Blowin’ in the Wind: Bob Dylan Faces Nuisance Complaint Over Smelly Toilet in Yard

240px-bob_dylan_barcelonaWhat is Blowin’ in the Wind at Bob Dylan’s Malibu home ain’t justice. Dylan’s neighbors are complaining that a portable toilet Dylan, 67, has in his yard stinks to high heavens and, when the ocean winds blow, has forced them to abandon parts of their homes. Dylan has not responded to complaints for six months over the nuisance.


The neighbors are irate over Dylan’s lack of concern or response.

Yes, n how many times can a man turn his head,
Pretending he just doesn’t see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin in the wind,

David Emminger, his neighbor, complains that “It’s a scandal — ‘Mr. Civil Rights’ is killing our civil rights.” He and his wife installed five industrial-sized fans in their frontyard to blow the odor back at Dylan, but it proved unsuccessful. Both Cindy Emminger and her 8-year-old son say that they have become sickened by the odor. 300px-portable_toilet01a

A city inspector was reportedly turned away by Dylan’s security staff and the inspector was allegedly told that they were going to sue the city for his trespass. The security staff uses the toilet.

This is not the first time that Dylan’s outhouse has been cited. In 1989, the safety inspectors noted the toilet was not being accessible for the handicapped. According to the L.A. Times, “the singer bypassed accessibility requirements by promising, in writing, that he “would not hire any handicapped persons” to work in it.” It is not clear if such a promise not to hire disabled people is valid after the enactment of The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 — just months after the promise was made. It seems akin to getting out of a problem of segregated bathrooms by simply saying that you will not hire minorities.

The most obvious step is to sue for nuisance. “Privies” have long been recognized as a valid basis for nuisance. Indeed, in the famous Rylands v. Fletcher case, the English courts recognized that it was a basis for strict liability in that country. Clearly, the use and enjoyment of the Emminger’s property is being denied.

If the Emminger’s are looking for a protest song, this might do:

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
Yes, n how many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, n how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they’re forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin in the wind,
The answer is blowin in the wind.

How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, n how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, n how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin in the wind,
The answer is blowin in the wind.

How many years can a mountain exist
Before its washed to the sea?
Yes, n how many years can some people exist
Before theyre allowed to be free?
Yes, n how many times can a man turn his head,
Pretending he just doesnt see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin in the wind,
The answer is blowin in the wind.

For the full story, click here and here.

18 thoughts on “Blowin’ in the Wind: Bob Dylan Faces Nuisance Complaint Over Smelly Toilet in Yard”

  1. To Answer the Comnplaint, Dylan will demur, to wit:

    Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your mouth,
    Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth,
    You’re an idiot, babe.
    Idiot wind, blowing through the flowers on your tomb,
    Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth,
    You’re an idiot, babe.
    Idiot wind, blowing like a circle around my skull,
    Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth,
    You’re an idiot, babe.
    Idiot wind, blowing through the buttons of our coats,
    Idiot wind, blowing through the dust upon our shelves,

  2. Buddha:

    I may be telling on my self but Dylan had an album back in the day I believed it was called”Electric Church” where he did “Watchtower” with a choir fron a church it was quite an interesting arrangement for that song.

  3. FFLEO,
    Great Song!

    Buddha,
    Glad to see your Greenness!

    Do you all remember Bob’s funny song:

    “I Shall Be Free”

    Well, I set my monkey on the log
    And ordered it to do the dog
    He wagged his tail and shook his head
    And he went and did the cat instead
    He’s a weird monkey, very funky

    Well, ask me why I’m drunk all of the time
    It levels my head and eases my mind
    I just walk along and stroll and sing
    I see better days and I do better things
    I catch dinosaurs…
    I make love to Elizabeth Taylor…
    Catch hell from Richard Burton!

    President Kennedy called me on the telephone
    He said, “My friend, Bob, what do
    we need to make the country grow?”
    I said “My friend, John, Bridget Bardot,
    Anita Eckberg, Sophia Loren. Country will grow!

    There are many more verses I can’t remember…costs a quarter!

  4. Jill,

    Some of us older folks ‘growed’ up with outhouses in our lives. My grandpappy built some fairly elaborate ‘backhouses’ that were ‘socialable’ 3-holers situated side-by-side on different levels for dad, mom, and 1 little kid at a time.

  5. FFLEO,

    Actually it was that very scene that sold me on the song. It is also that movie that is responsible for my Dylan impersonation. “Green beans, sweet potatoes, green beans” etc.

