I was drawn to a piece by Maureen Dowd because of the lead sentence: “Bob Dylan may have done the impossible: broken creative new ground in selling out.”
I remember listening to Dylan on the radio and at my friend Larry Lubsetsky’s apartment back when I was in high school. Youth was pushing back hard against authority and Dylan was our troubadour. I was a huge fan.
Since then my involvement with Dylan’s music has mostly been limited to explaining what we saw in him. Anyone younger than me has only seen the embarrassing Dylan.
It can’t be age. Dylan and Mick Jagger appeared at the Grammy’s this year. Jagger brought the house down. Dylan was awful.
Dowd’s article was triggered by a recent performance in China where he agreed to pass on some of his more controversial songs. She says Dylan, “let the government pre-approve his set.”
That really upset me, but my upset was just beginning.
He can’t really betray the spirit of the ’60s because he never had it. In his memoir, “Chronicles,” he stressed that he had no interest in being an anti-establishment Pied Piper and that all the “cultural mumbo jumbo” imprisoned his soul and made him nauseated.
“I had very little in common with and knew even less about a generation that I was supposed to be the voice of,” he said.
I was used!
If you’ve ever been a fan of Bob Dylan you need to read Maureen Dowd today. Be prepared to be crushed. I was.