Mudcat Café message #1333577 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #75651   Message #1333577
Posted By: PoppaGator
20-Nov-04 - 11:04 AM
Thread Name: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
Dammit, GUEST, I swore I wuz gonna drop this, but I can't!

1) I (too) stopped following every Dylan release, sometime around the mid-70s. My high opinion of his work is pretty much based on the earlier stuff. I think he's "back" -- into another one of his high-quality creative periods -- as of "Love & Death," which I like and admire (as I did other isolated latter-day albums, like, say, "Blood On The Tracks").

2) As far as that "Voice of a Generation" business goes, I plead guilty to having felt that he *was* speaking to me and my peers during a very turbulent time. The Beatles and others, too, but none so tellingly as Bob. Since then, I've come to realize that, while there was indeed "something happening here" within worldwide youth culture to which musicians with worldwide exposure gave voice, those musicians themselves were blundering their way through the times just about as blindly as everyone else. Their efforts to make sense of things, however, were welcome and admirable.

3) What surprised me the most when I read "Chronicles Vol I" last week was all the great, complimentary things Bob had to say about *folk music* in the final part of the book. Based on things I've read and heard over the years, I had thought his attitude was different -- that rock 'n' roll was his true calling and that he valued it most highly, that he played it in high school and then again in '65 and ever since, and that those years in the folk world were just a youthful diversion and/or a ploy to get involved in a briefly popular trend. What he says in his new book is quite different: as he recalls his younger days, when he first encountered folk music and threw himself into learning everything he could about it, he goes on for pages and pages about the depth and seriousness and timeless appeal of songs that have come down to us through various folk traditions -- thoughts that even the hardest-assed "folk Nazi" would applaud. Kinda surprising, and very nice indeed.