Brief Encounters With Bob Dylan!

May 20, 2007




In 1963, I was writing songs and producing records under my real name, Wayne Kent, and my friend Jerry Landis, who was about to change his name to Paul Simon, was a song plugger for E.B. Marks music. I was thrilled when he asked me if I’d like to meet his producer at Columbia records, Tom Wilson, who had started producing the “Wednesday Morning 3:00 AM” acoustic album.

We adjusted our ties and sport jackets, as we waited on the couch in the A&R dept. at Columbia records then…Tom Wilson’s door opened. I was surprised to see a nattily dressed, 6’3″ black man emerge ( Paul never mentioned his ethnicity) followed by a scrawny pale white guy in a gray suit and a pink dress shirt, unbuttoned at the collar. I recognized him from the album cover I’d been playing for about a year, “Bob Dylan”, which John Hammond produced. Jerry ( I mean Paul ) introduced me to them as Wayne Kent and we had a casual conversation which I honestly don’t remember. I do, however, remember the feeling that I had being in the presence of greatness that was yet to be realized. Three men who would eventually change the course of popular music, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan and Tom Wilson!

The next time I was introduced to Dylan was about a year later, when I was recording and writing under the name, Artie Wayne. I just had a hit as a writer and producer with Joey Powers and, “Meet Me At Midnight Mary”( Raleigh/ Wayne) , but royalties were slow coming in. Paul Simon, convinced me to start playing showcases at the Bitter End and Gerde’s Folk City in Greenwich village, so I could get some work and even offered to play back-up guitar. During a break after one of our sets, I was standing by the rail of the Tin Angel, all decked out in neatly creased denim, when an old pal from 1650 Broadway, Al Kooper walked over. The last time I saw him was when he was riding high on the charts with a song that he wrote, “This Diamond Ring”, by Gary Lewis and the Playboys.

I hardly recognized him, with his hair down to his shoulders, black boots and a cape that almost touched the ground. I also couldn’t stop raving about his organ playing on “Like A Rolling Stone”. As we were catching up on old times, Bob Dylan, looking “Positively 4th Street” walks over and reminds Al that they have to be somewhere. Al introduces me to Bob as Artie Wayne, who stares at me with a slight look of recognition in his eyes. I didn’t say anything, cause I figured he’d never remember our first encounter anyway!

In 1969, I was recording under the name Shadow Mann, and was going around the country promoting my album, “Come and Live With Me!” On my trip back to New York, I saw that a concert promoter friend of mine, Ron Delsoner was putting on a show with Laura Nyro. I asked if I could get a couple of tickets, but they were sold out. Then he invited me to stand with some of his friends backstage and watch the show from the wings. One of those friends turned out to be Bob Dylan.

I was a bit embarrassed to meet him this time dressed in my evening Shadow outfit, which included a custom made black suede jacket with a Giant Red Eagle on the back, black suede bell bottoms, and a big black floppy hat. Ron proudly introduced me to Bob, as his old friend Shadow Mann. I noticed Bob glancing at me from time all during Laura’s concert…then halfway through the show, he looked at me, smiled enigmatically, and said,

“Are you holding? (slang for do you have any drugs?)

Shit if I had, I’d have a more exciting end to this story!

Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne

For Brief Encounters With Paul Simon

For Story of Shadow Mann




Back to Artie Wayne On The Web

9 Responses to “Brief Encounters With Bob Dylan!”

  1. Tom Diehl Says:

    Since I don’t drive, the places I go are limited to wherever my friends and family are willing to drive me. Last August, Bob Dylan was doing his annual summer Ball Park tour, and amazingly he came to my dinky hometown of Frederick, MD and their little ballbark for the local team. I didn’t even know about it until the mother of one of my friends told me about it. I then told another friend of mine who loves Bob’s music, and we ended up having my mother order tickets for us (she didn’t want to go so we got just 2 tickets), and since we ordered them on the pre-sale through Bob’s website, we ended up getting early entrance tickets and were among the first 10 people in the ballpark. We ran as fast as we could to get to the stage and we were in the front row, towards the left of center stage. Bob was sitting at a keyboard to the left of center stage (we didn’t know he would be playing from the keyboard there). The concert didn’t seem that great when we were there, but I was lucky to somehow find mp3s of the show on a file sharing program (someone seems to have access to the recordings made from the stage for all of bob’s shows — I noticed immediately that there were several microphones set up on both sides of the stage, pointed at the audience…and since we were somewhat close to them we made as much noise as we could) and as i played back the mp3s, they sounded better the second time around. That’s as close as I ever go to the greatness known as Bob Dylan.

  2. Margaret G. Still Says:

    Nice Bob stories. Don’t hold the punchline too long, please.

    Aside from the fact that Bob was the topic, I loved this piece for the details on dress, especially yours.
    Perhaps someday you will do a piece just on the dressing styles of each of your personages, preferably with photo illustrations.

    Margaret G. Still

  3. Lisa Says:

    You are killing me with the cliffhanger.

    I found this entry via a Dylan tag.

    I’m a huge fan of his, travel where ever and whenever I can to catch a show.

    Your brief encounters are enviable.

  4. Phil M. Says:

    Dylan, Schmylan, I’m much more jazzed by your story of meeting Tom Wilson!

    But, I’m curious why you felt the need to shy away from what seems such a perfectly good showbusiness name, Wayne Kent.

    And finally, in all my investigations of the ’60s music clubs of New York City I have never before heard of the Tin Angel. Was it a flash in the pan?

    As always, Artie, you rock the house. Best on ya, Phil M.

  5. steveo Says:

    yup, you got me too, Artie.. I am waiting for part 2 of this cliffhanger!

  6. well. done. that’s really fantastic! good job buddy…waiting for just put what the people searching for..good luck!

  7. Riki Says:

    Hi Thanx for interesting brief post. Richard

  8. steveo_1965 Says:

    Thanks for pt. 2 of Bob Dylan…sorry to see you go…
    and hope you blog occasionally for us!

  9. Artie:

    Hope you’ll remember me. I wrote a few songs for your publishing comapny with Howu=ie and Beth. Hobo John cut by DJ Dave Diamond in LA released on Claridge Records.
    I’m living and working in Nahsville for past 22 years. I cut a CD With Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham and some other notables (see my seb stie) and am getting ready to go back in Dan’s studio in October with Geoff Gillette (Sergio Mendes) Glad you are well and wrting a book- Your story needs to be told. We also did a demo of Cast Your Bread Upon the Waters (and It’ll come back to You). Mandi Martin says hello. She is my daughters God Mother. I’ve been Married for 37 years anmd have two grown children and two Grand Children. We are eyeing retirement so tht I can write full time. I’m also
    Writing with George Ducas (Beer Run).

    Best Artie


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: