Monday, May 17, 2021

A Handful of Insights from Nikolai Berdyaev

Seeds for contemplation and consideration.

Nikolai Berdyaev

I discovered Nikolai Berdyaev around four decades ago in a book titled Four Existential TheologiansHe was born in 1874 and lived through the Russian Revolution and both World Wars. His writings do not conveniently fit a neat categorization. He's been referred to as a Christian mystic and a Christian existential anarchist philosopher, among other things.

I have selected a half dozen quotes to share here. Though written 80 to 100 years ago, these observations seem totally relevant today, do. they not?

* * *

"Slavery is passivity. The victory over slavery is creative activity."

* * *

"Only the free man is a personality, and he is that even if the whole world should wish to enslave him."

* * * 

"Man, human personality, is the supreme value, not the community, not the collective realities which belong to the object world, such as society, nation state, civilization, church."

* * * 

"Freedom gives rise to suffering. One can lessen it if one refuses freedom."

* * * 

"We live in a nightmare of falsehoods, and there are few who are sufficiently awake and aware to see things as they are. Our first duty is to clear away illusions and recover a sense of reality."

* * * 

"It is beyond dispute that the State exercises very great power over human life and it always shows a tendency to go beyond the limits laid down for it." 

EdNote: This last quote reflects why Libertarians are constantly on guard to call out government overreach.


We're living in some profound times. It's so easy to allow ourselves to get tangled up in pettiness. We were created for something higher. 

Earlier today I was thinking about Dr. Martin Luther King's dream about living in a world where we're judged by our character and not the color of our skin. His quote crossed my mind while I was reading a journal note from the mid-70s. I'd written something about how character is something you have to work at, to develop. It is not something that just gets zapped into us. It saddens me to see how character has been diminished as a value in our contemporary culture.

* * * 

What are you currently reading to challenge your thinking? What are you thinking about to challenge your lifestyle? Too often we just live and let live.  

Here's a poem along that line: The Easy Way Out

Sunday, May 16, 2021

May 16 1966 -- Bob Dylan in Gaumont Theater, Sheffield and More


Portrait based on photo
by Jerry Schatzberg
Sheffield is 63 miles due East of Liverpool as the crow flies. Dylan and his band performed in Liverpool May 14, then Leicester the 15th before taking the stage at the Gaumont Theater on this day, the 16th. Leicester is a little over an hour South of Sheffield. The road to Sheffield passes near the forests of Nottingham where Robin Hood established his legacy.

It's easy to see why Bob Dylan liked theaters. They were created to showcase spectacle. Here is a link to the Gaumont in Sheffield where he performed this day in 1966. It was torn down two years after Bob's performance there. 

Looking back (yes, I know we've been told, "don't look back") 1966 was a remarkable year for Dylan. It began with some of the initial studio recording for Blonde On Blonde in New York City in January, shortly before commencing on his famous World Tour which helped define his career in many respects. Photos, film footage, bootleg recordings, media coverage put this enigmatic ultra hip young artist in the spotlight crosshairs like never before.

It was a year of several key transitions. He internationally showcased his transition from folk/acoustic to backing rockers that year. He also transitioned from recording in New York to recording in Nashville that year. His third transition would occur in July after a motorcycle accident hospitalized him while riding around on Albert Grossman's farm in Woodstock. Thus commenced a hiatus from touring that for several years would have an unknown duration. This sabbatical from touring generated nearly as much buzz and speculation as his life on the road.

The second recording session for Blonde On Blonde took place in Nashville in February. This, and the third, which took place in March, are superbly detailed in Daryl Sanders' That Thin Wild Mercury Sound, a highly recommended read for all fans.

As has been noted elsewhere, Dylan broke new ground in so many ways, and bringing rock musicians to Nashville was quite notable. Three of the four Beatles recorded there and many other big names. As in all encounters of that magnitude, both sides feel are touched and somewhat transformed by the other. Nashville was never quite the same after that.

