Back from brainstormin’ and Bob, headed to the Braves

Three days of AJC brainstormin’ can take a lot out of a guy. And, in the interest of full disclosure, I topped off Day 3 by sitting through a five-hour concert: Willie Nelson, John Cougar Mellencamp and my Facebook friend Bobby D. at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Alpharetta. And I was so cogitatively overtaxed after all of the above I did what even a dumb guy like me can manage:

I took two days off.

I did nothing except read, sleep and eat, not necessarily in that order. And what did I read? Glad you asked. Two books (and now on a third) by the Swedish crime writer Hakan Nesser, whom I would highly recommend. Heck, anything written by any Swedish crime writer — Henning Mankell, Asa Larsson (not to be confused with the late Stieg Larsson, whose “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” is likewise quite good), the team of Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö — is worth your while, IMHO.

OK, and now you’re asking: How was Bobby? Started nicely — “Watchin’ the River Flow” and “Don’t Think Twice … ” — started to drag, finished strong. Song No. 8 was “Workingman’s Blues #2,” and this rendition ranks with the best moments I’ve witnessed Mr. Dylan have live. (”My Back Pages” from Philips Arena on Feb. 9, 2002, would be up there, as would “Not Dark Yet” from the Tabernacle on April 13, 2005. And his tribute to his “close buddy” George Harrison — “Something” — at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 13, 2002.) And from there on every song was tremendous.

If you watch closely, you can tell what Bobby thinks of a show, and he liked this one. He laughed for no apparent reason when introducing the band before the last encore — “All Along the Watchtower,” done in horror-movie tempo, if you can believe that — and when he and the boys did their stand-and-stare-at-the-audience thing the great man himself couldn’t stand still. He kept doing that little Dylan shimmy and making odd hand gestures, but he seemed in no hurry to leave. And neither was I.

But now it’s back to work, and much has happened in my protracted sojourn. The Braves traded for Ol’ Rochy and the Falcons went to camp without Roddy White and the Thrashers cut Kovy (just seeing if you’re paying attention), and I had a tough call to make today: Day 2 at Flowery Branch or Game 3 of Braves-Dodgers? After much brainstormin’ — once you get in the habit, it’s tough to break — I picked the latter.

Tune in a bit later — say 6:30 p.m. — and you should see a new post on a Braves’ topic of great interest. (Meaning: I haven’t picked one yet.) And I apologize for my lengthy absence. But sometimes you’ve just got to vegetate and, as my Facebook friend had it, watch the river flow.

22 comments Add your comment

Reid Adair

August 2nd, 2009
1:11 pm

Everybody needs a break now and then … especially after being locked up to “brainstorm.”

Me

August 2nd, 2009
1:11 pm

mitch

August 2nd, 2009
1:51 pm

Dear Mr. MB–glad you’re back. Your pal, Mitch

mountain_jim

August 2nd, 2009
1:57 pm

Good to have you back, Mark, as this place has been pretty boring of late without your 4 columns a day or so…
As one who remembers all those years of rumours and discussions about that future amphitheater possibility before I moved out of state, how does it sound? Not as bad as Lakewood (or whatever its called now) I hope. Does it have the same volume restrictions as Chastain? Remember what it was like up there, when 400 ended near Roswell, and even later but still pre-mall how undeveloped all those exits were?

Bat Masterson

August 2nd, 2009
1:59 pm

Glad you had a good time, Mark. I thought I was the only guy that would read 3 or 4 books in a weekend. Have you read anything by Jo Nesbo? He is pretty good if one likes mysteries,he has won some awards in Northern Europe. Not great like Lionel Shriver’s ” We Need to Talk About Kevin”.

MikeInValdosta

August 2nd, 2009
2:18 pm

Hope you are well rested for football season. Anything good come from the brainstorming?

NRBQ

August 2nd, 2009
2:50 pm

Truly a man of many facets, Brad.

Willie, Cougar and Dylan. Which of these is not like the others?

(Son, you must be me puttin’ me on.)

Mark Bradley

August 2nd, 2009
3:43 pm

Haven’t read Jo Nesbo. But that name is now on the list. Thanks.

And I’d never been to the Verizon Amphitheatre, and I was much impressed. (I hate Chastain, FYI.) Still, I did manage to see two near-fights in my row (neither involving me, for a change).

