He wasn't yet awake, so she stood by his bed, watching him as he slept, wondering how anyone could go on living and yet look so near to death . . .
"His right arm was now completely useless and paralysis was beginning to gain his left; a slight nervous twitch was perceptible in his leg, and his left eye was never more than half open. In no position could his wracked body find ease or rest. Then a new and agonising treatment was tried, which seemed a senseless torture for an unfortunate man who could, in any case, not recover. Yet the treatment served to fill the day and to fan his waning hope. Each morning an electric apparatus was brought into his ward and the operator set to work on his right arm for a quarter of an hour. During the treatment, his hand made certain nervous, spasmodic movements, galvanised automatically into activity by the electricity, but when the current was switched off, it fell back again into helpless immobility. All he then felt was violent pain in the arm and hand, but no more capacity for movement. Nevertheless, he would endure anything in the hope of staving off the threat of total paralysis, for he still dreamed of recovering enough to make a journey. He would look out of the window at the clear, beautiful sky above Marseilles, and in his imagination see the Mediterranean, with all the drunken ships ready to set their magic, swirling sails for distant lands. But there was no ship waiting for him."
It's a warm, slightly humid, early evening in Marseilles. I walk down to the waterfront of the old port for supper. Spying a small Moroccan restaurant, I dip my head inside. Apart from a couple who're dining by candlelight, looking out on to the water, I'm the only customer. I choose a low-level Moroccan table and order a couscous. While I'm waiting for it, I look around at the North African furnishings and decorations, all warm red tapestries and brightly polished brasswork, and somewhere I think I hear music playing. Then the familiar sounds of an unmistakable voice begin to swirl mysteriously around the room.
The waiter brings me sweet mint tea. "Om Kalsoum," I smile. He's totally astonished. "You know?" he gasps. "How you know?" I tell him about Bob Dylan and about a tape that a friend made for me years ago of Om Kalsoum recordings. Om Kalsoum sings a verse, a line, of poetry in her amazing, unique voice and the audience break into rapturous applause. Bob Dylan is the only Western singer who elicits a similar response from his audience, inspiring spontaneous applause for the way he sings a line, or even a phrase. Bob Dylan. Om Kalsoum. Couscous.
Does it ever strike you when you're doing something, in some sort of situation, that if Bob was here, he'd really love it? Me too. Especially tonight. He's probably holed up in his swish hotel somewhere on the seafront, but I bet he'd really love it here. I mean, he likes couscous, and he loves Om Kalsoum. And it's so quiet in here - no-one to stare at, or pester, him. Except me, of course.
"He was, by now, taking almost no food. All his limbs were paralysed and lay motionless beside his trunk, like dead branches still hanging to a tree, itself not yet quite dead. His face had the chiselled immobility of marble, and in that face - indeed in all the body - the eyes alone still seemed to live. Sometimes, in this state, he became a voyant, a prophet. Without losing consciousness, he had the most marvellous visions. He saw columns of amethyst, angels in marble and wood, countries of indescribable beauty . . ."
On November 10, 1891, Arthur Rimbaud died, here in Marseilles, less than three weeks after his 37th birthday. I wonder if Bob remembers that. I wonder if he remembers the days he spent here in 1975. David Oppenheim will never forget them:
"I had imagined him to be secure . . . but emptiness was written all over his face. To have someone like him right in front of you, so powerful in his irresistible artist's capriciousness, so intelligent, so handsome. I was almost in love with this man."
Tuesday, June 29, Marseilles
There's not much of a crowd in the Palais Des Sports, and it's stiflingly hot in the cavernous building. This is because the air-conditioning system has been turned off. There's never any air-conditioning where Bob Dylan is - not in concert halls, nor hotel rooms, nor tour buses. It's bad for his voice he says.
He tries out My Back Pages, but can't find the key and it stumbles and stutters. It's one of my very favourite songs. It always has been. "Good and bad, I define these terms". "In a soldier's stance, I aimed my hand at the mongrel dogs who teach". Very Arthur Rimbaud, Bob.
During Maggie's Farm, Dylan gets visibly annoyed with John Jackson. Jackson is wibbling away in between each verse of the song and for once Bob seems to be waiting for him to stop before he starts to play himself. But Jackson doesn't stop, and Dylan gets more and more tetchy. Eventually, he drops his arms completely from his guitar, stands, does nothing, turns around, huffs with displeasure, glares. GLARES.
