Subterranean Homesick Fools:

Paul and Kelly Visit the Hibbing House!

Story courtesy of The World's Loudest Folksinger®

The crowd hadn't seen a solo performance like this in a long time, some of them never had. The converted movie theatre, once a grand monument to celluloid, made a great music room for The World's Loudest Folksinger and his one-man-dance-band. "Sign it TO THE BOY WHO SLEEPS IN DYLAN'S BEDROOM", said the voice attached to the hand thrusting TWLF's latest CD at him during a cold cocktail intermission. We both looked up. "You own the house?" "Yeah, come by for a lunch tour tomorrow." What a way to start New Year's Eve. The French's, who now owned the house, had cold beer; the house had cool vibes. We ambled about on our own taking some photos, getting the time machine cranked up for a visit back to the 1950's, wondering about the ears and eye's of walls'.. the soul of a house; the awareness this small place in time and space might have of itself. We saw the spot on the rec-room door casing where Bob had supposedly carved his brother David's name in order to get him into trouble. We heard the tale of the tube of Brylcreem found behind the upstairs bathroom vanity when it was remodeled and it's subsequent disappearance during a party at the house. We stood on the sun deck outside of Bob's bedroom and knew he used it to sneak both himself and girls into the house. We heard about the limos that have pulled up outside over the years and about the boxes of Bob's stuff found in the attic by the previous owners and hauled to the dump. We signed the guestbook that the French's had started to keep once they fully understood there would always be curious guests from around the world. We saw the 4 Aces fanned out in the center of the rec-room floor, tile cut by Bob's dad Abe when he tiled the room. We smoked a couple of cigarettes in Bob's room and ended up with the south facing window offered as a gift since the owner had just replaced it with an energy efficient model. Something strange was bound to happen. The place exudes some kind of energy. We never questioned whether it was our energy simply unbound or some latent, leftover energy from decades earlier. We were in the rec-room and called a friend at Eli's Bar on Hennepin in Minneapolis. The guy is a real Dylan freak and we felt like teasing someone with our good fortune. The bartender put the phone down on the bar and called Jim. Subterranean Homesick Blues was playing on the jukebox and here we were in Dylan's hometown basement! "Too cool, Jim! Guess were we are." "Dylan's house," was his deadpan answer. The Greg and Donna French then took us on a tour of the old Androy Hotel, once an opulent gem of a hotel and social place in Hibbing. It was just then beginning to be saved from dilapidation by a community group which the French's belonged to. You could see all of Hibbing from the roof, where the penthouse, used by Hubert Humphrey among others, stood like an afterthought. We have been back to the house a couple of times since then. Once to care take for a weekend while the Family was vacationing and TWLF worked on some new tunes, once just to visit the French's.

Photo Gallery

(click the picture for a larger image)

Aces tiled into the floor of the recreation room by Abe, Bob's father. A couple of months after this picture was taken, two toddlers took a hammer to the aces...
 The World's Loudest Folksinger takes a peek inside Bob's closet!
Kelly enjoying a cool drink just inside the front door.
Fireplace in the Hibbing house.
The dry bar in the recreation room.
TWLF at the bottom of the stairs...
...and the top.
The view out of Bob's bedroom! This is a new energy-efficient window - the old window now hangs in Kelly's office - lucky dog!

End of the photo gallery...