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Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it

Mr Red 16 Jun 04 - 02:23 PM
Backstage Manager(inactive) 16 Jun 04 - 03:10 PM
GUEST 16 Jun 04 - 03:16 PM
Once Famous 16 Jun 04 - 03:21 PM
GUEST 16 Jun 04 - 03:24 PM
GUEST 16 Jun 04 - 03:36 PM
GUEST,tommy 16 Jun 04 - 03:38 PM
Big Tim 16 Jun 04 - 03:39 PM
pavane 16 Jun 04 - 03:47 PM
GUEST 16 Jun 04 - 03:56 PM
Once Famous 16 Jun 04 - 04:01 PM
harpgirl 16 Jun 04 - 04:09 PM
George Papavgeris 16 Jun 04 - 04:14 PM
George Papavgeris 16 Jun 04 - 04:15 PM
Once Famous 16 Jun 04 - 04:30 PM
GUEST,Chris 16 Jun 04 - 04:48 PM
Backstage Manager(inactive) 16 Jun 04 - 05:11 PM
cap1717 16 Jun 04 - 05:43 PM
Joe_F 16 Jun 04 - 07:10 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 16 Jun 04 - 08:06 PM
Peace 16 Jun 04 - 08:53 PM
Little Hawk 16 Jun 04 - 10:58 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 16 Jun 04 - 11:25 PM
Pied Piper 17 Jun 04 - 10:44 AM
Bobert 17 Jun 04 - 11:06 AM
Steve-o 17 Jun 04 - 12:32 PM
Little Hawk 17 Jun 04 - 01:52 PM
Pied Piper 17 Jun 04 - 02:58 PM
Peace 17 Jun 04 - 03:38 PM
GUEST,Augie 17 Jun 04 - 03:46 PM
Little Hawk 17 Jun 04 - 03:55 PM
John MacKenzie 17 Jun 04 - 04:49 PM
The Borchester Echo 17 Jun 04 - 04:54 PM
Steve Latimer 17 Jun 04 - 11:13 PM
GUEST,Gerry 18 Jun 04 - 12:20 AM
alanabit 18 Jun 04 - 03:09 AM
mooman 18 Jun 04 - 04:06 AM
Steve Parkes 18 Jun 04 - 04:15 AM
John MacKenzie 18 Jun 04 - 04:20 AM
GUEST,The Jester 18 Jun 04 - 05:53 AM
Ron Davies 18 Jun 04 - 06:26 AM
Little Hawk 18 Jun 04 - 08:00 AM
Jim McLean 18 Jun 04 - 08:03 AM
Pied Piper 18 Jun 04 - 08:16 AM
Stephen R. 18 Jun 04 - 10:41 AM
Peace 18 Jun 04 - 07:45 PM
Once Famous 18 Jun 04 - 09:45 PM
Bobert 18 Jun 04 - 10:10 PM
Little Hawk 19 Jun 04 - 01:30 AM
kendall 19 Jun 04 - 07:33 AM
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Backstage Manager(inactive) 19 Jun 04 - 08:13 AM
alanabit 19 Jun 04 - 09:33 AM
Peace 19 Jun 04 - 11:14 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 19 Jun 04 - 01:53 PM
kendall 19 Jun 04 - 02:12 PM
GUEST 19 Jun 04 - 02:46 PM
Bearheart 19 Jun 04 - 03:47 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 19 Jun 04 - 08:13 PM
kendall 19 Jun 04 - 09:00 PM
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kendall 20 Jun 04 - 07:31 AM
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Backstage Manager(inactive) 22 Jun 04 - 08:16 AM
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dick greenhaus 23 Jun 04 - 03:23 PM
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Subject: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Mr Red
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 02:23 PM

I just heard on the radio that St Andrews University has just awarded an honarary doctorate to Bob for being an iconic musician of his age.

they have a history of selecting show biz figures - Sir Peter Ustinov was chancellor, way back.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Backstage Manager(inactive)
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 03:10 PM

He's been Dr. Bob for a long time now. Princeton University gave him an honorary doctorate in 1970, before he even turned 30.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 03:16 PM

Physician heal thyself ...


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Once Famous
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 03:21 PM

Now, if he could only learn how to sing.............

I'd rather listen to fingernails on a blackboard.

If there is an icon award for one of the most over rated performers, he is it.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 03:24 PM

Martin Gibson,

What's the matter? You don't like Jewish performers?


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 03:36 PM

Legal drugs mmm he can write his own prescriptions ;-)


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: GUEST,tommy
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 03:38 PM

He's not Jewish, he's a born again Christian.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Big Tim
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 03:39 PM

Bob's going to be there in person to collect the award. My daughter's doing a PhD at St Andrews, maybe she can get me in the back door!

The probable link is Neil Corcoran, Dylan fan, Professor at St Andrews, author of "Do You Mr. Jones: Bob Dylan with the poets and professors" (2003).

Hope Bob enjoys himself and doesn't feel the need to write another "Day of the Locusts".


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: pavane
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 03:47 PM

Bob Dylan WAS a good folk/blues singer - up to about his 3rd album, early 1960's


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 03:56 PM

"He's not Jewish, he's a born again Christian."

Obviously, you're stuck way back in the past. Dylan's Christian phase, lasted a couple of years and he returned to Judaism. He even studied with the Lubavitcher Hasidim.

In any case, as the son of a Jewish mother, Dylan was still Jewish, even during his Christian phase.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Once Famous
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 04:01 PM

Guest, I don't care if he's Jewish or Born Again toilet paper, he can't sing.

but I do have fond memories of when I was naked with your sister.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: harpgirl
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 04:09 PM

...anyone who can snag a doctorate without going through four years of under graduate school, two years of master's work and three to seven years of PhD school (I took four and a half)is entitled to it because I am sure they must be smarter than someone like me!


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 04:14 PM

In a world where intelligence is measured by cash in the bank, yes - he's smart.

I don't like his whiney voice either, Martin, I never did. But why should he learn to sing? He's done pretty well without it, why spoil the recipe of his success?

He did write some cracking songs, and I have to admit somewhat grudgingly that he was an iconic figure of our youth. So good luck to him. He did better than I did.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 04:15 PM

Remember - icons are symbols. They don't have to have substance.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Once Famous
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 04:30 PM

Yes, he did write a few decent songs, best recorded by others especially ones who could carry a tune.

But I think icon status is totally overrated.

In my youth, I, like others, sang his songs because it was trendy to do so.

What's happened to that trend in the last 30 years or so?


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: GUEST,Chris
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 04:48 PM

The Viet Nam war was a horritlle mistake, but Dylan, Joan and others opposed it because they were opposed to just about any war - they just happened to be on the right side. This should not be the basis for iconic status.
He did write good songs that stick in the mind, even when sung by him. But, on this basis the guy who wrote the Oscar Meyer jingle should get a PHD.
I'm hoping that Positively 4th Street will be a movie -- very funny I thought.
All that said, if I could only sing one song, it would might be Don't Think Twice, but then did Dylan really write that??
Chris in Wheaton.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Backstage Manager(inactive)
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 05:11 PM

In my youth, I, like others, sang his songs because it was trendy to do so.

What's happened to that trend in the last 30 years or so?


Well, let's see. In the past 30 years, some of the people singing Dylan songs have included...

