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Bob Dylan Revisited
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Bob Dylan Revisited

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+Ron Chester originally shared:  
Eileen Aroon
Performed 30 June 1988 by Bob Dylan

This is a good one to play for wooden eared friends who have swallowed the media incantation, "Dylan can't sing." Don't let them get up or leave the room until you've replayed it a few times. If they still don't get it, kick them out and tell them to go get some scratchy Caruso 78's. Lock the door on their way out. --Ron Chester
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Bob Dylan Revisited

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Bob Dylan changes direction, 1964

In the December 20, 1964 issue of Broadside magazine, U.S. folk music critic Paul Wolfe provided music fans with his personal opinion of Bob Dylan’s artistic direction. 

See the original article here:


(Ed. note: The direction Bob Dylan has taken in his latest song writing has stirred up considerable controversy. Below is a piece on the "new" Bob Dylan by Paul Wolfe)

"Half-racked prejudice leaped forth; "Rip down all hate, I screamed, 
Lies that life is black and white, spoke from my skull, I dreamed, 
Romantic facts of musketeers, 
foundationed deep somehow, 
Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now." 

--Bob Dylan, MY BACK PAGES 

The Newport Folk Festival of 1964 formed an important milestone in the resurgence of topical music. It brought many of the younger performers into first contact with large segments of the folk music world; it proved that topical music, when delivered with artistry and sincerity, can be heartily appreciated by a wide and diverse audience; it outlined many of the goals toward which the various writers must strive.

But the Festival’s most significant achievement was specific and twofold: it marked the emergence of Phil Ochs as the most important voice in the movement, simultaneous with the renunciation of topical music by its major prophet, Bob Dylan. It was the latter event that proved most surprising.

Dylan’s “defection” into higher forms of art was predicted. His preference for free-verse, uninhibited poetry over topical songs has been apparent for quite a while; his dissatisfaction with concert tours and adulating fans is also no secret. But his new songs, as performed at Newport, surprised everyone, leaving the majority of the audience annoyed, some even disgusted, and, in general, scratching its collective head in disbelief. The art that had, in the past, produced towering works of power and importance, had, seemingly, degenerated into confusion and innocuousness. “Your new songs seem to be all inner-directed, inner-probing, and self-conscious,” wrote Irwin Silber, editor of SING OUT!, in an open letter to Dylan. “You seem to be relating to a handful of cronies behind the scenes rather than to the rest of us out front.”

And this disappointment in his new songs was heightened by their juxtaposition, on the stage of Newport, with the eloquent musical force of Phil Ochs. While Dylan was telling his perennial, anonymous girl friend, “All I really wanna do is, baby, be friends with you,” Ochs was informing the leaders of the government, “I ain’t marchin’ anymore!” While Dylan sang "It Ain’t Me, Babe,” and, in the guise of rejecting a persistent female, told his thousands of worshippers to look elsewhere for someone to walk on water, Ochs took the time to denounce the labor unions for their betrayal of the civil rights movement; in “Links On The Chain"—Ochs’ supreme artistic achievement—and perhaps the most important topical song of the year—he calls upon the “ranks of labor” to ponder their own “struggles of before” and tell, ironically, which side they now are on in the Negro struggle for equality.

There, the difference between the two performers became manifest; meaning vs. innocuousness, sincerity vs. utter disregard for the tastes of the audience, idealistic principle vs. self-conscious egotism. And even in his attempts at seriousness Dylan was bewildering. “Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man,” while underlain by a beautiful poetic idea, must be termed a failure; somehow, a forced monotony of rhymes seemed much more effective in “Only A Pawn In Their Game.” And in his other song, “Chimes of Freedom,” the bewilderment is raised to the highest degree. In this incredible jumble of confused, obscure images piled atop one another, Dylan traces the pursuit for higher forms of freedom, spanning a human lifetime, encompassing all of human life. This probing journey through anguish begins “far between sundown’s finish and midnight’s broken toe” and ends, some eight grueling minutes later, with the chimes of freedom flashing “for every hung-up person in the whole wide universe.” The fallacy inherent in the concept of chimes flashing is annoyingly obvious. It is also obvious that Dylan was too enmeshed in his own ego and seeming adoration of words (no matter how meaningless his combinations of these words renders them) to consider the absurdity of treating a subject of such scope in a song. As Irwin Silber said, the Dylan we once knew, the author of “With God On Our Side” and “Hattie Carroll,” “never wasted our precious time.” “Chimes of Freedom” brings to mind once again the fable of the Emperor’s new clothes; and a short story entitled “Face In The Crowd” by Budd Schulberg (it was made into a noted movie). The protagonist of that story is a hillbilly singer who, through publicity, slick management and an overpowering ego, rises to such heights of stardom and popularity he thinks he can get away with anything on the public. The tragedy is that he cannot, and, in the end, is ruined.