Not too long ago there was a discussion on the radio in Marseilles about Bob Dylan. The chairman/DJ was wondering about Dylan - about him being yesterday's hero, about his voice being shot, the usual stuff. Then in chimed Yves Bigot (you remember him, of course) in Bob's defence. Bigot couldn't take any more. Dylan was/is great, always, ever, the best. Last year, he says, in Reims, I saw one of the very greatest shows I've ever seen anywhere by anyone. You know something? he adds; Bob Dylan was playing jazz. Jazz!
Now let's leave the show aside, but pick up the jazz thing. Bigot may be incredibly perceptive and I missed it, but while I didn't hear jazz in Reims in 1992, I certainly do hear it in these shows in 1993. The spaces in the songs are given over to free-form guitar improvisation, ex tempore solos that sometimes intertwine, or that sometimes clash and clatter and clang, but that always go off exploring, searching for something that's not written down, that's never been rehearsed, that's never been played before and that will never be played again.
"You know that solo you played yesterday?" Dylan once asked John Jackson on stage. "You played it different. Well, play it again, the same but different. The same, but different." Sure, Bob.
And so it has emerged in these shows, that Bob Dylan is forming something that is jazz, though clearly it is very different from any jazz you ever heard, in the spaces between the verses of his songs, by allowing his hands to wander up and down his fretboard with far more technical expertise than you would ever have imagined a few months ago. It's not Eric Clapton/ Robbie Robertson-type expertise. Dylan plays guitar like he plays piano. It's a unique style; it sounds like him and no-one else. Just like his drawings, you know? By certain standards, they're inexpert. And yet they're typically, recognisably, impressively him. He's in the process of redefining the electric guitar's part in rock'n'roll music, and he's doing it live, now, and I wonder how many people are aware of that. Are the band aware of it? Do they really recognise what Bob Dylan is doing night after night? Or do they think it's just a weird, wacky, sometimes wonderful craziness for which they get paid well and which takes them all around the world for as long as Bob wants them to be with him?
"Jazz? It's more like classical improvisation - variations on themes being worked out, worked around, worked over. I can see how Bob has been impressed by the classical music that he's been listening to. It's had an effect on him. It's unmistakable . . ."
So begins the post-concert analysis in a scruffy back street cafe just around the corner from the Hospital of the Immaculate Conception. It's very late, nearly 2am, but it's a warm night, and this seems to be the only place in Marseilles that's still open. It's another coincidence, of course, that we find ourselves sitting staring at one of the few Bob Dylan concert posters that have been pasted up in the town, and Bob Dylan's favourite New Zealand 1986 image is staring back at us as we eat. The real, 1993 Bob, meanwhile, is at this very moment in his un-air-conditioned bus, barrelling towards Toulouse, leaving Marseilles, and whatever memories and ghosts may dwell therein, to eat his dust.
Wednesday, June 30, sort of on the way to Toulouse
A couple of hours' drive West from Marseilles, through the famous Camargue country, is a small seaside settlement named after two boat-dwelling, miracle-working saints, both (somewhat confusingly) called Marie. Les Saintes-Maries de la Mer has played a small but interesting enough part in the Bob Dylan story for it to be worth visiting, sort of on the way to Toulouse.
"We arrived at Saintes-Marie de la Mer at six in the morning. By seven we were in a bar with Manitas de Plata. It seemed that he owned the place and he was playing the guitar, playing it well. I couldn't believe my eyes. It was seven o'clock in the morning and there were already 100 people watching him - his family, his friends and me and Bob. A few hours later we met Manitas in the street with a couple of girls. At that time I looked rather like a gypsy, with my long hair. He said to me, Hi, don't I know you? So I replied, And this bloke with me - don't you know him? Manitas, who's quite smart, knew that "this bloke" was something or someone important. I said, He wants you to teach him to play the guitar . . ."
That was David Oppenheim again. Manitas and his family and friends (and David Oppenheim and Bob) had come to Saintes-Marie in May 1975 for the great gypsy festival. Each year, gypsies from all over the world arrive in the sleepy little town to celebrate their dark-skinned patron saint, whose statue is kept in the dark vault of the church of the two Maries, draped in cloth of gold. Now, in June 1993, I come to the same church, to the same vault, to stand before the same idol that Bob Dylan had stood before some 18 years before, trying to imagine what he must have been thinking and feeling back then. There he was, "completely despairing, isolated, lost . . . in all his weaknesses . . . with emptiness written over his face", standing in front of the black madonna, the patron saint of the gypsies, whose name, strangely, is St Sara, and whose statue is borne down to the seashore by the gypsies each year on her festival day, which is, strangely, May 24 . . .
