Today Bob Dylan turns 67 and it is a big day for me. The man makes a huge part of me just like he does millions and millions other people and billions indirectly through what he started. The man has made my thinking to be the way it is and I am thankful to him taking me to the banks of the river that he crossed and having me understand the great beyond that is there beyond the little that we chose live this life seeing.
My fascination with his mind started when I picked that “Best Of Bob Dylan” tape and just thought I’d give it a shot. And I was listening to Mr. Tambourine Man, it came to that last verse...
Then take me disappearin' through the smoke rings of my mind,
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves,
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach,
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow.
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free,
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands,
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow
Yes he has chosen to go through the smoke rings of his mind down the foggy ruins of time both in the past seeing what has happened and observing how crazy the world would get if things were so (and writing about them songs – and man was he right) far past the frozen minds of people who live a one dimensional no explorative life the haunted frightened trees of fear, doubt and asking questions what this life is a about, out to the windy beach of that river that is beyond the little that we chose live this life seeing, very far indeed from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow that is true of the world that we live in and to dance beneath a diamond sky with one hand waving free – absolutely free from the this crazy world - where he is now silhouetted by the sea on the other side of life that we ignore because we don’t take the trouble. Should I say more?
The man refuses any title that is worthy of his contribution to music, poetry and thought alike. We can say what we will about his non ability to sing, his ‘simpler’ compositions and arrangements and his complicated lyrics, the guy even at the age of 67 still amazes people. Ok taken that he really can’t sing but I have stood by what I have always stood by – he wrote the song and put it across how it seemed to him fit as opposed to being a musician. Call it being a musician, songwriter or poet – he was just doing his thing. He had no boundaries or rules. He made up as it went along and he proved his worth by the virtue of the work that he produced while doing so.
In doing so, he changed the course of rock music (in a way that Bruce Springsteen puts it) from one that is hip shaking to something that can be intellectual. Whether it was his genius of imagination and storytelling, or his amazing ability to come up with music with such amazing quality which makes one of the most covered songwriters in the world (and the fact that he has played them in every different way possible) or his unmatched ability to put in words what he sees, no one really knows but the man has an amazing connect with most people of the world with the songs that he has written.
So for the reasons mentioned above and more (if you know what I am talking about it is just impossible to address issue right), I raise my glass to Bob Dylan and the inspiration that he has given me. Bob, you’re my main man and I am ever grateful for your courage and boldness to be who you are, do your thing and give a damn to those who don’t give a damn. For all those who haven’t this experience, I fully recommend that you attempt at least once in your life if Dylan’s influence hasn’t reached you yet.
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