28 November, 2006

My Heroes (22) Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan was born in Duluth, Minnesota and came to New York in 1961 partly to pay homage to his idol Woodie Guthrie, who was dying in a New Jersey Hospital, and partly to make his name on the Greenwich Village folk scene. Since 1962 he has produced a never-ending stream of music that, more than anything else shows his genius as a song-writer. His latest CD, ‘Modern Times’ made him the oldest living artist to top the album chart at the age of 65. It is a magnificent recording which owes nothing to current music styles and, in a way, sounds like the past 40 years didn’t happen. It’s a remarkable tour de force that I have played endlessly for the last three months.There is a whole industry of Dylanology that has grown up around him; people have written books attempting to analyse some of his more inscrutable lyrics and examining the entrails of every segment of his life, both private and public. The dubious ‘science’ of rummaging in the contents of star’s household garbage, to get details of their habits, began with Dylan. However, he has always kept his silence and maintained an air of mystery; he hardly ever speaks on stage and has always denied his interest in being a ‘protest’ singer and says he never wanted to be in that position. There is no denying that, throughout his career, he has cleverly positioned himself in the most advantageous position for the furtherance of his chosen profession.


27 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tonight i stumbled across your page.
Thank you for the beautifully written words about Bob Dylan.

Earlier I spent 20 minutes telling you what he has meant to me...

It all was lost since I was not, until 5 minutes ago- a Blogger.

What haven't his words touched and streched and hammered home to us?

When the ship comes in
Its all right ma im only bleeding
love minus zero no limit
the wedding song
isis
romance in durango
blowing in the wind
Ramona
Boots of spanish leather
Masters of war
gotta serve somebody
it takes a lot to laugh...
All of Pat Garret and Billy the Kid...

A small sample of what had shaped and changed and continues to grace my world.

Thank you for posting you respect for Bob Dylan.

In love
Laura

Tuesday, November 28, 2006  
Blogger mist1 said...

I love Dylan. He might be my favorite poet.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bazza,

My Dylan favourite is Blood On The Tracks. Gives you an indication of where I came in, because I found the singing, melody and music stronger than what I'd heard before. Still, you can't go past Like A Rolling Stone and Positively 4th Street.

I tend to use www.allmusic.com as the best general music reference site - http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:51l67ue0h0jh~T2) has an arguably more complete discography (but then, 1973's 'Dylan' is too obscure, even for me). But for a specific artist, it's usually some individual fan that has the most comprehensive site.

...makes me want to listen to Blood on the Tracks again. Consistently good.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob Dylan is a genius; his inscrutability only adds to it. Why must he be taken apart in order to appreciate his genius? I am sure had Shakespeare been subjected to similar analysis he would have been no different than average guy on the street. He doesn't have the stage presence as Fred Mercury or as Elvis. It is like a mummy brought to its feet and made to sing!
Yet his music really touches your heart and the lyrics keep coming back each time, making some lines take on a different emphasis.
benny

Wednesday, November 29, 2006  
Blogger Rob said...

I may well be wrong but my hunch is that Dylan brought something new to folk singing in that he had a defiant or even challenging manner.Most other folk singers tend to sound rather resigned or slushy to my ears.

I tried to sing 'Hard Rain' recently and my attempt was quite feeble. Dylan, by comparison, somehow manages to make every word sound convincing.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006  
Blogger Bazza said...

laura: Hi Laura, welcome to the blogoshere! You list of Dylan songs made me smile with pleasure.
Among my favourites are;
Don't think Twice It's Alright,
Positively Fourth Street,
Jokerman,
Buckets Of Rain,
Like A Rollin' Stone,
Spirit On The Water
(from 'Modern Times')
And a few hundred others.

mist1: Hi. I think he is recognised as a serious poet at some universities.

stephen: I think 'Blood On The Tracks' is one of the great classic albums of all time. And I can confirm, from a recent hearing, that it still sounds good!
Thanks for the link; I will investigate.

benny: Yes Benny, I agree that he is over analysed. He has always scoffed at those who seek to look for what he claims is not there. He never wanted to be a 'protest' singer and did not see himself as such.

rob: I read his book 'Chronicles'. If we can believe what he wrote there (and I don't think we always can) he did not want to be a 'folk' singer; he wanted to create a completely new form of music. I think he succeeded.

Thursday, November 30, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew I liked this blog!

Thursday, November 30, 2006  
Blogger Bazza said...

godwhacker: Why, thank you, sir (or madam).

Friday, December 01, 2006  
Blogger Rob said...

Forgive me Bazza but I have tagged you! Visit my blog for details. If you don't fancy responding I understand.

