Bob Dylan: The Gateway Drug

I did it. After years of holding out. For reasons that I can barely remember. Something about my ex-boyfriend being a fan and the stubborn need to dislike anything he pushed on me. Be it music or food or television shows. No surprise that one failed. So, I come to you with virginal ears. That’s right, I just downloaded The Essential Bob Dylan. I liked the song Lay Lady Lay that I had heard on a movie months back but still I held out. Tonight for reasons unknown to me I felt the walls crumbling. Maybe because the letter still goes unanswered or because my best friend just cut ties with her ex and his brother or because time is finally providing the closure so often promised by it. In any case, I thought now is the time. Where better to start then with the essentials? It’s the same euphoric feeling that washes over you when you discover the undiscovered. Treasure in a dingy old box. Forms in your peripheral vision that make you believe. Ghosts! That time I finally tried a cake made of cheese and fell in love. Why had I waited so long?

I listen to the album straight through and suddenly have the urge to name a future son Dylan. Damn.

The truth is, it’s better this way. Here in this empty apartment Bob Dylan is singing only to me. His voice is an empty road calling. A sign pointing out of town. The harmonica is hefting a bag onto my back and wearing out the soles of my shoes. These classic and beloved songs are being heard for the first time here. They aren’t chained to a relationship the way other songs are. They are clean with hope. They are ready for some traveling. They are a worn map and the glaring sun. And later, a fire and a bottle being passed hand to hand between new friends. They are the complete unknown. Like a rolling stone.

What’s next? Sushi? The Beatles? Whiskey? Cuban cigars?

I get the feeling this is just the beginning.

Bob Dylan – Mr. Tambourine Man

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10 thoughts on “Bob Dylan: The Gateway Drug”

  1. bravo and brilliant!
    ‘blood on the tracks’ is my fav
    bon voyage ami!

    And yes sushi! And yes cigars! And yes whiskey! How fun!!! Cheers. 🙂

  2. If you think Dylan is good, get recordings of random folkies covering Dylan songs.

    That’s the best of both words: brilliant lyrics sung by people who can actually sing!

  3. Finally. Now for Tom Waits. Then sushi and whiskey.

    Dylan did so much for me. If he has an effect on you even remotely like he had on me, you’ll come out the other end of your trials feeling like you walked a thousand miles and all the world is trying to make you stop. When all you want is to keep going. Keep going.

    Attack Dylan’s catalogue from both sides: Try Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan and Time Out of Mind.

  4. Chrikee, I didn’t know there was someone else out there that didn’t listen to Dylan or the Beetles…!

    I’ve been told Dylan is a lot about the lyric, the story? Or is the music itself good too?

    I ought to bite the bullet and jump in too…

  5. Oh, this is such an unbelievably exciting thing for you! Yes, “Freewheelin'” and “Bringing it All Back Home” and and and. I think “Blood on the Tracks,” which is my fave too, should be listened to as an album in its entirety for full effect. Really, I predict you will have your mind blown by that one.

    You lucky girl.

  6. Oh I am so glad to see someone else going through the same experience I have gone through. I can’t get enough Dylan, I feel like its nearly to the point where it could begin to be unhealthy. I am really into his new stuff, in fact I am listening to his new album right now.

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