Friday: 19.November.2004

Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" voted Greatest Song of All Time

Rolling Stone magazine voted Bob Dylan's Like a Rolling Stone the Greatest Song of all Time. You think the song's title, being so similar to name of the magazine, might've had anything to do with their selection? They deny any subliminal bias.

I went thru a Dylan phase back in my rebellious youth. I like that tune. Heck, I know every word by heart. ("When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose.") Who doesn't have a snooty old love they'd like to ask that famous question, "How does it feel?" [To be on your own, With no direction home, Like a complete unknown, Like a rolling stone?]

It was the first song that broke the iron law that a hit single should not run more than 3 minutes. Dylan shattered that by making "Like a Rolling Stone" 6 minutes. The magazine editors had this to say about their top selection:


>>> "No other pop song has so thoroughly challenged and transformed the commercial laws
>>> and artistic conventions of its time, for all time."

I've been in clubs where old Dylan tunes were being performed. Whenever they do Like a Rolling Stone, the crowds shout "How does it feel?". Cracks me up every time I hear how much emotion they put into those words. (Especially after they've had a few brewskis to loosen up their vocal cords.)

Dylan doesn't seem as popular here on the West Coast. I think he's more of a New York/East Coast artist. He's written about a million songs. Other Dylan classics that are favorites of mine:

Blowin' in the Wind (Yes, 'n' how many times must the cannon balls fly, Before they're forever banned?)

The Times They Are A-Changin' (Come mothers and fathers, Throughout the land, And don't criticize, What you can't understand. Your sons and your daughters, Are beyond your command. Your old road is Rapidly agin'. Please get out of the new one, If you can't lend your hand. For the times they are a-changin'.)

Shelter From the Storm (Suddenly I turned around and she was standin' there. With silver bracelets on her wrists and flowers in her hair. She walked up to me so gracefully and took my crown of thorns. "Come in," she said, "I'll give you shelter from the storm.")

Tangled Up in Blue (Then she opened up a book of poems. And handed it to me. Written by an Italian poet From the thirteenth century. And every one of them words rang true, And glowed like burnin' coal, Pourin' off of every page, Like it was written in my soul from me to you, Tangled up in blue.)

I Shall Be Released (I see my light come shining, From the west unto the east. Any day now, any day now, I shall be released.) And my two favorites:

Don't Think Twice; It's All Right (I once loved a woman, a child I'm told. I gave her my heart, but she wanted my soul. But don't think twice, it's all right.) and

It Ain't Me Babe (Here's another song people sing at the top of their lungs: You say you're looking for someone, Who'll pick you up each time you fall, To gather flowers constantly, An' to come each time you call, A lover for your life an' nothing more, But it ain't me, babe, No, no, no, it ain't me, babe, It ain't me you're lookin' for, babe.) Oh, and can't forget:

Knockin' On Heaven's Door (Mama, put my guns in the ground. I can't shoot them any more. That long black cloud is comin' down, I feel like I'm knockin' on heaven's door.)

And maybe his most mind-blowing: My Back Pages:

A self-ordained professor's tongue
Too serious to fool
Spouted out that liberty
Is just equality in school
"Equality," I spoke the word
As if a wedding vow.
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I'm younger than that now.

Let the revolution begin.

I was walking thru Heisler Park yesterday at sunset and there was a guy there playing some Dylan tunes on his guitar in the gazebo. I sat down and listened to a few while watching the sun set. Very cool. Relaxing. The shape of the gazebo actually made for decent acoustics. I dropped a buck in his basket.

Bob Dylan reportedly took his surname from the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. Have you noticed how many poets end up committing suicide? I saw the movie Sylvia last night (Sylvia Plath, played by Gweneth Paltrow). She off'ed herself, too.

A friend of mine has a theory which says the only truly-rational people are some of those we consider "crazy", cuz (the theory goes) they see the world as it truly is: unable (or unwilling) to filter the ugliness and horrors most "sane" people do. The rest of us are merely in denial. They use the prevalence of mental instability among many of the great poets and artists to support their theory.

I also heard that when you go crazy (full-blown psychoses), it's as if you pass thru a gelatin wall. And on the other side is peace & tranquility.

Posted by Rad at November 19, 2004 06:15 AM


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