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November 09, 1975 - Image 3

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1975-11-09

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mary long
jo narcotty
barb eornell



page four-books
page five-

Number 8 Page Three Novembe
A skeptic's brief journey through Esalen
By DEBRA HURWITZ man introduces Janet Lederman words and jargon which is mean- in the room, mostly students, but partner's hands in yours. Feel for happier once I have them
and Julian Silverman, co-directors ingless but very hip. several middle - aged people and the bone structure. Really learn my nose. She asks us w
IM SITTING in an uncomfortable of the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, even three sextagenarians as well. those hands." I equeeze my part- pened during this game. S
chair in the Union ballroom, re- California. E s a 1 e n. Every time TOW SPEAKING from behind us Why are they here, I wonder? ner's hands in what I hope is a to know if we experienced
porter's notebook firmly in hand, sometime says it, he or she says it so we have to crane our necks What do they expect? And aren't meaningful way, still feeling more prises. At first, there is sile
to justify my presence at a meet- as though of course everyone knew uncomfortably to see her, Janet those old people miserable on the silly than anything else. But my a brave soul ventures a c
ing for something which I know is exactly what it was. I have no idea asks us to abandon the neat rows floor? partner's hands are warm and re- It is a stupid comment, so:
stupid. Esalen. The name sounds what it is and am considering ex- of chairs facing the front of the
like something in a unicorn tapes- posi my i ce p di room in favorof a ragged crunch Janet's voicetis smooth and even assuring; besides, his eyes told dabout sharing. Now others
try or maybe like something In- enlightenment from my neighbor. of chairs, coats, and bodies off to as she asks us o open our eyestand bo. age Irsupose, yte
dian. The ballroom is very big and But I don't ask. Whatever Esalen one side. We comply, giggling and take a picture of what we see, then I do.ytheirownmake
very establishment and, most of muttering nervously. As for me, all close our eyes and process the pic- gets worse. "Open your eyes, of their own. "My partner
all, very unlike a place where a is, I am suspicious. hope of a s i m p 1 e, informative ture. I do all this, trying hard to stare at your partner. This is were colder than mine."
mind - expanding, excuse me, an Janet walks among us, in the speech on which I can base a story give them a chance, to pretend at agony. I want to laugh, I want conscious of that differ
awareness-expanding experience is aisles between the rows of chairs- are gone. I know, with awful sure- least that I'm interested in taking to close my eyes or look away; felt barriers breaking do
to take place. I'm a skeptic, I em- chairs which are arranged in the ness, that we're going to have to pictures of my floor-level view of at to do anythin but ste
phatically disbelieve in both the room as if ready for some sort of play games. the Union ballroom. All I can see at these brown eyes which stare AMIDST ALL THIS, I t
validity and the justifiability of alumni conference. Janet, who has Janet asks us to sit on the floor anyway is hair and skin, as, in the back, while our entwined hands faws and feel all th
psychology, and I suddenly wonder a very soothing voice and a very and close our eyes. She has also iteresthof expanding my-aware- n dintepre wih Ig
what on earth I'm doing in the severe f a c e, mumbles something requested t h a t we refrain from ness, I have removed my glasses. I building up during the ga
ballroom at the Union waiting for about destructing and immediately talking during t h i s exercise. We want no blockage; how do I know ,Janet mumbles something tell me that talking abo
someone who thinks he can expand I feel justified in my suspicions. try, but our nerves are too much my awarenes isn't going to expand experience is the one sur
my awareness to arrive. This is going to be just like an for us: giggles and whispers break through my eyes? about destrucing and imme- ruin it. Tonight, I wond
R.D. Laing poem or a Psych 101 the s i le n c e from time to time. The voice, for Janet is wandering d.itely/Ifeel justified in my possible that these people
Fally, several minutes late, a discussion, r e p 1 e t e with catch- There are maybe a hundred people around the room and is no longer ous, that they really sw
visible to me, t e l l s me to turn
slihtytae noterpitue nd suspicions. This is going to this garbage. When I th
slightly, take another picture andon what I've done, what
process it. After what seems an in- PsyCh 101 dis- enced, I realize I've fe
terminable silence, it repeats this clammy hands, a few Ic
directive. I, for one, am unutterab- cussion, replete with catch I've grinned maniacally
ly bored: everything looks the same into whose eyes I have a
-hair and skin--and I'm positive words and jargon. I know, tried to stare; most of a
some oaf will eradicate my precious altogether as if I'd rat
glasses in the process of one of the with an awful sureness, that the library writing my th
thliibrry ritngnysh
- slight turns. ,were going to have to play per. Even footnotes, it;
Finally, the direction change. me as I sit in my cram!
"Turn toward a stranger, someone games." tion on the hard floor,
~ you didn't come with." There is a to earnest drivel, even
71great r u s t 1 e as we all shift; I x ° 4 are less stupid than th
icringe for my glasses. g alucky thing Big Sir is so
cget clammier by the moment. I a place, I think; otherw:
~ "0PEN YOUR EYES, take a pic- speak, I can't help it; I make people would have died
ture of this stranger, your part- some inane remark about how hard dom ears ago.
ner; close your eyes, process the it is to stare. My partner nods m a.
picture," intones Janet in that ever in sympathetic agreement. We play some more gam
so warm and smooth voice. I do At last, Janet tells us to close I later learn are called
so: my partner has lovely brown our eyes and "disconnect." We do games" in the expansion
eyes and, blessedly, he looks as if so, then she tells us to turn slight- I have to admit it, I f
he feels as silly as I do. I wonder ly, find a new stranger and repeat comfortable, more at one
if his eyes are really as dreamy as the whole process. Is it my imagin- various partners, and, y
they look or whether the blur I ation or is the staring easier this alive. We stretch, we star
see is only the result of my own time? Is my awarenes expanding, to telegraph words, we t
myopia. I'm not processing; I'm I wonder? Will I know when it disconnect - and I do f
wondering what comes next. And, happens? Aware? Well, maybe.
6 in the background of my thoughts, Janet tells us to open our eyes; Debra Hurwitz is the Dai
Hr ¢ . 'r I still wonder what I'm supposed now she is behind us, so we all
S~ e ad t he.anfo Eitaoraetor
&;'~4.~$ *' x... -~-.,. to be thinking and feeling. turn to see her. I grope for my ant Director.
Doily Photo by SCOTT ECCKER "With your eyes closed, take your glasses and feel immeasurably See A SKEPTIC'S, Paj

