Bob Dylan - A Living Tribute

Dylan onstage at Azkena Rock Festival, Spain, June 26, 2010
Dylan onstage at Azkena Rock Festival, Spain, June 26, 2010 | Source

Another Living Tribute

Last year, after the sudden and shocking news of Robin Williams death and all the tributes that have flooded the Internet, social media and television, I stopped to think. "Why do we wait until our favourite stars, celebrities and loved ones pass away before we write tributes to them to say how much they meant to us? Why don't we let them and the world know how important they are and how they make our lives better while they are alive?"

I then decided to begin a series of hub of tributes to living artists and celebrities who have affected our lives for the better. My first hub was a tribute to Australian singer and actor Jon English. I am glad I decided to write a tribute to Jon when I did as within 18 months of me writing it he sadly passed away due to complications after just a routine operation (within months of David Bowie and Prince.) This is my second article in the series "Living Tributes." Hopefully, this isn't putting a Jonah on Bob Dylan.

Dylan, the Spectrum, 2007
Dylan, the Spectrum, 2007 | Source

Which is your favorite Bob Dylan song?

  • Like a Rolling Stone
  • Mr Tamborine Man
  • Hurricane
  • Blowin' in the Wind
  • Knockin' on Heaven's Door
  • Lay, Lady, Lay
  • All Along the Watchtower
  • Other (please advise in comments)
  • I don't like Bob Dylan
See results without voting
Movie Poster for the Beat Generation
Movie Poster for the Beat Generation | Source

Why Bob Dylan?

Bob Dylan would not normally have been someone I would have considered writing a tribute hub to. His music, and song writing in particular has had an effect on my life but I would never have considered him to be one of my favourite singers.

Actually, when I was in senior high school our English teacher (who was a true Dylan fan) used to play Bob Dylan records for the class and our assignment was to decypher the meaning of the lyrics. This was sometimes easier said than done as he has freely admitted that some songs were written while he was under the influence of drugs.

Recently though, I was approached with a request for me to undertake a challenging writing project. The request was as follows:

"Hi John,

I am currently putting a book of poems together. I have it half complete.

I am looking for say 10 poems of a page and a half each or two pages.

The subjects: 3 Poems about the 'beat' poets of the sixties. Alan Ginsberg etc as an example.

7 Poems about: Jim Morrison / Jimi Hendrix / Kurt Cobain/ Janis Joplin / Amy Winehouse who all died at 27 yrs old.

Or it could be 2 poems about the beat poets of the sixties and 2 each about the other 5 subjects. I would like one on Bob Dylan too if you could put something together also.

I could maybe find you more work in the future. I have writers working for me all
over the place.

Cheers, Ray"

This project sounded challenging but interesting and I thought I would give it a go. Unfortunately I didn't realise how much research would be involved, especially as I wasn't greatly familiar with some of the artists. Bob Dylan was the one I already knew the most about so I decided to try writing a poem about him first. After extensive research on his life and songs I managed to write a poem of about one page in length, not two as required, and that took me three days. Because the gig required me to write at least four poems per week to satisfactorily fill this order I respectfully declined.

I still sent the client the Bob Dylan poem I had written and he was impressed, even urging me to reconsider and offering extended time to do the rest. However, I decided that for the time this would involve, the money offered wasn't sufficient to make it worthwhile. Cutting a long story short, I don't like to waste anything I write, so decided to use the poem and utilize all the research I had done into Bob Dylan and make a hub as a living tribute to him. (I have placed the poem towards the end of this hub)

With Joan Baez during the civil rights "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom", August 28, 1963
With Joan Baez during the civil rights "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom", August 28, 1963 | Source
Jack Kerouac
Jack Kerouac | Source
Woody Guthrie with guitar labeled "This machine kills fascists" (1943)
Woody Guthrie with guitar labeled "This machine kills fascists" (1943) | Source
Bob Dylan in November 1963
Bob Dylan in November 1963 | Source

Bob Dylan: a Brief Biography

His Early Inspirations

Folk rock singer-songwriter Bob Dylan was born Robert Allen Zimmerman on May 24, 1941, in Duluth, Minnesota. He was influenced by early rock stars like Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis Presley, as well as country music stars like Hank Williams, and poet and writer Jack Kerouac. While attending the University of Minnesota he began performing folk and country songs at local cafés, taking the name "Bob Dylan," after the late Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.

In 1960, Dylan dropped out of college and moved to New York where his hero, the legendary folk singer, activist and balladeer Woody Guthrie had been hospitalized with a rare hereditary disease of the nervous system, Huntington’s chorea. Dylan visited with Guthrie regularly in his hospital room.

