Tag Archives: Bob Dylan’s 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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Bob Dylan – 69 years young

I believe we all have artistic beacons… those shining lights that guide us through the years and soundtrack the highs and lows of our lives. For me, Dylan has always shone brightly. His words have circled me for my entire 39 years and I have to say, I cannot imagine life without Dylan. Sharing a birthday with him, well that’s just icing on the cake!

In 1985 I saw my first ever concert, it wasn’t Bob, but it was a man inspired by him – Bruce Springsteen and The E-Street Band. I still remember the sheer exhilaration of that show, the incredible feeling of having music flood over me in the live arena. The following year, I had my second concert experience… this time it was Bob, backed by the legendary Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.

When I look back on this, I cannot help but thinking I was spoiled. It’s an almost unbeatable one, two punch (three including Petty!). I have since seen Bob five times and live in hope that I have not had my last live Dylan experience. Each time, Bob has shifted shape and delivered set lists that have left audiences guessing. I never would have imagined Cat’s in the Well from Under the Red Sky being the opening number when I saw him last in 2007 (here’s the full set list from the show). But that’s part of the magic…

So to celebrate my 39th and Bob’s 69th, I have dug up a link where you can download a concert from Bob’s ‘Together and Alone’ 1986 tour with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. My memory of this show includes Bob adorned with big bauble earrings and leather vest, Tom smoking one of the biggest joints I have ever seen, Mike Campbell’s shredding solo in So You Want To Be A Rock’n’Roll Star and rousing versions of Rainy Day Women #12 & 35, When the Night Comes Falling, Ballad of a Thin Man and Positively 4th Street.

This concert recorded live in New York on the 4th of July, 1986 features many of those songs… and has stripped back the years and filled me with the same sense of wonder and awe. So here it is in its entirety:

Bob Dylan w/ Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers live in New York

And as a thank you to everyone who posted their favourite tracks on my recent Dylan post, here’s a treat for you… I have rummaged around to come up with clips of ten of the songs as a way of saying thank you.

Enjoy,

Ballad of a Thin Man
Tangled Up In Blue
Series of Dreams

Things Have Changed
Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
Subterranean Homesick Blues
 (w/ Neil Young)
Highway 61 Revisited
Romance in Durango

Brownsville Girl
Lonesome Day Blues

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Bobfest – 69 Dylan Songs

It’s just twelve days until Bob celebrates his 69th birthday, but the Coowonga Folk Club in Rockhampton (Central QLD, Australia for those who may not have heard of it) is starting the party early with a concert this Saturday night, featuring 69 of their favourite Dylan songs. 69 songs in one concert… I know, I gasped when I read it, but Bob is an artist that inspires such devotion (or fanatacism or whatever else you care to call the love of Bob). Two members of the group were recently interviewed on 612 ABC Radio to talk a bit about the event, their favourite Dylan songs and to play a version of Just Like A Woman from Dylan’s 1966 classic album, Blonde on Blonde.

But if like me, you are not able to make it along to Bobfest, never fear… you can have Bobfest in your own home. And what better way to do that than to get a taste of what Bob’s recent shows have been like and the good folk at webinfront have made that all possible. You can download two of Bob’s 2009 shows in their entirety and the setlists are crackers… drawing heavily from his recent albums:

Together Through Life

Beyond Here Lies Nothin’
Jolene
My Wife’s Hometown

Modern Times

Nettie Moore
Thunder on the Mountain
Rollin’ and Tumblin’

Love and Theft

Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum
High Water (for Charley Patton)
Po’ Boy

As well as playing a good selection from his back catalog:

Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat
Highway 61 Revisted
All Along the Watchtower
I Don’t Believe You (She acts like we never met)
Tangled Up In Blue
Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright

So, here’s the links to your very own Bobfest:

Bob Dylan live at the Hollywood Palladium 13.10.09; and
Bob Dylan live at the Roundhouse, London 26.4.09

And while you are at it, why not send me your favourite Dylan songs… we can make our own list of 69 songs in celebration of his upcoming birthday!

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