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An Open Letter To Bob Dylan

Frankham 22 Aug 05 - 06:31 PM
Clinton Hammond 22 Aug 05 - 06:33 PM
Little Hawk 22 Aug 05 - 06:36 PM
Peace 22 Aug 05 - 06:40 PM
Steve-o 22 Aug 05 - 06:43 PM
Peace 22 Aug 05 - 06:45 PM
GUEST 22 Aug 05 - 06:50 PM
Peace 22 Aug 05 - 06:55 PM
bobad 22 Aug 05 - 07:00 PM
Max 22 Aug 05 - 07:07 PM
Big Jim from Jackson 22 Aug 05 - 07:09 PM
GUEST 22 Aug 05 - 07:15 PM
Cluin 22 Aug 05 - 07:27 PM
GUEST,weelittledrummer 22 Aug 05 - 08:52 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 22 Aug 05 - 10:03 PM
Cluin 22 Aug 05 - 10:08 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 22 Aug 05 - 10:08 PM
John O'L 22 Aug 05 - 10:17 PM
PoppaGator 22 Aug 05 - 10:30 PM
Beer 22 Aug 05 - 10:40 PM
Clinton Hammond 22 Aug 05 - 11:03 PM
katlaughing 22 Aug 05 - 11:05 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 22 Aug 05 - 11:17 PM
Little Hawk 23 Aug 05 - 12:03 AM
Jeremiah McCaw 23 Aug 05 - 01:46 AM
GUEST,Guest, Big Tim 23 Aug 05 - 02:02 AM
Steve Latimer 23 Aug 05 - 02:13 AM
Paul Burke 23 Aug 05 - 03:41 AM
GUEST,An Englishman Abroad 23 Aug 05 - 07:39 AM
*daylia* 23 Aug 05 - 08:29 AM
*daylia* 23 Aug 05 - 09:45 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 23 Aug 05 - 10:09 AM
*daylia* 23 Aug 05 - 10:29 AM
woodsie 23 Aug 05 - 10:36 AM
woodsie 23 Aug 05 - 10:37 AM
woodsie 23 Aug 05 - 10:38 AM
Little Hawk 23 Aug 05 - 10:47 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 23 Aug 05 - 10:59 AM
Peter T. 23 Aug 05 - 11:34 AM
PoppaGator 23 Aug 05 - 12:43 PM
GUEST,daylia 23 Aug 05 - 02:17 PM
GUEST,Songster Bob 23 Aug 05 - 04:41 PM
*daylia* 23 Aug 05 - 06:37 PM
Little Hawk 23 Aug 05 - 08:45 PM
GUEST,Whistle Stop 24 Aug 05 - 08:46 AM
*daylia* 24 Aug 05 - 09:19 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 24 Aug 05 - 10:01 AM
Peter T. 24 Aug 05 - 10:38 AM
*daylia* 24 Aug 05 - 11:38 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 24 Aug 05 - 11:48 AM
Wesley S 24 Aug 05 - 11:53 AM
GUEST,Whistle Stop 24 Aug 05 - 12:40 PM
*daylia* 24 Aug 05 - 12:59 PM
*daylia* 24 Aug 05 - 01:28 PM
GUEST 01 Sep 05 - 12:59 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 01 Sep 05 - 01:03 PM
Steve Latimer 01 Sep 05 - 02:44 PM
Little Hawk 01 Sep 05 - 03:18 PM
Frankham 01 Sep 05 - 04:55 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 01 Sep 05 - 05:31 PM
Little Hawk 01 Sep 05 - 06:23 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 01 Sep 05 - 07:27 PM
Little Hawk 01 Sep 05 - 07:32 PM
GUEST 02 Sep 05 - 02:57 AM
Rusty Dobro 03 Sep 05 - 07:53 AM
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Subject: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: Frankham
Date: 22 Aug 05 - 06:31 PM

 This in. Kinda' interesting i think.

Frank
 
-------Original Message-------
 
From: Rev Billy & The Church of Stop Shopping
Date: 08/21/05 13:22:02
To: Rev Billy & The Church of Stop Shopping
Subject: Open Letter To Bob Dylan
 

Dear Bob Dylan,
You sang in the Gaslight and Cafe Bizarre and the Figaro and such places in the early 60s. What would match those fertile coffeehouses nowadays? Is there an empty stage and an open mike waiting for some kid who might change everything? In 2005, daily life is so depoliticized we really don't know how change would come. But even those of us not born when you sang A Hard Rain Is A-Gonna Fall -- remember your anthems. And oh, we wait for that new madflow singer, we need that song of change, with the way things are now.
By dealing what you created in the Gaslight Cafe to this transnational chain store Starbucks, you make the revolution that will blast from some dark little stage all the more urgent. Starbucks kills the Gaslights. You should know about their real estate practices. They kill Gaslights and diners and local hang-outs and replace them with their mass-produced fake bohemia. This is A Change Is NOT Gonna Come. Starbucks wants to silence the cafe that features that powerful unknown singer that we're waiting for, using your famous voice like a silencer.
Sincerely:
Reverend Billy
Savitri D
Kurt Vonnegut
Larry Harvey, Burning Man
Laura Flanders
Malachy McCourt
Medea Benjamin, Global Exchange
Sidney Lanier
Rosalie Sorrels
Alisa Solomon
Ricardo Dominguez, Electronic Disturbance Theater
Carl Hancock Rux
Benjamin Ferguson, Starbucksunion.org
William Etundi
Frank Morales
Ronnie Cummins, Organic Consumers Association
James Solomon Benn
Jonathan Kalb
Jill Lane
Lafcadio Cortesi, Forest Ethics
Johanna Lawrenson,
the Abbie Hoffman Activist Foundation
Edward Ziter
Eileen Clancy
Beka Economopoulos, Not An Alternative
Florindo Troncelliti
Marc Kasky, Kasky Vs. Nike
Julie Talen
Sean Basinski, Street Vendors Project
Bob Fass
Ben Shepard, Reclaim the Streets
Una Chaudhuri
Dee Dee Halleck
Jerry Goralnick
Stephen Duncombe
Kate Crane
Elizabeth Chin
Robert Cole, Robert Cole Productions
Laura Hart Cole
Gregory Sholette
Patricia Ybarra
Joel Kovel
Dee Dee Halleck, Deep Dish TV
Susan Smulyan
Scott Loane
John Bell
Jo Littler
David L. Wilson, Weekly News Update on the Americas
Deanna Zandt, Not an Alternative
Ron Hayduk
Ursula Ruedenberg, Pacifica Network
Coco Fusco
Tony Perucci
Jonathan Moll
Amy Gentry
Michele Smith
Richard E. Lyons
Fred Askew, Fred Askew Photography
Michael ONeil
www.revbilly.com
(to stop receiving Church of Stop Shopping emails, reply with UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line)
 