Joan Baez, the Clancy Brothers, Judy Collins, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Nanci Griffith, Arlo Guthrie, Chris Hillman, Rod MacDonald, Roger McGuinn, Tony Trischka & Skyline, Dave Van Ronk, Tom Russell, Sweethearts of the Rodeo, Happy & Artie Traum, Townes Van Zandt, Doc Watson, Lucinda Williams, Tim O'Brien, Urban Folk, Jimmy LaFave, Marley's Ghost, Shawn Colvin, Dick Gaughan & Andy Irvine, Richie Havens, Gove Scrivenor, John Prine, Eric Peltoneimi, Gordon Lightfoot, Penny Lang, John Stewart & Darwin's Army, Johnny Cash, Steve Young, Chris SMither, Martin Simpson, Duke Robillard, Mo Mack, Greg Brown, the Everly Brothers, Eliza Gilkyson, Lucy Kaplansky, Ladysmith Black mambazo, Dolly Parton, Michael Johnathon, Taj Mahal, Mike Seeger, Suzzy & Maggie Roche, Sneezy Waters, Vint & Matilda, Rosalie Sorrels, Hart Rouge, Martin Carthy, John Gorka, Peter Keane, Bill & Bonnie Hearne, Hazel Dickens, Les Sampou, Steve Forbert, Rock Robbins, Bobby Watt, J.D. Crowe & the New SOuth, Cassandra Wilson, Gail davies, Trish Murphy, Albert & Gage, Caroline Doctorow, Harvey Reid & Joyce Andersen, Bill Camplin, Barb Jungr, Finest Kind, Jim Byrnes...

just to name a few.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: cap1717
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 05:43 PM

Yup, he may not be a polished performance artist, but he sure is one hell of a good songwriter!!!


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Joe_F
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 07:10 PM

I was at St Andrews in 1958-1959 on a Fulbright scholarship. At that time it was known as "the singing university" and had a pleasant tradition of Friday-night sings in the student union, culminating in a couple of hours of bawdry and a drunken walk to piss off the end of the town pier. I learned quite a few songs there. I was also in the choral society, and we sang songs from Burns's "Liberty", tho not to the original tunes.

I began hearing Bob Dylan around 1963, and was charmed to hear a human voice coming out of a loudspeaker. In 1965 a friend of mine, one of those I-can-get-it-for-you-wholesale types, was trying to persuade me to add a turntable to my lo-fi, and I agreed after it occurred to me that if I had one I could listen to Bob Dylan any time I wanted. Later on, the charm largely wore off, but I still enjoy a few of his early songs, such as "Don't Think Twice" (he was seldom in danger of that), "Boots of Spanish Leather", & "Chimes of Freedom", tho only the first of those is much sung today.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 08:06 PM

Martin Gibson---Bless you. My sentiments exactly ---talented and greatly overated. I cannot believe that there is now a book by an esteemed professor that analyzes his works on a par with Shakespeare and Keats among others.

As to religion, mentioned by other posters; not being religious myself I don't, like dear Bob, wrap myself in the flavor of the day or the mood I am in at the time. I like that line one of you used---born again toilet paper. Great bit of humor.

Now I must go to my black board and scratch my nails on it so I too can sound like Bobby Dylan----which, by the way, is a great Eric Bogle line (having nothing to do with blackboards and scratching--rather getting sex in a motel).

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Peace
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 08:53 PM

Springsteen did a dynamite rock version of "Chimes of Freedom" on his Amnesty International tour.

To me, the pivotal album was "Another Side of Bob Dylan." (I hope I got that right. The album with "TTAAChangin'" on it.)

And certainly "Bringing it All Back Home." This album changed the face of music, permanently. His writing style took off, and rock began to incorporate words the had something beyond "Doo Wah." That was a good thing.

But then, I have always been a fan of his. I even like his voice. He is a great singer (not so great vocalist).


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 10:58 PM

Your lack of knowledge and wisdom could almost cause me to weep sometimes, Martin, if I didn't have such a good sense of humour. :-) I still like you anyway, but man, you're a blockhead at times.

GUEST - Bob Dylan is Jewish. It is perfectly possible to be a born-again Christian or a friggin' atheist AND be Jewish. Plenty of Jews ARE atheists. "Jew" is not a religious designation. Check out the numerous threads in which we have collectively talked that particular truism out ad infinitum.

To put it very simply: If one or both of your parents were Jewish, you too are considered Jewish in any society I know of, regardless of what religion you practice or even if you practice no religion at all. It's a cultural designation, indicating the cultural and familial roots from which you sprang. The very fact that the Jews, as a nation, were scattered all over the known World by the Romans after the destruction of Jerusalem guaranteed that it would be through ancestry that their sense of community would be traced...not through location or even racial type, but through marriage. So Bob Dylan is a Jew no matter what religion he decides to convert to.

As for the rest of you...and my beloved pal, Martin Gibson, the most hardheaded conventional thinker ever to grace Chicago...

It's almost not possible to overestimate Bob Dylan's impact on music and song lyrics in the last 50 years...although one can, of course, agree or disagree regarding his singing ability. I'm a very good singer (in the conventional sense)...I kid you not...and I think that he, at his best, was a superb singer...but in an entirely unconventional sense. He sang in a way that WORKED beautifully for the purpose it was put to. So did Louie Armstrong. So have many others with very unconventional vocal styles. I could name more of them, but why bother?

It's now "trendy" to sing songs by rap singers and people like "Green Day" or Celine Dionne...and the stuff they write or just record is utterly pathetic. So who cares about trends? Trends are driven by ceaseless commercial marketing these days, nothing else, and that is done through music videos these days...so why would Dylan be trendy? Shakespeare isn't trendy. Neither is Ralph Waldo Emerson. Nor is Rambaud or Goethe. Get the point? The fact that Dylan isn't trendy now speaks volumes in his favour as far as I'm concerned! He is sure not forgotten. Not among songwriters and musicians. And he WILL not be forgotten. 99% of what IS trendy now will definitely be forgotten...very soon.

I still sing Dylan's superb songs and I love them.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 11:25 PM

Dylan is a magnificent writer and I am sure that in a few hundred years he will be remembered as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century.

It is real easy for hacks to mock his voice but to ignore his impact on music is showing ignorance. He not only changed the way songwriters approach a song, but more importantly he changed the way we listen to songs.

That said, I do think that some of his fans tend to put him on a pedestal where he doesn't belong.   He is a mortal folks. He has written some real crap as well. Most great writers do as well.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Pied Piper
Date: 17 Jun 04 - 10:44 AM

I'll not be as subtle as LH, Martin you're talkin' out you're arse mate.
The fact that you don't like his voice is fare enough but to them conclude that he is a "bad" singer is sheer self-indulgence.
Dylan gives you everything he's got with an intensity and commitment that few singers can manage.
As to the lyrics well it does take a fairly broad familiarity with the diverse cultural resources he uses, to appreciate his stuff, but that's hardly his fault.
The music particularly the electric stuff with the Band is just wonderful, check out the re-mixes of Highway 61, Blond on Blond, and any live stuff from that period.
So you played his songs because they were trendy, enough said.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Bobert
Date: 17 Jun 04 - 11:06 AM

Well, gol danged, folks, I venture outta the BS pen and look what's going on up here in the highbrow section! Yup, a good ol' fashion food fight...

Well, first of all, IMHO, Dylan can sing real good. Hey, you might not like his voice but that don't mean he can't sing. Anyone with a decent voice who has done many Dylan songs and really listened to him knows what I mean... He can sing circles around most folks that I've heard...

Secondly, IMHO, Dylan is still great. His never stuff is real bluesly and tells some fantastic stories. More than I can say for most of the other 60's folkies who are either resting on past laurels or just dryin' out in some rehab ward...

And for those of you who think the "times are(n't) a changin", ya gotta take the gearshift outta park...

