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MAY 25, 2011 5:00PM

The Times They Are A Changin': Bob Dylan Turns 70!!

Rate: 18 Flag

Say it ain’t so. 

 

Robert Zimmerman was born in Hibbing, Minn. on May 24, 1941.  At the age of 20, he arrived in NYC’s Greenwich Village playing coffee houses.  It is said that his first night in town he played the famous Café Wha?  Producer John Hammond was impressed and signed him to a 5 year contract and his first self-titled album was recorded.  It did not do well.  From there he decided to record more and more of his own original music.  It was this year that he wrote one of his most famous songs “Blowin In The Wind”.

 

By 1965, he had recorded his 6th album “Hwy 61 Revisited”, which I must say, perhaps more due to nostalgia than anything else, is still my favorite Dylan album.

 

highway61revisited 

 

Now the Rovin' gambler he was very bored
He was tryin' to create a next world war
He found a promoter who nearly fell off the floor
He said, "I never engaged in this kind of thing before
But yes I think it can be very easily done"

We'll just put some bleachers out in the sun
And have it on Highway 61

 

and in that year does his last entirely acoustic set,  performing at the Newport Folk Festival that year – backed by the (electric)Paul Butterfield Blues Band – his performance is booed.

 

It is in 1965 when Dylan starts playing with “The Band” and in July of 1966, suffers serious injuries in a motorcycle accident  This keeps him off the touring circuit for the next 8 years!  Though it does not stop his recording.

John Wesley Harding in 1967; Nashville Skyline in ‘69

It is not until 1974 that he gets back on the road, playing with “The Band”, who he has been playing with since 1967 when they lived together in a house in upstate NY they called “Big Pink”

 

He  was Married Sara from 1965 until 1977 and had 5 children .

 

1979-81 brought Dylan’s Gospel phase but by

by 1983 – he was headed back towards his roots in Judaism

 

A fact that I did not know, was that Dylan was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature each year from 1996 to 2000, though he did not win it.  Allen Ginsberg was instrumental in having him nominated and says”

- Dylan is a major American Bard & ministrel of the XX Century, whose words have influenced many generations throughout the world. He deserves a Nobel Prize in recognition of his mighty and universal powers"

He Has a number of albums that are lukewarm in the intervening years.  But In 1997 the album “Time Out Of Mind” is released which wins him 3 Grammy’s in 1998, including best album.

 

 

Bob Dylan’s First #1 pop hit = Mr. Tambourine Man – the Byrds.

 

Rolling Stone Magazine declares that “Like A Rolling Stone” was #1 of the “The Greatest 500 Songs Of All Time

 

 

Nobody has ever taught you how to live on the street
And now you're gonna have to get used to it
You said you'd never compromise
With the mystery tramp, but now you realize
He's not selling any alibis

As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes
And say do you want to make a deal?

 

When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose

 

 

 

Ballad of a Thin Man

 

You raise up your head
And you ask, “Is this where it is?”
And somebody points to you and says
“It’s his”
And you say, “What’s mine?”
And somebody else says, “Where what is?”
And you say, “Oh my God
Am I here all alone?”

Desolation Row

 

 

 

Now the moon is almost hidden
The stars are beginning to hide
The fortune-telling lady
Has even taken all her things inside
All except for Cain and Abel
And the hunchback of Notre Dame
Everybody is making love
Or else expecting rain
And the Good Samaritan, he’s dressing
He’s getting ready for the show
He’s going to the carnival tonight
On Desolation Row

Desolation Row is noted for its length = 11:21

It was recorded on August 4, 1965, in Columbia’s Studio A in New York City."

http://www1.rollingstone.com/dylan/

I was waiting for lschmoopie to perhaps do a tribute to Dylan but so far the only mention I have seen is today on