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 22 Aug 05 - 06:33 PM

"What would match those fertile coffeehouses nowadays?"

I doubt Dylan would have clue f*kin' one...


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Aug 05 - 06:36 PM

This is not the kind of thing that Bob responds to, to put it simply.

To expect he would seems a bit naive.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: Peace
Date: 22 Aug 05 - 06:40 PM

OK, so I'm outta the loop. What does Starbucks have to do with Dylan?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: Steve-o
Date: 22 Aug 05 - 06:43 PM

"I doubt Dylan would have clue f*kin' one..." Well, there's a thoughtful response. What a bozo....


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: Peace
Date: 22 Aug 05 - 06:45 PM

OK, so I'm outta the loop. What does Dylan have to do with Starbucks?

Folks, there are only so many ways I can ask the question, no offense.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Aug 05 - 06:50 PM

I was in a shop the other day and the radio played Dylan's simple acoustic "Times they are a changing", and the verse came with the words;
"How many deaths will it takes till he knows
That too many people have died"
Beside me was a man about my age (60's) and we glanced at each other.
"Good to hear some decent music for a change" he said.
"Yeah, but it didn't make any difference and that's the sad thing" I said.
"Yeah" he agreed, "But maybe he should sing it again."
And we both smiled and shook our heads.
And that's the sad thing.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: Peace
Date: 22 Aug 05 - 06:55 PM

It could be because the times HAVE changed, and this is what we got.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: bobad
Date: 22 Aug 05 - 07:00 PM

Peace

I believe $tarbuck$ is to have exclusive distributorship of a release of either another Dylan bootleg or the soundtrack of Martin Scorses's documentary, I'm not sure which, but I'm sure someone will let us know forthwith.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: Max
Date: 22 Aug 05 - 07:07 PM

Starbucks is going to release a live show from the Gaslight in '62. Irony?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: Big Jim from Jackson
Date: 22 Aug 05 - 07:09 PM

Times must have changed more than I thought---those words used to be in "Blowin' In The Wind".


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Aug 05 - 07:15 PM

Correct! Senior moment!


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: Cluin
Date: 22 Aug 05 - 07:27 PM

LH, I would expect you to know that the "open letter" format does not anticipate a response from the person supposedly being addressed.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: GUEST,weelittledrummer
Date: 22 Aug 05 - 08:52 PM

Of course Bob hangs out at The Mudcat. And Bob, if you still fancy a gig at Market Rasen Folk Club, I'll put in a word with Les.

Book this guy Les, he's pretty good.

Don't think it was Starbucks that finished off the folk music in coffee bars - rather it was a generation that couldn't shut the f--k up and listen - check out Elijah Wald's magnificent recounting of the life of Dave Van Ronk - and how a very talented musician had a pretty depressing period in his life waiting for the skunks to shut up.

Coffee retailers are not the villains of this piece

all the best

Big Al Whittle


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 22 Aug 05 - 10:03 PM

Coffee retailers like Starbucks should be blamed for meny things, but to blame Starbucks for empty stages is like blaming Jay Leno for killing vaudeville. The coffeehouse scene that nutured Bob Dylan was gone by the mid 60's. As soon as people began making money in folk music, the coffeehouses like the Gaslight faded from prominance to be replaced by commercial venues.   Folk music was "saved" by groups of fans who began presenting the music in church basements.

To answer an earlier question, Starbucks will be issuing a CD of Dylan's "Gaslight" tapes. They have exclusive rights to sell the CD for a period, which I think is 18 months.   They have done this with other artists.   They also sell CD's from many acoustic artists, something that isn't done in many places these days.

Don't get me wrong, I don't support Starbucks for many of the reasons named. However, I think the group that signed that letter is using Bob Dylan and other artists such as Alanis Morrisette as an excuse to get their message out. There may not be anything wrong with that, but I think they should be honest.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: Cluin
Date: 22 Aug 05 - 10:08 PM

So, it's not really addressed to Bob Dylan, is it?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 22 Aug 05 - 10:08 PM

There are live performers at American WalMarts/Borders/Noble/Ruby's/WholeEarth with audiences sitting in their plastic chairs - listening to LIVE FOLK AMERICANA - while sipping their Starbuck's Cappacino/Lite.

It is a good gig and a weekend covers a week's lodging and gas to next the next venue....all your list, (except Larry Harvey) would probably approve.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: John O'L
Date: 22 Aug 05 - 10:17 PM

Dylan isn't the villain either. Sure he went through a cafe phase but that was all it was to him. If others chose to define themselves according to that phase he can hardly be blamed for that.

I remmember when he was in the movie 'Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid', many of his fans were similarly outraged because his 'Alias' character killed a guy.
He was acting for chrissake.

As far as Starbucks is concerned, he's a popular singer. Making money's what they do. While I too mourn the demise of the traditional cafe to the shiny plastic coffee shop I don't think the blame can be put at the feet of anyone other than the people who patronise the places.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: PoppaGator
Date: 22 Aug 05 - 10:30 PM

I don't much like Starbcks, and never patronize them, but I would be glad for them to promote and sell my records (if I had any!). Maybe then I could afford their overpriced coffee.