* * * 

As I write this I'm listening to the Royal Albert Hall concert of 1966, Dylan's final show on the 1966 World Tour, May 27. The setlist, which pretty much remained unchanged during this '66 tour, was stunning at all these concerts. Here's the Sheffield setlist, courtesy Olof Björner's Skeleton Keys.

* * * 

The purpose of this post is three-fold. First, to give a shout out to all the chroniclers like Olof Björner, Bill Pagel ( and Karl Eric Andersen ( so that fans can be rewarded with a never ending feast of details and insights into Bob Dylan's catalog and career. Second, to mark this day when Blonde On Blonde was released. And finally, to note that Duluth Dylan Fest is kicking off in less than a week. 

Where and how will you be celebrating Bob Dylan's 80th birthday?

* * * 

Duluth Dylan Fest Links


Saturday, May 15, 2021

Another Stellar Student/Instructor Exhibition at the Great Lakes Academy of Fine Art

This is a photo of the interior when it was first being
considered for purchase and renovation.
Last night I attended the Great Lakes Academy of Fine Art's 2021 Student/Instructor Exhibition and what a rewarding evening. The progress these young artists have made is impressive, and the lifting of Minnesota's "Mask Mandate" a couple days ago made it especially rewarding. It was great to see actual smiles rather than just twinkling eyes.

The art school is located at 810 West 3rd Street here in Duluth, a former Catholic church. What follows are some of the photos I took, though there was much, much more to see than you see here. The Open House will continue today so drop in if you are able.

Portraits by Kelly Schamberger
Painting of Jeffrey T Larson teaching painting.
Same painting, with last night's open house guests in foreground

Perseverance, by Patrick Glander. Oil on canvas.

Four paintings by Jake Tremble
Cherub by Nelia Harper
Coffee Plate by Patrick Glander
Vintage by Jeffrey T. Larson
Mastering basic skills.
Reproducing forms while learning to see color values.
Brutus Bargue Copy by Austin Jasurda

Green Plate by Patrick Glander

Kelly Schamberger, Self Portrait at 35

For more information about the Great Lakes Academy, visit 

Friday, May 14, 2021

George Kaiser, The Quiet Man Behind the Bob Dylan Center in Tulsa

"I was young when I left home..."
The big story this week has been the announcement of a date for the opening next year of the Bob Dylan Center. News travels fast in Dylan circles, courtesy the many Dylan fan clubs on social media and our touchstone, Expecting Rain

This ArtNet News story expresses the sentiments of most: "For Dylanologists, the opening date of the Bob Dylan Center on May 10, 2022 may as well be Christmas: it could mark the first time the enigmatic musician’s most private possessions are made available to the public." 

That Rolling Stone would write it up was no surprise. Even the New York Times recognized it as newsworthy for its Arts section.

Yesterday's Pitchfork story by Eric Torres opens with a statement about the scale of the collection. "The Bob Dylan Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma will contain over 100,000 artifacts spanning Dylan’s career." That is a collection that didn't just come together over night.

It's no wonder, then, that the museum has taken so many years to open. Simply sorting and cataloging a collection of that scale is monumental, let alone all the decisions with regard to how to decide who should have access to what or how to best display it all. 

When Dylan sold a 6000-piece collection of his own personal items -- including notebooks, letters, photographs, audio and video material -- to the George Kaiser Family Foundation in 2016, I remember a few people asking why a Dylan museum would be in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It's proximity to the Woody Guthrie Center answers that question. That George Kaiser has a home there is also a consideration. 


Someone recently shared with me an interesting factoid that surprised me. Until five years ago I never heard of George Kaiser. Unlike Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and the Oracle from Omaha, he's not been a household name or headline grabber. 

In 2008 he was listed third on BusinessWeek's top 50 American philanthropists, behind Warren Buffet and Bill and Melinda Gates. According to a recent Forbes story the George Kaiser Family Foundation has contributed more than a billion dollars to early childhood education, among other things.

