Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Revelations from Bob Dylan

The Greatest Source of Bob Dylan insight:
Himself - Well, sort of....

Bob Dylan graphic by Elbow Hinge Design

I have the thought that not many people really know Bob Dylan. The same could be true for many of us. But never has a man been so focused on with so very little left unsaid and unclear. And still, a mystery!

We all recognize the various characterizations of the past.... Coy, evasive Bob. The Dark Soul. The Rebel. The Misunderstood Icon. The Mysterious Artist. The Troubador. The Recluse. The Rocker. The Sage. Therein lied the Mystique and Wonder of the latest Bob Dylan film.

The Revelations have come Slow - About once every three to five years, Bob Dylan does something wild that it catches the world's ears and eyes. He releases a new album, appear in a film, starts a radio program sharing his favorite artists past and present or gives a revealing exclusive interview - (this one is still my favorite ever, from 1963).

Recently - and without much fanfare, I might add - Dylan won a formal Pulitzer Prize citation. Even the most devoted Dylan fans, who cannot overstate the man's importance in their eyes, batted a collective eyelash. We know, we say nodding... "we know."

Several times a year, Music Experts, Rock Journalists and Bob's fellow musicians lay some claim to new-found revelations in his songs. Sooner or later, some brave soul stands up at the alter with an old Dylan gem held high! After dusting it off, they decide to share it with the rest of us. Fantastic and necesary, but the Dylan fanatic in me has always wanted more!

So it is with great interest I peer at the new online issue of Vanity Fair.
In an article whimsically titled: "Inside Bob Dylan's Brain" we look at Bob's likes and (by omission,) his dislikes. The VF article focuses on Dylan's fascination with his radio program topics (Theme Time Radio Hour). Now with two years worth of shows, Vanity Fair contributor Duff McDonald catalogs everything from the artists Dylan has played, to the poets, movies and television shows he’s referenced, to the jokes he’s told and the recipes he’s shared. Little comments that Bob made along the way fill in the blanks.

The Vanity Fair piece is definitely fun and enlightening! The topics are based on the radio program's easy-going, conversational feel... The piece has great Dylan quotes from the last two years: “I don’t trust a man who doesn’t tear up a little watching Old Yeller."

What we read about Bob Dylan in Vanity Fair is likable and certainly hopeful. He is open-minded and surprising modern at times. “A lot of people who play one kind won’t play with people who play another kind, but me personally, I never understood any kind of border patrol when it comes to music.”

This is wicked stuff and an absolute must-read for Dylan fans! The print copy will be available on store shelves very soon!

From Bob Dylan Theme Time Radio Show
Episode 15 from last season - an "Eyes" theme:
The Streets - Dry Your Eyes (with Bob Dylan intro)


Dax said...

Imagine the coincidence! I was doing a search for Elbow Hinge Design (my soon to be, hopefully, successful freelance design moniker) and found this blog.
I've always been intrigued by how ambiguous and mysterious Bobby D is. Some friends and I (some fans, others not) all saw "I'm Not There" and the only people who 'got' it were Dylan fans.
Anyhow, good post, good luck and goodbye for now.

-- Dax

Neil Cake said...

In response to that previous comment; I'm a Dylan fan, I "got" that film, and it was still shite.