It's ridiculous to accuse a retail corporation founded so recently for the late-sixties demise of the coffeehouse scene. Reallt now!

I recognize a few of the names signed to that "open letter," and most of them are names of artists and other personalities who I like and/or admire. I probably even agree with the basic principles they're trying to advance here, but ~ getting down to specifics ~ I can't agree that there's any valid reason to criticize either Bob or the company about this particular money-making venture.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: Beer
Date: 22 Aug 05 - 10:40 PM

Let me ask you this. What does Mr Dylan do to put food on the table? Work as a carpenter? plumber? electrician on the side? He just happens to be one in a very large number who happened to make it to the top. Good for him. We criticized him when he went electric. We got on his back when he went and did the spiritual songs.   And here he is again, doing the things he wants to do. "Changing", which many of us can't do.
Your the man Bob, your the man.
Beer


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 22 Aug 05 - 11:03 PM

"We criticized him when he went electric."
Speak for yourself...

"We got on his back when he went and did the spiritual songs. "
I even dug most of those...


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Aug 05 - 11:05 PM

Country music's big-time star, Garth Brooks, has just signed an exclusive with WalMart. The news article said if you want his music, you will HAVE to buy it from them, online or at the store.

At least Starbuck's may have (don't know, never having been in one, non-coffee-drinker) a different clientele who will actually listen to Dylan's music and "get it."


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 22 Aug 05 - 11:17 PM

No matter which end you are speaking out of LaughKat

don't know

Has always been you most substantial opinion.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 12:03 AM

There's a lot to enjoy in Life. (I capitalize it because it's a holy experience, Life, and I don't mean the magazine...) Among the things to enjoy in Life are Bob Dylan's music and coffee shops, including Starbucks, if you like it. Plenty of Dylan fans go to Starbucks now and then. Plenty of other people also. I see no reason why Starbucks should not sell a Dylan album. They've been selling Emmy Lou Harris, Elvis, Alanis Morrisette, Sinatra, Willie Nelson, and so on, and so on. Why not Dylan? In fact, how could they avoid selling Dylan's music eventually?

There is no particular reason to be moaning and groaning because every wonderful ideal of our collective youth was NOT realized 100% by now! Has it ever been? On the other hand, much progress has been made. Integration was accomplished, after a great struggle. The war in Vietnam was ended, and so was the draft. The place of women in society has been greatly improved. The place of many minorities has been greatly improved. Tremendous strides have been made in almost every field of human endeavour in the past 50 years...while at the same time we are facing the tensions that arise due to an expanding population and an increasingly crowded and damaged biosphere.

The problems and challenges are immense. So are the opportunities. I see no reason to despair or to be cynical simply because EVERYTHING in the whole World hasn't turned out exactly the way you or someone else wanted it to when you were 22 years old!

You've got a choice here. You can be cynical and miserable or you can be inspired and happy. If it's the former, then who are you going to blame for it?

Those who expect to see a perfect World in their own lifetime will usually be disappointed and frustrated. Those who rejoice in the good that has already been accomplished and strive to add to it will have a much better time.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: Jeremiah McCaw
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 01:46 AM

Bravo, Little Hawk.

As for Dylan and Starbucks, it's his music and he's free to handle (and/or market) it any way he likes. No problem.

By the same token, we're free to feel any way about it we want.

As for me, Mr. Dylan pretty much lost me years ago when he licensed "The Times They Are A-changing" to be used as a (frigging) Bank of Montreal commercial!


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: GUEST,Guest, Big Tim
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 02:02 AM

According to Howard Sounes, one of Dylan's biographers, Bob owns his own coffee shop!


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 02:13 AM

I have never been in a Starbucks in my life. But, if that's where I have to go to pick up Gaslight so be it. I wonder how they will feel about me bringing a large Tim Horton's with me when I buy the CD.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: Paul Burke
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 03:41 AM

From Rutland Times, this is Eric Idle and Neil Innes' take on St. Robert Zimmerframe:

Rain on a Tin Roof


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: GUEST,An Englishman Abroad
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 07:39 AM

Hey Drummer

I was in a bar where Von Ronk was playing a few tears ago and into the second song someone started talking. "Shut Up." Shouted Von Ronk very loud. Thunderous applause followed. He developed his own way of shutting up the talkers and it worked.

Problem is only people of stature can get away with it.

all the best John


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: *daylia*
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 08:29 AM

Instead of yelling shut up like some ole fishwife, maybe try inviting them all to sing along, like this -

Mama put my gums in the ground
I shan't shoot them off no more
The strong dark grounds are flowin' brown
See! I'm talkin' in here no more

Talk talk talkin' in here no more ....


(repeat ad nauseum)


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: *daylia*
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 09:45 AM

Y'know, I've never bothered to mention how I feel about Dylan on this forum before. But today, inspired by the verse above and a couple gallons of coffee, I think I'll get right irritable and sound right off!

This is not the kind of thing that Bob responds to, to put it simply.

To expect he would seems a bit naive.


This is true. Dylan usually just ignores the public. I know he's one of America's best and most beloved songwriters, and I've always loved certain of his songs (especially when someone else is singing them) - but I wouldn't fork out DIDDLEY - in money or stress levels - to see him live again.

My parents couldn't stand Dylan, and by the time I was old enough to go to concerts on my own in the late 70's, Dylan was deep into his 'born again Christian' phase. As a rookie guitar player, I'd learned and loved so many of his classics from the 60's, and even though I enjoyed his new album too ('Slow Train Comin'), most of the Dylan fans I hung around with couldn't stand it.

Well, a few of us went to see him live at Massey Hall in Toronto in 78 (if memory serves). I'll never forget it - not because he was so good, but because he was so self-absorbed and, well, just plain snotty. Everyone in the audience, including me, was just dying to hear his golden oldies. He'd finish some new track from "Slow Train", and the audience would call out "Blowin In the Wind!"   "Times They Are A-Changin" etc etc

Did He once even LOOK at the audience, or smile, or acknowledge we were even THERE?   Nope. Did He honour the wishes of the people who'd shelled out big bucks to see him even ONCE with a golden oldie before the night was over? Nope. It seemed like there was no one else in that Hall except Him, for Him anyway. By the time it was over people were booing Him. Did He care? Nope. He just threw His hat on the floor and walked out without even a backward glance.