For Woody Guthrie fans -- Bob Dylan among them -- Kaiser's foundation played an instrumental role in the funding of Tulsa's Woody Guthrie Center, which opened in 2013. He also facilitated, in conjunction with the University of Tulsa, the acquisition of the Bob Dylan archive, which is to be maintained by archivists at the university's Helmerich Center for American Research at the Gilcrease Museum. (1)

WANT TO LEARN MORE about the Bob Dylan Center?

LEARN MORE about the George Kaiser Family Foundation and "The Giving Pledge."

* * * 

(1) Source: Wikipedia

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Throwback Thursday: The Slow City Movement

"Slow down, you're moving too fast..."
~Simon & Garfunkel, Feelin' Groovy 

In February our friend Mario from Italy sent me a link to a blog entry about the Slow City movement. I finally slowed down enough to look into it. And it's pretty interesting.

Actually, the Slow City movement is an attempt to get whole cities to participate in the Slow Movement. You may be familiar with some of the siblings in this family of attitudes: Slow Travel, Slow Food, Slow Books, Slow Living. 
Personally there is a lot of attraction to these attitudes. I know that when Susie and I travel, we like Slow Travel. Art galleries, museums, nice restaurants all take time, and that's what a vacation is in our book. My brother and his wife take the reverse course, Power Vacation where they seem dedicated to taking in as many experiences as possible. "While we're here we might as well cram in the Bahrumba Cliff Hike and do the Bungees over on the next peak." More power to 'em.

I like reading, but slow reading is certainly the best way to savor a page of quality prose. It's like fine wine versus Ripple. People drinking Ripple aren't doing it for the flavor, it's about how fast you can get slammed. The same with reading. It should not be about how many books you can read in a year so you can win a contest. Reading for pleasure includes pauses to roll images and ideas around in the mind, to chew and digest... and like a cow chewing its cud, resume chewing.

According to the Slow City Manifesto, no city larger than 50,000 can be part of this movement. Minneapolis is out. Philadelphia is out. Even our little corner of the world, Duluth, is out. This doesn't mean we can't individually pursue Slow Living.
The trademark or emblem of the movement is an orange snail with a crown made of modern buildings. That could be interesting. (I once wrote an article that began with the opening line, "Which is slower, a snail, a glacier, or a piece of legislation through congress?")
Life at a snail's pace might be a good thing, though right now I'm kinda busy and don't have a lot of time to think about it. 

For sure when we slow down we experience our surroundings more. The marshlands, the trees, the fields and outcroppings of rock in our rural areas make a far greater impact when you walk through them than when you fly past them on the highway. Last Sunday for Mother's Day we went to Carlton Bike Rental and took a lazy ride up the trail to Jay Cooke State Park. There are 63 miles of bike trail starting from this location, and I've been told they will be connecting yet more trail to it from the headwaters of the Mississippi, so it's easy to see why they're staking a claim that Minnesota Starts Here.

In the meantime, enjoy your day. Don't forget to take a moment now and then to stop and smell the roses.

* * * 
THIS BLOG ENTRY was posted on this date 11 years ago. Today, Carlton Bike Rental, cited above, now has three locations: Carlton, Moose Lake & Hinckley. This year they are hosting an event to help get bikers out on longer stretches of the Munger Bike Trail. The event is called the Munger Mission. Visit for more information about the Mission and the incentives to hit the trail. 
Special Note: May is National Bike Month. 

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Daniel Botkin's Motorcycle Black Madonna and the Gates of Eden

I have no recollection of hearing anything about the Black Madonna before its reference in Bob Dylan's Gate of Eden in the mid-1960s. Because of its prominent position on one of his most heralded albums, Bringing It All Back Home -- in the seriously great sequence of Mr. Tambourine Man // Gates of Eden // It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) // It's All Over Now, Baby Blue -- it has received mucho much play time over the past many decades. 