Jus' one old folkie/bluesman's opionion..

UnDoctor Bobert, but still peddelin'


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Steve-o
Date: 17 Jun 04 - 12:32 PM

Thanks, Backstage Manager, for the answer to Martin Gibson, who is often very entertainingly crusty, but on this subject he plays a lot more like Kay Stella. Not a one of those terrific singers on the list improved on Bob singing his own songs.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Jun 04 - 01:52 PM

If I may name some of the finest songwriters of the 60's to now: Bob Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Al Stewart, Buffy Sainte-Marie (not many will name her on this list, but I do without hesitation), Jackson Browne, Jagger & Richards, Warren Zevon, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Leonard Cohen, Willie Nelson.

There are others who could be on that list too. In all the above cases there is nothing else as good as hearing them do their own material...and that goes specially for Dylan.

He was the most influential of them all. Because of marketing? No, because he was so good that there was no way he wouldn't get marketed once the other professional singers (like Joan Baez, for instance) got wind of what he was doing and flipped out over it, and started recording it themselves.

People who listened only superficially to what was most popular and because it was "trendy" to do so at the time have got less than even a clue about it. If they were 19 now they'd be rhapsodizing over Green Day, Korn, or Eminem...or some other godawful stuff like that.

There is nothing much in mainstream music now that even approaches the incredible originality and brilliance that took the music industry by storm and completely transformed it between 1960 and 1975...courtesy mainly of the people I listed at the beginning of this post, and some others at the time (specially the Beatles).

Dylan got the Beatles interested in writing songs that meant something, as opposed to just silly love songs. Dylan affected the Stones powerfully too. He was the biggest lyrical influence on Hendrix. He was the biggest influence on Springsteen and probably on David Bowie too. Hell, he was the biggest influence on almost everybody that seriously wrote songs between 1962 and the decades that followed. He will be remembered longer than any other popular songwriter of his time, and he will be remembered as a poet too, not just a musician.

This doesn't mean he's a super being of some kind or on some unique pedestal of perfection. It doesn't mean that he didn't write some lacklustre material now and then. It just means he had a great gift and he used it to powerful effect. Good for him.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Pied Piper
Date: 17 Jun 04 - 02:58 PM

She deserves to be there for "Universal Soldier" alone


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Peace
Date: 17 Jun 04 - 03:38 PM

Piney Wood Hills.

I think MC Carpenter is one of the greatest female writers ever. She can turn a phrase and shape a melody. I love her work.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: GUEST,Augie
Date: 17 Jun 04 - 03:46 PM

I think it's most appropriate that Dylan has once again become Dr. Z.The primary meaning of the word "doctor" is teacher (yeah, I know, along with egghead,asshole,rich bastard, insurance company lackey,nerd,bookworm,etc.,etc.,etc.) and you have to admit that it's pretty much impossible to listen to Dylan's lyrics and not be taught something (this may be true even if your as wise as Martin).Granted, the real trick is to decipher what in the heck he's saying unless you hold the lyric sheet in your hand, but really, would we have liked those songs of the 60's as much if he'd have sounded like Perry Como or Sinatra?


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Jun 04 - 03:55 PM

"it's pretty much impossible to listen to Dylan's lyrics and not be taught something"

Yeah. Unless you don't listen. :-) It's my impression that about 85-90% of the public doesn't really listen to song lyrics. They just groove with the beat and sing along on the chorus. They are not looking for content, and they don't find any. They are bereft of philosophy or self-analysis, they seek entertainment only. They are beings of the status quo, grooving to the trends, consuming the consumable, questioning nothing. They are sheep.

Dylan is as challenging for his time as the greatest writers of the past were for theirs...if you listen and think about it. He's nothing if you don't. Just "a big noise", like that guy complained in "Don't Look Back".

Irate young English guy: "You're just a big noise!"

Dylan: "I'm a bigger noise than you."


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 17 Jun 04 - 04:49 PM

Robert F Zimmerman [If I were a Carpenter?] He's a unique songwriter.
OK so he's not a singer in the accepted sense of the word, but nobody else can deliver certain of his songs like he does.
I keep thinking there was a Dr Bob in The Muppets. Or am I getting mixed up with Dr Dick in Cybill?
Giok


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 17 Jun 04 - 04:54 PM

Robert F Zimmerman [If I were a Carpenter?]

Now I'm really confoosed. Didn't Tim Hardin write If I Were A Carpenter? And isn't Dr Zimmerman's middle name Allen?


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 17 Jun 04 - 11:13 PM

Yeah, he's a bum who can't sing, steals peoples tunes and writes non-sensical lyrics. I think I'll go listen to Celine.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 18 Jun 04 - 12:20 AM

I'm glad Big Tim mentioned Day Of The Locusts back up toward the top of this thread. Those locusts were the grandparents of the ones that emerged in the Eastern US this Spring. 2004 - 1970 = 34 = 2 x 17, two generations of 17-year locusts.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: alanabit
Date: 18 Jun 04 - 03:09 AM

I recall being at Crewwe and Alsager, a very liberal college, back in the early eighties. I was doing a Creative Arts Degree and considering writing my dissertation on Bob Dylan. When I realised just how much I was going to have to do to write anything which made sense about Dylan, I backed out pretty quickly. I stuck with the (relatively) unsophisticated work of Woody Guthrie. I didn't write anything profound or original, but I was able to comprehend the man's achievements and at least give some realistic assessment of his importance.
To his detractors, the breadth and depth of Dylan's work are pretensions. Essentially, he gives them far more in a song than they ask for. I think that's why some people like him so little and others rate him as brilliant. I fall into the latter category.
Dylan effectively pioneered a new kind of song. He gave us the complex psychological profile - the most detailed character sketches ever to be attempted in songs. Blowing in the Wind and Chimes of Freedom are great symbolic songs, but they don't have the revolutionary complexity and ambition of Ballad of a Thin Man or It's Alright Ma I'm Only Bleeding. Who else would have tried to show what the world looks like from the point of view of a moralist who is going mad? For all their perception and irony, you don't get that from Lorenz Hart or Cole Porter.
Dylan takes the subject matter of serious playwrights and novelists and presents it in accessible songs. For me that is genius and his honorary doctorate is well merited.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: mooman
Date: 18 Jun 04 - 04:06 AM

IMHO Bob thoroughly deserves his honorary doctorate.

A great songwriter.

Peace

moo


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 18 Jun 04 - 04:15 AM

Sorry to be picky, but can you be a Born-again Christian if you weren't a Born-the-first-time Christian?

All kinds of funny people get honorary doctorates; even Mrs Thatcher has one or two. None of them are going to be universally popular, are they? I don't care, myself.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 18 Jun 04 - 04:20 AM

Sorry your Grace, just one of my rotten puns, the word zimmerman is an German occupational surname, and means a carpenter. The middle initial should be A for Allen, put it down to my advancing years.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: GUEST,The Jester
Date: 18 Jun 04 - 05:53 AM

But it's allright Ma if I can't please him


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Ron Davies
Date: 18 Jun 04 - 06:26 AM

"Martin Gibson" doesn't like Dylan--well, consider the source. As he is close to the perfect negative indicator, Dylan fans should rejoice.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Little Hawk
Date: 18 Jun 04 - 08:00 AM

That's not what "born-again Christian" means, Steve. It means born from ordinary consciousness into Christ consciousness. It means essentially a rather similar thing to what "self-realization" or "enlightenment" mean in the Asian tradition. It does not mean being "Christian" a second time.   :-)

I laugh at people who describe Dylan's lyrics as "incomprehensible", given the fact that I have no difficulty comprehending them myself. Only one thing puzzles me...why is "Ballad of a Thin Man" full of what appear to be homosexual metaphors? I have never figured that one out. Other than that, the meaning in the song is quite clear, as it is in his other songs. It's poetic imagery and metaphor, that's all...but it's completely opaque to certain literal minds who would rather listen, I suppose, to Lynnard Skynnard or some other simple-minded shit like that.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Jim McLean
Date: 18 Jun 04 - 08:03 AM

Was Christ Jewish then, but only on his mother's side?


