Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bob Dylan Still Rockin' It

I treated my husband, son and girlfriend to see Bob Dylan and Leon Russell in concert Friday night.  It was incredible.

When I met my husband, as an 18 year old "boy", he was totally in love with Bob Dylan.  Dylan was his hero, his inspiration, his poet.  We took a Music Appreciation class together in high school.  The teacher assigned a term project to pairs of teams to study and evaluate a piece of music and present to the class at the end of the semester.  Now, this teacher had classical music in mind not folk or rock and certainly not a revolutionary cause driven artist.  But we chose to work on two Dylan songs from his seminal album, The Times They Are A-Changin' .  

We did a bang up job with in-depth analyses of  "Boots of Spanish Leather" and "The Hour the Ship Comes In".  Dylan's musicality, poetry and our interpretation of his messages were the focus of our class presentation.

We received a C grade.  It was upsetting and unfair but that teacher saw nothing impressive in our work nor did he appreciate our veering off-topic, so to speak, from what he considered to be his curriculum vitae.  We just thought he was an asshole.

Dylan played neither of those songs Friday night.  But he rocked the venue and people were thrilled to see the legend in great form.  His voice is even more guttural than before and he doesn't play to please the crowd.  He "plays what he wants to play", according to my husband, and his arrangements are not as per recorded so you really have to listen to recognize a familiar song.

It was an incredible night, filled with the joy of once again seeing the voice of a generation and one of the greatest songwriters of all time.

He was and still is The Master.




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18 comments:

DJan said...

You should have received a MUCH higher grade. He was just showing his out-of-it mindset. Great post!

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

I've been a big fan since the early days... and I once beat him in a talent contest. Hibbing Winter Frolic, 1959. Not everyone is impressed by that fact, lol.

Expat From Hell said...

Have always loved Dylan since "Blowin' in the Wind", and Russell since "Mad Dogs & Englishmen" with Joe Cocker. Thanks for the memories. Dylan has such a huge inventory of great songs that you could likely attend ten concerts and never hear the same songs. Such great classics! EFH

California Girl said...

Djan: WE thought so!

BlissedOut: OK. Too good. We need a post on this. Come on!

EFH: He played "Positively 4th St" and "Desolation Row" and "Tangled Up In Blue" and "Like A Rolling Stone" and a bunch of others. It was awesome!

A Beer for the Shower said...

Teachers were always weird like that. I never received particularly high grades for my creative story assignments, and here I am, a professional writer. Some of the worst garbage got A+s. I have no idea how a teacher's mind works in that regard.

California Girl said...

Beer: Thanks for visiting and commenting. It's true, I remember the mundane approach to critiquing lit, movies, art, etc in high school and college. I had a few inspirational teachers but they usually colored outside the lines.

Your blog, btw, is a scream. How do you & your partner find time to do all the cartoons?

California Girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Grandmother said...

He put words to what we as a generation felt- still does! Too bad we give such power to teachers and drew our self perceptions from them.

California Girl said...

Grandmother: Amen sister!

Star said...

Dylan is my hero too. He has always been my inspiration. I love his words and their meanings and the way he uses his voice to express the depth of his poetry. It may not be the best musical voice but whenever anyone else sings his songs, it just doesn't work, does it. I'm glad you enjoyed the concert. I'm very jealous. I haven't seen him in concert for years!

Anonymous said...

I really liked the article, and the very cool blog

Alan Burnett said...

It sounds like a wonderful night, I would have loved to have been there. Who knows, he might work his way over to this part of the world.

Harnett-Hargrove said...

I think Dylan's voice only gets better. And you know that we're in the elite crowd when you can understand every word!
Seriously, Leon is still concerting? I'll need to check the dates. Did they duet? Nothing but a strange wonderful harmony. -J

Captain Dumbass said...

Lucky you!

injaynesworld said...

What an amazing night that must have been. I discovered Dylan in high school when a boy I liked gave me one of his albums. The relationship with the boy went nowhere, but I've been in love with Dylan ever since.

lisleman said...

one of the greatest songwriter - his voice - not my favorite.
What I understand from this post, that class gave you much more than a grade.
A husband, an inspiration, and memory to post about. That class is still paying off for you.

Elliot MacLeod-Michael said...

I remember my mom telling me that her high school music teacher thought Dylan was the Antichrist. But by the time I reached high school in the mid 90's he had been pretty well accepted. I saw him once too and it was quite impressive.

Brenda Susan said...

Loved Dylan, thanx for the fun reminder!

Christina

Christina
by Cole Scott