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Tony Grist

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Me And Bobby [Sep. 27th, 2005|10:26 am]
Tony Grist
Scorsese's documentary about Dylan's youth has taken me back to my own "bliss was it in that dawn to be alive" moment. It's 1968, there are mountains outside the window and me and Graham Leader and Marc de May are going to change the world tomorrow, but today, in preparation, we're about to lean back, shut our eyes and listen to John Wesley Hardin just one more time...

Mind you, I didn't get it. Still don't. John Wesley Harding, I mean.

I have a rocky relationship with Dylan. I've always wanted to like him more than I actually do. I think the early stuff is dated and the "poetry" often facile- and yet scattered throughout his career, right up to the present, are songs I love. My very favourite is a thing called Dark Eyes which comes off a mid-80s album which many of the critics rate as his worst ever....

The second part of Scorsese's film is showing tonight. I'll be there.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2005-09-27 04:15 am (UTC)
*snort*

I didn't like him then and I still don't like him.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-09-27 05:20 am (UTC)
But maybe you'll concede that even though you hate him, he's kinda interesting.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2005-09-27 05:39 am (UTC)
????

I don't hate him. But I don't find him interesting. Sample dialog with guitar teacher:

GT: Didn't you practice this week?
Me: Well, I tried, but the tune just doesn't *speak* to me. I can't seem to concentrate on it.
GT: But it's a Bob Dylan song...
Me: Oh. That explains it.

And his voice has always grated on me like chalk on a blackboard.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-09-27 06:46 am (UTC)
I like the voice.

But then I like medieval music too- crumhorns and other nasal, whiny instruments.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2005-09-27 08:55 am (UTC)
Crumhorns are nasal. Dylan is whiny. In my opinion, of course.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-09-27 09:10 am (UTC)
I won't quarrel with that.

But I like the whininess. It's individual.
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[User Picture]From: arielstarshadow
2005-09-27 10:18 am (UTC)
Yep - I can't stand the voice, either, and have never found him all that exciting. It's nice to see I'm not alone!
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2005-09-28 07:35 am (UTC)
I've also read that he was a real user of the generous Big Names in the early 60s Greenwich Village folk music scene. That and changing his name from Zimmerman to Dylan would have been enough to sour me on someone whose music was more to my taste.
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2005-09-27 08:31 am (UTC)
We're deeply tied up in other stuff right now, but we're taping the programmes and really looking forward to them.

Interesting that you think Dylan's "early stuff" is dated: what, Blowing in the Wind / Times Are A-Changing? Yes, perhaps - although I think you could dust off Hard Rain and tell the kids it was written yesterday... And I wonder if one reason for the revival of respect for the old man is that it's so long since he did anything new that we can go back to listening to his great period, instead of the more recent, weaker stuff (I'll have to look out Dark Eyes, which I don't know, though...)

I like his voice, but then I've had a long time to get used to it: my sister-in-law can't stand it, and has to be played cover versions before she can bear to listen to the songs.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-09-27 08:59 am (UTC)
Maybe what I'm really saying is that the early 60s folk style is dated. It's possible to imagine new arrangements of the best of those songs that would bring them right into the present.

Even so, I prefer middle period Dylan. Blood on the Tracks, Desire- those are probably my favourite albums. And I like his recent stuff too. Love and Theft is an interesting piece of work, very playful, and it's predecessor Time Out Of Mind is as good as anything he's ever done.
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2005-09-27 09:02 am (UTC)
I got home in time to miss the first 15 mins, but turned it on. Bob Dylan went to Canada to help induct Gordon Lightfoot into the Juno Hall of Fame. It's a major happening for a song writer to pay that kind of tribute to another writer, but even MORE of a tribute considering Dylan's status.

I like a LOT of his music. But like you I, I have always wanted to like him more than I actually do.

Everyone has different tastes. Obviously my tastes lean more toward Lightfoot. But Dylan has had plenty to say, and still does.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-09-27 09:14 am (UTC)
I think it's really cool how they agreed to premiere the film on the same day in Britain and America.

