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.
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Thursday, August 9. 2007
"I married Isis on the fifth day of May,
"Isis," our first-ever selection from Desire.† A live version from the Rolling Thunder Revue, with Dylan in whiteface, is below.
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This frequent honoraria to Bob Dylan is an aspect of Maggies Farm I find repugnant. He couldn't carry a tune in a bucket. His lyrics required a trianed therapists to decipher and he was, and remains, the poster child for most of what was wrong with the 60's generation. Wikipedia puts it this way which is charitible in my book:
Much of Dylan's most recognized work dates from the 1960s, when he became an informal chronicler and a reluctant figurehead of American unrest. A number of his songs, such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin'", became anthems of the anti-war and civil rights movements
So the radical youth, anti-war movement of the 1960's embraced a supremely counter culture figure, in one Robert Zimmerman whose drug abuse and nasal twang caterwauling were somehow elevated to iconic status, as a reputiation of their parents values.
To place him in the catagory of singer/ balladeer is even a stretch since he can't sing. I'm not sure what one would accurately describe it but it ain't singing. I do believe the tributes that have come his way over the past decade are more an acknowlegement that he managed not to OD his way out of the scene too quickly.
Singing I've covered. As an entertainer he was musch in the same vein as a cardboard prop. But I guess youth had to have it's icon. It really is time to give him a rest.
Fortunately, Habu, there are many of us who disagree with you on this topic. Keep the Dylan bits coming!
Up on the white veranda
She wears a necktie and a Panama hat.
Her passport shows a face
From another time and place
She looks nothin' like that.
And all the remnants of her recent past
Are scattered in the wild wind.
She walks across the marble floor
Where a voice from the gambling room is callin' her to come on in.
She smiles, walks the other way
As the last ship sails and the moon fades away
From Black Diamond Bay.
As the mornin' light breaks open, the Greek comes down
And he asks for a rope and a pen that will write.
"Pardon, monsieur," the desk clerk says,
Carefully removes his fez,
"Am I hearin' you right?"
And as the yellow fog is liftin'
The Greek is quickly headin' for the second floor.
She passes him on the spiral staircase
Thinkin' he's the Soviet Ambassador,
She starts to speak, but he walks away
As the storm clouds rise and the palm branches sway
On Black Diamond Bay.
A soldier sits beneath the fan
Doin' business with a tiny man who sells him a ring.
Lightning strikes, the lights blow out.
The desk clerk wakes and begins to shout,
"Can you see anything?"
Then the Greek appears on the second floor
In his bare feet with a rope around his neck,
While a loser in the gambling room lights up a candle,
Says, "Open up another deck."
But the dealer says, "Attendez-vous, s'il vous plait,''
As the rain beats down and the cranes fly away
From Black Diamond Bay.
The desk clerk heard the woman laugh
As he looked around the aftermath and the soldier got tough.
He tried to grab the woman's hand,
Said, "Here's a ring, it cost a grand."
She said, "That ain't enough."
Then she ran upstairs to pack her bags
While a horse-drawn taxi waited at the curb.
She passed the door that the Greek had locked,
Where a handwritten sign read, "Do Not Disturb."
She knocked upon it anyway
As the sun went down and the music did play
On Black Diamond Bay.
"I've got to talk to someone quick!"
But the Greek said, "Go away," and he kicked the chair to the floor.
He hung there from the chandelier.
She cried, "Help, there's danger near
Please open up the door!"
Then the volcano erupted
And the lava flowed down from the mountain high above.
The soldier and the tiny man were crouched in the corner
Thinking of forbidden love.
But the desk clerk said, "It happens every day,"
As the stars fell down and the fields burned away
On Black Diamond Bay.
As the island slowly sank
The loser finally broke the bank in the gambling room.
The dealer said, "It's too late now.
You can take your money, but I don't know how
You'll spend it in the tomb."
The tiny man bit the soldier's ear
As the floor caved in and the boiler in the basement blew,
While she's out on the balcony, where a stranger tells her,
"My darling, je vous aime beaucoup."
She sheds a tear and then begins to pray
As the fire burns on and the smoke drifts away
From Black Diamond Bay.
I was sittin' home alone one night in L.A.,
Watchin' old Cronkite on the seven o'clock news.
It seems there was an earthquake that
Left nothin' but a Panama hat
And a pair of old Greek shoes.
Didn't seem like much was happenin',
So I turned it off and went to grab another beer.