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I'm still looking for a better version of "Ballad Of A Thin Man" Those old ones are hard to find.
Hard to believe!! I think the best part -- or one of the best parts -- about having children is that you get to introduce them to the music you love. My son went through a very strong Dylan phase (which he's still in).
Thanks for sharing your love of Dylan with us. He is one interesting and timeless American genius.
Happy birthday Bob!!
How great of you to put this up! I last saw him in Constitution Hall, pre-Time Out Of Mind. I sat 3rd row from the front with other rapt adorers. I remember how his backlit spit and sweat glittered in a halo around his head.
James did a post yesterday that was good, especially the great comments. Dylan was a genius that few can even come close to copying. He's had more songs and lines stolen than most people have songs. Happy Birthday to da' Man himself, Robert Zimmerman~
Trilogy: If he is 70 then we are what? 25???:)
rated with hugs
A dyed-in the-wool fan here. Here deserves that prize one of these years!
bought the first album a few weeks after it came out and loved 'im all my days. when our tombstones turn to dust there'll still be some kid on the streets on some planet playin' his songs.
It is hard to believe. I'm so glad he's so much older than me! Puts things in perspective. A learned a few new things about him thanks to you.
Hey tril,

Glad you had time to put this together. I wanted to. Time is not on my side right now. Working for the man is almost 24/7 these days.

Back to Dylan. Greatest American artist of all, any genre. Period.

Blood on the Tracks will always be my fav.

Great post. Thanks for doing it, trilogy!
Ecck - Of course I was thinking of you. Thanks for stopping by.
I saw him life in St. Louis in '74, during his last tour with The Band in the Rolling Thunder Review. It was akin to a tent revival meeting. I think I was speaking in tongues by the end. Well...it coulda been the peyote.
I saw him live in St. Louis in '74, during his last tour with The Band in the Rolling Thunder Review. It was akin to a tent revival meeting. I think I was speaking in tongues by the end. Well...it coulda been the peyote.
I was completely in love with him and his music while all my friends were swooning over Elvis, it was the first time I truly felt like I did not belong. I started wearing black and hanging out at a coffee house in Minneapolis where he used to play.
rated with love
Nice music picks trilogy. I realize you had to go for the condensed version of Bob's life but I think he kicked around a lot longer in NY before he was discovered. Nonetheless, great to see a tribute to a true musical genius.
One of my favorites is Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands...pure poetry...
Heart Burns With Hope
http://open.salon.com/blog/surazeus/2011/05/19/heart_burns_with_hope

Bob Dylan Wizard of Weird grins like a jester
juggling nuclear bombs and gold coins of power
as young man plays guitar on city street corner
singing magic spells that flow from human scripture
and his heart burns with hope he sings with love.
Abra: I just went back and checked Wikepedia,which says he showed up in NY Jan of '61 and was signed by Hammond by October that year. But that's Wikepedia, so who knows. Thanks, too, for telling me about the line I left out.

Surazeus: I just checked out your video. Very cool.

Matt: Sorry about that. Speaking in Tongues by the end? Ha!
What a great tribute to one of the best poets if not voices of our generation. Like many artists he had some failures but far fewer than his successes and were most likely due to the artists curiosity and desire to constantly re-invent himself than to inability. Great artists take chances in order to grow and Dylan is a perfect example of that. r
Thanks Rosy - I was sure you would be a fan! You probably saw him at the Cafe Wha!
Thank you! Great song picks. But don't forget Blond on Blond...
Luminous - you're back - great to see you. Yes, Blond on Blonde.
Great write!!!
Nobel prize nominations? That escaped me too..and too bad...for he made a lot of difference in the world.
Congrats on the EP!
good samaritan must learn first he is here all alone,
accept the bone handed to him,
swim in Titanic's wake as
eliot et al guide her to
hollywood's rocky shores.

every hair is numbered, like every grain of sand...
too bad we are conditioned to self-see
ourselves as bland and dirty.

a fine conditioner=
"it's all right, ma":

tis life & life only.
Bob is remarkable I think because he shows us a glimpse of the greatness each one of us possesses. The difference is that Bob can call on it, bring it out into the open, and deliver on a regular basis. I've loved his music on record since I was a week lad. I've seen him perform live, and I've never been disappointed.