During this time Dylan also became a regular in the folk clubs and coffeehouses of Greenwich Village where he met many other talented musicians; and began writing songs at an incredible rate, including "Song to Woody," a tribute to his ailing idol. In 1961 Dylan signed his first recording contract.

His album,The Times They Are A-Changin', firmly established Dylan as the definitive songwriter of the 60s protest movement, a reputation that only increased after he became romantically involved with one of the movement's established icons, Joan Baez, in 1963. While his relationship with Baez lasted only two years, it benefited both performers immensely in terms of their music careers—Dylan wrote some of Baez's best-known material, and Baez introduced him to thousands of fans through her concerts. By 1964 Dylan was playing 200 concerts annually.

During this time Dylan also met the poet and founder of the 'Beat Generation' Allen Ginsberg, and the two formed a life-long friendship that resulted in a number of collaborations. They mutually referred to their relationship as like a father and son, but in fact Ginsberg was only 15 years Dylan's senior so they were probably more like brothers. They also disagreed as to which of them inspired the other. Dylan said he was inspired by the poetry of Ginsberg and the other 'beat' poets, but Ginsberg stated that much of his poetry was inspired by Dylan's songs.

"Like a Rolling Stone" (Number Two, 1965) became Dylan's first major hit as a performer.

Bob Dylan with Allen Ginsberg on the Rolling Thunder Revue in 1975.
Bob Dylan with Allen Ginsberg on the Rolling Thunder Revue in 1975. | Source

Desolation Row - by Bob Dylan - Lyrics of 1st Two Verses

"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 better leave”
And the only sound that’s left
After the ambulances go
Is Cinderella sweeping up
On Desolation Row"

Life and Times

Always unpredictable, Dylan has been both praised and vilified for his shifts of musical interest, however whole schools of musicians have taken up his ideas. His lyrics were the first in rock to be seriously regarded as literature, and a closer look at his lyrics will convince you of what an accomplished poet he is.

Dylan personalizing folk songs, and subsequently reinvented the singer-songwriter genre. By performing his emotive, poetic songs in his nasal, spontaneous vocal style with an electric band, he increased pop music's range and vocabulary.

On July 29, 1966, Dylan smashed up his Triumph 55 motorcycle while riding near his Woodstock, New York, home. With several broken neck vertebrae, a concussion, and lacerations of the face and scalp, he was in critical condition for a week and bedridden for a month, with after effects including amnesia and mild paralysis. He spent nine months in seclusion.

In 1968 Dylan made his public re-entry with the album John Wesley Harding which contained such folkish ballads as "All Along the Watchtower" (later covered, and redefined, by Jimi Hendrix) and returned to the stage performing three songs at a Woody Guthrie memorial concert.

Dylan performing in the Feyenoord Football Club Stadium, Rotterdam, June 23, 1978
Dylan performing in the Feyenoord Football Club Stadium, Rotterdam, June 23, 1978 | Source

Slow Train Coming ..Bob Dylan/Buster Keaton

The 70s proved eventful, both good and bad. In 1973, Dylan appeared in the feature film Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. He also wrote the film's soundtrack, which became a hit and included the classic song, "Knockin' on Heaven's Door."

In 1974, he began his first full-scale tour since his accident, embarking on a sold-out nationwide tour with his longtime backup band, the Band. An album he recorded with the Band, Planet Waves, became his first ever No. 1 album. He followed these successes with the 1975 album Blood on the Tracks,and Desire in 1976, each of which also hit No.1. Desire included the song "Hurricane," which Dylan wrote about the boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, then serving life in prison for what many felt was an wrongful conviction of triple homicide in 1967. Dylan helped popularise Carter's cause, which lead to a retrial in 1976, however, he was again convicted.

In 1976 Dylan appeared in the Band's farewell concert, The Last Waltz, which was filmed by Martin Scorsese. Dylan's wife, Sara Lowndes, filed for divorce in March 1977 and subsequently received custody of their five children

In 1979 Dylan announced that he was a born-again Christian. He released the evangelical Slow Train Coming which proved to be a commercial hit, and won him his first Grammy Award. However, the tour and albums that followed were less successful, and Dylan's religious beliefs soon became less evident in his music.

By collaborating and recording with Nashville veterans, he helped invent Seventies country-rock. His career seemed to flounder a little during the1980s and early 1990s, however he still had the ability to influence, challenge, and surprise—then in the late 1990s and 2000s, he reinvented himself and recorded some of the greatest music of his career.