THat's the first, and believe me the last time I ever saw Dylan live.
WHat an insufferable snot! (pardon me). Contrast this to Neil Young. Neil's music can be just as inspiring and revolutionary and thought-provoking, and his voice every bit as hard to listen to as Dylan's (imho)- BUT - Neil uplifts and "connects" with his audience by joking with them, dedicating his songs to them, indulging them with requests etc.

In other words, even though he's also a much-loved 'superstar', Neil knows he's just another human being and not some sort of 'god' who considers it 'beneath' him to relate to the other human beings who paid to see him perform. Neil relates to those other human beings with friendliness and love and appreciation. He's humble, and that's what makes him truly great - in my book anyway.

A few PR tips from Neil would serve ole Crusty-Nasal REAL well, imo.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 10:09 AM

"I'll never forget it - not because he was so good, but because he was so self-absorbed and, well, just plain snotty. Everyone in the audience, including me, was just dying to hear his golden oldies. He'd finish some new track from "Slow Train", and the audience would call out "Blowin In the Wind!"   "Times They Are A-Changin" etc etc

Did He once even LOOK at the audience, or smile, or acknowledge we were even THERE?   Nope. Did He honour the wishes of the people who'd shelled out big bucks to see him even ONCE with a golden oldie before the night was over? Nope. It seemed like there was no one else in that Hall except Him, for Him anyway."

Who was being snotty, you or Dylan? It is one thing to not care for a performance, but it is another to base your opinion on a preconceived notion of what an artist should be doing.    If I went to see Neil Young and expected him to do card tricks and have trained poodles tap dance to his music would I be justified to give him a bad review and swear never to see him again? Of course not.

What people refuse to understand is that an artist has a perogative to perform what they want, and an audience has a perogative to go or not to go. Dylan isn't your cup of tea, fine.   But to knock him down because he refuses to chat with an audience or decides his own set list is wrong.   

I remember the tour you are describing, he was only doing his born-again songs. It was one of the best shows I ever saw from him. He was breathing life into songs that he believed in, not acting like a worn out rocker who plays his greatest hits without thinking about the words anymore.   Dylan tinkers with his "classics" to breathe new life into them and make them relevant.   Check out his latest shows.

I can only chuckle at the people who heap critiscm on an artist because they don't match the image that they look for.   Critique an artist for what they are, not for what they aren't.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: *daylia*
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 10:29 AM

If I went to see Neil Young and expected him to do card tricks and have trained poodles tap dance to his music would I be justified to give him a bad review and swear never to see him again? Of course not.

Agreed. But wanting to hear Dylan sing just ONE of his classics is hardly comparable to wanting to see Neil tap-dance with a poodle (although that might be really something!   ;-)

As a music teacher, part of what I do is help kids develop poise, stage presence and other performance skills. Now maybe I'm old-school or something, but sorry Ron - I could easily use Dylan's show that day to demonstrate exactly what NOT to do, how NOT to please or impress your audience.

But then again, my students and I are not yet of such 'godly' stature. We need, and enjoy, and respect, and indulge - hey, we even behave as if we LIKE our audiences a little!    ;~)


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: woodsie
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 10:36 AM

Come along to our and you can sing anything you like. Who gives a toss what dylan thinks.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: woodsie
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 10:37 AM

That should have read our !


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: woodsie
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 10:38 AM

well the blue clicky isn't working.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 10:47 AM

Dylan is what Dylan does, and what he does is marvelous. That's good enough for me.

He's also quite changeable (in mood) from show to show. I've seen him in shows where he was quite communicative and friendly to the audience, but more often he is not...he pours it all into the songs and doesn't talk to the audience. Who knows why?

My guess is that he's moody, and also that he's sort of inhibited or withdrawn in a way, but it's only a guess.

So what are your expectations? That's the question. It might be better not to have specific expectations. ;-) This can also be a key to enjoying many other kinds of relationships with people!

I do notice this: people who go only once or twice in their life to see someone like Bob Dylan are WAY less tolerant and usually have far more specific expectations about what they THINK they are going to see when they see him! Why? Because their knowledge of him is rather fragmentary, based on a few hit songs they know. (They're only playing with 5% of the deck, when it comes to Dylan.)

Accordingly, they expect to be entertained in a specific fashion, and they get mad when that doesn't happen. That's not Bob's fault. The people who booed him when he played with the Band in '66 were mad because he didn't meet their expectations. Tough! He was doing something new.

Has anyone else in music ever been subjected to quite the degree of godlike expectation as Bob Dylan by their audience? Perhaps not. Perhaps that is why he keeps a distance from his audience. He's probably afraid of them at some level...and, God knows, he has had reason to be afraid of them. Read his autobiography. He has been pursued, pestered, stalked, trespassed upon, analyzed, categorized, hypnotized, accused, inspected, neglected, and rejected. (that's an in joke)

I greatly appreciate the onstage graciousness of performers like Neil Young, Joan Baez, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and others who are routinely communicative to their audience. In Dylan's case, I don't worry about it. I go there to here him do a whole lot of songs that you will NEVER hear on the radio (and a few you will) and hear him do them in a whole new and fresh way. That's good enough for me. It's like going to see Beethoven. I wouldn't expect him to talk either...


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 10:59 AM

Daylia, it sounds like your students are getting a good education. Your description gives the impression that you are helping them to develop THEIR stage presence and feel comfortable on stage.   I still feel that your expectation of Dylan made too many assumptions and that Dylan DOES have HIS own sense of stage presence. You may have caught him on an off night, or you may have had an off night, and the concert you saw something you would not have appreciated. I completely understand that.   However, I do not think that every artist needs to be chatty in order to get their songs across. Because they do not chat does not mean they are self absorbed or snotty. They are just doing their own thing.

