Category Archives: Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan Woody Guthrie Last Thoughts

Bob Dylan Woody Guthrie Last Thoughts

Bob Dylan Woody Guthrie Last Thoughts,

April 12, 1963: at New York's Town Hall Bob Dylan recited "Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie," a long evocation of old memories, a youth searching for himself by the railroad tracks, down the road, in fields and meadows, on the banks of streams, in the "trash can alleys." And, he says, somehow during that search Woody was his companion. 
Here's Dylan's recitation:

Bob Dylan Woody Guthrie Last Thoughts

"There's this book comin' out, an' they asked me to write something about Woody...Sort of like "What does Woody Guthrie mean to you?" in twenty-five words...

And...ah...I couldn't do it -- I wrote out five pages and... I have it here, it's...Have it here by accident, actually... but I'd like to say this out loud...So... if you can sort of roll along with this thing here, this is called...
“Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie”
When yer head gets twisted and yer mind grows numb
When you think you’re too old, too young, too smart or too dumb
When yer laggin’ behind an’ losin’ yer pace
In a slow-motion crawl of life’s busy race
No matter what yer doing if you start givin’ up
If the wine don’t come to the top of yer cup
If the wind’s got you sideways with with one hand holdin’ on
And the other starts slipping and the feeling is gone
And yer train engine fire needs a new spark to catch it
And the wood’s easy findin’ but yer lazy to fetch it
And yer sidewalk starts curlin’ and the street gets too long
And you start walkin’ backwards though you know its wrong
And lonesome comes up as down goes the day
And tomorrow’s mornin’ seems so far away
And you feel the reins from yer pony are slippin’
And yer rope is a-slidin’ ’cause yer hands are a-drippin’
And yer sun-decked desert and evergreen valleys
Turn to broken down slums and trash-can alleys
And yer sky cries water and yer drain pipe’s a-pourin’
And the lightnin’s a-flashing and the thunder’s a-crashin’
And the windows are rattlin’ and breakin’ and the roof tops a-shakin’
And yer whole world’s a-slammin’ and bangin’
And yer minutes of sun turn to hours of storm
And to yourself you sometimes say
“I never knew it was gonna be this way
Why didn’t they tell me the day I was born”
And you start gettin’ chills and yer jumping from sweat
And you’re lookin’ for somethin’ you ain’t quite found yet
And yer knee-deep in the dark water with yer hands in the air
And the whole world’s a-watchin’ with a window peek stare
And yer good gal leaves and she’s long gone a-flying
And yer heart feels sick like fish when they’re fryin’
And yer jackhammer falls from yer hand to yer feet
And you need it badly but it lays on the street
And yer bell’s bangin’ loudly but you can’t hear its beat
And you think yer ears might a been hurt
Or yer eyes’ve turned filthy from the sight-blindin’ dirt
And you figured you failed in yesterdays rush
When you were faked out an’ fooled white facing a four flush
And all the time you were holdin’ three queens
And it’s makin you mad, it’s makin’ you mean
Like in the middle of Life magazine
Bouncin’ around a pinball machine
And there’s something on yer mind you wanna be saying
That somebody someplace oughta be hearin’
But it’s trapped on yer tongue and sealed in yer head
And it bothers you badly when your layin’ in bed
And no matter how you try you just can’t say it
And yer scared to yer soul you just might forget it
And yer eyes get swimmy from the tears in yer head
And yer pillows of feathers turn to blankets of lead
And the lion’s mouth opens and yer staring at his teeth
And his jaws start closin with you underneath
And yer flat on your belly with yer hands tied behind
And you wish you’d never taken that last detour sign
And you say to yourself just what am I doin’
On this road I’m walkin’, on this trail I’m turnin’
On this curve I’m hanging
On this pathway I’m strolling, in the space I’m taking
In this air I’m inhaling
Am I mixed up too much, am I mixed up too hard
Why am I walking, where am I running
What am I saying, what am I knowing
On this guitar I’m playing, on this banjo I’m frailin’
On this mandolin I’m strummin’, in the song I’m singin’
In the tune I’m hummin’, in the words I’m writin’
In the words that I’m thinkin’
In this ocean of hours I’m all the time drinkin’
Who am I helping, what am I breaking
What am I giving, what am I taking
But you try with your whole soul best
Never to think these thoughts and never to let
Them kind of thoughts gain ground
Or make yer heart pound
But then again you know why they’re around
Just waiting for a chance to slip and drop down
“Cause sometimes you hear’em when the night times comes creeping
And you fear that they might catch you a-sleeping
And you jump from yer bed, from yer last chapter of dreamin’
And you can’t remember for the best of yer thinking
If that was you in the dream that was screaming
And you know that it’s something special you’re needin’
And you know that there’s no drug that’ll do for the healin’
And no liquor in the land to stop yer brain from bleeding
And you need something special
