Bob Dylan’s 76th

Taken from Writer’s Almanac  – May 24

Bob Dylan’s Birthday. Born Robert Zimmerman in Duluth, Minnesota (1941). He grew up in the declining mining town of Hibbing, Minnesota. He was a quiet kid, raised by Jewish parents, who loved listening to the Grand Ole Opry. But after he heard Little Richard on the radio, he wanted to play rock and roll, so his dad bought him an electric guitar and he formed a rock band at his high school, The Golden Chords. Then he went to the University of Minnesota, and as soon as he got to Minneapolis and heard a record by the folk singer Odetta, he went and traded in his electric guitar for an acoustic one. Then a friend gave him Woody Guthrie’s autobiography, and he was so inspired that he started learning all the folk songs he could and trying to sing like Woody. He performed in coffee shops around the university, and then, in 1961, when he heard that Woody Guthrie was dying of Huntington’s disease in New York City, he left for the East Coast to meet his hero and become a musician.

And he did both those things. He went to Greystone Hospital and found Woody Guthrie, and he played him songs, and visited him over and over. Later, Dylan said, “You could listen to his songs and actually learn how to live.”

He started performing in Greenwich Village clubs and coffeehouses, using the name Bob Dylan (he denies that he took his name from Dylan Thomas). He released his first album, Bob Dylan, in 1962. Within a space of just four years, the kid from Minnesota with the strange voice became a folk music sensation. In those years he released Bob Dylan, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, The Times They Are A-Changin’, Another Side of Bob Dylan, and Bringing It All Back Home; he became a symbol of the protest movement and civil rights, and stood on stage with Joan Baez while Martin Luther King Jr. performed his “I Have a Dream” speech; and he moved from old ballads to writing his own folk songs all the way to “Like A Rolling Stone,” which caused him to get booed at the Newport Folk Festival when he plugged in his electric guitar.

Bob Dylan has been called one of the greatest songwriters of all time, and even one of the greatest poets of all time. He won a Nobel Prize in literature in 2016.

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Bob Dylan – Nobel Prize

I came across a very interesting article re: Bob Dylan. Below is a small excerpt from a long and insightful article in Boulevard.

Excerpt from: Symposium: Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize in literature

By Adrian Matejka   –   Boulevard  Vol 32

The Nobel committee did the right thing at the right time, reminding us of what is greatest about our poetic tradition and also making the point that our bests days are behind us, just at the moment when we are saddled with the worst fascism that has ever inflicted our land. The committee posed the urgent question of whether literature is restricted to the page, to solitary consumptions, to the academy, and to the establishment, or if it is something more diffuse, blending disturbing art forms and methods of expression, stemming from the energies of the people in a voice that can hardly be captured before it escapes. The conditions of prophecy in which Dylan came into being ceased to exist in the 1960s, as the full impact of the Kennedy assassination, the American government turning upon its own people to carry forward empire’s logic, began becoming manifest, as Dylan well recognized, and as his many retreats (which we also affirmations) of the second half of the 1960s, and really all the decades since then, have amply testified to. There will be no more Dylans: he ended his prophecy by way of the famous motorcycle accident in 1966, leaving us in the lurch, as he should have.

 

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maintenant 11

 

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Catnip

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Oligarchy Tango

 

The Oligarchy Tango

Oligarchy Tango

First you hire your wife and then

Your daughter and her manly friend

Your uncle Joe and then his brother

Find a nice job for your mother.

Friends that you once went to school with

Others not so safe to fool with

Younger siblings wait in line

To make sure future will be fine

For them – but not so much for us

We are the people on bus.

In short time make some more additions

Millionaires, rich politicians

Without skills but points of view

The same as those ones held by you.

This sounds a little bit, at least

Like governments in the Near East

Korea too and other places

Fascists and their families faces

Could not happen here, we thought

Our free elections sold and bought.

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Zipper

Taken from Writer’s Almanac:

Today in 1913, a Swedish engineer named Gideon Sundback was living in Hoboken, New Jersey, when he patented the modern zipper under the name, “Hookless No. 2.” The public, however, was far from sold. Preachers initially called the device “the Devil’s fingers” because it eased the process of removing clothing. Other early zipper models were patented under names like “C-curity Fastener” and “The Automatic, Continuous Clothing Closure.” It didn’t take off until a boot company adopted the technology for their “Zipper Boot,” launching both the method and the word into fame.

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Have you heard the word?

 

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