Simple Twist of Fate

The incomparable Ralph Ellison published an article for Esquire in 1959 called “The Golden Age, Time Past.” Eulogizing Minton’s Playhouse, the small performance space from which bebop would emerge and change music history forever, this was a major piece by Ellison, capturing a significant moment in African American culture. Ellison started the piece with linesContinue reading “Simple Twist of Fate”

Someday Baby

In May 2006, the inaugural episode of Theme Time Radio Hour, hosted by Bob Dylan, aired on  XM Satellite Radio (now known as Sirius XM Radio). It’s hard to capture the thrill that came with the weekly release of each episode of Theme Time Radio Hour with Dylan himself offering up his favorite songs aroundContinue reading “Someday Baby”

She’s Your Lover Now

On January 21, 1966, Bob Dylan entered Studio A of the Columbia Recording Studios in New York City to continue recording the follow up to his 1965 album Highway 61 Revisited. The goal for the day was a composition by Dylan called “Just a Little Glass of Water” as noted on the recording sheet. HeContinue reading “She’s Your Lover Now”

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”

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”

Señor (Tales of Yankee Power)

There’s a moment during the climax of Sam Peckinpah’s 1969 ultra-violent Western The Wild Bunch that is a direct connection to Bob Dylan’s song “Señor (Tales of Yankee Power)” off of his 1978 album Street-Legal. In the film, the outlaw gang, who serve as the plot’s anti-protagonists, are engaged in the biggest, bloodiest shootout depictedContinue reading “Señor (Tales of Yankee Power)”

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”

Pressing On

On November 17, 1978, Bob Dylan was performing in San Diego at the San Diego Sports Arena. He recalled an incident that happened onstage: “Towards the end of the show someone out in the crowd … knew I wasn’t feeling too well. I think they could see that. And they threw a silver cross onContinue reading “Pressing On”

Positively Van Gogh

Music collecting takes on many forms. For some, the collecting attraction is about the physical object itself; to be the only one or one of a select few to obtain a copy of a certain record. Collectors can focus on a certain type of recorded format, such as the search for old-time 78s as documentedContinue reading “Positively Van Gogh”

Patty’s Gone to Laredo

Because of Bob Dylan’s prolific songwriting talents, one of the biggest draws for Dylan obsessives is that there are always songs to be discovered. Like Coronado seeking the lost cities of gold, the completists are always on the search for an undiscovered Dylan song. With the ongoing success of Dylan’s Bootleg Series and the regularContinue reading “Patty’s Gone to Laredo”