Nothing new here. We all know how it ends, but Dylan‘s epochal, meteoric evolution from Guthrie acolyte to rock ‘n’ roll’s symbolist spearhead is ever compelling. It’s so compelling to music nerds and lovers of gritty, grainy footage of New York circa 61-65 that even when analyzed, diagnosed, and damn near flogged to extinction by such non-sexy rock intellectuals as Robert Christgau, Anthony DeCurtis, Tom Paxton, Eric Anderson, Maria Muldaur (who is still sexy in a blues-mama way), Izzy Young (owner of the fabled Folklore Center) and their Brit counterparts Patrick Humphries, Nigel Williamson, etc., it’s still compelling.
It’s compelling ‘cos it’s our history too. Never mind “Mr. Tambourine Man” or “Only A Pawn In Their Game.” It’s evidence of where we were and who we’ve become: sentient, un-vigilant. Unconcerned with the blight that bankrupts us. Sure we’ll mass ‘n’ rally, email a petition, “like” a virtual oath. But we’re not on those streets, fighting, anymore; we’ve traded them in for a big screen. We’ve surrendered our schools. We’ve given the barons our backs and our bones. Our cities vanquished, our work devalued. Roads rapidly changing…indeed.