Bob Dylan and the Band touring in Chicago, 1974
Bob Dylan and the Band touring in Chicago, 1974 | Source

Ode to Bob Dylan

by John Hansen © 2015

Born as Robert Zimmerman

Bob Dylan better known,

His talent as a songwriter

Has around the world renown.


An American folk-singer,

Woody Guthrie inspired.

Protestor, artist, activist,

‘Beat’ Generation admired.


Inscrutable and unpredictable

Allusive poetic words.

Literary masterpieces,

Hit songs for The Byrds.


Songs like Chimes of Freedom,

All I Really Want to Do,

Mr Tambourine Man,

It’s All Over Now Baby Blue.


Music that has meaning,

Songs for the common man,

That fight against injustice,

And for freedom take a stand.


Allen Ginsberg’s howling,

And Kerouac’s on the road.

Woody Guthrie why, oh why,

On Desolation Row.


Contemporaries respect him,

The lesser come and go,

But Dylan’s music never dies,

I forgot more than you’ll ever know.

Achievements

Dylan's lyrics have incorporated various political, social, philosophical, and literary influences. His recording career, spanning over 50 years, has explored the various genres of music from folk, blues, and country, to gospel, rock and roll, rockabilly, and jazz. He has even experimented with English, Scottish, and Irish folk music. Dylan performs with guitar, keyboards, and harmonica, and alongside James Brown, and Elvis Presley is one of the most influential American musicians rock & roll has ever produced.

He has toured steadily (with the backing of an ever changing group of musicians) since the late 1980s on what has been dubbed the Never Ending Tour. His accomplishments as a recording artist and performer have been central to his career, but his greatest contribution is considered his songwriting. He has written hit songs for the likes of The Byrds, Peter, Paul and Mary, Sonny and Cher, Manfred Mann, and by 1966 more than 150 other groups or artists across a wide range of genres had recorded at least one of his songs.

Since 1994, Dylan has published six books of drawings and paintings, and his work has been exhibited in major art galleries. As a musician, Dylan has sold more than 100 million records, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time; he has received numerous awards including Grammy, Golden Globe, and Academy Award, and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Minnesota Music Hall of Fame, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and Songwriters Hall of Fame.

In 2008 he was awarded a special citation by The Pulitzer Prize committee for "his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power." In May 2012, President Barack Obama presented Dylan with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

(sources: Rolling Stone Magazine; Beatdom.com; biography.com; Wikipedia)

President Barack Obama presents American musician Bob Dylan with a Medal of Freedom
President Barack Obama presents American musician Bob Dylan with a Medal of Freedom | Source

Top 40 Countdown

Songs Written and Released by Bob Dylan


40: Unbelievable (1990) from Under the Red Sky

39: Thunder On The Mountain (2006) from Modern Times

38: Tin Angel (2012) from Tempest

37: Quinn the Eskimo (the Mighty Quinn) (1967) from Biograph

36: Chimes of Freedom (1964) from Another Side of Bob Dylan

35: Ballad of Hollis Brown (1963) from The Times They Are A-Changin’

34: Mr Tambourine Man (1965) from Bringing It All Back Home

33: Desolation Row (1965) from Highway 61 Revisited

32: All Over Now, Baby Blue (1965) from Bringing It All Back Home

31: The Times They Are A-Changin’ (1963) from Album of Same Name

30: Subterranean Homesick Blues (1965) from Bringing It All Back Home

29. You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go (1974)

28. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues (1965) from Highway 61 Revisited

27. Ring Them Bells (1989) from Oh, Mercy

26. Scarlet Town (2012) from Tempest

25. Every Grain Of Sand (1981) from Shot Of Love

23. Make You Feel My Love (1997) from Time Out Of Mind

22. Isis (1975) from Desire

21. Ain't Talkin (2006) from Modern Times

20. The Lonesome Death of Hattie Caroll (1964) from The Times They Are A-Changin'

19. Cold Irons Bound (1997) from Time Out Of Mind

17. Shelter From The Storm (1974) from Blood On The Tracks

16. Lay, Lady, Lay (1969) from Nashville Skyline

15. All Along the Watchtower (1968) from John Wesley Harding

14. Blind Willie McTell (1983) first released on Biograph Box Set

13. Senor (Tales of Yankee Power) (1978) from Street Legal

12. Don't Think Twice, It's Alright (1963) from the Freewheelin' Bob Dylan

11. Masters Of War (1963) from The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan

10. Knockin' On Heaven’s Door (1973) from Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid

9. Ballad Of A Thin Man (1965) from Highway 61 Revisited

8. Hurricane (1975) from Desire

7: Sign on the Window (1970) from New Morning

6. Like A Rolling Stone (1965) from Highway 61 Revisited

5. Simple Twist Of Fate (1974) from Blood On The Tracks

4. Jokerman (1983) from Infidels

3. A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall (1963) from The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan

