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Thursday, 13 October 2016


Tangled up in blue...

The thing I see is how much litter is scattered everywhere. Was that normal for the time?
(I'm a gen-x er)

Beautifully written.


My favourite line by Bob Dylan, from Shooting Star:

"Did I ever miss the mark or overstep the line that only you could see?"

Bob has had pole position for the Prize ever since he went electric.

(And don't forget Sir Roderick Stewart.)

Frank Zappa would turn over in his grave ...

I like the pictures of him waiting for the ferry at Aust. The night before he had been booed at the Colston Hall and he doesn't look happy, although the weather probably didn't help. The ferry was near the end of its life, the bridge that replaced it can be seen in the background.

Look at the rear end on the Plymouth, big tail fins and a phony spare.
In front of the VW across the street is I believe a Rambler, or maybe a Studebaker and that Pontiac behind the Plymouth, such treats for one who grew up in that place and that time.

Oh yes Dylan and Suze and Dave all so young

I love the full-length portrait Avedon did of Dylan. Circa '65?

Congrats to him and all those who travel on Highway 61.

One of my favorite photos by Ruth Bernal. Sorry for the blurriness, but it was all I could find. The photo appears on the inner sleeve and in the collage on the back of his Desire album.

Anything from Dylan's Desire album brings back some fantastic memories of my younger days. I have owned that particular set of stories in every format from LP to digital.

You can never go to far wrong with Jim Marshall, but I also like some of Elliott Landy's more relaxed moments

I've seen Dylan live a few times, but all later in his life. And I don't really get this award. But I'm sure someone can tell me why.

Suze Rotolo and Dave Van Ronk are no longer with us either, but I think Terri Thal is still around. Wonder who that other woman is?

Yeah lots of litter around abandoned buildings which there were a lot of back then. The stuff you find on the sidewalk in Manhattan is legendary. A few blocks south of where this was taken I once found a pair of 20x24 cameras on the sidewalk. Still have one of the lenses, the cameras weighed too much to lift.

Seventh avenue doesn't look like that any more.

Gotta say it's welcome relief from day after day of nothing but DT in the news.

This article on the Dissident Voice is interesting vis-a-vis his recent award:

Bob Dylan and Plagiarism
To Catch a Master Thief
by Alexander T. Deley / December 12th, 2013

No one deserves it more.

My favourite is the very well-known cover of "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan", by Don Hunstein.

The thing I see is how much litter is scattered everywhere. Was that normal for the time?
(I'm a gen-x er)

I grew-up in SoCal, and most of my travels were in California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah. In 1960 the USArmy sent me to the Washington DC area, and I was appalled by how filthy the streets were in DC, Baltimore, and New York—the worst slums in Los Angeles were much cleaner. Back then, L.A.s Skid Row looked about the same as Mid-Town Manhattan, but without the Skyscrapers. Now, Skid Row houses one of the largest homeless populations, and looks much like the 1960s East Coast.

Interpretation of photographs:

I waited in the hallway, she went to get it
And I tried to make sense
Out of that picture of you in your wheelchair
That leaned up against

Her Jamaican rum, and when she did come
I asked her for some...

Ps. to my previous comment: ...although this Dylan line from "Shelter from the Storm" probably applies most specifically to my own photography:

"Beauty walks a razor’s edge, someday I’ll make it mine."

The ice cream was named early in the Days of the Dead. Ben Cohen likes to tell the story. Eventually Mr. Garcia's lawyer appeared, but he was honored, not offended, and they settled easily.

Maybe it's a generational thing but I can't recall three albums of any type of music that have given me any more listening pleasure than Dylan's "Bringing It All Back Home", "Highway 61 Revisited" and "Blonde on Blonde". For those recordings alone, Dylan is worthy of the highest of honors.

Is that Dave van Ronk on the right?

So nice to see a Minnesota boy doing well. Maybe there is magic still out on Highway 61?

I saw Dylan at the Isle of Wight in 1969. He was very good, but he'd already got the Nashville Skyline voice so we were rather critical, I'm afraid. The Band did a short set beforehand, and they were incredible - I remember them doing The Weight.

But my clearest memory from the festival was the night before Dylan played. I was walking around the festival site and came across someone playing a recording of Tambourine Man. It was a cold night and there were a group of us trying to keep warm (hence the walking around), but we stood and listened to those familiar lyrics. Nobody spoke, we just listened. I think we thought that his performance would be transformative, which it wasn't of course - our expectations were too high. But what a song! - still my favourite.

