Saturday, May 9, 2020

Dylan Delivers His Latest Salvo to the World, and a Nod to Little Richard

It's the Fifties all over again. Film noir, Dylan style.
When "Murder Most Foul" was ascended on the Twitter-stream six weeks ago, it was a lightning bolt out of the blue that sizzled and universally energized every Dylan fan. The hive was buzzing. What does it mean? Not just the song, but the release of an original song, the first after eight years.

Then the needle dropped on "I Am Multitudes" a few weeks later and we wondered... what if.

And so, the answer came with this week's release of yet a third, "False Prophet," and the announcement that a new album had been produced, to become available June 19. The title of the new album release is Rough and Rowdy Ways, which sounds just like what a new Dylan album title might sound like.

When Tempest, his stellar 2012 album, came out, the big talking point seemed to be whether this was going to be his last album of original material, just as Shakespeare's last play wore the title Tempest. It made for a great story, much guessing and perpetual chatter. And now that the world is disrupted and distracted, dazed and confused by the global pandemic, Dylan's time has come again to answer the question Dylan fans everywhere had been asking. The answer is yes.

(The other question many are asking is, when will we see Chronicles, Volume Two?)

Yes, I placed my pre-order. Have you placed yours?
The selection of June 19 may strike some as unusual until it gets pointed out that this is Emancipation Day, the day the last slaves were notified that they were free. Dylan's writing has always been a multi-layered, cascade of symbols, so no surprise here.

* * * *
R.I.P. Little Richard
It can't pass without a comment that the announcement of this new song and album release nearly coincides withe the passing of Little Richard less than 24 hours later, a major influence on the young Bobby Zimmerman. The charismatic showman shook the airwaves and set Bob's imagination whirling as regards what's really possible on the keyboards.

Mid-afternoon. Saturday Bob, himself, tweeted this news:
I just heard the news about Little Richard and I’m so grieved. He was my shining star and guiding light back when I was only a little boy. His was the original spirit that moved me to do everything I would do.

and more...

I played some shows with him in Europe in the early nineties and got to hang out in his dressing room a lot. He was always generous, kind and humble. And still dynamite as a performer and a musician and you could still learn plenty from him And...

followed by...

In his presence he was always the same Little Richard that I first heard and was awed by growing up and I always was the same little boy. Of course he’ll live forever. But it’s like a part of your life is gone.

* * * *
What's wild is that Dylan is doing the crossover into Instagram as well, posting this there as well:

What are you lookin’ at - there’s nothing to see.

Yeah, nothing to see. Fat chance.

And.... finally, again from Instagram:

Another day without end - another ship going out
Another day of anger - bitterness and doubt
I know how it happened - I saw it begin
I opened my heart to the world and the world came in

Tell it like it is, Bob. Tell it like it is.

Related Links
Dylan Dishes Up A New Meal with a Feast of References: Murder Most Foul
Dylan Indeed Contains Multitudes
Little Richard Remembered by Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Ringo Starr, Chuck D, Spike Lee, Many More
Who's Narrating Bob Dylan's Prophetic New Song--Satan, God or Dylan Himself

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