There's no doubt that Bob Dylan's time in the South of France had a profound effect on him, and on the future direction his life was to take:
"I was just sitting in a field overlooking some vineyards; the sky was pink, the sun was going down, and the moon was sapphire; and I recall getting a ride into town with a man with a donkey cart, and I was sitting on this donkey cart, bouncing around on the road there, and that's when it flashed on me that I was gonna go back to America and get serious and do what it is that I do, because by that time people didn't know what it was that I did . . . Only the people that see our show know what it is that I do, the rest of the people just have to imagine it."
And so to Toulouse, where there's a fine Hattie Carroll with some wonderful harmonica, an almost great, but still slightly flawed, Born In Time, and then, finally - finally for the show, and finally for me - It Ain't Me Babe. It's great, but then Bob starts dancing. It begins with the familiar hip wiggle, then the bent-knee shake - you know, the standard good-mood crowd-pleasing shape-throwing shenanigans - but then he hops and skips forward, in front of the monitors, laughing and wiggling and shaking and bopping and then almost duck-walking his way backwards. I've never seen anything like it! It's bizarre! Ridiculous! Crazy! Funny! Wild! Only the people who saw the show know what it is that he did, the rest of you will just have to imagine it. Unless, of course, there's a video . . .
Then there he was, gone. At the end of each of the last shows that I've seen, the brief, chilling thought always crosses my mind that it just might be my last ever Bob Dylan show. Who knows what might happen to him, or to me, in the meantime. So it's a moment that I cherish and savour and always keep close, until the next first show, and then the last last show becomes just a little bit less important. Do you know what I mean? The tour, of course, goes on, and I, alas, go home, back to reality, back to Romford, back to work, back to The Telegraph. But oh, these have been some shows this year. I was lucky to be there. I've had my fun. I'm content. Really I am.
Monday, July 5, Romford
The Wanted Man fax machine chatters. It's a letter from my friend Dominique, with whom I travelled for the last few days of my tour, from Marseilles to Saintes-Maries to Toulouse. Because of business commitments, Dominique wouldn't, he told me, go to the shows in Barcelona or to Vitoria, even though he doesn't live too far away. The fax machine stops chattering. I read the letter:
"Dear John, On a last minute decision, I went to Vitoria. The show was marvellous. The crowd was very nice, lots of young Spanish, nice and quiet before the show, very warm and enthusiastic during it. And they knew all the words to the songs! Some songs were again extraordinary: Tangled, River Flow, Tomorrow Night, Cat's, I&I. On all those I can't imagine Bob doing much better, any time, any where. Honest. Another version of Born In Time, extremely beautiful instrumentally. The absolute highlight came with a truly marvellous Boots Of Spanish Leather - long, committed, passionate, beautiful guitar work. It Ain't Me Babe: how does he manage it? Being at the same time funny and playful with the crowd, and yet carrying across the message of the song so heavily, every line in his face showing how wide is the ocean that will forever be between being Bob Dylan and being the listener. It was nice to spend a few hours with you. I wish the road would have been a little longer. Next time. Dominique.So you see? Everything I'm saying, you can say it just as good.
Thanks, Sadiejane. That was just right.
This is a great loss to Dylan appreciaters all over the world.
My condolences to those who knew John well.
I'd like to thank Sadie for posting that particular extract (read it if you haven't already - it's very moving). Another of John Bauldie's 'stories' appears in a book I'd recommend to rmd'ers - 'Love Is The Drug: Living as a pop fan', edited by John Aizlewood, published by Penguin in 1994 (ISBN: 014024199X). Titled 'Simple Twist of Fate' (perhaps it should have been called 'The Poke That Changed My Life'), it tells of John's introduction, as a spotty adolescent, to the music of Bob Dylan, after an intensive preparatory course in American rhythm and blues. John was a wonderful writer, able to express so many of the common threads of our love (and obsession) for Dylan's music. It's sad to think there'll be no more such pieces from his pen, but he's left a rich legacy of writing for us all.
I share everyone's shock and distress at this news and found it simply impossible to post anything when I heard the news last night.
It is, indeed, still difficult to do so but I thought I'd share my own little personal memory which - I hope you will forgive me - is not really Dylan related.
It would be disingenious of me to claim I was particulrly friendly with John - being the editor of an "upstart" Dylan fanzine was never going to help in our initial meetings! But, fittingly enough, the internet and football changed all that this summer.
I appended a footnote re the respective merits of two (virtually unsupported) Scottish football teams (Cowdenbeath and Queen's Park) to a posting to Stephen Scobie.
John immdediately wrote to me enquiring who supported Cowdenbeath as they were his first football love and still second in his heart to the over-riding love for Bolton. Cowdenbeath being my home town we were soon comparing notes on the team self-ironically nicknamed "The Blue Brazil". It transpired very quickly that one branch of Mr. Bauldie's family came from the same tiny Fife villages as my mother's and, indeed, that both our mothers belonged to the same Scottish clan line. (In his inimitable fashion, John did intimate he wasn't entirely convinced of this as the clan is a Royal one and the claim may be more tenuous than real!).
