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Adventures of an Expat Kiwi – Part 4 – The Time I Met Bob Dylan

The Time I Met Bob Dylan

Did I Ever Tell You About The Time I Met Bob Dylan?

In case you’ve missed any of the growing number of posts on this blog, you can check out the Contents post to find them in some sort of order or chronology and/or organisation by topic or location.

London – June 1997

Make sure you don’t miss Part 1, 2 or 3

During the time I was working in the Sawyers Arms pub I developed a crush on a Swedish girl who also worked in the restaurant, but she developed a relationship with an American guy that joined the team not long after I arrived.

All I can remember about him was that he had a name like Callum or Caleb, was really tall, had great hair and insisted on using the word ‘Bomb’ to describe too many things…

“It’s the Bomb”

“I’m the Bomb”

“Bomb this”

“Bomb that”

Lucky this was before the popularisation of terrorism, otherwise, he might have ended up on a watch list or something.

I remember liking him well enough, except that the Swedish girl liked him even more… So naturally, he became my mortal enemy!

Ok, so not really, but I didn’t like him half as much afterwards, especially when he dumped the Swedish girl not long after consummating their relationship.

And to make matters worse the Swedish girl still wasn’t into me!

I guess I would have to get used to non-reciprocal feelings…

On a particular night out with the Bar and Restaurant team a Norwegian waitress who also worked in the restaurant was running interference and trying to keep me away from the Swede while she was making her move on ‘The Bomb’.

That situation wasn’t clear to me until afterwards. I was still pretty naïve, just a kid from a pretty small town in a pretty small country. Despite my huge experience of approximately 6 weeks in London!

It didn’t matter, because I would later have a 5-year relationship with an entirely different Swedish girl. How is my Swedish you might ask? Skit Bra! (Shit Good!)


Did I Ever Tell You About The Time I Met Bob Dylan?

One afternoon in the Sawyers Arms Pub in Paddington, a Spanish waitress, let’s call her Laura, came into the restaurant bar where I had just come on shift, in a heightened and excited manner, exclaiming in hushed tones that Bob Dylan was in the restaurant!

Naturally, we all wanted to meet Bob Dylan and interrogate, eh, I mean, respectfully ask him a few questions.

It was my turn to take the drinks orders so I went over to the table, tailed by Laura, where two men were having a lunch meeting in the otherwise empty restaurant.

Bob Dylan was a middle-aged man, in black clothes of a bohemian style, wearing lots of rings and jewellery, with shaggy, mid-length hair. He had an aura of Rock and Roll about him. He was meeting with a music industry professional of a similar age. Maybe his publicist or something of the ilk.

The Time I Met Bob Dylan
Did I Ever Tell You About The Time I Met Bob Dylan?

Laura, the Spanish waitress, proceeded to ask if the famous man was indeed Bob Dylan. To this question, he scoffed, rolled his eyes and didn’t answer.

She was clearly wrong about his identity, and ‘Bob’ didn’t give us any hints.

Laura insisted that she knew who he was but just couldn’t remember his name. Not-Bob-Dylan wasn’t giving us any clues either.

We tried not to bother them again and let them have their lunch meeting in peace.

But Laura was still trying to work out who it was long after they left.

By the end of the shift, she had remembered another name and decided that it was in actual fact, Eric Clapton who we had just met!

Clapton is God - The Time I Met Eric Clapton
Did I Ever Tell You About The Time I Met Eric Clapton?

So would it have been insulting for Eric Clapton to be mistaken for Bob Dylan? Or vice versa? It’s hard to say. Two legends of the highest order!

Did I Ever Tell You About The Time I Met Eric Clapton?

So that was my first brush with fame! A story that I would tell and retell over the following years. The Time I Met Bob Dylan… or Eric Clapton!

I have since compared photos of both men, and while they do have some similarities to each other, they didn’t resemble the man in the restaurant that closely at all. Both Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan have rather refined features and thin noses. However, the man in the Sawyers Arms that day had a much broader nose and come to think of it, he also had a scraggly beard… More like Jeff Lynne of Electric Light Orchestra… Or perhaps Ringo Starr!

So while I had not met Bob Dylan

Did I ever tell you about the time I met Jeff Lynne or maybe Ringo Starr?

I Met Jeff Lynne of ELO

I Met Ringo Starr







p.s. I don’t really know why that little story about the Swedish girl and the American guy at the start of this blog post is even there. It just happened when I wrote this, so I figured I’d leave it in… It’s not a good enough story to get its own blog post and the fact that I didn’t actually meet Bob Dylan or Eric Clapton… Nor, let’s face it, was it likely to have been Ringo Starr or Jeff Lynne either… So I guess I wanted to give you, dear reader, a little more for your money…

What? This is a free publication?

Oh yes, well, then I guess I’d better just get out of here and thank you for reading this far…