Thursday, August 31, 2006

Bob Dylan now and then

Old Bob Dylan has a new album. I can't think of him as aging like the rest of us. In 1989, I went to a Bob Dylan concert in Paris, and his voice didn't crack and tremble dramatically, as it once did. He drowned out his voice in extremely amplified instrumental music. I wonder what the new album will be like.

At this week there are reviews of various books on Dylan. I lifted the wonderful photo -- how young Dylan looked in 1963.

Above all, the online issue includes a wonderful reprint of Nat Hentoff’s Profile of Dylan from 1964, including a long description of a Dylan recording session. Hentoff wrote: "Dylan went on to record a song about a man leaving a girl because he was not prepared to be the kind of invincible hero and all-encompassing provider she wanted. 'It ain’t me you’re looking for, babe,' he sang, with finality."

What finality. It makes me remember the first song I heard by the electric Dylan, "Ballad of the thin man," the one with the refrain "You know something is happening, but you don't know what it is, do you, Mr.Jones."

Read the article:

The Crackin’, Shakin’, Breakin’ Sounds
by Nat Hentoff
Issue of 1964-10-24
Posted 2006-08-28

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