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Comrades From The North

Ever noticed how the world is being overrun with tribute bands? There's one on every corner and all of the big bands have one or two or three of them somewhere in the distance. For some of these bands it really is big business and they have become stars in their own right (well....sort of!) From the Bootleg Beatles down to the various Pink Floyd, Stones, Abba and Queen sound-alikes the venues are crammed with these acts. In all cases they serve a need either because the original group has long since disbanded or a key member has died. Either way they don't tour anymore. So we fans get vicarious pleasure from the wannabes and couldbes. And these band often do have very good musicians within their ranks.

Now the latest movement would appear to be reunion tours. Cream and Queen to name two huge names have re-formed or formed new membership and are going out on the road to massive anticipation. Lesser names like Suede and House of Love are following suit so who knows where it will end. Rumour has it that Morrisey and Johnny Marr may be breaking bread together soon - unthinkable a couple of years ago following their fractured relationship as the Smiths imploded. At least there is no sign that the Pink Floyd brushing away the past to welcome back Roger Waters so the circle is not yet complete.

So, what has all this got to do with Dylan, you ask? Well not much really except that Dylan does not fit this mould at all. There may be upteen tribute bands and dozens of imposters but there is no real need for any of them. there is nothing harsh intended here - some of these guys are good friends of ours - it's just that the man himself is still there doing what he does and making real music for real people in real theatres, if you discount the stadiums of the damned. He may have given us a curate's egg of touring last year but he is out there again with no let-up doing it for the US fans. Perhaps it is time to ring some changes but it's always good to recognise that Dylan is neither a nostalgia act nor a famous hits machine not a tribute act for himself. let us remain thanful for that.

This is our last issue fo the current subscription year and we thank you for your support during the year. We continue to look forward confidently s things in the Dylan world get ever busier and we hope that you will stay on board as we enter the next year of The Bridge. Thanks to each and every one of you.

And to each of you, may you climb on every rung ..........

Mike and John

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