Bob Dylan plays Chess... and pays in Chess
Bob Dylan plays Chess

22 December 1961, Minnesota Hotel Tape, Minneapolis, Minnesota

First time I ever worked in East Orange, New Jersey

Folks never go to East Orange, New Jersey, it's a horrible town. I went there to play in a coffee house in East Orange, New Jersey. It was a chess playing coffee house out there. It was so bad, people playing chess out there, Uh...that's all they thought about out there was chess and chess and chess. People come up to me, you play your song, you play you a real quiet song. In the middle of the song you hear "Check", [female laughter in background] And "Hey, that was a good move" and all kinds of stuff like that.

Hey folks it was so bad I had a little dream out there the first night I worked about this chess playing stuff. I dreamed I went to work out in East Orange, New Jersey, and..uh..about time I quit in two days I went there to ask the guy for my money. I says "Can I have some money, I worked two days for ya?". He says..uh.."Well OK, we don't pay you money around here though" I says "Uh..Yeah?", he says "Well" he says..uh.."Yeah, we pay ya chess men", I said "Uh, well give me my chess men then, I worked two days". I sort of...didn't really figure, I thought he was lying at first, but I took it anyway. He gave me a king and a queen for working two days.I said "Fine, that's OK".

So I took my king and queen and went down to a bar, nearest bar I could find. I walked in the bar and I ordered a pint. I..I got on the bar, "Bartender", I says "Can I have a pint?" I'll be damned if he didn't give me a pint. He asked me for the money. I gave him my king and queen. I'll be damned, you know he took that king and queen, threw it under the counter, and brought me out four pawns, two bishops, and a rook for change.

That's a little story about East Orange, New Jersey.

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