Diggin’ on Dylan
I just discovered Bob’s Theme Time Radio Hour on YouTube and had a bit of time today, so I gave it a listen. Stayed right through till the end. Just basically gobsmacked — it’s got everything. Literary references (Samuel Johnson!), fascinating backstories to artists and songs, interesting songs, all wrapped around the theme, which was "night", delivered in Bob’s gravelly vocal style, with pithy and thought-provoking commentary. And the YT thumbnail was a painting of Bob’s, which was a lot better than what I remembered from his album cover art! Assuming he chose songs and artists he already knows, his knowledge of music and music history is encyclopedic. Though maybe he’s got researchers that do the grunt work for him.
Bob has been kind of my muse for most of my life, with many of his songs and lyrics appearing at significant points in my life. I’m sure that wasn’t his intent, but perhaps that’s the way muses work. I also have seen him live exactly twice in my life. First time was in Philadelphia when he was backed by the Band in 1966 and I was in 9th grade. Second time was in Lancaster, PA, at a minor league ballpark on the same venue as Willie Nelson. And that time, I took my son, who was in 9th grade. Talk about bookends! And given the uneven quality of Bob’s live performances, I was lucky that both performances were amazing!