Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Bob Dylan's Birthday

Today is Bob Dylan's 65th birthday. What's the big deal, you say? Well, nothing really. It's just that Dylan has long been an inspiration of mine.

I first began listening to Dylan in 1963 when I obtained his second album, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. It was a 33 RPM vinyl record that I played hundreds of times on our blond, veneer, HI-FI stereo console that set up against the wall of our living room, next to the front door of our suburban home in Berea, Ohio.

Whoa! I just realized something. That was 43 years ago!

Anyway, not long afterwards, I got my first guitar, a Sears Silvertone, and began to strum. Among the many things I liked about Dylan was the fact that he couldn't sing worth a hoot. That simple fact gave me hope that, "Hey, if he can make, maybe I can too!" Of course I never did, but it was fun dreaming about it "back in the day," as they say.

The first Dylan song I learned to play and sing was Oxford Town. Listen to a clip.

It wasn't long after I got that album, that I bought my first harmonica, and one of those metal harmonica holders that hangs on your neck. Finding the notes came quite easy to me and before long I was playing two instruments at one time.

As the years rolled on, I came to appreciate the genius of Dylan more and more. This is actually the second posting I have made about Dylan. Here's the first.

I have many favorite Dylan songs. Among them are:

Click on any of the above links and you will be taken to Bob's website where he has the lyrics to every song and a clip you can listen to.

Here's a list of the Dylan albums I have owned through the years. Unfortunately I have lost track of some of them:

I love the way Dylan weaves his lyrics together. Some examples:

Farewell Angelina
"Farewell Angelina
The bells of the crown
Are being stolen by bandits
I must follow the sound
The triangle tingles
And the trumpet plays slow
Farewell Angelina
The sky is on fire
And I must go."

"I can still see them playin'
with their pails in the sand,
They run to the water their buckets to fill.
I can still see the shells fallin' out of their hands
As they follow each other back up the hill.

Sara, Sara,
Sweet virgin angel,
sweet love of my life,
Sara, Sara,
Radiant jewel,
mystical wife."

Not Dark Yet
"I was born here and I'll die here
against my will
I know it looks like I'm moving,
but I'm standing still
Every nerve in my body is so vacant and numb
I can't even remember what it was I came here to get away from.

Don't even hear a murmur of a prayer
It's not dark yet,
but it's getting there."

Sixty-five is sort of a landmark year. It's a milestone in life. Throughout my artistic life, Dylan has been an inspiration to me, actually since I was twelve or thirteen years old. So it seemed appropriate to me to post something on my blog in tribute to his artistic self.

Bob Dylan. Forever Young. Happy Birthday Bob!


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