Re: 48 years ago today...July 25, 1965
posted at 7/26/2013 4:27 PM EDT
In response to ZILLAGOD's comment:
Do you really believe that Dylan didn't want to entertain his audience?
In response to devildavid's comment:
One member of Dylan's backing band did not like the constant booing and jeering that Dylan seemed to like to inflame. Levon Helm left the group in 1966 because he couldn't take it anymore. Helm wrote in his book, “The whole booing thing became heartbreaking, ...I was starting to get real pissed off. It was better for me not to be part of that.” Ya see, good ole Levon actually liked to entertain his audience, a concept Dylan has never grasped.
"Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong."
- Thomas Jefferson
I think of Dylan and many others including, Beatles, Jim Morrison and Hendrix , as artists who really knew their place in the forefront of Rock. They pushed the envelope for all it was worth , in studio and on stage. They took chances that meeker artists wouldn't attempt. In so doing they not only made history , but became history.
I think Dylan viewed himself as an artist and as such he had many of the quirks that truly artistic people always have. He also had the smarts not to announce that he was going to "go electric" beforehand, as this may have chased many away. He took a chance, and while he lost some folkie fans, he gained a whole following of Rock fans, created a new style, and made lots more money than if he had stayed only a Folk icon.
I've seen Dylan live and it appeared he didn't even know an audience was out there. I think he is very calculating and manipulative and enjoys the negative attention. If he wanted to play different music, he could have sought out a more receptive audience. Instead, he knowingly threw electric music in the faces of the purist folkies who had made him famous in the first place. He has been very reactionary throughout his career, changing gears seemingly to shed his latest audience and perversely playing with their expectations. I certainly enjoy some of his recorded work, but I don't view him as a pure artist pursuing his vision. He has always tried to have his cake and eat it too, and has done a pretty good job of it. He enjoys fame and wealth as much as the next rock star, and is certainly conscious of his manipulation of his audience.