Dylan Now

I’ve been saying for years that I don’t want to see him now in concert, on his never-ending tour. When I listen to him, which I do frequently, I want my mental image to be of when I saw him at Newport and elsewhere, both pre- and post-electric, in the 1960s and 1970s. 

But reading through this playlist has caused me to reconsider that decision.

Maybe one more cup of coffee before I go.

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“Bob Dylan on July 27, 2018 in Seoul, South Korea at the Olympic Gymnastics Arena1.All Along The Watchtower (Bob center stage on electric guitar) 2.Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (Bob center stage on electric guitar) 3.Highway 61 Revisited (Bob on piano) 4.Simple Twist Of Fate (Bob on piano) 5.Duquesne Whistle (Bob on piano) 6.When I Paint My Masterpiece (Bob on piano) 7.Honest With Me (Bob on piano) 8.Tryin' To Get To Heaven (Bob on piano with harp) 9.Make You Feel My Love (Bob on piano with harp) 10.Pay In Blood (Bob on piano) 11.Tangled Up In Blue (Bob on piano with harp) 12.Early Roman Kings (Bob on piano) 13.Desolation Row (Bob on piano) 14.Love Sick (Bob on piano) 15.Autumn Leaves (Bob center stage) 16.Thunder On The Mountain (Bob on piano, George drum solo) 17.Soon After Midnight (Bob on piano) 18.Gotta Serve Somebody (Bob on piano) (encore) 19.Blowin' In The Wind (Bob on piano) 20.Ballad Of A Thin Man (Bob on piano with harp)”

My Back Pages

Top ten lists of albums, songs, concerts and performers are not something I do, because there is so much music that I love, and love at different times for different reasons. 

But this in-concert collaboration by a bunch of artists, including Roger McGuinn, Tom Petty, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, and George Harrison would be atop any of those lists. 

The older I get, the more meaning this song takes on for me. 

The Night Bob Dylan Met President Obama

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 “Here’s what I love about Dylan – he was exactly as you’d expect he would be. He wouldn’t come to the rehearsal. He didn’t want to take a picture with me; usually all the talent is dying to take a picture with me and Michelle before the show, but he didn’t show up to that. He played The Times They Are a-Changin’. A beautiful rendition. The guy is so steeped in this stuff he can come up with a new arrangement and the song sounds completely different. Finishes the song, steps off the stage ... comes up, shakes my hand, sort of tips his head, gives me just a little grin and then leaves. That was our only interaction with him. And I thought, That’s how you want Bob Dylan, right? You don’t want him to be cheesin’ and grinnin’ with you. You want him to be a little skeptical about the enterprise.  -- President Barack Obama

Let Us Not Talk Falsely Now, The Hour Is Getting Late

All Along The Watchtower

There must be some kind of way outta here
Said the joker to the thief
There's too much confusion
I can't get no relief

Business men, they drink my wine
Plowman dig my earth
None of them along the line
Know what any of it is worth

No reason to get excited
The thief he kindly spoke
There are many here among us
Who feel that life is but a joke
But you and I, we've been through that
And this is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now
The hour's getting late

All along the watchtower
Princes kept the view
While all the women came and went
Barefoot servants, too
Outside in the cold distance
A wildcat did growl
Two riders were approaching
And the wind began to howl

Written by Bob Dylan • Copyright © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Desolation Row

They're selling postcards of the hanging

They're painting the passports brown

The beauty parlor is filled with sailors

The circus is in town

Here comes the blind commissioner

They've got him in a trance

One hand is tied to the tight-rope walker

The other is in his pants

And the riot squad they're restless

They need somewhere to go

As Lady and I look out tonight

From Desolation Row.

Cinderella, she seems so easy

"It takes one to know one," she smiles

And puts her hands in her back pockets

Bette Davis style

And in comes Romeo, he's moaning,

"You belong to Me I Believe."

And someone says, "You're in the wrong place, my friend

You'd better leave."

And the only sound that's left

After the ambulances go

Is Cinderella sweeping up

On Desolation Row.

Now the moon is almost hidden

The stars are beginning to hide

The fortune-telling lady

Has even taken all her things inside

All except for Cain and Abel

And the hunchback of Notre Dame

Everybody is making love

Or else expecting rain

And the Good Samaritan, he's dressing

He's getting ready for the show

He's going to the carnival tonight

On Desolation Row.

Ophelia, she's 'neath the window

For her I feel so afraid

On her twenty-second birthday

She already is an old maid

To her, death is quite romantic

She wears an iron vest

Her profession's her religion

Her sin is her lifelessness

And though her eyes are fixed upon

Noah's great rainbow

She spends her time peeking

Into Desolation Row.

Einstein, disguised as Robin Hood

With his memories in a trunk

Passed this way an hour ago

With his friend, a jealous monk

NOW, he looked so immaculately frightful

As he bummed a cigarette

Then he went off sniffing drainpipes

And reciting the alphabet

You would not think to look at him

But he was famous long ago

For playing the electric violin

On Desolation Row.

Dr. Filth, he keeps his world

Inside of a leather cup

But all his sexless patients

They ARE trying to blow it up

Now his nurse, some local loser

She's in charge of the cyanide hole

And she also keeps the cards that read

"Have Mercy on His Soul"

They all play on the penny whistle

You can hear them blow

If you lean your head out far enough

From Desolation Row.

Across the street they've nailed the curtains

They're getting ready for the feast

The Phantom of the Opera

In a perfect image of a priest

They are spoon-feeding Casanova

To get him to feel more assured

Then they'll kill him with self-confidence

After poisoning him with words

And the Phantom's shouting to skinny girls

"Get outta here if you don't know"

Casanova is just being punished for going

To Desolation Row.

At midnight all the agents

And the superhuman crew

Come out and round up everyone

That knows more than they do

Then they bring them to the factory

Where the heart-attack machine

Is strapped across their shoulders

And then the kerosene

Is brought down from the castles

By insurance men who go

Check to see that nobody is escaping

To Desolation Row.

Praise be to Nero's Neptune

The Titanic sails at dawn

Everybody's shouting

"Which side are you on?"

And Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot

Fighting in the captain's tower

While calypso singers laugh at them

And fishermen hold flowers

Between the windows of the sea

Where lovely mermaids flow

And nobody has to think too much

About Desolation Row.

Yes, I received your letter yesterday

About the time the door knob broke

When you asked me how I was doing

Or was that some kind of joke?

All these people that you mention

Yes, I know them, they're quite lame

I had to rearrange their faces

And give them all another name

Right now I can't read too good

Don't send me no more letters no

Not unless you mail them

From Desolation Row.

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All Along The Watchtower

"All Along The Watchtower"

There must be some way out of here said the joker to the thief

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There's too much confusion, I can't get no relief

Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth

None of them along the line know what any of it is worth

No reason to get excited, the thief he kindly spoke

There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke

But you and I, we've been through that, and this is not our fate

So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late

All along the watchtower, princes kept the view

While all the women came and went, barefoot servants, too

Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl

Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl.

-Bob Dylan