Take the rocks and gravel, baby, make a solid road : Mr. Bob Dylan – the Doyen gets Nobel…

Congratulations Mr. Bob Dylan… by recognizing you the Noble Committee may have made themselves relevant for a whole new generation of people who were hardly bothered about the honour.

These might be the two top songs on the playlist of most music lovers today…

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin’
And the first one now will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man ?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand ?
Yes, how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they’re forever banned ?
The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

But the song with which I started my long drive early this morning was this one…

Takes rocks and gravel, baby, make a solid road,
Make a solid road.
Takes rocks and gravel, baby, make a solid road,
Make a solid road.

Takes a good woman mama,
To satisfy my weary soul.

Have you ever been down on that Mobil and K. C. line,
Have you ever been down on that Mobil and K. C. line?

Well I just want to ask you,
If you seen that gal of mine,
Don’t the clouds look lonesome shining across the sea,
Don’t the clouds look lonesome shining across the sea,
Don’t my gal look good,
When she’s comin’ after me?


Born on 24th May 1941, named Bobby Zimmerman by his parents, before becoming famous as Bob Dylan, he also renamed himself as Elston Gunn for a brief period.

While you start a conversation with your friends about the musical powerhouse, here are some interesting tit-bits which may help in extending the discussion…

  • Charlie Chaplin is one of Bob Dylan’s biggest influences.
  • His great-grandfather and uncles owned the biggest movie theaters in Hibbing, Minnesota, allowing a young Dylan to watch films for free.
  • In 10th grade, Dylan and his back-up band were rejected from a high school talent show because the student council judged his performance at the audition too shocking.
  • In college, Dylan was known for scamming his friends out of cigarettes & articles of clothing.
  • In 1960, Tommy Smothers of the Smothers Brothers tried to get the manager of a Denver club to kick Dylan off the bill, complaining that his voice was awful.
  • While staying at Greenwich Village in the 1960s, Dylan became a chess enthusiast.
  • Bob Dylan broke an unwritten rule of folk music by recording a cover version of House of the Rising Sun, the song he had learned from fellow folk musician Dave Van Ronk (inspiration behind the Coen brothers’ movie Inside Llewyn Davis). Dylan asked Ronk for permission to record the song with Ronk’s guitar arrangement on his first album—after he had already done so. Ronk was upset because he had plans to record his own version for his album, and soon he stopped performing the song entirely because people believed he got it from Dylan. Karmically, Dylan himself had to stop playing “House of the Rising Sun” after The Animals came out with their version.
  • When Dylan met girlfriend Suze Rotolo’s mother, Mary, he lied and told her that he had a degenerative eye disease that would eventually lead him to go blind, earning him Mary’s eternal distrust.Suze Rotolo’s pet names for Dylan were “the Pig” and “RAZ.His first wife, Sara Lownds, worked as a Playboy bunny.Dylan struck up a short-lived friendship with Tiny Tim, who Dylan recorded singing “Like a Rolling Stone” while strumming the ukulele.bobdylan2
  • Cash and Dylan hung out together as early as 1962, when Columbia was openly discussing dropping Dylan before he even had the chance to record his famous second album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. John Hammond claimed it was Cash’s endorsement of Dylan that helped to convince Columbia not to make a colossal mistake by dumping Dylan. In 1969, Dylan returned the favor by making his first television appearance in three years to perform on the first episode of The Johnny Cash Show.
  • Bob Dylan’s first professional recording was as a harmonica player at a Harry Belafonte session.
  • Dylan’s first major appearance on American television was on The Steve Allen Show in 1964. When Dylan announced that he was playing the song “Hattie Caroll,” only one audience member clapped in recognition.
  • When he was first signed to Columbia Records (at 20, Dylan was considered a minor at the time), Dylan conned his way out of a stipulation that required his parents to sign, by convincing John Hammond that he was an orphan.Hammond signed him after he heard him play harmonica on a Carolyn Hester album, without permission from his bosses.
  • Bob Spitz, author of The Beatles: The Biography, has claimed that it was Bob Dylan who introduced the Beetles to the magic potion ‘marijuana’.
  • Dylan’s first draft of “Like a Rolling Stone” was six pages long.
  • From around 1960 to 1964, Dylan’s preferred intoxicants were pot and Beaujolais.
  • After Elvis died, Dylan didn’t speak to anyone for a week.
  • During a cross-country trip in 1964, Dylan showed up at Carl Sandburg’s doorstep and handed the poet a copy of The Times They Are A-Changin’.
  • Dylan’s experimental book of prose and poetry, Tarantulaa , was published in 1971.
  • He appeared in the 1973 Sam Peckinpah film Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid as a drifter named Alias.
  • In 1978, Dylan took a three-month course at the Vineyard School of Discipleship as part of his conversion to born-again Christianity.
  • Bruce Springsteen inducted Bob Dylan into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.
  • The Traveling Wilburys started when Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, George Harrison, and Jeff Lynne recorded a Harrison B-side called “Handle with Care” at Dylan’s house in Malibu.
  • Since 1988, as part of his “Never-Ending Tour,” Bob Dylan has played at least 100 concerts per year.
  • Dylan performed for Pope John Paul II in 1997, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (the current Pope Benedict), tried to stop Dylan from playing.
  • In 2001, Dylan received an Academy Award for his song “Things Have Changed,” featured in the film Wonder Boys. According to rumor, Dylan often props his Oscar up on the speakers when he’s playing.
  • In 2004, Dylan earned an honorary doctorate in music from the University of St. Andrews. The only other honorary degree Dylan has accepted was in 1970 from Princeton.
  • The Pulitzer Prize committee gave Dylan a special citation in 2008 for “lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power.”
  • In 2009, Dylan was detained by the policy in New Jersey after a homeowner spotted him wandering around a residential block in the rain.
  • in 2010, Dylan braved a blizzard to perform at a civil rights concert at the White House.
  • He released his 35th studio album, ‘Tempest’, in 2012. As per his records of the last 15 years, the sleeve didn’t contain any printed lyrics. The title-track did, however, include references to James Cameron’s epic 1997 blockbuster, Titanic.
  • Dylan has never had a number one single on the Billboard chart. The closest he’s come is ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ and ‘Rainy Day Women #12 & 35’, which both reached number two in 1965 and 1966 respectively. The Byrds’s cover of ‘Mr Tambourine Man’ did hit the top spot, though.

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