Mayor Ness, Google, and Bob Dylan

Mayor Ness contacted Bob Dylan for song to lure Google; agrees to play “Secret Show” instead

Andre Wolson

Reader Weekly

In Mayor Ness’ relentless push for high speed internet he recently contacted local folk phenom Bob Dylan to play a “secret show” for Homegrown and possibly write a song for the campaign.

“My idea is for Dylan to take “Tangled Up In Blue” and have him change it into “Tangled Up In Fiber Optic Cables,” Nessjoked. “While he hasn’t made up his mind on that front yet, I can say he will be coming to this year’s Homegrown.”

Bill Zimmerman, Dylan’s cousin and local banjo repairman, said that Dylan is seriously consideringNess’ offer.

“About a week ago Bob called me when he sawDuluth popping up in the news so much lately,” Zimmerman said. “When I explained that we were trying to get high-speed internet in the area he began to talk about possibly helping out. At one point in our conversation he asked if playing a show at the old Armory, where he once watched Buddy Holly play, would help the cause. I told him that most people in Duluth would be even more impressed if he played a “secret show” for Homegrown. He agreed to play in Ness’ basement, but only a handful of people would be allowed to attend.”

While Ness is all about helping out the local community, having Dylan play in your basement is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“My basement can fit about 10 people,” Ness said. “So I am going to pick (who attends) very carefully. The only issue I am afraid of is that my sub-pump and drain are out of code and everything drains directly into the lake. When Wilco stopped by while in town they spilled some PBR down there and now the fish are swimming funny in the water by Canal Park. I also don’t want a lot of people around town to know that I am using Dylan’s secret show as a way to raise money for replacing the pipes in my house to bring them up to code. I figure charging a few hundred dollars each should go a long way….I have to pay for the repairs somehow.”

While we believe that Dylan coming to town should be shared by all, Ness and his close circle of friends are in control.

“Homegrown gives Duluth a chance to showcase local talent,” the Homegrown Planning Committee said. “We felt that Dylan playing at a local venue where many people could attend would hurt other venues’ and bands’ attendance. If Dylan played the Armory then that is where the entire town would be. That would leave over 100 bands with no audience, and Marc Gartman would be very upset as he plays in half of those bands. That is why we put Trampled By Turtles at Pizza Luce’ and don’t ever use the NorShor or Grandma’s Sports Garden for Homegrown- we don’t want too many people to attend one show.”

There was some bad news for Ness this week after Wilco blew off the mayor’s personal request for them to play Homegrown too. Ness said he has officially revoked their local band status.

“We tried to tell him we had already scheduled a gig for that week, but then this young boy began crying over the phone,” Jeff Tweedy said. “After awhile we realized that the boy was that mayor who had given us the honorary title when we visited them a few months ago.”

Ness has good reason to get that honorary title back.

“I told them that Bob Dylan was playing here and so I needed that certificate back,”Ness said. “It was after that when they told me that they were not going to ever playDuluth again. I really wish I would have given Wilco the key to the city, but we only have one key for all the doors.”