2. Blowin' In The Wind (1962) from The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan

1. Tangled Up In Blue (1974) from Blood on the Tracks

© 2015 John Hansen

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75 comments

bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 13 months ago from Central Florida

John, I was excited when I saw the title of this hub. Dylan is one of my all time favorite artists. So much so, I've seen him in concert four times.

One of those concerts was during the period he converted from Judaism to Christianity. I have to tell you, I did not like that side of Dylan for the mere fact that he'd done a complete 180 from the music we knew and loved. He had a gospel backup that just didn't fulfill the reason I went to see him. His saving grace (and that of the audience) was the encore. He came out and played for about another hour singing all the hits we know so well.

The last time I saw him was in 2005 when he and Willie Nelson were doing a tour of U.S. baseball stadiums. I was a little disappointed because by this time Dylan's voice was almost unrecognizable. He didn't interact with the audience, which was another disappointment. Willie, on the other hand, was just as awesome as ever. Age hasn't affected his voice at all. And he loves the audience!

So many of Dylan's songs rank as favorites for me. However, to answer the question in your poll, I have several favs that appear on his Desire album. One is "Oh Sister". It's about a brother and sister who have drifted apart. The brother reminisces about how close he and his sister were and wonders what happened to them. I've gone through this with my own brother, so it really touches my heart.

Another is "One More Cup of Coffee", which is about lovers who cross paths occasionally during the busy life of artists. I'm not sure, but I think Dylan had Joan Baez in mind when he wrote it.

Another, from the same album, is "Sarah", which was written about his first wife, Sara. Beautiful song. The entire album is awesome. With Emmy Lou Harris singing backup on several tracks, it's an album that's easy to sing to.

Love your tribute poem to Dylan, John. I can see why your client tried to convince you to take the project.

I knew you'd do a stellar job in your tribute to one of America's greatest songwriters and one of my favorite musical artists. You didn't disappoint, my friend!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Wow! Shauna, your wonderful and informative comment really adds to the value of this hub. Thank you for sharing that information especially about those songs from the "Desire" album. I'll have to chek them out. I think I have only heard "Hurricane." As with a lot of performers his voice has probably suffered with age, yet others still sound virtually the same as always like Willy Nelson. Thanks for your kind words about my poem and I am glad you enjoyed this hub.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 13 months ago from Central Florida

From what I've read, years of smoking and being in dusty venues can alter the structural integrity of vocal chords and that's what's happened to Dylan's voice. Of course, Willie smokes too, but I think it's only weed and not cigarettes.


Missy Smith profile image

Missy Smith 13 months ago from Florida

You put a lot of heart and soul in this one. It was so informative. I was already a fan of Dylan's, but I learned some things I did not know about him from your article. I mainly just knew of his quirky personality and brilliant song writing ability. A lot of people do not like Dylan's singing voice though, but I happen to love how he performs. I had a hard time picking my favorite song of his; it was a toss-up between, "Like a Rolling Stone," and "Blowin in the Wind." I really, really, like "Times are Changin," as well.

I can't say he is my favorite either, but he certainly deserves this article about him. He is a legend!

You know who is one of my favorite singers though? His very handsome son Jakob. Jakob Dylan was in the Band, "The Wallflowers," back in the late 80s, early 90s, and I was hooked on his voice and music from their first hit, "One Headlight." If you don't know him, check him out. :)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading and the fine comment Missy. I have always been a fan of his song writing ability more than his voice. I actually prefer most of his songs sung by others like The Byrds etc. I read about Jakob Dylan and The Wallflowers while researching this hub but I haven't listened to any of their music yet. I will have to check it out. Glad you learnt a few new things about Bob Dylan from this hub too.


Eldon Arsenaux profile image

Eldon Arsenaux 13 months ago from Cooley, Texas

On Mr. Dylan's Bootleg Series 1-3 there's an astounding tribute poem, an Ode! if you will dedicated to Woody Guthrie. Figured as poet and fan you'd dig it Jodah! Enjoyed the Hub. My dad played him for me when I was just a little kid, and no aspirations of working with words, but getting older Dylan's words would work like magic man on my mind when I'd hear Mr. Tambourine Man.