r 9, 1975
back on
hat hap-
he wants
any sur-
nce, then
me drivel
, encour-
nanity of
r's hands
"I wasn't
ence." "I
tifle guf-
e warmth
iad been
me evap-
ulian will
ut a gut
e way to
er if it's
are seri-
allow all
ink back
I experi-
lt a few
:y hands,
at people
all, I felt
er be at
story pa-
seems to
ped posi-
is. It's a
ise, these
of bore-
Les, which
biz and,
'eel more
with my
es, more
e,, we try
ouch and
feel good.
ly's Assist-
ge 6

Bob Dylan and Joan Baez's new tour:
A return to the earlier, simpler years

THE TOWN OF North Dartmouth
didn't know Bob Dylan and
Joan Baez were visiting until two
days before they arrived, but not
much warning was needed. Tickets
sold out in eight hours to 3,000
people eager to be crushed into a
tiny Massachusetts gymnasium.
It was a strange and tentative
thing that Baez and Dylan and
their tour were doing here: They
were trying to cut through the
commercial grease of the rock
business; to play and sing, not for
the record label or the media or
the manager or the money, but
for the audience and for the fun of
NOBODY IS MORE excited about
that concept than tour father-
confessor Allen Ginsberg, anonv-
mously seated amidst the North
Dartmouth ticket-holders, as Liddv
as a little kid, tanoing his feet and
clapping his hands. "The primary
thing is comradeshin. For the first
time, the money just doesn't mat-
ter!" He laughs with missionarv
joy as if the no-monev ideas had
come. from God to him and he
passed it on to the band. "The best
of the visions of the sixties hath
come togethbr in this tour. It will
grow and rise to a scream of joy

