Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Problem with Dylan Trivia Contests at Carmody's During Dylan Fest

Scene from the opening reception for Monday's Dylan Fest Art Show.
We're midway thru Duluth Dylan Fest 2018 and the best is yet to come. Yesterday I was asked to share the Dylan Fest Trivia Contest we did at Carmody's Sunday evening. This was my fifth, maybe sixth, year of creating the contest and it would appear that my dilemma is irresolvable. The dilemma I'm referring to is the challenge of creating a contest that is easy enough to make newbies feel confident while simultaneously challenging the Dylanophiles.

When all is said and done, the Dylanophiles have pretty much internalized every song from every album, including the bootlegs, so stumping these folk amounts to an exercise in futility. They not only know the title of every album from the beginning, they know the title of every track, in order. Example: Blood on the Tracks begins with Tangled Up In Blue, followed by Simple Twist of Fate, etc. etc. etc.  So if I ask the question, "What Dylan album was Idiot Wind on?" half the trivia night competitors don't even need to wait for the answer options.

If I ask a question like, "Which of the following actors did NOT play Dylan in the film He's Not There?" you'll overhear someone at the next table say, "Did anyone here see that?" If I ask what the name of the character Dylan played in Masked and Anonymous, Dylanophiles all know it was Jack Fate before the multiple choices are offered. The other half are scratching their heads and wondering what Masked and Anonymous was.

You see the problem. And we still haven't gotten into the niche trivia yet. C'est la vie.

All that being said, let's roll out the trivia questions I invented for this year's contest. It's always multiple choice, so you can at least guess. Answers will be at the end of this post. Let me know what you think... It may help in the development of next year's contest.

Note: It is a violation of the rules to use Google, Siri or any other assistance here.

1. 10,000 Men is a Dylan song on what album?
a. Under the Red Sky
b. Shadows in the Night
c. Together Through Life
d. The Basement Tapes

2. Complete the title of this song: SEVEN ______
a. Miles Down the Road
b. Curses
c. Old Friends
d. Times Gone

3. What kind of Car is in the song "From a _______ 6" on Highway 61 Revisited?
a. Ford
b. Pontiac
c. Buick
d. Chrysler

4. On the album Self Portrait Dylan recorded a song titled "Days of _____"
a. 31
b. 49
c. 61
d. 59

5. How many Strong Winds blew on Bootleg #11?
a. 3
b. 4
c. 8
d. 9

6. Dylan has famously mentioned Highway 61 a couple times in his songs. What highway did he sing about on his first album?
a. Highway 209
b. Highway 51
c. Highway 22
d. Highway 1

7. Which of the following songs with number in them is incorrect?
a. I Shall Be Free #10
b. Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream
c. Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
d. Workingman’s Blue #7

8. Love minus what number has no limit?
a. Zero
b. One
c. Three
d. Five

9. How many Miles does Dylan sing about on Time Out Of Mind?
a. a thousand miles
b. ten thousand miles
c. a million miles
d. ten million miles

10. On the album Down in the Groove, how fast does Dylan drive down a dead end street?
a. Sixty miles an hour
b. Seventy miles an hour
c. Eighty miles an hour
d. Ninety miles an hour

Part Two: PLACES
11. What town was Dylan stuck in when he had the Memphis blues?
a. San Francisco, California
b. Mobile, Alabama
c. Camden, New Jersey
d. Louisville, Kentucky

12. Dylan once mentioned seeing a movie with Gregory Peck in it. What town is featured in this song?
a. St. Louis
b. Los Angeles
c. Brownsville
d. San Antonio

13. Dylan once tried to become part of Bobby Vee’s band for a very short time as a piano player. Where did this take place?
a. Fargo
b. St. Paul
c. Denver
d. Chicago

14. Which country is mentioned in the song Idiot Wind?
a. Brazil
b. Germany
c. Italy
d. Mexico

15. “Hot chili peppers in the blistering sun” is the first line of a song about a romance where?
a. Cuernavaca
b. Durango
c. Cincinnati
d. Rio

16. On the album Together Through Life Dylan sings a song about a town where “you better do right” or the sheriff will get you. What town is this?
a. Miami
b. New Orleans
c. Oxford Town
d. Houston

17. Where did Dylan go to see the Gypsy?
a. Las Vegas
b. A little Minnesota town
c. Sunset Strip
d. A carnival in the desert

Part Three: PEOPLE
18. Whom did Dylan pity in his song on John Wesley Harding?
a. The carpenter
b. The immigrant
c. The childless widow
d. The broken soldier

19. Also on John Wesley Harding, whom did Dylan ask to not put a price on his soul?
a. The priest
b. His father
c. His landlord
d. A lawman

20. On the album Shot of Love, Dylan sang that he rode with this man in a taxi once for about a mile and a half, but it seemed like a couple of months. Who was he?
a. Martin Luther King, Jr.
b. Lenny Bruce
c. Nat King Cole
d. Woody Guthrie

21. The civil rights protest song “Only a Pawn in their Game” is about the murder of what important civil rights leader?
a. Emmett Till
b. Medgar Evers
c. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
d. Malcolm X

22. In two of Dylan’s 1960’s albums he recorded the song “Girl from the North Country.” The second time it was a duet with whom?
a. Kris Kristofferson
b. Waylon Jennings
c. Harry Belafonte
d. Johnny Cash

23. The renovated Nidaros Cathedral is a sanctuary in Norway decorated with fabulous architecture and numerous sculptures depicting various characters from the Bible. Which one of these sculptures, on the Northwest Tower, used the face of Bob Dylan?
a. The Angel Gabriel
b. John the Baptist
c. Michael the Archangel
d. St. Luke the Physician

24. Bob Dylan has been a musician, a songwriter, painter, sculptor and more. His latest venture is a whiskey business. The name of his whiskey was taken from what familiar Dylan song?
a. All Along the Watchtower
b. Forever Young
c. Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door
d. Caribbean Wind

25. To find the schedule for the rest of this week’s Duluth Dylan Fest, you should go to what website?

* * * *
1. a----2. b----3. c----4. b----5. b----6. b----7. d----8. a----9. c----10. d
11. b----12. c----13. a----14. c----15. b----16. d----17. b----18. b
19. c----20. b----21. b----22. d----23. c----24. c----25. b

* * * *
All in all, it was a fun way to spend an evening with friends. A member of our Duluth City Council was there playing, himself an avid Dylan fan. And tomorrow, when we cut the cake at Bob Dylan's first home on the Duluth Central Hillside tomorrow, it's my understanding that the mayor will be present to share the moment. The house is a yellow duplex at 519 3rd Avenue East. Will we see you there?

LATER TODAY, join us in the Great Hall at the Depot as the artist Skye discusses her remarkable forest of tapestries based on the songs of Bob Dylan, "Shakespeare's in the Alley." Wednesdays are Free so take advantage of this rare opportunity. Afterwards the Poets of the North Country will convene in the Duluth Playhouse.

Meantime, life goes on all around you. Get into it.

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