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Music Blog

Local Musicians Tell Favorite Bob Dylan Stories

by Austen Diamond
- Posted // 2013-05-24 - The music of Bob Dylan is many things to many folks. The bard’s canon is so vast and so important that every fan will have one song or one memory tied to the musician that they will never forget. We’ve asked the musicians of the annual Bob Dylan B-day Bash to tell us theirs.

Few artists are important enough to warrant nationwide bashes celebrating their birth—especially while they are still alive. Bob Dylan, arguably America’s best rock poet, will be paid tribute to by local folk and rock musicians at this third-annual event. This year, The Garage will feature two stages with alternating sets—a main stage outside and a singer-songwriter stage inside. Joining the ranks of musicians who’ve paid homage to the Bard of all Bards—like Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, PJ Harvey and George Harrison, to name but a few—is a stellar crop of locals. On the bill are Wild Onions, Bullets & Belles, Hectic Hobo, Paul Jacobsen, Luke Benson, Rich Gerber, Triggers & Slips, Matteo, David Williams and more.

The event will be held at The Garage (1199 N. Beck St.) at 9 p.m. on Friday, May 24, and is free.

What is your favorite Dylan song or Dylan memory/story and why?

“Although I was attending a music school down the street, I had landed a job in a foreign-language lab at Boston University when I was 20 or so. They had a listening library for students to practice their chosen language by listening to audio tapes and watching films. A published ‘Dylanologist,’ Christopher Ricks, was a professor in the same building and had stocked a 100-disk CD player with every album release of Bob Dylan's up to that time. He had put them there for his literature and poetry students to study. As an employee of the library, I had a key to this treasure trove! Throughout the year, starting at disc 1, 1961's Bob Dylan, I slowly took them in one after another, in order. I feel like I listened to Bob the same way it felt to be there in the early ‘60s living it. When Bob explored various styles, I followed -- when he went electric in 1965, I was appalled. A few months later, I was onto his country twang and couldn't believe it. My other job was as a film projectionist, and that meant long nights of nothing but Dylan, my head and the sound of machines rolling all night. I started feeling Prof. Ricks' academic approach. Eventually, I was on board with most everything that Dylan has come up with. I followed him on tour closely and collected bootleg recordings of shows in those years, and now hold a huge collection of performances from the ‘90s onward. You can find them by searching ‘Bronk's Choice’ on YouTube.’ -- Bronk of The Onion Brothers

"I don't think I can commit to my favorite song; I have a little too much emotional baggage -- I just don't think I am ready for that yet. However, I can tell you some of our favorite songs to perform, such as ‘It Ain't Me Babe,’ ‘Down In The Flood,’ and ‘I Shall Be Released.’ Dylan has created so many memories for me that wouldn't even be possible without him. He influenced other legends like Johnny Cash, as well as being responsible for the beginning of one of the greatest bands ever, The Band. One of my favorite Dylan memories has been from watching No Direction Home, and also seeing the The Last Waltz, and the magic that both of those films have. The true power in those films is how they focus on the amazing artists around him, instead of the focus being only about Bob Dylan. It is hard to grasp how influential he has been and will, hopefully, continue to be. This is why we feel blessed and grateful to be able to celebrate his songs by carrying them to others at the Bob Dylan Bash, adding our take on a few of his songs alongside some of Salt Lake's best musicians at a killer venue like Garage On Beck Street.” -- Morgan Snow of Triggers & Slips

“Several years ago, I saw Bob Dylan playing at the fairgrounds in Grand Junction, Colo. We were pretty young but were surrounded by older barefoot tie-dyed hippies who were either on psychedelics or just experiencing an ultra-connection to Mr. Dylan in that moment. The band started playing ‘I Shall Be Released,’ and the woman in front of us broke into tears, raised her hands to the heavens and repeated, ‘Thank you, thank you for releasing us, Bob. Thank you!’ My friends and I laughed at how crazy the lady seemed. As I look back on it now, I still laugh, but I also feel like I get her a little bit more. Time goes by and a LOT of music has come and gone since that day in Grand Junction. My love and connection to Bob Dylan's music has only grown stronger. And now part of me does want to raise my hands to the sky, barefoot and crying, and thank him for showering his art on us.” -- Hasen of Hectic Hobo

My favorite memory of Bob Dylan is when we were teenagers, one of my best friends broke up with her boyfriend and we'd listen to Blood on The Tracks really, really loudly and get belligerent on whiskey. I can still clearly remember her turning to me and saying in reference to a lyric in the song, ‘Idiot Wind’: ‘Walkin around with a parrot that talks" and saying ‘Don't you SEE? It's just one of those bastards who just emulates what’s cool, just repeats all the shit they hear, like a PARROT THAT TALKS.’ Also, in the song ‘You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go’ -- which Noel will be singing for the show -- Dylan sings, ‘Purple clover, Queen Anne's lace, crimson hair across your face,’ yet after years of knowing every word to that album, I recently learned that Queen Anne's Lace is an herb that Native Americans used as a natural form of birth control! So: sexy reference, Bob!” -- Erin Haley of Bullets & Belles

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REPLY TO THIS COMMENT
Posted // May 27,2013 at 17:40

It was an honor to participate in the Bob Dylan's 72nd Birthday Bash!!! 

My favorite memory of Bob is when 'The Rolling Thunder Revue' came to town and played at The Salt Palace and My parents, aunts and uncles hung up a massive banner on the roof line of the house on 200 South and 700 East in which I grew up in that said "Welcome Bob Dylan and Rolling Thunder Revue!!! We Love You!!!" 

I was seven years old and I thought they were insane!

I think now I get it a little better.

Christian Coleman of The Blue Zen Band

 

 
 
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