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The Kidzter Kids Meet Bob Dylan (Free 4 Chapter Preview)

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The Kidzter Kids

Meet

Bob Dylan

Written by

Eva Emily Ellis,

Apprentice Musicologist, 1st Class

As told to

Bob Heyman & Mady Reinhardt

Illustrated by

Jason Whitley & Ali Firat Biberci

© Kidzter, 2017

THE KIDZTER KIDS

The historical events you will read about are true.

You are there with Eva, Carlos & Jimi, the Kidzter Kids, as they witness music history that really happened.

Chapter One

Eva felt terrible. One of her best friends, Jimi Cole, was on stage at the weekly Kidzter music show and everyone was booing!

Well, not quite everyone. Eva and Carlos were certainly among the few ones who were trying to encourage him.

The teachers were also trying to stand up for him. But aside them, almost everyone in the audience was either booing, shouting stuff like “Go back to what you did before!” and “We liked your old stuff better!”

Eva could see it was really hurting Jimi.

Every Friday afternoon, after all the classes ended, the students at the Kidzter Music School would put on a concert.

Some liked to perform solos, and some liked to perform in a band.

One of the biggest things about the event was that the audience was made up of people from all around the world. They never knew who would come every Friday to enjoy the great music.

Usually, Jimi’s percussion and beatbox performances were the hit and everyone would cheer for an encore. However, that was not today.

Today, the audience was against him and it was all because he changed his act. Instead of the turntables and sound effects, Jimi was playing a handpan.

In all honesty, Eva was really enjoying the show.

Even though the handpan was one of those instruments that were really hard to explain, that did not make it less enjoyable. It looked more like a flying saucer that Jimi played with his fingers.

The sound was ethereal, unlike any other instrument she’d heard. If she heard music in a dreamland, this would be it.

“Too spacey!” she heard one of the boys in the audience shout. It was Drake, the guitarist. It seemed he always liked to pick on other kids despite the fact that he rarely practiced guitar himself.

Eva wanted to yell at him.

“Quit the new age stuff!” another boy yelled.

She didn’t know who he was but she was pretty sure he did not know how hard the handpan was to play. They were all being rather rude.

The music went on for a couple more minutes, during that point the booing got louder and louder. At that point, there wasn’t much the teachers could do, no matter how hard they tried.

Despite the detention and bad grades warning, the kids remained on their positions – they didn’t like Jimi’s musical change and they wanted to make sure he knew that, loud and clear.

Eva looked around, her gaze meeting Carlos’. She could see that he didn’t know what to do either and that didn’t make things better.

“Maybe Mort Moose can do something!” he shouted at her, trying to cover the infernal noise.

“But he’s nowhere to be found!” she yelled back, desperately looking for Mort Moose. She started to panic but in the next second, the hall went quiet.

“Ladies, gentlemen, boys and girls,” Moose’s voice thundered in the microphone.

He was up on the stage, Jimi standing next to him, his eyes studying the floor. Eva was relieved.

“I think the reason we’ve all gathered here tonight was to enjoy the music, be it old or new. Jimi here tried something new. You’re not forced to like it, of course, but your attitude is unacceptable. I now regretfully have to inform you that for the next three weeks, the Friday show will be discontinued.”

After he spoke, he walked off the stage and the kids’ disappointed gazes followed him as he went. Eva felt the same. She loved the Friday show and yet she could not help but smile at the outcome. If they did not like the music, they should have at least appreciated it. All music is different.

She hurried to Jimi, who was still on stage, clearing out his equipment. It broke Eva’s heart, seeing him so sad. She stepped up to him and gave him the tightest hug she could.

“You feelin’ alright, bud?” Carlos asked, helping Jimi him out with his handpan.

Jimi didn’t answer. He only gave a small nod.

“Professor Moose said we should go to his office once everybody’s back to their business,” he spoke in a small voice. He sounded like he was on the verge of tears.

“Then we should do that right now!” Eva said, grabbing his arm and dragging him off the stage. She was happy to see that he was smiling.

As they went out of the main hall, they passed by a group of people. Eva recognized them as the ones who had been the loudest in their earlier protest and couldn’t help a chuckle when she noticed they were being scolded by their piano teacher, Miss Perry.

“And for you, mister,” the woman was saying. “Four hours detention tomorrow. No less.”

“I guess I feel a bit better now,” Jimi laughed.

