Happy Birthday Bob.

teenage-dylan

Damn Bob, May 24, 2011 you turn 70 years old. There are so many things I want to tell you old friend but I will try and break down the highlights of our relationship.

As a youngster I was too busy AM radioing to really know you. You were peripherally on my ear-radar through the songs Blowing In The Wind, Just Like A Woman and Like A Rolling Stone. But with the British Invasion winning on my Sears stereo you didn’t stand a chance, plus that voice it just wasn’t sweet enough for my ear candy tastes.

In 1968 a fortuitous purchase at the local Drug Fair changed all that. After falling in love with The Band’s “Music From Big Pink” album and devouring the liner notes I had to know more about you. My first mistake in trying to make your acquaintance was getting to know you through your “Greatest Hits” releases. I apologize. Of course all the songs were there that make you a welcome dinner guest, but not until my Cousin Booty gave me a copy of “New Morning” in 1970 did I realize your true friends got to know you through the dark corners of midnight coffee and the deep tracks of your menu. It was akin to know Dylan Thomas only through his “Gentle Good Night” than through his body of work. So I dove into the deep end, and Bob, I’ve enjoyed every new stroke and flip.

You’ve been called the voice of a generation, you scoffed at that just like a true voice should. Bill Clinton called you America’s poet laureate and you smiled and turned your amp on 11. Oscars, Grammys and Pulitzers abound, but you remain on the road and probably couldn’t sketch their images.

Every five years or so some critic calls the next new voice the new Bob Dylan, then that voice hears your canon and collapses under its weight.

Over the years you have given me many great gifts, so many I need a list to remember them all, but these 11 are so close and personal to our friendship I had to single them out:

Don’t Fall Apart On Me Tonight

Chimes Of Freedom

My Back Pages

Not Dark Yet

Tomorrow Is Such A Long Time

Tight Connection To My Heart

Workingman’s Blues # 2

Something There Is About You

If You See Her, Say Hello

Every Grain Of Sand

The 11th I will close this letter with, for it speaks not only of our abiding friendship but our soon to be traveled trails in the future.

Forever Young

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

Happy Birthday Bob.

Love

Stilson

2 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Bob.”

  1. Well said. I’d rather listen to one man searching for the truth than a thousand that think they know it all.

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