October 17, 2016

"The day after the Nobel Prize announcement, here's Dylan growling out 'Ballad of a Thin Man' at Desert Trip, Coachella..."

"... as he prowls around the stage in an Armani jacket with no shirt under it. Bangs away at the piano for the last couple of verses. (I'm guessing about the Armani, but I betcha)."

Writes Jeff Gee in the comments to the post about the Harvard classics professor who teaches a course called Bob Dylan.

In the post, I quoted from "Ballad of a Thin Man" — "You’ve been with the professors/And they’ve all liked your looks/With great lawyers you have/Discussed lepers and crooks/You’ve been through all of/F. Scott Fitzgerald’s books...." That's a line that hits close to home for me, being a professor and a lawyer and an F.-Scott-Fitzgerald blogger.

I loved the video: 1. "Ballad of a Thin Man" is one of the very best Dylan songs, 2. It's close up and in clear focus and the microphone in the way is compositionally interesting, and 3. I'm fascinated to watch his face because he's doing what he's done so many times before but he has this sudden amazing new honor, the Nobel Prize. Is he feeling gratified? Inflated? Surreal? Or is he not changed at all?
Gonna change my way of thinking
Make myself a different set of rules
Gonna put my good foot forward
And stop being influenced by fools...
Well, don’t know which one is worse
Doing your own thing or just being cool
You remember only about the brass ring
You forget all about the golden rule


William said...

I have read all of F. Scott Fitzgerald's books, even the Pat Hobby stories. It's not that hard to do. He wasn't terribly prolific, and he died relatively young. I haven't read all of Trollope's books and have never heard of anyone who has.....I haven't listened to all of Dylan's songs. He keeps churning them out. Every so often, he connects. "It's Not Late Yet" is a very good song, but iirc the other songs on that album weren't so great.

Curious George said...

"Is he feeling gratified? Inflated? Surreal? Or is he not changed at all?" I'm pretty sure he's feeling the effects of a drug addled mind.

Curious George said...

Of course, he not alone. It's been reported that Steven Tyler didn't recognize an old Aerosmith song he heard on the radio. He told the band that they should record a cover version. Joe Perry told him "It's us, fuckhead."

FullMoon said...

Visiting America a few years ago, Dave Stewart, of the Eurythmics, said to Dylan that the next time he was in England he should drop by his recording studio in Crouch End, an undistinguished north London suburb. Dylan, at a loose end one afternoon, decided to take him up on it and asked a taxi-driver to take him to Crouch End Hill. Cruising the bewildering array of near-namesake streets - Crouch End Hill, Crouch End Road, Crouch Hill End, Crouch Hill Road and various other permutations of "Crouch," "End" and "Hill" - the cabbie accidentally dropped him off at the right number but in an adjoining street of small row houses. Dylan knocked at the front door and asked the woman who answered if Dave was in.

"No," she said, assuming he was referring to her husband, Dave, who was out on a plumbing job. "But he should be back soon." Bob asked if she would mind if he waited. Twenty minutes later, Dave - the plumber, not the rock star - returned and asked the missus whether there were any messages. "No," she said, "but Bob Dylan's in the front room having a cup of tea."


PBandJ_Ombudsman said...

Those buttons don't feel too Armani, imho.

I've got a bunch of Armani, and, for me, the greatest appeal is that they're beautiful clothes but they don't have gimmicks (such as weird buttons).

OTOH, I don't doubt that there could be plenty of tacky (imho) Armani, maybe I just don't notice it because I don't like it.

lemondog said...

He has given up the harmonica?

Probably thinking what he should do with the $900m prize money.

Given the coming election, here is a good one Slow Train Coming


Otto said...

Puny, effeminate teenager exposing his laughable body.His lyrics reminds me of our elementary Sunday School lessons , great for 5th graders. But "When I was young i thought like a child but when i was a man i put away childish things." 1Chorinthians 13:11.

SukieTawdry said...

One of my favorites and a very effective rendering by a Nobel Laureate who can barely sing anymore (some might say he never could). But he should rethink the bare chest thing. He couldn't carry that off even when he was young. He seemed to smile a little more than usual. I'm guessing this has affected him more than any of his song/songwriting awards or even the Oscar. As deals go, this is a pretty big one.

lemondog said...

Nobel Prize Panel Stops Trying To Get In Touch With Bob Dylan

Apparently Bob ain't impressed........or his Samsung 7 exploded and they can't get in touch.

Sebastian said...

"Well, don’t know which one is worse
Doing your own thing or just being cool
You remember only about the brass ring
You forget all about the golden rule"

Why is this not a trite sentiment tritely expressed?

Jim Nicholson said...

The original recording of Ballad of a Thin Man is indeed one of the best things Dylan has done; the brilliance of that captured performance is only highlighted by the way he has approached the song in most of his live performances - the throwaway rapid-fire reading of the lyrics that had so much potency when he first recorded them. The main benefit of this performance is seeing a brief but brilliant lead solo from his touring guitar player, who if I'm not mistaken is Charlie Sexton.

Otto said...

At Sebastian: My 5th grade Sunday school teacher gave that lesson with greater clarity and didn't bare his chest in front of the class.I think the acceptance of Dylan is a secular world looking for a Savior after realizing that humanism is a false construct and not willing to go the nihilism route. Read "Idols for Destruction".

hugh42 said...

I thought the audio was way below par. If that was a brilliant solo it was lost on me. I couldn't hear the high notes, even the piano was barely audible. It is what's wrong with all stage sound that I've heard--- way too boosted bas and huge emphasis on power.

rcocean said...

Has anyone ever refused a Nobel Prize?

Because if Dylan did that... that would truly be "cool"

Jeff Gee said...

I have a tag?!?