Rafa and Bob

Yesterday was pretty damn good. I saw the living legend Bob Dylan live at Rock en Rio just outside Madrid, and Rafa Nadal won Wimbledon. For me Nadal is the greatest sportsman Spain has produced in the last ten years, and possibly the greatest sportsman in Europe at the moment. He’s thrilling to watch, incredibly strong both physically and mentally, and just ridiculously humble and nice. If only all sportsman were like that.

If you haven’t seen it yet, watch as Rafa wins the final point and sets off on a climb to see his family, the Prince, and La Leti. Well done Rafa!!!!

26 thoughts on “Rafa and Bob

  1. Parubin

    I was lucky enough to see Bobby Dylan in an acoustic concert in a rather small theatre in Santander a few years back : restrained and thrilling at the same time.

    Did you get to see The Police?? I think it was the day before.

    As for Rafa, what a titanic performance!!. I had to watch it on and off as it lasted no less than seven hours!!!. I have to admit that, after the fourth set, in which Federer tied the game and Rafa wasted two match-balls and seemed a little nervous, I thought it was all over for Rafa. I didn’t expect him to be so mentally strong to overcome world’s number one in a fith set after almost touching the cup with his hands.

    What great summer for Spanish sports. Now watch Valverde’s Tour de France and the coming Olympics…

  2. BrianA

    I watched every ball of the Wimbledon final. I didn’t intend to but it was so gripping I couldn’t switch it off. Luckily they had a rain break so I could eat 😉
    I think Rafal was just that bit stronger and really wanted to win but Federer is incredible too. Truly a great sporting occasion.

  3. Pepino

    I unfortunately missed most of the match, but caught the final set. A very well deserved win from a great player. (It always reminds me of Pat Cash when the winner climbs into the crowd, as I believe he was the first to do it.)

    It was sweet when perma-tanned Sue Barker asked Rafa what his family and friends had said to him when he went to to see them. He just said “They said thank you”. He probably had a momentary lack of English words to express what they really said, but nonetheless it was really sweet, and as always Rafa came over very well indeed.

  4. Jonathan

    What is it about the Spaniards and sports this year? And the hunky Rafa even looks like he could have played at Rock in Rio. Though I’m having trouble imagining Bob Dylan in tennis shorts.

  5. Jill (la vieja de la manga)

    A fantastic match and great win for Rafa. He’s worked hard for this and deserves the championship, but phew! – I was exhausted and drained by the end 🙂

  6. Jonk

    Yeh Spain is doing quite well in sport right now. If Valverde wins the Tour, and he’s a chance, they’ll be going crazy.

  7. Jambro

    Again , Viva España! If I were a Spaniard, I’d be very proud and happy these days. I admire Rafa’s determination and humility. I’m wishing I’m in Spain right now.

  8. Jon Hundt

    Bob Dylan – there is a true legend. You were lucky (and smart) to see him. They just don’t make ’em like that anymore. Was the show good? I love him and his music, but he can be all over the place live. After 40+ years of performing, he still plays every show like it was something new and different – and it isn’t always a success! When I saw him he would start a song and it would take a full minute or more before the audience could figure out which one it was… and then it would be something that we all knew, just dressed up really different. For me he is a genius! (my wife thinks he’s weird…)

    My wife, on the other hand, is crazy about R Nadal. I think he plays tennis pretty darn good. She thought he looked pretty fit in those long-legged shorts. I wondered what she would say if he came out in some little bikini-briefs…

    well, he played a long and strenuous match and finally broke the Federer hegemony – and for that I am grateful.

  9. Ben Post author

    @Jon – Yes, that sounds about right, not knowing what song it was until about a minute in! Then his version of the chorus was totally different in terms of timing to the one we were all singing, but never mind, it was great to see him, it had to be done. Shame he doesn’t play the guitar live anymore, but he had a wonderful wry smile as he played the piano.

    Later Lenny Kravitz came on, quite a different story! The guy is like a ready out of the oven ‘rock star’, complete with hissy-fits, huge ego, and, giving him his due, huge stage presence and a lot of talent. The crowd lapped him up, but he drove me a bit mad! Great show though. In between we had the Scotts band Franz Ferdinand that just sent the place wild – really really worth seeing!

  10. Jonathan

    Sadly, I think we could be starting a Bob backlash. He’s one of my heroes and I would kiss his Boots of Spanish Leather, but that other 60s icon Germaine Greer seems to have taken a dislike to His Royal Bobness:


    Who wants to start a Germaine Greer backlash?

  11. luke

    From a country which calls Brits “whinging Poms” she has certainly adapted to British life well: out whinging the whingiest of Poms. Even the majority of feminists seem to be fed up with her unintelligent attention-seeking. Bob is a really worthy of the title “icon”.

  12. Jonk

    Greer is so painful. Even after she left our country the media still has to report all her opinions.

    Her major works were before my time, but I really hope whatever she did was worth all the crap we have to put up with from her now.