Desire IS a great album. Drive to it everyday.

I liked the first part of the Hub because Mr. Dylan said the same, that people wished he was dead because then they could hold him as he was and not as he is. And now, with age, his voice doesn't have the same vigor, but he's still got swag don't he?

Thanks for the top 40 countdown!

-E.G.A.


Buildreps profile image

Buildreps 13 months ago from Europe

Great Hub about this great artist, Jodah. I realize that we're getting oldies as well :)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Eldon, thanks for another great comment. Good to see this hub is appealing to Dylan fans. I will definitely check out that Ode to Woody Guthrie you mention, and the Desire album recommended by you and Shauna. I too enjoyed Mr Tambourine Man growing up. I appreciate you reading this hub.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

I couldn't vote in the poll. That's like asking me my favorite Beatle's song. Impossible task! I grew up with this guy singing in the background. He's been with me since I was an impressionable kid of twelve. If the word "Legend" applies to anyone it is Mr. Dylan.

Great tribute, John!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hey Buildreps, you are right that none of us stays young forever. Thanks for reading and glad you enjoyed the hub.


Larry Wall 13 months ago

Dylan was a real catalyst in the emergence of the folk music era. His songs probably gained more fame when sun by Peter, Paul, and Mary, Joan Baez and others. I never care for his singing, but his grasp of the conditions facing our country then and his ability to express those views in songs that will live forever is something we should all appreciate.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Bill, thanks for dropping by. I probably should have included an "all of the above" answer in the poll, but oh well, that doesn't matter. Yes, you are certainly right that he deserves "Legend" status. Glad you enjoyed this tribute.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Bill, thanks for dropping by. I probably should have included an "all of the above" answer in the poll, but oh well, that doesn't matter. Yes, you are certainly right that he deserves "Legend" status. Glad you enjoyed this tribute.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Larry, I couldn't agree more with everything you say. I too prefer hearing other people perform his songs but his insight and song writing ability is second to none. Thanks for your comment.


Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin 13 months ago from Oklahoma

One of my alltime favorite singers. It's hard to pick a favorite song.

Wonderful tribute!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading Larry. Glad to hear Dylan is one of your favorite singers., and I obviously should have had an "all of the above" button.


drbj profile image

drbj 13 months ago from south Florida

What a neat idea, Jodah, writing a living tribute to Dylan. You did a masterful job both with the explanatory prose and the creative verse. Bravo!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 13 months ago from England

Hiya Jodah, fascinating look at Bob Dylans life, it was a bit before my time, so I was surprised to see a couple of the favourite tunes in the list! love your poem too, voted up and shared, nell


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for your kind comment Nell, yes most of it was a bit before my time too but he has written so many songs that almot everyone will have a few favourites among them. Glad you liked my poem too. Thanks for sharing.Cheers.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hey drbj, glad you thought this tribute worked, especially as I hadn't planned on writing this hub. Thanks for the "bravo."


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 13 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hello John, I admit I have not read your hub yet. I just turned on the music. I have used Dylan to decorate many of my presentations. I can't name a favorite, Dylan is enough to get my attention. Ok, now I'll go read the presentation.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Mike, not a problem. Whatever attracts a person to my hubs is fine by me, whether it's a name or the music.. Doesn't matter what order it's done in. I hope you enjoy the commentary as well. Thanks.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 13 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

I did. Lots of research went on here. I tried to make it back in the five minute time alotted, but was too slow. Your poem is great. Great idea this living tribute.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you once again Mike. Have a great day/night.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 13 months ago from southern USA

What a fantastic living tribute here, John! So ironic for I have been listening to a song by Dylan (I'm assuming he wrote it), "What's a Sweetheart like you Doing in a Dump like this?" I love that song. I am one to listen to a particular song over and over until after a great long time, I finally may tire of it LOL. Actually, I stumbled upon that video on YouTube somehow and I just love listening to the words. Music is a universal language and best of all songs are poems! Your example there of Dylan's lyrics is perfect to showcase his talent as a poet, and it is wonderful to know how much he was influenced by poets. He is certainly a one of a kind artist and truly a legend. My boss who is probably a number one fan of Dylan just recently saw him in concert, where Dylan played more of piano bar music ...very different. I've heard some off that latest album, and they are wonderful too. He is always changing up, so he is never boring to me.

Your poem is great as always.

Excellent job here. I enjoyed reading.

