Happy Birthday, Dylan
I’ll start this one off by wishing my nephew Dylan a happy birthday, I love you all the money in the world. Strange how his parents named him DYLAN after being born on May 24 the same day as Nobel Poet Bob Dylan. Hmmm, I wonder, coincidence?
Who is this BOB DYLAN aka Robert Zimmerman the young man who left HIBBINGS Minnesota , the kid with a Woody Gutherie complex, who as an unknown performer shows up in Greenwich Village, New York in January of 1961 turns the world upside down as his “boot heels to be wandering”. He hits the clubs and hootenannies with his gravely voice, guitar, and harmonica, singing songs from his vast knowledge of folk tunes for the beatniks and coffee house patrons. By April, he is opening for JOHN LEE HOOKER at GERDE’S, a prime gig.
September 29 , 1961 Robert Shelton (NYT) wrote: Resembling a cross between a choir boy and a beatnik, Mr. Dylan has a cherubic look and a mop of tousled hair he partly covers with a Huck Finn black corduroy cap. His clothes may need a bit of tailoring, but when he works his guitar, harmonica or piano and composes new songs faster than he can remember them, there is no doubt that he is bursting at the seams with talent.
March of 62 “BOB DYLAN” his first collection is released , basically bombs. It featured 2 originals, the rest traditional folk tunes he re-arranged.Yet, in 2016 Bob Dylan receives the NOBEL PRIZE IN LITERATURE “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”. WOW and How?
Here’s a guy singing traditional folk tunes with a few originals thrown in, mostly narratives. He builds up a trove of “protest tunes” questioning the status quo and records 1963’s “THE FREEWHELIN’ BOB DYLAN” a collection of self penned tunes which sells quite well but better in the UK. As a matter of fact until the HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED release Dylan albums all chart in the UK, most do not chart in The States.
A few more releases and BOB goes electric (65) stunning many of his original folk fan base but gaining so much more.
I’ll stop there because throughout the decades Mr. DYLAN stuns many for a wide variety of reasons. One never knows which “BOB DYLAN” is to show up: maybe it will be Robert Zimmerman or…
“the hilarious Dylan, the weird surrealist Dylan, the score-keeping lover Dylan, the angry fighting Dylan, the mystic shaman Dylan, the sweet seducer Dylan, the wise, the foolish, the Chaplinesque Dylan, the rabbinical Dylan, the goofy prankster, the lounge singer, Las Vegas Dylan, beatnik Dylan wearing the Dylan mask, white-faced Dylan, holy roller Dylan, Nashville Dylan” or the newest DYLAN.
In regards to his NOBEL PRIZE for LITERATURE (3/24/17 NYT)
“Various Dylan fans continue to be pleased, various English-language novelists continue to be annoyed, and various American poets continue to say something or other that no one is paying much attention to. Beneath the surface of this amusing situation, however, is an intriguing tangle of questions about high and low culture, the nature of poetry, the nature of songwriting, the power of celebrity and the relative authority of different art forms. These questions all largely turn on the notion that Bob Dylan is, if not a poet, at least poet-ish to some notable degree.”
To that I offer:
“Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin”
—“The Times They Are A-Changin”
“How many years can a mountain exist/ Before it is washed to the sea?”
BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND
“When you asked how I was doing, was that some kind of joke?”
May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
And may you stay forever young
“I’m sick of love but I’m in the thick of it,”“I’m sick of love, I wish I’d never met you.”
Yes, I wish that for just one time
You could stand inside my shoes
You’d know what a drag it is
To see you
POSITIVELY 4th STREET
“How does it feel?,”
LIKE A ROLLING STONE
Take me disappearing through the smoke rings of my mind
Down the foggy ruins of time
Far past the frozen leaves
The haunted frightened trees
Out to the windy beach
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky
With one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea
Circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate
Driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow
MR. TAMBOURINE MAN
“Poetry” ?, they asked. “Yeah, I think so,” is my response.
And then there is the “brewmaster” Dylan, and the Iron Worker Dylan.
FROM BOB’S WEBSITE:
Heaven’s Door – a collection of American Whiskeys developed in collaboration with Bob Dylan and renowned craft distillers, will be available in May. Years in the making, the inaugural trilogy of expressions includes a Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Double Barrel Whiskey and Straight Rye Whiskey finished in oak barrels from Vosges, France, air-dried for 3 years. The perfect blend of art and craft, each bottle showcases Dylan’s distinctive welded iron gates that he created in his metalworking studio, Black Buffalo Ironworks.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BOB.