Quinn the Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)

In the days after my wife and I told our friends that we were expecting our first child, a friend handed me an article torn out of GQ or Esquire with examples of music that parents can play for their kids that won’t turn the parents’ stomach. Included on the list was Bob Dylan’s TheContinue reading “Quinn the Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)”

Positively Van Gogh

Music collecting takes on many forms. For some, the collecting attraction is about the physical object itself; to be the only one or one of a select few to obtain a copy of a certain record. Collectors can focus on a certain type of recorded format, such as the search for old-time 78s as documentedContinue reading “Positively Van Gogh”

Mr. Tambourine Man

Bob Dylan recorded “Mr. Tambourine Man” in January 1965 as the first track on the acoustic side of Bringing It All Back Home, which was released in March 1965. By all accounts, Dylan had written the song a year previously in the first months of 1964 until it was recorded during the Another Side ofContinue reading “Mr. Tambourine Man”

Million Dollar Bash

Out of all of the songs recorded for The Basement Tapes, “Million Dollar Bash” has the best cast of characters: Dylan includes the following figures: the big dumb blonde, Turtle, my counselor, Silly Nelly, and Jones. The occasion for naming all of these people is a “million dollar bash.” Where’s the location of this party?Continue reading “Million Dollar Bash”

Like a Rolling Stone

The first time I listened to Bob Dylan was after seeking him out. I was a junior in high school and had been in a serious Beatles phase for a few years. I had listened to every Beatles song multiple times, even buying bootleg Beatles albums with murky sound quality and murky origins with myContinue reading “Like a Rolling Stone”

Just Like a Woman

The song “Just Like a Woman” was recorded in Nashville in March 1966 for the album Blonde on Blonde: As recounted previously on Recliner Notes, Blonde on Blonde was primarily recorded in Nashville with the first-call “A-team” of Nashville musicians. The masterful utility of this group of musicians has been explored best by Tyler MahanContinue reading “Just Like a Woman”

Romance in Durango

The film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum set the parameters for Acid Westerns as a film genre in his review of Jim Jarmusch’s 1995 film Dead Man. Rosenbaum writes in this seminal piece that Acid Westerns “confound much of our mythology about the western — reversing some of its philosophical presuppositions by associating a westward journey withContinue reading “Romance in Durango”

If You See Her, Say Hello

Since the release of Blood on the Tracks in 1975, it has been one of Dylan’s most acclaimed and loved albums. Detailing the ins and outs of a relationship, many critics and fans thought that  Dylan was embracing the California confessional singer/songwriter style and musical approach, exhibited most beautifully and successfully on Joni Mitchell’s 1971Continue reading “If You See Her, Say Hello”

I’ll Keep It with Mine

The great English writer Geoff Dyer was asked to provide advice for writers. He gave 10 different tips, and, in typical Dyer fashion, the tips are funny, self deprecating, self contradictory, instructive, and inspirational. The eighth tip, in particular, stands out: “Have regrets. On the page, they blossom into desire.” This is a beautiful concept,Continue reading “I’ll Keep It with Mine”

The Groom’s Still Waiting at the Altar

Nick Tosches writes in his book Where Dead Voices Gather: “Some people are so cool, so lie-down hip, that they can steal the right breezes simply by breathing…inhale one vision, exhale another. To steal consciously is the way of art and of craft. To steal through breath is the way of wisdom and of artContinue reading “The Groom’s Still Waiting at the Altar”