July 28, 2009

Tambourine Time Trip

A number of years ago, my friend Gordon and I were talking about music and influences. And he was shocked down to his toenails that Bob Dylan wasn't on my list.
"Dylan? Are you shitting me? Dylan was the best, he was amazing!"
Gordo is a few years older, and sometimes this colors us in ways to subtle to comprehend. But thanks to YouTube, I can finally illustrate why he affected Gordon, and barely got noticed by me.

First, here's Bob Dylan as he sang when I was a teen:

And here's the man who became a legend, as Gordon heard him a decade or so earlier:

After 15 years of singing it in endless repetitions, the song seems to have lost meaning for him. He stopped telling us the story, and started reciting it. And then the random pauses so the band can get in some solo licks further degrade the story.

But now I understand why author Anne McCaffrey once predicted that there would be a type of musical activism wherein a "Dylanist" would deliver scathing political commentary via song.

And Gordon? You were right; Dylan totally rocks!

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