I do agree, I enjoy seeing a performer that removes the barrier of the stage and talks to the audience "one on one". That is a truly enjoyable experience. However, I do think that you judge an artist on the performance and I go to see a Dylan concert to hear the music, not his musings with an audience.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: Peter T.
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 11:34 AM

I am sure that Bob is many things, but "beloved" is not one of them! (This may be the best thing about him!!)

I have had the Gaslight Cafe album for years -- it is called bootlegging. It is not that great of an album. (There are a couple of knockout early things, for instance, "I Was Young When I Left Home" was packaged into one of the most recent Dylan albums (I forget which one, they are so forgettable) -- and it completely blew the album away.   

I am hoping that the Scorcese doc will have a decent album associated with it.

I was disappointed with the Starbucks' favourite songs of artists -- albums; great idea, but not very interesting selections.

I only go into Starbucks to buy the albums.
   
yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: PoppaGator
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 12:43 PM

I've seen Bob live and in person a number of times; sometimes he's been really great, sometimes he has failed to greatly impress me. In other words, I am neither a full-time sycophant nor one of those who "don't get it."

I've addressed this before; rather than repeat myself, here's a link to an earlier post where I expressed my opinion on this subject as succinctly as I could:

thread.cfm?threadid=75923#1340485


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: GUEST,daylia
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 02:17 PM

Because they do not chat does not mean they are self absorbed or snotty. They are just doing their own thing.

Hmmm .... good point. He sure gives the impression of being self-absorbed to the max! But who knows - as LH says, that may be simply his way of dealing with fear, of 'insulating' himself from the public?

Please let me confirm that musically, I DID enjoy that concert. Very much! I'd bought "Slow Train" a few months before and liked it alot - but my friends were not of like mind. Neither were 9/10 people in that crowd, from the sounds of things.

Naive as I was at the time, I guess I did fully "expect" that a world-class artist like Dylan might have more charisma. That he might find the kindness, confidence and goodwill to indulge his own fans with the few minutes of nostalgia they so obviously wanted. I just couldn't believe it when he failed to do that! Why not?!? Not even as an encore, when it might not have 'derailed' his Slow Train as much??

So there you are. They're right when they say that expectations are premeditated resentments! BUt still, as a performer imo he deserved all the boos he got that night - and more. ANd that has NOTHING to do with his musicianship, or his songwriting, or his 'message'.

If I cared to listen to Dylan today, I'd borrow a CD - maybe even from you, LH! :-) Because I've watched him perform on video and TV etc many many times since, and didn't ever notice much difference in his attitude.

It's like going to see Beethoven. I wouldn't expect him to talk either...

Well if you did, you'd probably be real disappointed cuz he couldn't hear you anyway. :-)

Hey, they may be more alike than we know, LH! Not only did the forever rebellious, independent, crusty ole Beethoven 'push the limits' in his day and age; delighting in thumbing his nose at his benefactors / patrons / audiences by absolutely refusing to be "owned" or to write music "as proscribed" by his patrons, but lookie here --

Young Ludwig

Young Bob

8-D


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: GUEST,Songster Bob
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 04:41 PM

A couple of points:

Starbucks is one of the few commercial behemoths that gives its employees health insurance, no matter how many hours they work. In other words, the 15-hour-a-week college kid gets it, as well as the 50-hour-a-week manager. And, if I recall, they also pay fairly decently for their kind of establishment. Not a Walmarts, by any means. I do not know anything about their real estate practices, which someone mentioned.

Dylan, live, is an oddity. In fact, I've noticed a phenomenon that I can't explain. It's an awards show -- Grammies, whatever -- and Dylan's on to do one number. The audience goes batsh*t crazy, you can barely hear him, and he is totally mumbly-mushy-incomprehensible. Now, is he putting the audience on? Are they putting him on?

When Daylia, I think, above, said the audience shouted out their favorites, it's no wonder he didn't respond. He had his program. He wasn't singing those old songs then. To expect him to do so is, well, close to rude, and shouting for him to do those songs IS rude. I was at the Mariposa Folk Festival some 40 years ago or so, 1968 anyway, and I think it was James Taylor, whose music I didn't much like (which is maybe why I can't recall for sure who the singer was), had finished his opening number. The fans shouted for their favorite numbers, and his response was perfect -- "I am not a jukebox." Then he sang what he had intended to sing, and the audience (mostly) "got it" and were quiet. I think Dylan said the same thing, in his actions, not in words. Maybe he shoulda used words.


Bob Clayton


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: *daylia*
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 06:37 PM

Ah yes, Bob - I do remember now, being about as unpleasantly surprised/disappointed by the audience' behavior that night as I was by Dylan's response. Or rather, his total lack of response.

As a performer, Beethoven had that part easier at least. When a person cannot hear you, that's one thing. When he WILL not hear you - and doesn't explain why - that's quite another. So thanks for balancing the score so well here!                  

The audience goes batsh*t crazy, you can barely hear him, and he is totally mumbly-mushy-incomprehensible.

I've noticed this too, when I've watched his live performances on TV etc   It IS odd. And the part about audiences going so crazy you can't hear the music applies to many artists. That's why I rarely bother with BIG concerts anymore, regardless of who's performing.

Live and learn!


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 08:45 PM

I'm only speculating about this...but it's my impression that Bob doesn't like being on TV. He certainly does like live performing in concert, however, and I've seen him do shows that were simply wonderful. I've also seen him do some that were average, and one or two that were mediocre...for Bob. So he's definitely moody and changeable when it comes to that.

I saw the same show you did, daylia, although I'm not sure if it was the same exact night. Bob was in the early and terribly earnest stages of his religious conversion, and he was deliberately doing ONLY the new Christian songs he'd written at that time. He did them awfully well, with tremendous energy and committment, because he was inspired about it. The music was great and the band was great.