I have to admit I don't know Gordon Lightfoot. Tell me some song titles I might have heard of....

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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2005-09-27 11:57 am (UTC)
Oh boy! Someone who wants to know about Lightfoot! halfmoon_mollie rubs her hands together in excitement!

Early Mornin' Rain
Sit Down Young Stranger
Sundown
Beautiful
If You Could Read My Mind
Carefree Highway

(those were all 'popular'. Now here's a list of my favorites)

Minstrel of the Dawn
Sit Down Young Stranger
Baby Step Back
Don Quixote
Summer Side of Life

I'm stopping here because I could, literally,go on and on. I have every CD of Lightfoot music that was released by the major labels, and some that I've picked up in bargain bins. (and I have a bootleg lightfoot source...!) At one time I had vinyl, and 8 track, and cassette.

I was tickled by Dylan's comment that he just wants a Lightfoot song to go forever...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-09-27 12:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you for those. I must now do some research of my own.

The second part of the Dylan film starts in eight minutes.......
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From: philtration
2005-09-28 02:33 am (UTC)
I always thought that he sounded like he just smelled some cat shit or maybe he just saw a large scary insect. Euuwwwwwww I jusss saw a buuuuug!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-09-28 01:29 pm (UTC)
I know what you mean. He sorta lifts his nose and flares his nostrils. It's a pretty distinctive singing style.
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[User Picture]From: slatts
2005-09-28 06:51 am (UTC)
1967....

The Beatles release the most over-produced albulm in their career: Sgt.Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

And Dylan release a small commbo jam session called: John Wesley Harding

The juxtaposition IS 1967!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-09-28 07:26 am (UTC)
Of course you're right about the date of the album

But the fact is I didn't catch up with it until a year later.

My friend Graham Leader introduced me to it. He also introduced me to the Doors and Miles Davis.
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[User Picture]From: slatts
2005-09-28 07:34 am (UTC)
Yeah, I didn't do my Dylan "catching-up" til the early 70's when most of his best stuff (and my favorite stuff) was already history...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-09-28 07:46 am (UTC)
I like Blood on the Tracks and Desire. I think thenabouts is my favourite phase in Dylan's career.

But I like the very recent stuff too. I've just been listening to Time Out of Mind again. That's one hell of a good album.

There have been highs and lows, but I don't think he's ever lost the ability to come up with good (and surprising) songs.
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[User Picture]From: slatts
2005-09-28 07:59 am (UTC)
Yes, I was very current w/ Dylan when Blood came and Desire.... then the 80's came!

I almost daily have been listening to LOVE AND THEFT. In my opinion, they gave him the Grammy an album too early. TIME is good. But LOVE smokes! The band is red hot and Dylan as "the new Howlin' Wolf" is at his best lyrically and vocally....

But if I could only have 3 of his albums, I'd have to go with BLONDE, 61 and HOME
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-09-28 08:32 am (UTC)
Love and Theft intrigues me. I've listened to it a few times, but I don't feel I've got inside it yet.

Wonder what he'll do next......
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[User Picture]From: slatts
2005-09-28 08:50 am (UTC)
Wonder what he'll do next......

I know! His book. This documentary. His touring....

I guess we just gotta stay tuned.....
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-09-28 08:58 am (UTC)
Yeah, I mean to read the book.

But what I really want are some new songs.....
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[User Picture]From: sina_says
2005-09-28 12:18 pm (UTC)
ah, dylan. one of my very favorite songs in the world is tangled up in blue. except that i really, really hate when he sings it. everyone under the sun has covered it and i universally prefer the cover versions.

and i'm downloading dark eyes now. i'd never heard it.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-09-28 12:35 pm (UTC)
Tangled up in Blue is a great song.

I'll be curious to know how you like Dark Eyes.
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[User Picture]From: sina_says
2005-09-28 01:50 pm (UTC)
unfortunately, after some consideration, i've decided that i really, really don't...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-09-28 02:22 pm (UTC)
Ah well.......:)
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