Tweeting, pinning, G+ and away

Blessings and peace always


whonunuwho profile image

whonunuwho 13 months ago from United States

Bob has been one of my favorite music artist and his words come from my time and place. Few singers of folk music have ever made such a mark on the industry as Bob has done. Nice work my friend. whonu


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

What a wonderful comment Theresa. Life seems to be full of irony doesn't it. Funny that you had been just listening to Bob Dylan when you read this. I experience similar things. I may suddenly have thought of someone or something that I haven't seen for years, then within a few hours I actually hear from them or see that thing out of the blue.

I have never seen Bob live, but it sounds like he is constantly reinventing and still going strong. Thanks for the tweet, pin and G+, and kind words as always.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi whonu, yes Bob has that rare ability to touch your soul. His words have so much deeper meaning to many of us. Glad to hear he is one of your favorite artists. Thanks for the generous comment. Cheers.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 13 months ago from Shelton

im not a dylan fan.. and when I first heard his music his voice cringed me.. but after listening some more it grew on me.. a different voice... and his songs came from the protest and unrest era.. even though I am not a fan.. his music did mean alot.... great hub.. and great share my friend :)


Larry Wall 13 months ago

Framl Atanaio

You make a good point that the songs came fom the protest and unrest era. We will never duplicate that era because the issues are different and the generation of people living today, that would be similar to that of the Dylan era do not have the drive or the leadership to push for changes. I am as guilty as anyone, but we have become to caught up in the details of today, that the larger picture of what needs addressing is not being seen.

Maybe the next group of 30s something will start the wheels rolling again.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

I understand where you are coming from Frank., I too disliked his voice at first, but when I heard his songs sung by others and atually read the lyrics I wa blown away. Fan or not you have to acknowledge his influence on music and the culture of the times. Thanks for reading.

Thank you too Larry for the points you made.


Dana Tate profile image

Dana Tate 13 months ago from LOS ANGELES

This was a great read Jodah: I must admit I am not much of a Bob Dylan fan, however I did like the song " These times are changing" I loved the biography of his life that gave me a little more information about his character. I loved the fact that you decided to honor people who have brought joy to our lives while they are alive. Letting people know how much we appreciate them is what life is all about. If we did more of that the world would be a much better place. Definitely shared. (p.s. what happened to the buttons?)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Dana thanks for reading and commenting even though Dylan is not one of your Favorite artists. We need to tell everyone who influences our lives in some way how important they are while they are here. The vote buttons were removed by HP because they felt they were not being utilised by enough people. I think that was wrong but my opinion doesn't make much difference unfortunately. Thank you for sharing.


Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 13 months ago from San Diego California

First of all, Bob Dylan is not one of my favorite singers either, because the man is not a singer. He is a superb, powerful vocalist, but you wouldn't pick his raspy voice to front for your church choir by any means. More importantly, Dylan is a powerful poet, matched perhaps in modern music by Neil Young, but that's about it. My first exposure to his music was actually that gospel album "Slow Train Coming" you mentioned, which has some awesome lines of verse, albeit not widely appreciated because people tend to shy away from his churchy stuff.

Very superbly written tribute and poem here. I think it is a great idea to pay tribute to these great talents before they are taken from us.


travmaj profile image

travmaj 13 months ago from australia

Hi John, Great tribute to Bob Dylan - like him or loath him he's impossible to ignore. I've enjoyed his work over the years, perhaps influenced by daughters who played his work non-stop. What a brilliant career, artist, poet, singer...I hadn't known much of the info you've provided here.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Great comment Mel, you summed Dylan up very well in a couple of paragraphs. Did you watch the Buster Keaton video I included set to Slow Train Coming? Thanks for the kind comment.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading Maj, glad I provided some info you weren't aware of. I had intended to make most of the tributes about Australian artists, but this one was kind of unplanned.


Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 13 months ago from San Diego California

That video was great. I had forgotten that is Mark Knopfler from Dire Straits playing guitar on that album.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Mel, yes I read that.


Deborah Swain profile image

Deborah Swain 13 months ago from Rome, Italy

Just saw him again in concert in Rome...he's on stunning form right now and in great voice!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Good to hear that Deborah. Lucky you seeing him live. Thanks for sharing.


