Mr. Jones, not Bob Dylan, he is certain to make straight-laced folks like Mr. Jones quite uncomfortable. White painted face, Dylan would walk on stage like a shaman, using his voice, harmonica, guitar, piano and hands to illustrate his written tales.
He wrote short lines, with every word meaning something, at first trying to change the world, picking on politics and also on enemies that are a little more familiar: the scene of high-society – pretty people who think they’ve got it made.
Dylan accepted the Medal of Freedom in 2012 from President Obama. He’s won 10 Grammy Awards, 1 Academy Award, 1 Golden Globe and a Pulitzer Prize.
“Mr. Tambourine Man” was the first time anyone put really good poetry on the radio, The Beatles hadn’t gotten there yet. He owns the rights to the greatest protest song of all time, “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” (1963) and “The Times They are a–Changin” coined him as the spokesman of a generation, the mid to late 60’s no less. Listen to the lyrics now and the rise of power of a new generation, minorities and woman will attest to the power of this song, nearly 50 years later.
He played amongst the Dead in the mid eighties with Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir. His best friend was “the man in black” ~ Johnny Cash and the stories of Dylan and John Lennon cruising London in the back of Limousines only leaves outsiders wondering, what’s really going on?
Covers by Jimi Hendrix “All Along The Watchtower”, which Rolling Stone describes it best as “Hendrix echoes the apocalypse of Dylan’s final verse with guitar riffs like gale-force winds.” The Byrds playing “Mr. Tambourine Man” translates Dylan quite well. Stevie Wonder ~ “Blowin’ In The Wind”, 20 year-old Van Morrison playing a trippy version of “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue”, Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders, Positively 4th Street, Emmylou Harris, George Harrison, Roger McGuinn, Eric Clapton – Some of the greatest covers of all time.
Bono, describing, “Every Grain of Sand” says, “It’s like one of the Great Psalms of David.” He goes on to write Rolling Stone’s Collector’s Edition: “The world was changed by somebody who cared enough about an unrequited love to write such a devastating put-down. I love to hear a song that changes everything.”
Bono goes on to describe some of the best written songs in history, and then gives his stamp of approval by saying, “But at the top of this dysfunctional family tree sits the king of spitting fire himself, the juggler of beauty and truth, our own Willy Shakespeare in a polka-dot shirt. It’s why every songwriter after him carries his baggage and why this lowly Irish bard would proudly carry his luggage. Any day.”