To Trecento: yes, that was normal. New York in the 60s and 70s was pretty grim and dirty.

Though an extraordinary and socially important lyricist, Dylan's work is not, in my opinion, literature.

Looks to me there's 20x the same shot on the 'roll' of film?
And rising to the occasion, Mike, I hope you are at least just as okay after your medical intervention as you were before it, and are effectively cured of whatever it was that needed treatment.

One of the Marshall photographs that comes to mind when Neil Young is mentioned is a group of four with Robbie Robertson on one end and Allen Ginsberg on the other. All seem engaged either in conversation or their own thoughts except for Young, who just stares at the camera. Makes me wonder what was going through his mind at that point. This particular photograph aside, I really admire the work of Jim Marshall. He had a real gift for capturing the person beneath the façade.

I think that is Dave Van Ronk walking along with Dylan. Dave was pretty great too, maybe not quite a laureate, but close.

Rob Griffin

'bout time. My favorite Bob Dylan tune/poem is "Dear Landlord" on his album John Wesley Harding. I couldn't find a link to the song (there are many cover versions -none of which are even close to Bob's version).

Dear landlord
Please don't put a price on my soul
My burden is heavy
My dreams are beyond control
When that steamboat whistle blows
I'm gonna give you all I got to give
And I do hope you receive it well
Depending on the way you feel that you live.

Dear landlord
Please heed these words that I speak
I know you've suffered much
But in this you are not so unique
All of us, at times we might work too hard
To have it too fast and too much
And anyone can fill his life up
With things he can see but he just cannot touch.

Dear landlord
Please don't dismiss my case
I'm not about to argue
I'm not about to move to no other place
Now, each of us has his own special gift
And you know this was meant to be true
And if you don't underestimate me
I won't underestimate you.

Songwriters: Bob Dylan
Dear Landlord lyrics © Bob Dylan Music Co.

All Knights of the Sound Table?

I think the Nobel committee might have mixed up his Bobness with poet John Cooper Clarke https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmAuSuV4IP0

One of the best recent insights into Dylan I've seen are his brief comments in an outstanding piece about Leonard Cohen by David Remnick, which is on the New Yorker website. (Mike can add a link if that's cool).

I'm with Irvine Welsh, the author of Trainspotting:


I'm a Dylan fan, but this is an ill conceived nostalgia award wrenched from the rancid prostates of senile, gibbering hippies.

A choice between Haruki Murakami, Don DeLillo and Bob Dylan (which it was) I know who I'd give it to.

BTW, this also happened for me in the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2014 for STED superresolution microscope i.e. an instrument designed by a physicist for biologists. Great work but it should have been given the prize for Physiology or Medicine, or Physics. Chemistry was an odd choice.

I love Bob Dylan. I am young enough to be his son, but my dad was such a huge fan, it rubbed off on me. I strongly suspect I was named after him: my name is Dillan; mom wasn't a fan, but dad won, with a concession. My favourite Bob photo is the cover of the DVD documentary "No Direction Home." He was just too cool.

By the way, I'm a Deadhead too, among other things. I never did like the contemporary music from my own generation.

My dad could never get past Dylan skipping town (Minneapolis) owing people money. At least, so he said. This story is several levels of hearsay deep, so, accord it weight as appropriate.

I can't really say I understand Nobel prizes. Wasn't long ago that a NYT pundit won one for his work in "international trade and economic geography," but who actually seems to be a partisan hack who dabbles in a sort of neo-Keynesian economics and who helped Japan's Abe come up with Abenomics. That's all worked out really well.

Then, the same year a brand new US president won a Nobel Peace Prize for---well, nobody was actually sure back at the time, but now the story is that it was given for his work in eliminating nuclear weapons. Which seem to have not been eliminated. Or even reduced.

And now a folk singer has won the Nobel Prize in Literature. Makes sense somehow for Nobel prizes.

But it is good to read here about Bob, for I was able to read Kevin Purcell's "ill-conceived nostalgia" comment above which sorta improves my understanding of the Nobel.

I see a VW beetle in that picture. They used to sell for $1500, new, in the mid-1960s.

A vanished world.

Despite growing up in Dylan's prime time he's never been among my favorites. I admire his occupational longevity and his talent for statement. But he just never caught on with me.

Still, the irony of the philanthropic foundation created by the inventor of dynamite giving Bob Dylan an award gave me an open-mouth laugh this week.

As a Dutch fan of Dylan in the sixties and seventies I put his lyrics on my English literature list at high school. Everything before Nashville Skyline, so that must have been only ten albums or so. To be honest: I found Shakespeare a lot easier to read and understand than Dylan. Up until today.

