Ain’t it just like the night, to play tricks when you’re trying to be so quiet?
I drove to Pittsburgh this afternoon for work, and I hung out in the evening for fun. I meant to come back early and write and draw, but the fun became lots of fun, so I stayed.
On the drive back, “Mr. Tambourine Man” came on the iPod. It was the version from the officially released Royal Albert Hall bootleg, so I had to go back and start from the beginning of that album. That’s the recording that won me over to loving Bob Dylan. I bought it after I read a review of the bootleg when it was released 1998. It was recorded in 1966 — you can read elsewhere about the concert tour, the people who protested and shouted during the shows and the people who walked out.
The year before this concert, in 1965, Bob Dylan created not one legendary album but three. He changed his musical style and his whole persona entirely. He was already a success in many eyes — a legend even, despite his young age. But he kept going and changing. You can hear it in this recording, I think. In the first half — the first CD if you have this recording — he’s alone on a stage, playing guitar and harmonica. He sings with that incredibly bad voice, but what you hear is his understanding and feeling.
And all along while he’s singing, he knows what’s coming, because he has experienced it in all the prior shows on that tour. In the second half of the concert he switches to electric guitar and brings in an amplified backup band. At least half the audience will hate it, and they will shout at him and hate all the music he wants to play for them. They will hate him.
I don’t understand how he can play the first half of that show, every night, knowing what’s going to happen the second half.
But he does it, and the second half is every bit as good as the first, maybe better. The songs are amazing, the band is awesome, Dylan’s voice is bitter and smart and strong, and everything comes to a point.
That point is the point I hope, every day of my life, to reach. I have never made it yet. Every day I have another chance to try.
NaNoWriMo update: No words today. Big goals for the weekend.
DrawMo update: I drew a nifty tomato last night, in pencil. Nothing today. Tomorrow I’ll make up for the missing drawing, and I’ll post all three drawings for your enjoyment.