Bob Dylan is like sushi. There´s something repulsive about sushi that some people never manage to get over. On the other side of the coin, it inspires such fanatical passion in those who love it, that its devotees are inevitably trying to convince the repulsed to try it one more time, to approach it with a fresh frame of mind. I could go on, but I´ll leave the analogy at that (it doesn´t work if you´re Japanese, I imagine).
I´m sure some people love Bob from the start, but for the many of us, he´s an acquired taste. Maybe acquired isn´t the right word either, because it often takes only one song or one album, heard at just the right point in our lives, to be won over for life. And once you fully experience the levels that his music can work at, there seems no limit to how deeply you can explore him; there´s just so much music and so much documentation of him and his amazing life, not to mention the fact that there always seems to be more stuff being made by and about him. In 1966 John Lennon caught a lot of slack for saying the Beatles were more popular than Jesus, but if you must compare a musician with that fellow, it would be more apt to say something like this: Dylan’s story has such profound mythological implications that to the artistic-minded person, studying his life can provide as much inspiration as does the New Testament to the spiritual layman. But, of course, that´s just one listener’s opinion.
The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan seeped through my ear’s resistance in 1996, because the lyrics of “Don’t think twice, it’s all right”, perfectly encapsulated the mood of the breakup I was going through at the time. His songs have comforted people that way at least a billion times, I imagine.
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