I saw Bob in Phoenix about 1975. I thought he was old then. In addition to his songwriting, and performing I think the air of mystery he successfully maintains adds well to the "who is Bob?" theme.

Dylan's autobiography, Chronicles, Vol. 1 is worth reading. He's a good writer...

I like the photo by Barry Feinstein of him striding down Princes Street in Edinburgh. - mostly because I went to school in Edinburgh at that time and could very well have been there when the photo was taken, but wasn't.
The contrast between him and the others in princes street just stands out, and princes street was considered the place where the best dressed were seen in an otherwise dismal grimy city.


Glad I looked in in time to see this and comment on it. I think I discovered Bob Dylan when I was about fifteen. This was in the early 70s, and by then his activity and popularity had waned - temporarily. I used to put his albums on my older sister's stereo and lie on the floor with a speaker on each side of my head and listen to them with the lights out, one whole album at a time. I eventually bought all his albums with my allowance money, and owned them all before I finally bought a stereo of my own to play them on.

I could swear my hair was straight before I discovered him, but soon after I did it got curly, and has been ever since. I used to do a great Dylan impression, usually a big hit at parties. The biggest compliment I ever got was from a musician and fellow Dylan fanatic, after one such performance. "Jesus," he said, his eyes wide, "that sounds more like Dylan than Dylan."

One of my fondest memories involves both Dylan and photography. I'd just moved to San Francisco from Hawaii, and was staying at a famous hostel there, prior to looking for a job and an apartment. Staying at this same hostel was a young photographer from Australia, newly graduated from photojournalism school. He was on his way to Mexico for a year-long, self-funded shoot and had stopped in SF for a couple of weeks. It didn't take long to spot him - photojournalists have a certain look about them - maybe it was the Leica M6 he was toting. Anyway, since we were both aspiring photojournalists, even though he was half my age, we hit it off immediately and spent the next two weeks hanging out, talking photography, and shooting together around SF. At some point we got wind that Dylan was giving a concert in Berkeley. It turned out my young Aussie friend was as avid a Dylan fan as me, and thus we bought tickets and headed off to Berkeley on the appointed night. We took a lot of pictures at that concert - not one of them worth a damn, of course, but it was still great fun.

My friend later went on to considerable notoriety, joining VII agency and seeing his work published in the NYT, Time, Newsweek, etc, before finally tiring, I think, of feeding the spectacle and retreating back home to Australia. I skipped that step, assuming it was one I could have taken, and remained in obscurity in SF. I never have forgotten those two weeks, though, and their highlight: my one and only Dylan concert.

Leonard Cohen had an interesting comment about Dylan getting the Nobel. "It's like pinning a medal on Everest," he said, "for being the tallest mountain." There's a lot of truth in that, but on the other hand I can't think of very many artists who deserve it more.

Almost forgot the assignment: favorite photo of Dylan. I have quite a few favorites, but one of them is this one, where he is gaunt from amphetamine use and looks like an avenging angel. No idea its source, or the photographer, but a lot of Dylan photos from that period are appealing to me, because of his attitude and appearance, more than the character of any one photo.

One last thing. Regarding the post about Dylan's plagiarism, the charges against him of general inauthenticity, and specifically the remarks of Joni Mitchell (whom I have tremendous respect for and regard as a musical and artistic genius): his own comments are instructive. He said something to the effect of, "The only one I owe the truth to is God."

In recent years I've rejected Dylan with much the same fervor I once had in embracing him, disappointed by his seeming duplicity. But looking at his work in its totality, and especially at the best of it, I am forced to conclude that his output is strong enough to withstand the charges, and, on the whole, unique, redeeming whatever license he may have taken. Apparently the Nobel Committee felt the same way.

This brings back a memory. Princeton's McCarter Theatre, spring 1963. Got one ticket from a scalper outside, girlfriend went in, let me in through an exit door. A totally eye and ear-opening experience. I think "Ballad of Hattie Carrol" was new about then.


Hi Mike,

thanks for mentioning Jim's photograph.
Do you know the 'Dylanwalk' web site with a lot of information about the photo session?

-- Martin

Some comment seems odd and news to me. May be he copied a lot . Just wonder can anyone point out some of his more important (to me as least as a listener) the following songs idea if not just the lyrics come from :

Blowing in the wind
Don't think twice is already
The times they are a changin
Masters of War
Like a rolling stone
All Along The Watchtower
Lily Of The West
Just like a woman

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