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Letters: Hats off to students

Sir: The Bob Dylan quote in Thought for the Day (19 August) needs completion: "There's no success like failure ... and failure's no success at all."

Comedy: League of his own


Words: weird, adj., v. and n.

MY THREE tokens yielded a copy of Uncut and its interview with Bob Dylan. It must have been weird to perform with Gregory Peck? "Well, listen, everything's weird. You tell me something that's not weird."

Words: titfer, n.

"TITFERS ALOFT", writes the disc-jockey Andy Kershaw in the latest issue of Mojo magazine, by way of praise for those who had produced its coverage of Bob Dylan's 1966 performances. (Amphetamine-fuelled, Dylan had told a bewildered Swedish interviewer, "I myself happen to be Swedish.")

Just shut up and listen, can't you?


Body of evidence


Diary of Emma d May: The joy of giving up giving up

Sunday 12.01am: Am celebrating giving up giving up smoking at speed-garage warehouse party thrown by Vikram's cousin's girlfriend's best friend. Only gave up because of January peer pressure anyway, and everyone always says giving into peer pressure is bad thing. Don't feel so terrible about failing to kick the weed as Dr Vikram Medical Student informs me it's what's known as "Week III" in giving-up circles - ie, it's three weeks since the New Year and therefore everyone who had excellent Jan 1 intentions has fallen off the wagon, deserted the gym and is back on the booze, fags, and milk chocolate Hobnobs. Who am I to resist national trend? Would be like having a dry-eye on Diana tragedy day, or failing to emit warm Ready-brek glow on day after Labour victory etc. In New Britain, is clearly important to be in tune with those around you and behave/express emotion accordingly. Life has actually become rather simple: Diana Was Angel; The Nanny is Innocent; Meat On The Bone Is Bad and Single Mothers Will Actually Be Better Off Under The New Deal.

The Diary Of Emma D May: Earl in birthday party shocker

Sunday 12.01am: Dylan's surprise birthday party. Have broken into his flat via bathroom window and poured Anna's Special Cocktail Recipe 21 into bath (four parts vodka to one part gin, two parts tequila, half a bottle of Southern Comfort, two bottles of fizzy wine, one bottle of Ribena, garnish with dope leaves). Have assembled party snacks of vodka jelly and Linda McCartney sausages on sticks, and stuck 25 candles in gigantic hash birthday cake. DJs have unpacked decks and records, helium balloons have been blown up, the Teletubbies we bought for D's birthday are hugging each other on the sofa in excitement. Only one problem. Where is Dylan?

The Diary of Emma d May: No smoke without fire

Sunday 12.01am: Impromptu midnight bonfire party in Vikram's back garden. So far, have got a few twigs and three cardboard boxes, although Dylan has gone on scouting expedition to Winnie Mandela Park to bring back firewood. Hampered in fire-building mission by effects of obscenely large bag of superskunk and still feeling a bit strange after Friday night's pills ("pure MDMA", claimed Dylan), which turned out to be Ketamine, causing everybody to lose use of limbs and sit jibbering against club wall for seven hours, as if under wicked fairytale spell.

Profile: From oblivion to Bournemouth: Bob Dylan's never-ending tour

Nick Hasted tracks Mr Tambourine Man through the wilderness years to his UK comeback tour.

Lyric Sheets: Bob Dylan Revisited:

In Opry suit and stetson

Enter Good-Time Bob

As Bob Dylan's Never-Ending Tour ploughs on, his followers have given up second-guessing him. They know he can crush his legend or enhance it, from one night to the next. But this week in Bournemouth, surely, Dylan seemed poised for triumph. His new album, Time Out of Mind, shows his artistry at an unsettling peak. When he was last in Britain, too, only two years ago, he was a revelation, his once-fractured voice reborn. But as the ageing faithful filed in for another session, they knew Dylan's infamous contrariness could send all their hopes crashing down. In the event, his perversity was subtle. He disappointed in giving us what he thought we wanted.


Es: 0.5 (v.good); spliffs: approx 9 (average); mushrooms: 20-30 (could do better); speed: 2 dabs (good); alcopops: 2 (good); food: 1 KitKat (Nestle - bad), 1 packet of Wrigleys (spearmint); weight: quite floaty

John Hiatt Little Head Capitol CDEST 2296

While clearly in more jocular mood than on 1995's admirable but downbeat Walk On, John Hiatt relinquishes none of that set's essential quality on Little Head, which may be his most approachable record yet. The fun starts with the name of his latest band, the (all-male) Nashville Queens, and continues with the salacious title track, a self-depracatory look at male sexuality which finds him admitting "I'm just so easily led when a little head does the thinking" against a lusty swamp-funk throb studded with little guitar sneers.
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