You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere

The legend of The Basement Tapes is that Bob Dylan and The Band woodshedded in Woodstock, NY, making music and writing songs during the summer and fall of 1967 away from the rest of the world. At the time, Dylan was 26 years old and the father of three, including his adopted five-year old daughterContinue reading “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”

When I Paint My Masterpiece

The crime novelist James Ellroy, who is known for giant and intricate novels such as L.A. Confidential and American Tabloid, opens his public appearances book readings with a hyperbolic self introduction. Here’s one version: “Good evening peepers, prowlers, pederasts, panty-sniffers, punks and pimps. I’m James Ellroy, the demon dog with the hog-log, the foul owlContinue reading “When I Paint My Masterpiece”

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”

See You Later, Allen Ginsberg

“See you later, alligator” is an expression of which we don’t know the original author or point of origin, similar to a street joke. According to research, the first known recorded usage of the phrase was “published in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin (Honolulu, Hawaii) of 1st May 1952” in a column titled “Teenagers’ Slang Expressions AreContinue reading “See You Later, Allen Ginsberg”

One Too Many Mornings

“One Too Many Mornings” is a song that Bob Dylan has returned to again and again over the years, in a variety of situations with many different performers, always changing the delivery of the song to reflect the setting and milieu. Dylan’s original recording of the song was from October 24, 1963: Released on TheContinue reading “One Too Many Mornings”

Lo and Behold!

The origins of the expression “lo and behold” came from “the shortening of the word ‘look,’ commonly seen in Middle English texts…The literal meaning of the expression is ‘look and see’, and it is always used as if in the imperative.” Werner Herzog titled his exploration into the world of the Internet and artificial intelligence,Continue reading “Lo and Behold!”

King of France

Scheherazade is the major female character and the storyteller in the framing narrative for One Thousand and One Nights also known as Arabian Nights, the essential collection of stories from the Middle East. As the framing story goes, the ruler of the land finds out that his wife has been unfaithful and vows revenge byContinue reading “King of France”

I’m Not There

At some point in their career, every film critic has to contend with Blade Runner. Similarly, every aspiring Dylanologist will need to have a take on “I’m Not There.” Anyone can hear “Like A Rolling Stone” or “Blowin’ in the Wind” and have an opinion. But “I’m Not There” is different because, before its officialContinue reading “I’m Not There”

Highway 61 Revisited

After Bob Dylan began utilizing electric instrumentation to accompany his songs with the album Bringing It All Back Home, some in the media created a new genre to describe the music: “folk rock.” That genre name always seemed affected, suited more to The Byrds covering Dylan as opposed to Dylan’s actual music. Because listening toContinue reading “Highway 61 Revisited”

Going, Going Gone

When I first got together with my then-girlfriend-now-wife, she introduced me to the band Son Volt. Their first album Traces has a front-loaded first half, which includes the absolute gems “Windfall,” “Live Free,” and “Tear Stained Eye.” The simple chorus of “Windfall” is a perfect match-up of words and melody that resonates with the listenerContinue reading “Going, Going Gone”