Does Bob himself give a concrete reason for the emergence of the “new” Dylan? One might be found in the song “My Back Pages” in his latest album Another Side of Bob Dylan. It is an intensely honest, revealing self-portrait, indeed a brutal denunciation of the “old” Dylan. It characterizes the latter as a deceived, impotent “musketeer” whose main stimuli to action were confusion and immaturity, rather than a fiery poetic spirit reacting to the injustice he saw all around him. Thus a seeming disillusionment with both himself and the ideals he fought for looms as a factor.

Other forces shaping his new posture include his own artistic drives and capabilities (which are indeed considerable) running headlong into the limitations of the musical form. As Phil Ochs said in the 1964 Newport brochure: “I think he’s slowly drifting away from song-writing because he feels limited by the form. More and more of his work will probably come out in poetry and free verse, and I would not be surprised if he stopped singing altogether, considering the over-adulation of his fans and the lack of understanding of audiences that identify with him.” Indeed there are reports not only that he is working on a book of his own poetry but that he plans to start up a poetry magazine (further Dylan artistic endeavors include a motion picture, which Dylan has written, is directing, and stars in himself). These varied artistic projects imply his abandonment of topical song writing; an artist must express himself through the most effective mediums at his command. But they do not explain his new songs; nor, if he is discontented with singing, why he continues to give concerts; or why he is still cutting records. Contradictions have followed Bob Dylan from the time his folk-singing career began. Now, seemingly at the end of it, they have yet to be dissipated.

The paths of Bob Dylan bear extreme relevance to the course of today’s topical songwriting. For instance, take Phil Ochs. His career is still evolving and expanding, but considering what has happened to Bob, an inevitable question arises concerning Phil: will he follow in the footsteps of his predecessor? Will Phil too eventually be disillusioned, or in some way become discontented, with his personal messages of protest, and abandon them? Only time—of course—can tell. But an analysis of the facts renders this unlikely. The difference between Ochs and Dylan, both as artists and personalities, are striking. Ochs is much more deeply committed to the broadside tradition. To news and politically-oriented songs, most of which are focused on specific events and do not range into the wide scope of human events and variegated problems that characterize so many of Dylan’s most famous works. In addition, Dylan has undergone repeated metamorphis as a performer; each of his four albums differs radically from the others. This has not been so with Ochs, whose second L-P (by Elektra) plainly will be a continuation of the work foundationed by his first (Ochs’ 2nd L-P is scheduled for release in January 1965). Quite to the contrary, Phil’s basic melody and lyric patterns have remained constant from the very beginning; indeed many of his first songs, notably “William Worthy” and his talking analysis of Cuba and Viet Nam, occupy important positions in his current repertoire. Thus, the constant change of character and outlook, the reluctance to stay in one “bag” of song-writing for an extended period of time, that have engendered Dylan’s renunciation of topical music, are not evidenced in Ochs. Nevertheless, the influences of Dylan have found their way into several of Ochs’ new songs. In “In The Heat Of The Summer” and “The Hills of West Virginia,” Ochs has attempted to subtlety and poetry where before he used power and irony. Thus, those two songs differ artistically from all his previous ones; indeed in the first song, dealing with the recent riots in various Negro ghettos, he goes so far as to abandon rhyme scheme altogether. It is a novel artistic experiment; but, unfortunately, this first attempt at poetry-in-song is unsuccessful. “In The Heat Of The Summer” emerges as little more than an exercise. But in “The Hills Of West Virginia,” some reflections during an automobile trip, Phil’s simple, unpretentious, easy-flowing imagery, encased in what could be his most beautiful melody, weave a sharp and colorful tapestry of observation. It is certainly one of his best songs and proves Ochs doesn’t have to protest to be good. It also proves that one can absorb the good influences of Dylan without being affected by the non-artistic sides of the latter’s enigmatic career.