By the time they reached Mort Moose’s office, he gave them a small grin. Which was great because Eva could see it made Jimi smile too.

Professor Mort often asked them to come to his office when they needed to learn a lesson, the twinkle in his eyes proved that her thoughts were correct.

Chapter Two

When they opened the door, Moose was relaxing at his desk. Gizmo was nowhere to be found as well but judging by the noises from upstairs, he was on the roof. Working in the observation tower, probably.

Eva got excited.

Carlos cleared his throat, prompting a small “Hmm?” from Mort Moose.

“Kids, come sit down,” he chuckled.

The kids took their usual spots in front of the moose’s desk. Eva was in the middle, as always.

“Let me just take care of these,” he said, pointing to the pile of papers on his desk. “It’s not going to take long, I promise.”

They shrugged and watched Mort how he hastily took the papers and shoved them in the drawer.

Yawning, he stretched and got up, walking to his record shelf. It was a rather massive piece of furniture, stacked with records from some of the most famous artists that have ever performed.

Ever since they went on the time travel journey where they met the Beatles, Eva couldn’t help but think those were the original ones.

“I cannot count how many bands and singers have gone through change,” he began, leaning against his desk. “And, as you all may know,” he continued, looking at Jimi, “change is not usually welcome. The fans are used to a certain style and when the artists wanted to change and evolve, they were not happy with it. Fearing they might lose their fans if they went on, many artists gave up the idea.”

“But I’m not one of them!” Jimi protested. “I don’t even have any fans! I did not like the way they shouted at me, could they be right? Was it bad that I changed?”

“You did hear them shouting then. They did say they liked your old performances better, but that is because it is what they were used to. If you had started with the handpan and moved to beatboxing, they might have given you the same reaction.” Mort said.

“I practiced for hours on the handpan, and they still did not like it. They only like my beatboxing” he shrugged. “Nothing more. Can I keep going with the hand pans? What should I do?” Jimi asked.

“No one said you should stop doing what you like,” Mort smiled.

“Some artists did what the fans asked and some did not, while some just learned and how to deal with it. That is what we are going to do today. I want to show you kids how sometimes change is good, and sometimes all it takes is a little patience.” Mort said, swinging the pocket watch in his hand.

All of a sudden, Jimi’s face lit up. With the brightest smile on his lips, he asked:

“Are we gonna time travel again?”

“Yup,” Moose chuckled. “To the observation tower!”

They followed him, shivering with anticipation. They were dying to see where Moose would send them this time.

When they got up, they saw Gizmo working away. Steam was hissing, tubes were glowing and colorful sparks flew into the air. The blue ball of fuzz was just walking around the machine, making sure everything was in place. Unlike the last time, they could see an old keyboard set aside, some wires connecting it to the time machine.

“What’s that for?” Carlos asked, pointing to the keyboard.

“You’ll see,” Gizmo laughed. “It’s meant to make the transition smoother and easier for you.”

“Okay,” Eva nodded. “Where do we go?”

“You’ll see,” Mort Moose replied.

He walked to the keyboard and checked to see if the wires were all in their places. With a small smile, he got up and pressed a few keys. At the slightest touch, the machine started humming and vibrating, as it was ready to start its journey.

“Seems fine,” he nodded. “We can’t take any risks, though, you know.”

“Of course not,” Gizmo replied. “This one’s better than the last, trust me.”

Moose patted slightly the keyboard and walked to the kids as he spoke.

“Gizmo developed a new method of using the time machine. It’s auctioned by music.”

“That sounds so cool!” Carlos gasped.

“And it’s easier to control it, since you have more access to it,” Gizmo said. “Just a few keys pressed and you’re back faster than you can say pie.”

“Does that mean we won’t need the pocket watch anymore?” Eva asked, turning to Moose.

“Maybe, but I like carrying it around too much.” Moose said swinging it around. “Plus, we’re going to need it in case of emergencies. It is a lot easier to move from one event to another during our journey with it as well.”

“Our? So that means you’re coming with us?” Eva gasped with excitement

He nodded.

“Only until we find your guide. Something went wrong with the machine when we tried to contact her so I’ll accompany you until she shows up. Now you know what to do!” he laughed as he pulled down a small box.

Reluctantly as always, they left their phones and MP3 players in the small box he held in front of them, each of the kids double checking their pockets to see if they forgot anything. When they finally got rid of every device they had, they stepped close to each other.