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Pied Piper
Date: 18 Jun 04 - 08:16 AM

Heard your songs of freedom and man forever stripped
Acting out his folly while his back is being whipped
Like a slave in "orbit" he's beaten 'til he's tame
All for a moment's glory and it's a dirty, rotten shame.

I always thought that obrbit is wrong and that what Dylan intends is "all but" as in "all but name" an implied ryme with shame.

Well LH what ya reckon?


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Stephen R.
Date: 18 Jun 04 - 10:41 AM

Jim McLean, yes, that's right. But since Judaism is reckoned matrilineally, that's the important side for this question.

Stephen


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Peace
Date: 18 Jun 04 - 07:45 PM

If you're a born-again anything, do ya get a second belly button?

Jaysus, try to pick Dylan's best hundred songs. Don't include any that weren't really, really good. Doing that ought to tell us something.

Bruce M

To start:

The Times TAA Changin'
Ramona
B in the W
Tamborine Man
Visions of Johanna
Masters of War
WG on Our Side
Medgar Evers
Positively Fourth Street
Like a Rollin' Stone
Oxford Town

OK, I'm sorry. Make it 200--I'm still in the '60s.
LH: I know you're a fan. Let's do this.

BM


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Once Famous
Date: 18 Jun 04 - 09:45 PM

Glad to see there are others who feel the same way about this over-ratedsinger named Bob Dylan. Saying things like he doesn't have a good voice but he sure can sing borders on saying " Her ass is cute, but it sure can stink after she eats a burrito."

I acknowledge that he wrote some good songs, so did Kris Kristofferson and Burt Bacharach. These three should go on tour together and belch their songs into a microphone.

Songwriting is an art and a talent. So is singing. My hat is off to the artists who have all the tools, songwriting, musicianship, and a voice to sing.

Dylan is a very one dimensional artist.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Bobert
Date: 18 Jun 04 - 10:10 PM

Martin,

You apparently are a singer or you'd have more respect for Dylan's singing... I'll admit that his voice isn't always *on* but when it is, there is a lot of range to it and a lot of interpretational inflections that a lot of run of the mill *pretty* singers can't begin to duplicate.

Yeah, Dylan gets a bad rap from a lot of folks who aren't singers because they just don't happen to like his voice. The two are not the same. Hey, some true singers don't like his voice but know good singing when they hear it... My wife is a good example. She is classically trained, has sung in musicsals on stage, sings and performs solos at a very large perstigious church, teaches music and acknowledges that Dylan can sing, but hates his voice...

Kind have to seperate the two, my friend...

Fir me, I like Dylan's voice and over the last 40 years (ouch...) of my own playing, songwriting and performing, I've taken a lot from from listening to Dylan and still listen to Dylan to this very day...

And it hasn't hurt me one bit, because a member of the Arhie Edawrds Blues Foundation, I'm always asked to lead a couple of songs when we play festivals...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Jun 04 - 01:30 AM

I'm a professional quality singer too, and I KNOW Dylan can sing....like a friggin' hurricane...or he could, I mean, up until quite recently. Cigarettes and whisky have mostly destroyed his voice by now, specially the upper range. I know from listening to his recordings that he had a greater range than I do, and mine is quite good. I'm amazed sometimes at the high notes he hit in his early career (and I don't mean falsetto either). He could sing both lower AND higher than I can...on pitch. I've seen a movie where he and Tom Petty sing into the same mike on some songs at the same time. His voice is twice as powerful as Petty's. Now, Tom Petty is thought to be able to sing okay by most people, right? People who say that Dylan "can't sing". Well, Dylan blows Petty right off the stage in those scenes. This was in the 80's.

Martin, you are in a pitiable state. I suggest a stiff shot of Jack Daniels and a dip headfirst in the old rain barrel or somethin'. :-) You're losin' it, man. You're makin' a monkey out of yourself, and it's makin' Chongo jealous. Just stop, okay? (grin)

Dylan "one-dimensional"? Holy hoppin' Jaysus, man, what are you on???? He's the most multi-dimensional performer in popular music. You must've smoked waaaay too much dope back then.

Lookie here, Martin...a superficial and fragmentary knowledge of any artist's repertoire can easily give the impression that the artist is one-dimensional, when really it's the problem of the observer, not the artist in question. If all you know is a few of his well known radio hits, you don't know much about Bob Dylan.

Pied Piper - Yeah, the word "orbit" is a little strange in that context. It works, but it's odd. I always wondered if the "songs of freedom" was a swipe at Joan Baez or at Dylan himself when younger (or both)...or at the industry in general...or all three. Here's another odd line from the same song: "In this world of fiberglass I'm searching for a gem"

Fiberglass is not the word I would have chosen in that line, although the metaphor is clear as to what he means. I would have maybe said "artifice" or something. Fiberglass indicates that which is fabricated and artificial, yes, but still it doesn't ring quite right for me.

There are some great lines in the song though...

"The crystal ball upon the wall hasn't shown me nothing yet
I've paid the price of solitude, but at least I'm out of debt"

When he speaks of someone being "beaten till he's tame...all for a moment's glory and it's a dirty rotten shame" I think he is speaking very much of his own experience in being a hugely famous performer, used by wealthy managers (like Albert Grossman) and wealthy record companies...beaten till tame...all for the moment's passing glory of fame...and realizing at the end that he's been used for a totally empty and ultimately pointless endeavour that did not deliver him from bondage or make him happy. Seduced by the glory, used up, and cast off when exhausted. A slave in orbit? Yeah. Sign a contract to do, say, 300 shows a year and you ARE a slave in orbit...going around and around the World again and again, while the management gets rich and you get strung out and lose your private life and your health. It's happened to so many, not just Dylan. It nearly killed him by '66, until he abandoned it (temporarily) in 1967 and stopped touring and looked for salvation in marriage and children and a quiet home life away from the fame.

Eight years later the marriage failed, which had to be his greatest disillusionment of all...and he returned to doing the one thing he appeared destined to do, go out on a stage and play music. He has done so ever since.

It ain't the fame, it ain't the glory, it ain't the money...it's the experience of actually playing the songs live. That's what counts. A recording is just a snapshot of a moment in the past. A live performance is the real thing, moving and breathing right in your hand. Nothing else like it, so he keeps doing it as long as he can.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: kendall
Date: 19 Jun 04 - 07:33 AM

He wrote some go0d songs...he also stole some good songs.
For tnstance, Don't think twice was his rewrite of his friend's song, Who's gonna buy you ribbons. I must admit, Dylan's song was better than the original.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: matai
Date: 19 Jun 04 - 07:33 AM

Over thirty years of the most unique and extraordinary songwriting that most of us have ever heard deserves a phd. If I have to listen to blokes sing I'd rather listen to Dylan than any other because its what he sings that does it for me. He may have an unusual sounding voice but I've never heard him sing out of tune. To sing blowing in the wind the way he does takes some ability, it is almost like the fore-runner of rap. And "To make you feel my love" is one of the most excellent love songs I've ever heard, although sometimes I prefer Gilly Darby's version. She did bring it alive for me.

