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I was so much older then. I’m younger than that now
May 19, 2011 6:37 PM   Subscribe

Bob Dylan turns 70 next Tuesday. Why not start the party early by listening to 2ser's annual Bob Dylan Birthday Marathon on Saturday? It's streaming online from 7pm, Sydney time. Dylan has recently denied that China censored his shows, an allegation levelled against him by Maureen Dowd but opposed by Sean Wilentz.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn (28 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Bob Dylan owes me nothing. I owe him a sizable debt of respect.

But come on. He did a Victoria's Secret commercial.

He could have performed the Chinese Communist Party anthem for all the difference it would make now.
posted by Trurl at 6:51 PM on May 19, 2011


But come on. He did a Victoria's Secret commercial.

Dylan has spent his whole career trying to be a trickster, wriggling out of whatever label the critics put on him. He's not firmly in 'respected old man of music', so trying to get out of that by doing a Victoria's Secret commercial or appearing on Dharma & Greg is perfectly in character.

I always found the protest songs the least interesting of his music, though I've got a soft spot for 'The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carrol', Hard Rain, and Masters of War.

I saw him recently. People criticized the performance but I think he's better than he was two years ago. The band is amazing, and his voice is perfectly suited for the songs he's writing now.

When I was 15 or so I wrote a really florid, overblown poem in tribute to Dylan on his birthday. I hope it's disappeared now.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:58 PM on May 19, 2011


Hard to believe "Love and Theft" is going to be 10 years old this September.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:20 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


People read Maureen Dowd?
posted by Max Power at 7:25 PM on May 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


When I was 15 or so I wrote a really florid, overblown poem in tribute to Dylan on his birthday. I hope it's disappeared now.

Actually, I have a copy of said poem in my possession, and your wiring 5000 dollars into my bank account within the next 8 hours will assure that it does not get posted in this thread.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:26 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


From the Maureen Dowd link:
Before Dylan was allowed to have his first concert in China on Wednesday at the Worker’s Gymnasium in Beijing, he ignored his own warning in “Subterranean Homesick Blues” — “Better stay away from those that carry around a fire hose” — and let the government pre-approve his set.

I thought "fire hose" was slang for a needle. You know, stay away from the junkies. 'Cause it's a real rip off scene. Right?
posted by NoMich at 7:27 PM on May 19, 2011


I thought "fire hose" was slang for a needle.

Never heard of that one. I always assumed it was riot police with fire hoses that the line referred to.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:30 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm sure my recall of random conversations from the '80s are waaaay off from reality.
posted by NoMich at 7:36 PM on May 19, 2011


Hard to believe "Love and Theft" is going to be 10 years old this September.

I remember the day that came out. It was the first Dylan album released since I'd become a fan, and I had it marked on my calender. I was going to finish classes, go down to the record store, and spend the rest of the day listening to it. September 11th, 2001 was going to be awesome.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:43 PM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sound Opinions has been doing a series of shows on Dylan that are a great summary of his work. I've never been a fan – more of a sometime admirer. I mean I get why he's great, but there's just some things about his style I can't get past. It's probably more of a generational thing. But I tell ya, when they played Moonshiner on that podcast I bought the song straightaway. Hit me in the gut. His voice even sounds good on that track.
posted by quadog at 7:58 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


As far as I'm concerned, Bob Dylan can do almost anything he wants to and he'll still have my admiration. I haven't been to one of his concerts for years, but when he is playing in town, I feel better just knowing I'm in the same city as Bob Dylan.
posted by marxchivist at 8:16 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hope he's around for a long time. Did not like his '80s music (apparently he didn't, either), but these days whatever he puts out is either wonderful stuff or at least good fun (like his Christmas album). And like everybody who read Chronicles Volume 1, I sure hope he gets around to finishing the promised Volumes 2 and 3.

Summer baseball-field shows with Willie Nelson are a great way to take the family to see Uncle Bob play songs from his whole 50+ years of making music. I hope they do that again this year.
posted by kenlayne at 8:23 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was going to finish classes, go down to the record store, and spend the rest of the day listening to it. September 11th, 2001 was going to be awesome.

