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HOW DOES IT FEEEEEEEEL?
The National Post ^ | 5/24/01 | Mark Steyn

Posted on 04/18/2003 12:33:51 PM PDT by Paul Ross

HOW DOES IT FEEEEEEEEEEL?
From The National Post, May 24th 2001

I first noticed a sudden uptick in Bob Dylan articles maybe a couple of months ago, when instead of Pamela Anderson's breasts or J-Lo's bottom bursting through the National Post masthead there appeared to be a shriveled penis that had spent way too long in the bath. On closer inspection, this turned out to be Bob Dylan's head. He was, it seems, getting ready to celebrate his birthday. For today he turns 60.

Sixty? I think the last time I saw him on TV was the 80th birthday tribute to Sinatra six years ago, and, to judge from their respective states, if Frank was 80, Bob had to be at least 130. He mumbled his way through "Restless Farewell", though neither words nor tune were discernible, and then shyly offered, "Happy Birthday, Mister Frank." Frank sat through the number with a stunned look, no doubt thinking, "Geez, that's what I could look like in another 20, 25 years if I don't ease up on the late nights."

Still, Bob's made it to 60, and for that we should be grateful. After all, for the grizzled old hippies, folkies and peaceniks who spent the Sixties bellowing along with "How does it feeeeeel?" these have been worrying times. A couple of years ago, Bob's management were canceling his tours and the only people demanding to know "How does it feeeeeel?" were Dylan's doctors, treating him in New York for histoplasmosis, a fungal infection that in rare cases can lead to potentially fatal swelling in the pericardial sac. If the first question on your lips is "How is histoplasmosis spread?" well, it's caused by fungal spores which invade the lungs through airborne bat droppings. In other words, the answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind.

He has, of course, looked famously unhealthy for years, even by the impressive standards of Sixties survivors. He was at the Vatican not so long ago and, although we do not know for certain what the Pope said as the leathery, wizened, stooped figure with gnarled hands and worn garb was ushered into the holy presence, it was probably something along the lines of, "Mother Teresa! But they told me you were dead!" "No, no, your Holiness," an aide would have hastily explained. "This is Bob Dylan, the voice of a disaffected generation."

It is not for me to join the vast army of Dylanologists who've been poring over his songs for 30 years. As Bob himself once said, "They are whatever they are to whoever's listening to them." End of story. But it does seem to me that, while most rock stars pursue eternal youth, Dylan has always sought premature geezerdom. The traditional elderly rocker look is best exemplified by Gram'pa Rod Stewart: peroxide hair with that toss-a-space-heater-in-the-bathtub look, tight gold lame pants with extravagant codpiece, pneumatic supermodel on your arm. By contrast, Bob, barely out of his teens, consciously adopted an aged singing voice and the experience it implied, a quintessentially Dylanesque jest on pop's Peter Pan ethos.

When he emerged in the early Sixties, he was supposedly a drifter who had spent years on the backroads of America picking up folk songs from wrinkly old-timers, and who provoked Robert Shelton of The New York Times to rhapsodize about "the rude beauty of a Southern field hand musing in melody on his porch." Actually, he'd toiled instead at the University of Minnesota -- a Jewish college boy, son of an appliance store manager. The folk songs he knew had been picked up not from any real live folk, but from the records of Ramblin' Jack Elliott. Ramblin' Jack had rambled over from Brooklyn, dropping his own Jewish name -- Elliott Adnopoz -- en route. "There was not another sonofabitch in the country that could sing until Bob Dylan came along," pronounced Ramblin' Jack, with a pithiness that belies his sobriquet. "Everybody else was singing like a damned faggot." It's one of the more modest claims made on Dylan's behalf.

