Knockin’ On Dave’s Door

Posted by Davidd Birko on
Category: Film & Television66 Comments

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Bob Dylan & Dave Stewart pictured together in a pub in London.

Inoticed a series of programmes on Sky over the weekend called Urban Myths. The first one of the myths was the story of Bob Dylan coming to England to visit his friend Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics. Dave had collaborated with Bob on some projects in Malibu, California, since the mid-1980s and this urban myth was the story of Bob coming over to England to meet Dave on his home patch for the first time. Dave lived in Randolph Avenue in Maida Vale and he had given Bob his address. After Bob landed at Heathrow Airport, he apparently relayed the address to a taxi driver who, somehow, got the address mixed up.

Instead of arriving at Dave’s house, Bob ended up in a road with a similar name. He rang the bell at the house – possibly the correct number in the wrong street. A woman opened the door and beheld the famous personage in front of her. The great poet of popular music mentioned that he’d come to see Dave, who was expecting him. By co-incidence, the woman’s husband was also called Dave, and she replied that he was out now but was expected back quite soon. Perhaps the visitor wouldn’t mind coming in for a cup of tea so he could await Dave’s return?

Bob accepted, walked in and sat down. At some point, the penny dropped and she realised exactly who was sitting before her in her modest house in Maida Vale – especially as her husband was a big Bob Dylan fan.

After a fair amount of awkward small talk, Dave returned and was introduced to the visitor, whom he immediately recognised. Bob realised then, of course, that this wasn’t Dave Stewart. More awkward conversation ensued, and a couple of album covers were signed before Bob showed them the dog-eared scrap of paper with Dave Stewart’s real address on it, and he was redirected.

After watching the programme, I did a little searching online. Something about it fascinated me. Imagine returning home to find your hero is sitting in your front room.

Apparently, the tale has circulated widely and been printed in books and magazines, and probably plausibly embroidered along the way. One variation has Bob looking not for Dave’s house but for his recording studio, a converted Victorian place of worship called ‘The Church’, which was in Crouch End – at 145 Crouch Hill. Often, it’s said that Dave was a plumber who was out on a job, and that his wife telephoned him to tell him Bob Dylan was sitting in his kitchen. The whole story is often dismissed as a fictional tale of the kind that happened to the cousin of a friend’s friend.

Then I found a friend of Dave Stewart’s who told the story except he received it directly from Dave Stewart. Bob Dylan had told Dave, and Dave had told it to this friend who happened to be a journalist. So, I believe the story. The journalist teamed up with a photographer and together they explored north London to see if they could find the other Dave and his wife. They knocked on several likely doors. When they found the actual couple in the story, the photographer would take some lovely portraits of them on their doorstep and in their living room, playing Dylan albums and nibbling Ginger Nuts and Jammie Dodgers, and would publish the story in The Sunday Times.

Sadly, although they met some lovely local people, nobody they spoke to had even heard the story, and none of them knew a plumber or any other local man called Dave. Doorstepping is a tedious and soul-destroying business, and they gave up after a while, concluding that it was very possible that Dave and his wife had since left the area.

While I was searching for this tale, I also found another similar story. This one, while entertaining, I am not so sure is true. Someone heard the story from a rugby player friend of theirs who was drinking in a pub in Crouch End where Dave Stewart often drank. On one occasion Dave Stewart came in with a scruffy looking friend, whom the rugby players immediately identified – with much excitement – as Bob Dylan.

The barman served Dave Stewart with drinks and didn’t make a fuss, as was his style. One of the rugby players confided to the barman, “Do you know who that is?”

“It’s Dave Stewart” replied the barman.

“But do you know who his mate is?” asked the rugby player.

The barman confessed he didn’t.

“It’s only Bob Dylan” said the awestruck rugby player.

The barman looked up at the men and nodded.

“That’s nothing” he confided, “We had Arthur Mullard in here last week!”

