Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Better late than never
I’ve always been a late bloomer. Things just seem to come into my life a lot later than they do for most other folks. That’s not a complaint, because I agree with Bob Dylan “…I believe that things are handed to you when you are ready to make use of them.”
Yeah. That Bob Dylan. And he’s one of those “things” that has come to me later in my life.
I came of age when Dylan was roaring his way across the music world. He was always in my orbit, but being the shallow teen that I was, I gravitated more to The Beatles (because they were cuter), The Monkees (because they were funnier) and Jim Morrison (because he was more mysterious).
Dylan has become more front and center to me over the last ten years. During this time I’ve come to realize he’s more than a gravely voice. Even more than a celebrated poet. He is a non-stop wunderkind. Do you think you know his stats?
Well, here are the highlights:
- Released 44 albums in the last 46 years
- Sold more than 110 million albums
- Written over 500 songs
- His music has been covered by more than 3000 artists ranging from Duke Ellington to Bob Marley
- Won Academy Award and Golden Globe for “Things Have Changed”
- His memoir was on the NY Time bestseller list for 19 weeks
- Won a special Pulitzer Prize for “his profound impact on music…and extraordinary poetic power”
- As a visual artist he created a collection of drawings and sketches (a couple of which are featured on this post) and had them published.
- Was named a Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Art et des Lettres, the highest cultural award in France (where he is revered)
- Currently performs more than 100 concerts a year
As you may have noticed, I’m currently embroiled in a Dylan love fest. Better late than never. I think he has probably had an impact on most people at some point. So I’m curious – how, when, where -- did he touch your life?
Bonus Question: If Elvis is The King. And Springsteen is The Boss. Shouldn’t Dylan have his own superlative handle? Your nomination, please.
To jog your memory, some Dylan lyrics are below. I’ve chosen more popular songs in hopes you will hear the music in your head.
Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
I once loved a woman, a child I'm told
I give her my heart but she wanted my soul
But don't think twice, it's all right
May your hands always be busy,
May your feet always be swift,
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift.
May your heart always be joyful,
May your song always be sung,
May you stay forever young.
Blowin' In The Wind
How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind.
Let It Be Me
I bless the day I found you
I want my arms around you
And so I beg you: Let it be me.
Each time we meet, love
I find complete love
Without your sweet love,
what would life be ?
So never leave me lonely
Tell me that you love me only
And say you'll always let it be me.
Just Like A Woman
She takes just like a woman, yes, she does
She makes love just like a woman, yes, she does
And she aches just like a woman
But she breaks just like a little girl.
Blue moon, you saw me standing alone
Without a dream in my heart, without a love of my own.