Hwy 61 runs along the Lake Superior shoreline from Duluth to the Canadian border and beyond. It passes at least six State Parks along the North Shore of MN. On more than one occasion, when referencing Hwy 61 in my blog, some regular readers may recall my addition of ‘revisited’ –i.e. Hwy 61 –‘revisited’… or some such lame attempt at humor. Well, I recently got a question about my addition of ‘revisited’ regarding my references to Highway 61; the question was from a younger reader who was not familiar with Highway 61 Revisited, Bob Dylan’s classic album from 1965; hell, he didn’t even know Bob Dylan! Well, who can blame the youngster, I can barely remember 1965 myself.
As you are likely aware, Bob Dylan was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature last week. Being a couple of Minnesota Boys, I’d like to tell you the story about hiking the SHT with Bob …but alas, as you might guess, it would be a fib! We did hang out at some of the same ‘West Bank’ bars and coffeehouses back in the day, but I missed him by a few years. A couple of my friends met him, but he had departed the area a few years before I started hanging out in the West Bank (of the Mississippi) neighborhood, near the University of Minnesota. I met a few musicians who accompanied him on occasion, in his early days on stage in Minneapolis –at places like the Triangle Bar, the Viking Bar, the Whole Coffeehouse, and a couple other spots in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. Over the years they’d pop up in various venues locally. I don’t think many of those old rockers are around anymore.
Dylan always was, and remains quite the character. He did grow up on the Iron Range of northern Minnesota… not far from the SHT! Ahh, the connection… kinda… finally.
Below are some links describing/displaying some of Dylan’s artistic accomplishments and history over the past 60+ years; pretty amazing stuff! He has always been a poet, and strong on social commentary. 50 years ago this December I deployed to Vietnam; yes I knew Dylan and his messages. I grew up with the guy, more or less! As for his music, I have too many favorites to start naming them.
Dylan’s accomplishments go beyond the Nobel, and also include the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2012), a Pulitzer Prize (2008), an Oscar (2001), a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (1991) and a a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction (1988).
Now enjoy some history and some of his music, maybe with a cold beer or another drink of your choice. And a toast to Bob! Cheers, man! And to all the rest –Smoke’m if ya got’m!
Minnesota Poets Praise Dylan’s Nobel Nod, StarTribune
Knock’in On Heaven’s Door, YouTube
Like A Rolling Stone, YouTube
Desolation Row, YouTube (Desert Trip, Indio, 2016)
Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right, YouTube (Dylan and Clapton)
It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding), YouTube
I Shall Be Released, YouTube (Dylan, The Band, and Others- 1976)