As for:

'Take me disappearing 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 to day until tomorrow.'

Do you know anyone else who could have written that?
And did Keats really do any better than that?

matai


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Backstage Manager(inactive)
Date: 19 Jun 04 - 08:13 AM

He wrote some go0d songs...he also stole some good songs.

How many times have we seen that comment, or something to that effect, every time something about Dylan comes up on Mudcat? The answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind.

But any time you come down on Dylan for that, you're also coming down on A.P. Carter, Lead Belly, Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Tom Paxton, Brownie McGhee, Utah Phillips, Si Kahn, Tom Russell, Arlo Guthrie, Dave Van Ronk, Rick Fielding, Jim Ringer, Jimmy Driftwood and virtually every other songwriter rooted in the folk traditions.

Taking old songs and updating them, or changing them to suit the needs of the person, or the times, is what the folk process is all about and it goes back centuries.

If you've read Pete Seeger's books, or Sing Out! columns, and you'll know that he's always encouraged people to take older songs and transform them.

One of the things that have made Dylan such a great songwriter is his openness to, and vast knowledge of, the folk tradition.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: alanabit
Date: 19 Jun 04 - 09:33 AM

Having a good voice is quite obviously not the same thing as being a good singer. Do you rate every owner of a Martin as a good guitarist? I recall Don Firth on a singing thread quoting his voice teacher on Caruso, "Like hearing a Stradivarius played like a baboon". It's what you do with those vocal chords that matters - and for me Bob Dylan makes the right kind of noises.
I am also baffled as to how one can describe the author of Blowing in the Wind, Ballad of a Thin Man, I'll Be Your baby Tonight and Mississippi as a one dimensional artist. Martin Gibson, you must have some harsh words for Cole Porter...


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Peace
Date: 19 Jun 04 - 11:14 AM

Actually, I understand where Martin is coming from. Dylan's voice really grates on the ear of some people. I think that those of us who enjoy Dylan are simply adapted to his vocal work. I have always loved Dylan's words and phrasings--I even enjoy his mistakes. I think when history has its say--as it's beginning to now--Dylan will be considered a writer who ranks up with Joyce, Thomas, Yeats, The Bard, and certainly with any songwriter who's ever lived. It was Dylan's "L a R Stone" that finally got AM radio to play something longer than three-minute songs. I recall that at one time in the '60s, Billboard listed seventeen of Dylan's songs in the top fifty being played. To quote another giant in music, "Oh, yeah, the boy can play."

Gotta go.

Bruce M

PS Dylan's rewrites of other songs generally made good improvements. Who among us has not been influenced by the writings of others.

BM


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 19 Jun 04 - 01:53 PM

Dylan also gives credit where it is due. I seem to remember Martin Carthy being mentioned on of Dylan's album after Dylan "borrowed" Lord Franklin from Carthy. The folk process at work is what you are seeing - not stealing.

Of all the "folksingers" from his era, he is one of the few that continues to perform traditional music in concert - something he doesn't have to do given his body of work.

Dylan is what Dylan wants to be.   He doesn't try to live up to someone elses image anymore.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: kendall
Date: 19 Jun 04 - 02:12 PM

I have no quarrel with his "updating" old songs. However, he took a song from one of his friends and rewrote it, made a mint and kept it.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jun 04 - 02:46 PM

Yeah, Dylan made a lot of money with his songs.

But did you have any idea that he's supported, and continues to support, a lot of older blues and traititonal folk musicians, and that because of him they've had dignified old ages?

Did you know that after Moe Asch died, Folkways Records almost died with him, but Dylan provided much of the financiang for the Folkways collection to be transferred to the Smithsonian?

Did you know that when Sing Out, the same magazine that savaged Dylan when he began writing personal songs and when he went electric, was in big financial trouble, Dylan made donations that saved the magazine.

That stuff is just the tip of the iceberg and you don't know about almost any of it. That's because, unlike most celebs, Dylan keeps quiet about it.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Bearheart
Date: 19 Jun 04 - 03:47 PM

It probably just comes down to pheromones, or astrology, or personal taste(!). I started listening to Dylan when I was 12-- his early albums influenced me a lot, because I was idealistic and those songs spoke to me, and his voice (I still think) suited his songs. I loved to listen to him. I can think of lots of folk singers who had much rougher voices than his. Blonde on Blonde was probably the last album of his I bought-- I'd been captured by Celtic/British music and Old Time music, and had limited pennies. But over the years I've heard some of his newer stuff and found occasional gems. I still like his early stuff best. But then, astrologically speaking, my chart and his resonate, so it doesn't surprise me. I don't think we all have to get turned on by the same stuff. What does surprise me is such over the top reactions as some people here have expressed. (Though I feel pretty much that way about George Bush! No use for him. I think he's unethical, greedy and a lot of other unsavory things-- now there's someone who has really hurt some people. I guess we all dislike someone.)
As for the Dr. I know some PhDs who supposedly earned them that I wouldn't give you two cents for. The sad thing is having those degrees made them EXTREMELY arrogant and officious. It's really not black and white, guys...

Bekki


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 19 Jun 04 - 08:13 PM

"he took a song from one of his friends and rewrote it, made a mint and kept it."

You say that like he committed a crime. If you write a song on a Gibson guitar, do you send them a royalty check?

Kendall, the song you referred to - "Don't Think Twice" was a song that he heard from Paul Clayton. Clayton wrote a song called "Whose Gonna Buy You Ribbons". The story goes that Dylan heard Clayton sing it and then said that he was going to write a song. Apparently it became a legal question, and it was discovered that Clayton used an old song called "Whose Gonna Buy Your Chickens When I'm Gone".    Who owns what?


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: kendall
Date: 19 Jun 04 - 09:00 PM

No comment


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: kendall
Date: 19 Jun 04 - 09:02 PM

I'm a bit sensitive to this because I also wrote a song which a friend took, added a little bit recorded it and made some money. I got squat from it.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 19 Jun 04 - 09:06 PM

Sorry Kendall, I do understand your position and I agree with you. Creative ownership is an important topic.

My point with Dylan is that the song was based in public domain to begin with. The circumstances between Clayton and Dylan may be a bit cloudy (read Anthony Scaduto's take on it)but from what I've seen, Dylan does seem to give credit to others where it is due. He credits the Clancy's for their influence on his career, as well as the well-documented "mentor" of Woody Guthrie. The folk process can be difficult.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: GUEST,Ed T.
Date: 19 Jun 04 - 11:11 PM

Dear Kendall,

I'm so sorry to hear about your being ripped off like that by a "friend." Is it a song we would know? Is the "friend" someone we should watch out for in song circles? Did you ever consult with a copyright lawyer? I've heard there have been some substantial financial settlements for composers who have been able to show that their work was stolen in this manner.

Ed


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: GUEST,Banjoke
Date: 20 Jun 04 - 05:22 AM

Tune in next week and hear Dr. Bob say, " The times they are a changing."

Post modernism and Dylan studies: Discuss

I wonder what would be left if we removed the threads from the under 50's! If you were not there it is difficult to understand the difference Dylan made to music. Oh, by the way, not every Dr. can cure your bellyache.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: kendall
Date: 20 Jun 04 - 07:31 AM

I never copyrighted the piece, and I did share it with him because of mutual experiences, but the royalties I got were a joke.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: GUEST,Smokey Green
Date: 20 Jun 04 - 08:56 AM

If you wanna get to get rich, I'll tell you what to do
You got steal yourself a song or two
Take out a copyright, put it on a CD
Then you'll be as rich as me
I'm talkin' 'bout women, houses, cars,
And hangin' out with Baw-B Dylan
Take it easy, but take it.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: kendall
Date: 20 Jun 04 - 08:47 PM

HAW HAW good one Smoke!