His first album was composed almost entirely of traditional material. But by the second he was singing his own compositions, pioneering the musical oxymoron of the era, the "original folk song": No longer did a folk song have to be something of indeterminate origin sung by generations of inbred mountain men after a couple of jiggers of moonshine and a bunk-up with their sisters. Now a "folk song" could be "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" or "The Times They Are A- Changin'". I'm reminded of that episode of, appropriately enough, "The Golden Girls", when Estelle Getty comes rushing in shouting, "The hurricane's a-comin'! The hurricane's a-comin'!" "Ma!" Bea Arthur scolds her. "A-comin'?" With Dylan, the songwriting styles they were a-regressin', the slyly seductive archaisms and harmonica obbligato designed to evoke the integrity of American popular music before the Tin Pan Alley hucksters took over. "Without Bob the Beatles wouldn't have made Sergeant Pepper, the Beach Boys wouldn't have made Pet Sounds," said Bruce Springsteen. "U2 wouldn't have done Pride in the Name of Love," he continued, warming to his theme. "The Count Five would not have done Psychotic Reaction. There never would have been a group named the Electric Prunes." But why hold all that against him? If rock lyrics wound up as clogged and bloated as Dylan's pericardial sac, that's hardly his fault. Bob, for his part, has doggedly pursued his quest to turn back the clock. He's on the new Sopranos soundtrack CD, singing Dean Martin's "Return To Me", complete with chorus in Italian. Just the latest reinvention: Bob Dino, suburban crooner.

Visiting America a few years ago, Dave Stewart, of the Eurhythmics, said to Dylan that the next time he was in England he should drop by his recording studio in Crouch End, an undistinguished north London suburb. Dylan, at a loose end one afternoon, decided to take him up on it and asked a taxi-driver to take him to Crouch End Hill. Cruising the bewildering array of near-namesake streets -- Crouch End Hill, Crouch End Road, Crouch Hill End, Crouch Hill Road and various other permutations of "Crouch," "End" and "Hill" -- the cabbie accidentally dropped him off at the right number but in an adjoining street of small row houses. Dylan knocked at the front door and asked the woman who answered if Dave was in. As it happened, her husband was called Dave, so she said, "No, he's out on a call at the moment," and asked Bob if he'd like to wait. He said he would. Twenty minutes later, Dave -- the plumber, not the rock star -- returned and asked the missus whether there were any messages. "No," she said, "but Bob Dylan's in the front room having a cup of tea."

It's a sweet image, compounded by the subsequent rumour that Dylan had been seen with local realtors looking for a house in the area. Perhaps deep inside his southern field hand persona is a suburban sexagenarian pining for a quiet life in a residential cul de sac, dispensing advice over the fence to the next-door neighbour on how to keep your lawn free of grass clippings: "The answer, my friend, is mowin' in the wind."

Happy birthday, Mister Bob.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: bobdylan; dessicateddruggie; loser; marksteyn; marksteynlist
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Just in case this wasn't posted (I didn't find it with a cursory review) This is worth keeping! (Dylan's 62nd Birthday is just a month away)
1 posted on 04/18/2003 12:33:51 PM PDT by Paul Ross
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To: Pokey78
Steyn pingaroo
2 posted on 04/18/2003 12:41:21 PM PDT by Constitutionalist Conservative (http://c-pol.com)
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To: Paul Ross
Ouch...that first sentence is a killer. lolololol
3 posted on 04/18/2003 12:43:22 PM PDT by Psycho_Bunny
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To: Paul Ross; Chad Fairbanks
Funny stuff here!


4 posted on 04/18/2003 12:45:22 PM PDT by DaughterOfAnIwoJimaVet (Did you liberals say something? It's all just clicks and buzzes over here.)
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To: Paul Ross
For those with a weak imagination. . .

XYZ

5 posted on 04/18/2003 12:46:12 PM PDT by Flyer (We Own The Streets!!)
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To: Paul Ross
In other words, the answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind.

LOL!

6 posted on 04/18/2003 12:47:34 PM PDT by expatpat
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To: Paul Ross
appeared to be a shriveled penis that had spent way too long in the bath. On closer inspection, this turned out to be Bob Dylan's head.

