Skip to comments.Bob Dylan is 70 today (Did you know?)
Posted on 05/24/2011 4:16:39 AM PDT by don-o
Happy birthday to Bob Dylan, born May 24th, 1941.
Im not big on birthdays, to be honest. What difference does it really make that on one day you are technically one age, and the next day youre technically another age? Youre as young as you feel, and the older I get, the more it pleases me to think so.
Theres predictably been enormous hoopla over Bob Dylan turning 70, and at least 30 new books have been added to the groaning shelves of tomes analyzing, documenting and distorting his music and/or life. I should talk Ive written untold thousands of words around those topics, albeit in shorter forms.
It seems to me that the nicest thing to do on Bob Dylans 70th birthday is just to give him kudos for being out there in the way that he is, at his age. What peers or contemporaries of Dylan can do as he does touring constantly, revisiting many of the same places year after year, playing sets that are top heavy with songs from the last decade or so, and filling those seats with fannies time after time? And not all aging 1960s types not by a long shot. His shows have loads of people under 30, under 25, even under 20. Sure you always hear complaints from some about him changing the songs, or being indecipherable, or whatever. Ive been to enough of his shows to know that sometimes complaints can be justified. I hate the bad or too-loud sound at too many of the venues he plays. But the numbers dont lie. On balance, the man delivers, and gets people to come back, while doing it completely on his own terms, and keeping it fresh for himself. This doesnt happen in popular music, as a pretty good general rule. Dylan has achieved something that very few others have. Ever. And the older he gets, the more astounding it is.
Its not the first time Ive stopped to point to how amazing this is, but the pride he himself takes in this was evident in that unprecedented statement he made about his gigs in China. Maureen Dowd et al aside, he was obviously irritated by some things he had read about there being a lot of empty seats, and that the concerts were attended mostly by ex-patriot types. NO, he said. We almost sold out, the attendees were almost all Chinese, and, whats more, they were young! Im willing to buy Bobs version, given the pile of distorted lies that the media gives us on any given day (and not only about Dylan). Bob may makes up stories about shooting heroin and kicking it, but its my belief that he doesnt lie about the important things. He deserves to be proud of his success as an entertainer, doing it in the way that he likes to do it and giving the customers what they obviously like at the same time. Its a helluva thing.
Many more, Bob.
TTR was why I subscribed to XM Radio. As far as I know, it’s no longer in production; but, I believe can be found at some websites.
Back in high school, I’d play “Lay, Lady, Lay” at the parties for the girls and then they’d take over the music and play “It Ain’t Me Babe”.
I remember one that had the theme “school”. Bob goes “here’s one from an aficianado of golf and guillotines...” And Alice Cooper’s “schools out” starts. Awesome!
“Here is my man Skip James, he had a sound that was otherworldly, ethereal, sounds like it is coming from beyond the veil, magic in the grooves.”
And then he played Skip James “Devil Got My Woman” but not the version I HAVE - some deep cut version he has a recording of.
Then an intro to a Muddy Waters or Howling Wolf song (I forget which)....
“The next song is entirely without flaw and meets all standards of excellence......”
Some of that stuff he played I couldn’t get into at all, others were interesting. I wasn’t familiar with much of it. One thing’s for sure, that was probably the first time a lot of that stuff was played in radio format for 50+ years, and some of it was probably never played on the radio at all. That’s neat.
I can never find it now, but once I stumbled on a website that gathered a lot of the jokes and such that Dylan said between songs back when he talked between songs. My favorite was “This is a love song, the band loves to play it.” And then they would go into Love Sick.
He quoted Orson Wells as saying “My Doctor tells me I should no longer have intimate dinners for four, unless there are three other people there.”
I saw him in concert once in 1981. It was a great show. He did a blend of his well known stuff and his at the time recent gospel songs. I doubt I will ever see him again live so that one great show is how I will remember him.
a palindrome spectacular ...its 'too hot to hoot'
Like Kristofferson, Dylan's songs sound better when sung by someone else.
Same old,same old.
Don’t misunderstand me. I think Dylan is great. I don’t care that his voice is less-than-polished.
Thanks for the post.
Happy Birthday Mr. Zimmerman!
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