Bob Dylan may have returned to his Jewish roots with a concert before 40,000 fans in Tel Aviv Saturday night, but critics were disappointed with the performance. The 46-year-old singer-songwriter, born Robert Zimmerman, returned to Judaism after a period of Christian mysticism and generated considerable anticipation with the announcement of his first concert appearances in Israel. All 9,000 tickets to his concert in Jerusalem today have been sold.
Israel Radio reported that spectators found the show "boring," while the music critic for the newspaper Yediot Ahronot wrote: "You mocked the best audience you ever had. It's only because of your name, your past and your origin that you didn't get catcalls for your arrogance and aloofness." The audience came to its feet, however, when Dylan sang "Let My People Go," an American spiritual about the flight from Egypt, and "Blowin' in the Wind," his antiwar song that became a hit in 1963.
On the Tale of Oliver North
Remember Oliver North? If you do, and you crave still more information about the highly publicized player in the Iran-contra affair, head for your local bookstore. Peter Meyer has written a hastily compiled biography of North titled "Defiant Patriot." St. Martin's Press is betting people are still interested in the jut-jawed marine, whose role in the scandal remains under investigation: The first printing is 300,000 copies.
Princess Caroline's New Arrival
The royal family is growing in tiny Monaco. Princess Caroline, the older daughter of Prince Rainier and the late Princess Grace, gave birth to her third child Saturday, a seven-pound boy to be christened Pierre. The baby was born at 2:46 a.m. at Princess Grace Hospital, and by morning Monacan flags began appearing on balconies and in windows as the joyous news spread.
Caroline's husband Stefano Casiraghi, her father and her brother Prince Albert were present, and both mother and child are reported doing well. Pierre's brother Andrea was born in 1984 and sister Charlotte in 1986.
The Rock Stars' Hungerford Benefit
British rockers were among the first musicians to raise funds for starving Africans, but now they're looking to the needy at home. Boy George and Eric Clapton lead the list of performers scheduled to sing at a music festival later this month to raise money for the families of the victims of the Hungerford massacre. Michael Ryan, 27, went on a rampage Aug. 19 and killed 14 people, starting with his mother, before he committed suicide.
The fund-raising event will take place Sept. 26 and 27 in the southern English town of Hungerford, where Ryan grew up and where he carried out Britain's worst mass murder. Other concert backers include Rick Wakeman, Elvis Costello and the group Madness.
Shock Rock, Old and New
Today's hippest rock musicians sometimes seem to have little in common with their trend-setting predecessors, but maybe times haven't changed so much, after all. The Beastie Boys have been followed by controversy over a stage prop during their recent tour. The prop, an inflatable phallus, is deemed offensive by some, much to Mick Jagger's amusement.
Jagger, lead singer of the Rolling Stones, remembers that the same prop caused trouble for his band in the '70s. "We were banned in Dallas ... in 1976," Jagger said. "So there's not much new going on in rock 'n' roll, but each generation rediscovers it ... The whole thing shows you that, unfortunately, cultural values in America are still conservative."