Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bob Dylan In 350 Words

From Hibbing to Minneapolis. New York to the world. From Robert Allen Zimmerman to the mythic figure that is Bob Dylan, the man has been living open to everything, absorbing all he comes in contact with. The Rock and Roll records of Little Richard and Elvis Presley. Beat Poets and wanderers. Hank Williams and Woody Guthrie. All the great artists and songs of American “traditional” music fermenting with his own personal poetic vision, became some of the world's greatest songs.

It began with country ballads, blues, and early rock n' roll carried on airwaves from cities that could only be imagined. Then Elvis and James Dean. Sharing songs with other young musicians. Listening to the songs that make up Harry Smith's, Anthology of American Folk Music.

Bob Dylan to The Times They Are A-Changin' . Dylan tried to find the groove between Hank and Woody. What he saw in the cities, TV screens, and newspaper pages brought the wrath and ire of a boy having to see the world as a man.

After the transitional, Another Side of Bob Dylan, we find Dylan coming back to Chuck Berry, but not yet abandoning his folk roots, even though his now spitting forth verses more akin to the words of Arthur Rimbaud.

His new persona, all ether and mod boots, dove deep into America's psyche and his own. Surrealism and country rock became the vehicle that carried the visions that left lips, intending to wake sleeping ears.

Dylan, torn and frayed, went down into the valley and found the sound, that had come from the Grand ol' Opry long before.

Fallow vanity, desperate pain, a coming to Jesus, a collection of what remained. The plot long lost, Dylan, returned to his blues roots, with Good As I've Been To You and World Gone Wrong.

An examination of death. The resurrection of the poet. Charlie Patton reborn a Japanese gangster in Old, Weird America. Dylan finds Charlie Chaplin drinking with Muddy Waters in Chicago circa 1950. A few years later finds himself, still drunk on whiskey somewhere in Louisiana. 

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