One guy kept yelling "Lonesome Death of Hattie Carrol"...all night long...until finally people started yelling, "Oh, shut up!" at him. He wouldn't quit. Well, "Hattie Carrol" is a superb song, but it's not what Bob was there to do that night. Some people just don't understand that the World is not there to meet their every passing whim...

To quote Bob in one of the religious songs: "Do you ever wonder just what God requires? You think He's just an errand boy to satisfy your wandering desires? When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up, When you gonna wake up and strengthen the things that remain?"

Those are worthwhile questions to ask. Most people's idea of both God AND their favorite entertainer AND even their lover is essentially that he/she is just an errand boy to satisfy their wandering desires!

That's a hard thing to say, but look around and you will see that it's true. That's not love. It's something that needs radical changing, because "you gotta serve somebody" if you expect to grow as a living and conscious soul.

Dylan, in his own mind, was consciously serving God (his idea of God) and humanity by singing only the religious songs. That was how he honestly felt. I'm not saying I would have done that if I was in his place, but that's how he felt at the time. Kind of took guts to do that, wouldn't you say?

By 6 months later he'd mellowed on it some and he was working the older songs back into the shows. For a lot of those unhappy people in the audience when you and I went in 1980, it was just 6 months too soon that they went to see him, that's all.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: GUEST,Whistle Stop
Date: 24 Aug 05 - 08:46 AM

I've been an admirer of both Dylan and Beethoven since I was a kid (in the mid-60s, when I was a musician in training in both popular and classical realms). I think there are some real similarities there, in their relationship with their audience. Both were (and in Bob's case, continue to be) castigated for years for not being what they were before, and hence for not living up to their audience's expectations, and both were/are accused of being rude performers.

In fact, I think a lot of performers, particularly very successful performers, have a real love/hate relationship with their audiences. On the one hand, the audience is what keeps you working, and you disregard that at your peril. On the other hand, the audience's expectations can be very confining -- and the more successful you have been with past works, the more their expectations will restrict your future efforts. A lot of artists will eventually surrender to this dynamic, particularly if they are running short on new ideas anyway. That's why the Stones (to pick just one of many examples) still play basically the same set list year in and year out, and do their best to replicate their earlier incarnations in other respects as well (Mick Jagger trying desperately to come off as the same prancing bad-boy that we all grew to know and love forty years ago).

For artists who still aspire to be creative -- like Bob Dylan -- it must be terribly frustrating to feel bound by the nostalgic expectations of so many in their audience. In fact, I think Bob tries harder than many acknowledge to walk a middle line in this; he still plays many of his Golden Oldies for the crowd, often in arrangements that mimic the original recordings. The fact that this isn't ALL that he does bugs some people, but I think it is far more disturbing that other people (like the Stones) have given up on the creativity that originally made them significant, and now just give the crowd what it wants.

As for Bob isolating himself from the crowd, I imagine that is what I would do if I had achieved his level of success and almost-deification. People are passionate, to the point of derangement, about Bob Dylan. That kind of passion can get you killed, and you would have to be a fool not to be aware of that. John Lennon -- who ultimately suffered that fate -- was quoted as saying "the bigger you get, the more unreality you have to face." For the vast majority of us who have never been the focus of that kind of attention, it is probably hard to appreciate just how bizarre, and terrifying, it must be. I don't blame Bob for being a little reserved, as he has been dealing with a fairly unique level of that kind of attention for forty years now.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: *daylia*
Date: 24 Aug 05 - 09:19 AM

Yeah we were probably there on different nights, LH. I don't remember Hattie at all!

Bob was in the early and terribly earnest stages of his religious conversion, and he was deliberately doing ONLY the new Christian songs he'd written at that time. He did them awfully well, with tremendous energy and committment, because he was inspired about it. The music was great and the band was great

Yes, musically that was a fine concert LH. I believe Dire Straits - or rather, Mark Knopfler - was backing him up on that album. Not sure if he was there that night in Toronto though. It DID sound like it though!

Dylan, in his own mind, was consciously serving God (his idea of God) and humanity by singing only the religious songs. That was how he honestly felt. I'm not saying I would have done that if I was in his place, but that's how he felt at the time. Kind of took guts to do that, wouldn't you say?

Guts? Well, I suppose - although I'm not sure that religious fervour is exactly the same as courage. It took dedication and single-mindedness, that's for sure. I've watched alot of people get all evangelistic when they're first 'born again'. Eventually, their new understandings do mature though, and that urge to preach subsides.

Funny, as I was re-reading my own post above, the first "Him" in this line suddenly took on a different meaning, and I could see the situation that night in a whole new Light' -

It seemed like there was no one else in that Hall except Him, for Him anyway.

Figures. My own jab did a good job, and not at all what I intended!   Gotta love it   :-)

I think now that for most if not all of that concert, Bob wasn't really 'there' at all. He was on some heavenly plane in his own mind, completely swept away by the music and the message he was creating. I'm glad, for the audience' sake, that he came back down to earth later on in that tour! Because his behavior that night did NOT endear anyone to his message, or his 'Messenger'. Quite the opposite, in fact.

It's something that needs radical changing, because "you gotta serve somebody" if you expect to grow as a living and conscious soul.

Well, serving's important. And happiness - ie true inner contentment and freedom from suffering - is paramount. If one is in a state of true happiness, at peace with themselves and their lives in their own minds, there's no driving need to change or preach at others. Happy people are not obsessed with themselves, or with all the little (or not so little) imperfections and annoyances and suffering that are a natural part of physical life. They are much more likely to be generous, helpful, forgiving and compassionate with others than their miserable counterparts.

I'm reading a book right now called "The Art of Happiness", by the Dalai Lama. Now there's a person who has every reason in the world to be depressed, angry, vengeful, hateful etc etc etc - but he isn't! It's amazing!! He's always smiling, has a wonderful sense of humor, loves to be with people, just to talk to them and get to know them. And just being with him fills people with joy somehow. It literally makes their day! He knows how to help people feel important, special, loved, appreciated. And he uplifts and inspires them without preaching at them or trying to convert them!