Bottom line: I’m too old to keep going to concerts. Even for Bob, I’m afraid. (Though Bob is substantially my senior.)

Ken Stallings

August 2nd, 2009
3:43 pm

Now that you’re back, think about doing a column on this story. Red Sox decide to fire two “staffers” one of whom was arrested for having one vial of steroids in his car.

In a 2003 report, Manny Ramireaz and David Ortiz were tested positive for taking steroids and neither had a prescription for a medically recognized medical issue the drugs can legally be used to treat.

Since 2003, Major League Baseball has held their water, kept it secret, neither have been arrested or fired.

This is still America where “all men are created equal,” and where the Constitution guarantees the inalienable right of “equal protection under the law.”

Did Bud Selig fail to get the memo we have a Constitution?

Mark Bradley

August 2nd, 2009
3:44 pm

And Mike, you know the line, “I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you”?

If I told you what came out of brainstormin’, they wouldn’t kill you. But they would me.

Mark Bradley

August 2nd, 2009
3:45 pm

That’s a good idea, Ken. Hang on for a little while and you might see something along those lines. (Though my solution, such as it might be, is probably different from yours.)

Skeezix

August 2nd, 2009
3:51 pm

Mark: We have something in common besides following the Braves, I am a big Dylan fan–the guy is a genius. My wife and I got to see him in Clearwater, Fla. a few years back. Sounds like a great, special moment you’ll never forget.

Ken Stallings

August 2nd, 2009
3:53 pm

You mean you ain’t gonna take ‘em out back and shoot ‘em! :)

Ken Stallings

August 2nd, 2009
3:56 pm

In all seriousness though, I really would like at least one sports reporter to ask David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez this question at every presser the two give until they come clean: “Two staffers were fired, likely for supplying your steroids you took at least since 2003. How does it feel to you they lost their jobs and were arrested and you have so far escaped any sanction?”

Mark Bradley

August 2nd, 2009
4:35 pm

Ken, I’m not sure Bud Selig has gotten a memo in his life.

Ken Stallings

August 2nd, 2009
4:40 pm

Mark Bradley

August 2nd, 2009
5:26 pm

Unfortunately, Skeezix, Mrs. Bradley is less high on Mr. Dylan than I am, and I’ve dragged her to see Bobby five times. But this time she got to see Johnny Cougar, whom she likes very much.

Oh, and here’s my John Cougar story: He was opening for the Kinks at the University of Cincinnati in 1980 — this is way before he became “Mellencamp,” even before he cut “Hurts So Good” — and Mrs. Bradley and I, who were not yet married, were seated in Row 2. Johnny dove into the crowd and, on his way back stageward, used my right shoulder to push himself upward.

I have not washed my right shoulder since, which has become a point of contention between Mrs. Bradley and I.

Jarvis

August 2nd, 2009
5:37 pm

Who hates Chastain? Malcontents that’s who.

benchwarmer

August 2nd, 2009
5:48 pm

Chastain summer concerts are a dumb idea. To often I have missed good groups because I can’t stand the idea of sweating through the performance, literally.

Frenchy

August 2nd, 2009
6:20 pm

Mr. MB, why did Leland become Mitch? Thanks, your pal, Frenchy

Mark Bradley

August 2nd, 2009
6:33 pm

I’m not clear on Mitch’s motivation, Frenchy. But it was, I know, a deeply personal decision on his part.

Rufus

August 9th, 2009
12:22 am

The Braves have rejected a lot of excellent young players, because they didn’t fit into Bobby’s type of player, he used them the wrong way and never really gave them a opportunity, unless he’s Kelly Johnson which is one of the worth player they ever had. He Braves have a reputation of messing up young promising players, until they’re trade and regain their ability.
Diory Hernandez has a promising future, but he needs to be in the minors for a year or so. he has struck out 22 times in 33 games or 22 out of 85 at bat, and needs more time on the field. it’s time to bring up Conrad, he can do a better job, he’s far better then Johnson.
If the Braves want to win the division it’s a mystery, as to whether they do, depends on the line. Cox, puts on the field night after night.
Cox’s must stay keep a winning line-up in place, once he has one, and stop screwing with it.
He is so readable, that it’s like watching a replay, of the oldies Baseball games, over and over again.