Ron Hogan (grifter) Tue 9 May 00 20:19
Inkwell.vue is pleased to provide a conversational arena for a handful of the 50 writers who contributed to "Encounters with Bob Dylan" (Humble Press, Feb. 2000), a book of essays about first-person meetings with this reclusive, enigmatic poet, musician and star. Among those who have been invited to join the discussion are: Tracy Johnson: a longtime Dylan fan and freelance writer who lives in San Francisco. Timothy Chisholm: a native of Chicago suburbs who currently teaches at a middle school in Southern California. Lee Parham and Jenny Langley: Lee, 53, is a musician and personal assistant who met Jenny, 36, in 1985. Jenny, a paraplegic, was the first person in that state to prove that living at home was less expensive than living in a nursing home, which resulted in the establishment of the state's Independent Care Waiver Program. Lee and Jenny are currently building their own home in McDonough, Georgia. Marc Silber: a musician, luthier, and vintage instrument dealer who lives in Berkeley, California. In 1963, he opened Fretted Instruments in Greenwich Village, which quickly became the gathering point for the musicians who helped shape the folk revival of that era. He is currently the owner of Marc Silber Music in Berkeley. Veronica Lambert Hall: a resident of Spain and a primary school teacher and psychologist-turned-translator, from Catalan and Spanish into English Lawrence Morrissey: a Dylan fan since the release of "Another Side" in 1964. Also joining us in Inkwell.vue is Jon Sievert, founder of Humble Press. He is a former longtime editor and staff photographer for Guitar Player magazine and the author of Concert Photography: How to Shoot and Sell Music-Business Photographs. Leading the conversation is Gary Burnett, who has been firstname.lastname@example.org for almost 10 years. Gary is an Assistant Professor at the School of Information Studies at Florida State University, where he teaches courses in information technology, technical writing, information design, and web development. He is also a writer, and his "The Grateful Dead: A Meditation on Music, Meaning, and Memory" will appear in The Grateful Dead Reader, which is soon to be published by Oxford University Press. He has been an obsessive Dylan fan since the moment he first heard Positively 4th Street sometime in 1966 or 1967.
Phantom Engineer (jera) Wed 10 May 00 13:35
Hi, everybody, and welcome to inkwell.vue! I'm very happy to have the opportunity to moderate this conversation about one of my favorite topics. The idea of publishing a book about face-to-face encounters with Bob Dylan (rather than, say, a book about his lyrics or about his music) is intriguing, given Dylan's reputation as very reclusive and unapproachable (I seem to remember a story told by Patti Smith, who toured with him in 1995, to the effect that they never actually spoke, even though she dueted with him on "Dark Eyes" at several shows). Tracy and Jon, could you talk a little about the genesis of the book? Where did the idea of a collection of encounters come from?
Jon Sievert (humblepress) Thu 11 May 00 12:20
It looks like Tracy is not going to be able to participate so I'll have to fill that role. The idea for the book was her's. As a longtime Dylan devotee, she says she often fantasized about meeting him. Over the years of attending his concerts, she discovered she was not the only one with such fantasies. "Standing in line at shows, nearly every fan I encountered shared memories of having met him or dreams of doing so. And with every single tale at every single venue, I was entralled by these conversations and wondered if others might be, too. Thus came the idea for the book." She'd been working on the project about a year when I first heard from her. She was looking for unpublished photos of Bob. I had one she liked, and we struck a deal for her to use it. At the time, St. Martin's was showing interest in publishing the book. Last June, a little more than a year later, I heard from her again. St. Martin's had backed out because the material wasn't salacious enough to suit their needs. She was planning to self-publish but didn't have a clue about what was involved. I was intrigued by the idea primarily because it was different from all the other Dylan books out there, namely biographies, discographies, photo books, and analysis/criticism. As a longstanding Bobcat (and Deadhead), I appreciated the fans' point of view and decided to get involved. She had maybe 30 usable stories at the time, so I started contacting people that I knew who had met him for their stories.
