Friday, December 29, 2017

Year In Review: Dylan Themes Continue to Top the Top 10 Blog Posts for 2017

Well something's lost, but something's gained 
 In living every day. 
-- Joni Mitchell

The year 2017 is winding down and as in years past I've decided to see what topics have most connected with my readers. The most recurring theme, writing about our vibrant local arts scene, has the most regular volume. Occasionally various subjects hit a nerve, but in years past the numbers always jumped when I wrote about Dylan, and this year was no different. Since Dylan is one of many interests for me, and because so many people have produced more in depth coverage of his music and career, I am not really interested in having to sacrifice all my other interests simply to convert this to a Bob Dylan blog.

Alas, my interest in Dylan has not abated, and I continue to feel enriched by his work, his words, and the words of others who attempt to interpret the meaning of what he has produced.

All that being said, here were my top ten blog posts of 2017 in terms of visitors....

Marketing the Dylan Machine and Leveraging His Latest Achievement
Having spent half a lifetime in marketing, it's hard not to look at anything (from ideas to politics to holidays) without it being filtered through the marketing filter. Dylan and his team are masters.

Joe Cocker's Dylan Covers Continue To Reward Listeners
Like Dylan, Joe Cocker inhales a song and breathes it out as his own. Here are a number of Dylan covers that I especially liked.

An Inquiry Regarding Bob Dylan's Guitar Collection
A magazine editor asked me what I knew about Bob Dylan's guitar collection. I had to admit, "Not much." So I did a little digging and found something worth sharing.

Origins of Bob Dylan's Never Ending Tour
I did some speculating about how early in his career Dylan imagined a never ending tour.

Trepanier Hall Being Renamed to Honor Dr. Robert Powless at AICHO Fifth Anniversary
The American Indian CommunityHousing Organization (AICHO) in Downtown Duluth has become a vital center for a lot of culturally rich experiences.

Shooting Star: Bookend on Dylan's Monumental Oh Mercy
Reflections on a great song from a great album.

Scott Warmuth Weighs In On Dylan's Latest Appropriations
Some have accused him of plagiarism. Others call his intertextual wordplay genius, an approach to songwriting that borrows from tradition and interacts with it in new ways. Dylan's Nobel Speech seemed to raise the another rhubarb.

Dylan and Mavis Makin' Their Way Home. Tom Petty Tribute Is A Knockout.
The NET Fall Tour passed through Bob's home state of Minnesota again this year. Shortly after Tom Petty's passing Dylan tipped the hat to his friend with a rendition of "Learning To Fly."

It's All Over Now, Baby Blue: From Whence Comes the Power of This Song?
In March I took a reflected on one of Dylan's classics.

Photos and a Note from Glasgow as Dylan's Never Ending Tour Leaves Fans Warmed in the British Isles
In May, as we were preparing for this year's Duluth Dylan Fest, fans in the British Isles were relishing the last leg of Bob's Spring European Tour. Some fans who had been with us in 2016 sent photos from Glasgow.

* * * *

Word on the street is that a theme is taking shape for the 2018 Duluth Dylan Fest in May. The event will run from Saturday May 20 (Armory Concert) thru to the Zeitgeist Farewell Brunch with Jim Hall on Sunday May 27, with music galore as well as art, music and memory-making. In 2016 Dylan's 75th birthday took center stage. This past spring the Nobel Prize added a measure of electricity. In 2018 Bob will be 77, so the theme of Twins is being nurtured. Dylan is a Gemini (The Twins) with a nod to the pair of Sevens for his age. Learn more. Visit

Meantime, life goes on all around you. Get into it.

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