crazy quilt of top performers whose
enthusiasm makes up for what
they lack in cohesion: guitarist
Roger McGuinn, who borrowed so
much from Dylan's style; Mick
Ronson, master of the "glitter
rock" guitar when he worked with
David Bowie; folksinger and song-
writer Ramblin' Jack Elliot;
"Nashville" star Rone Blakely; and
Dylan's old touring buddy Bob
Rounding out the Revue cast are
violinist Scarlett Rivera, strings
prodigy David Mansfield, only 19,
and rhythm guitarist David Soule.
The first set is just hitting its
stride when a bowed leather-jack-
eted figure took the stage, guitar
in arm. The broad brim of a Billy-
The-Kid hat rises to reveal the
classic' Dylan profile, and the
crowd erupts.
and belting voice in hard rock
renditions of "When I Paint My
Masterpiece", "It Ain't Me" and
"Hard Rain" make clean breaks
from the tight-lipped reserve that
married his '74 tour with The
The North Dartmouth throng
seems as stunned as it is thrilled
at Dylan's presence beneath the
gym scoreboard. The tour designed
to rediscover the crowd ranport

the right ones, his baffled backup
men in futile pursuit.
Hecklers, sounding like leftovers
from a mid-week pep rally, regu-
larly pierce Dylan's mystique and
Baezo charm with misplaced vul-
"Lay, Lady, Lay, Bobby" a drun-
ken fan demands. "Everybody must
get stoned," another shouts.
"Who's getting stoned?" the ur-
ban troubadour mumbles into the
mike, sparking a roar of laughter
in an overly responsive audience.
seem harmless enough com-
pared to the behind-the-scenes
treachery of Zebra Productions
head Barry Imhoff.
The iron-fisted roving band of
Zebra commandos, leave about as
much to chance as the organizers
of the 1972 Republican Convention.
Camera carriers are disarmed or
turned back at the gate.
Media types are routinely snub-
bed or ignored.
A black Adonis. far too cool to
don the standard Rolling Thunder
T-shirt,.mans the side stairs to the
stage. Hands on hips, weight shift-
ed to one leg like Don Dufek be-
twpen hits, he has the "subdued-
but - potentially - ferocious" act
down to a science - just the sort
of crowd deterrent big stars drool

inch the.man who's just been shat
upon in a big way, Colin fingers
Zebra as the cause of his misery.
"Bary Imhoff uses his men like
police!" he spits. Colin recalls how
the SMU has spent $200 on a
rented room and security guard for
a Dylan interview, and how the
Zebra shock troops are completely
ignoring the setup.
Colin is joined in his tirade by a
dejected covey of student ushers.
But no one in the audience
knew or cared.
across the auditorium two
beams of light meet at center
stage. In that spot - as the cur-
tain rises - Bob Dylan and Joan
Baez stand together, look at each
other, and sing "The Times They
Are A Changin'."
After the roar of applause dies,
they sing each verse like church
music, softer and softer, their voic-
es and guitars alone in the silent,
dark, gym. It is as if, for just a
few moments, the times had not
changed at all since the years
when that song meant everything.
They soared through four songs
together, flirting, laughing, ex-
changing corny, lovey - dovey
glances. And they do all the things
Dylan couldn't bring himself to do
in the last dozen years.


hards who earnestly followed the
Dylan and Baez split, his with-
drawal into seclusion, his casting
off of Bleeker St. friends, and his
widely herald second coming a
year ago.
Unfettered fun and music is all
he wants. But it looks likerhe's
getting a rebirth of spirit for his

one including Dylan. The finale is
a rousing rendition of "This Land
is Your Land" that would have
made Woodie Guthrie smile.
song to Dylan, are dazzling,
and the rust is tolerable. When he
walked off the stage, smiling and
waving, he was nothing like the

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