Phantom Engineer (jera) Thu 11 May 00 12:56
It certainly is different from every other Dylan book! And, as far as I'm aware, from books on other musicians (though there have been other fans-eye books -- David Gans' collection of reminiscences of Jerry Garcia comes to mind). What do you think (or what do you hope) this approach adds to our understanding of Dylan's work, or of his impact?
Jon Sievert (humblepress) Thu 11 May 00 21:32
And, of course, there was Paul Grushkin's landmark "Book of the Deadheads," but I don't think anyone else has approached it in quite this way. I'm not sure it adds much to our understanding of his work, but it does give us a clue about the impact his songs and music have on his fans. More than any other artist I can think of, Dylan changed peoples' lives in fundamental ways both politically and socially. As many of the authors mention, his music changed the way they viewed the world. One thing I like about the book is that it is as much about the fans who wrote the stories as it is about Dylan.
Phantom Engineer (jera) Fri 12 May 00 14:58
I'd be very interested in seeing comments from some of the authors about a couple of things along these lines: What was it about Dylan that drew you so strongly, not only to his work, but to a sense that you wanted to actually meet him? Also, does anybody care to talk about just how you feel his music actively changed the way you viewed the world?
Jenny Langley - Lee J Parham (jenny-leej) Fri 12 May 00 17:38
Hi everyone...Jenny and Lee J here. LJ: In the early sixties ('62) I was playing in a garage rock band, but had participated in "Hootenanny"s, which was more of a folkie thing performed by somewhat "square" performers. I had particularly liked "Blowin' in the Wind". I bought "Freewheelin" sometime in '63. After the initial shock of Dylan's voice and delivery, I found the more I played it, the better I liked it. Being a draft card carrying, bomb-fearing, peace-loving teen, Dylan was speaking to my concerns. I still "loved you, teen queen" and listened to Rock-a-day Johnny, but there was something gripping about this man. By the time I was actually drafted, Dylan and Frank Zappa seemed to annoy my military superiors more than anyone else with their wild hair and unacceptable lyrics and music. I worked for a time for the Armed Forces Radio Network, Dylan was banned from official lists. Like good GIs though, we had a network of record buyers at home who sent us Dylan, the Doors and other assorted "banned bands". I still consider "Like A Rolling Stone" to be the greatest rock song ever. The opening rimshot is to die for! JENNY: I was drawn to Bob's music in the car listening to my big brother's 8-track of "Blood on the Tracks", singing loud all the way to school "Tangled up in Bluuuuue!" LJ & J: We never expected to meet Bob that night, although we had front row seats and lots of hopes. His lyrics had affected us both for many years and we just wanted to hear him up close and see him. We both are music lovers and go to many concerts, but we are not groupies. We go to hear the music and see the performance!
Jon Sievert (humblepress) Fri 12 May 00 17:51
Good to see people starting to check in. Hopefully, some of the other authors will join us soon. I think it's important that folks who haven't seen or read the book get a chance to read the stories of all the authors scheduled to be here. All are posted on the humble press web site at www.humblepress.com/Encounters/Pages/Silber.html www.humblepress.com/Encounters/Pages/Chisholm.html www.humblepress.com/Encounters/Pages/Parham.html www.humblepress.com/Encounters/Pages/Lambert.html www.humblepress.com/Encounters/Pages/Morrissey.html
Phantom Engineer (jera) Fri 12 May 00 18:01
Yes. I'd encourage everybody to check out these stories, and to track down copies of the book, as well. Among the authors who are scheduled to be here, we have people who have had contact with Dylan in a pretty wide variety of circumstances as early as 1962 through the '90s. It's an excellent read!
