Growing up with a father that has good taste, I was exposed to many incredible musical samplings throughout my childhood. From Sam Cooke to Cat Stevens, I can thank my dad for whetting my musical pallet. Until recently, one of these childhood memories had been almost forgotten. Last week digging deep into my musical collection for some much needed inspiration, I played “Like a Rolling Stone,” in an attempt to fuel some creative writing juices…and that was just the beginning. This classic tune could not help but follow by the Jester’s entire collection of folksy, bluesy, jazzy, rock and roll. Until that moment, I had forgotten how much I love Bob Dylan.
Exposure to the myriad award winning song-writing genius may be one of the greatest lessons that my father has taught me. You see Dylan is not just musical talent, but an interesting human specimen as well. The controversial Bob Dylan has been making waves in the music industry for fifty years, beginning his career as a folk singing civil rights poster-child. At the height of his career, Dylan began to feel confined by the labels his fellow musicians and avid fans were placing on him and he angered them all with a switch from unplugged folks songs to electric rock riffs, welcoming the backlash.
What makes his sound so much better than others, is not only are Dylan’s lyrics perfect poetry, but his approach to his art is something to be admired as well. While critics have gone from labeling him as an “undernourished cockatoo” to calling his infamous “Like a Rolling Stone,” the greatest rock song of all time, he has embraced none of it. No matter the type of attention Bob Dylan has received via his musical contributions or confrontational personality, he cares about one thing. Simply making some music.
Maybe this is why his lyrics are more melodic when they are read than when he actually sings them, because it is not the sound that he is after, but the experience. Dylan has been touring since the 80s, and every time he belts out a tune what is heard is an extension of his current creative energy. His output is true artistic expression, and not a bottled-up watered-down melody for the masses. When I play my Bob Dylan collection, which is much more often now, I am not just listening to some killer classic tunes, but I am exposing myself to a complex collage of artistic obsession.
The String Quartet Tribute to Bob Dylan