I'd hate to see how the author describes Willy Nelson!

7 posted on 04/18/2003 12:47:35 PM PDT by ErnBatavia (Bumperootus!)
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative; Howlin; riley1992; Miss Marple; deport; Dane; sinkspur; steve; ...
Thanks CC!

Steyn ping.

8 posted on 04/18/2003 1:00:05 PM PDT by Pokey78
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To: Paul Ross
"bursting through the National Post masthead there appeared to be a shriveled penis that had spent way too long in the bath. On closer inspection, this turned out to be Bob Dylan's head."
So how did you stop laughing long enought to post this. I, frankly, hurt myself and I still can't stop.
9 posted on 04/18/2003 1:01:04 PM PDT by Bahbah (Pray for our Troops)
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To: Flyer
He looks like he could be Don Imus and Willie Nelson's grandfather.
10 posted on 04/18/2003 1:04:58 PM PDT by AppyPappy (If You're Not A Part Of The Solution, There's Good Money To Be Made In Prolonging The Problem.)
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To: Psycho_Bunny; Victoria Delsoul; buffyt; kattracks; Travis McGee
And just picture the visual of this encounter:

He was at the Vatican not so long ago and, although we do not know for certain what the Pope said as the leathery, wizened, stooped figure with gnarled hands and worn garb was ushered into the holy presence, it was probably something along the lines of, "Mother Teresa! But they told me you were dead!" "No, no, your Holiness," an aide would have hastily explained. "This is Bob Dylan, the voice of a disaffected generation."

I still can't stop laughing thinking about this....

11 posted on 04/18/2003 1:05:30 PM PDT by Paul Ross (From the State Looking Forward to Global Warming! Let's Drown France!)
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To: Pokey78
"The answer, my friend, is mowin' in the wind."

Like, I can relate, man.

Thanks for the ping.

12 posted on 04/18/2003 1:05:58 PM PDT by Scenic Sounds ("Who'll get there first is uncertain.")
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To: Flyer
Please post a pitcher of Bob Dylan not of Vincent Price for pete's sake!
13 posted on 04/18/2003 1:06:03 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Subvert the dominant cliche!)
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To: ErnBatavia
I see guns and sharp swords
In the hands of Folk Fakers
An' it's hard
Yeah, I think it's hard
(Well, OK, it's twitchin')
Wish my Agent would call.
14 posted on 04/18/2003 1:07:42 PM PDT by genefromjersey (Gettin' too old to "play nice" !)
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To: Bahbah
So how did you stop laughing long enought to post this. I, frankly, hurt myself and I still can't stop.

So did, am, I! But you just have to have a box of Kleenex handy to wipe away the tears of laughter so you can see the screen clearly enough....

15 posted on 04/18/2003 1:08:56 PM PDT by Paul Ross (From the State Looking Forward to Global Warming! Let's Drown France!)
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative
I swear, it was several months ago in this very forum where somebody referred to Dylan as a "large shriveled penis."

Does Steyn come here for his material?
16 posted on 04/18/2003 1:09:46 PM PDT by SBprone
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To: genefromjersey
I am a folk musician. Please tune my guitar!
17 posted on 04/18/2003 1:10:05 PM PDT by grammarman
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To: expatpat; Angelwood; Mr. Silverback; Mudboy Slim
In other words, the answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind.

Indeed it is!

18 posted on 04/18/2003 1:17:58 PM PDT by Paul Ross (From the State Looking Forward to Global Warming! Let's Drown France!)
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To: Blue Collar Christian
This is funny
19 posted on 04/18/2003 1:19:29 PM PDT by philetus (Keep doing what you always do and you'll keep getting what you always get)
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To: Paul Ross
I read this when it was first posted, but laughed all the way through it a second time. Priceless Mark Steyn...a lot of his stuff needs to be reviewed periodically.
20 posted on 04/18/2003 1:21:02 PM PDT by Cuttnhorse
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To: Revolting cat!
Please post a pitcher of Bob Dylan not of Vincent Price for pete's sake!


