AUGUST 23 & 24

“Well, Donovan, won’t you do us a tune?” Bob Dylan asked, sitting on the floor of his room at the Savoy Hotel in London. It was 1965, and Marianne Faithfull, a ubiquitous witness to rock history, recounts the singers’ initial meeting in her autobiography, Faithfull. “For days there had been a tiresome thing in the press,” she remembers, “‘Is Donovan the English Dylan?’” As Donovan unpacked his guitar for his command performance, Dylan patiently waited, intrigued by the elfin singer. “I’ll never forget it,” Faithfull writes, her laughter nearly audible, “it was one of the most excruciatingly embarrassing and funny scenes I’ve ever sat through.” Donovan, sickeningly sanguine, played a melody that sounded like Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man,” but when he proceeded to sing, the lyrics were his own: “My darling tangerine eyes, girl won’t you ramble down my rainbow road…” Dylan smiled wryly and after a few agonizing minutes waved his hand: “You don’t have to play that one anymore.” Donovan, a chronically confused individual, stopped. “You know,” Dylan continued, his blue eyes piercing the English twit before him, “I haven’t always been accused of writing my own songs. But actually that’s one I did write.” “Well, I didn’t know, man,” Donovan explained defensively. “Heard it, you know…somewhere at some festival…and thought maybe it was an old folk song.” Dylan smirked, “No, it’s not an old folk song yet.” Dylan plays his classics with openers Ani DiFranco and BR5-49 at 7 p.m. at Wolf Trap Filene Center, 1624 Trap Rd., Vienna. $20-32. (703) 255-1860. (Elisa Nader)

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