This began as a Christmas Day post, perhaps appropriately so. So let’s consider that still, despite being a couple days late.
I’m a longtime fan of Bob Dylan, though fandom doesn’t quite capture the connection. Dylan and his music have been a major part of my life since childhood. Literally since childhood. I’ve told you before about my father, the man who raised me. But he wasn’t my biological father. My biological father was a jazz musician. He and my mom split up before I was a year old. He died last year and we hadn’t been in contact in years. But when I was a small boy living in St. Louis we had a close relationship. I first encountered Dylan at that age when I saw a new copy of the just released Blood on the Tracks in early 1975. Another memory has us trying, but failing, to get into a Dylan concert, maybe in 1974. Just a small boy, maybe dragged along for no particular reason. Memories are uncertain at that age, certainly decades on. Both these men, born either a couple years before or after Dylan, had Dylan’s music deeply imprinted on to their lives.
I’ve always thought what’s known as Dylan’s ‘Christian period’ is the most underrated period of his career, though many see it as a black hole or an embarrassing digression. I raise it now because Dylan’s years’ long bootleg series has finally gotten to these years 1979-81 with installment #13 “Trouble No More”. (There’s actually a full deluxe edition with 8 hours of songs and a smaller two disk version for the faint of heart or light of wallet.)
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