Trying to decide on a Bob Dylan track to include here, is like trying to decide which Shane Warne delivery was his best. Was it his first ball in Test cricket to remove Mike Gatting or the one that got Andrew Strauss in the 2005 Ashes? Or was it... and the list goes on from one great moment to another. Such is the way with genius. In Bob Dylan's case, should it be something from his early period - 'The Times They are A-changin'' for example, a song that gripped a generation? Or rather 'Like a Rolling Stone', perhaps his definitive song? What about something off Blood on the Tracks (1975), often the critics' choice album or one from his 'Christian phase'? When it comes to faith and Dylan, 'pick a song, any song' would probably work.
In May, my Dad and I stood in the same room as Bob Dylan. OK, it was a big room (Wembley Arena) and there were 10,000 others there, but it was still the same room. As he walked on stage I wondered why it had taken me so long to go and see him. I happened on the delights of Dylan, aged 14, whilst scouring my uncle's record collection on holiday. Twenty years later, I finally made it. It wasn't too late, but there was a distinct feeling of 'how much longer can he do this' about it. With his hat pulled low over his face and his back almost to the audience, for two hours he was sensational - but not a word was uttered except to introduce the band at the end and then it was just names.
It seems that for whatever reason, Bob 'Ain't talkin'' (you need to listen to the song yourself for clues about why this might be). Or as the chorus to the song from last year's Modern Times (2006) goes, 'Ain't talkin', just walkin'. And here we come to the crux of the matter for me. When it comes to matters of faith there is far too much talking and precious little walking that happens. For me, having listened to Bob's sermon-song and seen him living it out in Wembley, I've decided to imitate him. Sure words will get us somewhere, but actions will get us further.
famous before we're dead...
2 days ago