Bob Dylan has had an interesting life. He was forged in the fires of folk and bore witness to its transformation into protest, leaving Zimmerman back in dusty Duluth.
He was present at the March on Washington, singing about change not long after Martin Luther King Jr had delivered his earth shattering ‘I have a dream’ speech.
It was Dylan who introduced The Beatles to weed, inviting a whole generation to take a musical trip, for better or for worse.
He was the guy on stage that night in Manchester, branded a ‘Judas’ by the crowd only to fire back his ‘sing it loud’ rendition of Like A Rolling Stone; providing a ‘fuck you’ to the past and showing just how raw and powerful rock and roll can be when used correctly.
He preached to the (confused) masses during his Saved period and helped clear the name of a Hurricane whilst rambling along The Rolling Thunder Review.
Bob Dylan has been many places and done many things…
But he’s never been to Blackpool.
That’s right. This week marks the first time in Dylan’s 73 years that he’s ever stepped foot in the Vegas of the North: Sunny (sort of) Blackpool. Naturally, he has a lot of catching up to do. Luckily, his three day stint at The Winter Gardens (22nd-24th Nov) will leave him plenty of time to check out the sights. So Mr Dylan, if you’re reading this; here are my suggestions on what you should do during your long weekend in Blackpool…
Go On The Big One
It’s just what you do, isn’t it? Go to Blackpool, go on the Big One. I’m sure that The Pleasure Beach can sort you out some cheap wristbands and it’s off-seasons, so the queues shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Who knows, they might even be really nice and let you go on it twice without having to get off. There are other rides at this theme park but The Big One is the only rollercoaster that people really ask you about when you mention you’ve recently been to Blackpool.
Buy Some Blackpool Rock
Unfamiliar with rock? It’s basically a long rod of colourful hard candy that’s sort of synonymous with our town. There’s a good place on the corner of Bank Hey Street near the Front that does all different kinds (even Irn Bru flavoured) so this might be your best bet. Don’t be put off by all the rude stuff (cheers, Stag/Hen-dos) as there’s loads of the regular stripy, stick shaped rock available too.
Go To The Top of The Tower
Like going on the Big One, this will be another thing that everyone asks you about when you tell them you’ve been to Blackpool. The glass floor is pretty good. You can see right the way down and it makes your belly feel a bit weird when you walk across it. Based on those interesting steel sculptures you’ve recently made public, you may even appreciate the tower’s intricate metal structure, too. It might have had scaffolding on it for an excessive number of years but it still looks quite good at night when it’s all lit up.
Drive Along The Illuminations
You’ve actually arrived at just the right time. With the Illumination’s being switched on a month or so ago, the heavy traffic they sometimes draw is bound to have died off by now. For the best view you might want to stand next to your tour bus driver, that way you can get the full effect of all the various moving lights and colourful luminous dioramas. It’s no Highway 61 but as far as roads go, it’s probably the best Blackpool’s got.
Go To Scrooges
After Friday or Saturday’s gig, come down to Scrooges with us. Many of the town’s decent bars have sadly folded but this one’s still going. Red Stripe and spirit doubles are dead cheap here and me and my mates kind of know the people behind the bar, so we might be able to get a drink named after you. Blue curacao, white rum, club soda – Tangled Up In Blue? Like every night in Scrooges, you’ll be pissed before you know it.
Go to The Galleon When Scrooges Closes
After we’re kicked out of Scrooges, let’s head over to The Galleon. It’s open dead late and always up for impromptu live sets by both locals and touring folk alike. Invite your buddy Tom Waits down and we’ll make a night of it. They usually have instruments readily available so I’m sure they could sort something out. There’s not loads for bars for music lovers in Blackpool but I think you’d find a few things to like from this place. Vodka Revs is probably the only other place still open at this time of night and…well, we wouldn’t want to scare you off Blackpool forever.
Get Chips And Cheese From Popeyes
…you could also get a pizza, they do pretty good ones here. Although if you really want the full Blackpool experience, then ordering a portion of chips covered in a healthy dose of (questionably plastic looking) cheese is probably the best way to go. The guys in this takeaway have to put up with some right drunken louts so I’m sure a quick visit from you would make their day…or erm, night.
Did I miss anything out? Let me know in the comments below.
In the meantime, check out this very cool interactive video for Dylan’s timeless tune Like A Rolling Stone which I can’t seem to embed for some reason.
Head here to watch and play around with the full video.