While we can all point and laugh at the twentysomething cops who didn’t recognize Bob Dylan, the questions nobody seems to be asking are:
- Why was he being questioned in the first place?
- And so what if he didn’t produce an identification?
- And what would have happened if he had refused to sit in the back of the squad car?
Unless he was engaged in an illegal activity, it really shouldn’t have made a difference if he said he was Bob Dylan or Dylan Thomas or Dylan McKay.
Or Robert Zimmerman, for that matter.
The longtime musician, who is known to have introduced weed to the Beatles, was wandering around a New Jersey neighborhood on July 23.
Residents became suspicious when he was peering into the window of their house, which had a “for sale” sign on it. Apparently, they were hoping to sell the property uninspected.
But even after peering into the window, he continued walking down the street with one of the residents following him.
Instead of simply asking, “excuse me sir, may I help you,” the resident called the cops.
After all, Dylan came across as an “eccentric-looking old man” (typecasts who have even been known to afford houses ) because he was wearing a hood. I would probably also be wearing a hood considering it was raining.
The Long Branch officers who showed up were Kristie Buble and Derrick Meyers, both 24 years old.
Here is how Buble explains the encounter:
“We got a call for a suspicious person,” Buble said. “It was pouring rain outside, and I was right around the corner so I responded. By that time he was walking down the street. I asked him what he was doing in the neighborhood and he said he was looking at a house for sale.”
“I asked him what his name was and he said, ‘Bob Dylan,’ Buble said. “Now, I’ve seen pictures of Bob Dylan from a long time ago and he didn’t look like Bob Dylan to me at all. He was wearing black sweatpants tucked into black rain boots, and two raincoats with the hood pulled down over his head.
Isn’t it possible that his name could have been Bob Dylan and not be the Bob Dylan?
Dylan goes on to explain that he is touring with Willy Nelson and John Mellencamp, two musicians I’m sure she would also fail to recognize.
“He was acting very suspicious,” Buble said. “Not delusional, just suspicious. You know, it was pouring rain and everything.”
No, Kristie, I don’t know what you mean by “suspicious.”
So what if he was walking in the rain?
So what if was wearing rain boots and two raincoats with a hood over his head?
The story gets even more absurd as Buble suggests that since she has even gone through special training, she managed to get him to sit inside the cop car without getting Tased.
Following her police training, Buble said she indulged him.
“OK Bob, why don’t you get in the car and we’ll drive to the hotel and go verify this?’ ” she said she told him. “I put him in the back of the car. To be honest with you, I didn’t really believe this was Bob Dylan. It never crossed my mind that this could really be him.”
Dylan was very easy-going throughout the encounter, perhaps having smoked one of those funny cigarettes he offered the Beatles back during the early 60s.
But what if he would have declined her generous offer of sitting in the back of the squad car?
That, my friends, would probably go down as another Tasering story. Probably the most famous yet.