That's my little tale - it seemed appropriate to post it today & say that our thoughts should be with Penny who is faced with constant media exposure to the tragedy.
(For non-uk readers, a business tycoon who was heavily involved in a football club was also killed this has led to saturation news coverage. I have avoided watching it but I am aware it is going on. The tycoon in question, Mathew was - though to what extent I do not know - a Dylan "fan", as well as football crazy and recent made a huge splash by backing the least right wing of Britain's main poltical parties both financially and as a voice of the business community. So the coverage is to be expected and the man's shared interests with John are obvious - but I wish they'd stop going on and on about it.)
Anyway, I'd also like you all to know that Lamchop is going to see Penny today to help in anyway he can (particularly by doing something to the Hotline). He is aware of the messaged on the 'Net and will be taking all your condolences with him.
I don't know what else to say.
By coincidence I was talking to a friend last night about the memorial service for Bob Shelton earlier this year, and my friend told me how witty and touching John Bauldie's tribute to Shelton had been. It was eery to hear John's name among the accident fatalities just hours later.
Basically all British papers today confirmed the devastating news
which Bill Pannifer reported last night:
JOHN BAULDIE IS DEAD at 47.
Most papers concentrated on the death of multi millionaire Matthew Harding, Chelsea Football Club's vice chairman:
THE GUARDIAN, 24 Oct 1996, 'Goodbye Mr. Chelsea', quoted British Prime Minister John Majors: "I was shocked by the news of Matthew's tragic death. Chelsea was his passion and he did a huge amount to help the club he loved.' and reported about the accident:
The accident, which claimed five lives, occurred in Middlewich, Cheshire, at around 11pm on Tuesday as the helicopter carried Mr Harding's party back from Chelsea's game at Bolton... Witness reports suggest some form of engine failure. The wreckage of the French-built helicopter, will now be examined by the Civil Aviation Authority... The other victims of the crash were the pilot Michael Goss, aged 38, a journalist John Bauldie, aged 47, and two executives of Benfield comapnies, Tony Burridge, aged 39, and Raymond Deane, aged 43. The accident claimed a sixth victim when Kate Alderson, 28, a Times journalist attending the scene, died in a car crash.
The Independent, 24 Oct 1996, reported that:
Mr Bauldie was a friend [of Matthew Harding] and former journalist on Q magazine and expert on the music of Bob Dylan -- one of Harding's other great passions.And in Phil Shaw's tribute to Matthew Harding on the Sport page:
...Harding was a product of a more gregarious generation, whose only other passions were his family and Bob Dylan. 'I'm just a fan who's done rather well,' he once said...I have never met John Bauldie in person (he was "pointed out" to me by a friend at some Dylan concert once...), but through his "labor of love", The Telegraph, through his articles in Q magazine, through his only too recent contributions to this newsgroup, he had become a dear friend to me, cherished and sadly missed already...
He had so many plans -- the Dylan/Hermann Hesse connections he wanted to elaborate on, his new fascination with the Internet and his plans of making all out-of-print issues of The Telegraph available on the net...
What can we do? Can The Telegraph continue without him? Can we, somehow, all contribute to his dream that "someday, one day, the whole of The Telegraph will be available to all at the touch of a button", as he himself had planned it?
John -- you're sadly missed by all of us...
-- Man of Peace
Like everyone else I've long appreciated John Bauldie's work. As such it was a pleasure to see him join the Internet recently, even more so when he took to it so enthusiastically in his postings and via his web site. John's 55 issues of The Telegraph magazine over 15 years do themselves alone constitute a fitting and worthy legacy, and this is just one amongst many. I never met John personally but I am already missing him.
My deepest condolences to John's family and friends.
john bauldie will be sorely missed by the dylan community-he was always a gentleman and an honest guy, which is not something easily found in these dylanological circles. he was a dylan expert but ddid not try to come across as one, as opposed to all the...........
Dear fellow RMDers and Highway 61 travellers:
Here's to a man who loved life, LIVED life, and expressed life with much passion and insight. He brought so much perspective and awareness into MY life in such a short time! I didn't know him, except for the Internet contact--but I shall never forget him. And his work shall live on!
I'm glad that I got to hear his voice and appreciate some of his humor and joy and sheer Brit charm while he was still with us on this Earth-plane. While I'm sad that he has left us, I'm glad that he was doing something he so enjoyed when it came time to go. I hope that lots of Dylan-lovers were there on the other side to ease his crossing...and I know that, if there IS an Internet connection in the Great Beyond (and I can bet there IS!), he's tuned in now to have a peek at what his old pals are saying.
