OK I have family in New Joisey and I love them dearly but this guy from across the river in Woodstock probably didn’t need a perp walk although he might even have liked it! It probably will appear in a song shortly. Believe me this would never have happened in Poughkeepsie or Kingston.
He has sold albums by the million and was the idol of the 1960s protest movement. But yesterday Bob Dylan discovered what it’s like to be just a face in the crowd.
Police were called in a quiet seaside town after he was spotted freewheelin’ down the street and apparently acting suspiciously. A 22-year-old female officer demanded to see his identification papers.
He assumed she would at least recognise the name if not the face. But she ordered him into the back of her car and took him to his hotel to check his story.
Then she radioed her older colleagues at the police station to ask if anyone knew who Bob Dylan was.
‘I’m afraid we all fell about laughing,’ said Craig Spencer, a senior officer in Long Branch, New Jersey. ‘If it was me, I’d have been demanding his autograph, not his ID.
‘The poor woman has taken rather a lot of abuse from us. I offered to bring in some of my Dylan albums. Unfortunately, she doesn’t know what vinyl is either.’
It was in 1965 that Dylan wrote Like A Rolling Stone, with its line: ‘How does it feel to be on your own, a complete unknown?’
He found out while staying at the Ocean Place Resort in Long Branch. Before taking part in a concert with Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp, he decided to take a stroll through the town’s Latin quarter.
‘Residents called to complain there was an old scruffy man acting suspiciously,’ said officer Spencer. ‘It was an odd request because it was mid-afternoon. But it’s an ethnic Latin area and the residents felt he didn’t fit in.’
This is not the first time that Dylan has wandered off alone while on tour.
After a concert in Belfast in 1991, he shunned his chauffeur-driven limo and was captured by a TV crew waiting at a bus stop.
And in the middle of an American tour he popped unannounced into the childhood home of author Mark Twain.
When the stunned curator asked if he was really Bob Dylan, he said: ‘I guess I am.’