Sunday, March 22, 2015

Maybe it's about being there...(article)

"Long and Wasted Years"
It's been such a long, long time
Since we loved each other and our hearts were true
One time, for one brief day, I was the man for you

Last night I heard you talking in your sleep
Saying things you shouldn't say
Oh baby, you just might have to go to jail someday

Is there a place we can go?
Is there anybody we can see?
Maybe, it's the same for you as it is for me

I ain't seen my family in twenty years
That ain't easy to understand
They may be dead by now
I lost track of them after they lost their land

Shake it up baby twist and shout
You know what it's all about
What are you doing out there in the sun anyway?
Don't you know the sun can burn your brains right out?

My enemy crashed into the dust
Stopped dead in his tracks and he lost his lust
He was run down hard and he broke apart
He died in shame he had an iron heart

I wear dark glasses to cover my eyes
There are secrets in them I can't disguise
Come back baby if I ever hurt your feelings I apologize

Two trains running side by side
Forty miles wide, down the eastern line
You don't have to go
I just came to you because your a friend of mine

I think that when my back was turned
The whole world behind me burned
It's been awhile since we walked down that long, long aisle

We cried on that cold and frosty morn
We cried because our souls were torn
So much for tears, so much for these long and wasted years

_ _ _

For me, there is something to doing things out of posterity. That is, documenting here (on the nebulous web) snippets of my life and my times, simply for sake of the future. It may be important to none other than me but in that it seems very important.

In conversation people who know me understand the importance of music, poetry, art in general and Bob Dylan specifically. It’s merely a perspective but I do believe that Bob Dylan is the Shakespeare of our time and will be immortalized through his recorded work. I challenge anyone to give me the name of someone, anyone born in the in 1560’s…Go ahead…


It’s challenging to make a mark in our own time, our own LIFE. But to have the grace to have been the creator, maker, author of so much creative material astounds. As one who has tried his hand at poetry, prose, music and lyric making I am simply amazed at the notion of the volume of material coming from a single source, a single person. I think we are conditioned to think it’s easy. Turn on the radio and you are inundated with songs, hits, chart-toppers. But how many of these are one-hit wonders? How many will last - how many aren’t simply frivolous articles of fashion? A 50 year recording career, a novel, a biography, at least 3 films, several books of drawings, exhibitions of his paintings all over the world, art installations and a never-ending tour beginning in 1988 that has seen him tour every year since. To say that is creative output is prolific and varied is well below understating it.

On this blog I’ve conceded to the notions of taste and preference and I will do so again – for some, Dylan’s voice is like fingernails on a chalkboard, but I love the sound of his weathered and distinctive wail. However, as with Shakespeare, I believe posterity will have the final word. Not only did people in his time appreciate the Bard’s (Shakespeare's) work, but as time went on more and more did also. This I believe will be the case with Bob Dylan. There will always be an audience of admirer’s of exhibitions Picasso’s paintings and drawings. In any given city there will always several productions of Shakespeare’s dramatic work under way. And I believe there will always be an audience of listeners and musicians to appreciate Dylan’s songs and recording artists continuing to include their versions of his songs on their records. Sure, a person can have a hit. Some have several. Some have greatest hits packages one and two. But no recording artist of our time is as universally covered as Bob Dylan. This means that among his fellow craftsmen and women he is more revered than anybody. Imitation is the purest form of flattery it’s been said. The people who write and record songs themselves consistently dip into the well created by Dylan. I won’t delve into the cultural significance of the artist here because I believe that to be of less import than his truest legacy - an immense body of songs of depth and power.

So it was that last October I waffled though I knew Uncle Bob was playing 3 consecutive nights in Seattle WA., a 3 hour’s drive across the border and south. Could my finances bear it? Who could go with me on such short notice? Were tickets yet available? And now several months later I am so glad I seized upon what may be the last chance I’ll have to see him in concert though I said the same thing in Oct 2001, when the lights went down at the start of his show then, when he was a sprite 61 years old.

I am including his performance and the lyrics to Lost and Wasted Years from TEMPEST, his most recent album of original songs. It’s a wonderful thing that in his 70's he is still composing original songs of startling lyrical intensity and still traversing the world modestly to perform night after night like an old bluesman, like a troubadour. What else was Bob Dylan put here on earth to do? And unlike Shakespeare or Picasso, I got to be in the same room with Bob Dylan several times over the years as he did his thing. There'll never be the likes of him again.

©2015 Champsteen Publishing


1 comment:

  1. Great to see publishing from the Champ! Looking forward to reading more in the future.