We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
In the 20 years to 2010, he gave 2,045 concerts, according to the fan site ExpectingRain.com, where you can study the setlist for every one of those nights. In April he will play in Singapore, Australasia and—if Beijing lets him in, after rebuffing him last year—China. In the summer he is expected in Europe. Not for nothing are his wanderings known as the Never Ending Tour.
His predicament raises the opposite question: how does it feel to be so known? Dylan gives an answer in “Chronicles”. “The big bugs in the press kept promoting me as the mouthpiece, spokesman, or even conscience of a generation. That was funny...I was more a cowpuncher than a Pied Piper...I really was never any more than what I was—a folk musician who gazed into the grey mist with tear-blinded eyes and made up songs that floated in a luminous haze...I wasn’t a preacher performing miracles. It would have driven anybody mad.” Maybe that is his achievement: to have stayed sane.
Bob's Where are you tonight? (Journey Through Dark Heat) from the under-rated and garage-recorded Street Legal (1978):
There's a long-distance train rolling through the rain, tears on the letter I write. There's a woman I long to touch and I miss her so much but she's drifting like a satellite. There's a neon light ablaze in this green smoky haze, laughter down on Elizabeth Street And a lonesome bell tone in that valley of stone where she bathed in a stream of pure heat. Her father would emphasize you got to be more than street-wise but he practiced what he preached from the heart. A full-blooded Cherokee, he predicted to me the time and the place that we'd part.
There's a babe in the arms of a woman in a rage And a longtime golden-haired stripper onstage And she winds back the clock and she turns back the page Of a book that no one can write. Oh, where are you tonight?
Remainer of lyrics below the fold -
The truth was obscure, too profound and too pure, to live it you have to explode. In that last hour of need, we entirely agreed, sacrifice was the code of the road. I left town at dawn, with Marcel and St. John, strong men belittled by doubt. I couldn't tell her what my private thoughts were but she had some way of finding them out. He took dead-center aim but he missed just the same, she was waiting, putting flowers on the shelf. She could feel my despair as I climbed up her hair and discovered her invisible self.
There's a lion in the road, there's a demon escaped, There's a million dreams gone, there's a landscape being raped, As her beauty fades and I watch her undrape, I won't, but then again, maybe I might. Oh, if I could just find you tonight.
I fought with my twin, that enemy within, 'til both of us fell by the way. Horseplay and disease is killing me by degrees while the law looks the other way. Your partners in crime hit me up for nickels and dimes, the guy you were lovin' couldn't stay clean. It felt outa place, my foot in his face, but he should-a stayed where his money was green. I bit into the root of forbidden fruit with the juice running down my leg. Then I dealt with your boss, who'd never known about loss and who always was too proud to beg. There's a white diamond moon on the dark side of this room and a pathway that leads up to the stars. If you don't believe there's a price for this sweet paradise, remind me to show you the scars.
There's a new day at dawn and I've finally arrived. If I'm there in the morning, baby, you'll know I've survived. I can't believe it, I can't believe I'm alive, But without you it just doesn't seem right. Oh, where are you tonight?
No, but he is full of shit. In the very breath he means to forward the simplicty of his existance as proof that the media exaggerates his persona, he goes on to loftily exaggerate his own persona. He coulda pounded nails instead of becoming the greatest songwriter of all time if he really disliked the affair so much ;)
Where Are You Tonight is one of those examples of how Dylan can really trim the fat off of lyrics. That's a very long song and I'd challenge anyone to find a line of even a phrase that doesn't hold weight. It's one of my favorites.....thanks BD.
hmm, what i had meant was to join in the irony chuckle that dos amigo was enjoying --that for an iconoclast rebel sort of guy to get his message out, he has to use the commercial channels as only they got da reach --but alas it needed to be brief to have any chance
"Stupid" is too harsh a word, BD. But in posting this, you remind me that I sometimes forget to revisit the songs of Bob, getting all caught up in the mundane influences of the day-to-day I neglect the profound influences of the era.
In visiting a long-neglected link, RightWingBob (did I introduce that?) I noticed that Sean recently retired that site, opting to organize his Bob postings at his Cinch Review home, under the link 'Dylanosophy'... http://www.cinchreview.com/category/dylan-osophy/