Many talented people today are writing topical songs. But, to me, Phil Ochs stands virtually alone in his field; very few writers are very close to him in quality and productivity. This is a happy fact for topical music. However, the cash registers are ringing in his ears more and more; legions of adulating fans and his identity as a “celebrity” grow larger as time goes by. Thus, one final question must be posed in connection with the path of Phil Ochs, hence the path of topical music. Can he overcome the pressures, the lures, the rewards and the egotism attached to being a celebrity? Can he maintain a sincerity of principle despite material prosperity? It is evident that he will continue writing protest songs; the question now is whether he will continue meaning them. For Phil Ochs, on whom the future of topical music rides, “these are the days of decision.” 

--Paul Wolfe
(Broadside magazine--issue 53/1964)



Phil Ochs - Links on the Chain

Phil Ochs - I Ain't Marchin' Anymore

Bob Dylan - My Back Pages

Bob Dylan - All I Really Wanna Do

Bob Dylan - It Ain't Me, Babe
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Bob Dylan Revisited

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Gene Vincent, 'Hot Rod Gang' and 'Baby Blue'.

In the movie 'Hot Rod Gang' (1958), Gene Vincent sang a song called 'Baby Blue'. It is a song that Bob Dylan name checks as the influence for the title of 'It's All Over Now Baby Blue'. 

From the Biograph notes, Bob Dylan said:

"I had carried that song around in my head for a long time," said Dylan, "and I remember that when I was writing it, I'd remembered a Gene Vincent song. It had always been one of my favorites, Baby Blue...`when first I met my baby, she said how do you do, she looked into my eyes and said... my name is Baby Blue.' It was one of the songs I used to sing back in High School. Of course, I was singing about a different Baby Blue."

See the movie clip here:

The Gene Vincent song was from the movie 'Hot Fury' (originally 'Hot Rod Gang'). "Crazy kids . . . living to a wild rock 'n' roll beat!". It's about a young man who wants to drag race and plays rock and roll to raise the cash.

The narration of this movie says: "This story is true-only the facts have been changed."

Another Dylanesque twist! ;)

Robert Shelton's 'No Direction Home' confirms that this Gene Vincent song 'Baby Blue' (from the movie) was in Bob Dylan's teenage vinyl collection.

"Abe took me around the house. In the basement recreation room, where Bob's James Dean collection once lined the walls, the parents now had a gallery of their own young rebel: posters, album covers and publicity and magazine photographs of Dylan. His parents played me old practice tapes of his various high-school bands. Bob's young, harsh voice belted out "Rock 'n' Roll Is Here To Stay." Piles of moldering 78s and 45s stood in a corner, a cross-section of the 1950s. Here was "Dearest" an "There Ought To Be A Law" by Mickey and Sylvia, "Baby Blue" by Gene Vincent and the Hot Rods, Hank Snow and Nat "King" Cole, then a flood of Hank Williams' lonesome blues, Bill Haley, Pat Boone, Bobby Vee, Johnny Ace, Webb Pierce, and, inevitably, Buddy Holly's "Slippin' and Slidin'," Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti," and Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel" and "Blue Suede Shoes."" 

--Robert Shelton, No Direction Home, page 50.

Shelton, Robert. No Direction Home: The Life and Music of Bob Dylan. New York: Beech Tree Books, 1986. 068805045X 

Gene Vincent on Wikipedia:
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Bob Dylan at the ballet

Over the years, there have been people who have choreographed and performed ballet and dance to Bob Dylan's music. 

Here are two examples of full ballets. 




Extracts taken from The Independent, May 10 1996.
Christopher Bruce created 'Moonshine' for the senior citizens of dance (or 40-plus-year-olds) who make up NDT3, the sister company of Netherlands Dance Theatre. Three years later his own younger dancers in Rambert Dance Company now take to it with alacrity. To whom, though, will Moonshine appeal, as it tours round the country? It is set to early songs by Bob Dylan, which is fine by me, but does mark me out as middle-aged. I hope younger spectators like it... Walter Nobbe's backdrop seems to extend the stage into a rocky canyon that fits the disaster-prone story of Dylan's Talkin' Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues; or it suggests a perspective between awesome American skyscrapers that matches the lyrics of Man on the Street. The four dancers carry suitcases: perhaps they are the dispossessed who so often feature in Dylan's songs. Steve Brett's gestures echo the first-person account of Dylan's Moonshine; Didy Veldman balances on her suitcase and draws sweeping curves to No More Auction Block, ending in a hangman's noose - a conclusion so shocking that the stunned audience hesitated to clap...

