See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Bob Dylan's birthday...

Today is Bob Dylan's birthday. Not that I'm one of those die hard fans who keeps track of that stuff. It was on the local News. He is from Minnesota, the Iron Range. He's so famous, the State likes to claim him as their own - and the News, which is celebrity driven anyway, will feature an item like this. Time was however, when people sneered at the mention of his name, and mocked his music.

I liked Dylan. As an artist wannabe, he appealed to my sense of non-conformity. I was enthralled with his lyrics and translated them into the paintings I produced in art class. He left home in High School and went to New York - I left home mid senior year. I stayed in St. Paul and finished school, while supporting myself in a job. (It was such a Holden Caufield thing to do at the time, but of course, Dylan was kind of a hero to me then as well.)
Dylan's lyrics spoke against the so-called establishment and status quo of the time, so it's interesting the same types he railed against then, happen to be the same types who now embrace him for his fame. Oh certainly, today's establishment happens to be grown up baby-boomers. But it's the same game being played. As they approach their golden years, the rebel is simply a nostalgic memory. Money and fame trumps everything, so he's a respectable guy now. Just like Prince, a later musical antagonist.
"The Ballad of a Thin Man" was sort of the anthem for my life then - until the Beatles came along with "Abbey-Roads" - don't ask me why - I expect it was the combination of the lyrics and music. For his birthday - here are the beginning lyrics for the "Thin Man":
You walk into the room
With your pencil in your hand
You see somebody naked
And you say, "Who is that man?"
You try so hard
But you don't understand
Just what you'll say
When you get home
Because something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?
You raise up your head
And you ask, "Is this where it is?"
And somebody points to you and says"It's his"
And you say, "What's mine?"
And somebody else says, "Where what is?"
And you say, "Oh my God
Am I here all alone?"
Because something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?

That's all.


  1. Do you believe in Astrology?

    Dylan and I were born in Duluth, in May, about a year apart, probably about a mile apart, geographically.

    How come I can't sing?

    Astrology is bunk!

  2. Sorry it's an unhappy memory, Terry - we all have them, so you're not alone...

  3. Ray - Didyou know him?

    Rhaps - No - I love the song - just fleshing out it's appeal o myself - nothing to be sorry about.

  4. Terry: The Weisman in town has a VERY comprehensive Dylan exhibit. I went. I think it's still on but check first because I went a few months back. They have sound booths and everything.

    Trivia question oh Dylan fan: What's his girlfriends name that's on the cover of that album?

    I think Dylan was pretty straightlaced growing up. Obviously, he and Ray did not move in the same circles since Ray was a hardcore party animal and chronically in trouble with the law.


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.