To Ramona

Bob Dylan recorded all 11 songs on his fourth album — Another Side of Bob Dylan — on a single night, June 9, 1964. As demonstrated in the title, the songs reflected a shift in Dylan’s writing style. The writer Nat Hentoff was present for the recording of the album on that night in JuneContinue reading “To Ramona”

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”

Love Sick

In the late fall months of 1997, magazines everywhere were insisting: no really, Bob Dylan is back! The irony in this statement is that not only had Dylan not gone anywhere, he had actually been everywhere. Over the course of the 90s for the so-called Never Ending Tour, he had toured constantly at small venuesContinue reading “Love Sick”

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”

It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry

Arguably the best song title in Bob Dylan’s catalog, “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry” off of 1965’s Highway 61 Revisited tells about the back and forth of sexual frustration between a couple.   The narrator starts things off: Well, I ride on a mailtrain, babyCan’t buy a thrill TheContinue reading “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry”

I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine

John Wesley Harding was released in late 1967, the first work heard by the outside world for about 18 months since the release of Blonde on Blonde. It’s also the first Dylan music heard by the general public after the motorcycle accident in which there were varying reports about the severity of Dylan’s injuries. TheContinue reading “I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine”

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”