About Christopher Bruce:

2011 performance, Prague.

2015 Valentine's Day performance in Nashville.


'All I Can Do Is Be Me'(2014)

The Bob Dylan Ballet. Chantry Dance Company.

'All I Can Do Is Be Me' is a joyful, sometimes humorous and sometimes biting look at the world. We follow one man's journey as he confronts a broken and uncaring society. The man finds himself stepping outside the craziness of life to ask himself questions....why does it have to be like this?....why are people so blinkered?

He reaches out the hand of love, and finds that it has the power to alter society. The man shows people how they can remain true to themselves, follow their heart's inner call, and still be a caring member of society.

The ballet is set to some of Dylan's best loved songs, including:
Mr Tambourine Man
Times they are a-changin'
Like a Rolling Stone
Hard Rain
All I Really Wanna Do
Blowin' in the Wind

If society leaves you feeling depressed and let down, this uplifting and exuberant ballet will gladden and encourage the heart.

Choreography: Paul Chantry
Dance Director: Gail Gordon
Lighting design: Owain Davies

Watch the complete performance:

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Bob Dylan Revisited

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Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs perform a Bob Dylan cover on the TV show 'The Beverly Hillbillies'.

Mama, You Been On My Mind. 


Watch the performance here:


Episode 152 (Season 5, episode 14) "Foggy Mountain Soap". 

Directed by Joseph Depew, written by Paul Henning & Buddy Atkinson.
Originally aired December 14, 1966.

In the episode, Jed and Granny star in a commercial for Foggy Mountain Soap, with Jethro as the director.


From Bob Dylan Roots:

Beginning in 1967, Bob Dylan and his Columbia stable-mate EARL SCRUGGS (with his long-time partner LESTER FLATT) shared a common producer, Bob Johnston, who urged substantial changes in the Flatt & Scruggs traditional bluegrass repertoire.

"Basically, Bob Johnston, with his emphasis on the new breed of singer-songwriters (as opposed to the staunch-traditional country and bluegrass songwriters) contributed to the break-up of Flatt & Scruggs. While Earl Scruggs expressed a growing boredom with traditional bluegrass ("I was playing the same thing over and over every night. I just couldn't stand it any longer."), Lester Flatt felt uneasy with Bob Johnston: "He also cuts Bob Dylan and we would record what he would come up with, regardless of whether I liked it or not. I can't sing Bob Dylan stuff, I mean. Columbia has got Bob Dylan, why did they want me?"  -- Neil V. Rosenberg, Liner notes for "Flatt & Scruggs", Time-Life Records TLCW-04, 1982

Several Dylan songs were covered during their late 1960s recording sessions, until in Aug 1969, Flatt & Scruggs (following a final joint performance at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry on Feb 22, 1969) recorded together for the last time, fulfilling their contractual obligations to Columbia Records.

Mama, You Been On My Mind (May 16, 1966)
Girl From The North Country (May 15, 1967 - unissued/lost)
Don't Think Twice It's All Right (September 21, 1967)
Blowin' In The Wind (September 21, 1967)
It Ain't Me Babe (September 21, 1967)
Down In The Flood (September 26, 1967)
Mr. Tambourine Man (October 20, 1967)
Like A Rolling Stone (July 18, 1968)
I'll Be Your Baby Tonight (September 09, 1968)
Rainy Day Women No. 12 And 35 (September 09, 1968 - unissued/lost)
The Times They Are A-Changin' (September 16, 1968)
Rainy Day Women No. 12 And 35 (September 17, 1968)
Nashville Skyline Rag (August 21, 1969)
Maggie's Farm (August 21, 1969)
Wanted Man (August 21, 1969)
One More Night (August 21, 1969)
One Too Many Mornings (August 22, 1969)
Girl From The North Country (August 22, 1969)
Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance (August 22, 1969)

All tracks released on 1964-1969, Bear Family Records 6-CD set (BCD 15879).

Earl Scruggs continued to experiment with new styles and musical directions. On "Nashville's Rock" (again produced by Bob Johnston), he recorded instrumental versions of "Love Is Just A Four-Letter Word" and "Nashville Skyline Rag" (also covering the Rolling Stones' "Honky Tonk Women" and The Beatles' "With A Little Help From My Friends" and "Something").

