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Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson 

Friday, July 8; GMC Stadium (Sauget Industrial Park Drive and Goose Lake Road, Sauget, Illinois)

In 1966, when Bob Dylan recorded Blonde on Blonde in Nashville, Willie Nelson had just made it into the Grand Ole Opry. Their paths never crossed. By 1969, when Dylan was really ready for the country -- recording his first country hit and getting baked with Johnny Cash -- Willie was looking for a way out of the ill-fitting countrypolitan environs. He finally took Dylan's cue toward conceptual singer-songwriting and emerged with the great '70s records Phases and Stages and Red Headed Stranger. Since then, they've shared stages -- notably Willie's Farm Aid concert, which was Dylan's idea to begin with -- covered each other's songs and caravaned through cornfields on the way to another minor-league ballpark. Don't ask why they do it. Pick yourself up, as they have done time and time again, and throw yourself into the music. Their likes just might not pass this way again.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $49.50; call 618-337-3000 for more information.

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