21 posted on 04/18/2003 1:22:56 PM PDT by Paul Ross (From the State Looking Forward to Global Warming! Let's Drown France!)
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To: Paul Ross
I can't stop laughing whenever I think of how big a disappointment Zimmy has been to the Left over the past 35 or so years! They had to settle for mediocre Dylan wannabies like Johnny Cougar, poor babies!
22 posted on 04/18/2003 1:23:55 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Subvert the dominant cliche!)
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To: Flyer
"I was so much older then. I am younger than that now..."


23 posted on 04/18/2003 1:32:49 PM PDT by Paul Ross (From the State Looking Forward to Global Warming! Let's Drown France!)
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To: Flyer
I didn't need to see that ! talk about getting hit with the UGLY stick ol 'Bobby got whumped with the damn tree.
24 posted on 04/18/2003 1:33:03 PM PDT by Nebr FAL owner (.308 "reach out and thump someone " & .50 cal Browning "reach out & CRUSH someone")
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To: grammarman
I really should have said " Runs and sharp chords "...

Will that be a C-7th tuning, or an E 9th ?

25 posted on 04/18/2003 1:35:47 PM PDT by genefromjersey (Gettin' too old to "play nice" !)
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To: SBprone
Check the date on the article...I suspect people here borrow heavily from Steyn.
26 posted on 04/18/2003 1:40:48 PM PDT by Cuttnhorse
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To: Psycho_Bunny
Yeah, and it seems Steyn kind of likes Dylan. Hate to be his enemy.
27 posted on 04/18/2003 1:43:54 PM PDT by Tribune7
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To: Paul Ross
"I think the last time I saw him on TV was the 80th birthday tribute to Sinatra six years ago, and, to judge from their respective states, if Frank was 80, Bob had to be at least 130. He mumbled his way through "Restless Farewell", though neither words nor tune were discernible, and then shyly offered, "Happy Birthday, Mister Frank." Frank sat through the number with a stunned look, no doubt thinking, "Geez, that's what I could look like in another 20, 25 years if I don't ease up on the late nights."

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...Dylan's never been much of a looker, but he's gotten awful ugly awful fast since supporting BillzaBubba in '92!! Makin' deals with Satan will eventually ketchup to ya...MUD

28 posted on 04/18/2003 1:45:48 PM PDT by Mudboy Slim (DemonRATS continue to Defend the Indefensibile and Assail the Unassailable!!)
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To: Revolting cat!
The Left knew it was in trouble with Dylan as far back as 1973, when he wrote these lyrics for The Wedding Song
It's never been my duty to remake the world at large,
Nor is it my intention to sound a battle charge

Zimmy has been one of my heroes since I was a kid. I don't believe any part of his artistic oeuvre is inconsistent with principled conservatism.

29 posted on 04/18/2003 1:47:03 PM PDT by beckett
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To: BOBTHENAILER; conservativemusician; Landru; sultan88; ravinson; FBD; jla
"Bob, barely out of his teens, consciously adopted an aged singing voice and the experience it implied, a quintessentially Dylanesque jest on pop's Peter Pan ethos. When he emerged in the early Sixties, he was supposedly a drifter who had spent years on the backroads of America picking up folk songs from wrinkly old-timers, and who provoked Robert Shelton of The New York Times to rhapsodize about "the rude beauty of a Southern field hand musing in melody on his porch." Actually, he'd toiled instead at the University of Minnesota -- a Jewish college boy, son of an appliance store manager. The folk songs he knew had been picked up not from any real live folk, but from the records of Ramblin' Jack Elliott. Ramblin' Jack had rambled over from Brooklyn, dropping his own Jewish name -- Elliott Adnopoz -- en route. "There was not another sonofabitch in the country that could sing until Bob Dylan came along," pronounced Ramblin' Jack, with a pithiness that belies his sobriquet. "Everybody else was singing like a damned faggot." It's one of the more modest claims made on Dylan's behalf."