May you enjoy your new life, John, even more than you enjoyed your last one!
Give Jerry and the others our love, and see you soon.
This has been a sad, sad day.
John will be deeply missed.I was a Dylan fan,long before I ever heard of John,or the Telegraph, still I feel that John Bauldie has helped me understand more of just why I like Dylan so much.I feel that in all his work, he sincerely wanted his friends to discover the beauty and power he himself found in the work of Bob Dylan.
For years now, his friendly voice on the hotline has been a source for information and inspiration.
I'll share with you the lyrics from a song by Bruce Cocburn.
CLOSER TO THE LIGHT There you go Swimming deeper into mystery Here I remain Only seeing where you used to be Stared at the celing 'Til my ears filled up with tears Never got to know you Suddenly you're out of here Gone from mystery into mystery Gone from daylight into night Another step deeper into darkness Closer to the light Walked outside Summer moon was nearly down Mist on the fields Holy stillness all around Death's no stranger No stranger than the life I've seen Still I cry Still I begged to get you back again Gone from mystery into mystery Gone from daylight into night Another step deeper into darkness Closer to the light Bruce Cockburn You always told us to stay warm, John. Tonight our hearts are warm for you. God bless you. Terje Lunde
I am deeply saddened by the death of our companion in obsession John Bauldie. Through his work I had the desire to poor ever futher into the works of the great music and life of Dylan. He was the first writter that I thought shared the appropriate facination of the music and the images that Bob has given us over so many years. The Telegraph was the first time we had seen a entire tours set lists and were blown away by the diversity and the unique selection of songs that Bob was playing at that time. Immedeately I seeked out bootlegs of these shows and became obsessed from that moment on. The body of work that John has left for us to look over is extensive and of great quality and should be checked out if you have not had the chance. I will miss the humour, wit, and insight that he brought to the realm of writtings on Bob and other artist. I will always be thankful for him showing that it is OK to be comsummed with every detail of Bob's carrer-it has given me much happiness over the years. So long John-your spirit shall be with all of us for this tour and all the others down the road.
Rest in peace, John Bauldie.
Sad news, sad news came to me...
Like most Dylan fans around the world, John Bauldie's name was familiar to me for many years, from the pages of books (the excellent Wanted Man anthologies especially), magazines and of course the Bootleg Series notes. I'd even seen a video of a talk he gave at a British Dylan convention. It's only in recent months that his name began to have an "identity" to me, through John's postings to the newsgroup and his courteous, gentlemanly responses to queries. Let's not forget his quiet wit.
Like John Henry, I'm a sinner - a Telegraph non-subscriber - yet one who had recently seen the light. After months of umm-ing and ah-ing, and reassurances from JB that I would not be sorry, the time had come. On Wednesday afternoon (Australian time), I trotted off to Thomas Cook's to purchase a parcel of yankee dollars, some to send off to John for a 1996 subscription - looking forward to receiving all this year's issues, even though it's almost 1997 already. Alas, the office had closed two minutes before I got to the door, and my pleading looks got no response from those inside intent on packing up and leaving. So I walked away, my good intentions thwarted.
(Why not just pop into the Post Office for a money order? Well, it's a long story and this isn't really the time for it. I had several transactions to make and a parcel of yankee dollars can come in mighty handy. And don't forget, I do live on an Australian mountain range, not the most convenient place for international money transactions, even in these changin' times when banks promise many wondrous services but deliver little apart from risin' charges)
Anyway, John, to read the very next day of your sudden and shocking death (was it about the same time I knocked at that closed door?), it's just so sad. Your dedicated efforts at "spreading the word" will be sorely missed, as will your sense of humour and generosity.
Johnny, I hardly knew you, but I'm missing you already. And if there's any chance the Telegraph can continue, then John, the money's in the mail. I promise.
"Oh, cruel, the rain and the wind... "
I just wanted to add a few words about the loss of John Bauldie...
What a fine writer. He had an intimate, down-to-earth way of writing, with a great sense of humour, that made you feel he was a friend at your side. Perceptive, fresh, probing and honest.
As an editor, he put together a professional, serious and polished magazine in the Telegraph. It's added a lot to the world, as did John.
He is really, really missed.
I don't know what to say. John and I had a correspondence going back many years, well before rmd. He was a good guy. I'll miss him.
