How bloody naive am I? Watching The Doors live from 1968 on Sky Arts the other night I was wondering where the bass player was. Was he hidden backstage? It took me ages to work out that Ray Manzarek was playing the bass lines on his keyboard.
Of all the sixties bands, only the Beatles outdid The Doors in the classic albums stakes. Six great albums with Jim at the helm. That's some going in only five years.
Sky Arts are also giving us the Classic Albums series. The Band's The Band was one. Not a classic album, really (you could maybe cobble one together with its best songs and the best from Music From Big Pink). But me and Betty both like The Band and whenever they're mentioned we always seem to get onto the Bob Dylan question.
You see, Betty doesn't really *get* Bob Dylan. She likes a few songs and liked his drug addled performance from the 1966 tour. But that's about it. I almost *get* him. I don't understand the lyrics but love the songs and what he does with them.
Which makes me think that there are lots of different ways that people react to Bob Dylan. You can like his songs, but only done by other people. You can like his lyrics but not his songs, in the same way I like Leonard Cohen. You can like his acoustic stuff but not his electric stuff like the bloke who shouted "Judas!" Or you can like his electric stuff but not his acoustic stuff like I did up 'til last year. You can like everything he's ever done, including the latter strangled voice stuff. Or you can just like his 60s and early 70s stuff, like me. Of course, he could give you the absolute creeps and you'd rather stick knitting needles in your ears or listen to Trout Mask Replica on repeat for 48 hours. You could think the young Bob Dylan was sexy. Or you might prefer the young John Taylor from Duran Duran.
Only in the last case would I question your sanity.
So what about it? Where do we stand on the Bob?
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