CrisSp profile image

CrisSp 13 months ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

What a great tribute. I grew up doing homeworks with his music in the background. Mama like him so much that I had an "earworm" listening to his "Blowin' in the Wind". :)


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Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Cris, thanks for reading ad sharing that. An 'earworm" really haha? Gad this brought back memories then.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 13 months ago from USA

I like your idea of living tributes, and this was a good one. Although he is not my cup of tea you did him justice for those who enjoy the lifetime of his work.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Flourish, I really appreciate it when people read hubs even though the subject matter doesn't appeal to them. I appreciate you kind comment.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 13 months ago from london

A well-written, well-researched and pretty deserving article. I am so happy that he was recognised by Obama. Some truly touching and evocative songs and great poems at the end. A superb Hub! Much Love, Bro.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 13 months ago from Southern Illinois

I loved reading this! Bob Dylan is one more of my favorite artists. His song ' Knockin on heaven's door 'was one of his best. I learned a lot from reading your tribute. I didn't know he had 5 children. Your poetry was really good....


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you manatita, I appreciate your generous comment, and yes it would be true recognition to receive an award by the President.

Ruby, glad you enjoyed this and learned something. I agree " Knocking on Heaven's Door" would have to be one of his best. Have a great week.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 13 months ago from The Beautiful South

Bob was not one of my favorites but for some reason I love biographies of about anyone for some reason; I think we just learn a little something from them all. I did love Knock'n on Heaven's Door! One of the best songs of all time.

Enjoyable read, I could do with many more like this!


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 13 months ago from Stillwater, OK

This was a wonderful and comprehensive work. You covered a lot more on Dylan that I would likely ever find anywhere else. Excellent work!


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 13 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

Jodah

A fitting tribute to a great songwriter. One thing not widely known is Bob Dylan and Keith Green were friends.

If you look in the track "So you wanna go back to Egypt?" The harmonica was Bob Dylan!

Great hub

Lawrence


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Jackie..yes "Knock'n on Heaven's Door" is a real classic. Glad you enjoy these biographies, a good way to learn about famous people.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

hi Deb, glad I could introduce you to a few facts about Dylan you weren't aware of. I appreciate your generous comment.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Lawrence. I never knew that Keith Green and Bob Dylan were friends and collaborators..thanks for sharing that. Very interesting.


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 13 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

John

I just checked the information and wikipedia says they were good friends.

Lawrence


Genna East profile image

Genna East 12 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

When I think of the Beat Generation, I think of Jack Kerouac's "On The Road," and his spontaneous prose, which I see you included in your wonderful poem. My fav Dylan piece is "Tangled Up in Blue." What a thoughtful tribute to this amazing poet and musician. He is like a good, true friend who tells it like it is with his raggedy, inimitable style and poetry you embrace, close, with every note. George Harrison gave an interview before he passed, and remarked about how people were upset with Dylan when he performed at Albert Hall, electric. Harrison said it was a natural progression. Anything that Dylan does is just fine with me. :-)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 12 months ago from New York

I couldn't vote in the poll either! Too tough.

I was introduced to Dylan by my girlfriend's brother. He played Dylan's songs and she looked at me and said, "isn't that stupid? You can't even understand what he's saying." Obviously she's eaten those words many times over the years.

Your poem was a moving tribute as well. You've done a great job of reminding us what talent and presence Mr. Dylan has!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

What a wonderful and informative comment Genna. It's easy to recognise a true fan from your words. I love this sentence you used as a description of him and his work "He is like a true friend who tells it like it is with his raggedy, inimitable style and poetry you embrace, close, with every note." Yes, some people were upset when he changed to an electric guitar as others were when he changed from pure "folk" singer to "rock 'n' roll" and his "gospel" stage. Performers who weren't willing to adapt and change their music came and went quickly, whereas Dylan is still going.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Mary, his singing voice didn't appeal to everyone but most have to admit to enjoying at least a few of the songs he wrote, even if they were sung by other artists. The Byrds;Peter, Paul and Mary; Manfred Mann etc. Yes, you girlfriend may have had to earth her words. Thanks for the kind comment.


ocfireflies profile image

ocfireflies 12 months ago from North Carolina

John,

Where do I start? First, this is an incredible hub. My oldest son's middle name is Dylan for Bob and Thomas. Smiles. I actually got to see Bob Dylan perform at Appalachian State University eons ago. I am sad to say it was a real disappointment. The gym just could not handle the majesty of the music so folks left deaf and feeling defeated by the whole experience. Finally, there is the connection with my youngest son, who is getting ready to release his second album, "Roam." One of the comments his work receives the most is that it is Dylanesque in nature. Shared for sure. Would be voted up but I have discovered that option to no longer be available. A lot can change when one is away.

KUDOS JOHN! KUDOS!