There are many stories on the internet from Bob Dylan’s time in London – again it is difficult to know which ones to believe, but this is my favourite. Bob saw a guitar in a music shop window and went into the shop called Rock Around The Clock to enquire about it. The owner – who includes Bob Geldof as a celebrity customer – heard Bob play one of his own songs on the guitar, while he was trying it out, and told him, “This is a great time for music, but Bob Dylan’s past it. He used to be good, but he’s rubbish now.”

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Posted By

Davidd Birko

A sad and lonely old man who used to have a life but it has now been taken over by his dedication to the cause of saving teddy bears, running Jammy Toast and searching eBay, car boot sales, charity shops, lofts and even under beds for unwanted bears. He has even now taken in Flat Eric to save him from homelessness – his life is no longer his own!


66 Comments on “Knockin’ On Dave’s Door”

  1. FLOCKDOWN: Due to government lockdown we’ve been ordered to CANCEL our aerial display above the Birkenhead Travelodge on Friday. Hotel rooms with windows were sold out and a large crowd expected in the car park. AN ABSOLUTE JOKE decision! :pigeon:

  2. If You are going to Accuse people of trying to Steal an Election for counting actual Votes, Do Not try to stop actual Votes from being counted to try and steal the Election yourself.

    Election Stealing advice there.

  3. I love each an every single one of my friends so hard there’s not a single mf id give a Chinese burn to what so ever. I’m in a good place in my cycle tho so let’s see how it pans out next week.

  4. Fireworks can be fun, but could lead to the spread of #COVID19

    Please wash your hands before handling the pyrotechnics so Coronavirus spores cannot hitch a free ride to infect your neighbours

    Hands, Face, Outer Space

  5. Bing-Bong!

    Good morning and welcome to day 1 of lockdown version 2. We CAN do this, me and you. Hands-Face-Space! Let’s save the Hooman race: As simple as ABC. Save you, save me

  6. Only in America, a supposed democracy, would the people mobilise to protest against votes being counted. The UK isn’t much better but America is a joke. I truly despise that country and its people. They are all brain dead fucking morons.

  7. “I thought I did blinch a little at first,” said Piglet.
    “You only blinched inside,” said Pooh, “and that’s the bravest way for a Very Small Animal not to blinch.” Piglet sighed with happiness, and began to think about himself. He was BRAVE…”

  8. Its another fuckin’ cold start across England and Wales but less cold for Scotland and Northern Ireland as there is more fuckin’ cloud around here. And watch out for some patches of dense fuckin’ fog across parts of England and Wales.

  9. My human’s husband took this NH video of Janet and Gloria Glover. He put their breakfast down on Ken’s plot and they went for it straight away. I am so pleased that they are friends with each other. They are both a bit shy but I think they get on well together. What do you think?

  10. Rolf report 5 Nov

    I so look forward to my daily trip to campus. As soon as my humans saddle me up with my hi vis jacket & GPS tracker collar, I know the time is near. I wait patiently on the stairs, eyeing the front door, as the humans get ready to take me to campus.

    Rolf x

  11. The Donald Trump guide to tackling voter fraud:
    When Trump is in the lead:
    -STOP COUNTING
    When Trump is behind:
    -CARRY ON COUNTING
    When Trump has already lost:
    -DEMAND A RECOUNT

  12. Sometimes there are little people who can’t be in school, so we had training on how to make the lessons go online. Can you imagine what a tonic it’ll be to see my little furry face on their computer screen when they’re at home?

  13. Lockdown 2.0 has been carefully timed to prevent the appalling 400 year old practice of people gathering together to burn effigies of fat people with blonde hair.

  14. Smile at everyone. Speak gently to all you meet. For every person is dealing with ‘something’ and yours may be the only kindness they will know on this day. :paws:

  15. Nevada count votes like how I clean my house. Fold 3 shirts, play on my phone for 2 hours. Do a dish, watch 4 episodes of The Crown. Wipe a portion of countertop, take a nap!

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