Some of the Bob Dylan songs covered by THE EARL SCRUGGS REVUE (a rather rock-oriented group comprising Earl Scruggs and his sons Earl, Gary and Randy) include:

"It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry"
"Down In The Flood"
"Tomorrow's A Long Time"
"Watching The River Flow"
and a terrific (IMO) version of
"Song To Woody"
(featuring -- among others -- Johnny Cash and Ramblin' Jack Elliott).

In Dec 1970, Dylan recorded two songs,
"East Virginia Blues"
and "Nashville Skyline Rag,"
with Earl Scruggs and his sons Randy and Gary.

Both songs were broadcast in an NBC Documentary in Jan 1971; "Nashville Skyline Rag" was subsequently officially released on the album "Earl Scruggs Performing With His Family And Friends" (COLUMBIA KC-30584, mid-1971).


Complete documentary - Bob Dylan in the opening sequence:

Earl Scruggs - The Bluegrass Legend - Family & Friends (1972).

Bob Dylan's section information:

The Home Of Thomas B. Allen
Carmel, New York
December 1970
Earl Scruggs Documentary

1. East Virginia Blues (trad.)
2. Nashville Skyline Rag

Bob Dylan (guitar & vocal), Earl Scruggs (banjo), Randy Scruggs (acoustic guitar), Gary Scruggs (electric bass).
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Good Stuff spent a lot of my days listening.....
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Manny Greenhill and Bob Dylan, 1963.

Sally Schoenfeld's apartment, Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was Sunday, April 21, 1963, following Club 47's weekly hootennany. 

Photograph by Rick Stafford. 

The Schoenfeld party is described in "Baby, Let Me Follow You Down" by Eric von Schmidt & Jim Rooney.

Also in David Hajdu's book "Positively 4th Street", pages 146 - 148.



Von, Schmidt E, and Jim Rooney. Baby, Let Me Follow You Down: The Illustrated Story of the Cambridge Folk Years. Amherst, Mass: University of Massachusetts Press, 1994, 0585279780.

Hajdu, David. Positively 4th Street: The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Fariña, and Richard Fariña. New York: North Point Press, 2001, 086547642X.


Manuel A. (Manny) Greenhill was born Mendel Greenberg, in
New York City, 1916. He was a labour activist, a concert presenter and later a booking agent and manager to several folk singers. In 1960, Manny was asked by Albert Baez to take care of 19 year old Joan Baez.  

Manny Greenhill's full biography can be read here:

“I think it was Alan Lomax who said that as far as he was concerned the folk song revival began when Pete Seeger met Woody Guthrie in 1940 and they shook hands and that was the beginning of what we call the folk song revival – and I think he’s got a point. (And) I sort of relate to that too.” -- Manny Greenhill, interviewed by Jim Rooney, author of Boss Men and, with Eric von Schmidt, Baby Let Me Follow You Down.


"Manny had known a number of these musicians, including Pete Seeger, from his days as a labor activist in New York. They both had been at Peekskill, New York, a few years earlier, when right-wing vigilantes had beaten and stoned a crowd gathered to hear a concert by Paul Robeson."

[. . .]

"Pete had a problem -- the blacklist was causing local presenters to cancel confirmed bookings -- and he expressed a wish to find a local New England presenter who would follow through. Manny said, “I’m your man,” and agreed to present his next Boston appearance."


Manny Greenhill was present when Joan Baez introduced Donovan to Dylan, his supposed enemy, in 1965. 

"Joaney's manager, Manny Greenhill, said: "Calm down, Joan." I watched all this open-mouthed, then ventured, "I'll come with you, Joaney." The three Americans turned to me.

"Bobbie was in another suite. It seemed that he had refused to take an active part in any street protest with Joaney over American involvement in Vietnam. Having "arrived" in 1963 with "Blowing in the Wind", he had seemingly abandoned protest songs.

"Meanwhile, there was a growing protest in Europe in the streets and legislatures. There were a number of violent demo clashes in Paris, condemning foreign involvement in Vietnam, and Joaney was infuriated with Dylan because he had previously advertised his radical views in song, but in Joaney's eyes had now become "vague" and would not follow her into the streets to protest.

