Tuesday, December 31, 2013

3 Weird Things You Probably Never Knew About Bob Dylan, Plus 3 Highlights of 2013

Disclaimer: Anyone who has been on the Internet for any length of time has seen those weird banner ads using the word "weird" in them. I have always thought them bizarre, but evidently they must work because advertisers continue to use them and since it is all being measured (clickthroughs, conversions, etc.) you know they wouldn't be doing it if it wasn't getting results. So... for the fun of it, I decided to use the word here in the title of my last blog entry of 2013. Weird, huh?

Here are three weird things you probably never knew about Bob Dylan.

1. When she was in school in Hibbing a girl who later grew up to become the mother-in-law of a friend of mine dated young Robert Zimmerman. (I do not have permission to say more than that, so don't ask.)

2. Several years ago I was at Frankie's Tavern on Tower Avenue, Superior and the young fellow next to me overheard some of us talking about Dylan. He said his father beat up young Robert Zimmerman once when they were in school together. (He lamented that he has always been ashamed of this.)

3. When you re-arrange the letters of Robert Zimmerman, it spells ARMOR BRIM MET ZEN, which is the secret password for an underground sect in Sri Lanka. And when you re-arrange Bob Dylan it spells both BLAND BOY and BAD NOBLY, revealing the two aspects of his dichotomous alter ego.

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On a more serious note, here are my three personal Dylan highlights of 2013.

#3: Most of us have been aware of Dylan the painter. Bob Dylan the sculptor was a new revelation in 2013. In November, Dylan's Mood Swings show opened at the Halcyon Gallery in London.

#2: Bootleg Series Vol. 10, Another Self Portrait (1969-1971) was released in August. I can't remember an album I have played this frequently since... well since Dylan's last album. OK, maybe Together Through Life... If you have a choice between the two CD set and the three CD set, and haven't already bought Another Self Portrait, then get the triple set with the Isle of Wight concert. Very special evening captured live, and memorably historic.

#1: Dylan returns to Bayfront Park in Duluth.
Bob Dylan's Never Ending Tour continued to rumble along in 2013. For the third time it rolled through Duluth, the second time in Bayfront Park.

Honorable Mention: It created quite a stir when word leaked that Dylan was under consideration for a Nobel Prize for Literature.

What new direction do you think Dylan will take us in 2014?

Happy New Year!  

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