Saturday, October 16, 2021

This Day In History: Concert #1031 of the Never Ending Tour and the Unveiling of the Hibbing Dylan Project

The Hibbing Project was unveiled today.
The Never Ending Tour purportedly kicked off on June 7, 1988. Since then, Bob Dylan has performed more than 3,000 concerts before last year's hiatus--cancellations due to Covid. This coming November 2 Bob Dylan, now 80, and his band will be back on the road with stops in Milwaukee, Chicago, Cleveland and Columbus that first week

Though I'd been a lifelong Dylan fan, it wasn't till October 1998 that I experienced my first concert, an eye-opening experience. It became clear that Dylan was much more than a singer-songwriter. The "song and dance man" obviously enjoyed the role of performer. Only later did I learn about the fans who followed the tour the way Deadheads had followed the Grateful Dead circus.

My first NET concert took place in October 1998. I had already been deeply immersed in Time Out Of Mind since its release in September '97. When I wrote my summary of the concert I called it "an early Christmas."

The Edmonton playlist on this date differed in some of the particulars. Dylan shuffled in several songs that were especially priceless for me including "Tomorrow Is A Long Time," "Ballad of a Thin Man," and "Don't Think Twice." Both concerts ended with the closing encore which also served as a benediction: "May you stay forever young."

Here are some of the details of that concert from archivist Bill Pagel's Boblinks website, the go-to destination for upcoming concerts and archives of playlists, dates and concert information.  


Today a healthy crowd of Dylan enthusiasts and Hibbing citizens gathered in front of the historic Hibbing High School for the unveiling and dedication celebration of the Hibbing Project, a tribute, memorial and source of inspiration for Dylan fans and students--present and future--of Hibbing High School. 

There were several other events of note today in Hibbing related to this dedication. Over the next few days I plan to share photos and additional details.

For the record, I have been to many tributes and unveilings. You would think we'd get jaded after awhile. I think the big surprise for me was how meaningful this event was, not just for me but clearly for all involved. This project began with what may have been an off-hand remark by a former Hibbing High School teacher when Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016. This remark morphed into a dream and then a mission leading to a groundswell of support. According to Katie Fredeen, President of The Hibbing Project, literally tens of thousands of volunteer hours were invested in this monument "for the students, for the city and our visitors." 

When unveiled, the final result did not disappoint, a tribute truly worthy of the former Hibbing High student who has since left his mark on a generation. More will be shared in the days ahead.

Standing on the corner of the "road facing" side of the project.

Moments before the unveiling.
The monument is quite classy. There's a curved wall with an outer facing tribute to Dylan's Nobel Prize achievement. On the inner face there was something somewhat diminutive wrapped in plastic and behind it the wall which some of us know contained lyrics from Dylan's catalogue. The smaller was unveiled first, a bronze chair where students, visitors and fans can sit and reflect, imagine, dream, designed and created by Gareth Andrews. The backdrop for this was unveiled next, la lyric panel with lines from fifty or more Dylan songs, designed and executed by Brad Kaspari.

To be continued.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

THIS IS GREAT! Perfectly made and very elegant and full of love; BRAVO TO ALL THE PEOPLE WHO CONTRIBUTED TO THIS PIECE OF ART.

Popular Posts