Once again, I did not know that...MUD

30 posted on 04/18/2003 1:49:10 PM PDT by Mudboy Slim (DemonRATS continue to Defend the Indefensibile and Assail the Unassailable!!)
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To: Cuttnhorse
Right you are!
31 posted on 04/18/2003 1:49:20 PM PDT by SBprone
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To: Mudboy Slim
No," she said, "but Bob Dylan's in the front room having a cup of tea."

and her husband probably said, "Right honey, and Mick and Keith are in the bathroom, huh?

32 posted on 04/18/2003 1:59:55 PM PDT by BOBTHENAILER (Just like Black September. One by one, we're gonna get 'em.)
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To: Mudboy Slim
I saw Rambling Jack Elliott twice during the 70s, in two cities, 5 or so years apart. His act, such as it was, was exactly the same including the between the songs patter and one liners. Rather pathetic overall. Since he rarely came out touring, I've often wondered if he was the Jack Elliott credited as the composer or music director of many trite TV sitcoms and melodramas.
33 posted on 04/18/2003 2:00:44 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Subvert the dominant cliche!)
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To: Paul Ross
But it does seem to me that, while most rock stars pursue eternal youth, Dylan has always sought premature geezerdom.

Bullseye. Figures Steyn likes Bob. For any Dylan fan who hasn't checked it out, Love and Theft was a really great album.

34 posted on 04/18/2003 2:01:23 PM PDT by Huck
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To: BOBTHENAILER
I wouldn't mind havin' a cup of tea with the Deterioratin'Dylan...gimme a chance to ask what in Hell's name did he ever see in SlickWillietheRapist!!

FReegards...MUD

35 posted on 04/18/2003 2:02:03 PM PDT by Mudboy Slim (DemonRATS continue to Defend the Indefensibile and Assail the Unassailable!!)
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To: Pokey78; Paul Ross; yall


36 posted on 04/18/2003 2:02:55 PM PDT by MeekOneGOP (Bu-bye Saddam! / Check out my Freeper site !: http://home.attbi.com/~freeper/wsb/index.html)
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To: Huck
"For any Dylan fan who hasn't checked it out, Love and Theft was a really great album."

I bought it recently and have listened to it casually a coupla times, but it hasn't grabbed me yet...which songs do you recommend I give a serious listen to?!

FReegards...MUD

37 posted on 04/18/2003 2:03:34 PM PDT by Mudboy Slim (DemonRATS continue to Defend the Indefensibile and Assail the Unassailable!!)
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To: Huck
The boomer idol of the bust generation (( stoned )) ... gas passing in the wind !
38 posted on 04/18/2003 2:04:03 PM PDT by f.Christian (( Evolution is whatever lie you want it to be. ))
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To: beckett
Bob's awesome. You want great lyrics? Check out this excerpt from "Summer Days" on Love and Theft:

Politician got on his jogging shoes
He must be running for office, got no time to lose
He been suckin' the blood out of the genius of generosity
You been rolling your eyes - you been teasing me

Standing by God's river, my soul is beginnin' to shake
Standing by God's river, my soul is beginnin' to shake
I'm countin' on you love, to give me a break

Check that line:

He been suckin' the blood out of the genius of generosity

That's brilliant. Makes me think of Great Society.

39 posted on 04/18/2003 2:05:31 PM PDT by Huck
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To: Paul Ross
bump
40 posted on 04/18/2003 2:06:33 PM PDT by MoralSense
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To: Mudboy Slim
...gimme a chance to ask what in Hell's name did he ever see in SlickWillietheRapist!!

I saw your reference to that. I'd sure like to ask him the same question.

