Tuesday, January 12, 2010

There Never Was Any Bob Dylan

As I walked from the store into the parking lot, I heard the faint but clear sounds of "Like a Rolling Stone" from off to my left. I looked over to see some guy sitting in a Dodge minivan, his head thrown back against the head rest and his arm dangling out the window, a line of white smoke running up his forearm from the cigarette in his hand. And there it was: "You've gone to the finest schools, all right Miss Lonely, but you know you only used to get juiced in it." It made me smile. I loved Dylan and I was happy to know someone else enjoyed the music as well.

I kept walking across the lot to my car. I made sure to turn off the radio as soon as I turned the key. I didn't want radio music to knock Dylan out of my head. As I drove off I sang as much of "Like a Rolling Stone" as I could remember. Then I launched into "Queen Jane Approximately," but as I sang I could hear The Grateful Dead in my mind, and I could see my fingers forming the chords on a guitar. I stopped singing and thought about other Dylan songs that I had played and enjoyed over the years. The bass line of "Everything Is Broken" started through my mind and I thought about his album, "Time Out of Mind."

Dylan has stood the test of time, not only having created a long list of songs in the early days of his career that will remain fresh forever, but also having continued to write songs that are poetic and interesting. Even if his voice is shot.

More to come....