Sunday, December 03, 2006  
Blogger Imemine said...

I used to be a local Bob Dylan imitator. I outgrew him.

Monday, December 04, 2006  
Blogger Bazza said...

rob: No need to apologise Rob. Mind you, I haven’t seen the tag yet!

imemine: I am so glad you managed to climb above the handicap of being on the same level as Dylan!

Monday, December 04, 2006  
Blogger pink ginger 珂琳 said...

I went to the music store to look for an album of Bob Dylan after reading your blog. I just can't stop playing it now...
Thanks for introducing this to the 'newage girl'.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006  
Blogger Imemine said...

bazza,
You know me. Well, nobody is perfect. ;>)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006  
Blogger Bobby Griffin said...

Hey Bazza,

I received your letter today from the UK! Thank you so much!

As for me, I can't say that I am much of a fan of Bob Dylan, but I can't say that I've really been exposed to him, so he hasn't even had a chance.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006  
Blogger Bazza said...

pinkginger: That's very interesting. Which album did you get?

anonymous: I bet you say that to all the boys!

imemine: :}

bobby griffin: Thanks for the confirmation and for visiting.
Regarding Dylan, I say expose yourself!

Thursday, December 07, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bazza,

You may be interested in a site called rateyourmusic.com. The top albums are dominated by dylan! (http://rateyourmusic.com/charts/top/album/all-time) Highway 61 is at top.

People must be voting wisely, since I have four of the top 10! - Blood on the tracks, Ok computer, Kind of Blue, and Dark side of the moon - representing quite a varied bunch.

Thursday, December 07, 2006  
Blogger Bazza said...

Thanks, Stephen. I took a look at that site and it was interesting and contained many of my favourite albums but, as always, there were one or two that I did not know. I have been recommended to 'The Aeroplane Over The Sea' by Neutral Milk Honey but never heard any of it as far as I know.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006  
Blogger jim said...

5 for dinner Bazza? Lol, you are really something! And now, damn if I didn't have to come upon this dylan stuff, read this attestment to the worth of this new CD, and so will have to give it a listen, where I would otherwise have ignored it or simply not heard it. Such is your writing and your projection of your Heroes, most able you are, no matter how many!

Take care, see you later Bazza, Jim.

Monday, December 25, 2006  
Blogger Bazza said...

Jim: Because of computer problems (I am getting a new one soon!) I have not been able to access my blog for a while. Thanks for looking in; it's good to hear from you again.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007  
Blogger Spamer said...

This guy has cool cars !!

10faostb,
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Friday, January 12, 2007  
Anonymous tom sheepandgoats said...

Are the comments closed yet?

Adding to the stature of his poetry, Bob Dylan comes across as a decent human being, something which poets don't always do. Do his songs ever revel in hurting/using people?

He can put 10 syllables where there's only room for 3 and get away with it!

Slightly off topic, but I sometimes liken Ani DiFranco to Dylan. A Dylan for the next generation. She, too, has mastered that trick with syllables. She, too, is a poet. Her lyrics are considerably less gentlemanly than Dylan's, but then, we live in a less gentlemanly age, don't we?

Nice blog, Bazza. I commented once on your Darwin hero post, and just now stumbled across you blog again. Now I'm incline to read up and comment on all your heroes, whcih I may do as time permits.

Monday, April 09, 2007  
Blogger tom sheepandgoats said...

Are the comments closed yet?

Adding to the stature of his poetry, Bob Dylan comes across as a decent human being, something which poets don't always do. Do his songs ever revel in hurting/using people?

He can put 10 syllables where there's only room for 3 and get away with it!

Slightly off topic, but I sometimes liken Ani DiFranco to Dylan. A Dylan for the next generation. She, too, has mastered that trick with syllables. She, too, is a poet. Her lyrics are considerably less gentlemanly than Dylan's, but then, we live in a less gentlemanly age, don't we?

Nice blog, Bazza. I commented once on your Darwin hero post, and just now stumbled across you blog again. Now I'm incline to read up and comment on all your heroes, whcih I may do as time permits.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007  
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009  
Blogger bazza said...

My new blog, To Discover Ice, is at: http://todiscoverice.blogspot.com/ See you there!
Bazza

Thursday, August 12, 2010  
Anonymous Hanna said...

I have not found what I wanted

Wednesday, February 01, 2012  
Blogger Hels said...

I accept all you say about Dylan for my baby boomer generation, but I was surprised that younger generations knew and loved his music. When my grandson was born ten years ago, his parents gave him Dylan as a second name because they loved the original songs AND his modern songs.

Sunday, June 12, 2016  

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