October 7, 2005

Bob Dylan

Finally saw Scorsese’s Bob Dylan documentary last night. Listening to "Live 1966" right now. I found it inspiring…to wanna be a rock star. I don’t think about being successful with my songwriting very often. I’m more obsessed with being a successful writer. An ex-girlfriend once told me that if she had a choice between being a rock star and a fiction star, she would choose rock star. I chose writing star. These are the stupid conversations I sometimes have.

Anyway, now I want to be a rock star, instead of scrounging for my next job and having three people hear my songs at a time.

People have said I look like Bob Dylan. Just look:


That’s me hanging out in an apartment.

The documentary was also somewhat dispiriting, in the sense that it focused a lot on his malaise during the 66 tour--people’s booing and the inane questions at press conferences. It didn’t show the other half--that this was the most creatively explosive time of his life. It had to be fun too. I didn’t realize that he went electric at Newport well after "Like a Rolling Stone" came out. I always figured that it was his electric coming-out party. But really the booing was done out of self-righteousness rather than surprise. My parents were at that show at Newport. They didn’t boo--they’re not the type to care if someone stops playing folk music. They also saw the Beatles at Shea Stadium. Cool.

Another revelation was that Dylan’s drummer was this guy:


He’s been in hundreds of movies playing white trash/rednecks/bikers. I thought Levon Helm was the drummer, along with the rest of The Band. I read a biography of the band once, Across the Great Divide. The main thing I remember about Levon Helm is that he has a gigantic cock. That must mean something.


Natalia said...

I prefer writing star, definitely. A whole lot less people are interested in you, and are therefore unaware of what you look like. I want my fecking anonymity when I'm running to grab coffee with unwashed hair at seven in the morning.

Anonymous said...

I sorta check in now and again so don’t know if you posted about reading Dylan’s “Chronicles” which is great. If you do decide to read it, I also highly recommend David Hajdu’s “Positively Fourth Street” about Dylan, Joan Baez, Richard and Mimi Farina to be read soon thereafter. Talk about your choice between being a writer/rocker. My man, R. Farina sorted it all out for you. At least PFS w/all its inaccuracies 1) ain’t the hagiography those most Dylan bios are, 2) covers roughly the same era as the PBS docu – up to Farina’s crash and death and 3) isnt the obscurant text that is “Chronicles” in a lotta places (though it goes where you least expect it: David Duke being movie star handsome – whoa.


Benny said...

Mr. Baum,

Got your album today and listened to it twice, myself. Really sweet songs! Keep us informed on your rise to superstardom, musical or literary.

And when you talk to the Kinks, tell them I still include "Lola" on all my make-out CD compilations.

Apart from the Zadie Smith's of the writing world, I think writers are definitely given more slack to look shitty. In more polite terms, I think it's called appearing "eccentric." Heh.


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