Bob is art. I never know what I'm going to get - but I know it's going to challenge me, at least to some extent. He is Bob, and that's good enough for me. Happy Life, Bob. Happy Listening to the rest of us.
Just as James Brown was the Godfather of Soul, Dylan was the dean of word-salad song lyric writing, really a kind of scat-singing if you stop and think about it.

The first bootleg records (i.e. records of unreleased material, not counterfeit versions of commercial releases) I ever owned were of Dylan's work. "John Birch Society Blues" and "Let Me Die In My Footsteps" will always be in my personal top-100!
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He was nominated for a Nobel Prize? I had no idea! Thanks for this great history.
How can my teenage heroes be turning seventy? A wonderful man who has given so much to the world.

Congrats on the EP. Well deserved.

I'm looking forward to visiting Nashville before returning home.
To me, Dylan remains ageless. His lyrics and music will be appreciated for generations. He's an American treasure.
Thanks for the lesson, Trilogy. Always a Dylan fan.
Omg has time flown right by and then some. BD seventy...wow!
Bob Dylan is the greatest living American poet. No one even comes close. He transcended being a mere pop star long ago and the difference between Dylan and the run-of-the-mill celebrity cipher is painfully obvious.
Bob Dylan is the greatest living American poet. No one even comes close. He transcended being a mere pop star long ago and the difference between Dylan and the run-of-the-mill celebrity cipher is painfully obvious.
Marlene, thanks for this great tribute to Bob Dylan! Like so many others have already said it is really something to contemplate that he has hit 70! I haven't followed his career as closely as some other musicians from the '60s and there are a number of items I learned about him from your post.

Recently I left the following 007 one liner on a post of Linda S's and it seems appropriate to add here:

Dr. Holly Goodhead: Oh, come on now Mr. Bond, a 70-year old can take 3 G's.

James Bond: Well, the trouble is there's never a 70-year old around when you need one. (in Moonraker)

Bob Dylan is now our newest 70-year old who can most likely take 3 G's!
Wow, I never knew about the Nobel nomination either. Thanks for the new information. rated
Trilogy, well done post and obviously very well loved for all the right reasons. Okay, this is gonna be hard to believe. In 1961 my future husband and I were on a plane to Chicago. Bobby Zimmerman and my first husband to be, both had guitars and they played to everyone's enjoyment the entire flight.

In those days, my fear of flying was intense and I, alone, missed the whole show. Quelle domage. Julian never fully forgived me. I'm not afraid to fly anymore. And Bobby Zimmerman isn't hanging out in coach. good one, my friend.
I just came across this post by accident. I was checking up on you, in fact. There are stories I could tell about Dylan. We moved in the same circles in New York for awhile. But right now I am remembering the time he blew through Boston, and played a gig at the Harvard Square Theater (before they broke it up into several smaller movie theaters) during Rolling Thunder Tour. Joan Baez were there that night. She sang Diamonds and Rust. I happened to have binoculars with me and saw something most people didn't notice.

Dylan was wearing diamond cuff links, black onyx cuff links with a diamond set into the onyx. I never saw him wear french cuffs before or after that night.
I just came across this post by accident. I was checking up on you, in fact. There are stories I could tell about Dylan. We moved in the same circles in New York for awhile. But right now I am remembering the time he blew through Boston, and played a gig at the Harvard Square Theater (before they broke it up into several smaller movie theaters) during Rolling Thunder Tour. Joan Baez were there that night. She sang Diamonds and Rust. I happened to have binoculars with me and saw something most people didn't notice.

Dylan was wearing diamond cuff links, black onyx cuff links with a diamond set into the onyx. I never saw him wear french cuffs before or after that night.
It's tough to find much of Dylan on YouTube. There was a major purge about a year ago. If it ever returns, do check out Isis from the Rolling Thunder review. It's hard to be concise with the superlatives where Dylan is concerned. Suffice to say that I'm very glad he's been making music throughout my life.

The Bobfest from the early 90s features all sorts of great performances.