"Bob Dylan Suffers Motorcycle Accident." That headline flashed across the Orpheum Theatre stage during an August 1979 production of the musical "Beatlemania," a tribute to the Fab Four and the 1960s.

Dylan himself was in the audience that evening with his five children. I encountered him in the lobby at intermission.

"This brings back memories," he told me. "This is a lot different than seeing the Beatles at the Paramount or something. [Dylan watched from the wings at that September 1964 concert in New York City.] You couldn't hear them. At least you can hear. I wonder how many people saw the Beatles anyway?"

While the singer and I talked about his forthcoming album "Slow Train Coming," a tour manager for the musical introduced himself.

"You know," he said to Dylan, "you look an awful lot like Bob Dylan's brother [David Zimmerman, who ran the Orpheum]. Are you?"


"Well, if we were ever going to do one of these musicals about Dylan, we would sure like to cast you in the lead," the theater man said with a smile.

Dylan did not smile.

The singer said he liked the Orpheum but denied that he helped bankroll the refurbished theater.

"I'd like to have the money behind this place," he said matter-of-factly.

Jon Bream