He does it just by being who he is.

Anyway, we've come a LONG way from Starbucks here, folks! So please pardon the drift, and thanks for listening!


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 24 Aug 05 - 10:01 AM

"his behavior that night did NOT endear anyone to his message, or his 'Messenger'. Quite the opposite, in fact."

Admittedly I was not there that night, but I think that statement is rather hard to justify. How can you know the effect the show had on thousands of people who were there? I respect your opinion, but you should label it as such and not speak for the crowd.   The concert I attended, in New Haven, seemed to have a very enthusiastic crowd. He did not do a single "old" song, just his born-again material and the crowd respected him for it. It wasn't a surprise, it was well publicized that Dylan had no intention of doing his chestnuts.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: Peter T.
Date: 24 Aug 05 - 10:38 AM

I have never been a Stones fan -- except for a couple of their earliest albums -- but it is unfair to say that they are just playing their oldies. They have consistently put out new albums (you may not like them, but hey!), and play new songs and recent songs from earlier albums at their concerts. And no one can deny that they almost always give the audience their money's worth. They like their work, the audiences like their work, and as far as I am concerned they can go on till Mick dies of a heart attack on stage (in fact, he is a living argument for running around at least an hour a day!!)

Dylan is different: I don't believe he thinks of the audience as an audience. I think he thinks of them as a kind of ambience. You can watch this evolve over time, but it is there from almost the beginning.
yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: *daylia*
Date: 24 Aug 05 - 11:38 AM

Ron, I was just going by all the booing and the comments of my own friends after that show. Perhaps if the Toronto audience had been as forewarned about his new program as the audience in New Haven, they would have been happier and more receptive. And hey, you may be right - there could have been a few people in that audience who did 'get the Message' and appreciate it. I certainly didn't meet with them all afterwards to discuss it!


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 24 Aug 05 - 11:48 AM

We both have different memories of that tour Daylia. I recall Dylan's "born-again" stature was well publicized and reported in the press before the tour began and it should not have been a shock to most people. Maybe news travels slowly in Canada :)

I don't recall hearing any boos or heckling.

Whatever the case, I think we are speaking from our personal experience. I did not say that people got "the Message", meaning that they were there to hear it in a spiritual sense. I think the audience largely understood that Dylan was performing songs that he believed in and we respected the performance he gave.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: Wesley S
Date: 24 Aug 05 - 11:53 AM

I don't know of ANY audience that gets forwarned ahead of time about the content of a performance. You pay your money and you take your chances. Sure - if you go see "Phantom of the Opera" and they perform "Our Town" instead you have a right to be upset. But any audience that boos because an artist doesn't perform the songs they wanted to hear is just plain rude.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: GUEST,Whistle Stop
Date: 24 Aug 05 - 12:40 PM

We can agree to disagree on that, Peter. Yeah, the Stones put out a new album every few years, but the material on those albums is just an attempted rehash of the sound of earlier stuff, without any attempt to really make new music that stands on its own merits. And yes, they play a few of the new ones each time, but the bulk of their set list is from the 60s and 70s, done the same way they were done way back when. And their schtick is exactly the same, year in and year out.

It's a nostalgia show -- a good one, I'll grant you, but that's all it is. Kind of like when Henny Youngman would trot out his old "Take my wife -- please!" line in his later years, and people would applaud; not because it was funny, or creative, or interesting, but just because they remembered how it made them laugh the first few hundred times they heard it.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: *daylia*
Date: 24 Aug 05 - 12:59 PM

Maybe news travels slowly in Canada   

Well, it's got an awful looooong way to travel around here   :-) but my own companions, for instance, knew very well what his latest album was all about. And even though it wasn't their cup of tea they wanted to hear him anyway. It's always quite the occasion when someone of Dylan's stature plays in Toronto! They just weren't prepared for an evening of nothing but "Slow Train".

I bet I was there on the first night he performed, and you were there later LH. By that time, word would have gotten out and people knew better what to expect.

As I've stated before, if he'd have obliged his fans even just ONCE with a request at some point that evening, I doubt the reaction would have been as negative. And I'm glad to hear other people had different experiences during that tour! As it was, for someone like me who didn't have much concert-going experience at all (yet) - the unpleasantness and negativity was just a turn-off - not only re Dylan himself but about BIG concerts/audiences in general. I got over the concert thing - but I've judged Dylan way too harshly over it all these years, I see now.

Shame on me    :-)

But any audience that boos because an artist doesn't perform the songs they wanted to hear is just plain rude.

Agreed!

Dylan is different: I don't believe he thinks of the audience as an audience. I think he thinks of them as a kind of ambience. You can watch this evolve over time, but it is there from almost the beginning.

"AMBIENCE: a feeling or mood associated witha particular place, person, or thing: ATMOSPHERE"

(had to look that one up) Hmmm .. thanks Peter. Interesting! Oh and that reminds me -

I am sure that Bob is many things, but "beloved" is not one of them! (This may be the best thing about him!!)


LOL!! At the risk of sounding just as un-spiritual as I really am, I wanted to thank you for that one before!   :-)


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: *daylia*
Date: 24 Aug 05 - 01:28 PM

I've been an admirer of both Dylan and Beethoven since I was a kid (in the mid-60s, when I was a musician in training in both popular and classical realms). I think there are some real similarities there, in their relationship with their audience. Both were (and in Bob's case, continue to be) castigated for years for not being what they were before, and hence for not living up to their audience's expectations, and both were/are accused of being rude performers.

Just wanted to include some of Beethoven's own words here, to highlight these similarities between himself and Dylan. Never quite thought of them this way before, but ....

I have never thought of writing for reputation and honor. What I have in my heart must come out; that is the reason why I compose.

and

No friend have I. I must live by myself alone; but I know well that God is nearer to me than others in my art, so I will walk fearlessly with Him.

and finally,

Applaud, my friends. The comedy is over. (said as he was dying)


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 12:59 PM

one thing i have always thought, and i don't think anyone mentioned it above, is that perhaps dylan is shy. that's odd for a performer, but possibly true. in other words, he might like writing and singing songs, but doing it in front of people might be daunting. and could explain why the studio albums are good, and live performances are sometimes lackluster.

also... someone said: "We criticized him when he went electric. We got on his back when he went and did the spiritual songs.   And here he is again, doing the things he wants to do..."

