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”

Man in the Long Black Coat

The first thing heard on Bob Dylan’s song “Man in the Long Black Coat” is the sound of crickets chirping. The song is the last track on the first side of Dylan’s 1989 album Oh Mercy. The album was produced by Daniel Lanois, which marked the first time Dylan and Lanois worked together after beingContinue reading “Man in the Long Black Coat”

When the Night Comes Falling from the Sky

On February 19, 1985, Bob Dylan was 44 years old. At that point in his life and career, he had achieved everything he could have dreamed of as a musician: sold best-selling records, loved by millions of listeners, and even recognized as being the “voice of a generation.” He was also a father of five,Continue reading “When the Night Comes Falling from the Sky”

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”

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”

Jokerman

Let’s start with the sidemen: Dylan’s 1983 album Infidels featured Sly Dunbar on drums and Robbie Shakespeare playing bass. Both are from Kingston, Jamaica and make up the duo Sly & Robbie. The pair have recorded many solo records, released records as a duo, produced albums by other artists, and have played on countless recordsContinue reading “Jokerman”

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”

Idiot Wind

idiot noun id·​i·​ot | \ ˈi-dē-ət \ plural idiots Definition of idiot 1: a foolish or stupid person “… Idiot that I am to wear my heart on my sleeve! …” — George Bernard Shaw 2: dated, now offensive: a person affected with extreme intellectual disability As Merriam-Webster says, there are two definitions to theContinue reading “Idiot Wind”