Comrades From The NorthAnother action packed issue of The Bridge is born. Thanks for your company. It would seem as though nothing would stop the re-shaping of Bob Dylan from a sometimes grumpy, sometimes-ornery, often bewildering but magnificent artiste and an enigma par excellence into the all-round good guy with the sort of awesome reputation that America likes to slap on the back and weigh down with small, but ever so heavy statuettes. Yes, it's the awards season and Dylan simply cannot avoid winning them these days. Rather like the Borg absorbs one Star Trek race after another so Bob is gradually assimilated into the collective ranks of the tuxedo generation. Spring is here and he has collected two more already this year, a Golden Globe and a Grammy. Both were awarded for his most recently released original work, Things Have Changed, in connection with its inclusion in the soundtrack of the film Wonder Boys. There's no doubting that it's a wonderful multi-dimensional piece of writing certainly better than anything else that was nominated but does Dylan really need this type of validation? Does he want to 'come home' and is this the way to 'come home' anyway? He always looks and sounds a little uneasy at such ceremonies (whether there in person or on video/satellite feed) but he keeps on accepting the awards. . Nevertheless it's a great song even if we can't hear it anymore without thinking of Eartha Kitt!!(reference Roy Kelly's article in The Bridge No8.)
2001 promises to be a bumper year for Dylan collectors as the man approaches his 60th birthday attended by a range of merchandise released by serendipity or purposefully to cash in on that fact. There's a new biography (another one?????), a book on the early 60's Greenwich Village scene , a number of cover version albums, various Sunday Supplement features and the re-release of classic albums on 180g vinyl. See Jotting Down Notes for details.
Many of us will lament the fact that Columbia/Sony could really have put something special together; such as releasing those enhanced, enlarged, remastered CDs of his 'classic' works. Or perhaps a more attractive live package than the recently release to promote the Far Eastern tour. So many artistes of major standing have benefitted from a re-release programme, generally throught expanded CDs, that it feels like it should be coming soon. After all, Dylan's back catalogue is the most impressive of them all, given the vastness of his unreleased works. Amongst the best examples of such re-issues is the Band's work into which loving care has been invested. The imminent release of the expanded Rock Of Ages will mean that we will get the whole of the Dylan set from the memorable 1971 New Year's Eve/Day performance at the Academy of Music, New York City.
Well, that's it for now. Just a reminder that the subscriptions for the next three issues are now due. You will find a flyer in this issue of The Bridge for renewal purposes. We look forward to your continued support and in the meantime........
May you climb on every rung.
Mike and John
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