The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #169133   Message #4088230
Posted By: Joe Offer
16-Jan-21 - 04:37 AM
Thread Name: Sandman and Discussion of Dylan Songs
Subject: Sandman and Discussion of Dylan Songs
Dick has been having login problems, so he has been posting as a guest.
Jeri's suggestion of a more-encompassing title was a good one, but I'm changing it to a title that is less provocative.

Dick has a point. There are many songs that Dylan wrote, where all I can respond is, What WAS he thinking? And for that matter, how could be be awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature for THAT???

There are times when I think that Dylan wrote highly literate and interesting songs until he reached the age of about 30, and then he quit and collected royalties for the rest of his life. I remember back in the 1990s when I went to a Dylan concert in Sacramento with a date I didn't like, and listened to a crap concert and was fully disgusted. And then I had to take the date out to dinner and pretend to be interested while she babbled. It's the first concert I ever attended where I had to be body-searched before I could get in the gate. Another band opened - I think they were "The Clash," and I hated them. Then Dylan came on and sang for 45 minutes without ever saying a word in between songs, and then he left. He was backed up by that awful band, and they sang a set of songs that bordered on punk.

I wrote a review in the Sacramento Bee, and later found that the concert I attended was one of Dylan's legendarily awful concerts, maybe the worst of them all. And my date was legendarily boring and self-involved and really wanted me to marry her, and I'm very glad I didn't. She's dead now, so I can say this.

But as I've ripened into Old Age, I've taken a more generous view of Dylan and most everybody else, including the Extremely Boring and Emotionally Needy Date who wanted to marry me in the worst way because I was such a Nice Guy.

People condemn Dylan for recording traditional songs with his own twist and making megabucks from them. But if you listen to them with an open mind, you can see that he really got into these songs and did a very thoughtful job of interpreting them - and the fact that he recorded them, gives these songs another hundred years in the public eye.

So, yeah, I feel like I was totally ripped off at that awful Sacramento concert, but I also have to admit that Dylan has exposed me to a lot of traditional songs I might not otherwise have encountered. And although I may hate his interpretations at times, he has driven me to explore these songs more deeply and really get to know them.

So, I guess I'd say I have a love/hate relationship with Bob Dylan, and I think Sandman would say he has the same. Dick and I have learned a lot from Dylan, even though we profess to hate him.

Am I right, Dick?


P.S. And may my Boring Date rest in peace. She pursued me for a couple of years and bought us concert tickets and took me to fancy restaurants I couldn't afford. She tried really hard to buy my affection, but I kept feeling smothered whenever she was around. I felt obliged to be nice, but I never led her on in any way. I would give her a flaccid hug when forced to, but never kissed her. She would talk on and on when she called on the telephone, and she would call back multiple times when I hung up on her. Good thing I married a more tolerable woman....
But hey, she DID take me to a terrific Bonnie Raitt concert.