Bob Dylan is celebrating his 81st birthday this May. His career and his impact on so many musicians is well documented. Bob also had a respect, curiosity and admiration for a New Jersey legend.

It was a stormy, dark, late afternoon July 23rd, 2009 and Bob Dylan was in New Jersey scheduled to perform later that night at The Lakewood Blue Claws stadium with Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp.

Bob Dylan Performs at The 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards
Bob Dylan/Getty Images
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Bob was stationed at the Ocean Place Resort in Long Branch when he decided to go out in the pouring rain. He was looking for something specific. Bob was making his way south on Ocean Avenue and heading up and down some of the side streets. He was wearing sweatpants and looked like; well he looked like Bob Dylan.

A young 24 year-old Long Branch police officer Kristie Buble noticed Bob wandering the streets of Long Branch and thought the man was homeless. When Officer Buble asked for ID, Bob didn’t have one on him and said his name was Bob Dylan, a name that meant nothing to the young officer. When she asked why he was in Long Branch Bob said he was doing a concert.

Bob Dylan - Photo by: William Lovelace / Getty Images
Bob Dylan - Photo by: William Lovelace / Getty ImagesBob Dylan - Photo by: William Lovelace / Getty Images
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He convinced the officer to take him to The Ocean Place where the tour manager rushed out from the tour bus relieved but very puzzled to see a wet Bob Dylan climbing out of the police cruiser. Everything was straightened out.

There are very few people that know why Bob was wandering the streets of Long Branch and it wasn’t reported to the hundreds of media who covered this story.

Bruce Springsteen
AP
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Bob Dylan was looking for the Bruce Springsteen house where Bruce wrote Born to Run. That house was on West End Court in Long Branch, a little over half of a mile from Bob’s hotel.

Bob never told the officer why he was wandering around but I found out from my friend Jules Aerts who was Bob Dylan’s sound engineer for 20 years. Jules told me that Bob had heard about that house and wanted to check it out.

Bob Dylan - Photo by Express Newspapers / Getty Images
Bob Dylan - Photo by Express Newspapers / Getty Images
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Bob never made it to the house but his intentions were pretty cool. My friend Jules passed away in 2014 and was one of the most entertaining people I ever met. He toured the world with Bob Dylan and his stories read like a Jules Verne tale.

I miss him very much but glad he set the record straight on the wandering Bob Dylan.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

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