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Outlaw Blues: Bob Dylan Stopped By Cops After "Suspicious" Walk

August 17, 2009 9:36 AM ET

Last month, police in Long Branch, New Jersey, responded to a call about a suspicious person peering into houses that were for sale during a rainstorm. Turns out, the potential perp was no criminal — it was Bob Dylan. The ensuing incident demonstrated anyone can be the victim of mistaken identity, and that Jersey cops need to brush up on their rock history.

Twenty-four-year-old police officer Kristie Buble approached Dylan, who "felt like going for a walk" before his performance that evening, Long Beach Police Department Sgt. Michael Ahart told CNN. At that point, according to the AP, the following exchange occurred between the rock legend and the fuzz:

"What is your name, sir?" the officer asked.
"Bob Dylan," Dylan said.
"OK, what are you doing here?" the officer asked.
"I'm on tour," the singer replied.

"She recognized the name, she just really didn't believe it was Bob Dylan," Ahart told CNN. "He was soaking wet because it was raining and he was wearing a hood." That night, Dylan, John Mellencamp and Willie Nelson were set to play a concert at a Lakewood, New Jersey baseball stadium as part of their minor-league ballpark tour (read our report from the tour here). Now, if this happened to say, Jersey boys like Bruce Springsteen or Bon Jovi, the cops would've just asked for autographs and left. However, the disbelieving police officers drove Dylan back to his hotel where the tour buses were stationed. Once there, members of the crew reiterated that Bob Dylan was, in fact, Bob Dylan, and the situation ended.

In other Dylan news, at a concert last night in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, Dylan paid tribute to Elvis Presley on the 32nd anniversary of the King's death with a performance of "Heartbreak Hotel," according to Dylan's official Website.

Related Stories:
Dylan, Mellencamp, Nelson Mine Deep Catalogs on Ballpark Tour
"Together" With Bob Dylan: His Greatest Collaborations
The New Issue of Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan's America

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Vicious”

Lou Reed | 1972

Opening Lou Reed's 1972 solo album, the hard-riffing "Vicious" actually traces its origin back to Reed's days with the Velvet Underground. Picking up bits and pieces of songs from the people and places around him, and filing his notes for later use, Reed said it was Andy Warhol who provided fuel for the song. "He said, 'Why don't you write a song called 'Vicious,'" Reed told Rolling Stone in 1989. "And I said, 'What kind of vicious?' 'Oh, you know, vicious like I hit you with a flower.' And I wrote it down literally."

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