"People don't live or die, people just float." (Dylan)Date: Fri, 25 Oct 1996 05:41:47 GMT "Nothing changes, except life into death." (R. Burton, Cleopatra)
Thank you, John.
it appears that my first post on hearing this tragic news was sent to /dev/null. perhaps that was just as well, as i was speechless...
the best idea i have seen yet is to perpetuate the Telegraph in some way or another with the aid of the sizable rmd reading public.
if this is to complete his task of getting all the Telegraphs onto the Web, we have a lot of work to do. we should get busy.
i have only known John through this newsgroup and admit to never subscribing. up until now i had tried to draw a line in how much of what i am doing here on this planet revolves around the Dylan phenomenon - fanzines seemed a bit much, 600 bootlegs _is_ a bit much, collecting collector items - it all just wasnt my cup of meat.
however, the reprinted articles by John now force me to adjust the location of this line. sadly, i find myself drawn to his work after the fact, too late - being the CAD that we all know i am.
by the way...has anyone going to the CURRENT concerts seen anything/ heard anything from the stage in regard to this? is there a chance that a well-placed placard might induce some kind of recognition?
p.s.: anyone interested in forming alt.dylan.recovery???
The Guardian, Friday October 25, 1996
DEVOTED TO DYLAN AND THE WANDERERS
John Bauldie, who was killed, aged 47, in the helicopter crash along with Matthew Harding and three other people, had two passions. One was football and Bolton Wanderers; the other - his defining passion - was Bob Dylan. Indeed it was their mutual love of the singer which first brought Bauldie and Matthew Harding together.Paul du Noyer.
More than three decades of meticulous research had made Bauldie into one of thevworld's foremost authorities on Dylan's music. He wrote several key books on him, ran a superb quarterly fanzine, the Telegraph, and was so valued by the Dylan organisation that they enlisted his help in compiling the Bootleg Series, the 1991 CD boxed set which unearthed such lost Dylan gems as No More Auction Block and Blind Willie McTell.
Yet there was nobody less like the stereotyped "anorak" than John Bauldie. A former lecturer in English literature he was a dapper and cultured man, who brought a well-rounded intelligence to his quest. With his inimitable blend of scholarship and devotion, he elevated the often narrow world of fanzines to a different realm. He was never one to gatecrash Dylan's privacy or to peddle in specious theorising. His vocation was to amass the data and win for his hero the serious appraisal due to an outstanding 20th century performer.
Indeed he only met Dylan once, and that was by accident. Following a US tour, he was passing the singer's tour bus when the reclusive icon sauntered out. The two men held a brief and genial conversation, in the course of which John won a much prized endorsement for his magazine. "The Telegraph?" Bob murmured. "I seen a few issues of that. It's pretty interesting."
That was all the recognition that John required. In 1987, his teaching days behind him, he joined our small team at the newly-launched Q magazine as a sub-editor. For the next nine years, he worked diligently, buffing up our monthly efforts, applying a literary exactitude to the hitherto haphazard world of rock journalism. He was a fair bit older than we were, and we loved to mock his professorial pedantry. But he bore our juvenile satire with weary fortitude. And when he laughed, he wept real tears, and his face turned such a shade of scarlet that we feared for the old fella's heart.
Nothing displaced Dylan in his affections, but he was equally erudite on David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen and, of course, his home-town boys Bolton Wanderers. Those things apart, he loved to travel with his longstanding partner, Penny, and would invariably plan his year around Dylan's interminable tour itineraries. A rather old-fashioned Lancashire gentleman, he cut a memorable figure at those gigs. You'd spot him, immaculately turned-out in his camel-hair coat, looking on with a proprietorial air as he shared his insights with fellow fans.
John Bauldie's books include All Across the Telegraph, Wanted Man and, with Patrick Humphries, the wryly-entitled Oh No, Not Another Bob Dylan Book. He had recently begun a new job, as a sub-editor on the magazine House & Garden. And, just before his deplorable end, he was busy preparing a photo account of Dylan's 1966 world tour. John's was a valuable life, and not a moment of it was wasted.
Roy Kelly writes:
The Telegraph began as a slightly scrappy-looking fanzine issued by an organisation calling itself Wanted Man, the Bob Dylan Information Office. The first issue had a black-and-white, home-made look about it that was entirely understandable given that the so-called office was John Bauldie's living room. This was in late 1981.
Over the years the magazine improved in every department: paper, photographic reproduction, computer-setting, and all technical aspects of production meant that The Telegraph began to look as smart, glossy and substantial as Q and Mojo. The articles too moved from fans' responses to literary and historical reviews, contributions from academics such as Christopher Ricks and Dylan associates like Allen Ginsberg, at a length unthinkable in 1981.