So it was quite the surprise to have the Black Madonna appear in the film War & Peace, based on Tolstoy's classic of the same name. (EdNote: My relationship to War & Peace is similar to Zelig's relationship to Moby Dick in the Woody Allen classic.)

According to scholar Marcus C. Levitt one of the key features of Napoleon and Napoleonism is the power of image. Supposedly Napoleon is the original source for the famous saying "a picture is worth 1000 words." Hence his willingness to have numerous portraits made of himself at key moments in his career, projecting a bigger than life mythology that gained for him a psychological advantage in battle.

Tolstoy explicitly invokes Napoleonic visual images and juxtaposes them with Russian icons including the famed Black Madonna. 

Some legends have it that the Black Madonna was painted on a piece of wood by none other than St. Luke the physician, who wrote the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts. Historians cite a painting of the Black Madonna that stood in Czestochowa, Poland for six centuries which was profoundly revered. The icon, known as the Queen of Poland, is credited with leading a group of monks holding out against a Swedish siege in 1655. More recently, the madonna's image was never absent from Lech Walesa's lapel during the Solidarity leader's struggle against Poland's Communist regime.

In olden times it was not uncommon for armies to carry symbols like this into battle in the belief that "if God be for us, who can be against us?" Like amulets and lucky charms it was intended to put the intangibles in our favor, hence it appears in this manner in Tolstoy's epic.

How very strange, then, for the Black Madonna to make its appearance here in Bob Dylan's Gates of Eden:

The motorcycle black madonna
Two-wheeled gypsy queen
And her silver-studded phantom cause
The gray flannel dwarf to scream
As he weeps to wicked birds of prey
Who pick up on his bread crumb sins
And there are no sins inside the Gates of Eden


The painting on this page is by Daniel Botkin. winner of the Dylan Days Art Competition in Hibbing. It was one of many impressive works that he shared at The Red Mug during Duluth Dylan Fest in 2015. When I asked for permission to share the painting he also supplied some commentary about the piece.


The full title is "Motorcycle Black Madonna With Grey Flannel Dwarf."

Of course the inspiration for this piece was from the lyrics, "The motorcycle black madonna, two wheeled gypsy queen, and her silver studded phantom cause the grey flannel dwarf to scream as he weeps to wicked birds of prey that pick up on his breadcrumb sins."

Like so many Dylan song lyrics, these words painted a picture in my mind, and this was one of those Dylan-inspired pictures I wanted to put on canvas.

I used a variety of materials to create it: cotton fabric, burlap, leather, wood dowel rods, rope for the motorcycle tires, doll eyes for the madonna, a glass eye and water buffalo teeth for the horse-headed phantom on the front fender, a crying doll head for the dwarf, and pieces of sponge for the breadcrumb sins.

Dylan's lyrics often have a surreal sense that produces concrete images while concealing or veiling deeper things. For example, the line from the following stanza  "While paupers change possessions, each one wishing for what the other has got" explicitly describes envy, one of Catholicism's Seven Deadly Sins.

This is immediately followed by "And the princess and the prince discuss what's real and what is not." Here we now stand in the midst of a whirl of ambiguity, because, "It doesn't matter inside the Gates of Eden."

You can read my 2015 interview with the artist here.

To see more of Botkin's art online, visit

Poland's Black Madonna (1990 NYTimes story)

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

The 2021 A to Z Dylan Digression

Bob Dylan Way Manhole Cover
I recently visited the blog of a friend from Texas who had an interesting "concept" for her blog themes for a period of time and a half time. That theme was called the 2021 A to Z Challenge. It worked the way prompts do for writers. In her case the first day of the challenge was to write about some that began with the letter A, followed the next day by a B themed topic. 

This triggered the notion that I should do an A to Z Dylan Challenge. The problem for me would be that I have so many other things I want to share that I was certain to deviate from any plan that stretched more than a few days.

This led me to conceive of the 2021 A to Z Dylan Digression. Instead of writing 26 blog posts going forward, I thought maybe it would be fun to come up with 26 topics from the past. Most of these are things I've written over the years. A few are links to songs themselves. The letters are my fetters.

