‘Peacemaker Bus’ follows Dylan on tour, promotes peaceWritten by Matt Liasse | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Bowling Green State University’s Stroh Center was full of Bob Dylan fans April 21, but the biggest fans of all may have been in the parking lot.
Driving “The Peacemaker Bus,” 18 members of the group The Twelve Tribes – The Commonwealth of Israel are following Dylan across the country while he treks on his current tour.
The tribe lives for peace and aspires to live like the first Christians did.
“We’re trying to get back to the original pattern of the way the Christians used to live in the first century,” member Malak McGee said. “Living together, loving one another, sharing all things in common, like they lived in the book of Acts.”
They welcomed concert-goers into their bus to talk about their lifestyle, offering food as well. The bus was parked in the back of the parking lot of the Stroh Center a couple hours before the show started.
“We find a lot of commonality with some of the things Dylan sung about and spoke about and wrote about,” McGee said. “Especially years ago, it seemed like he was on a similar mindset of us. We’re attracted to that in him and his message.”
The bus has been following Dylan since the 12th show of the tour in the New England area.
“People who really want to come together and love one another ought to be able to do that — to break away from the mainstream society, like we’ve done,” McGee said.
The tribes live in different communities all over the country in Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Missouri, Colorado, California, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire and Vermont. They are also found in Canada, Europe, Brazil and Australia.
According to “Dylan: What Are You Thinking? A Twelve Tribes Freepaper,” the commonwealth is made up of 12 tribes who share faith in God. They live by the motto “everybody has to serve somebody,” words from Dylan himself.
In the publication, there is an open letter to Dylan, calling his early songs “anthems for generations to come” and “prophetic in so many ways at so many levels.” It also cites which Dylan songs inspired them to act on the “indifference that does nothing about the cruelty and injustice saturating the human race.” Such songs are “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “It’s A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” “Mr. Tambourine Man,” “Like A Rolling Stone,” “All Along the Watchtower” and “I Shall Be Released.”
“There’s a lot of hope of a better world and a better way for mankind for treat one another [in his discography],” McGee said.
The tribe doesn’t buy tickets to the show, but sometimes gets free tickets along the way.
“We’re fine with it,” McGee said. “At this point, it’s just communicating a message reminiscing on the positive message that Dylan put out over the years that was so stirring to so many people. We’re reaching out to people who are effective in that way.”
McGee said he is a big fan of Dylan and cannot choose a favorite song. He is just a fan of his “grace.”
Member Yobhel Brosseau was born into the Twelve Tribes community and loves being a part of it.
“It’s a way I could devote my entire life to a cause that I think is worthwhile,” Brosseau said.
Brosseau said Dylan has inspired him in an “amazing way.” He wishes he could communicate it with Dylan himself.
“Dylan’s inspired a lot of seeking,” Brosseau said. “There seems to be a lack of that in our day and age. Everything is so fast paced.”
He has been on the tour for a week and has only gotten a glimpse of Dylan driving by.