Monday, May 21, 2012

Trivia Contest Tests Mettle of Even the Most Die-Hard Dylan Fans

As you know, this is Dylan Fest week in Duluth and since it is not getting the media coverage it deserves I will be picking up the slack here for the next few days. Mr. Dylan turns 71 this Thursday, and it's a week long series of event both here in Duluth where he was born and in Hibbing where he grew up and came of age.

Last night was the second annual Bob Dylan Trivia Contest at Carmody's Irish Pub downtown. It's a seriously fun venue and from what I've been told they have trivia contests every single week here. One of the bartenders has lungs o' leather and can really project, which is quite the task in a noisy pub. The crowd gathers, gets a bit rummy and in a most orderly and punctual fashion the competition convenes, pens and paper provided so you can write your answers as you go. And no, you do not have to be a Dylan fan to play. They do 51 other themes throughout the year and you're always welcome. They have prizes, too.

When I arrived at nine, a pair of musicians called Cowboy Angel Blue were playing some really nice Dylan songs. If you ever see their names on a docket, it'll be worth your while to check in. They're from up near Virginia, Mn, about an hour North.

At shortly after nine the contest was called to order. John Bushey, host of KUMD's Highway 61 Revisited, assembled the questions again this year. And they were hard uns. Bushey said last year the questions were too easy and nearly everyone got them all correct, so he bore down and stymied us with some pretty obscure material.

This is a multiple choice quiz, so you can still get a few right even if you don't know the answer. Here are a few sample questions:

6. What year did the "Never Ending Tour" begin?
a. 1986
b. 1988
c. 1990
d. 1994

7. Which musician spent the most time touring with Bob Dylan?
a. Levon Helm
b. G. E. Smith
c. Tony Garnier
d. Charlie Sexton

I kicked myself afterward because I should have known it was Tony. He's a great bass player and been with Bob a long time. You can see him in Masked and Anonymous (the story of Jack Fate) and he was here in Duluth in 1998 at the DECC and in '99 with Paul Simon.

Well, some questions were a biut easier, like this one:
11. Dylan mentioned seeing Buddy Holly at the Duluth National Guard Armory when accepting a Grammy award for this album:
a. Planet Waves
b. Modern Times
c. Love and Theft
d. Time Out Of Mind

Other questions into some really obscure regions.
13. When asked in an interview if he could go back in time to see any event what was Bob Dylan's response?

The answer, my friends, was not blowing in the wind. I did not know that he would have liked to have been there to see Houdini escape from a box in the East River in NY.

What fraternity house did he live in while at the U of MN? The song "Forever Young" was written for whom? Which early Dylan song was John Lennon of the Beatles first attracted to?

Well, you get the picture. It was fun and I hope they do it again next year. And this week I hope you can make it to a few of the other events happening here in the Northland as we celebrate Bob's 71st. Details here at

Meantime, life goes on all around you. Have a great week. Wish you were here.

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