41 posted on 04/18/2003 2:06:37 PM PDT by BOBTHENAILER (Just like Black September. One by one, we're gonna get 'em.)
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To: Paul Ross
there appeared to be a shriveled penis that had spent way too long in the bath. On closer inspection, this turned out to be Bob Dylan's head. He was, it seems, getting ready to celebrate his birthday. For today he turns 60.

LOL! OMG.


42 posted on 04/18/2003 2:07:05 PM PDT by Victoria Delsoul
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To: Mudboy Slim
I think it's packed with great lyrics. This from "Po' Boy":


Othello told Desdemona, "I'm cold, cover me with a blanket.
By the way, what happened to that poison wine?"
She says, "I gave it to you, you drank it."
Poor boy, layin' 'em straight - pickin' up the cherries fallin' off the plate

Time and love has branded me with its claws
Had to go to Florida, dodgin' them Georgia laws
Poor boy, in the hotel called the Palace of Gloom
Calls down to room service, says, "Send up a room"
43 posted on 04/18/2003 2:07:38 PM PDT by Huck
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To: Pokey78
Thanks for the ping, Pokey.
44 posted on 04/18/2003 2:09:50 PM PDT by Victoria Delsoul
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To: Mudboy Slim
what in Hell's name did he ever see in SlickWillietheRapist

How do you know what he thought of him?

45 posted on 04/18/2003 2:11:35 PM PDT by Huck
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To: Flyer

That's what forty years of hard living will do to a man!

I must confess to being a big fan of Dylan. Not so much his early acoustic "Blowin' in the Wind" phase, but pretty much anything he did after 1965 starting with this album pictured above.

46 posted on 04/18/2003 2:12:27 PM PDT by SamAdams76 (California wine beats French wine in blind taste tests. Boycott French wine.)
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To: Paul Ross
God said to Abraham, "Kill me a son!"
Abe said, "Man, you must be puttin' me on!"
God said, "No"
Abe said, "What?"
God said, "Whatever you do, the next time you see me commin', you better run!"
Abe said, "Okay, man, where you want this killin' done?"
God said, "Out on Highway 61."



47 posted on 04/18/2003 2:17:56 PM PDT by Coyote (the opposite of RIGHT is NOT left....it's WRONG!)
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To: ErnBatavia
[appeared to be a shriveled penis that had spent way too long in the bath. On closer inspection, this turned out to be Bob Dylan's head.]

I'd hate to see how the author describes Willy Nelson!

This is so apropos I can't resist posting it. An old joke I heard years ago goes like this:

A woman was a huge Beatles fan, so she went to a tattoo artist and asked for John Lennon's face to be tattooed on her left thigh, and Paul McCartney to be tattooed on her right thigh.

The tattoo artist got to work, while she read a magazine to pass the time.

When he announced he was finished, the woman looked at the tattoos and started screaming at the artist. "That looks nothing like them, you incompetent hack, what am I going to do with two botched tattoos?!"

The tattoo artist tried to calm her, saying that perhaps the problem was the angle she was viewing them from. So they agreed to settle the matter by letting a third party decide it, using the first man on the street who happened to pass the shop.

As luck would have it, the first man to come by was a street wino. But he met the requirement, so they brought him in.

The woman hiked her skirt and spread her legs, and asked the wino, "do you recognize the faces on my left and right thighs?"

The wino squinted bleerily for a few moments and said, "no, I don't, but the guy in the middle has *got* to be Willie Nelson..."


48 posted on 04/18/2003 2:22:52 PM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: SBprone
I assure you, it's the other way around.
49 posted on 04/18/2003 2:24:55 PM PDT by mrustow (no tag)
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To: Paul Ross

Blood on the Tracks. One of the greatest albums of all time.... God bless ya Bob! This was a hilarious read....Steyn rocks!

50 posted on 04/18/2003 2:25:51 PM PDT by rightwingreligiousfanatic (I'm being followed by a moonshadow...)
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