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This is New Jersey’s best tribute to Bob Dylan

For years around May 24, (Bob Dylan’s birthday), New Jersey pays an incredible birthday tribute to rock and roll legend Bob Dylan. This year will be no exception. On Thursday evening, May 26, 2022, New Jersey will celebrate Bob Dylan’s 81st birthday. Bob Dylan is the epitome of Rock n Roll and some say he is the most prolific songwriter of all time.

Bob Dylan performs at the 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards

Bob Dylan/Getty Images

New Jersey has often celebrated Bob Dylan. For 23 of the past 24 years, my good friend, highly talented musician and New Jersey’s favorite minstrel, Pat Guadagno, has honored Bob Dylan around his birthday with his big Bobfest concert. Bobfest started in 1998 at the Downtown Café in Red Bank. At the time, Downtown was a small, cramped bar with a small stage, and Pat played there every Monday night.

From Pat Guadagno’s Youtube channel

From Pat Guadagno’s Youtube channel

Well, on that fateful night of May 25, 1998, head bartender Tommy Moog shouted out that it was Bob Dylan’s birthday the night before and “how about playing a Dylan song”. Pat walked into about six Dylan songs to the delight of the crowded bar. I was lucky to be there that night and enjoyed every song.

Pat Guadagno via YouTube

Pat Guadagno via YouTube

The energy of Pat’s performance had the audience immersed in Dylan’s compelling lyrics. Bobfest was born that night and would eventually become a two-night showcase.

Then, due to its popularity, it moved to the Two River Theater in Red Bank and then again to the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, which was necessary for the many fans to enjoy the show.

The Big Joe Henry Variety Show

The Big Joe Henry Variety Show

Pat has put together a world-class band that does justice to Dylan’s incredible lyrics and talent. It’s one of my favorite shows and I’m lucky that Pat asked me to host Bobfest every year. Unfortunately in 2020 due to the pandemic Bobfest was canceled.

Bob Dylan – Photo by Express Newspapers/Getty Images

Bob Dylan – Photo by Express Newspapers/Getty Images

In 1975, Bob Dylan painted his face and rode a busload of musicians across North America on a 57-show tour they called the Rolling Thunder Revue. The circus-like expedition, recently documented by filmmaker Martin Scorsese, produced some of the happiest music and critically acclaimed performances of Dylan’s career.

Bob Dylan – Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Bob Dylan – Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images

This year BobFest welcomes Rob Stoner to the celebration on May 26th. Stoner was Bob Dylan’s bassist and musical director on the 2-year RTR tour and his recording credits include Don McLean’s American Pie.

Rob joins Pat Guadagno, Rob Paparozzi, Steve Delopolous and All-Star Band to deliver the music of the Rolling Thunder Revue with the passion and reverence worthy of a Nobel Prize winner.

Count Basie’s groundbreaking expansion

(NK Architects and M. Silberstein Design via Count Basie Theatre)

Tickets are on sale now at and at the Count Basie Center box office, located at 99 Monmouth Street, Red Bank. Ticket office 732.842.9000. Tickets: $45, $39, $29, $25, $20 | Limit of 8 tickets per mailing address

Bob Dylan – Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Bob Dylan – Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Bob Dylan’s impact on arts and entertainment around the world is significant. Bob Dylan has written over 600 songs and sold over 100 million records, winning 10 Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, the Oscar in 2000 for Best Original Song “Things Have Changed” from the movie Wonder Boys, and the Medal presidential freedom.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Rock and Roll HOF (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, his songs are in the Grammy Hall of Fame, in 2008 he won the Pulitzer Prize for Special Citations and he remains the only rock ‘n’ roll musician to win the Nobel prize. for Literature in 2016.

17th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards – Show

Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Soon to be 81, the only thing that interrupted Dylan’s relentless world tours was the Covid 19 virus.

37th AFI Life Achievement Award on TV Land Prime – Show

Getty Images for AFI

In December 2020, Bob Dylan sold his music catalog, all 600 songs, to Universal Music for over $300 million, making it the biggest single artist catalog purchase in music history. .

Youtube screenshot via Craft Whiskey Boys

Youtube screenshot via Craft Whiskey Boys

Its success and marketing even led Dylan to associate its name and brand with Heavens Door Whiskey. You can drink it while enjoying its music.

Bob Dylan – Photo by: William Lovelace/Getty Images

Bob Dylan – Photo by: William Lovelace / Getty ImagesBob Dylan – Photo by: William Lovelace / Getty Images

He grew up surrounded by humble beginnings in the Iron Range section of northern Minnesota. His music became a pop culture icon in the 60s. His powerful lyrics hit home on political, social, philosophical and literary fronts.

Opening of the Beatlemania exhibition

Getty Images

The Beatles have publicly stated that Bob Dylan had been a major influence on their career. It was John Lennon who introduced the Beatles to Bob Dylan, and Dylan’s music was played when the Beatles were traveling or when they had down time. Springsteen, Pete Seeger, Johnny Cash, Joni Mitchell, Donovan, Jimi Hendrix and Neil Young are just a few of the major artists who have been greatly influenced by the music and lyrics of Bob Dylan.

Youtube screenshot via Pat Guadagno

Youtube screenshot via Pat Guadagno

BobFest is a great way to celebrate Bob Dylan’s birthday and enjoy the incredible talent of New Jersey’s top musicians. Happy Birthday Bob!

The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. All opinions expressed are those of Big Joe.

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