Monday, 23 May 2011
Like a Rolling Stone
Can it really be 48 years since "Free Wheeling": 46 years since "Like A Rollin' Stone"? The people I know today and I knew yesterday chart their lives thro' Dylan's songs.
There's a never ending argument about the impact of Dylan and the Beatles on my generation. At the time, for me it was J,P,G&R, but looking back what echoes thro' the canyons of my mind is Dylan.
The Beatles scripted my adolescence, the sexual fumblings and embarrassed attempts at adulthood. Dylan spoke of other things, stuff I, frankly, could not fathom but which seemed to a scrawny 17 year old to be "special".
"Love Minus Zero" was incomprehensible but the line "My love she speaks like silence, without ideals or violence" made me feel I'd entered a new world. However, about 1965 Soul hit me and Dylan and I parted for a while.
We got together again briefly in 1971 thro' his "Self Portrait" LP. I was around this young woman's place when she put the record on - in an attempt, I believe, to seduce me. I was so shy and naive that I missed every signal or else was rather too frightened to act on the semaphore.
Many years later, I belatedly bought "Blood on the Tracks", having dismissed it first time around because it wasn't like Roxy Music.
There are some things in life you can never live down.
Every track is perfect but if I had to choose I'd be hard pushed to separate "Tangled Up In Blue", "Idiot Wind" and "Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts".
This weekend's telly has been a nostalgia fest with hours of Dylan, just to remind plonkers like me what a great song writer he is.That said the only time I saw him live, in 2004 at the Finsbury Park Feis, he was there but he might as well have not been. What a disappointment! But we all have off days.
As he said so perfectly in 1965:
"Leave your stepping stones behind, something calls for you
Forget the dead you’ve left, they will not follow you
The vagabond who’s rapping at your door
Is standing in the clothes that you once wore
Strike another match, go start anew
And it’s all over now, Baby Blue"
He's certainly lived by those words:
Happy Birthday, Mr Tambourine Man.