He was stubborn and cool. That's how he became hip. It sounds terribly frumpy, but everything around him was quite hip, back then in the early 60's, when bombs from a country of endless opportunierties dropped onto Third World countries, when black people were still considered free slaves, and when young people wanted to break away from their parents, their views and behavior.
And then this Dylan came from bleary Minnesota. And he became a highly acclaimed critic with a guarding eye to watch over and a dreaming eye, who showed a contrast to the squares of his time with a timless art: He reached for the sound of the old immigrants, dug into ethnic traditions and built his songs out of desires and dreams of the american youth.
Simple, clear, and powerful: with a guitar, a harmonica, and his voice which won't get out of your head, Dylan sings with a settled-back american accent of the common people about things a guy like him has to sing about: his girlfriend, the war, the marvellous feeling of being free.
It could be so easy, he must have though at that moment. In a world without warlords, but with wide streets and the incredible feeling of achieving anything one can imagine. Whatever he did he did it with a lot of true passion. The feeling for the vibes of his time we can only imagine but hear in his songs and lyrics which refer to an early folk music phase of him.
He was not one of those who made albums which were based on concepts but rather like his early idols who sang a song as it was a small unit of its own. And that's how he caught on to people: in the subways in New York, on the campus' park areas in California, and in the row houses of New England - to those who were just as old as him during the early 20s or still teenagers at high school.
Almost 50 years later - people from back in the days are old now, he is old, 70 by now, but we still know him. His lyrics still tell us even after years how simple it is to put the world into songs. Why one can be part of the people who have been impressed by music, even without having the size of a soccer ream, making ditigal lab experiments or song legend solos: Because you have the personality to write songs in which you can put the world in 3 chords and the poetry of a simple mind. And because you can catch the 3 minute magic of music with a guarding eye to watch over and a dreaming eye.
My song reccomendations fpr everyone who would like to listen to music by the young Bob Dylan:
- In My Time of Dyin’ (his version of the traditional english folksong)- Masters of War
- I Shall Be Free, No. 10
- Gates of Eden
- It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)