Timothy Chisholm (tchisholm) Fri 12 May 00 21:27
Hi, folks. Thought I'd jump in here with some musings of my own. When I was 15 or 16 (early to mid 70s), a high school student looking for an identity, looking to belong somewhere, hoping for a symbol or message to make my own so I could be a part of something greater than myself, trying to make sense out of the world - thats when I discovered Bob Dylans music. I was about the age Dylan was when he first began to create his music. The timing was perfect. It occurred at a time of awakening for me - as I was shedding adolescence for young adulthood, and I was being drawn to social consciousness and personal struggle. His music struck a chord in me that still resonates. The poetry, the imagery was inescapable. And I was oh so ready for it. I had been listening to the Beach Boys and Elton John (8-tracks, like Jenny), and to tell you the truth, I was a little embarrassed about it. I thought Id be laughed at if caught listening to such pop fluff by my older brothers (who were in college at the time). But I knew I was safe with Dylan's music - because the music itself was NOT safe. It was daring, revolutionary. It commanded respect. It seemed so much more grown up - so much deeper - so much more important. You had to work at Dylan's music. It wasnt just a reflection of pop culture - it was a barometer of the human experience. When I listened to it, I felt it was calling my name. It was that personal. Yet, it also made me feel a part of something greater than myself. Yeah, I still get carried away. Thats because Dylans music still means that much to me - its a part of me, a part of my identity. There are countless friends & acquaintances in my life who - asked to describe me - would mention my being a Dylan fan right up there at the top of the list. So, meeting him was, and still is for me, almost unbelievable, and yet completely RIGHT - perfect somehow. I never expected to meet him, never dreamed it. In retrospect, it seems more like some strange sort of inevitability - like fate. And I love the fact that I didn't meet him because I stalked him or waited around at the backstage door hoping to catch a glimpse. The fact that it was Dylan who requested to meet me is something that still gives me a thrill. He said I added to his show. How cool is that?
Veronica (veronica-l) Fri 12 May 00 23:40
Hi everyone, I'm Veronica. The first time I saw Dylan was in 1978 at Blackbushe. I was living quite near there at the time and a group of friends wanted to go and see this all-day concert. I had heard of Dylan, but had no idea as to what his music was really about. In fact, I was more interested in seeing Eric Clapton and Joan Armatrading!! But when Dylan came on the stage in that top hat he was wearing I was intrigued, and by the time his set ended some hours later he had woven his magic spell on me. I don't know how he does it, but his presence on the stage is so incredibly strong. Soon after the concert a friend brought round Blonde on Blonde and that was it.. I was hooked! I started to buy all his albums and for the first time I sat down and really listened to what the guy was saying, and I identified with it. I don't think I would say that Dylan actually changed the way in which I viewed the world, but he helped me come to terms with how I viewed it. Over the years my life has gone through many changes, as has everyone's, but Dylan has always been there with his words of wisdom. At moments when I felt that I couldn't go on I listened to Dylan and thought that if he could pull through then so could I!! He was like a best friend who was never too busy for me. Dylan is the only musician whose songs have affected me so intensely that I have wept. The first time I heard songs like If you see her, say hello, Idiot Wind, Boots of Spanish leather or You're gonna make me lonesome when you go I was so moved. How could this guy know exactly how I was feeling?? :-) There were times I felt he was my only friend in the world. The press gave such a bad image of Bob, he was rude, anti-social and all the rest, I was so sure that he was just misunderstood and I wanted to find that out for myself. My two all-too-brief encounters with Bob were obviously not enough to find out if he is the same as the man behind the songs, but you just have to look into those deep eyes of his for a few moments to know that the guy is genuine. (As if I could have doubted it after hearing his words!!). I saw in those eyes a guy who looked tired and lonely, a victim of his own fame. May your wishes all come true.
Phantom Engineer (jera) Sat 13 May 00 05:34
It seems as though the central image of Dylan interacting with people are those scenes in Don't Look Back in which he is so willfully difficult, and even rude (particularly the scene in which he is baiting the science student, which a cousin of mine thought was so offensive that he stopped listening to Dylan altogether). It's good to hear that this isn't the only Dylan.
