Bob Dylan by Elliott Landy
outside Landy's home
Woodstock, NY, 1968
Nashville Skyline photo sessions
"Perhaps the most mythical of all Dylan’s unreleased gems, “I’m Not There” is an absolute mystery. A long, extended meditation built around a four-chord acoustic-guitar strum, it was recorded only once by Dylan and never finished or revisited. Lyrics and lines float by, some discernible, others elusive. Among Dylan fanatics, it’s a kind of Rosetta stone because it seems to capture the artist in the midst of his creative process. The magic of “I’m Not There” is its lack of definition. Critic Greil Marcus devotes five pages of The Old, Weird America to the song, writing that “?‘I’m Not There’ is barely written at all. Words are floated together in a dyslexia that is music itself, a dyslexia that seems meant to prove the claims of music over words, to see just how little words can do.”The above article is excerpted from Bob Dylan's Most Mysterious Recording by Randall Roberts in LA Weekly
True, but what’s most engaging about the song is the revelation it provides about Dylan’s creative process. Unlike many outtakes and bootlegged tracks, “I’m Not There” feels like someone channeling, speaking in tongues, handling snakes, conjuring out of the mist the blueprint of a song." Randall Roberts
“If… I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music. I cannot tell if I would have done any creative work of importance in music, but I do know that I get most joy in life out of my violin.”
"Dylan’s continuing link to the Beat generation, though, came chiefly through his friend and sometime mentor Allen Ginsberg. Dylan’s link with Ginsberg dated back to the end of 1963, a pivotal moment in the lives and careers of both men. Thereafter, in the mid-1960s, the two would complete important artistic transitions, each touched and supported by the other. On and off, their rapport lasted for decades. And in 1997, in New Brunswick, Canada, Dylan would dedicate a concert performance of “Desolation Row” to Ginsberg, his longtime comrade, telling the audience it was Allen’s favorite of his songs, on the evening after Ginsberg died." Sean WilentzRead more about Dylan and the "Beats"
What plot thickensand lewdly displaysincredible stigmataas gone gone girlsdance redemptive circlesaround a shard of moon?
What snake charmerdefies apprehensionmashes our potatoesfills all our gravy boatswith iron-poor bloodand toots on his flute“come and get it”?
What stock brokerpersuades us to investin products of the futurewhile armies inconspicuousadorn themselves for warfeeding on our disbeliefgrowing like a tumorstuck in the craw of tomorrow?