"Joaney took me to Dylan's suite. Dressed all in black, he wore a pair of black Anello & Davide boots worthy of any gypsy. He was quite small and slight of frame, a very pretty young man with bad teeth and curiously solid hands. His slim features were widened at the jawline with powerful muscles. Definitely the thinking girl's crumpet."


Manny Passed away in 1996, from heart failure during chemotherapy for leukemia, and his obituary can be read here:


In February 2007, Earl Scruggs, Dave Van Ronk and Manny Greenhill were honoured with Lifetime Achievement Awards at the International Folk Alliance Conference:

"Business/Industry Lifetime Achievement Award: Manny Greenhill –The late Manny Greenhill, originally a union organizer, came to music after hearing Pete Seeger and the Almanac Singers in New York. He started presenting concerts in the early 1950’s around Boston with artists such as Josh White, Pete Seeger and Odetta while also running an ad placement business in foreign language newspapers. Manny helped to found the Folk Song Society of Greater Boston and in 1960 opened the Ballad Room, a part of the Cambridge folk music scene. He was on the board of the legendary Club 47. He started Folklore Productions in the late ‘50’s which managed many young musicians, most notably Joan Baez with whom he worked for fourteen years. He also represented Doc Watson, Jesse Fuller, and Rev. Gary Davis, helping to ensure that traditional artists were well paid and their compositions well protected. As Folklore Productions grew Greenhill established his office in Santa Monica, California. This enabled him to keep a closer eye on the recording industry. He worked from there until his death in 1996. Today son, Mitchell and grandson, Matt run his company. Manny Greenhill loved telling stories about folk music, politics and how they were, in his view, inextricably intertwined. At the 1995 FA conference in Portland, Oregon, musician/producer Jim Rooney recorded Manny telling some of these stories. This has been preserved as part of the Folk Alliance’s Oral History program."


Greenhill Family/Folklore Productions Collection, 1960-2000 (inclusive), 1970-1990:
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Bob Dylan Revisited

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Don’t stand in the doorway, don’t block up the hall

Bob Dylan and George Wallace. 


Bob Dylan is thought to have written The Times They Are A-Changin' some time in September/October 1963.

A few months earlier, on June 11, 1963, a national incident took place at the University of Alabama. 

Two black students, Vivian Malone and James Hood, arrived at Foster Auditorium to register for classes. They were met by George Wallace, the Democratic Governor of Alabama, who blocked their entry by standing in the doorway in a symbolic attempt to keep his inaugural promise of "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever" and stop the desegregation of schools. 

This became known as the Stand in the Schoolhouse Door incident. 

"Flanked by federal marshals, Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach told Wallace to step aside.However, Wallace cut Katzenbach off and refused, giving a speech on States' rights. Katzenbach called President John F. Kennedy, who federalized the Alabama National Guard. Guard General Henry Graham then commanded Wallace to step aside, saying, "Sir, it is my sad duty to ask you to step aside under the orders of the President of the United States." Wallace then spoke further, but eventually moved, and Malone and Hood registered as students."

It is believed that Bob Dylan was referencing Wallace's stand with the third stanza of his song:

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside and it is raging
It’ll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changing


In 1968 - as retold by Mikal Gilmore, Rolling Stone Magazine, September 12, 2013 amongst other places - Bob Dylan reportedly told photographer Elliott Landy that he was supporting George Wallace's presidential campaign and would be voting for the segregationist. 

Around that time, Dylan even told Landy that he was going to vote for anti-civil rights firebrand George Wallace in the 1968 presidential elections. "He was a jokester," says Landy. "I told that to the guys in the Band, and they said that you never know if Bob is kidding around or not." (Crosby, who knew Dylan in the Greenwich Village folk scene, sets the record straight: "He felt very strongly about civil rights. He didn't like the war, either.")

In 2011, George Wallace Jr. published book about his father, "The Man You Never Knew".

He explains in the book that his father first ran for governor in 1958 as a moderate, even getting support from the NAACP, and he lost. Four years later, he was the staunchest candidate on segregation because that's what brought out big crowds.

"To a large extent it's about the bargain he had to make — perhaps a faustian bargain — for the power that he wanted," wrote George Wallace Jr. 

Excerpt from a review of the book: 

Wallace recalls that when he was 14 in 1965, his father stopped by one night and asked for a song. Wallace had just learned Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin.'"

The governor's face changed when his son got to the poignant lines, "Don't stand in the doorway. Don't block up the hall."

