Bob Dylan

7-12-11

Bob Dylan

My brother was who brought the literate Bob Dylan LP’s into our home.  When he joined the Air Force, I surreptitiously listened to many a Bob Dylan LP in my tiny room.  What the heck is this guy talking about? “Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again”?

100% ignorant of Bob’s motorcycle accident, even after finding out about “The Basement Tapes” – I was already in the mode to be dismissive of him / them.  Let’s just say the 60’s Dylan LP’s hold my interest more than the 70’s ones do.  It’s got nothing to do with his voice or funny hair.  Did I realize that Bob blew harmonica for Harry Belafonte?  Maybe not at the time…but we’ve all got our LP’s of “The Midnight Special” with Bob Dylan playing for Harry.

Disappointment city:  My first Bob Dylan concert was for “Slow Train Coming” (at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium).  So, Bob tours a concept album, and none of us got the joke.

I was never particularly interested in The Band, until reading how popular they were in Japan – largely due to the sympathetic production job done for them by Mr. John Simon, on their first two LP’s.  I can now see the obvious – that their work dovetails nicely with Bob’s work.  I think “The Basement Tapes” is genius, pure and simple.  The book written about ‘em was a bit overwrought, I reckon.  But on so many tracks, everybody there sounds so “refreshed” (i.e. drunk)…

More than a decade passed between when I first heard Bob Dylan (“Like A Rolling Stone”, naturally) and when I first heard British people argue about him!  “Blonde On Blonde”  “No, mate.  Highway 61 Revisited!” ad nauseum.  I guess Bob was so important to the British because of his many sojourns to that tiny island off the coast of France.  “Judas!” – indeed.

I am glad Bob is still on the Earth with us.  Not long ago, I refused to pay hundreds of dollars to see him at a venue in Las Vegas, NV.  Also in my recent history, I bought way more Bob Dylan SA-CD’s than you might expect (hey, even some of the good ones are 5.1!) – I think I have ‘em all!  But Sony got off of the SA-CD bandwagon before “The Basement Tapes” got re-mastered – drat!

I have never particularly warmed to “Blood On The Tracks” – even though I have both LP covers for it.  Not sure what it is I didn’t trust about it, but…I had my doubts about many of my favorites in the mid-70’s (notably albums I do not like by The Who, Genesis, Yes, Bob Dylan…) – I wonder why?

I do like his boxed sets, “Biograph” and at least some of the Bootleg Series that Sony has released.  I really liked the Martin Scorsese film about Bob, “No Direction Home”.  That was fun to watch.  Sorry that I have missed “Radio Hour” – I kept up with the playlists for a while there.  Thanks for the music, Bob.

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