A -- Art -- Dylan Mural in Minneapolis

B -- Bootleg: More Blood, More Tracks

C -- Changes

D -- Duluth Dylan Fest

E -- Every Grain of Sand

F -- Freewheelin'

G -- Grateful Dead: Influence

H -- Heaven's Door

I -- I Shall Be Free #10

J -- John Bushey, Host of Highway 61 Revisited

K -- Knockin' On Heaven's Door

L -- Love & Theft 

M -- Masked & Anonymous

N -- Nashville Cats

O -- Oh Mercy

P -- Performed Literature  

Q -- Queen Jane Approximately

R -- Ramona

S -- Shakespeare

T -- Twist of Fate 

U -- Umbrella

V -- Visions of Johanna

W -- Watchtower

X -- Extras*

Y -- You Angel You 

Z -- Zanzinger

* Wasn't sure what to do with the X. Got any ideas?

Duluth Dylan Fest is 11 days away. Here is a link to the schedule.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Dylan-Inspired Artist Lou Yanez Has a Thing About Guitars

Longtime Dylan fan Lou Yanez is an artist/entrepreneur born in Queens, NY. After retiring from a career in the Navy he had a lot of time to pursue other interests. One of those interests has been the guitar, not in the typical manner but as an artist who paints guitars. That is, he paints rock stars and whatever else interests him, on the guitars themselves.

Yanez took up doing custom painted guitars in 2004. In 2008, when he was asked to paint a few guitars for a PBS fundraiser, he suggested doing the vintage Milton Glaser portrait of Bob Dylan that accompanied Dylan's Greatest Hits album. The artist proceeded to contact Glaser for permission to reproduce his image and you can see here what a stellar result came of it.

In addition to painting guitar-sized guitars, Yanez makes miniature guitars which he sells here on Etsy

Here are some other examples of his workmanship, each evoking memories for me and probably for you.

Bob's friend George.

Disraeli Gears. Original art by Martin Sharp.

This one, too... Great album & great album cover concept.

While this event was happening, Bob was packing for
the Isle of Wight.

And here we are, ending where we began.

The clock is ticking. Duluth Dylan Fest is 12 days away.... or less,
depending when you read this. Follow us here at 

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Just Like Dave Dylan’s Blues: Engel in Minnesota

The Zimmermans lived upstairs in this house on 
Duluth's Central Hillside till Robert Allen was six.
(Birthday celebration with music, cake at Dylan Fest.)
One of the features of our annual Duluth Dylan Fest is the John Bushey Memorial Lecture Series. The lecture program derives its name from a man whose influence and impact goes far beyond what even his closest friends realize. For more than 26 years he was the voice of KUMD radio program Highway 61 Revisited, the Dylan-themed music hour that reached listeners around the globe. 

This years speaker will be Dave Engel, author of Just Like Bob Zimmerman's Blues: Bob Dylan In Minnesota. The book is a treasure trove of details about Dylan early life and roots that I doubt you will find in any other book. Just yestoday I saw the place where young Bob's grandfather died and the apartment building where his father lived when, three blocks away, the 1920 lynching in Duluth took place. 

I asked Mr. Engel if he had a working title for the book before it went to print and he replied, "I found my working title: On the Borderline: Dylan In Minnesota," adding, "Where the winds hit heavy…"

The John Bushey Memorial Lecture will be livestreamed Saturday afternoon from 1:30 to 3:00 pm CST. Specifics will be posted on and our Facebook page. (Links at the end of this blog post.)

EN: Where did you grow up and how did you personally come to take an interest in Bob Dylan? Currently what do you do for a living or what did you do if retired?

Dave Engel: Born in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., I am “Uncle Dave”—75 years later back in the same Range-like rust belt shut down paper mill town—as a former college English teacher, photographer, journalist, currently publisher of River City Memoirs books and Artifacts magazine, director of the historical society, only City Historian ever here, head bard and minstrel of Mid-State Poetry Towers.

My memory of first appreciating a song by “Bob Die-lan” is of riding in a ’58 Chevy on the county highway between Wisconsin Rapids and then-Wisconsin State University, Stevens Point, where I heard “Subterranean Homesick Blues” on the car radio. Wants eleven dollar bills and you only got ten! So does he want eleven one-dollar bills or does he want only eleven-dollar bills and you only got Hamiltons? 

Later in 1965, a guitar-strumming housemate pressed all of Bob’s early folk records on me, which I was obliged to play many times over, Bob, The Freewheelin’ Bob, Another Side of Bob, pretty hard to listen to at first but, as a coming generation of pothead hipsters would learn, it grows on you. The sun ain’t yellow, it’s chicken!


EN: Obviously researching this book was a major undertaking. How many years did it take from start to finish?

DE: Although I have kept files on Dylan since the “strummingbird” reference in Playboy—clipped while seated at 110 degrees F next to a mammoth Life magazine paper machine—researching and writing the book began on July 29, 1993, when my wife Kathy, daughter Angelica and I, returning from Ft. Frances, Ontario, stopped for a look at Hibbing. We visited the Greyhound bus museum in the Memorial Building, Old Hibbing, the Bob Dylan exhibit at the “Centennial Office” and dined at Zimmy’s. Remarkably, the owner of the Dylan boyhood home invited me to come in and look around.

The Dylan book project was suspended until, many months later, I received a list from Roberta Schloesser at the Hibbing Historical Society of persons to interview. On July 24, 1994, my family and I returned to Hibbing where I met with former high school principal Kenneth Pederson and tracked down a copy of the elusive 1959 high school yearbook. 

On Dec. 2, 1996, as my wife’s journal records, “Dave takes book to Palmer, Amherst.” 

“Just Like” was published in 1997 and went out of print not long after the printing company went bankrupt in 2000.


EN: There were a lot of books already written about Dylan when you published this. What prompted you to add another to the catalog?

DE: At the time of publication, most Dylan books had a coastal bias that included a condescending attitude to what the cultural elite viewed as the barren ore dumps of St. Louis County. In the late Sixties, I took a look at the peaceful tree-lined streets of Hibbing and thought, a lot like my home town, not so bad. 

EN: Just Like Bob Zimmerman’s Blues: Dylan in Minnesota – Did you have a “working title” while working on this project? 

DE: A few possible titles but can’t remember what they were after a quarter century. The book title is an obvious homage to “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues.” Zimmerman’s psychic blues encompass a young artiste’s discomfiture with his environment and with himself and all the Zimmermans. 

For musical blues, there are the laments up and down Highway 61 that helped transform Zimmerman into the chimera he called “Bob Dylan.”


EN: There are so many anecdotes that you write in which it is apparent someone who was there shared them with you, as if you were a fly on the wall. (Example: Echo said this or that)  

DE: My goal was to feel like I was there and to bring that feeling into print. Rather more of a wallflower than a fly, let’s hope. A ghost of myself for sure. And yes, I felt it: 1940s Duluth and 1950s Hibbing. Pretty much back home.

Related Links

Just Like Bob Zimmerman's Blues (Amazon link)

2021 Duluth Dylan Fest Schedule

Friday, May 7, 2021

Who owns the Information Highway? Here's what they were debating in 1994.

While cleaning out old files and folders from my garage I came across a fat folder of articles I'd photocopied during the early days of the Internet.  In about 30 seconds I surmised that there were some good seeds for stimulating those little grey cells we use to process ideas. The very first of these was an article by Kevin Cooke and Dan Lehrer of The Nation that appeared in the January/February 1994 edition of the Utne Reader. The piece was titled Who will own the information highway? 

The authors begin by sharing a story about Croatia, with a callout that reads, "Direct access to information is 'inherently politically subversive,'' says one longtime Nethead." The Croatian, who maintains a bulletin titled Zagren Diary, said his only link to the outside world is via email. (The article calls it electronic mail.) Kat explains that the Croatian government owns all the media there and they are prosecuting a group of journalists for treason.

The authors then note how the Russian Internet became a source of information about what was taking place during the 1991 coup. Likewise, students in China used the Internet to get the word out about what was happening there during Tiananmen Square. Reporters in China were gagged, but online newsgroups had the stories.

* * * 

The article segues into the power of the Internet, "the most powerful computer network on the planet because it is the biggest." How big? (And this is hilarious.) "It encompasses 1.3 million computers with Internet addresses used by up to 30 million people in more than 40 countries."

Can you imagine what they would have said if told that a single company in less than 30 years would have 2.8 million active monthly users by 2021? The authors correctly predicted that technology would be developed to make it easier for people who weren't nerds to get online. 

They also correctly put a spotlight on an issue that is still unresolved today. Who should control the Internet? Some argued that the Internet should belong to private businesses. The authors had issues with this. "By giving the private sector unregulated and monopolistic control over the Net's electronic connections, the government would in effect allow megacorporations like AT&T and Time Warner, who own the cable lines and manage what flows through them, to call the shots in the future."

Mega-big... like Apple (controlling what can be downloaded from iTunes) and Amazon (free to ban books that are not PC) and Google (free to harvest more data about you than you knew even existed) and Facebook (ditto).

In 1994 there were many voices raised expressing concern over censorship, and others expressing concerns about users being monitored. It doesn't seem like things have really changed.

The article ends with a confident declaration that issues related to access, pricing, censorship and redress of grievances would be resolved within five years. 27 years later and I'm personally a little less than optimistic.

* * * 

Hard to believe that Amazon was just a twinkle in its founder's eye back then, that Google would not appear til five years later, and that Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg was only a 10 year old kid at that time. Like, who would have thunk it?

C'est la vie.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Official 2021 Duluth Dylan Fest Schedule Announced

"I was young when I left home..."
Details for the 2021 Duluth Dylan Fest have now been released. This will be the 11th annual DDF here in the Twin Ports where Robert Allen Zimmerman was born. The annual week-long celebration will run from May 22 - 30 in conjunction with Bob Dylan's 80th birthday.

Whereas last year's Fest was restricted to 5 online events due to the global pandemic, this year will be a hybrid mix of live and virtual events.  As DDF Committee Chair Zane Bail explains it in the official announcement, “With Bob Dylan turning 80, the committee wanted to pull out all the stops. Unfortunately, during the planning stages there were few assurances that a live Dylan Fest could take place. Compromises were made in the interest of public safety.  We are excited to have a host of virtual and in-person opportunities.” 

The week of events for Duluth Dylan Fest 2021 will begin with a tour of Bob Dylan sites on Saturday morning, May 22. Highlights of the week will include numerous live-streamed events as well as several in person outdoor gatherings celebrating the music of Bob Dylan. David Engel, author of Bob Zimmerman’s Blue: Bob Dylan in Minnesota, will give this year’s John Bushey Memorial Lecture.  

The streaming events have the benefit of sharing the week's events with new fans who have not been able to attend in the past.

Nov. 1979 -- Photo Bill Pagel
A major highlight of the fest this year is the new Duluth Does Dylan project featuring an incredible line-up of local and regional musicians including, One Less Guest, Rich Mattson and the Northstars, Colleen Myhre, and Paul Metsa.  Tim Nelson, co-producer of the five Duluth Does Dylan record compilations with Tom Fabjance shared, “It's been a blast and super fulfilling to produce the latest Duluth Does Dylan, especially since this year's compilation will commemorate Bob’s 80th birthday and will be released as part of the 2021 Duluth Dylan Fest. It's been 20 years since the first Duluth Does Dylan record was released. The latest compilation again features an incredible line-up of Duluth-centric musicians and I'm excited for people to hear it."


