I don’t know why, but the Audiophiliac, Steve Guttenberg, always makes me laugh. (That’s a good thing). Steve has a way of taking topics that I never would be interested in and capturing me. Today’s episode on Bob Dylan and how the singer’s voice always changes to the point where it is unrecognizable, reminds me of the bio I read about him.
His father, Abe Zimmerman, an appliance retailer, Hibbing Minnesota, said of his famous son, “My son is a corporation and his public image is strictly an act.”
I actually admire that Dylan was a free spirit who made up information about himself to suit whatever was going on at the time. Not many of us would have the guts to do that. To be labeled a liar would be such a horror. It turns out that it worked well for Dylan. He received one of the highest honors you can get in the United States. President Barack Obama presented the Medal of Freedom to Bobby Zimmerman in 2012.
Meanwhile, at 13 he told people he wasn’t Jewish even though he was Bar Mitzvahed. He also told people he was an orphan. He said he ran away from home to join the circus. He never did. He said he named himself after his Uncle Dillon who was a gambler in Vegas. Not true.
I can accept those fabrications from a creative artist, but I can’t forgive him for mistreating Joan Baez in 1967. She was his girlfriend at the time and accompanied him when he was on tour in England. Not once did he invite her on stage to introduce her to British audiences. Baez never had the recognition in Europe that she had here. Yet, she was the one who gave Dylan the stage exposure to become a big star. She left him over that. That’s my kind of gal.
Steve’s video on Dylan zeros in on his ability to reinvent himself all the time, even with his voice. I think he may be goofing on us wondering why we bought his bullshit all these years.