Welcome to the first in an ongoing series of posts where we ask Bob Dylan fans about the role The Bard has played in their lives. This week, Dylan Hills, a first-semester TU student (and Dylan namesake) answers our questionnaire.
What was the first Dylan album you purchased? What’s your favorite? Your least favorite?
The first Bob Dylan album I ever purchased was “Nashville Skyline” – mostly as a response to my parents’ claims that I was named after him! This was the album that introduced me to Dylan, and through Nashville Skyline I branched out into other periods of Dylan’s life. My favorite Dylan album changes a lot, but most consistently I would say “Blood on the Tracks” – it’s one of those albums that I listen to all the way through, each and every song is a masterpiece. My least favorite album is probably “Empire Burlesque.”
What’s Dylan song tops your personal playlist and why?
“Idiot Wind.” I think everything about this song is brilliant: the title, the lyrics, the delivery – you can tell this song was written and performed with so much scorn.
How many Dylan concerts have you attended? Describe the performance you found most memorable.
I’ve actually only seen Dylan in concert once: it was over Thanksgiving break this year, and I flew out to New York to see him. He sounds fantastic right now, even though he’s getting close to eighty years old. The most memorable performance was a jazzy rendition of “Tangled Up in Blue.” Bob was just slamming on this grand piano right in front of him, it was insane. He has a lot of energy still, he’s not dark yet.
In no more than 100 words, describe why Dylan matters.
Bob Dylan’s significance can be attributed to the way that he integrates very complex storytelling and poetry into popular music. Poets before Bob used pens and paper, but Dylan uses the radio as a vehicle for his literature and rhyme. To me, it made poetry more personal, more vibrant, and even more accessible. I think that the potency of the English language is most visible through Bob’s work.