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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bob Dylan is a Hard Case

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Bob Dylan is a hard case. We've decided to host a Bob Dylan tribute night and in the process we found out that the guy is still quite the divisive figure. Some folks love him, some folks hate him. There isn't much middle ground.

This is in contrast to the response to our Lennon (gunned down - universally loved!) night tribute. Seems death, tends to "beatify" our pop culture icons (see Elvis and Michael Jackson). A dead icon is not a threat. Suddenly the quirks, the disappointments, the very human flaws of a live human are forgotten upon their demise.

And if it's "death by misadventure" so much the better.

Anyway, I'm one of the "love Dylan" crowd. I can't imagine my life without his voice and songs in my life. Of course, when you say you are a Dylan fan it helps if you tell us which Dylan; the young, edgy folk-singer, the rock & roll poet and boundary breaker, the Basement Tape Old Testatment Prophet, the Born Again Christian, the Rolling Thunder Gypsy, the dark and moody old timer, or lately the indifferent, erratic-performing, shredded-voiced Krusty the Clown version.

It's not surprising that Dylan was played by multiple actors in Todd Haynes film!

Yes, Dylan can be disappointing and maddening. But he's also so inspiring. His catalog of songs, which is as thick as a telephone book, is filled with humor, wisdom and dark prophecies. Poetry of the highest order.

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