Yesterday, Bob Dylan became the first musician to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
That makes him one of the 11 men — all aged 65 and up — to be honored in the six Nobel categories this year. No women won a Nobel Prize in 2016, for the first time since 2012. (Nobel Prizes have only gone to women 49 times since 1901, and that’s counting Marie Curie twice. Men have won 825 times.)
Basically, the Nobel Prize announcements had a lot in common with the lineup at the Desert Trip music festival in Indio, Calif. “Oldchella” is also all dudes of a certain age, one of whom is Bob Dylan, who will be opening the second weekend of the event in a couple of hours.
I missed Dylan’s last pre-Nobel-Prize performance at Oldchella last Friday thanks to a series of unfortunate events that started with MrB developing a severe toothache very late Thursday night. Due to the dental emergency, I wound up on an early morning flight to California by myself, without a helpful husband to drive the rental car upon arrival. Not being much of a driver myself, I was delayed at LAX while trying to improvise a way to ferry a very valuable package of jewelry to the costume department at a Hollywood television studio (shout out to my film-editor stepdaughter Laura for finding a trustworthy production assistant to handle the job). By the time I got in an Uber with a surprisingly reasonable flat fare, it was rush hour on Friday and I hit five hours of traffic. Luckily, my driver was a charming actor named Karim, and we had a lively conversation all the way to Indio. I think Karim lost money on that trip, but he was incredibly gracious about it. We hugged goodbye when he dropped me off at my hotel. Best Uber driver ever, seriously … and I still made it to the concert in time to see the Rolling Stones.
MrB’s pain subsided in time for him to join me in California last Saturday for Neil Young and Paul McCartney. On Sunday, we got to the concert grounds early so we could wander around.
We had to go on the Ferris wheel. I never miss a Ferris wheel!
The opening act that night was the Who. I had totally enjoyed the performances by the Stones, Neil Young, and my almost-husband, but I think I was most worked up for the Who.
I was not calm at all! MrB was giving me the side-eye because I kept jumping up and down. I don’t know why this group affects me this way. Maybe I’m still scarred by missing the Who’s “final tour” in 1982 after all.
The last act of the festival was Roger Waters of Pink Floyd. I’d been questioning the lineup ever since the festival was announced. The Who opening for Roger Waters? Really? Well, we gave it a shot. I’d always liked three Pink Floyd songs: “Another Brick in the Wall,” “Comfortably Numb,” and “Money.” Waters got to “Money” first.
“Money” was on Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon album. That album was on Billboard’s Top LPs & Tapes chart from 1973 to 1988. It was pervasive while I was growing up. (In the early ’80s, I went to see the Pink Floyd laser light show at the Hayden Planetarium in New York like everyone else I knew.) And you know what? I never liked more than those three songs then and I don’t feel any differently now! Plus Waters was such a downer after the Who. MrB and I got up and walked out. No regrets! I was especially pleased with that decision after we stumbled upon a team of people guiding Waters’s anti-Trump pig balloon towards the stage. We were closer to the pig balloon than we would have been if we stayed.
I don’t know if the organizers are going to do Desert Trip again, but I’d be up for it. It will be hard to rival the big groups of the British Invasion, but MrB and I came up with some ideas. How about Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, Bruce Springsteen, and Santana?