Bob Dylan biography

Kategorie: Angličtina (celkem: 879 referátů a seminárek)

Informace o referátu:

  • Přidal/a: anonymous
  • Datum přidání: 01. července 2007
  • Zobrazeno: 1880×

Příbuzná témata

Bob Dylan biography

Looking at the history of rock and roll, it is impossible to overstate the importance of Bob Dylan. The grandchild of Jewish-Russian immigrants, Dylan was born Robert Allen Zimmerman, on May 24, 1941, in Duluth, Minnesota, where his father, Abe, worked for the Standard Oil Company. In 1947, the Zimmerman family moved to the small town of Hibbing, where an unexceptional childhood did little to hint at the brilliance to come. Robert started writing poems around the age of ten, and taught himself rudimentary piano and guitar in his early teens. Falling under the spell of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and other early rock stars, he started forming his own bands, including the Golden Chords and Elston Gunn and His Rock Boppers. The young Zimmerman left Hibbing for Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota in the fall of 1959. Indeed, his interest in music had become so intense that he rarely found the time to go to class. He began to perform solo at local nightspots like the Ten O'Clock Scholar cafe or St. Paul's Purple Onion Pizza Parlor. It was around this time, too, that he adopted the stage name Bob Dylan, presumably in honor of the late Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. The following year, he dropped out of college and went to New York with one thing on his mind: to become a part of Greenwich Village's burgeoning folk-music scene. He succeeded, becoming a fixture in the Village's folk clubs. Spending all of his spare time in the company of other musicians, Dylan amazed them with his ability to learn songs perfectly after hearing them only once. He also began writing songs at a remarkable pace, including a tribute to his hero entitled "Song to Woody."
In the fall of 1961, Dylan's legend began to spread beyond folk circles and into the world at large after critic Robert Shelton saw him perform at Gerde's Folk City and raved in the New York Times that he was "bursting at the seams with talent." A month later, Columbia Records executive John Hammond signed Dylan to a recording contract, and the young singer-songwriter began selecting material for his eponymous debut album. Not yet fully confident in his own songwriting abilities, he cut only two original numbers, rounding out the collection with traditional folk tunes and songs by blues singers like Blind Lemon Jefferson and Bukka White.

The result (released early in 1962) was an often haunting, death-obsessed record that, culminating in Dylan's gravel-voiced reading of "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean," sounded as much like the work of an aging black blues man as a twenty-one-year-old Jewish folksinger from Minnesota. Promising as that first album was, it didn't prepare anyone for the masterpiece that came next. The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, released in 1963, contained two of the sixties' most durable folk anthems, "Blowin' in the Wind" and "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall," the breathtaking ballads "Girl From the North Country" and "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right," and nine other originals that marked the emergence of the most distinctive and poetic voice in the history of American popular music. Cementing his reputation was Peter, Paul, and Mary's folksy cover of "Blowin' in the Wind," which went to No. 2 on the pop singles chart. The most revealing song on Another Side was "Ballad in Plain D," which painted a harsh, one-sided, blow-by-blow picture of Dylan's breakup with his longtime girlfriend Suze Rotolo, who can be seen on his arm in happier days on the Freewheelin' album cover. (More than twenty years later, Dylan said this was the one song in his catalogue that he wished he hadn't released.) Shortly after his split with Rotolo, he became involved with the world's most famous folk diva, Joan Baez. The relationship proved beneficial for them both, as Baez raided Dylan's unreleased material for her albums and introduced him to thousands of fans at her concerts. At the same time, Dylan was itching to move beyond the acoustic musical constraints the folk movement imposed. Early in 1965, he went into the studio with a nine piece band and recorded Bringing It All Back Home, a half-electric, half-acoustic album of complex, incisive, biting songs like "Subterranean Homesick Blues" (featuring the trademark line, "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows"), "Mr. Tambourine Man," and "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue." A week after Dylan cut Bringing It All Back Home, the Byrds electrified his acoustic "Tambourine Man," and by the time it reached the top of the charts the term "folk-rock" had become part of the contemporary lexicon. Dylan's own transition from folk troubadour to rock bard was not quite so smooth: debuting his new material with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, he was famously booed off the stage. Such resistance notwithstanding, Dylan's fame had long since eclipsed Baez's, and their relationship was starting to crumble. He had begun to see Sara Lowndes, a friend of his manager Albert Grossman's wife, and by the end of the year would marry her.

In the meantime, he recorded and released the album Highway 61 Revisited, which contained the monumental single "Like a Rolling Stone." Clocking in at more than six minutes, it was the longest, angriest song ever released on a 45, and it reached No. 2 on the Billboard singles chart. By this time, Dylan was routinely being hailed as the most important voice of his generation, but he was reaching a breaking point; he was, after all, only twenty-five years old. "The pressures were unbelievable," he would later tell biographer Anthony Scaduto. "They were just something you can't imagine unless you go through them yourself. Man, they hurt so much." A near-fatal motorcycle accident on July 29, 1966, proved a blessing in disguise, allowing Dylan to retreat to the solitude of his home in Woodstock, New York, with Sara and their newborn son Jesse to reevaluate his career and priorities. (The Dylans would ultimately have four children, with Bob adopting Sara's daughter from a previous marriage; Jakob, the youngest, is now the leader of the popular band the Wallflowers.)
At this point, it had been seven years since Dylan's motorcycle accident, and he had not mounted a full-scale tour since. In the summer and fall of 1973, he and the Band started rehearsing the Dylan songbook for a comeback tour, and in early November they took a few days off to record the album Planet Waves. It was a hasty, underwritten effort, but that didn't stop it from shooting to the top of the charts after Dylan and the Band hit the road for a nationwide tour in January of 1974. (Planet Waves was, in fact, Dylan's first No. 1 album ever.) The concerts were the stuff of legend, and promoter Bill Graham said that there were mail-order requests for more than twelve million tickets, though only 658,000 seats were available for the forty shows. An acclaimed two-record live set, Before the Flood, came out within a few months of the tour, and made it to No. 3 on the charts. While the tour seemed to reinvigorate Dylan's creative spirit, his personal life was in a shambles. He and Sara had separated, and Dylan's confusion, pain, and anger over their split infused the songs he was writing with a rare passion. The result was Blood on the Tracks, perhaps the most mature, moving, and profound examination of love and loss ever committed to record. Stunning songs like "Tangled Up in Blue," "Idiot Wind," and "Shelter From the Storm" were not strictly autobiographical, but their emotional turbulence clearly reflected Dylan's anguished state of mind. But the songs did not win her back: Dylan and Sara divorced the following year. Dylan's first post-divorce album, Street Legal, did not bode well for the future.

At thirty-seven, Dylan seemed, both personally and professionally, at loose ends. Even so, his next move took the world by surprise: embracing fundamental Christianity, he released the overtly born-again album Slow Train Coming. Much to the surprise of his critics, the record was a commercial success, reaching No. 3 on the charts, spawning the hit single "Gotta Serve Somebody," and earning Dylan his first Grammy award, for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance.

Nový příspěvek

Ochrana proti spamu. Kolik je 2x4?