Thursday, May 24, 2007
Happy Birthday, Bob...
Dylan, that is. Or Zimmerman if you prefer. He's 66 today!
I know some people don't "get", especially the post boomer generation. But for those of us who were passionate wannabe poets and troubadours of our ages, he was a true hero. He spoke our passion for peace; he sang our frustrations with the world in general. And he even confirmed our beliefs that "everybody must get stoned!" Even Life magazine hailed him as one of the 100 most important Americans of the 20th century. I mean, that's saying a lot!
He was one of the first musicians to prove to us that you didn't have to have a beautiful, soothing, sexy voice to be an artist. You could rasp and frown and blow a harmonica. It's what he says that you ultimately hear.
You never know where a Dylan song will pop up. Battlestar Gallactica? Some of crew are hearing a song in their head. At the end, they start "hearing" the lyrics: "There must be some way out of here, said the Joker to the Thief". A Dylan song? Implanted in your head by a Cylon? Well, I guess anything's possible. (BTW, that's All Along the Watchtower. And if you're not a Dylan fan, and are old enough, you may remember Jimi Hendrix singing it.)
He recorded his first album in 1963, his most recent one, in 2006. Top that, Brittany! If you have XM radio, turn on Deep Tracks (channel 40). They're celebrating his birthday with a lot of his music, not only by him, but by others. And here's a list of everything he's written: Songs. Even those who profess to hate Dylan's music, probably enjoy Mr. Bojangles, or Rod Stewart's rendition of Forever Young. And if nothing else, you can appreciate his off-spring.
I've been to 4 concerts, and each it's a new, thrilling experience for me. He just stands there, plays the keyboards or guitar, and sings. He doesn't talk between songs. No banter or "funny" stories. No theatrics. He doesn't even introduce the band till the last song! He just spews poetry and memory. He knows he doesn't need to talk to us in order to connect to the audience. If you get him, you get him. If you don't....your loss!