January 08, 2005

Words to live by.

My better half gave me Bob Dylan's autobiography for my birthday, its pretty good. I like reading about the period when he was unkown, up and coming. He used to visit his grandma in Duluth, and she gave him some advice. She said, happiness is not on the road to anything, happiness is the road. And, she told him to be kind because everyone you'll ever meet is fighting a hard battle.There was another nugget in there and I forget if it comes from Bob himself or from a girlfriend, but it is that you never have to be nicer to anyone than they are to themselves. Not quite sure what to make of that. Sometimes you should make an exception.


At January 08, 2005 9:12 PM , Blogger Tim said...

I remember making you listen to The Tombstone Blues

and you said, "The sun's not yellow, its a chicken?"

At January 09, 2005 10:02 AM , Blogger Matt_J said...

Hey Tim, yeah, you're right. I had it all figured out back then and Bob Dylan was not part of the picture. But can you blame me? Bob was pale and reclusive, had big hair, was touring with the Grateful Dead and wearing a string tie. Joey Ramone, Jonathan Richman and Iggy Pop were so much easier to relate to. You never gave up on me though. The first time I could really listen to Bob was when Bruce Pavalon gave me a copy of Nashville Skyline. It knocked me off my feet, I had to hear it again and again. From there I moved on to a tape you made for me some years ago, Highway 69.

Another good passage in the book is when Bob gets invited to dinner with the Carter Family. They pass around the guitar and Bob plays, Lay Lady Lay, and when he is done, old man Carter asks him if he eats pork. There was an uncomfortable pause, and Bob writes that Kris Kristofferson just about swallowed his fork. Bob recalls hearing Malcolm X say on the radio once and says, 'No sir, I don't. A pig is one third rat, one third cat and one third dog, its not clean and I won't eat it.' Another pause, and then Johnny Cash doubles over with laughter.

At January 10, 2005 2:44 AM , Blogger Tim said...

Highway 69? get your mind out of the gutter, man!
That was Highway 61.

At January 10, 2005 6:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

as for the you-never-have-to-be-nicer-to-anyone-than-they-are-to- themselves comment: i agree with matt's exception rule. i think the challenge is to be nicer to people than they are to themselves. we are usually the harshest on ourselves, at least over the long run.

At January 11, 2005 12:41 AM , Blogger Annie said...

Lowell gave me your address. cool.
When I visited you in California you played a Johnny Cash / Bob Dylan tape for me called Nashville, I think. I've been looking for it ever since. No luck yet.

At January 11, 2005 5:18 PM , Blogger Tim said...

If someone is nicer to me than I am to myself, I instantly distrust them, sad as that might be.

At January 11, 2005 5:21 PM , Blogger Tim said...

worth checking out is a bootleg CD of a bunch of songs that Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan recorded together. It was around the time Dylan was making Nashville Skyline and one of the songs from this jam session, "Girl from the North Country" made it on to Nashville Skyline. I remember their duet of "Ring of Fire" was fantastic.


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