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”

Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here with You

In 1971, Bob Dylan was interviewed by his friend Tony Glover, though the conversation was not published until 2020. Dylan was direct in his answers throughout and provided an interesting perspective on the relationship between two of his albums, 1967’s John Wesley Harding and 1969’s Nashville Skyline: “The songs of John Wesley Harding were allContinue reading “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here with You”

She Belongs to Me

In March 1965, Bob Dylan released Bringing It All Back Home, the first of his albums to showcase electric instruments, unlike the solo acoustic work of his earlier albums. With a few exceptions, Bringing It All Back Home features electric songs on the first side and mainly acoustic songs on the second side. The secondContinue reading “She Belongs to Me”

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”

Red River Shore

The 1997 album Time Out of Mind was considered a comeback for Bob Dylan, receiving critical praise on the album’s release, which had not been a regular occurrence for Dylan to that point. The album even won multiple Grammys, including Album of the Year. Yet recording the album was not without its disagreements with producerContinue reading “Red River Shore”

Quinn the Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)

In the days after my wife and I told our friends that we were expecting our first child, a friend handed me an article torn out of GQ or Esquire with examples of music that parents can play for their kids that won’t turn the parents’ stomach. Included on the list was Bob Dylan’s TheContinue reading “Quinn the Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)”

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”

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”

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”