"I remember him turning to me with a startled look in his eyes. What was he thinking when he realized the lyric was about him?" Wallace asked.


Photo caption: 1963-06-11. Attempting to block integration at the University of Alabama, Governor of Alabama George Wallace stands at the door of the Foster Auditorium while being confronted by United States Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach.
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The times are a changing..
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George Harrison sings 'I Don't Want To Do It'

Three versions.

From Wikipedia:

'I Don't Want to Do It' is a song written by Bob Dylan and performed by George Harrison for the Porky's Revenge! soundtrack, released in 1985. It was issued as a single in the United States and some other countries, but failed to chart.

"I Don't Want to Do It" was written by Bob Dylan in 1968 and was little known until George Harrison's version first appeared in March 1985. The song marked the first new release from Harrison in over two years, since his Gone Troppo album in November 1982. Harrison recorded the song in Los Angeles in November 1984, with producer Dave Edmunds, who was overseeing musical contributions from a number of different artists for the "Porky's Revenge!" soundtrack. The soundtrack album was issued on Columbia Records in America on 18 March 1985, with a British release following on 28 June. As a US single from the album, released on 22 April, Columbia selected "I Don't Want to Do It", backed by Edmunds' "Queen of the Hop". The single version is distinguished by a guitar solo in the middle, while the mix chosen for the film instead features an organ solo from Chuck Leavell.

Warm-up demo version (1984), from the Beatles Rarity of the Week (BROW) podcast:

Acoustic version:

Final version from the "Porky's Revenge!" soundtrack:


Photograph credit: George Harrison and Bob Dylan, Byrdcliff, Woodstock, New York. Late November (Thanksgiving) 1968, by Jill Krementz.
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"People have a hard time accepting anything that overwhelms them."

-- Bob Dylan, Paul Zollo interview, American Songwriter, January 9 2012 


I am leaving here a short audio extract from an interview about the relevance of Bob Dylan. It was broadcast on Bob Dylan's 60th birthday, May 24th 2001.

It is a discussion between author Andrew Muir and late comedian / author / punk poet / music journalist Steven Wells, who was with the NME at the time of the interview. 

"Steven Wells: the brilliant NME writer with no real interest in music"

More about Steven Wells:

Andrew Muir's website:

It is a piece that should inspire Dylan fans and commentators to express intelligent, informed, and respectful opinions on both sides of the debate. 


Photograph - Bob Dylan onstage at the MusiCares Person of the year Award, 2015-02-06.
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The Tale Of Bob Dylan & Johnny Thunders & Sid & Van
by BP Fallon

Slane Castle, County Meath, Ireland 1984… and beyond.

Written NYC July 15/16th 2003

1984 and the Orwellian seer Bob Dylan. Chinwagging with The Big Zee in his trailer before the gig, him asking you ’bout that guitar-toting buzzard Johnny Thunders who you’d introduced him to at a Link Wray show in London some six or seven years before. Dylan had been kinda startled as Johnny reached out for Bob’s wet fish handshake. Said he’d never heard of The New York Dolls, was more interested in where he could get a new coat.

Sid Vicious’ Nancy wobbled up, tits hanging out and eyes closing down. This apparition heaves itself onto Dylan’s skinny bosom, she a sloppy floppy messy deadweight bodybag of mascaraed custard landing heavily onto the poet’s ribcage unprotected by Dylan’s tatty old leather coat that he’s had for ages. Dylan winces.

“Sex!” this clinging eyeshadowed amoeba blurts out to The Voice Of A Generation who twitches like he’s stuck outside of Mobile with the Memphis blues again and as he tries to free himself of this snaily woman he shakes his shoulders, Bob Dylan the frazzle-haired and frazzled creaky old rumba dancer at the YMCA with a junkie on his back.

You explain to Bob that Sex is the clothes shop run by Vivienne Westwood and her partner, the wideboy rock’n’roll manager Malcolm McClaren. “They sell coats and stuff, bondage gear”. Bob perks up perceptively. “Rubber stuff?” he queries. “Malcolm managed the Sex Pistols” you soothe. On cue, The Voice Of Degeneration shrills out like a petulant lost baby seal. “Nance-yyy!” It’s Sid, calling out for his monkey minder and her mind-numbing medicine.