And Yankee Hotel Foxtrot...
posted by KokuRyu at 8:27 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, I think Maureen Dowd tends to forget that Bob Dylan was an admirer of Ronald Reagan.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:30 PM on May 19, 2011


Also, I think Maureen Dowd tends to forget that Bob Dylan was an admirer of Ronald Reagan.

Wait, what?
posted by brennen at 8:50 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, I sure know that Mo Dowd is my go-to person for Dylania.

Seriously. Did she run out of snarky things to say about politicians and is trying to branch out?
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:38 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Someone's got it in for me/They're planting stories in the press writing moronic op-eds in the Times."
posted by Rangeboy at 9:41 PM on May 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


Lovecraft - you may be tryin', Dylan Ain't. There's a great difference.
Max Power - She's was funnier commenting about the Bushee's
Quadog - That may be why some old rock magazine rated him the #7 all-time best singer:http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/100-greatest-singers-of-all-time-19691231/bob-dylan-19691231
KokuRyu - Dylan says that you were an admirer of Ron Reagan,

Oh but then again, he' Tryin' to be a Trickster..
posted by noaccident at 9:44 PM on May 19, 2011


quadog, yes! There is something about the quality of his voice on Moonshiner that really makes the hairs on my arms stand up. It's always the song I play to people who insist he couldn't sing. Hard to believe how young he was when he sang that, he sounded so world weary.
posted by onlyconnect at 9:53 PM on May 19, 2011


I said tell me what I want, she said you probably want hard-boiled eggs
posted by KokuRyu at 10:06 PM on May 19, 2011


Having seen Dylan in recent years, the Chinese needn't worry. He's nearly incomprehensible to native English speakers.
posted by gngstrMNKY at 11:31 PM on May 19, 2011


Dylan has spent his whole career trying to be a trickster, wriggling out of whatever label the critics put on him. He's not firmly in 'respected old man of music', so trying to get out of that by doing a Victoria's Secret commercial or appearing on Dharma & Greg is perfectly in character.

Personally, I don't imagine Dylan gives a good goddam what some self-righteous little college student or whoever may or may not think about him. As in, whether he's "selling out" or whatever. I don't think he's one whit worried about "getting out" of any such ideas people may have about him. Therefore, rather than some sort of calculated tricksterism he's engaging in (as if to say "look, see? You thought you knew me, but you were wrong! Ha ha!"), I'd say that doing something like the ad for Victoria's Secret would have more to do with:

A) making a big pile of money*

B) having a healthy predisposition toward wanting to be around pretty young women in sexy underwear

and

C) why the hell not? I mean, it's not like he's selling napalm, fer chrissakes, it's teddies and panties...

*and for the record, ain't a damn thing wrong with that, IMHO
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:24 AM on May 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


As in, whether he's "selling out" or whatever. I don't think he's one whit worried about "getting out" of any such ideas people may have about him.

I"m exactly the sort of 'little boy lost who takes himself too seriously' Dylan has snarked at and laughed at but he has stated several times that he's done this. Or claimed he's done it, anyway. I'm not saying that's why he did the Victoria's Secret ad (pretty girls and money isn't a bad reason) but there's a reason Todd Haynes could have him be played by multiple people and it make perfect sense.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:32 AM on May 20, 2011


Well I don't see any florid poem here so I guess flapjax got his 5 G's. Damn, sat up for 8 hours for nothing
posted by Redhush at 3:40 AM on May 20, 2011


There is a far more important birthday on May 24th. Mine. I sing better than that whiney, absurdly overrated bore, too. Not that that's any great achievement.
posted by Decani at 5:28 AM on May 20, 2011


I don't doubt that Decani because I've always viewed you as MeFi's own whiney, absurdly overrated bore.
posted by Sailormom at 6:35 AM on May 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Saw Dylan play once. It was like listening to Scooby-Doo sing. Bleah.
posted by asperity at 6:49 AM on May 20, 2011


I sing better than that whiney, absurdly overrated bore, too.

I highly doubt that. Let me repeat the "highly" part.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:36 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


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