Jenny Langley - Lee J Parham (jenny-leej) Sat 13 May 00 07:56
LJ: I noticed on one of the reviews of our story in the book that the reviewer referred to our encounter as "kitschy". I had read in one of my Dylan books that Bob had a friend in a wheelchair and actually had him on stage with him. All of our wheelchair friends are constantly searching for people who will accept them as they are without going into the sympathy or pity bag. A man that would write words like "No need to get excited, there are many here among us who feel life is but a joke....you and I we've been through that and this is not our fate, no need to talk falsely now, the hour is getting late" has to have developed some insight into more than everyday life. Derek Barker said in his foreword he would probably not like to meet Dylan. We certainly could not say we "met" him, encounter is definitely the better word. I would have to concur with Derek in one way because I wouldn't know what to say to him that he hasn't been told a zillion times. On the other hand, I would love to meet him just to hear what he has to say and be in his presence. Veronica's description of weeping at some of his music hits home. I often wondered how "MR. Bitter" could write some of the most lovely love songs, but then, aren't we all that way? Think "I'll Remember You". The gesture he made to Jenny that night at the Fox told us that somehow he understood the struggles she faces in daily life and appreciated that she was there. I have read a quote from him that the best one can do is inspire someone. I believe there was a mutual inspiration that night. If that's kitschy, so be it!
Jon Sievert (humblepress) Sat 13 May 00 12:06
Nothing kitschy about it at all. Lee, where did you see that review? I missed that one. Dylan is obviously a sensitive man or he couldn't write the words that he does. But Gary's right when he says the enduring image of Dylan interacting with people is in "Don't Look Back," a 35-year-old film. I think the book shows he's not that one-dimensional, and that he's perfectly capable of interacting with fans in a meaningful way. The stories of the authors here prove that. Of course, we're looking at an arc of more than 40 years, and Bob has certainly changed over that time. Anyone who's watched over even part of that time will agree that he's become more verbal, especially in concert, and more open in the last few years. In her story, Patricia Maher suggests it may have something to do with his Grammy for "Time Out of Mind." that he can run the guantlet of emotion, depending on the situation and his mood.
Marc Silber (marc-silber) Sat 13 May 00 13:43
HELLO, WELL (NO PUN) I FINALLY GOT ON TO THE CONVERSATIONAL SITE AND LOOK FORWARD TO TALKING WITH PEOPLE INTERESTED IN THIS BOOK OR WITH ME AND WHAT I RECALL FROM THE GREAT DAYS IN GREENWICH VILLAGE, ANN ARBOR, AND/OR BERKELEY. BEING CENTRALLY INVOLVED IN THE SCENE AT THOSE TIMES I HAVE GREAT MEMORIES AND AM ANXIOUS TO HEAR FROM OTHERS WHO WERE ALSO AT THESE PLACES, AND KNEW BOB DYLAN. LET'S TALK! PEACE, MARC SILBER ( aka BIG BOY ONCE, THE MUSICAL DUNCE)
Veronica (veronica-l) Sat 13 May 00 13:44
I often wonder about Dylan's public image. There's no doubt that when he was in his 20s he wanted to come over as an angry young man with a message. He told blatant lies about his background, but that was all part of the image. He probably never thought for a moment that he would last so long in the public eye!!! So, here's the problem, you have built a public image that is fine when you are twenty, but how do you adapt it when you are in your 30s, 40s and 50s? I think the recent changes in Bob's public image are simply that he has matured and reached an age when he really couldn't care too much about what people think of him, he doesn't have to prove himself any more, so he is starting to relax and be himself at last. And finally the "real" Bob is coming through, the gentle caring person, who is desperately shy, but who doesn't have to pretend any more!! May your wishes all come true.
Jenny Langley - Lee J Parham (jenny-leej) Sat 13 May 00 14:47
JENNY: Bob's caring and understanding stepped to the forefront with "Time Out of Mind". He passes through all emotions: happy, sad, joy, tears, love and hate. Scars that we've had in all our lives, written in a way that they seem to relate personally. It seems to bore some people to tears, but I can hear end to end, sing every word and feel each emotion. Pretty powerful for a record! LEE J: Two things I think we have in common with you, Timothy. First, our experience at the Fox was RIGHT...time, place, and what happened. Second, I didn't get a harmonica, but I took a "G" one with me, hoping Bob would ask someone for one (which I had been told he had done before). Alas, I returned home with it in my pocket. I did get a pick off one of the stage hands, though! J: He forgot to tell you he also played "air piano" on the stage surface at John and Bob's feet! I saw both of them look a couple of times. John really seemed to get off on it. In fact, we had great eye contact with him throughout the concert. L: John is John Jackson, who Larry replaced (lead guitar). Along the "Don't Look Back" image, I thought Bob was pretty cool at the time because he was making fun of stupid people with stupid questions. I think he reflected a lot of the attitude that accompanied the times and the way our generation felt toward "socially acceptable". I think he has mellowed over time the same as most of us. After all, wasn't he the one that said "get out of the new world if you can't lend a hand, for the times they are a'changin"? I think he and Frank Zappa thought the same: if you want to be outraged, I am perfectly happy to do so.
