In theory, I would say that our first loves of music comes from what we hear from our parental units. Subsequently, I grew up in a household listening to my mother’s tunes; classic rock and classical music. Wagner and The Who, Vivaldi and Van Halen, Beethoven and Beatles, Dvorak and Dylan…
It was an odd pairing for certain, and it all depended on what my mother was feeling in the moment; if the classic rock music she was listening took her to a place of remembrance that was fun and enjoyable it stayed on, but if it triggered something in her that was painful she would switch the channel with an indigent “we don’t listen to rock and roll”.
Still through these twist and turns of the radio dial, my love of classical music and classic rock came from her. When I was in my pre-teens I “found” Bob Dylan on my own and learned about what he wrote/sung about. I remember reading with horror the events that unfolded in Bob Dylan’s song about Hattie Carroll, I liked the sense of optimism in “the time’s they are a-changin’ / blowing in the wind”, I even liked to some extent the rawness and stripped away nature to his song “all along the watchtower” (but yes, later on I “found” Jimi Hendrix’s version).
I wasn’t a troubled youth externally, but internally I was. By getting in touch with the protest songs and folk music scene of my mother’s era I was able to work out some of that internal struggle…well, to some extent, that was prior to me making friends who gave a damn about me and my welfare. Still, I liked and still like Bob Dylan for his music and what he communicated in his lyrics.
Music is one of those things where you can find a band or a tune to suit your every emotion. Sometimes it makes you think, sometimes it puts you in a place of meditation, sometimes it just fills the silence because you can’t handle it…all the while, I think it’s a good thing to find tunes accordingly. Bob Dylan’s tunes of yore have gotten me out of my funk before, they’ve shaken me out of my complacency and have encouraged me to be optimistic (which isn’t my default mode too much of the time, but I’m getting better at it).
So here’s to Bob Dylan, a talented musician whose music has many articulate and ornate layers in his lyrics.