On Bob Dylan


A Certain period of singING: DYLAN AND “TALKIN’ WWIII”

Upstairs, a microphone - probably suspended from the ceiling, according to Betsy Siggins, who helped manage the club at the time - began to pipe the sounds of that week's hootenanny down to the equipment in the cellar. Under the mic, that April 21: Eric Von Schmidt, Jack Elliott, and others. The others happened to include Bob Dylan.


DYLAN’S FUGITIVE WRITINGS: THE kennedy assassination

"Of course I felt as rotten as everyone else," said Bob Dylan, in 1971, talking about the assassination of John F. Kennedy some eight years prior. "But if I was more sensitive about it than anyone else, I would have written a song about it, wouldn’t I? The whole thing about my reactions to the assassination is overplayed.”

If Dylan ever wrote that song, he never released it. And, to my knowledge, listeners have yet to find such a work among the bootlegs, outtakes, and other recordings. And then, in November 2012, a new show of Dylan's visual art opened at the Gagosian Gallery in NewYork. In it, one did find work referencing Kennedy's murder - two works in the exhibit to that effect that address its aftermath and that address a pair of individuals key to that time: Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby.


REVIEW: Others’ Words
Why Bob Dylan Matters. By RICHARD F. THOMAS

One thing you might do, in 1968, if you were spending a great deal of time with Joni Mitchell and you were Leonard Cohen, and Mitchell asked you for a list of books to read, would be to give her a stack of authors you thought she ought to know. Cohen gave her his list, and then came Mitchell’s claim – that he plagiarised other writers.

It happened like this: Mitchell read through Cohen’s selections – the list included Lorca, Camus, and Rilke – and she concluded that he was lifting lines from some of these sources and using them in his own lyrics. She has persisted with this assessment over the years in interviews, retelling a...