Remembering the Old Dewey Cox

Cox clocked me, then I puked, recalls the old music journalist

As in his preretirement years, Cox mentioned Dylan — "Robert Dylan" — and went on to claim once again that "Robert took a lot from me." Some grudges never die. But Cox has a point. I was at a party in the Hollywood Hills in 1964, and both Cox and Dylan were there. Predictably, they got into a shoving match. (They never could be in the same room together.) This time it was over the chord progression to "There's a Change a Happenin'." Cox accused Dylan of larceny, assumed the karate position, and called his rival a "Napoleon in rags." I heard it, and so did a lot of other people.

By the end of the Roxy gig, Cox was shirtless and, as always, playing with his nipples. "You've seen the billboard; now feel the real thing," boasted the superstar, so happy to be back onstage after being dead for so long.

By the time Cox did "Beautiful Ride," the Roxy had been transformed into the Coxy, and the audience was right there with him. "Now that I have lived a lifetime's worth of days," he sang, "finally I see the folly of my ways/So listen when I sing of/the temptations of this world/fancy cars and needles/whiskey, flesh, and pearls."

This guitar used to belong to Robert Dylan.
Mark Seliger / © 2007 Columbia Pictures and GH Three LLC
This guitar used to belong to Robert Dylan.

Last night, a poet was resurrected. Behold Dewey Cox. Back from the dead. Fleshier than ever.

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