I shall continue to miss him more than I can say, for the welcome he gave my writing in the Telegraph's pages, but also the hours I spent talking to him on the telephone, often about the next issue, which now will not come again.
John Bauldie, music journalist, Dylanologist, born August 23, 1949; died October 22, 1996.
this is really sad news.
i never met him personally, but just just gotta love the guy after you read the "bootleg series" liner notes, right? most of the time we exchanged e-mails we were "fighting" over some concert dates, cause he always knew when they weren't really confirmed yet but i still didn't want to belive him, as long as the gigs were over here in germany :) i also made the fatal mistake never to subscribe to the "telegraph", despite the fact, that almost every e-mail of john ended with the sentence, along the lines of "I'd really could help you more if you would subscribe to the telegraph, but..."
he'll be sorely missed.
carsten wohlfeld "we'll see you again when the stars fall from the sky, and the moon has turned red over one tree hill" (bono/u2)
Like so many others I was stunned today to learn of John's tragic death. I never did thank him for those illuminating talks at the conventions, the pre show beers, the funny hot line messages, the preferential Wanted Man ticket allocations, the 55 Telegraphs (without doubt the best Bob Dylan magazine there will ever be), the story of meeting Bob on the street, the telling of chaos that surrounded the writing of the the Bootleg series liner notes to name but a few. John made an irreplaceable contribution of my knowledge of Bob Dylan. His intelligence, warmth, humour and justifiable pride in the Telegraph will be not be forgotten. I did not know him well but what I knew I liked very much. My sincere sympathy goes out to his close friends and family.
I have a feeling Bob Dylan lost his number one fan. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and to all of you who had the honor to know him.
Its a black day for all of us Dylan fans and admirers of John Bauldie and his unbridled spirit, which I am sure, is still as free as it was while earth-bound.
"Now we heard the Sermon on the Mount, and knew it was too complex It didn't amount to anything more"
I share a sadness with many others on this newsgroup concerning the recent loss of John Bauldie. I was a Telegraph subscriber, and certainly benefited over the years from Mr. Bauldie's herculean efforts to keep such a high quality magazine going.
I remember a year or so ago when someone active in the Neil Young mailing list died. There was a memorial tape put together, and thus a tree was propagated to memorialize this person. Now many have a tape that will make them think of that individual whenever they play or trade it. I'm wondering if someone familiar with John Bauldie remembers a particular show that was his favorite. Our arborial agent may thus be inspired to forage a DAT of the show, and I'd be willing to help with both a DAT and analog tree.
Is there any interest in a John Bauldie Memorial Tree?
Yes I think we should do something.
John was a sweet and very talented gentleman, to whom so many owe so much in terms of renovating their love for Dylan and his work. Certainly do I.
He gave me so much that I can hardly now think of Bob without John. I would not ever had seen shows that I been to without John work with the Hotline. I would never had the chance to know so much and so deep about Dylan work, without the Telegraph.
His writing was always so good, intense, personal, cute and gave me every time strong feelings and new perspective.
I had the honour to know him personally: I enjoyed talking to him as much as reading him, if not more.
Among many a many memories, one very simple comes to my mind : we were in Pistoia walking around the big Piazza before the show, and the Band was reharsing; everybody stopped to watch them and at one moment John, in white shirt and shorts, just shouted to them : "Series of dream!..."
I am happy that in the last show he attended ( I suppose so) in Udine, Bob played one of his favourite, My back pages, and it was a very good one.
I am really deeply deeply sad about his temporary departure from us and I always grateful I will forever be to him.
Ciao dear John.
Me and Graziella would like to express our feeling of sympathy to Penny and our condolences and thoughts go to her and all of John relatives Anything we could do, just let us know.
Reading of John Bauldie's passing was a terrible shock. I was listening to a '95 Brixton show as I read the post; soon "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" came on. My sadness was many fathoms deep.
Though I only knew John Bauldie through his writing, I've been feeling a loss at his passing. I found myself thinking "But I just read a post from him a couple days ago..." just the way one thinks of the 'last time' when a friend or family member dies. I realized that I'll never read one of his wonderful posts again...and that hurts a lot.
This awful event makes me realize what a palpable sense of community there is here on this newsgroup. Reading everyone else's posts have confirmed that thought. Despite everyone's differences and disagreements, we all have a common bond: Dylan is a great passion in our lives. The newsgroup lets everyone share that passion. We get to know each other here; one's personality come through quite clearly in one's postings. Even if John Bauldie had not been a well known and oft-published Dylan scholar, if he had simply been someone out there somewhere posting to the newsgroup, he would have been my favorite rmd contributor. He was a model for excellent postings.
