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 Tom Thumb’s Blues

In 1965, Dylan recorded “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues” as part of the album Highway 61 Revisited: When Dylan first featured electric instrumentation in his music with Bringing It All Back Home, the sound of the music was boisterous rock ‘n roll as if Dylan was so excited to play with other musicians that heContinue reading “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues”

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’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”

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”

Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again

In 1966, Dylan was in the midst of his insane tour with The Hawks, welcomed as heroes in some cities, while defiantly fighting off boos in others. Sometimes they would have to deal with both at the same time in the same city. Concurrently, Dylan was attempting to record his follow up album to HighwayContinue reading “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again”

Ballad of a Thin Man

“Who is Mr. Jones?” Nora Ephron and Susan Edmiston asked Dylan in an August 1965 interview. Dylan responds: “He’s a real person. You know him, but not by that name….He’s actually a person. Like I saw him come into the room one night and he looked like a camel. He proceeded to put his eyesContinue reading “Ballad of a Thin Man”