Like a Rolling Stone

A couple of things that nag me about Bob Dylan. The first one is not his fault, the other totally is. The first problem with Dylan that I frequently encounter is that there’s something, some copyright related shit, that prevents his songs from being easily found on YouTube. It’s always dozens of crappy cover versions and live bootlegs and almost no way of finding a video of original recordings. Also he seems to have done very few of the obligatory television performances that everyone else did, so the usual fount of old TOTP clips isn’t there either. Which brings me to the second problem with Bob Dylan; when he does do televised performances, he is often absolutely terrible, presumably on purpose. He’s long been notorious as a spotty live act; sometimes he’s in the mood and he nails it, sometimes he’s just listlessly going through the motions. I expect it’s because he’s got very little patience for burnishing his own legend, and the pressure to trot out all the old classics every time pisses him the hell off. Hence, when invited to jam with the stars on Letterman’s 10th anniversary gala, he’s frustrated at having to mouth Like A Rolling Stone for the ten thousandth time and just egregiously blows it. His ‘I’d rather be doing literally anything else’ attitude is a serious fuck-you to everyone else’s enthusiasm.  Fortunately, despite Dylan’s own disinterest in feeding fan demands, there are plenty of others happy to present his work for him. There is always a wide swath of interesting and diverse artists with Dylan covers. Not least of them The Rolling Stones, here to interpret Dylan’s acrid tale of falling of the glamour pedestal.


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