Timothy Chisholm (tchisholm) Sat 13 May 00 18:44
I like what Veronica said regarding Dylan's public image, that he doesn't have to prove himself anymore, so he is starting to relax and be himself at last. I agree with Lee that he has certainly mellowed over the years - as have we. I'd say his appearance on Dharma & Greg certainly proved that. That made me smile. He also seemed to enjoy handing that Grammy to Santana, and he's been more playful & animated in his last couple shows I've seen in '98 and '99. Now the recent announcement that he'll be doing a special for HBO - some strange sort of variety hour - seems to suggest that he is indeed relaxed and enjoying himself. Perhaps it all stems from a realization/meditation of one's own mortality, which I believe is at the heart of Time Out Of Mind.
Phantom Engineer (jera) Sun 14 May 00 06:30
I certainly an happy with the Dylan we've been seeing for the past few years ... he seems happy to be onstage, & his performances are engaged & passionate, and his music, in my opinion, as strong as anytime in his career. But I'm not so sure that all of the masks & role-playing have dropped, at least in terms of his public persona. Here's a man who, as Veronica points out, invented himself through lies, and even literally created a name for himself as he changed from Zimmerman to Dylan. And who has spent much of his career both literally and figuratively wearing masks ... the "Bob Dylan mask" of the 1964 Halloween show, the whiteface (and the character of Renaldo) in Renaldo & Clara, the enigmatic "Self Portrait" of an album of cover versions ... What I think we're seeing now, at least in terms of his stage persona, is Dylan-as-Elder-Statesman, who has given his life to the tour and to the stage, taking his music endlessly around the world to the people. I think that he's patterning himself after other Elder-Statemen musicians like Muddy Waters, Ralph Stanley, & Bill Monroe, and that you can see it in a lot of things ... the way he dresses, his choice of cover versions (those wonderful bluegrass gospel numbers, Hootchie Cootchie Man, etc.). And, perhaps, in the glorious ways he mines the lyrics of the folk tradition in Time Out Of Mind. In this context, one of the interesting things about the stories you folks all tell in the book is the way in which they give us glimpses of the actual man, through moments during which the guardedness of the publice personae fall away & we have fleeting access to a man who is simply one of us, away from all the craziness of the demands of the performing life.
