Although the masters make the rules, for the wise men and the fools.
Like most young boys in the 1970s and early 1980s I would secretly scan the Sunday tabloids in search for the Britannia music club ad. It took me years of belly aching but I finally wore down my parents resolve and I entered that beautiful world of 3 albums for 50p each, the fact that I had to buy 3 full-priced albums was buried deep in my subconscious. I struggled to find full priced albums that I really wanted and managed to brow-beat my parents into choosing some for themselves. The final album was going to have to be mine though. As luck would have it Bringing It all Back Home was one of the albums in the full priced magazine.
Dylan’s Judas Period is still pretty much my favourite, however the track that I have played three times tonight isn’t one of the electric ones, it is It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding). This is an amazing song, Dylan does surrealist pessimism on an acoustic guitar while jabbing his finger at contemporary culture.
Hidden gem; Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream
An aside; I just watched Don’t Look Back recently, poor Donovan, imagine a song-off with Dylan. He sings something that the world has now forgotten all about, Dylan pulls out It’s All Over Now Baby Blue, no contest.
But you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?
I saw Bob Dylan a few years ago and he blew me away, he was fantastic. I was quite close to the front and I knew he would do Like a Rolling Stone as an encore, so I thought I would heckle. Taking my cue from the Judas heckle (At a Manchester gig in 1966 a guy shouted Judas just before Like a Rolling Stone, which got quite an angry response from Dylan), I thought I would use something biblical. But rather than shout Judas, I wanted to shout something that showed my appreciation of the gig, so I shouted the opposite thing I could think of to Judas, I shouted ‘James, son of Zebedee’. A couple of people looked around, obviously unaware of the theological underpinnings of my heckle. I don’t think Bob heard it though.
This is just a fantastic album, but where do you start? Just look at this track list Tombstone Blues (stream of consciousness in rock?), From a Buick 6 (a personal favourite for the line – she walks like Bo Diddly and she don’t need no crutch) and the beautiful Queen Jane Approximately. My favourite track though has to be Ballard of a Thin Man, Dylan in full sneering mode, spitting his words out in disgust at The Man (dedicated to Mr. Jones’ everywhere).
There is a fantastic irony of the Judas heckler shouting at that particular moment, he shouted at the very moment this thing we had known since 1957 as Rock and Roll transformed into Rock music, on that very stage in Manchester.
Micro review; I am in the kitchen with tombstone blues, with my ipod on.