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 Jun 04 - 08:56 PM

If it was that easy, almost everybody would do it... :-)


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: kendall
Date: 20 Jun 04 - 09:28 PM

I certainly didn't mean to imply that he got rich! It was a small company and I'm sure he didn't make a hell of a lot either. That wasn't the point of my post.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Once Famous
Date: 20 Jun 04 - 10:23 PM

I'm not losing it, Little Hawk. Yes, I am a singer and I respect the ability to sing. I also respect songwriters.

I just can't stand songwriters who can't carry a tune and can probably eat a can of beans and fart in pitch better than their voice.

But there have always been a lot of ear doctors making money out there.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Bobert
Date: 20 Jun 04 - 10:54 PM

GUEST, Banjoke:

Please elaborate on your question...

Martin:

Bad news. You may be a great musican but I have my doubts about you as a "singer".

Bobert


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Big Tim
Date: 21 Jun 04 - 05:54 AM

There is a small article about it on the st andrews web site...

http://calvin.st-andrews.ac.uk/external_relations/news_article.cfm?reference=653

and info on the professor, Neil Corcoran, an Oxford education poet, at

http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/english/corcoran/home.html

The above from my daughter, who's trying to get me a ticket for the ceremony this Wed afternoon, it's during the physics graduates ceremony and she being a physicist has a few contacts: fingers crossed!


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: GUEST,Bob
Date: 21 Jun 04 - 12:59 PM

Something is happening here, and you don't know what it is...do you, Mr Gibson?


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Scotus
Date: 21 Jun 04 - 02:40 PM

Check out 'Blind Willie McTell' from the 3 CD boxed set of bootlegs and out-takes (vocal and piano - Dylan, 12 string guitar - Mark Knoefler [sp?]) for one of the best songs he almost didn't issue on record!


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: GUEST,Shlio
Date: 21 Jun 04 - 03:09 PM

Saw Dylan at the Fleadh in London yesterday! First time any of my family have seen him live, and it was great.

Three cheers for Dr. Bob....


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Compton
Date: 21 Jun 04 - 03:27 PM

There's an annoying email company in America that keeps trying to get me to buy a Doctorate...could they be any relation...and didn't Dr. Bob always be on the Muppet Show??


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: GUEST,Van
Date: 21 Jun 04 - 03:46 PM

Brucie more important - if you get a second belly button and your first one is pierced - then what? has anyone found any photos of the event. Dylan in mortar board and gown!!


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Ron Davies
Date: 22 Jun 04 - 12:52 AM

I've sung in many choral groups large and small, and sung in them in places like the Sistine Chapel, Red Square and the Sorbonne, as well as many music festivals--so I do know something about singing.

Dylan is a very good singer of his own songs. He puts them across well, in fact better than many another singer with a more pleasing voice. When I wanted to learn a Dylan song, I used to listen to Joan Baez for instance, to find out what the words really were. But for communicating the intent behind the song, especially if the song is either sneering, apocalyptic, cryptic or humorous, Dylan does a great job---( hell, "cryptic" covers a whole boatload of his songs by itself.)

I'm not a huge Dylan fan. There is no Dylan album I would voluntarily put on to listen to except what I think is the first one--Dylan in his Woody phase--with Talking New York Blues and a bunch of other absolutely great songs--that one I'd listen to over and over. I think those songs will last long after many other ponderously imposing songs have been lost to general conciousness. Of "significant" songs, I would listen to Mr. Tambourine Man, all verses or Desolation Row, all verses--used to sing that at 2 AM walking back to a place outside Paris where I was staying. Also like My Back Pages. But in general I wouldn't want to hear 40 minutes of Dylan. I think it's been mostly downhill since his first, great, album (though I'm aware this is a very controversial opinion)

Of course I also hold the possibly heretical view that in folk music less is more--simple chords, spare instrumentation and a good story is almost always a winner. Anything that can't be done outside a studio is not folk. Opportunities for harmony by other participants score more points. Also, folk music that doesn't take itself deadly seriously trumps weighty "significant" music most times. Did Dylan ever not take himself seriously after the first album? (as opposed to satirizing "society")? I stand ready to be enlightened.

There are always to exceptions to any rule and my preference for fun music doesn't stop my liking a lot of religious music and 19th century tearjerkers, and I take most of them as meant seriously by the people who liked to sing them--e.g. as catharsis, means to engender group feeling, etc.

On the subject of voices, "Martin Gibson" is being rather narrow-minded. Dylan's voice is unacceptable? How about Bill Monroe?--very few people would consider that he had a pleasing voice, and he wasn't always on pitch. But so what?---for what he sang, both his own songs and a whole raft of others, he was great. It also would be refreshing if "Martin Gibson" would climb out of the gutter, unless of course he's more comfortable there. We really can carry on this discussion in a civilized way--coarse language is not essential to communicate unless it's the only language one knows.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Backstage Manager(inactive)
Date: 22 Jun 04 - 08:16 AM

Ron Davies,

It's curious that you specify Dylan "is a very good singer of his own songs. He puts them across well, in fact better than many another singer with a more pleasing voice," and then go on to say that the only Dylan album you'd voluntarily listen to is his first. Of the 13 songs on that album, Dylan wrote only two (both with tunes borrowed from Woody Guthrie). The rest are old folk, blues and country songs.

It's a great album, though. The first of many from Dylan.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Big Tim
Date: 22 Jun 04 - 10:44 AM

Surely it's just a matter of taste.                                 

If you like Dylan - he's a great singer.

If you don't - he's rubbish.

How did Robert Shelton describe his voice in 1961? Something about sounding like a 70 year-old share cropper working in the fields. (Now he sounds more like a 110 year-old sharecropper).

Re those tunes that he "stole" from Woody, Woody "stole" them from somebody else! Hank Williams didn't originate many either.

Dylan has himself said very recently that he is "not a melodist" and that most of his tunes are based on old Protestant hymns.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Backstage Manager(inactive)
Date: 22 Jun 04 - 10:49 AM

Shelton's exact quote is: "Mr. dylan's voice is anything but pretty . He is consciously trying to recapture the rude beauty of a Southern field hand musing in melody on his porch. All the " husk and bark " are left on his notes and a searing intensity pervades the songs."


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Jun 04 - 01:22 PM

It's that "searing intensity" that sets Dylan apart from most of his contemporaries and makes his singing not just good, but great. As Bruce Springsteen said, "the toughest voice I ever heard".

I agree that the first album is great, but I think he hit his peak in the 3 electric albums of the 60's and "Blood On The Tracks". Vocally speaking, he hit his peak at the time of the Rolling Thunder Revue (1975). One of his finest vocal performances is in "Blind Willie McTell" recorded in the 80's. For a Dylan without the "husk and the bark" listen to Nashville Skyline. It's a whole different approach. He has sung in many voices, not one, so if you don't like his voice I would have to wonder...which Dylan voice are you referring to when you say that? From which album?