It seemed Gizmo only worked on the keyboard, focusing less on the actual machine – the space was as small as last time they used it. And Mort Moose’s antlers didn’t really do much good either. With a bit of effort and uncomfortable shifting and turning, he was able to fit them in.

“Alright,” he said, nodding to Gizmo. “Whenever you’re ready.”

“Aye, aye, cap’n!” the blue ball of fuzz exclaimed as he put on his headphones. Taking a deep breath, he cracked his fingers and started playing. It was an old melody the kids knew very well. They heard it at the beginning and ending of every school year at the Kidzter School – their anthem.

As the notes filled the air, they could feel the machine starting to spin. It was the part Eva disliked from the bottom of her heart. It was like a really bad carousel ride at the end of which she would always be dizzy and confused.

Thankfully, it only lasted for a few moments.

In the next moment, they were lying on the grass, in the middle of a crowd gathered in front of a stage.

Chapter Three

Time remaining: 60 minutes

Eva got up and a small groan. She smoothed down her blouse and wiped the grass off of it. Couldn’t they land on some couch or something?

She looked around and saw that the people were singing and dancing to the groovy tunes of a blues band. It was a rather pleasant day. The sun was up in the sky, a warm breeze making the blades of grass dance in the rhythm of the music.

She could see Jimi and Carlos were enjoying the tunes too, maybe Mort would let them dance for a while.

“Seems that we’re just in time for the closing act,” Moose said, guiding the kids through the crowd. On the stage, they could read Blues: Origins and offshoots.

“It’s the name of a workshop,” he said, seeing the confused looks on the kids’ faces. “It’s supposed to include Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys, Sam and Kirk McGee, Son House, Memphis Slim and Willie Dixon. There’s also Spider John Koerner, Tony Glover and Mance Lipscomb.”

“All the really good people!” Jimi exclaimed.

“I love Willie Dixon. I remember listening to him with my Grandpa. I can’t believe I’m going to see him.”

“Who is in charge?” Eva asked. She wanted as many details as possible for her report. And, well, for the stories she would tell her grandkids. She giggled at the thought.

“Alan Lomax,” Moose answered, walking closer to the stage. “You might’ve heard about him in your music history lessons.”

The kids nodded. They could clearly remember how many times Miss Clarkson had told them about him and his career as a folklorist.

All around them were stages, some smaller and some bigger, each attracting their own crowds.

They could see recorders everywhere.

They were not the small recorders that they saw today. They were carried by two people sometimes with large microphones. Eva could tell that the show was going to be broadcast.

As they got closer to the stage where Lomax was, they could see the people following them, their numbers increasing. For a brief second, Eva wondered if they could actually see them.

Luckily, they were not the main attraction but unfortunately, the noise was too loud for them to hear what Alan was saying. The only thing that comforted Eva was that they’d probably read every word in some music magazine back in their time. After a few more rowdy minutes, he walked off the stage, allowing Butterfield and the band to move in their equipment.

“He doesn’t seem too happy,” Jimi whispered, pointing to Alan. The man looked annoyed for some reason, tapping his foot on the ground as if he was late for some important meeting.

“He’s not,” Moose chuckled. “Let’s get closer.”

Eva tried to see the crowd’s reaction, no one seemed to be upset or impatient, so why was Mr. Alan?

“It’s taking more time than I’ve expected,” Alan complained to one of the men carrying the amplifiers. “It’s blues. It shouldn’t even need amplifiers. It takes away the very soul of the music.”

Eva pondered for a moment, what he said did not make much sense.

“There’s so many people here! How are they all going to hear the music without the equipment?”

Mort Moose sighed and turned back to the stage. The kids lingered around Alan for a bit, curious to hear anything else he might’ve had to protest.

He didn’t. Instead, he looked at the people with such disdain it almost seemed he could freeze the whole crowd with only one icy look.

“He’s a man who is slow to change.” the moose spoke as the kids approached him. “He believed that this kind of music should be purely acoustic. In his opinion, the equipment only ruins it. Back in this time electronics, technology, and extension cords were foreign and weird to many performers. So when people started bringing in these large speakers and cords, it created a different atmosphere. This was very hard for many performers who had started out with just a guitar and their voice.”

“But how could the people in the back hear them?” Jimi protested. “Look at all these people! There must be at least a thousand!”

The Moose shrugged.

“He doesn’t like change, I guess.”

Jimi opened his mouth to say something but was quickly interrupted by the booming voice of Alan, who took the stage again. He looked irritated.

