Tell me, where have you been, my darling young one?
...and it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
It's a hard rain gonna fall. -- Bob Dylan
Last Friday my Number One Son promised he'd blog-sit for me one day this week, but then he went all modest and tried to tell me he couldn't think of anything to write about.
"You can write about Bob," I offered, figuring that a single post about his beloved Bob Dylan probably wouldn't drive away too many of my readers.
"I wouldn't know what to say," he insisted.
Right. Pull the other one, kid.
Tristan was born talking. Never in his life has he been at a loss for words. He can talk anybody into anything. I still blush at the memory of an afternoon several years ago when he waved a gold box of Godiva truffles under my nose and said, "Tell me I'm not grounded anymore and these are all yours."
Hey, I know what you're thinking. But don't be too quick to judge me. Try maintaining a firm grip on your parental scruples when somebody is slowly pulling the satin ribbon off a box of your favorite chocolates right in front of you and murmuring, "Come on. You know you want to say it. I'm not grounded anymore, am I?"
"No," I cooed like a Stepford mother as I reached for the gleaming gold box. "Of course you're not grounded anymore."
But enough about my humiliation at the hands of a 17-year-old with a devious mind and a pair of dangerous blue eyes. Let's get back to Bob Dylan.
Tristan knows things about Bob Dylan that Bob himself probably doesn't know, so I couldn't believe it when he went all speechless on me. But I was determined to salvage something out of the situation and at least get his help on a blog entry, so I posed some interview questions:
Tristan, I was a Bob fan when I was your age, but I grew out of it. Do you think you ever will?
I doubt it.
But what is it about Bob? Why do you like him so much?
I hate to use such a clichéd response, but to me his music is timeless. The things he was singing about in the sixties still seem to make sense. I can relate to many of the stories told in his songs. Also, there's just something about his voice. I like it.
Can you explain that Victoria's Secret TV commercial to us? The one where Bob's growling at the models, who are all clad in underwear and "angel" wings?
I can, actually. I think it was in the sixties a reporter asked Dylan if there was anything he'd ever sell out for. Dylan smiled and replied "ladies undergarments". Also, I'm pretty sure that there was a connection between Dylan's current manager and some executive at Victoria's Secret, but I could be wrong about that....
You've attended Bob concerts all over the eastern U.S. and even in Canada. Want to tell us about a particularly memorable one?
Birmingham Alabama, at an outdoor music festival. We waited outside in front of the stage for 4 hours during a massive electrical storm and a tornado warning. We ignored the pleas of the stagehands to seek shelter and stuck it out. We and an old dead-head were the only ones who stuck it out and were rewarded with one of the best shows I've seen Dylan put on. The storm stopped, the clouded parted, the sun shined through, and Dylan rocked the stage. And after the show, we found out that a tornado had touched down.
Would you like to discuss any of Bob's career moves that you thought were especially wise or foolish?
Throughout his entire career he has been reinventing himself, his voice, his musical style. I think that's why he's managed to stay popular since the early sixties. He's not afraid to experiment.
What's the best Bob song or album ever?
I like "Desire" the best. I love the esoteric quality of the songs. I think it's a brilliant record, though I think I'm in the minority as far as Dylan fans go.
You've said many times that you were born in the wrong decade. Why do you think that?
Obviously, I'm a fan of the sixties. There was an openness between people I don't think will ever be matched. And the music was incredible. Most musicians were making music because that's all they knew how to do, and they did it for music's sake. It just seemed more pure and alive than the stuff today does. My generation seems so fake and temporary.
Have you ever felt the smallest twinge of guilt over having corrupted your mother with that box of Godiva truffles?
Never. I think it's one of my finest moments.
Hmm. Did you notice the title of this post? Mom knows a couple of Dylan songs, too, you know.
You'll get yours someday, kid. And when your very own blue-eyed son is tying your heart and your brain into knots, don't come running to me for sympathy.