Things Have Changed

In 2001, Bob Dylan won both the Academy Award and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song for his prophetic and pessimistic song “Things Have Changed” which was released the previous year as part of the movie Wonder Boys: The film was an adaptation of a 1995 novel of the same name by MichaelContinue reading “Things Have Changed”

Tell Me, Momma

Bob Dylan’s tour of the world in 1966 was a bizarre traveling circus. This description by Robbie Robertson, guitar player of The Hawks who was backing Dylan on this tour, described the experience to Cameron Crowe in 1985 for the Biograph liner notes: “That tour was a very strange process…We’d go from town to town,Continue reading “Tell Me, Momma”

Tangled Up in Blue

The artist Jasper Johns wrote the following in his “Sketchbook Notes”: “Make something, a kind of object that as it changes or falls apart (dies as it were) or increases in its parts (grows as it were) offers no clue as to what its state or form or nature was at any previous time. PhysicalContinue reading “Tangled Up in Blue”

Summer Days

When Bob Dylan’s album “Love and Theft” was released in 2001, a common joke among reviewers and fans was that Dylan should have called the album “Highway 61 Revisited Revisited.” This reference was to Dylan’s 1965 album Highway 61 Revisited and the similarities between the two albums, especially the power of the music produced toContinue reading “Summer Days”

Simple Twist of Fate

The incomparable Ralph Ellison published an article for Esquire in 1959 called “The Golden Age, Time Past.” Eulogizing Minton’s Playhouse, the small performance space from which bebop would emerge and change music history forever, this was a major piece by Ellison, capturing a significant moment in African American culture. Ellison started the piece with linesContinue reading “Simple Twist of Fate”

Shelter from the Storm

In September 1974, Bob Dylan entered A & R Studios in New York with an acoustic guitar and a notebook full of new songs. Over the four days he was in the studio, he experimented with the structure of each song, but one song needed only four takes to achieve a master recording, seemingly arrivingContinue reading “Shelter from the Storm”

Someday Baby

In May 2006, the inaugural episode of Theme Time Radio Hour, hosted by Bob Dylan, aired on  XM Satellite Radio (now known as Sirius XM Radio). It’s hard to capture the thrill that came with the weekly release of each episode of Theme Time Radio Hour with Dylan himself offering up his favorite songs aroundContinue reading “Someday Baby”

She’s Your Lover Now

On January 21, 1966, Bob Dylan entered Studio A of the Columbia Recording Studios in New York City to continue recording the follow up to his 1965 album Highway 61 Revisited. The goal for the day was a composition by Dylan called “Just a Little Glass of Water” as noted on the recording sheet. HeContinue reading “She’s Your Lover Now”

She Belongs to Me

In March 1965, Bob Dylan released Bringing It All Back Home, the first of his albums to showcase electric instruments, unlike the solo acoustic work of his earlier albums. With a few exceptions, Bringing It All Back Home features electric songs on the first side and mainly acoustic songs on the second side. The secondContinue reading “She Belongs to Me”

Series of Dreams

In 2001, the director Richard Linklater released a film called Waking Life, which centers on one man’s experiences as he interacts with a variety of different characters who share observations, memories, and theories with him. These scenes are interrupted by the protagonist waking up and realizing that some of the exchanges he is having withContinue reading “Series of Dreams”