    Anyway, my friends have been commenting to me of late about Spain’s current time in the sun in the land of sport. I hope they enjoy it.

  13. ValenciaSon

    Stevie is great but comparing him with Lenny is apples and oranges. Stevie’s music is mostly funk and soul influenced, where Lenny mixes it up with influences from classic rock (late 60s and early 70s) with a little bit of soul but hardly any funk. Overall, Lenny Kravitz (my 4th grade pic with Lenny here: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3130/2532445656_aaeb76dd62_o.jpg) and Bob Dylan sounds like a great concert. Was it disappointing though when Dylan didn’t play guitar?

  14. Ben Post author

    @vs – yes and no, I knew he doesn’t play guitar anymore in concerts, but I still wanted to hear him do so!

  15. Parubin

    @ Valenciason : In a very rough approach to Lenny Kravitz, I would say he is something like Stevie Wonder meets Led Zeppelin.

    When you I listen to ‘Higher Ground’ (or the like) I think that that is the song LK would like to have recorded himself.

    I’m not saying LK is not good, of course he is a very talented writer and performer. What I tried to say is that sometimes we are thrilled by a ‘retro’ artist who is heavily influenced by the works of some past genious who we don’t listen to anymore.

    Curtis Mayfield died last decade, but his music is still alive and most of it hasn’t been improved by any of his contemporary followers. Maybe I’m old school or very anti avant-garde, but I find it hard to come to terms with new sensations as long as they are not able to improve what’s been already made in the past.

    By the way, did you really go to school with Lenny Kravitz?? That’s cool. Did he show a premature talent at that age??

  16. ValenciaSon

    @Parubin: Yes, I did go to school with LK and no, he did not show any talent during those years but his mom was a regular on a popular tv show at the time and his Dad was an exec at the NBC television network so his career is not surprising, provided he had some talent to offer.

  17. Ray

    So, you guys have inspired me to watch some more sports, and find out a little bit about Mr. Nadal. I still dislike watching other people play sports, and I cannot wrap my head around the idea of paying to see it, and I despise (perhaps jealously) the salaries they are paid – but it does make me happy that Spaniards have someone like Rafa Nadal to be their champion. He actually is surprisingly likeable.
    I am also jealous of anyone who has ever seen Dylan live. My parents say I am too young to be a fan, but I have only them to blame for liking him. They have apologized, saying that to truly love Dylan, requires that your parents don’t. But they’re wrong. I still love Dylan, anyway. I’m such a rebel. (wink, wink)

  18. Anwar

    I haven’t got anything against Lenny Kravitz, and if he earns a living doing what he does, then more power to him, but the best way to describe his music is ‘lame’. If he’s got any real talent, like the executioner’s face, it’s always well hidden. Comparing Lenny to Stevie is worse than comparing Las Ketchup to Sabina, and I personally love Las Ketchup, even though my Spanish friends think it’s ‘cursi’.

  19. Jon Hundt

    Parubin! thank you for this:

    “Curtis Mayfield died last decade, but his music is still alive…”

    Curtis was true beauty and genius. There is a lot of love here for Stevie Wonder, but in my own personal opinion, he never had it like Curtis did. And Curtis could play the guitar like an angel too. Thanks for reminding me.

  20. ValenciaSon

    Well lame is relative. Almost anything compared to Led Zepellin is lame, but that just my $.02 .

  21. gary

    Ain’t Lenny a poor man’s Hendrix wannabe?

    My son (21) was singing the praises JayZee, so not to be a stick-in-the-mud I caught part of the Glastonbury Set.

    Can’t say I was disappointed cos I got what I expected. The man himself shouting Mary Had A Little Lamb rhymes down a microphone with his mate whilst another bunch of mates pranced around behind them pretending to play the music which, for the bits I saw were looped samples from Aerosmith and Led Zep. Well within the musical capability of the average 10 year old off the street as no talent or musical ability is required

    The interview that took place in the dressing room before the set plumbed previously uncharted depths of idiocy and ignorance.

    Record companies love this stuff for one reason and one reason only – minuscule production costs.

    Its official – I am an old fart.

  22. Patricia

    I don’t agree with Ben’s comments that Nadal is the greatest sportsman Spain has produced in the last 10 years. He’s a fantastic tennis player without a doubt, but a five-set match is no comparison to a three-week cycle race through the most difficult mountains of France. For me Carlos Sastre is the greatest Sportsman Spain has produced in the last 10 years! Following in his footsteps very closely in the cycling world is Alejandro Valverde (9th overall this year – he’s from Murcia) and Luis Leon Sanchez (from Mula, Murcia where I live!!). What amazing achievements for all three. The race up L’Alpe d’Huez was awesome. Look out for them in 2009.

  23. Jon Stromberg

    Bob Dylan and Rafa Nadal both are my favorite.Each one is a megastar in their own field.I try to watch almost every game of Nadal.In my opinion he is a perfect blend of skill,hard work and discipline.I was so pleased when he lift up the King George V trophy at center court.

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