Later that night Sid asks you to be his manager. “Malcolm’s your manager” you point out. Sid had an expedient way to get out of his contract. “I’ll cut his fuckin’ throat”, chortle chortle snivel snot, wipe nose on leather jacket sleeve. At least Sid was polite enough to wipe his dribbling nose on his own leather jacket. You, you’re already managing Johnny Thunders – full-on too much JT junkie bizness, a true-blood Noo Yoik rock’n’roller as magic as Gene Vincent Meets Keef Richards, turning himself to shit with smack.

Johnny and Sid have already played live at The Speakeasy as The Living Dead. Well, Sid climbed up onto Johnny’s stage and stumbled off again. Now they want to call their group The Junkies. Things like that could do your head in. I don’t think Bob Dylan ever got his new coat. The NME had a photo of me’n’Bawb at the Link Wray gig. What can you do?

So now we’re back at Slane watching Paul Brady honoured to show this gnarled lizard how to play The Lakes Of Ponchatrain in this crappy trailer by the banks of the Boyne. Bob does just fine, fumbles and mumbles and shy ‘Aw shucks’ cowpoke grin as his long fingernails scratch at an acoustic guitar.

BPFallonBobDylan Now Bob is out in the sunlight by the Boyne’s dancing waters, fondly recalling Liam Clancy and Tommy Makem and Liam’s brothers and the friendship they’d bestowed on him when he first arrived in New York, the huge influence they’d had on him, eulogising The Clancy Brothers as film cameras capture the bashful bard paying tribute to his back pages. The filming, it’s for a Clancy Brothers documentary.

And now you’re standing on the side of the stage with Patsy watching Bob Dylan and his band rockin’ out like electric methedrine with lumps in it and there’s Bono and Ali taking it all in too.

Van Morrison shuffles up to where we’re standing, picks up an acoustic guitar, puts it down, looks grumpy. You look at Bono and he looks at you and the vibe is ‘Aw, fuck, doesn’t look like Van will sing with Dylan now’. But of course Van does, the ornery bastard, goes on and has Dylan singing with him on Van’s own Tupelo Honey, the two voices clashing and meshing and dancing around each other like refreshed lovers probing. The Goat On The Barbed Wire Fence and The Mighty Lion’s Roar are now singing Bob’s It’s All Over Now Baby Blue together and untogether and it’s poetry emotion.

“Take what you have gathered from coincidence…” You know a couple of guys in Dylan’s combo. That’s why you and your girl are here at Slane in such an exulted viewpoint. You trip over a wire causing the PA to stab out a sharp metallic crackle and Dylan jumps back from his mic all shook up and you put on your best ‘What, me?’ face and hide behind Patsy.

There’s Mick Taylor from The Stones twanging majestically, his guitar like liquid mercury. And over there, the keyboards swirl from the fingers of another dear chum from the rock’n’roll daze, this lovely grinning diamond Ian MacLagan, he from The Small Faces/Faces/Stones and more. He wrote about this special day and this night-until-dawn in his book All The Rage, Mac did, this very last night of this European tour.

Ah, yes. Maybe it’s odd but you feel proud of these guys as they play behind Bob Dylan. It’s very warming. Many rivers to cross and they’ve burnt a few bridges, come out from the storm to find the blessed chalice now sometimes free from harm. Instant calmer’s gonna get you. And His Master’s Voice, it’s wheezy and raspy and magic and sinewy like a snake from the Book Of Isiah, curling around Van’s magnificent full-chested roar of redemption. “She’s as sweet as Tupelo honey” indeed. Perfect.

-By & © BP Fallon 2003

Slane Castle
Slane, Ireland
8 July 1984
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Bob Dylan and John Lennon?

From the EDLIS website, 'Surrounded by fakery'.

This fake photoshop has been circulating for many years, and was debunked from at least 2011. 

Below is the original photograph of John Lennon, with Paul McCartney in the background, backstage at a Beatles' concert. 

No Bob. 

The picture of Bob Dylan is a reversed and cropped version of a photograph by Tony Gale of Bob Dylan in London, 1966.
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Bob Dylan Revisited

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Drillin' with Dylan.

Bob Dylan tries a jackhammer, watched by unknown construction workers.

Listed on Getty as:

January 22, 1965
Bob Dylan In Sheridan Square Park
Photograph by Fred W. McDarrah

"Got your steam drill built and you’re lookin’ for some kid
To get it to work for you like your nine-pound hammer did."
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Bob with Pete and Curly.
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