poor heart away./ By golly. what more can I say‘. (Nashville Skyline 1969). You then go a bit further and have Rolling Stone miss the irony of releasing a bunch of cover versions under the title of .S'elfl’ortraii. Then. — well then you just keep on manically changing. continually ‘Shedding off’ (as one of Dylan‘s 1983 songs has it) ‘one more layer of skin/Keeping one step ahead ofthe i persecutor within'. You release a classic album like Blood on the Tracks ( 1975 and follow it with Desire ( 1976). which has Beat Poet Allen Ginsberg observing (on the inner sleeve): ‘these songs are the culmination of Poetry-music as dreamt of in the Fifties and early Sixties. The "persecutor within" then drives you to mark the ) transition from the Seventies to the
Eighties by recording three Christian albums and sounding "like a juke-joint William Blake. singing of spirits. angels. doom and deliverance“ (Time magazine again). Dylan‘s Christian material was reviled by people who tried to categorise it as escapist. But ifthe questions asked on the Christian albums are escapist. it‘d be more than alarming to know what engagement would be like: ‘Why would I want to take your life'.’/You‘ve only murdered my father. raped his wifefl‘atooed my babies with a poison pen./Mocked my God. humiliated my friends‘ (Shot ofLove 1981). Then again. whatever the deliverances on the Christian albums. Dylan threw them all up in the air in a 1983 Infidels song like ‘Jokerman'. whose astonishing
blitz of imagery renders all certainities uncertain.
Uncertainty ofwhat to expect from Dylan has been and remains the hallmark of his career. By no means all his experiments have come off and periods of low intensity (instanced most recently by his last two studio albums of 1986 and 1989) have punctuated the rush ofcreative energy. But throughout it‘s been a career built on taking up antagonistic positions. on alienating audiences as much as wooing them; above all. on refusing to he commanded by anything but his own inclination. That inclination led him last summer on an American tour in which he revisited his own past in away that he has often resisted and which took everyone by surprise. ‘Dylan opened the show with a barrage of
mid-Sixties‘ songs that were sung and played with such blistering fury that he didn‘t even seem to pause for a breath‘ said the Los Angeles Times. When he comes to Glasgow‘s SECC on June 6. Dylan is bringing with him the guitarist (}.E. Smith . so crucial to the effect of last summer‘s concerts. But as the Financial Times once said of Dylan. he‘s as ‘perverse as any Jesuit priest‘. and it‘s the mark of his resilient greatness and appeal that there‘s no way ofpredicting. now any more than when he was last in Scotland 23 years ago. what to expect
Bob Dylan plays the SIX ‘( ‘. Glasgow on Tuesday is. Aidan I My 's Jokerman — Reading the Lyrics of Bob Dylan (Basil Blackwell. (/2. ()5 will be available in paperback in the autumn.
Dylan's Seventies‘ image.
motorcycle crash. Noone
important in the 60s. irrelevant now. I hope he gets those nodules removed from his throat.‘
Bustier outside Waverly Station.
‘l‘ve got a better voice than him but I‘ve only made 20p today.‘
John Bauldie. Editor otThe Telegraph. the Dylan magazine.
‘Yeah. Dylan can‘t sing
like Picasso can‘t paint . . .
Just like everyone knew what acting was till Brando came along. you could say everyone knew what singing was till Dylan came along.‘
gmljpng, owner of Hand In Hand a Stockbridge second hand clothes shop. and performer on the same bill as Dylan. before the legend had made it big in this country. The London pub where they appeared. subsequently banned Bob for drinking his own wine instead of the Pub‘s beer.
‘I think he should never have started in the first place. A voice like a corncrake — no that‘s a bit unfair - a melodic corncrake.‘
Bru_ce Finlay. Manager of Simple Minds.
‘1 love him. he‘s a legend.
l could forgive him anything. his impact was enormous. lle meant far more than Bono or any of the others do tothis generation. he was unique. He doesn‘t quite have the same impact he could have as a spokesperson for a middle-aged generation but he‘s the last ofthe great originals. Everyone else of such stature is deadf
Middle Di Placido. owner at Edinburgh High Street deli and ex-singer (discovered in 1972 by Jonathan King. no less).
‘Originally I was trying to
be like Elvis. then the Beatles came along. but my hair was too curly so Bob was perfect and he showed that one person
and a guitar could make it.
He put words into my mouth. His first concert in Scotland was awful. the sound was really bad and only a few committed fans stayed on. Afterwards I ran after Dylan's car to catch a final glimpse of him. Unfortunately I fell and was narrowly missed bya No 1 bus.‘
Arnold Brown. Comedian. ‘I always like to drop his name at cocktail parties. him beingJewish same as
me. or is he (‘hristian now‘.’ lie made moralising musical. I think it‘s good he's playing Glasgow and I hope the trendy List- reading population take the moralising message and don‘t just buy him on
CD. I used to buy his earlv
records and thought I was tapping some font of wisdom. I think generally he provided a lot of employment opportunities for second rate folk singers.‘
Jghn 8092, Our Price. also olJesse Baron and the Desperadoes.
‘He should have given up singing after the
else here really cares.‘ ﬂiphjgﬂgbejts. managerol the Geoff Hunter Record Fair. ‘l le‘s getting belated recognition from those who should know better .Iiach album sells less and less. He‘s someone who once meant a lot but has come to terms with his own myth and realised he‘s a career Rocker.‘ ammonia}. photographer. ‘My views on Dylan are even more indifferent than thinking he should retire.‘ Inurvi: w: compiled by R01: Panau.
The List 2— lSJune 19897