Seems like every time you turn around
There's another hard-luck story that you're gonna hear
And there's really nothin' anyone can say
And I never did plan to go anyway
To Black Diamond Bay.
oh, habu, you are breaking my heart. Dylan has said on more than one occasion that he doesnít write ďanti-warĒ songs. Some old quotes to that effect were even reproduced recently in his tour program. Talking of the song Masters of War, he says:
"Every time I sing it, someone writes that itís an anti-war song. But thereís no anti-war sentiment in that song. Iím not a pacifist. I donít think Iíve ever been one. If you look closely at the song, itís about what Eisenhower was saying about the dangers of the military-industrial complex in
this country. I believe strongly in everyoneís right to defend themselves by every means necessaryÖ"
Surely one fact everyone knows about Dylan - especially after Scorsese's "No Direction Home" - is that that he left behind his protest-singing days when he went electric.
Greil Marcus writes:
"No matter what Bob Dylan has done in the last forty-two years or what he will do for the rest of his life, his obituary has already been written: 'Bob Dylan, best known as a protest singer from the 1960s, died yesterday...' The media loves a simple idea. No matter how famous you are, when you die you get one idea, and one only.'
This is a sad, yet accurate conclusion. But Dylan long ago transcended his beginnings and moved up into the category of Great American Artist--those who prefer a linear definition of him regretfully miss out on experiencing good music and the opportunity for spiritual growth.
It's what makes horse races folks.
Knucklhead thinks Dylan is good, if not great, and does an in my face, here's some more. Fear not Knuclhead they're not going to abandon Dylan cause I don't like him.
Anon says a broken heart is occluded and may
infarct, citing Dylan's plea for us to look at a song closer to see Eisenhowers's caution on the military industrial complex. Well, it takes an electron microscope to see the meanings of his songs. Dylan has said he doesn't write anti- war songs and OJ said he didn't kill his wife. The evidence in both cases is painfully obvious.
I say the guy can't sing a note, is or has been a junkie, was the leader of the counter culture that helped get us where we are today, and was a leader of the anti-war movement using his "talents" to write anti-war songs and go to rallies with Joan Baez et. al. All of which had great influence on young mush minds.
That his side prevailed leading to the killing fields of Cambodia , the boat people, and "reeducation camps" in Vietnam I am sure to his fans, is just a minor price to pay for having such a talented guy to worship.
Folks, it wasn't like I just fell off the turnip truck. I heard and followed Dylan from his start as a "known artist" beginning in about 1961 or 1962 if I recall. I also understand the youth herd mentality, particularly strong in music fashion , of who is "cool and hip" and who isn't. Dylan's counter culture cryptic message songs became "hip" so whether you agreed or not, understood the hidden deeper meaning or not , you just followed the herd so you too could talk about Dylan without being thought of as a nerd. That's the way of adolescent behavior. Still didn't help the guy hit a note. It's the Che T-shirt thing.
Not one reason will turn his fans away, nor make fans of those who know he's a sumbag, I understand that so just enjoy your guy and continue to defend all he stands for...it's America ..for now.
BTW ...this isn't the Gospel according to Habu ..
I just write my opinion which has no more weight than yours, so lets just agree to disagree on this issue and move on. It's good to see the other opinions..in fact it's a law.....no wait that's 55mph or seat belts...oh well, spin a Dylan and crank up the knob.
I'll put on my Slim Whitman and Burl Ives.
The truth or a Cliff Clavin?
Truth = should have been scumbag
Clavin = a little known Nordic tribe, after inventing the original woman's tote bag decided an improvement was necessary since the tote could only carry so much. They decided to tally all the things they would put in this newer bag. They named it the Sum-Bag.
It was later adopted by Fox network for the hit seriers "24" and became known worldwide as the 'Jack Bauer Bag"
He's an American success story. parlayed his talents into great success, finacially as well as in terms of being able to be everybody's deepest ambition, that is, completely your own person. That he did it without a particularly great voice, musicianship, or marquee appearance, is remarkable and worth some admiration. I mean, before him, if you were a white crooner, you were a lounge lizard.
The politics is another thing, and habu makes a point there, that the essential internal contradiction of the 60s left, that is, the worship of extreme individualism combined with the antithetical worship of communitarian politics, is inescapably associated with Dylan's rebel stance. The crucial fact that Dylan himself disavows the communitarianism is forever lost in the great meme of his counterculturalism. Unfair, in a way, to Dylan, who probably sees himself as someone who chose show biz and has done really well at it.
Lastly, his lyrics are powerfully evocative for many, and as the old saying goes, "De gustibus non est disputandum".
I could shorten that by pointing out that, if one desires success as an entertainer, rule #1 is, one must be "of the time".
Yes, exceptions abound, but they prove the rule in that they're either novelty or ironic, both of which are fully of our times.
I know all the kids I had loved Dylan, as I came to love them.
Bob Dylan could not tell a verb from a pronoun. He sucks as a singer.Bobby Darin, Linda Ronstat, now they can sing!!
Poor old Linda Ronstadt --the groceries got her, now she's got more chins than a chinee telephone directory.