Knocking on heavens doors.
That was the first Dylan song I heard. That was the first Dylan song I learnt how to play on the guitar. I was young. I was impressionable, and it was the lyrics that lured me in, it had death, it had war, it had rebellion. I could feel there was something there for me.
How little did I know back then, that this anthem, this hit, if any Dylan song can be referred to as a hit, was nothing but the top of the iceberg, just a minute sample of what I was about to discover. And I still do. After two decades of listening to Dylan I still manage to find song I have never heard before, and are added to that huge complex puzzle which is the life's work of this one thin troubadour called Robert Zimmerman.
A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do."
Dylan's lyrics are always inspiring. Deep, meaningful, penetrating. At times a bit strange or vague. Joni Mitchell tells the story of Dylan writing in the kitchen one of his famous songs, and walking into the bedroom with the page, reading her the verse he just finished and then asking what does it mean…. Other than being a nice anecdote I can fully believe this story as it does look like some of his work is above the realm of reason, a secret message from some unknown guitar god, scrambling words and metaphors in order to get a divine calling out there to the world.
Gonna change my way of thinking, make my self a different set of rules. Gonna put my good foot forward and stop being influenced by fools."
Dylan was undoubtedly the best song writer of his time. Some might say of all times. Some might be right.
For me he was definitely a major influence, a voice in the darkness, a light in the silence, a poet and a prophet. Doesn’t matter if on acoustic guitar or electric one, doesn’t matter if a sad country song or a jumpy eighties tune, he always had something special to say, something that had an added value, a verbal epiphany of things we know we knew, of things that are still to come.
A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom. "
Dylan was a social critic, a master of the message, an angry preacher. But he was so much more. Some of my favorite Dylan songs are his love songs, his ballads of hope and loss, of redemption and horny expectations. 'lay lady lay' was always on the top of my list, as well as songs like 'it aint me', 'sarah' and ' I and I'…. not the rebel with a cause, but just a guy, an almost normal guy.
I have dined with kings, I've been offered wings.
And I've never been too impressed."
Like me. Just so much more eloquent. And more wise. Much more. The wisdom is dripping out of every verse, even if at first it sounds almost like gibberish and doesn’t make sense, it is there. Deep. Confident. Wise.
No one is free, even the birds are chained to the sky.
Dylan is a symbol. He is an icon. He is American music and he is the world's most famous raconteur, most renowned verbal maestro
in creation , where ones' nature
neither honors nor forgives.
One said to the other,
no man seen my face and lived"
If I start thinking of all the great musicians and singers who played Dylan songs the head begins to spin… just to name a few, Johnny winter's highway 61 is the direct wrath of god, Hendrix's version of all along the watchtower is nothing less than magic, the Byrds did a charming Mr. tambourine and even guns and roses made a hit out of yet again another cover of knocking on heaven's door.
Yesterday's just a memory,
tomorrow is never what it's supposed to be."
Dylan at times is overplayed, overheard , almost a cliché'.
but with all this in mind? Any of my friends who gets 'forever young' in his mailbox on their birthday still appreciates it. And for good reason.
May you grow up to be righteous, may you grow up to be true. May you always know the truth and see the lights surrounding you.
May you always be courageous, stand upright and be strong. May you stay forever young.”
It doesn’t matter how many times you hear the truth, it is still the truth. And the truth WILL set you free.