Blessings,

Kim


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hey Kim, thanks for the great comment and good to see you are a true Dylan fan giving your eldest son that as a middle name. Pity about the disappointing concert at the University. Congratulations to your youngest son as well and hope his second album does well. Blessings back.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 12 months ago from California

I think Dylan is one of the most influential musicians of that era. ut the one time I saw him in person, he was almost two hours late and sang for 45 minutes--it was disapppointing


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

There is no doubting his influence on the music industry Audrey. It is unfortunate that many of those who have seen him perform live and commented here, left disappointed however. Thanks for reading.


MissCue profile image

MissCue 12 months ago from Santa Barbara, CA.

I got to see Bob Dylan in concert, an event that went in history...at least my own history book...He opened up for Phil Lesh & Friends, a founding member of the Grateful Dead. Actually now that I think about it, I'm not really sure which one of the two was the opening act...lol...alot of psychedelic drugs were floating around that day. It was at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, here in So CAL. which I thought was a strange & obscure venue for two world class musicians, considering Los Angeles and all the amphitheaters were less than an hour away. (No disappointment whatsoever here) My entire group had a stellar unforgetful time that day!!! Thanks for the wonderful and entertaining hubpage on one of the greats!!!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for providing such an interesting comment MissCue. It sounds like it was certainly an unforgettable experience despite the psychedelic drugs :) it appears Dylan has played at some quite obscure venues, and I did find quite a few references, while researching him, with The Greatful Dead.


B Brian Hill profile image

B Brian Hill 11 months ago from Long Island, New York

Hi Jodah,

Wow it is hard to believe how much came out of a poetry project! I must say this is written with much more interesting and relevant information that I've read before. It was both a reminder and an introduction to new information. I love that Woody Gutherie call his guitar a "fascist killer." I could go on and on about what I liked. It is not possible to know enough or listen enough to Bob Dylan. Thanks for this great read that must have taken hours upon hours to put together.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 11 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Brian, thank you for the generous comment. I am glad this article proved intereting and educational for you. Believe me I did devote quite a few days researching and writing this, and yes I also was fascinated to learn that Woody Guthrie's guitar was labelled "This Machine Kills Fascists." Have a great weekend.


annart profile image

annart 11 months ago from SW England

I loved 'Mr Tambourine Man' for the melody and the harmonies. Close second is 'Lay, Lady, Lay'. You've given us a great insight here, John. He certainly influenced many people with his lyrics and created so much beautiful music.

I was amazed to learn that he's exhibited in major art galleries. Would love to see some of those works; I'll have a look online.

Great hub and I completely agree that it's a good idea to write tributes to those who live. Then they know they're appreciated.

Love the poem too. Well done!

Ann


Jodah profile image

Jodah 11 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Yes Ann, I always like Mr Tambourine man as well. I learnt a lot about Dylan that I wasn't aware of while researching this including, as you mentioned, his talent as an artist. Thanks for reading another of my hubs and for the kind comment,


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 8 months ago from Orlando, FL

Wow what an awesome tribute to Bob Dylan. I didn't follow his music but I did appreciate hearing his hits when they popped up on the radio. My Tambourine Man is my favorite! :)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 8 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading Sunshine. I wasn't really a true fan either (of his voice) but I do respect his songwriting ability, and yes "Mr Tambourine Man" is a favourite with me too. I learnt a lot about him while researching this hub.


Vellur profile image

Vellur 8 months ago from Dubai

A great living tribute for Bob Dylan. Thank you for introducing me to Bob Dylan. He is so talented and a great musician. Great poem. Enjoyed the read.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 8 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

It was my pleasure to introduce you to Bob Dylan, Vellur. Glad you enjoyed this tribute.


Tarunponders profile image

Tarunponders 3 months ago from Roorkee, India

Hi John,

I just happened to chance my way across this one while browsing the HP's repository. I grew up with Bob Dylan and till date rhyme and sing to myself - blowing in the wind, whenever I find myself in despair and especially the line How many roads must a man walk down before......................? So thanks indeed for contributing this piece. I am not an avid reader myself but sometimes reading about people you have liked and admired fills you up and thats what this piece exactly did. Bob Dylan's voice is more of an inner calling for me as it resonates very well with my philosophical being. So thanks again for getting this out in the open for all to "sink into" the world of this legendary great.

THANK YOU


Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Tarun, thank you for such a satisfying comment. It is always my hope that what I write can touch at least one person in some way, or make them reminiss. Blowing In the Wind is certainly a timeless classic.

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