Exhuming Bob 5: Texas Bob Dylan

January 27, 2008

Exhuming Bob 5:  Texas Bob Dylan


R.E. Prindle


     While much is made of Bob’s Blues interests and his Folk career the truth is that Bob’s big musical influences were Country & Western.  He apparently embraced Robert Johnson after 1961 attempting to make him a major influence while giving himself Black roots and credentials that were then needed.  But when he talks of the pre-1959 period he invariably invokes the great C&W artists of the late forties and early fifties.

     Hence in this photo in what may be his last persona he has returned to his true C&W roots.  This is probably the Bob Bob has always wanted to be.  As you can see he has abandoned any Jewish identity in favor of a forties and fifties Western recording star.  Not so much the Hillbilly or Country aspect as that of the singing Cowboy.  Perhaps he is also recalling his early sixties adulation of Ramblin’ Jack Elliott.

     Here he emulates Slim Whitman- the mustache- Elton Britt,  Ernest Tubb the Texas Troubadour, Hank Williams or any number of artists before the Nudie Suit Of Lights came into fasion in the fifties.

      Note the attention he has taken to remolding his face in the attempt to eliminate Jewish characteristics.  The tight thin lips, the steely eyes.  A remarkable and successful effort at becoming what he has always, apparently, wanted to be.

The photo is taken from the Rolling Stone issue of May 3-17 2007 without permission.  If they object I’ll have to remove the post.scan.jpg

4 Responses to “Exhuming Bob 5: Texas Bob Dylan”

  1. Bob’s “Jewish identity” shows up in private (at least he tries to keep it that way) as he attends services at Chabad Houses across the globe on major Jewish holidays. He doesn’t attempt to draw attnetin to himself out of consideration for his fellow worshippers but he doesn’t attend incognito either.

  2. Tom Grasty Says:

    I love that picture. And since it would appear you are a fan, I thought I’d introduce you to my new novel, BLOOD ON THE TRACKS, which I think you’d enjoy.

    It’s a murder-mystery. But not just any rock superstar is knocking on heaven’s door. The murdered rock legend is none other than Bob Dorian, an enigmatic, obtuse, inscrutable, well, you get the picture…

    Suspects? Tons of them. The only problem is they’re all characters in Bob’s songs.

    You can get a copy on Amazon.com or go “behind the tracks” at http://www.bloodonthetracksnovel.com to learn more about the book.

  3. reprindle Says:

    Thanks for the info. Sounds interesting.

  4. R M Says:

    Intriguing, but oh hell, it’s the 21st century, and you do know what THAT means, right? It means THE STAR WOULD BE THE MURDERER!! Phil Spector, