Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Happy Birthday Bob!

Bob Dylan is 70 today. Rather than explain why I find the rasping septuagenarian so endlessly fascinating and add to the screeds being written to mark the occasion I thought I'd simply showcase some of my previous posts about the birthday boy.

An Alternative Blood on the Tracks
This is the all-time most popular Carnival Saloon post - a compilation of cover versions of every song on Blood on the Tracks by the likes of Robyn Hitchcock, Lloyd Cole, Elvis Costello and Tom Russell.

Tom Waits on Radio Bob
Another hugely popular post - all of Tom Waits' comical riffs from Theme Time Radio Hour. Waits is my number one musical hero so you can imagine my reaction when I first heard him contribute to Dylan's brilliant radio show.

Bob Dylan @ The Roundhouse
There was a ludicrous amount of hype before Dylan's 'intimate' concert at the Camden Roundhouse in 2009. Radio 4's Today Programme even ran a piece ahead of the gig. Dylan live can be a mixed bag. As I wrote then, my policy is always "to go with low expectations and an open mind". See the whole post for my full review and MP3s of that night's renditions of Like A Rolling Stone and a version of I Don't Believe You influenced by The Faces.

It's A Mad Mad Mad Bob World
Like so many things in the realm of Dylan, Todd Haynes' film I'm Not There divided audiences. This was what I thought of it after watching it for the first time.

Bob Slayers
On the subject of divisive projects... did you hear the one about the croaky pensioner who decided to make a Christmas record? This post is a digest of immediate reactions to the album on its release in October 2009. I later reviewed the album myself on the BBC Music website.

Around North London with Bob Dylan
A very enjoyable post to write, inspired by an impromptu stroll to Crouch End last year. A little bit of record buying, lunch where Bob once ate and one of my favourite Dylan anecdotes.

Bob Dylan at Newport, 1965
I wrote this after reading Joe Boyd's book White Bicycles. The post includes MP3s from one of the most infamous music performances of all time.

Dylan in China: The First Song
My most recent Dylan post. The was a right brouhaha about Bob's first ever gig in China and whether the authorities there censored his set list. Bob's now had his say on the matter. I speculated that starting the concert with Gonna Change My Way of Thinking was an anti-establishment decision.

Tonight I'll be celebrating Bob's birthday at the Union Chapel in London where Thea Gilmore will perform all of John Wesley Harding. Maybe she'll lead the congregation in a round of "Happy Birthday To You".
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