Yeah, you need something special all right
You need a fast flyin’ train on a tornado track
To shoot you someplace and shoot you back
You need a cyclone wind on a stream engine howler
That’s been banging and booming and blowing forever
That knows yer troubles a hundred times over
You need a Greyhound bus that don’t bar no race
That won’t laugh at yer looks
Your voice or your face
And by any number of bets in the book
Will be rollin’ long after the bubblegum craze
You need something to open up a new door
To show you something you seen before
But overlooked a hundred times or more
You need something to open your eyes
You need something to make it known
That it’s you and no one else that owns
That spot that yer standing, that space that you’re sitting
That the world ain’t got you beat
That it ain’t got you licked
It can’t get you crazy no matter how many
Times you might get kicked
You need something special all right
You need something special to give you hope
But hope’s just a word
That maybe you said or maybe you heard
On some windy corner ’round a wide-angled curve
But that’s what you need man, and you need it bad
And yer trouble is you know it too good
“Cause you look an’ you start getting the chills
“Cause you can’t find it on a dollar bill
And it ain’t on Macy’s window sill
And it ain’t on no rich kid’s road map
And it ain’t in no fat kid’s fraternity house
And it ain’t made in no Hollywood wheat germ
And it ain’t on that dimlit stage
With that half-wit comedian on it
Ranting and raving and taking yer money
And you thinks it’s funny
No you can’t find it in no night club or no yacht club
And it ain’t in the seats of a supper club
And sure as hell you’re bound to tell
That no matter how hard you rub
You just ain’t a-gonna find it on yer ticket stub
No, and it ain’t in the rumors people’re tellin’ you
And it ain’t in the pimple-lotion people are sellin’ you
And it ain’t in no cardboard-box house
Or down any movie star’s blouse
And you can’t find it on the golf course
And Uncle Remus can’t tell you and neither can Santa Claus
And it ain’t in the cream puff hair-do or cotton candy clothes
And it ain’t in the dime store dummies or bubblegum goons
And it ain’t in the marshmallow noises of the chocolate cake voices
That come knockin’ and tappin’ in Christmas wrappin’
Sayin’ ain’t I pretty and ain’t I cute and look at my skin
Look at my skin shine, look at my skin glow
Look at my skin laugh, look at my skin cry
When you can’t even sense if they got any insides
These people so pretty in their ribbons and bows
No you’ll not now or no other day
Find it on the doorsteps made out-a paper mache¥
And inside it the people made of molasses
That every other day buy a new pair of sunglasses
And it ain’t in the fifty-star generals and flipped-out phonies
Who’d turn yuh in for a tenth of a penny
Who breathe and burp and bend and crack
And before you can count from one to ten
Do it all over again but this time behind yer back
My friend
The ones that wheel and deal and whirl and twirl
And play games with each other in their sand-box world
And you can’t find it either in the no-talent fools
That run around gallant
And make all rules for the ones that got talent
And it ain’t in the ones that ain’t got any talent but think they do
And think they’re foolin’ you
The ones who jump on the wagon
Just for a while ’cause they know it’s in style
To get their kicks, get out of it quick
And make all kinds of money and chicks
And you yell to yourself and you throw down yer hat
Sayin’, “Christ do I gotta be like that
Ain’t there no one here that knows where I’m at
Ain’t there no one here that knows how I feel
Good God Almighty
THAT STUFF AIN’T REAL”
No but that ain’t yer game, it ain’t even yer race
You can’t hear yer name, you can’t see yer face
You gotta look some other place
And where do you look for this hope that yer seekin’
Where do you look for this lamp that’s a-burnin’
Where do you look for this oil well gushin’
Where do you look for this candle that’s glowin’
Where do you look for this hope that you know is there
And out there somewhere
And your feet can only walk down two kinds of roads
Your eyes can only look through two kinds of windows
Your nose can only smell two kinds of hallways
You can touch and twist
And turn two kinds of doorknobs
You can either go to the church of your choice
Or you can go to Brooklyn State Hospital
You’ll find God in the church of your choice
You’ll find Woody Guthrie in Brooklyn State Hospital
And though it’s only my opinion
I may be right or wrong
You’ll find them both
In the Grand Canyon
At sundown
Link to Dylan site
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Bob Dylan Introduces the Beatles

Bob Dylan Introduces the Beatles

August 28, 1964

Bob Dylan Introduces the Beatles

She Loves You

         The Beatles initial successes were great pop songs that many youth fell in love with at a time when they themselves were looking to fall in love. She Loves You, I Want to Hold Your Hand, Please Please Me, I Feel Fine, She's a Woman, and We Can Work It Out are all loves songs. Some happier than others. Someone once told me, if it's a happy Beatle song, Paul wrote it; a sad one, John. While a generalization, it's more often true than not.

