Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Margie's 1972 Search To Find Bob Dylan: The Encounter (Part 3)

Warfield Theater, November 8, 1979
There are undoubtedly many stories of fans going to extremes to meet their heroes. I knew a couple girls in my junior high school class who climbed through a window into the hotel where the Beatles were staying when the Fab Four came to New York fifty years ago. The efforts Margie Marcus made to find Bob Dylan also seem extraordinary. Unlike my classmates, Margie succeeded in her quest. I share this more as a human interest event, and neither recommend nor endorse this as a means of meeting famous people. Nevertheless, this is the culmination of Margie’s story (continued from yesterday)…. And here’s how it unfolded.

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FRIDAY, January 14, 1972

By this time it was about 11:30 and I had until 2:30 to meet Tony (Scaduto). Didn’t know what to do-so decided I would take a cab to the Village and try to find Dylan. Incidentally, neither Weberman nor Schechter would tell me where he lived. I happened to find the address inadvertently on a paper that I saw on Weberman’s desk about the birthday party he had given him and I asked him if I could have the booklet. He sold it to me for $1.

So, I had the address but had also been told by everyone along the line that Dylan uses fictitious names and disguises sometimes. I was sure that if I went to this address I would not know what bell to ring. I got out of the cab right in front of his house and went into the hallway. Lo and behold, the first name on the lineup of about 6 doorbells was Dylan. I couldn’t believe it. I rang it and in a moment his wife answered--I recognized her from the picture I had seen in the NY Times. I said “Mrs. Dylan?”

She said “Yes,” and I began to tell her that my name was Margie Marcus, that I came all the way from Deerfield, Illinois just to meet her husband. I was talking through a door and she was up on the first landing. She said she was sorry, they were very busy today and began to go in. I stopped her by pleading with her to tell her husband that I didn’t want to bother or bug him, I only want just to meet him and just couldn’t come all this way on a special trip and be so close and not accomplish it. She didn’t care, repeated that they were busy and closed the door.

She was nice, but just wouldn’t listen. So, I sat on the front radiator for a few minutes wondering what to do. I had my paper with me that I had written about him and wanted to give it to him.

I left the building and walked down about 3 doors and just stood there leaning against a wall. I was bound and determined to stay until hell froze over because I knew now that he was in there and figured maybe if they didn’t see me waiting that at some time maybe he would come out for a walk or something. This was about 10:00 and I waited about 15 minutes during which time I scribbled a note to him writing against the wall on a piece of paper telling him how it would be a high point of my life if he would just read this and if I could meet him, etc. (I have it all in my scrapbook.)

All of a sudden I saw a colored maid wheeling 2 little children in a stroller going down the steps into his building. I figured they had to be his children, they were about the right ages and the way I saw it, there are not many people in that area with colored maids--probably none--so I ran up to her and didn’t ask if she worked for him but just blurted out, “Would you please see that Mr. Dylan gets these papers.” I no sooner got the words out of my mouth, and she didn’t even have a second to answer, when the door opened and out he came with his wife and his guitar. I said either out loud or to myself, “Oh my God, it’s him.” “He walked up the 2 steps and I said, “Mr. Dylan, my name is Margie Marcus, I am from Deerfield, Illinois and I came all this way just to meet you and shake your hand and tell you how your music has changed my life.” The first thing he said to me was “Didn’t you write me a letter?”

I almost fell over. Yes, of course I had written him letters but had no idea he had ever received them or read them. Evidently he did because he knew my name. Then I began my little spiel –what respect I have for him and his music, how nervous I was just standing there and talking to him, couldn’t believe I was face-to-face with him, etc., and handed him my papers telling him that I would be so grateful if he would just take a few minutes of his time to read them. He took them from me and said “Thank you.” No matter what I said after that he just continued to say “thank you.” Not much of a conversationalist but I’m lucky he even stood there to listen to me.

His wife then said to him “Bob do you have the keys?” And he went back into the house for a minute, left the papers in the house and when he came out, I approached him again. We talked for a few minutes, made some small talk about the sights in the Village and I was so nervous I didn’t know what to say so I asked him what else there was to see as long as I was in the neighborhood and he said, “You can always go and see the Empire State Building,” a typical Dylan answer. After that he said he had to leave, so he and his guitar went one way and I went the other.

I was literally shaking with excitement and flew to the first cab I could get back to the hotel and called everyone I knew. My husband Dave was having lunch with the President of E.F. Hutton and I got him there and he was very flustered and couldn’t talk, obviously.

I couldn’t believe I found him. I couldn’t believe I had actually talked to him. I did it. Mission accomplished. Now this has changed my life and I can go home.

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Margie Marcus went on to live an interesting life of involvement in the Chicago theater scene and corresponding with interesting people. Dylan later sent her a photo of himself and during a 1974 Dylan concert in Chicago Margie was able to place a yellow rose on the stage for him, which he received.

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Photo credit: Bob Dylan at the Warfield Theater, San Francisco; William Pagel Archives

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Margie Marcus and her family lived across the street from my family in Deerfiield. I remember my mom telling me about Margie's search for Bob Dylan, but I never heard the full story... Until today. Margie was always ahead of her time and led from the heart. Fascinating story, told with such emotion. I am so happy to have reconnected with Margie thru my mom, after all these (40+?) years and I am proud to call her a friend. Way to go, Margie!! Well done! Janet xx

david said...

I went to Woodstock NY to meet Bob at his house on Ohayo Mt Road. I think he was in the house because I heard him talking. But the assistant Walter Johnson answered the door. He took a note and gave me a lift back down to town. Years later I happened to learn Bob was to make a video in Bloomington, IN of Political World. I got to meet him twice and we spent some time outside talking alone. It was a big event. But Bob was low key, didn't say a lot, but shook hands and was nice. No complaints. Wonderrful blue eyes. sad that he is so sought after. He really isn't anti fan, but there are so many wackos out there. I would never tell him I went to his house!!! He hates that stuff. Lives in a prison now by the sea.

Anonymous said...

how would this woman feel if someone was obsessed with her in the way she is with bob? it is unhealthy that simply meeting dylan has "changed her life."

Singing Bear said...

Sadly, this is precisely the sort of thing that must make Dylan want to run a mile. What do such people want from him? Isn't it enough to have the songs? Isn't Dylan entitled to some privacy? Stalking is stalking whatever else you want to call it.

lawrence Bullock said...

Fan: Mr. Dylan, you don't know me but I know you.

Bob: Let's keep it that way.

Dave.E said...

Poor Bob .....