“Folks,” he began, “as we all know, the blues has deep roots in American history. African-American history, to be exact. It evolved from African spirituals, African chants, field work songs, rural life and drum music. It’s music made by a musician and a single instrument. It’s supposed to be an intimate expression, the artist sharing a piece of his soul with his audience.”

Eva looked confused. What was he talking about? How was that even remotely related to the performance that was going to take place? It seemed to her as if he had some personal problems with the band and was trying to do anything he could to stop them from performing. It made her realize that it does not matter how popular the band is, sometimes there is conflict.

“Now, this band here,” he spoke, pointing to the men on the stage that looked just as confused as Eva, “requires a lot of hardware to play their blues. And isn’t that just against the nature of the music itself? I won’t take any more of your time,” he continued, as he noticed the crowd getting angry. “I’ll let you judge if these youngsters can really play the music.”

That being said, he walked off the stage, finally giving the band a chance to perform.

“What’s his problem?” Jimi asked. “He didn’t even listen to them!”

“As I said,” Moose smiled. “He doesn’t like change.”

“Look!” Eva gasped, pointing to Alan.

As he walked off the stage, he was quickly joined by another man. He didn’t seem too happy about the criticism and didn’t hesitate to let Alan know about that. Of course, that didn’t make things any better. Angry that the man dared oppose him, Lomax shoved him out of his way. Too proud to let him get away with that, the man did the same thing, the whole conflict soon escalating into a violent fist fight.

“Golly,” Moose sighed. “I forgot about this.”

While the boys looked rather fascinated, Eva was staring at them with disgust. She covered her eyes to hide from the fighting, it was making her feel extremely uncomfortable.

Soon enough, they were separated by a member of the band. Alan walked away, while the mysterious man stood there, eager to watch the performance, as messy as he was.

Once back behind his drums, Sam Lay gave Butterfield a small nod and the harp player’s fingers started caressing the strings, the crowd being enchanted from the very first notes. Soon, the music got louder and stronger, the people around mesmerized by their sheer talent.

Eva was swaying in the rhythm of the music. It was something unlike she had ever heard and she was pretty sure that even Alan had to admit they were good. Even though it would probably pain him to do so. She did not think the speakers and equipment took anything away from their song, though she also had to remember she was used to it. She could look up a song and play it in a minute with her phone back home, while back in this time people had to drive for miles to hear music from the artist like this.

Train arrive, it’s sixteen coaches long.”

As soon as the lyrics began, everyone went quiet. They just stood there, enjoying the great music.

Mystery train, rolling down the track.

Mystery train, rolling down the track.

Well, it took my baby, people it won’t be coming back.”

It felt amazing, Eva thought. To witness the rise of Paul Butterfield Blues Band in all its glory. She was so proud to be there. To be part of the event, even if no one could see her.

Everyone in the back could enjoy the music just as if they were at the front of the stage. Isn’t that what performing is all about? Sharing your music with as many people as possible?

She thought back on Alan, and hoped that someday soon he would realize that it was a good thing. She also hoped he could still enjoy the music, that was the most important part.

“Well,” Moose said, breaking her trance. “I think it’s time to go.”

With that, he clicked his watch and they vanished into thin air. Eva had no clue where they were going next, but the good news was she did not have to wait to find out.

Chapter Four

Time-Left: 30 minutes left

They landed on the steps of a mansion, dizzy and confused.

At least we landed on our feet. Eva thankfully thought as she tapped her foot against the marble steps. That wouldn’t have been a pleasant landing.

“You’re finally here!” a small voice came from behind them, making the kids jump.

When they turned around, they saw a little girl, her blonde hair into two braids, a small flower crown on her head. She was wearing a colorful tie-dye dress and brown leather sandals.

“I’m Gabby,” she continued, shaking their hands.

“You must be the Kidzter kids! Nice to finally meet you!”

“Nice to meet you too!” Jimi said, taking her hand and kissing it. The girl giggled and turned to Moose.

“I love your antlers, sir,” she smiled. “Would look nice with some flowers on them!”

The moose laughed, patting her head.

“I think they’ll stay just the way they are for now. Sorry we lost connection when we tried to talk,” he apologized with a slight bow of his head. “We were still working on the machine.”

“No problem at all! It’s good that you’re finally here. I’ve been waiting for you for the whole evening.”

