Bob Dylan in Israel

March 27th 2011

Could it be? Is it true?

It is!

After reports floating around the web for weeks, Bob Dylan’s promoter Marcel Avrahams has finally confirmed that Dylan is indeed stopping over in the Holy Land on a world tour that sweeps through Asia and ends in Denmark.

The concert will be held on June 20 at Ramat Gan Stadium near Tel Aviv.

Israel has only experienced Dylan concerts two other times in the history of his artistic career, once in 1987 and the second in 1993.

What other significant Israel episodes have occurred in Dylan’s musical career? Dylan’s inconspicuous Israel vacation in 1973 included a trip to Kibbutz Ein Dor , where he hung out with old friend and banjo player, David Yellin. And of course, there was the 1983 visit where he donned a kippah at the Western Wall that had the Jewish masses kvelling .

While Dylan has not had many explicitly Israel-related songs, he did release a song entitled “Neighborhood Bully”  in 1983 on his Infidels album, which is fantastic . In the song, he references events surrounding the Six Day War.   For all you ambitious tourists wanting to really feel a part of the Israeli culture as you tour Israel and speak with the locals, popular Israeli musician Ariel Zilber covered “Neighborhood Bully” in Hebrew.

What else is there to do around Ramat Gan while you are psyching yourself up for a night of folk music heaven?

If you are on a private Israel tour, be sure to book your night stay at the Leonardo Hotel City Tower after the glorious concert experience, unwinding in their relaxing heated outdoor pool and saunas. This Leonardo hotel also boasts one of the greatest restaurants in all of Tel Aviv- Arugula.

Another thing to before your Dylan adventure is to stroll through Ramat Gan’s beautiful Yarkon Park. Home to 16 million visitors annually, it is truly a delight. Yarkon Park (adjacent to the Yarkon River) has six different exquisite garden areas. One of them, titled Rock Garden is the largest garden of its kind, with over 10 acres of land contains 3,5 00 species of plants enclosed within rocks and six acres of cacti. That’s a lot of cacti.  Yarkon Park has been the site of many open air concerts that have included such celebrities as Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Elton John.

Dylan’s 43 year (yes, it’s been that long) career has not been without its ups and downs, and Israel is excited to welcome the  69 year old singer with open arms. Who knows, maybe with the right Israel tour guide, he might even decide to settle down here for a bit.

After all, the times they are a-changin’.