Jesus Christ Meets Bob Dylan in a Hotel Room in Tucson, 1978

Bob: I’m ready to accept you, Lord.

Jesus: Not so fast there Bob. I need you to do something first.

Bob: Name it Lord.

Jesus: I need you to rub out Jimmy Gravante.

Bob (stunned): The hitman?

Jesus: Your successor in the Duluth family, after you got out and became — this (gestures around). You know Jimmy — the sniper who blew you off your motorcycle in 1966 in Woodstock.

Bob: He hit the bike, man, not me. Sniper my ass.

Jesus: I’m going to need you to check your tone.

Bob: I’m sorry Lord. It’s just that he wasn’t even at 200 yards. He’s more like a potshot expert than a sniper. And my divorce is killing me. I just got off a world tour and my adrenal glands feel squeezed dry like little raisins. Think I’m coming down with something (sniffles).

Jesus: Don’t make excuses. You’re fine. My point is, even though he missed you, he shot your bike out from under you, and you almost died. You were laid up for weeks. Don’t you know you never get out of this thing? He’ll be back. How can you live with that hanging over you? You never took your revenge. What kind of man is Bob Dylan?

Bob: Hey I went looking for him. Took the Hawks with me.

Jesus: The who now?

Bob: The Band. Robbie Robertson and them. The Band, man.

Jesus: Oh yeah. Levon Helm …

Bob: Well Levon wasn’t there for this part, but uh …

Jesus: Get to the point. And you’re kind of mumbling.

Bob: Yes sir. Mister Chief Commander sir. Well I healed quickly from the motorcycle wreck, didn’t want to go to the hospital because I’m (gestures around). So the press said I had turned into a recluse, which was the perfect cover story. Half that time I was healing up, but the other half, we got strapped up. Drove from New York to Minnesota in a black Charger with blacked-out windows. We stormed the Kitchee Gammi Club at midnight and went to the smoking room where the bosses were meeting. We iced the guards — all this was silent, see. So when I opened the door to the smoking room, the bosses expected to see one of the door guards but it’s me, dressed head to toe in black just like the cover of … I forget. The Band was also dressed in black, they fanned into the room on either side of me like raven’s wings. And the bosses weren’t packing. As a gesture of mutual respect they left their pieces in a safe before the meeting, see? And so while the Band kept ‘em covered, I said, cradling my pearl-handled …

Jesus: The point, Bob.

Bob: Why do I have to tell you anyway? Weren’t you looking?

Jesus: You’re Jewish, Bob. It’s like having partial coverage.

Bob: I am literally trying to convert right now.

Jesus: I just need you to focus.

Bob: Right, right, man. Okay so there I was. And I said, cradling my pistol, “Where is Jimmy Gravante?” And they wouldn’t tell me. So we shot ‘em. It wiped out the Duluth mob for good. But Gravante, he’d stepped into the wind. While we waited for him to turn up, we went back to Woodstock and recorded the Basement Tapes. It’s not like I wouldn’t shank him on sight, man.

Jesus: I want you on my team Bob.

Bob (in despair): He could be anywhere. I don’t even know where he is.

Jesus (puts His hand on Bob’s shoulder): I do, Bob. I know exactly where that fucker is. And if you promise to record three gospel albums for me, I’ll reveal that location to you. Now, do we have a deal?

An index of Jim Richardson’s essays may be found here.


Joe Z

about 2 months ago

Sorry I wasted time to view this. I promise to do better.

Jim Richardson (aka Lake Superior Aquaman)

about 2 months ago

@JOE Z: It's the only explanation that makes sense though...


about 2 months ago

"Jesus: You’re Jewish, Bob. It’s like having partial coverage."

One of many great lines in this piece. Thanks Jim.

James Gorham

about 2 months ago

This is an absolute Pearl of a short story... Loved it

sam knutson

about 2 months ago

Oh man!
I love this.
Hozana to Jim Richardson in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.

Jim Richardson (aka Lake Superior Aquaman)

about 2 months ago


Leave a Comment

Only registered members can post a comment , Login / Register Here

Read previous post:
Dirty Knobs – “More Fire in More Places” "More Fire in More Places" is the fourth release from the new Dirty Knobs album, Songs About Everything Dying...