“Well, kids,” he said, turning to Eva and her friends. “I think it’s time for me to leave. I’ll give you the watch, Eva, as usual. Don’t worry about the time being up. The machine will automatically send you back at the end of the 60 minutes.”

And, without any other words, he vanished, leaving the kids with their new guide.

“Follow me now!” Gabby said, taking Jimi’s hand and pulling him after her. The two kids followed them inside the mansion, running along vast hallways until they finally reached a white door with a small golden handle.

They could hear music from the inside, along with a voice they all recognized.

How does it feel, how does it feel?

To be without a home

Like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone”

 

“Is that Bob Dylan?” Carlos asked, clapping his hands in excitement.

Ah you never turned around to see the frowns,

On the jugglers and the clowns when they all did tricks for you.

You never understood that it ain’t no good,

You shouldn’t let other people get your

kicks for you.”

 

“You got it,” Gabby said. “He’s rehearsing for tonight. Mister Moose did a really great thing for me,” she chuckled. “He said that as long as I’m touching one of you, I become invisible too. Isn’t that great?”

“It’s awesome!” Eva exclaimed. “But how do we get in?”

Her question was soon answered when a man came running along the hall, hurrying to the room. As soon as he opened the door, they followed him inside where they could see Bob Dylan and a few other guys seated in a circle, rehearsing. It was always an incredible sight to see one of the great singers from the past.

“That’s Michael Bloomfield,” Gabby pointed to the man with the guitar. “And that’s Al Kooper on the organ and Barry Goldberg at the piano. Also, don’t forget about Jerome Arnold on the bass and Sam Lay on the drums.”

“How do you know that?” Jimi asked.

“My dad’s a volunteer at the festival. Helping out with the instruments and whatnot. I came along cause I love the music,” she smiled.

It was late at night when Bob Dylan finally decided to end the session. He got up, stretched and said to his fellow band members:

“Well, I’m pretty happy with how these three songs sound.”

“Are you sure about this?” Sam Lay asked, tapping his drumsticks one against the other. He looked rather reluctant to put them down, for some reason. “I mean, you saw what Alan said about us?”

Dylan laughed.

“Do we really care about that? The people loved it and that’s what all that matters.”

“What if they won’t love this one?” he asked once again.

“I don’t know,” he shrugged. “It’s worth a try. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while now and this is the perfect occasion.”

“Are we gonna be fully amplified?”

“Of course,” Dylan nodded. “I’m trying to challenge this festival. Give the people something new to listen to. Change isn’t always that bad, right?”

Barry Goldberg, who had been quiet until then, decided to chime in.

“What happens if Alan decides to bring people against us and makes sure that we can’t sing at any other venues ever?”

The man snorted.

“Nah, he can’t do that. You know what I thought? If they want to keep electricity out of here, then I’ll prove them wrong. I’ll go full electric.”

Eva could admit that sitting in a room listening to just one person play the guitar was always so serene. She loved the calm and relaxing feeling, but when it is on a stage surrounded by hundreds of people it is best to make sure you are heard.

Alan would not like what he’d hear in her time, she knew that.

Some people were not even singing with their real voices at all, but they were mechanically changing it. Yet even when the voice sounded robotic and there were no instruments on stage but a small computer. It was still art. It was a glimpse inside the artists mind, and that it always an incredible thing to see.

Eva smiled. She loved his attitude and she was starting to see what the Moose wanted them to learn that time.

It was a wonderful lesson for Jimi, who had recently attempted to change his style and had met the hostile attitude of their colleagues, Eva thought that he could borrow a bit of Dylan’s attitude and just stop caring whether people agreed to his new style or not. He should just do whatever he felt like doing. Whatever made him happy.

It seemed the rest of the men were starting to relax as well. Their sound was good and if the people liked it, then no one could stop them from doing what they liked.

“Well,” she said as she watched them packing up. “I think it’s time to go further.”

She clicked the watch.


The Kidzter Kids Meet Bob Dylan (Free 4 Chapter Preview)

The Kidtzer Kids Meet Bob Dylan and learn a lesson about introducing your fans to change. You can buy the full length version of this book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple and wherever ebooks are sold.

  • Author: Eva Emily Ellis
  • Published: 2017-08-17 03:17:18
  • Words: 4542
The Kidzter Kids Meet Bob Dylan (Free 4 Chapter Preview) The Kidzter Kids Meet Bob Dylan (Free 4 Chapter Preview)