3. Read the Bob Dylan Encyclopedia
Even worse than Crossroads is the Bob Dylan Encyclopedia, 800 pages on the most minute details of the musician’s life. There’s no reason I had to know about “blues, inequality of reward in” or “kelp,” and yet, I did.
Seriously, there’s an entry on “kelp” because it’s mentioned once in “Sara.”
4. Yelled out obscure song at concert
As much as I loved Dylan, I didn’t see him live until 2006, more than three years into my unhealthy fixation. I’ve nearly convinced myself that I waited so long because I wanted it to be at a special venue, when actually, I was hoping a pretty woman would attend the show with me. We’d share a special moment during the harmonica fade-out of “Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands” (a song he doesn’t play live), and then later that night, I’d low her lands. Or something. But let’s go with the special venue thing, because I actually did see him somewhere “special”: at the New York City Center on November 20, 2006.
It was special because Dylan once lived in New York and…ANYWAY. The City Center is a majestic multi-tiered theater built in 1923, and the perfect place for me to yell out a song request to my hero. I had convinced myself that if I yelled out some obscure track, like the never-released “Sign on the Cross,” Dylan would hear me, enjoy my suggestion, and play the song, and everyone around me would pat my back and shake my hand. And then I’d get a handjob from a different pretty woman, the one sitting near me.
That’s not exactly how it happened. After playing “Ain’t Talkin’” during the encore, and while the band was getting ready to launch into “Thunder on the Mountain,” I yelled, “PLAY SIGN ON THE CROSS.” I was met with complete silence and stink-eyes of death from seemingly the entire audience. I was That Guy, the kind, when you talk about the show with your friends later, you’d say, “And f*ck That Guy who yelled out a song request.” I slunk back to my dorm after the show, without even a sad-eyed lady to keep me company.
5. Wrote a Screenplay about a song
“Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts,” the seventh song on Dylan’s 15th album, Blood on the Tracks, is a nearly nine-minute epic about a gang of bank robbers, lead by the Jack of Hearts, that invades a town, and the effect it has on Lily, Rosemary, and Big Jim, who owns “the town’s only diamond mine.” It’s intense — it basically boils down the plot of a Western into 8:51. Many people have tried to write feature-length screenplays about the song, including John Kaye (Where the Buffalo Roam), James Byron, and me.
I began writing my masterpiece, which was basically glorified fan fiction (read: crap), about four years ago, even though I had no idea how to write a screenplay and didn’t understand basic plot developments. (Oh, you CAN’T kill the protagonist in the first act?) I really wish I still had a copy of it, but in 2010, someone stole my laptop, where my script was saved, and I didn’t have it backed up. It probably looked like:
Rosemary: Hey, Big Jim, I’m going to commit suicide because I don’t like you.
Big Jim: OK.
Oscar, please! Anyway, if you’re reading this, burglars who stole my crappy computer, please don’t ever put the document “lily, rose, jack movie” online. Thanks. Being a fan sucks.