I heard a piece on NPR today regarding the 50th anniversary of Bob Dylan’s album, Highway 61 Revisited.  One of this album’s most famous claims to fame was the inclusion of a song about how it feels to be like a Rolling Stone, a song that practically on its own birthed an entirely new culture in America by the later 80s…not to mention a very successful magazine.

As I noted to my friend Ron today (same Ron who is my baseball consultant) he is the person who actually introduced me to Bob Dylan back in our college days in the  mid-60s.  While most of the record collections in our dorm featured Motown back then, Ron was the weirdo with albums by some guy name Dylan who had a voice that would strip wallpaper.  Yes, and it does seem like only yesterday.

I had heard a few Dylan songs by then, but usually covered by someone else.  The most popular was Peter Paul and Mary’s Blowin’ in the Wind.  No one back then could believe anyone with a voice and style like Dylan had the audacity to actually attempt to become a popular artist….me included.  Ron knew better.

What appeals most to me about Bob Dylan, especially his early work, is his writing.  Later on, as his singing became more garbled and mumbled and his lyrics more scattered, I abandoned him.  I am sure he did not miss me and could well survive without my following.  I don’t think he had to worry about feeling all alone…with no direction home…like a rolling stone.

As one who appreciates a well spun sentence or two, there is one particular smidgen of Bob Dylan I have always liked.  Again, it’s from a song that was covered and became a huge, iconic hit by the group who covered it and yet, it does not contain the verse that I so treasure.  The song is Hey Mr. Tambourine Man and the cover that is still played incessantly on oldies stations is the version sung by The Byrds.  You can hear Dylan’s version, the one with the last verse that you won’t hear anywhere else, on his album, The Essential Bob Dylan. 

As for being someone always in pursuit of the elusive peace of mind, this verse could well serve as my anthem.

Then take me disappearin’ through the smoke rings of my mind
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow

Yes to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow

Hey Mr. Tambourine Man play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
Hey Mr. Tambourine Man play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you

For non-commercial use only.


And while I am waving one hand free, it’s to those for whom I say “thanks” for stopping by my blog recently and leaving a “like” …among the group are:  Amanda N. Butler, Ron Carmean, Mike Fuller, Barnaby Taylor, Damyanti, Tracey L. Clark, Ronna Gershberg, Kent Wayne of Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha.com,  Suzanne Langman, Jordan Rogers of The Politics of Writing, Peter Bolger, Ed Nowak, KathleenNeiman, Zoe Kuhn, Camie Dunbar,  Antoinette Prato Shreffler, Jay Howard Gershberg, Alex Markovich of Glitchy Artist, Zoe Travels, John Coyote, Margie of Curating Serendipity

About Marc Kuhn

I am a retired radio exec. I've worked at major stations in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Miami. That was then. This is now: I've published seven books and this blog thingy. Need to know more? Really? Okay, I bare/bear all at http://marckuhn.com The other links are for the websites of each of the books I've written. I've been busy! Hope you'll stop by and check them out. Thanks for your interest!
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3 Responses to DYLAN REVISTED

  1. Pingback: MARC’S BLOG GOES RETRO | marc's blog

  2. rcarmean says:

    Apparently, I introduced you to Dylan and you introduced me to working on (campus) radio. Good times.


  3. Well, the grammar police would “edit” the phrase of the poet: I’m sleepy and there is no place to which I am going… And is there really a word “jangle”? “Thank you for your interest in our agency Mr. Dylan but your submission is just not right for our list at this time.”


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