I couldn't stand his voice at first when I was a teenager. I was a purist. I got over it.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Ron Davies
Date: 23 Jun 04 - 12:29 AM

I'm not a Dylan authority by any stretch of the imagination. I did cite Desolation Row, Mr. Tambourine Man and My Back Pages as Dylan songs (written by him I think) that he puts across well and that I like hearing. If the first album is almost entirely old blues and country, that's probably the answer--I actually like old blues and country a lot better than most of what Dylan himself has written. Of course nobody can do Positively 4th Street or Just Like A Woman justice the way he can. But in general I'd prefer it if he didn't seem to take himself so seriously all the time after the first album.   Also I love his harmonica--it's just the right touch--too bad that it dropped out so soon in his career.

I didn't say I didn't like his voice--in fact in the first album he's great.   Aside from that album, I basically only like his voice in small doses , and usually for specific songs. I can stand a lot more of, say, Mary Black singing traditional material--in fact I love this--than Dylan singing his own songs. And it's not that I just like a pretty voice--I can listen to a lot more of Tom Waits or Kristofferson than Dylan. I think the voice and the type of songs Robert Shelton would have referred to are the ones in the first album.

In fact, just came across that review. One of the items Shelton mentions is exactly what I found missing after the first album: "Talkin' New York satirizes his troubles in gaining recognition and Talkin" Hava Nagila " (did he ever record that?) " burlesques the folk-music craze and the singer himself" Did Dylan ever burlesque himself after 1962? He seemed painfully earnest from then on. That made Eric Bogle's song "Do You Know Any Bob Dylan", one of the best musical spoofs ever, that much more effective. By then Dylan was a fat juicy target for satire himself. What do you think of Bogle's song?


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: alanabit
Date: 23 Jun 04 - 03:15 AM

I like the Bogle song a lot. It's title is something like, "The Traditional Folk Singer's Lament". The target of the satire is not so much Dylan himself as the people in folk clubs who will not accept anything else. Bogle also makes fun of the narrator, when he declares in the final verse that he is willing to sacrifice all his musical principles to get his end away. It's funny for sure, but I don't really see it as an attack on Bob Dylan.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Backstage Manager(inactive)
Date: 23 Jun 04 - 08:43 AM

Also I love his harmonica--it's just the right touch--too bad that it dropped out so soon in his career.

If you think Dylan stopped playing the harmonica early in his career, you have obviously not listened to almost everything that he's done.

Talkin" Hava Nagila " (did he ever record that?)

It's on the boxed set, "The Bootleg Series, Vols. 1-3: Rare And Unreleased."


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Jun 04 - 02:57 PM

Yeah, the harmonica was very much there until rather recently. It was there all through the 60's, 70's, 80's, and much of the 90's. That's close to 40 official albums.

Now Tom Waits...there is a voice I really cannot take much of. Why do I not hear people bitching about Tom Waits' singing all the time? Is he not famous enough to bitch about or what's the problem?

Neil Young is another singer who could certainly be accused of not having a very good singing voice (in the usual sense), but I like his stuff anyway. It works. Whereas Dylan certainly can sing on pitch when he wants to, Neil Young quavers all over the place in a most peculiar fashion.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 23 Jun 04 - 03:23 PM

What the hell--they gave one to Man o' War once (and a miffed professorial type remarked that it was the first time they ever awarded one to an entire horse.)

He should have given a piece of it to Ramblin' Jack Eliot, though.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 23 Jun 04 - 03:35 PM

Also I love his harmonica--it's just the right touch--too bad that it dropped out so soon in his career

He played it loads at the London Fleadh last Sunday. But no guitar at all. He sat at his keyboard and left that to Ron Wood.

Talkin' Hava Nageilah Blues is fantastic, as is all the Bootleg Series.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Bobert
Date: 23 Jun 04 - 08:28 PM

Can't agree with you more about Tom Waits, LH... I like some of his stuff but, whew, the boy musta lernt to sing from Cris Kristofferson, who in my opinion, is the worst of the worse... Another guy who sang off pitch but it worked for him pretty well was Johnny Cash. But Johnny had enough soul and a danged good voice to make up for his pitch problems...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Ron Davies
Date: 23 Jun 04 - 11:56 PM

Hey you guys, both Kris Kristofferson and Tom Waits have a great droll sense of humor, frequently at their own expense, which is something Dylan had in his first album, but I haven't seen much evidence of it lately. A dry sense of humor can excuse almost anything in my book; in fact it makes a gravelly voice even more fun to listen to.   Tom Waits' dry wit fits his late-night smoky jazz arrangements --ever heard Nighthawks at the Diner? Now Dylan may in fact have it also; as I said, I'm no expert on Dylan, so if he does show a self-deprecating sense of humor, after the first album, that's great. As I said, I'm ready to be enlightened.

Gee, Little Hawk, I thought you were the soul of tolerance. You've fended off some pretty intemperate attacks on Dylan, and with great composure. And I didn't even attack Dylan, just criticized him on a few points. Good to know the harmonica is well in evidence. That would make me want to see Dylan, especially if he could be persuaded to do Talkin' Hava Nagilah.

However, we can agree on Neil Young. He's great for moaning "4 dead in Ohio" but that's about it. When it comes to needing a male banshee, Neil's your man but for anything else...


Re: Bogle   You guys are right--Bogle's song is mainly aimed at Dylan addicts in folk clubs. But there is that line---something like "Just murder good prose and sing through your nose, and then you'll sound just like Bob Dylan". In the song Bogle also does a magnificent quasi-imitation send-up of Dylan's singing style . Did Dylan ever spoof himself after 1962? As you point out, Bogle lampoons his own situation, portraying his own narrator in not the best light ( as a sell-out), albeit for a worthy cause (What, you don't think getting sex from a conditional groupie is a worthy cause?)


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: alanabit
Date: 24 Jun 04 - 03:09 AM

Sounds like the perfect night out to me Ron - indulge my Dylan fantasies on the one hand and get laid later on...


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Jun 04 - 03:12 PM

A clever strategic plan indeed. :-)

I agree that Tom Waits has a great sense of humour, so I can understand why he has his loyal fans. It hasn't clicked with me for some reason.

People have criticized Leonard Cohen's singing too. In fact, Cohen himself made fun of it one time, when awarded "best singer" of the year by the Canadian music industry. He indicated that he was flabbergasted by the unexpected honour, implying something rather like "Why me? I can barely sing at all." :-)


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Ron Davies
Date: 24 Jun 04 - 10:47 PM

Little Hawk--

It's not Leonard Cohen's voice that's the problem, I think. I suspect he can sing quite well, though he has hidden it expertly up to now. The real sticking point with him is his attitude (though he probably has a healthy bank balance, and making it as big as he has in music is something we haven't done yet.) Anyway, somebody, I'm pretty sure it was on Mudcat, expressed it well, something like "Leonard Cohen covers the whole range of emotions from very dark and sombre to not so dark and sombre". Well, everybody gotta have a gimmick. Maybe Cohen's gimmick is unrelieved depression.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 25 Jun 04 - 01:49 AM

G'day all,

Well, I just saw today's photograph of the poor lad, scowling his way through the long, boring event. Quote (photo caption in Sydney Morning Herald, Friday June 25): "Dylan was grim-faced and yawned throughout the proceedings, and left without a word." (Still, Sir Kenneth Dover, Chancellor of St Andrew's University looks like he is enjoying himself!)

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: akenaton
Date: 25 Jun 04 - 05:41 AM

Sir Kenneth Dover???    Any relation to Ben?


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Little Hawk
Date: 25 Jun 04 - 11:32 AM

"left without a word" Yeah. :-) I wonder how they even persuaded him to come in the first place...I don't think he enjoys such events in the least.

I agree that Cohen can sing allright, by the way. I like his singing style, specially in the 90's...amazing stuff. He does have a few songs which are not dark and depressing, by the way. He can be quite upbeat on occasion.