And leave us not forget the Victoria's Secret commercial that featured not only a song, but also featured Bob himself. Explain that. Sellout? Self effacing? Lost a bet?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 01:03 PM

"And leave us not forget the Victoria's Secret commercial that featured not only a song, but also featured Bob himself. Explain that. Sellout? Self effacing? Lost a bet?"

An opportunity to hang out with supermodels. I tried writing songs as soon as I saw that opportunity.

People need to give it a rest, get their own house in order before they start complaing about Dylan.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 02:44 PM

Amen Ron.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 03:18 PM

"lost a bet" LOL! Good one, Guest.

Yeah, hanging out with supermodels sounds okay for an afternoon, doesn't it?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: Frankham
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 04:55 PM

It would have been different if Dylan hadn't been lionized and touted as a "folk artist" who epitomizes the "topical song.". Then I could accept him as I do Elvis for just doing his thing.

Maybe it wasn't his fault. Maybe the "hype" in the left-wing circles about him was the problem. I think he was disingenous about his early music. He used the Left to get ahead as a rock star He said so himself on Sixty Minutes..

That said, he obviously reached a lot of people and they love his songs. That's fine.

I believe however that the artist owes the audience more than the audience owes him/her. If they artist is not gracious, I think there's something wrong with them and I question their mode of communication. It turns me off. I listen and enjoy early Miles Davis recordings but never wanted to see him live later. Why be insulted? Who do they think they are? Being an artist doesn't give anyone licence to be an a****hole.

As for Bob, he is now McDylan (a billion sold) and that's OK by me. But he's not my favorite songwriter. And I don't like his attitude.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 05:31 PM

Is it possible that our definition of "folk artist" and "topical song" lead to a narrow characterization?   Why must someone who adopts this mantle be forced into following a pre-designated role?

I also strongly disagree with the image of Dylan not being "gracious".   What is he supposed to do, and what is he doing wrong?   How is he hurting or showing disrespect to his audience? Just because he doesn't chat?   What is the attitude that everyone has a problem with?

I don't want to come across as a Dylan-worshiper. I like his songs, I admire what he has done, but he is not a prophet. I blame the press and the fans for creating an image.   Dylan is what he is, nothing more or less than that. He doesn't owe me anything.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 06:23 PM

The hype about him in left wing circles was exactly the problem.

Read any good biography of Dylan, and you will see how early he became uncomfortable with being used as the darling of the Left, and why he pretty much abandoned the more topical/protest songs after his 3rd album in 1963 ("The Times They Are A-Changin'")...well before he DID the rock music, which came in '65-66. How then, did the protest songs help him succeed as a "rock star"? They weren't rock music! They were folk music, played simply on a 6-string guitar with harmonica. How does this help one get ahead as a rock star? Dylan clearly repudiated his protest singer stance on his 4rth album ("Another Side Of...") with the song "My Back Pages", and that album was also all acoustic folk...no rock music.

By the time Dylan moved into rock music (a bit on the 5th album "Bringing It All Back Home", heavily on the 6th and 7th albums "Highway 61 Revisited" and "Blonde on Blonde")...he was not writing topical/protest material. He was writing material that could best be described as very personal and philosophical. The New Left was not too happy with that. Sing Out magazine wrote articles criticizing him bitterly for not writing more folky protest songs like Phil Ochs was doing. Phil Ochs responded by writing to Sing Out and telling them they were completely wrong, and that Dylan was pointing the way to go.

I suspect Bob was being just a tad disingenuous on 60 minutes instead, Frankham.

I mean, how do you succeed as a rock singer by recording a whole bunch of famous acoustic guitar protest songs, none of which can be classified as ROCK???? ;-) You tell me, Frankham. For Dylan, the protest songs ended with the making of the 3rd album in 1963, and that album had nothing on it but an acoustic guitar, a harmonica, and a stripped-bare voice. That's not rock music, it's folk music.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 07:27 PM

"how do you succeed as a rock singer by recording a whole bunch of famous acoustic guitar protest songs"

Dave Van Ronk had the best take on that in his book. He basically said that Dylan was taking a chance, he had no way of knowing if he would succeed. He probably could have stayed comfortable in the folk world but he took a chance and followed his muse.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 07:32 PM

Yeah. He did what he really wanted to do at the time. That's what basically pisses people off. They'd rather he just did what they wanted him to do at the time.

If Dylan had done nothing but keep doing the folk routine, he'd have become a fondly remembered and not very significant musical footnote, like many others...and he'd have been bored stiff. He'd had enough of the folkie routine by '65, and was restless to try something different.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Sep 05 - 02:57 AM

I agree with GUEST above who put forward the "shy" thing. Some people are good and comfortable with off-the-cuff small talk, and others are not. I've never heard a Dylan interview where he sounded at ease, or even able to relate to his interviewer. Which I guess is why there are not many Dylan interviews.

I have a recording of an early interview he did with some old fart - on the Studs Terkels Wax Museum CD I think - and he sounded totally embarrassed about the whole thing, certainly very uncomfortable.

I don't believe that being unable to relate to people in that way is something he would do on purpose.

cheers, Terry


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter To Bob Dylan
From: Rusty Dobro
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 07:53 AM

I've enjoyed great gigs from Ry Cooder, Chuck Berry, Gary Moore, the Everly Brothers and (yes!) 1960's Dylan, whose total audience communication between them hardly amounted to a minute of my life, and I've also seen many lesser lights whose messages from the stage were a lot more interesting than their music. Oh, and a special mention for an octeganarian Les Paul, whose music formed an occasional interruption to a seemingly non-stop stream of hilarious jokes and anecdotes.

'All I suggest is that a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.....'


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