Red Bank- Something is happenin’, but does Bob Dylan know what it is?
All Dylan fans should know that the 17th Annual BobFest is coming on Thursday, May 21 at 8 p.m. on Memorial Day Weekend to blow the roof off the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank.
Pat Guadagno & Tired Horses will headline with a rather hip and exciting program for Dylan’s 74th birthday. Guadagno has a line-up of talent who infuse Dylan’s music with beauty and soul, while shaking the walls. Special guests this year are BIG PINK from the highly successful One Last Waltz theatre show, featuring: Glen Burtnik, Bob Burger, Sal Boyd and Arne Wendt. Big Pink is all about the music and legacy of The Band.
The BobFest will feature two albums that essentially changed the direction of folk music and began to rewrite the rules of rock, Guadagno said. Recorded 50 years ago, Bringing it all Back Home and Highway 61 Revisited created a watershed moment in Rock history by obliterating the dividing line between folk and rock, Guadagno said.
We wanted to delve more deeply into the genius behind BobFest.
Meet Pat Guadagno, A Q&A Interview:
Please first tell us about your interest in Dylan, and why at the age of 74 he is such a legend in music history. Where were you when these two Dylan albums came out? Tell us the story of what was going on in your life, and how these albums touched your life.
PAT GUADAGNO: I was 13 and trying to balance 8th Grade angst with finding a cure for acne. The only goal in life was a lofty, seemingly unattainable social level known as ‘cool’. Bob was ‘cool’. I had lost interest in the Beatles and was discovering the Lovin’ Spoonful, Donovan and Judy Collins. My Brother had All 4 Dylan Albums and they were a constant in my life, always in the background. It was like a college where like Dylan was mandatory and everything else was elective. I guess it sunk in because years later I realized I knew all the words without ever having actually learned them.
What moved you most about these albums?
PAT GUADAGNO: The Triumph Tee Shirt Bob wears on the cover of Highway 61. Searched the thrift shops ‘til I found one. Bob was cool.
What is different about seeing you perform at BobFest as opposed to going to a Dylan show?
PAT GUADAGNO: Before there were videos, and we were told how to interpret music, a song meant something different to everyone who heard it. Music is a message, some write them, some read them and some deliver them. There is an art form to each. I am not a writer, but have developed a style and carved out a mediocre 40 year career performing respectful interpretations of other people’s music. A BobFest audience is at the top of their game. They are both Folkies and Rockers, both casual and fanatic Dylan fans, who all seem to have come to trust the messenger.
I understand you will be performing two Dylan albums- Bringing It All Back Home & Highway 61 Revisited… What is your top Dylan song pick at BobFest this year and why?
PAT GUADAGNO: Desolation Row, it was the first time in my young life that I actually saw a movie in my head while listening to a record.
What made you select these two albums for Dylan’s 74th birthday?
PAT GUADAGNO: It is the 50th anniversary of the release.
How do Tired Horses compare to Dylan’s band?
PAT GUADAGNO: I know what both bands have in common and that is the trust and respect of their leaders who are humbled to share the stage with them.
Do you consider yourself a Dylanologist?
PAT GUADAGNO: No
What is a good way for a new Dylan fan to get introduced to Dylan’s work?
PAT GUADAGNO: Dylan’s Greatest Hits 1967.
What do you think Dylan’s reaction would be to the Bob Fest?
PAT GUADAGNO: Bob is an unwilling idol who I believe would be appreciative of the manner in which we conduct business. It’s not a classroom or a church. No one is there to preach or worship, it’s all about the music.
BobFest tends to pack the house. What do you attribute the success to? What album(s) do you plan perform for the next BobFest in 2016?
PAT GUADAGNO: Success is selling enough seats to be able to do it again next year. Hoping to continue the current format with a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the release of Blonde on Blonde.
What is your all-time favorite Dylan song?
PAT GUADAGNO: Currently, Every Grain of Sand. Steve Delopoulos sings it on That’s a Bob Dylan Song BobFest 09 and it remains a personal highlight of 15 years of BobFest
Tell us about your background…
PAT GUADAGNO: Here’s a Bio: The New York Times hailed PAT GUADAGNO as “A well-traveled troubadour with a remarkable repertoire” calling his performance, “A musical journey, always an unpredictable ride”. The self-proclaimed Saloon Singer, who would sooner re-tool an old song than bring a new one into the world, garnered international acclaim when his version of a Warren Zevon song was featured in the award-winning Showtime Series Californication. Deeply rooted, but not mired, in the Jersey Shore music scene, his latest album, New Jersey Material, features songs by some of the Garden State’s foremost, and lesser known Songwriters as well as a collaboration with Grammy Award winner Keb’ Mo’. Pat’s unique interpretation of other people’s art is prominent in his recordings as well as onstage where he creates reverent theatrical tributes to artists like Van Morrison (A Marvelous Night) and Bob Dylan (BobFest). Musical Director of the highly touted Big Joe Henry Variety Show, Pat is also a proud founding member of Holiday Express, a band of professional musicians who volunteer their efforts and devote their time, during the Holiday season to sharing the gift of music with those less fortunate.
Tell us about your family. Are they Dylan fans too?
PAT GUADAGNO: I have three beautiful daughters, Kasey and Tara, who live locally and have blessed me with 2 tenacious grandchildren for which I am eternally grateful, and Aura, who lives in Nashville, works in the music business and will join me onstage this year at BobFest.
Where are you from?
PAT GUADAGNO: Monmouth County
What is your music background? Do you perform any other instruments besides acoustic guitar?
PAT GUADAGNO: I started out playing piano. After having conquered the world as the first Rock band ever to play at a Cub Scout Den Meeting, I figured I’d retire at the top of my game. I took up the Guitar because, despite the uniform and the neckerchief I was getting nowhere with the girls. I have played banjo, mandolin, and bass guitar as a theater and studio musician.
Why did you originally become a Dylan fan?
PAT GUADAGNO: I was drawn to the recorded sound of Bob’s occasionally out of tune acoustic guitar.
Is Dylan aware of your BobFest?
PAT GUADAGNO: I had heard he was aware of it, but can no longer confirm nor deny that. It was at a time before everyone and their sister were doing Dylan birthday tributes.
What pertinent fact should everyone who comes to BobFest 2015 know before walking through the door?
PAT GUADAGNO: Proceeds from BobFest will benefit Autism Speaks the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. www.autismspeaks.org.
Tickets: Theater Box Office ● 99 Monmouth Street ● Red Bank New Jersey Phone: 732-842-9000 ● www.PGBobFest.com
Maureen Daye Pietoso
Maureen Daye Pietoso, Co-Publisher of Aftershow Pass has worked in the entertainment industry and in the media for over 20 years. She was a publicist to Sid Bernstein, the promoter who famously brought The Beatles to America. She was a special writer at Greasy Lake, one of the largest fan-based Bruce Springsteen web sites. As a journalist she wrote articles that appeared in several newspapers of the Greater Media Newspaper chain, the Asbury Park Press and the Atlantic City Press.