Ramblin' Jack Elliott is in the middle of one of his favorite truck stories...when he's overcome by a coughing fit.
After catching his breath, he apologizes...
"Had this cough about a year," Ellliott says in his slow, cowboy drawl. "Can't seem to shake it."
...he wanders off into a tale about the Grammy he won last year and the victory cigar that got into his lungs and stayed.
It turns out the big cigar was a gift from bluesman Dave Von Ronk, who happened to get it as a gift from Bob Dylan.
"Bobby likes those Cuban cigars," says Elliott with a wink. "But this one was a little old I guess, and just about choked me to death."
Ramblin' Jack Elliott, who will perform at the Left Bank Cafe in Blue Hill on Thursday, is one of the few people around who can call Dylan "Bobby" without sounding like a name-dropping phony...
Elliott says he doesn't hear from Dylan much anymore.
"Bob got kinda strange," he says, with a trace of regret in his voice. "He doesn't communicate with me at all these days. Being a very sensitive and paranoid person, he's got this whole army of protectors now."
(This was posted to rec.music.dylan, including only segments of the article
with reference to Bob Dylan. Unfortunately, then, that's all I have to reprint.)