Here are 2 people who CAN sing very well, but I hate their singing styles: Barbra Streisand and Frank Sinatra.

Oh, and Whitney Houston too!!!

Ugh! Have mercy on my suffering ears.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: el ted
Date: 25 Jun 04 - 11:46 AM

Leave Leonard Cohen alone! He is divine.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Ben Dover
Date: 25 Jun 04 - 11:48 AM

My name is also my hobby.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: el ted
Date: 25 Jun 04 - 11:51 AM

99


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: el ted
Date: 25 Jun 04 - 11:51 AM

100. Thanks I'll eat it here.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: s6k
Date: 25 Jun 04 - 12:39 PM

leonard cohen is amazing has such great songs


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Little Hawk
Date: 25 Jun 04 - 03:03 PM

Ben, are you trying to tell us something?


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: GUEST,IMHO
Date: 26 Jun 04 - 12:19 PM

There are two terms that need to be clarified.

1) Vocalist: Someone whose vocal cords resonate and subsequently produce sounds in a manner pleasing to the listener. Picture here Luciano Pavarotti singing "Blowin' in the Wind" in an operatic voice. Hear in your mind's ear Joan Baez singing "Walls of Redwing" in that note-perfect soprano voice. My gawwwwddd!

2) Singer: Someone like Bob Dylan. He does often acknowledge where the note should be, but he's not hung up on keeping his voice there while he expresses the meaning inherent in his words. Bob Dylan is a songwriter and a song singer--he is not a song vocalist.

I recall Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction" and cringe--as I do when Joan Baez sings "Love is Just a Four Letter Word." McGuire proves that bad vocalization can destroy a poorly-written song and Joan Baez proves that excellent vocalization can destroy a well-written song.

I do not think we can separate the writer from the singer in Dylan's case, nor can we separate the singer from the song. When I listen to Bruce Springsteen's rendition of "Chimes of Freedom" I am blown away. I feel like crankin' the volume and shakin' the walls. It is GREAT. Fantastic production, good studio mix, wow! And then I listen to Dylan singing it and my soul is touched in its deepest recess, and I realize in my heart that there are people on Earth who have been--through one circumstance or another--removed from the company of their peers and their lives. And I hear a voice that speaks for the disenfranchised of our societies and our world. He misses quite a few notes when he sings it, but sing it he does. In the words of Johnny Cash from the liner notes of Nashville Skyline, "This man can rhyme the tick of time, the edge of pain, the what of sane."

Any good vocalist can sing "Mares eat Oats" and miss no notes. That does not mean the same person can sing "Sad-eyed Lady" and make the song work. Baez tried and failed miserably because she turned a piece of song-writing 'literature' into a limp imitation of itself. (Listening to her sing that song is an experience for me much like listening to an Oxford don recite "A Child's Christmas in Wales." Thank you, but I'll take a hungover Dylan Thomas, because Thomas made it work, and I will gladly hear the sacrifice of 'perfect' English for the blend of OK English and absolute meaning that Thomas brings to his work. Operatic voice, note perfect though it may be, will not replace the need for the song to be sung.) When I hear Dylan sing it, I know that he has reached a place that broken-hearted lovers know about, maybe even live, and he spoke with eloquent words to define and expose the pain and remorse of love beyond the reach of stretched-out arms and outstretched hands.

If there is a testimonial to the power of Dylan's singing, it might be this: Few people are able to sing his songs well after he has sung them because his rendition defines context, meaning and purpose. "Mr Tamborine Man" is an example. The Byrds had a hit with it, but that was the newness of hearing a Dylan song electrified, and twelve-strings DO add a special sound to music--especially electric twelves. But I think the definitive recording is Dylan's, broken voice and all. Dylan is not a great vocalist, but I think we would be hard-pressed to find a better singer.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: GUEST,Calum
Date: 26 Jun 04 - 04:07 PM

I saw him on Tuesday in Newcastle (possibly the best soundman I've ever seen...made the Metro Radio Arena sound like a good venue). First time I've seen him live in concert, and I wasn't sure what to expect; I haven't really listened to anything he's done post-Blood on the Tracks. I was going half-expecting to come away with little more than the ability to tell my grandkids I saw him before he retired.

I was blown away. It's fair to say his band is a huge part of that; they're a straight-up rock outfit with an incredible punch and drive that would make it easy for the worst of singers, but he still has a drive and intensity about his work that leaves those who accuse him of coasting with no argument. Masters of War was sung with genuine anger, his voice at times on the verge of shouting out the rage.

Anyway, to get to the point of my post...what I took away with me, besides his musicianship, is the impression that he doesn't trust his audience as far as he can throw all ten thousand of them. Which makes sense, if you consider the negativity he's received several times in his career, never mind the downright rage he was greeted with at the Manchester Free Trades Hall (Judas!) and Newport. A simple way of putting it is that he seems insecure; that was certainly the impression I got from his speaking, to thank his band - he was half finished before I realised he was talking.

Anyway, that's one of a few million opinions for ya. Enjoy.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: GUEST,Shlio
Date: 26 Jun 04 - 05:04 PM

I'm not surprised that Dylan wasn't too impressed by the "proceedings" of being given a doctorate. At the Fleadh he finished his act by pushing away someone on stage who tried to hug him, though I've got the impression, Calum, that he's never been too keen on long speeches on stage. In 1964 he made a single comment ("It's halloween...") and everyone remembers it!

On the subject of voices, I like Dylan's. And Neil Young's, and Leonard Cohen's, Martin Carthy's etc. The only voices that I don't like (excepting those that really can't hit a note) are the ones that aren't interesting at all, and indistinguishable from others'.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Big Tim
Date: 27 Jun 04 - 10:40 AM

From the "Dundee Courier" [15 miles from St Andrews]

"Described by Prof Corcoran as 'one of the greatest writers of the drama of human relationships', he has received numerous awards, including France's highest cultural accolade.

Fans hoping to catch a glimpse of D arriving and leaving the Younger Hall were disappointed. He arrived at the west door in a people carrier with blacked out windows, accompanied by his tour manager and security adviser and quickly stepped inside. On his departure he was spotted by a group of fans who waved and clapped but he failed to acknowledge them.

A Uni spokesman said later that he asked to be allowed to keep his [graduation] robe as a memento and in a break with tradition was allowed to do so. He added, "he appeared to enjoy the experience and it was a great compliment to the Uni that he asked to keep his robe"

Although Dylan agreed to pose for official photograps in a private room in the Younger hall, he declined to grant any interviews to the army of reporters".

No film cameras were allowed but somebody sneaked one in and the BBC showed D getting his honour that evening (I got it on tape). And yes, he did indeed look as if he was getting his degree for, a one down market rag in these parts said, "for his contribution to glum rock".                                                            

He's a weird monkey, very funky.


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Subject: RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Jun 04 - 09:18 PM

Guests IMHO and Calum, you couldn't have said it better. Thanks. IMHO has described exactly what it is that makes Dylan not just a good singer, but a great singer. When he sings it, it's the real thing, nothing is held back, and it's absolutely unforgettable.

Then you've got people who are great vocalists. Ho hum. (Mind you, I do like Baez, but I've always liked her because of who she was, what she did, and when...and she had courage. I understand why many do not care for her rather unevocative style of delivery. I like it okay, because she has great integrity, and I sense that. One song I thought she did not do very well was "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down". I usually like her Dylan renditions rather well, while I like Bob's even better, but in a different way. She got the magic in Dylan's material before most other people did, and that in itself gives her some kind of darned good reason to sing it, I think.)


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