Maggie’s Farm

       When I first heard Bob Dylan's "I Ain't Gonna' Work on Maggie's Farm No More" I was only a touch less confused about its lyrics than "Gates of Eden" a song I had no idea what was happening other than Dylan was trying to harmonize with songs the lonesome sparrow sings.

       Maggie's Farm? Well there's a guy obviously praying for rain, getting terribly underpaid, and whose boss is putting out his cigar on the guy's face. I'd quit too.

       Of course, that's not what Dylan was saying. He was saying he wasn't going to be the acoustic-folk-protest song-singer too many expected him to permanently be. Quitting. He was going  electric. And on July 25, 1965 he did just that at the Newport Folk Festival. 

       Many were displeased.

August 28, 1964

       The Beatles began their first full American tour on August 18 at the San Francisco Cow Palace. Ten days later they played for 16,000 fans at the Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, New York City. They did the same the next night.

       It was what happened in between that changed history.

Bob Dylan Introduces the Beatles

August 28, 1964

       Al Aronowitz was a writer who knew Bob Dylan and arranged for him to meet the Beatles at their hotel the night after that first concert. Aronowitz later wrote: "The Beatles' magic was in their sound,...Bob's magic was in his words. After they met, the Beatles' words got grittier, and Bob invented folk-rock."

       At hat meeting , cannabis may have been the source of all that musical cross pollination. The Beatles apparent unfamiliarity with the herb apparently surprised Mr Dylan, already experienced. [The four had tried it in Germany, but it did not impress them.]

       Apparently, Ringo was unfamiliar with the not-Bogarting-that-joint protocol and kept things to himself. John, Paul, and George soon learned the etiquette.

1965

  • On March 27, Dylan released Bringing It All Back Home on which “Maggie’s Farm” appears.
  • The Byrds’ covering of Dylan, particularly “Mr Tambourine Man” open the door for folk-rock.
  • July 25, 1965 Dylan played Newport Folk Festival. Many in audience booed his performance for playing electric set with The Paul Butterfield Blues Band.
  • August 30, 1965,  Dylan released Highway 61 Revisited. More electric.
  • August 28, 1965 Dylan played at NYC’s Forest Hills Tennis Stadium. More boos during his electric set. 
  • December 3, 1965 the Beatles released Rubber Soul. The course of pop music changed.

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Another Side of Bob Dylan

Another Side of Bob Dylan

Recorded in one session, June 9, 1964

Released on August 8, 1964

another-side back

Another Side of Bob Dylan

             Columbia realized by 1964 that Bob Dylan was a star. Although his first album, the eponymous  Bob Dylanhad barely sold in it's first year (2,500 copies), Dylan's song writing skills and reputation among fellow folk artists grew quickly.

             Another Side of Bob Dylan was his fourth album and each was a step further in his development. That first album was not really "his" album having written only two of the thirteen songs.

             This album was all his.

The tracks

Side one

  1. All I Really Want to Do
  2. Black Crow Blues
  3. Spanish Harlem Incident
  4. Chimes of Freedom
  5. I Shall Be Free No. 10
  6. To Romona

Side two

  1. Motorpsycho Nitemare
  2. My Back Pages
  3. I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)
  4. Ballad in Plain D
  5. It Ain’t Me Babe
             Dylan was changing his tone. He said of this album that "there aren't any finger-pointing songs." His style was more poetic than previous works. He served as the turn signal in pop music. What a musician writes can me much more personal.

Maggie’s Farm

             It will be at the 1965 Newport Folk that Dylan will take his next step away from folk-protest and go electric. The Paul Butterfield Blues Band will accompany him as well as the Newport Boos.

             He "...ain't gonna' work on Maggie's Farm no more." 

             And I thought the song was about some guy tired of farm work.

1965

             Think of 1965. By December the Beatles will have released Rubber Soul and when the Beatles changed bands and record companies followed. The bands perhaps as much as in self-expression as their search for success; the record companies in search of a better bottom line.

To Ramona

             When Dylan sang "To Ramona" at Newport in 1965 he introduced the song, he said, "This is called 'To Ramona.' Ramona. It's just a name."

             Today we realize its much more than "just a name." 

             Dylan's relationship with New York City girlfriend and political muse Suzy Rotolo (see Freewheelin' Bob Dylan) had ended with a 1963 abortion. His ongoing relationship with Joan Baez, who had brought him to the attention of the Newport crowd in 1963, 

             Now the relationship with Baez was fading and she was much more than "just a name."

Everything passes
 Everything changes
 Just do what you think you should do
 And someday, maybe
 Who knows, baby
 I'll come and be cryin' to you.