Tag Archives: Bob Dylan’s 70th Birthday

The longer you live, the better you get

So said Bob Dylan at the tender age of 27 and indeed, he just keeps getting better! Here’s a link to the Smithsonian’s top 10 Dylan Moments. I am sure many of you out there have your own and I would love to hear about them. My number one is definitely seeing Bob backed by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers aged 15 at Lang Park. That night is forever in my heart and mind.

I also just had to share another of the BBC tributes… this time a show dedicated to the eternally magnificent, Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. For me, the album has taken on even greater significance with the death of Suze Rotolo earlier this year. On the show, the best of the British Folk Scene reinterpret the album. here’s the playlist:

Blowin’ in the Wind by Seth Lakeman; Girl from the North Country by Thea Gilmore; Masters of War by Martin Simpson; Down the Highway by While and Matthews; Bob Dylan’s Blues by Ewan McLennan; A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall by Karine Polwart; Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right by Ralph McTell; Bob Dylan’s Dream by Martin Carthy; Oxford Town by Coope, Boyes and Simpson; Talkin’ World War III Blues by Billy Bragg; Corrina, Corrina by Cara Dillon with The Scoville Units; Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance by Rory Mcleod; and I Shall Be Free by Rab Noakes with Fraser Speirs.

 So Bob, I hope you are celebrating your 70th in style.

The first day of my forties has been wonderful… my lovely wife presented me with the limited edition box set of Okkervil River’s new album, I Am Very Far this morning and it is just magnificent.

It comes in a wooden box and features a print, hard cover lyrics book, 7″ single of two demos, a letter from Will Sheff, the album on deluxe vinyl and CD. I am going to savour this one…

I also managed to set off the fire alarms at my school today and have the whole place evacuated while cooking potato rosti’s. We discovered the fire alarm in is super sensitive!

And tonight we are off to have a Thai feast at our local restaurant.

Yep, feeling really blessed.

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Bob Dylan at 70

I am just back from jamming with Sheish Money in readiness for my 40th Birthday Bash at Confit Bistro next Wednesday night. The riffs and words were flowing and so was the conversation. I won’t give away what we will be performing, but it was a blast tearing into the words of some of my favourite singer/songwriters. The one thing I can tell you (and I guess it’s no surprise) is, we jammed some Dylan tonight.

There’s always plenty of ‘Bob talk’ when Sheish and I are together and tonight was no different. I was raving about Bob’s Theme Time Radio Hour Show on ‘Friends & Neighbours’ and how he drops in quotes by Nietszche and Wilde (‘Good friends will stab you in the front’), plays Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Little Walter, Hank Williams as Luke the Drifter and wants us all to be his friends. And speaking of friends, just this morning, my good friend Ben in the UK sent me through a link to the BBC’s in depth look at Dylan t 70.

And well, I just have to share this with you… for any Dylan fan, these shows are going to thrill you and for those who ain’t, well, they may just turn you on!

Episode 1 is presented by Kristofferson and features interviews with Dylan’s contemporaries Tom Paxton, Jim Kweskin and Dave Van Ronck, who remember his earliest songs and performances; John Hammond, the man who signed Bob to Columbia Records and Joan Baez, who gives a rare insight into her contribution to Dylan’s success.

Bob himself talks about the music that influenced him as a young man, first hearing Woody Guthrie, meeting Peter, Paul & Mary and walking out of the influential Ed Sullivan TV Show in 1963.

Episode 2 features an interview with Martin Carthy, who talks about the influence traditional British folk music had on Dylan’s work, and Peter Asher and Tom Robinson describe the importance of Dylan’s arrival in the British pop charts; John Lennon and Carly Simon realise Dylan’s lyrics mean so much more than anyone else’s; Bob Geldof remembers the first time he heard Like A Rolling Stone and Joe Boyd, stage manager at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival recalls Dylan’s controversial performance.

Episode 3 looks at the making of arguably Dylan’s most influential album, Blonde on Blonde. The episode is titled Nashville Cats and features newly sourced interviews with the key participants on these historic studio recording dates including musicians Al Kooper, Charlie McCoy, Hargus “Pig” Robbins, Wayne Moss, Henry Strzelecki and Joe South. The documentary also features the perspective of Producer Bob Johnston, the man responsible for convincing Dylan to record in Nashville, and reveals the real story behind the supposed symbolism of its famous cover shot care of Jerry Schatzberg, the man behind the lens.

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Counting Down to 40

So there’s twelve days left of my thirties… 

I was talking with a friend the other night, how my twenties were tumultuous and my thirties, a period of settling, so I am now looking forward to diving deeper into the forties and the start of family life.

To celebrate this year, I am performing at Confit Bistro (4/9 Doggett St, Fortitude Valley) on Wednesday May 25. I will be combining my passions of music and poetry and performing a mix of my own words and the words of some of my favourite rock’n’roll poets… think Bob Dylan, David Berman, Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave. The venue opens at 6pm with all of the live performances starting at 6:30pm. I will, as always, be joined by guitar-slinging poet, Sheish Money as well as Jazz singer, Sarah Collyer and fellow Brisbane poets, David Stavanger, Nathan Shepherdson, Fern Thompsett & Janaka Malwatta. If you are in town and want to come along, then shoot me an email so I can book you a spot.

And as I share a birthday with Bob Dylan, I always find myself reaching for him on the CD rack at this time of year. This year, Bob will enter his seventies and his sixth decade as a performing artist… can’t really imagine life without him.

So as a treat for all you Bob fans, here’s a link to some Dylan rarities… WPKN have put together a great little 15min segment which features A Fool Such As I (with The Band), a souped-up, rockabilly version of Watching The River Flow and two classic covers. First up, Bob rips through the Stones’, Brown Sugar before finishing with a brilliant version of Neil Young’s, Old Man. You can listen to the whole set here. Bob on!

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