a web reader writes... (tnf) Sun 14 May 00 07:30
From Andy Miller <email@example.com>: Hi fellow authors and others, from England in the Springtime. I'd like to continue the theme of 'encounters' and 'celebrity' a bit further. Like the Phantom Engineer's cousin, I was pretty wary of the film 'Don't Look Back'. After reading reviews I kept well away from it. I'd read that Dylan came across in various 'negative' ways in the film and I wanted to preserve whatever it was that I (and presuambly millions of others) had built in my mind about whoever it was who could produce that continous run of incredible songs through the first half dozen albums. But the point is I think, looking back, - which we've been told not to do, - that my motive at the time was to preserve something that I had built up for myself, and that that phantasy wasn't necessarily that close to the reality. So, millions of us probably had our expectations of who or what Dylan should be. And what kind of pressure must that be to live under? We, - and probably most of those others we see around us at concerts, and all the others at all those other concerts he plays around and around the world, - want to have our 15 minutes with Dylan. For him that's must be a life sentence. And that's without all the record company/manager/accountant hassles and pressures. Little wonder, I suppose, looking back (again), that when his genius was in such intense flow, the welter of encounters took their toll. And he was very very young to be hailed as a genius, even a god. How does anyone stay human, creative, even sane, in the face of that type of onslaught? I wanted to title my chapter to the book 'If you see him, leave him be' but Tracy and/or Jon edited this bit, probably for the better. But this is I think the paradox. We do understand the pressure on this creative artist that we all do our tiny individual bit to create, but such is the effect of Dylan's massive body of creative achievement on us that we would, at the same time, all like our 15 minutes. I really loved the cummulative effect of the chapters in the book and, for me, that review was spot on when it said that a great deal is said about Dylan in the book, without it ever being said directly. Take heed, take heed of the Western wind Andy
I Can Be A Complicated Communicator (dam) Sun 14 May 00 09:20
I also got an advance copy from th3e well for review. I read it in one sitting.....the stories go from excellent to piss poor but on the whold, it is a good read. I would much rather read a book like C.P. Lee's "Bob Dylan and the Road to The Manchester Hall" (which I have).....Clinton Hyelin's A life in Stolen Moments (which I have) and Bob Dylan: Performanace Artist by Paul Williams, which I have. I read ISIS so that may tell you that i am into slong lists, show reviews, bootleg stuff, etc. Would I buy this book......I doubt it......is it a bad book, no.......just no very intersting for someone like me.
Jon Sievert (humblepress) Mon 15 May 00 12:12
Dan, I can appreciate your taste for books by Lee, Heylin, and Williams; they've devoted much of their lives to researching and writing about Dylan, and they provide a lot of information (and speculation) about him. I've read two of the three you mention. I published this book precisely because it was nothing like the three you cite, or any other book about Dylan for that matter. The nature and tenor of his songs invite scholarly research, but some of the pretentious crap written about him really turns me off--like somebody really knew what Bob was thinking when he wrote his songs. I can imagine him reading that stuff and laughing his head off. This is a book by Bobcats for Bobcats, though some won't like it. But at least there are no pretentions. I've been following Dylan almost from the start (though I'll admit I didn't pay much attention to the '80s and early '90s), and I'd seldom heard the kind of stories that are in the book. The man has always somehow managed to keep the mask up. For a guy who's been around for four decades, I think it's kind of remarkable there aren't more stories, particularly substantial ones like the pieces by the authors participating here. It took Tracy two years track these down through the internet and fanzines. In hindsight, I might have eliminated a few of the weaker pieces, if only because they tend to dilute the better ones. But I really like all the different viewpoints and levels of devotion, and I think they all finally add to the overall picture. And speaking of pictures, I really enjoyed tracking down all the previously unpublished images. Rowland Scherman's story and photos from the 1963 Newport Folk Festival, including the cover shot, are terrific. Now for the $64 question (boy, does that date me): Who can identify the picture of Bob in the book that isn't Bob?
Steven Solomon (ssol) Mon 15 May 00 12:17
I live in Northampton, MA, and Dylan played a show here at Smith College a year or so ago. He rolled into town early, and for an hour or so proceeded to deepen his enigmatic stature by utterly confounding expectations. He borrowed somebody's bicycle and bopped around downtown, occassionally stopping and briefly chatting with folks. I've never heard of such public behaviour on his part, before or since, tho I haven't yet read this book.
Phantom Engineer (jera) Mon 15 May 00 13:10
>> Who can identify the picture of Bob in the book that isn't Bob? I can! And it's a picture you took yourself, Jon!
Phantom Engineer (jera) Mon 15 May 00 13:14
Another question for Jon (and for the others as well): Do you think that the kind of approach this book takes is particularly appropriate *because* it's about Dylan, given his persistent use of masks & transforming identities? I may be wrong, but I don't think a book with stories about having met Mick Jagger would be nearly as interesting (or, in all likelihood, as varied).
