Busking for Bob coming from the heart
Bob Dylan may be the voice of a generation but it's not one 13-year- old Lochie Noble belongs to.
Yet the year 9 Upper Hutt College student is such a hardcore fan that he is busking to fund tickets to attend both of Dylan's upcoming shows in Hamilton next month.
When Lochie's father, Jason, heard Dylan was returning to New Zealand for the third time in seven years, the 42-year-old personal trainer was quick to snaffle centre balcony seats for Lochie and himself before tickets sold out within days.
When Noble told his son he had secured the tickets "there were many thank-yous involved", Lochie said.
A second Hamilton show was announced a week later and Lochie asked if he could attend the encore, reasoning he may not get another chance to see 73-year-old Dylan live in concert.
Lochie's parents agreed, on the condition that he repay them.
Now the budding musician, who plays guitar, piano, harmonica and drums, can be found singing for his supper in Cuba St on a Saturday, when he plays a medley of Pink Floyd, The Doors, The Kinks, and of course, Dylan himself. He also performs some of his own songs.
Lochie said busking came naturally because he had performed at school events but he has had to adjust the volume of his guitar so he can be heard in an environment that has no acoustics.
So far, Lochie has raised almost half the $200 cost of both tickets.
His 1960s rock addiction was sparked when he borrowed his father's iPod one holiday.
Led Zeppelin was his first favourite but when he discovered Dylan in the middle of last year, he was captured by the softer rock Dylan personifies.
Now, his heavy metal-loving dad says Lochie is teaching him a thing or two.
Noble is impressed by the level of his son's commitment to the rock music cause, and says it's no teenage fad.
"He's not just dabbling, saying 'Oh that's cool' and wearing the T-shirt. Many people couldn't name two albums of artists they say they're fans of. Lochie could tell you the month of the year they were produced and the number of songs on them.
"For him, it's all about the music."
- Lochie Noble 'Busks for Bob' in Cuba St near the Bucket Fountain every Saturday, 11am-2pm
The Dominion Post