24 May 2011

Forever Young

The Guardian editorial has a tribute to Bob Dylan on the occasion of his 70th birthday, including the observation - pretty obvious when you think about it but worth saying in case you haven't thought about it - that while Paul McCartney has become an establishment figure (did so, I think, in the mid-seventies) and Mick Jagger is trying to convince us all that it still is the mid-seventies (though he is amazingly well-preserved), Dylan has continued to develop his art and remains relevant - perhaps by virtue of his growing old at the same rate as his fans.

John Harris in the Grauniad wrote - as others have done before him - of how he nearly met Dyaln. I have never come close to meeting him, but I can understand the comments in the article about how it feels to be in the presence of greatness - though the great people in whose presence I have found myself have typically been politicians. It's good to find that someone you admire is actually, in real life, exactly as you'd wish them to be, and perhaps not quite what their public persona would lead you to expect.

The Guardian chose Forever Young as the apposite Dylan song, and who can argue with that? It has been one of my greatest favourites ever since I bought a copy of Planet Waves - reinforced by hearing it on Budokan, too, a superb arrangement. Of course the man himself has been removed from YouTube, but Joan Baez will do - given that we don't seem to have Robyn Hitchcok performing it ...

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