Happy Birthday, Mr. Dylan

May 24, 2009

Today is Bob Dylan’s birthday.  He was born on this day in 1941, which makes him (if my calculations are correct) 68 years old.  That’s getting pretty old, but the great man is still going strong, and every year that he’s still with us is an occasion for thanks.  Here is his song “Red River Shore”. Written for but withheld from his 1997 album Time Out of Mind, it didn’t see the light of day until last year when it was included on Tell Tale Signs. It’s a great song.  What other jewels are you hiding up those sleeves, Mr. Dylan?  Happy Birthday.

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12 Responses to “Happy Birthday, Mr. Dylan”

  1. Christina A. Says:

    That was “A-OK”! Liked it a lot!

  2. cburrell Says:

    I’m glad, Christina. It’s good to hear from you. I hope that all is well with you and yours?

  3. Rufus McCain Says:

    I was just listening to this while running this morning. I think it may be the most amazing Bootleg Series collections yet — and there have been some amazing ones, especially the first three. But the light this sheds on how Dylan has reworked recent material, where the reworked thing (with the question of which one is the original and which one is “reworked” remaining a mystery in some cases) is as great as the original … or vice versa. Such stunning work and such a strange, cagey fellow behind the work.

  4. Rufus McCain Says:

    Btw, I put a link to this on my twitter page: http://twitter.com/rufmac.

  5. cburrell Says:

    Your twitter page doesn’t exist, Rufus!

    I wouldn’t claim that Tell Tale Signs surpasses the first three volumes of the Bootleg Series — I don’t think anything could — but it is pretty dang good. Have you heard Together Through Life? Interesting, and quite funny, but comfortable and easy-going rather than inspired. It would have benefitted from a few exotic touches. Like a foreign song, from Utah.

  6. Rufus McCain Says:

    I beg to differ, Craig. *I* don’t exist (at least not in real life) but my twitter page does indeed. I just added an errant dot to the end of the URL — or rather your blog platform, lovely though it is, isn’t smart enough to realize my period was not part of the URL. It should be:

    http://twitter.com/rufmac

    (fullstop).

    I actually agree with you about Bootleg Series 1-3. The release of that was like picking Mr. Dylan up by his bootheels and shaking out 25 years of accumulated magicstuff hidden up his sleeves. And there’s a lot that didn’t shake out even then, I suspect.

    Maybe he’s crazy, I don’t know. Maybe that’s why we love him so.

    Btw, with your devotion to Bob and Soren, you are automatically inducted into the Korrektiv loony bin and you have an open invite to all future Korrektiv Summits as well as the korrektiv kouch if you ever need a place to lay your head (foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests). I can’t, however, recall you ever mentioning the main Korrektiv patron saint, Walker Percy. I’m sure you must have. Yes?

  7. cburrell Says:

    Nice fix, Rufus. Those darn dots do double duty as domain delimiters and grammatical signposts (in a strange land). It’s little wonder confusion sometimes results. In any case, I’m no longer lost in the cyber-cosmos when I follow the link.

    I must admit that I don’t grasp the appeal of this “twitter”-ing. As I understand it, it’s a kind of blogging platform for the taciturn? The challenge, I suppose, is to produce potent aphorisms in short compass. Come to think of it, didn’t Nietzsche write a big section of Beyond Good and Evil on Twitter?

    I am happy indeed to be granted honourary membership in the Korrektiv monkey barrel, and I am happy to say that my credentials are fairly sound. Mr. Percy hasn’t made many appearances here (though not none, either), but I certainly admire the man. I’ve read a handful of his books, but there are more to discover. Love in the Ruins is presently in my queue.

  8. Rufus McCain Says:

    Oh yeah, I did read that post on Percy’s library, now that you mention it. Yeah, man, get LITR up to the top of your queue, pronto — 4th of July would be a timely time to read it! You are in for a treat.

    It’s true, the twitter thing is a bit of a novelty. You could, and I have, done the equivalent on a regular old-school blog. But there is some fun in the challenge of the 140-word limit. Pascal was another one that might have excelled at it. And there is some fun (akin to facebook but more random and with less of a walled-garden, friendly fellowship feeling) in watching the ticker tape of quick updates flow by, river-like. That only happens once you start following a few other twitterers, though; and there is the old double-edged ADD sword: one can easily fall into the habit of staring at that little river, waiting for something interesting to float by (or, concomittantly, chucking one’s own personal flotsam into the river) when one could be doing better things with one’s time. (Arguably, but not definitively by any means!)

  9. Rufus McCain Says:

    Whoops, that should be: “the challenge of the 140-character limit” — for a hundred and forty words, they would all have to be “I” or “a” or “&” or suchlike, and you’d have to not put spaces between them, which would be difficult. “I&ar5!” Could be the announcement of the 5th birthday of Ivan and Alice, for example.

  10. cburrell Says:

    A technological gizmo could do worse than take Nietzsche and Pascal for its patron saints, so to speak, but Twitter is not for me. I would be susceptible to the temptation to gaze at the electronic flotsam, and that is not healthy.

  11. Rufus McCain Says:

    Learning how not to stare at the flotsam — or how to be selective in which flotsam you choose to pull out of the river — is the key to sanity in the 21st Century. The problem isn’t that it’s all garbage, it’s that there is an increasing abundance of quite good, interesting stuff clogging that river. We have to learn that same old lesson over again — that we are limited creatures with limited time and a limited capacity for knowledge. A difficult task for someone prone to free-floating intellectual curiosity.

    Another image is the proverbial child in the candy store — and the candy store has been transformed into a Costco-like warehouse of every sort of candy imaginable. The kid is going to get sick.

    Getting back to Mr. Dylan, I attended a show by son Jakob’s band The Wallflowers Saturday night. Interesting how increasingly like his father he seems. Very congenial fellow, too, with lots of friendly, funny banter with individual audience members; not to mention some kick-ass rock and roll.

  12. cburrell Says:

    ‘Amen’ to that.

    I am one of those whose knowledge of Jakob Dylan is limited to “One Headlight”. I once wrote a parody called “Some Head Lice”, but it is probably best kept under wraps.


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