Bob Dylan dropped Like A Rolling Stone on the placid pond of pop music the summer I was sixteen. It was a couple years since a death in the family left me on my own, authority-wise, and by now it feels home is closing in on me. Can you imagine that?
Mom, me, and my sister are rolling south on I-81 in the ole’ Country Squire as a sheet of clouds peels off the lake and strips the charm from this stretch of New York. A millisecond after the DJ on the radio says “It’s twelve-thirsty, pepsi cola time,” I hear dit dit boom and I’m called to attention by the snarl of a Hammond B3 organ.
It would take some time before I knew the song was my story – what I knew instantly, was that it was my sound. Song lyrics work on the sonic level before the mind has a chance to say anything – and regardless the notional content of Dylan’s text, I was all-in on the attitude employed to express it. There is something in Like A Rolling Stone that makes you aware that what obtained once, no longer does.
Up for a Bob Dylan digression?
[The following is recommended only for HardCore Dylan fans] Of the multitude helpful to Bob Dylan in the creation of Bob Dylan, few played as important a role as Dave Van Ronk. Dylan was smart enough to check in with the proprietor of the Folklore Center in Greenwich Village, Izzy Young, who was quick to point the unwashed phenomenon in the direction of Van Ronk, who proceeded to let the kid crash on his couch and whose wife became his first manager. Dave Van Ronk, remembered
More Bob Dylan
Want to know what Bob had for desert the Thursday before Joan Baez looked cross-eyed at him on their way to Sausalito? No problem, the ‘net is at your service. Here are a few sites that would easily consume your spare time straight through to the day before the Apocalypse if you followed all the links and footnotes: