Too old to be a rock star

Postby Monkey Angst on Thu Feb 28, 2002 8:59 am

This past Sunday, I had an opportunity for which I've been waiting my entire adult life -- I got to go see Bob Dylan in concert. The event was disappointing on so many levels. Bob is 60 now, and I had not realized, just from his last few albums, just how his voice had deteriorated. There's a reason he sticks to the gravelly backroad stuff these days -- his voice can't do the strained, passionate vitriol that we think of when we think of Bob Dylan anymore. The few "classic" Dylan songs he played -- I remember hearing "Lay Lady Lay", "Rainy Day Women," "Like a Rolling Stone," "Tangled Up in Blue," "Blowin' in the Wind," and a really ill-advised "All Along the Watchtower" -- he delivered in a hushed, rushed growl, blowing through the verses and often garbling the choruses.

The show was about a week after my 28th birthday. I couldn't help but think, sitting there watching him play that passionless "All Along the Watchtower", that I was now older than Jimi Hendrix ever got. And Janis Joplin. And Jim Morrison. And Hank Williams. And Kurt Cobain...

I found myself thinking that if Bob Dylan had died in the "rock star death year" we would still have "Blonde on Blonde," we'd still have "Highway 61 Revisited," we'd still have "John Wesley Harding." We would have missed "Blood on the Tracks," though. I wondered if it might not have just been better if he'd burned out rather than fading away...

And it occurs to me that you can't judge the worth of a man's life by the art he produces... only he can truly know his life's meaning. And it occurs to me that despite what I wanted to hear when he took the stage, he is still the man who wrote some of the greatest songs of the twentieth century, and he still knows those songs better than I ever will (even if I remember the lyrics better than he does). Somewhere inside, he is still Bob Dylan, I guess. He must be. And even though the overwhelming feeling in my mind at the time was that he should have packed it in long ago, he knows his life better than I ever could, and he knows why he hasn't. Of all his faults, he has never been accused of leading an unexamined life.

I only hope when my time comes, and I'm no longer good at whatever it is I end up being good at, I know when to call it quits.
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Postby Enkoji on Tue Mar 05, 2002 4:14 pm

Ah, I see I've found the philosophical thread. Good. Well, I remember having the same memory on seeing Dylan in Gihon in Spain in 1993, and he was only fifty-something then. But then again, I think it's enough to really go all the way on something in life. Dylan did that before he got to 60-- good for him.

Anyway. Cool comix, Brad, and keep them coming. I'm taking a perverse pleasure in imagining the spooks on my case creating a case file for my friends. <Inside joke?>

dm
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Postby Monkey Angst on Tue Mar 05, 2002 4:34 pm

On 2002-03-05 16:14, enkoji wrote:
Ah, I see I've found the philosophical thread. Good. Well, I remember having the same memory on seeing Dylan in Gihon in Spain in 1993, and he was only fifty-something then. But then again, I think it's enough to really go all the way on something in life. Dylan did that before he got to 60-- good for him.



Anyway. Cool comix, Brad, and keep them coming. I'm taking a perverse pleasure in imagining the spooks on my case creating a case file for my friends. <Inside joke?>

dm


Glad to see you made it over. If the spooks are watching, I'll have to put some more subversive stuff in the comic. :smile: It actually seems I've gotten a little sidetracked with setting up the relationships between four or five of the main characters (Monkey Angst, Monkey Love, Sugar Monkey, the Devo Monkey, and the junkie sheep) and forgot about making an environment totally unsuitable for anyone gunning for security clearance.

I want you to be denied clearance for looking at Monkey Law, and I want Jonpaul to be dishonorably discharged from the army for doing the same.

(okay, that's going to be a little tough. Lee Harvey Oswald was openly Marxist, and the Marines still kept him around)


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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Monkey Angst on 2002-03-05 16:35 ]</font>
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Postby Annebot on Fri Mar 08, 2002 3:13 pm

it smells like tinkle
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Postby Monkey Angst on Fri Mar 08, 2002 3:32 pm

On 2002-03-08 15:13, annebot wrote:


it smells like tinkle


It does. But I lived on Sixth Street for a year. I'm used to it.
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Postby Annebot on Sun Mar 10, 2002 9:11 pm

is this a monkey forum for monkey talk?

I have a degree in anthropology and a minor in business. I like to tell people I have a degree in monkey business.

It made my mom laugh.

did you sleep in a box?
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Postby Monkey Angst on Sun Mar 10, 2002 10:00 pm

On 2002-03-10 21:11, annebot wrote:
is this a monkey forum for monkey talk?
...
did you sleep in a box?


No, I slept in an apartment. And this forum is for any kind of talk you want it to be for.
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Postby TOS on Tue Mar 19, 2002 8:48 pm

Well, just to back pedal a bit on this topic... One of my favorite CDs is Brian Wilson Live at The Roxy. His voice is definitely not what it used to be back in the 60s to say the least, but the performance is spectacular. I guess the difference is that he WANTED to do the concert. He and his band did allot of songs that are not usually covered by the remaining Beach Boys, and for what it is worth, they are the songs that really made the difference in setting him apart as a real musical figure. He also did a number of songs that he wrote outside of the Beach Boys that were just plain powerful like "Lay Down Burden." I guess there is a real difference between a concert that really means something to a person and just another stop on a constant tour schedule.
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