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?”

DESOLATION ROW

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

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.”

LOVE SICK

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.