I hope Mr Bauldie's family realize that there all people all over the world who hold him in the highest regard; that many who never met nor even corresponded with him are deeply saddened by his passing. His strength of character, his excellent taste, his fine wit and his devotion to the artistry of Bob Dylan were appreciated by oh so many.
My heartfelt condolences, to immediate and extended families,
I only just read the messages a few hours ago. I am in shock and so saddened.
I also feel that Mr. Bauldie's vision for the online aspects of the Telegraph somehow become a reality. I would be happy to do whatever I can to assist in continuing the Telegraph. Let me know.
Mr. Bauldie, my prayers and thanks go with you.
To Mr. Bauldie's family and friends--may the good Lord bring you comfort in your grief and precious memories of your loved one to cherish always.
Here at the DEEP we'd like to express our heartfelt condolences to both the immediate and extended families of the legendary Dylanologist and (more importantly) universally-liked John Bauldie. It is distressing to lose such a respected and admired member of "our" community and more distressing still for those of you out there who knew him personally. Mr. Bauldie's place in Dylanology, Dylan fandom & in his readers hearts remains alive. R.I.P. John, you will be sorely missed.
We were stunned to learn of John's tragic death.
The loss to each and every one of us who follow the life and times of Bob Dylan is simply incalculable.
What little comfort there is comes from thinking of Joseph Campbell's advice that in order to find true happiness, you must "follow your bliss". John surely did that, and we are all so much the better for it.
Our deepest sympathy to John's family.
Rest in peace John.
Maureen and George
I would like to add to the general feelings of shock, sadness, and loss at the death of John Bauldie.
Sincere condolences to his family.
(and thanks to Patricia Jungwirth who, as usual, has said it best).
Upon hearing of the passing of Mr. John Bauldie, I felt great sadness. My most sincere condolences go out to the Bauldie family and all of John's friends. May God Bless you.
Although I did not know John very well, I do know that he took to heart the work of our mentor Bob Dylan devoting many countless and precious hours into preserving it and unselfishly passing it on to all Dylan admirers through the Telegraph. As I was not a subscriber, of which I apologize, I did have the opportunity to read printouts on the Net and found them very informative and enlightening. For this I owe John many thanks. In the hearts and souls of Dylan admirers he will always be remembered.
I would like to dedicate the songs Danny Boy and Amazing Grace as follows, to the memory of John. May he rest in eternal peace.
Kindest regards, Ann McEntee & Michael Jass DANNY BOY (Irish) Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling From glen to glen, and down the mountain side The summer's gone, and all the flowers are dying 'tis you, 'tis you must go and I must bide. But come you back when summer's in the meadow Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow 'tis I'll be there in sunshine or in shadow Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so. And if you come, when all the flowers are dying And I am dead, as dead I well may be You'll come and find the place where I am lying And kneel and say an "Ave" there for me. And I shall hear, tho' soft you tread above me And all my dreams will warm and sweeter be If you'll not fail to tell me that you love me I simply sleep in peace until you come to me. AMAZING GRACE (John Newton) Amazing grace, how sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me I once was lost, but now I'm found Was blind, but now I see 'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear And grace that fear relieved How precious did that grace appear The hour I first believed. Through many dangers, toils, and snares I have already come 'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far And grace will lead me home. How sweet the name of Jesus sounds In a believer's ear It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds And drives away his fear. Must Jesus bear the cross alone And all the world go free No, there's a cross for everyone And there's a cross for me. When we've been here ten thousand years Bright shining as the sun, We've no less days to sing God's praise Than when we first begun.
It was with great sadness that I recently read about John's passing on October 22nd. It's ironic that I was very busy that day and didn't have the opportunity to participate in any of the interchanges over the next few days. Although I consider myself an avid Dylan fan, I only have a basic knowledge of his life, his lyrics and his music. John's writings helped me gain some of this knowledge.
This is my simple note of farewell to John. My condolences to his family and friends.
On October 22nd at 2:42AM, I assisted with the birth of my first child, a son - Joshua Francis. John, for more than one reason this day will always be important to me. God be with you.
Thinking about John Bauldie:
The phrase World Gone Wrong comes to mind.
A world in which a John Bauldie dies relatively young is one in which tragedy has become "normal." A fallen world.
I didn't know John Bauldie well, personally. But I had some fairly substantial email correspondence with him, associated with sponsoring the US mirror of the Telegraph pages, and with a number of questions about the Telegraph, and related issues.
I'm struck by the tragedies which sometimes consume us, as I contemplate his death. Life is brief. And we must never forget that.
John, we will miss you. Your voice was eloquent. You spoke well, of the Dylan we loved. And, for that, as for much else, we will remember you.