Knock, knock knockin' on Hamilton's door

VOWING: Bob Dylan will play three shows here in August and September.
VOWING: Bob Dylan will play three shows here in August and September.

So how would a folk-rock music legend spend a weekend in Hamilton?

That's the question being asked following yesterday's news that Bob Dylan won't just pass through like a rolling stone when he performs on Saturday, August 9, at Claudelands Arena.

He will be sticking around to give a follow-up performance at the same venue the next night.

Those canvassed by the Waikato Times had one or two ideas on what Dylan should do with his time in the city.

Hamilton musician and academic Matthew Bannister, formerly of revered New Zealand bands Sneaky Feelings and the Dribbling Darts of Love, thought Dylan should go for a long walk and, in the words of his 1971 single, have fun Watchin' the River Flow.

"It's the best thing about Hamilton. If you need some time out to relax that's what I recommend anyone do."

Creative Waikato's Michelle Crowfoot had no end of suggestions, including a powhiri to welcome him to the region, chilling out at Browsers Bookshop, a wind-up jam with the Big Muffin Serious Band and "a guided tour of the Helen Clark Memorial bus shelter and toothbrush fence in Te Pahu".

Artist, Meteor Theatre publicist and occasional Times columnist Joshua Cousins said while he would not go to the show himself, it was an exciting prospect for Hamilton.

"I will probably drop by to take in the ambience outside Claudelands because it's literally five minutes from my house.

"If I was to suggest something for him to do, it would be along the lines of: ‘Bob! Make sure you swing by Mark One Comics and Games. Hamilton is blessed with one of the best repositories of comic book culture in New Zealand. Pick up a copy of the recently re-released Hicksville, Dylan Horrocks' multi-award winning comic book novel, or maybe just find a quiet corner with the latest issue of The Amazing Spider-Man.

" ‘If you need a break while you're at Claudelands, have a stroll through the Jubilee Park bush walkways. You go from Hamilton's concrete jungle to a green, beautiful New Zealand bushland, rich with native birdsong, in just a few steps'."

Dylan was also on the mind of Hamilton's deputy mayor Gordon Chesterman.

"That's a very good question and it was one I was pondering in bed last night, after I read online on the Stuff website that he was playing a second show in Hamilton.

"I'm sure he will have some private time between the shows . . . I wonder whether the mayor can take him trout fishing or maybe a bit of white water rafting if he was after something more exciting. I might mention the idea to Julie Hardaker, that there could be some opportunities there.

"My preference would be to take him to Raglan to see the surf, and have some fish and chips out of a newspaper. That's what you do if you are in the region for a few days I think."

Phil Garland, the organiser of the recent Folk Under the Mountain festival in Te Aroha had few suggestions but some good advice. "To be honest, the man will do what he wants to do.

"He's probably a bit of a law unto himself."

Dylan's management in the United States, OK Management, were not available to respond to the Times' inquiries yesterday.

Denise Irvine time travels to her youth with Dylan, B5.

Waikato Times