Back in a small town called Hibbing, Minnesota there was a boy named Robert Zimmerman; little did he know that he would be called by a different name. He was Bob Dylan one of the greatest song writers, poet, author, and musician the world had ever known. In a 1965 Time magazine interview he said “you wouldn’t understand, I could even explain it to you but, you wouldn’t understand”. My cousin doesn’t understand, in his opinion Bob Dylan is the worst musician on the planet; well I believe Bob Dylan is not a bad musician.
One of the qualities that makes up musicianship is songwriting. On the album Highway 61 Revisited Bob Dylan wrote a song by the name of Like a Rolling Stone. It was about those who live in vulnerability by just living in the moment and not thinking about what lies ahead in the future and the people that need to maintain a high social status to keep themselves happy and feeling free. The line in the song “you said you’d never compromise with the mystery tramp” sums up the whole flow of the song. The mystery tramp is supposed to be ‘the real me,” or the “divine self” according to romantic mythologist, so when it said you’d never compromise it means you thought you wouldn’t need to care about who you were and you would change yourself to maintain your social status. The message was not to change yourself for others.
Another quality a musician should have to be truly great is the ability to change genre. In the year 1965 Bob Dylan made the most extraordinary of changes by switching from a folk singer to a rock’n roll singer while knowing that he could be jeopardizing his career by making this switch. Bob never thought of himself as a folk singer, and that’s why he wanted to change his limited title not for them but for himself. Bob Dylan’s rock’n roll inspired musicians.
Story telling is that category in musicianship that Bob Dylan conquered. Bob Dylan’s greatest story was in the song hurricane. Hurricane is a true story of Rubin “The Hurricane” Carter, a boxer in the 60’s who was framed for the murder of 6 men and sentenced to life in jail and all of this happened the night before his championship fight. Rubin spent 30 years in jail before a family of people that had been emotionally moved by Rubin’s proved his innocents to a different judge than the first court hearing.
“A mistake is to commit to misunderstanding”-Bob Dylan. My cousin made a mistake because his head didn’t capture it, Nobody’s head is capable of capturing Dylan the first time which leaves them in a perpetual state of abnormal hate towards Bob. This is why I encourage you to give the music another chance and go back and listen to see what you think.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.