Marc Silber (marc-silber) Mon 15 May 00 13:46
I have been reading the entries herein about Bob Dylan and I want to express my own feelings about what an Artist is, so as to clarify what we will be getting into discussing here. When one lives in a "Culture" there are usually non-defined lines of behavior, and there are always defined lines of behavior. (remember when some authoritarian figure asked you " can't you just behave yourself?"...and I have wondered all these years how do we ever NOT behave ourselves?") And now, we here in the USA have grown up and lived in either no-Culture, or a pretense of the old version of Culture, and this makes it difficult to discuss the things that make up the attributes or those lacking in any crafts-person. For it is when a crafts-person is deemed to excell in a traditional culture that the word ARTIST starts to become applied to that person and to their creations, etc.) To me Bob Dylan is an Artist. He is an Artist in a non-defined area. And he has helped to create an "Illusion of Culture" for those of us who live in this Illusion on a daily basis. He would be an artist in any Culture because he describes and deals with the interplay of people's feelings, and describes settings within which these feelings are understandable . In this way I find he is similar to a playwright, or to Charles Dickens, or to those who can transfer a personal message even outside their own indigenoues language group...Dylan is talking to and about people...or he has often been doing this, and even though I have not heard all his recordings it is obvious that he is reaching people, and even creating groups of people made of folks with similar beliefs and affections...we are now joined together by things that have supplanted the traditional idea of Culture and we get our songs from sources that are preserved, usually by electronics. So thanks to Dylan for helping bond folks together. ( I have heard some children "bonding" into a mutual culture by discussing which Shopping Mall they grew up at??? This then often goes to "what electronic games did you play whole at this same Shopping Mall??) If this all sounds too serious it is because I am highly disturbed by the "remoteness" of Life which accompanies this type of development. It makes me think that children can not tell the difference between shooting and killing on Video Games at Malls, and shooting their own friends at school. What do you think? My own musical roots are equally divided between folks I have heard and encountered live, and music I have heard from recordings. This is a phenomenon of the 20th Century and came with the advent of recording. Dylan is the same in this way. And he has brought his personal art to life from a multitude of sources, and made it appear in the present time so we can hear, feel and deal with what he is singing and saying. He can achieve this even through the medium of recording. And he continues to perform in real life. He is an Artist. But he is not an Artist who needs money. He performs for some other reasons, and we, the public, are the beneficiaries of this need of his. There are only a few artist who make great earnings from the "royalties" gleaned from others singing their creations. And these few often get lazy, and no longer have to earn a living, etc. But there are some who perform for other reasons, and they are unusual. Paul McCartney is another who continues to perform many years after performing being a matter of bread. So as far as Bob Dylan being perfect, and consistent, and always satisfying everybody through all the decades, well, I do not think it is reasonable to ask this of anybody. But especially not of our creative people. Dylan has given us so many great songs, and is such a fabulous singer that I feel we should just enjoy what he gives us, and disregard it when he creates something we do not like or enjoy. after all, we have not gone to Beethoven's waste basket and found things he discarded and then criticized these discarded creations. We just need to like waht we like, and enjoy it. Here's a statement from me and I would love to get some feedback abut this: I think Bob Dylan is the most influencial singer of the 1950-2000 period in the Western part of our world. And I am not talking here about his particular voice...just his singing abilities. Think about it and drop us a line... So in this book we find reactions and descriptions of many different people's takes on Dylan, and I just want to frame it up with my opinions of who he is and where he stands in what we live in, and where we live. And I want to get one other thing straight here, before I make my very first recording. I will not be paying any royalties to Bob Dylan for any verses he himself has gleaned from older recordings, and seems to not give any credit to the creative people who came before him. On "Time Out of Mind" he has used many, many verses and ideas which were previously recorded and which I have myself used for over forty years, and he will not get one cent from me for using this material. Bob, you do not own these old verses, OK? Give credit to Furry Lewis, and Lemon Jefferson, and Muddy Waters, and Robert Johson or to who ever you first heard sing these words. Remember the greatness of Dock Boggs or Mississippi John Hurt by giving some credit for what you have borrowed. So read this book, and join me in some verbal ramblings here on this site. I appreciated the various takes on Dylan I read within "If You See HIm Say Hello" . PEACE, MARC SILBER (aka : Big Boy Once, the Musical Dunce)
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