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”

License to Kill

The concept of having a “license to kill” is popular in espionage fiction and films. The origin of that device is commonly thought to be from the James Bond novels by Ian Fleming. In the first James Bond novel, 1953’s Casino Royale, Fleming introduces the “00 Section” of MI6, Britain’s secret service. This “00” sectionContinue reading “License to Kill”

Isis

The idea of the film genre “Acid Western” was created by the film critic Pauline Kael in her 1971 review of the film El Topo in The New Yorker. She wrote: “The avant-garde devices that once fascinated a small bohemian group because they seemed a direct pipeline to the occult and ‘the marvelous’ now reachContinue reading “Isis”

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”

Highlands

Asked by Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times in December 1997 about the genesis of “Highlands” off of Time Out of Mind, Dylan said: “I had the guitar run off an old Charley Patton record [in my head] for years and always wanted to do something with that. I was sitting around, maybe inContinue reading “Highlands”

Can’t Wait

1997’s Time Out of Mind is an album of push and pull between Dylan and the album’s producer, Daniel Lanois. Lanois is an illustrious producer who has worked with a roster of who’s who in recorded music: Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel, U2, Emmylou Harris, the Neville Brothers, and on and on. Lanois produced Dylan’s OhContinue reading “Can’t Wait”

Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door

Unlike “Billy 4” which was written before the movie Pat Garret & Billy the Kid went into production, “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” was inspired by the movie itself.  The song plays during the death scene of the sheriff who dies in a shootout alongside his wife. The sheriff is played by cowboy movie character actorContinue reading “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”