Thursday, May 24, 2007

"Someday, Everything's Gonna Be Different...

when I paint my masterpiece"

Today is Bob Dylan's 66th birthday.

Happy birthday Bob !!!

I was thinking about what to write about old Zimmy today, as I am certainly no Dylan biographer, and it occurred to me that I could just type song titles.

Like A Rolling Stone

All Along The Watchtower

Tangled Up in Blue

Positively 4th Street

Subterranean Homesick Blues

She Belongs To Me

Don't Think Twice, It's Alright

Mr. Tambourine Man

Not Dark Yet


Stuck Inside Of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again

It Ain't Me Babe

Idiot Wind

Then, I realized that I could go on for days.

Write about the lyrics ? What else is there to say that has not already been said ? Is he the greatest rock lyricist of all time ? Undoubtedly ? Greatest lyricist of all time ? Most likely. But he really goes beyond being a lyricist. He is a poet. And hell, I think he's even beyond poetry. I think for the last 40 odd years, he's been writing the Great American Novel. He's just been writing it in little bits and pieces.

The music ? As much attention as his lyrics get, I think his music is underrated.

I've seen him live 4 0r 5 times, I think. the first was in July of 1987, when he toured with the Grateful Dead, and it was not his finest hour. He seemed bored, and a bit lost,as this recently resurgent group of musicians stormed the stadium around him. I remember thinking it was almost a bit sad. When the opportunity came around to see him again( I think it was at the Pauly Pavilion at UCLA with Jonie Mitchell and Van Morrison) I did not have high expectations. Bob knocked me out. He was sharp, the music was tight, he was funny. It was a great show. As were the next several times I saw him. He seems to have been re-energized somewhere along the way, and he is at the top of his game.

I can't even imagine what it must have been to be in the audience at the Newport Folk Festival when he "went electric". I know that there were supposedly people who were horrified by it, but there had to be folks there(no pun intended) who had some idea what they were witnessing.

I guess maybe I'll just leave it with a thank you to Bob, and the lyrics to the greatest rock 'n' roll song EVER.

Like A Rolling Stone- Bob Dylan

Once upon a time you dressed so fine
You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you?
People'd call, say, "Beware doll, you're bound to fall"
You thought they were all kiddin' you
You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hangin' out
Now you don't talk so loud
Now you don't seem so proud
About having to be scrounging for your next meal.

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be without a home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

You've gone to the finest school all right, Miss Lonely
But you know you only used to get juiced in it
And nobody has ever taught you how to live on the street
And now you find out you're gonna have to get used to it
You said you'd never compromise
With the mystery tramp, but now you realize
He's not selling any alibis
As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes
And ask him do you want to make a deal?

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

You never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns
When they all come down and did tricks for you
You never understood that it ain't no good
You shouldn't let other people get your kicks for you
You used to ride on the chrome horse with your diplomat
Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat
Ain't it hard when you discover that
He really wasn't where it's at
After he took from you everything he could steal.

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

Princess on the steeple and all the pretty people
They're drinkin', thinkin' that they got it made
Exchanging all kinds of precious gifts and things
But you'd better lift your diamond ring, you'd better pawn it babe
You used to be so amused
At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used
Go to him now, he calls you, you can't refuse
When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose
You're invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal.

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

Copyright © 1965; renewed 1993 Special Rider Music

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