  6. Buddha, I also like Dylan’s Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door. Did you see the scene in the movie ‘Billy the Kid’ with the song playing as ol’ Slim Pickens was dyin’?

    Music has been a strong influence in my life and I associate lyrics and melodies with many of my thoughts. Had I been a good enough musician and could have avoided playing in cheap smoky bars, I might have chosen a different career.

    Besides, there are endless parallels between country music and our political leaders.

  7. If that’s “the answer” is blowing in the wind, I’m not sure I want to know the question.

    Bron,

    I used to tutor astronomy in college. The instructor I worked for, his secretary was a first cousin to Ol’ Bob Zimmerman. If you’d heard how she talked about him, you wouldn’t be surprised at all about him not letting “the help” use the loo in the house like a civilized man. It’s a good thing his fans love him, because apparently most of his family can’t stand him. Couldn’t stand him before he was famous to hear her tell it.

    eniobob,

    If you know anything about “All Along the Watchtower”, by now you know it’s an old Cylon ditty that possibly predates the Colonial society of Battlestar Galactica. It’s genetic memory that Bob just happened to translate. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. End of line. 😀 On a more serious musical note, Hendrix still has the definitive version. I find I like Dylan songs better performed by other artists with the exception of “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”. I know Bob Esq., oh he of the Clapton is God camp, is going to take exception to that, but it’s no slam on Clapton. I love Slowhand. I’ve scored more than one kiss with a good bottle of wine and “Wonderful Tonight” (one of the best slow dance songs EVER). I just think Dylan’s voice actually works on “Knockin'”.

    FFLEO,

    You, sir, are a wealth of musical knowledge.

  8. What I find interesting is that Bob Dylan, “man of the people” wont let the help inside to use the facilities. Anyone that comes to work at my house can use the bathroom near the kitchen and I am sure Mr. Dylan has more than enough bathrooms away from the sleeping area of his home.

    What a load he is, but then I never did like his music. I thought/think he sounds like a tomcat being castrated with his head in an old boot.

  9. FFLEO,

    “not guilty by reason of insanitary”–that just stinks–it was great! Pew-on man. Peace Outhouse dude!!!

  10. Welp, Mr. Dillon, er, Dylan can revive his sangin’ career whilst he plaintively sangs away his plaintiffs’ suit down the privy drain. I know a revival of the old country song ‘Ode’ will be a real *Hit* with any jury of Dylan’s ‘peers’.

    Foreman of the jury, please read your verdict:

    NOT Guilty by reason of *insanitary*.
    _________________________________

    ‘Ode to the Little Brown Shack Out Back’

    They passed an ordinance in the town
    They said we’d have to tear it down
    That little old shack out back so dear to me
    Though the health department said
    It’s day was over and dead
    It will stand forever in my memory

    Don’t let ’em tear that little brown building down
    Don’t let ’em tear that precious building down
    Don’t let ’em tear that little brown building down
    For there’s not another like it in the country or the town

    It was not so long ago
    That I went tripping through the snow
    Out to that house behind my old hound dog
    Where I’d sit me down to rest
    Like a snow bird on his nest
    And read the Sears and Roebuck catalog

    I would hum a happy tune
    Peeping through the quarter moon
    As my Daddy’s kin had done before
    It was in that quiet spot
    Daily cares could be forgot
    It gave the same relief to rich and poor

    Now it was not a castle fair
    But I could dream a future there
    And build my castles to the yellowjacket’s drone
    I could orbit around the sun
    Fight with General Washington
    Or be a king upon a golden throne

    It wasn’t fancy built at all
    We had newspapers on the wall
    It was air conditioned in the wintertime
    It was just a humble hut
    But it’s door was never shut
    And a man could get inside without a dime

    Don’t let ’em tear that little brown building down
    Don’t let ’em tear that precious building down
    Don’t let ’em tear that dear old building down
    For there’s not another like it in the country or the town

    Written by Billy Ed Wheeler

  11. I don’t think any ladys will want to “lay across that brass bed” Bob if this is trueLOL!!

  12. I don’t know David! I heard him mumbling about his neighbors taking a shit or they could go take one, or something like that. Good choice of lyrics–LOL!

  13. Are his neighbors claiming they “don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows?” Will his defense be that the “pump don’t work ’cause the vandals took the handles?”

  14. Quite topical, since we’re covering nuisance in Prof. Turley’s torts class right now.

    This sounds like it would be actionable even under American negligence theory, since from the description it smells like even an average/reasonable person would be offended by the odor.

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