2021 Duluth Dylan Fest Schedule

Saturday, May 22

Tour of Bob Dylan Sites in Duluth
Armory Arts & Music Center Annex
1305 London Road, Duluth
9:00 AM | Free

Highway 61 Revisited Radio Show
KUMD 103.3 FM
5:00-6:00 PM | Free

Bob Dylan Revue Livestream Concert from Sacred Heart Music Center
Streaming link to come
7:00-8:30 PM

Sunday, May 23

Dylan Fest Acoustic Jam Session
with host Leslie Black
Bring your instruments and/or voice
Earth Rider Festival Field
1617 N 3rd St., Superior, WI
1:00-4:00 PM | Tickets on Eventbrite

Hard Rain: Bob Dylan and The Band Tribute Band 
Livestream from the Sky Line Lounge in Ballwin, MO
Streaming link to come
7:00-9:00 PM | Free

Monday, May 24

Bob Dylan Front Porch Birthday Party 

with live music by Greg Tiburzi
Dylan childhood home
519 N. 3rd Ave. East. Duluth
1:00-2:00 PM | Free

Highway 61 Revisited Radio Show
KUMD 103.3 FM
5:00-6:00 PM | Free

Duluth Dylan Fest Party
With music by Cowboy Angel Blue
Earth Rider Festival Field
1617 N 3rd St., Superior, WI
5:00-8:00 PM | Tickets on Eventbrite

Tuesday, May 25

Dylan Fest Happy Hour with Heaven’s Door Whiskey: 
A look behind Bob Dylan’s Whiskey brand and stories in between

Livestream on Zoom
5:00-5:30 PM | Free

Duluth Dylan Fest Song From the North Country Songwriter Contest Announcement
Live on Zoom
7:00-7:30 PM | Free

Wednesday, May 26

Dylan Fest Poetry Contest Event
Livestream via Zoom
6:30-8:00 PM | Free

Greg Tiburzi Sings Dylan
Valentini’s Bistro
4960 Miller Trunk Hwy, Duluth,
6:00-8:00 PM

Thursday, May 27

Dylan Fest Livestream from 2104 with Luke LeBlanc
6:30-8:00 PM | Free

Friday, May 28

Duluth Does Dylan Concert
Earth Rider Fest Grounds
1617 N 3rd St., Superior, WI
6:00-9:00 PM | Tickets on Eventbrite

Saturday, May 29

John Bushey Memorial Lecture
featuring Dave Engel, author of Just Like Bob Zimmerman’s Blues: Dylan in Minnesota Livestream from the Zeitgeist Teatro Zuccone
Streaming link to come
1:30–3:00 PM | Free

Highway 61 Revisited Radio Show
KUMD 103.3 FM
5:00-6:00 PM | Free

Bob Dylan Revue Concert
Earth Rider Festival Field
1617 N 3rd St., Superior, WI
6:00-9:00 PM | Tickets on Eventbrite 

Sunday, May 30

Song From the North Country Songwriter Contest Showcase
featuring Shane Nelson

Earth Rider Fest Grounds
1617 N 3rd St., Superior, WI
2:00-4:00 PM | Tickets on Eventbrite

Dylan Fest Livestream with Danny Fox
Streaming link to come
5:30-6:30 PM | Free

Blowin' in the Wind. Acrylic, 24"x 36" -- Ed Newman.

For interviews or more information:

Zane Bail, Duluth Dylan Fest Committee Member 218-393-7438

Ed Newman, Duluth Dylan Fest Committee Member 218-341-0480

Tim Nelson, Duluth Does Dylan Co-producer 218-348-4557

About the Duluth Dylan Fest

The Duluth Dylan Fest’s mission is to celebrate the spirit of artistic freedom, intellectual honesty and integrity of Duluth’s native son, Bob Dylan.  The Fest is dedicated to showcasing Duluth’s vibrant art scene.  The group of volunteers is committed to providing creative events that tap the talents of artists, poets, and musicians in Duluth and surrounding region.

Links to the Livestream events will be posted
on and our Facebook page.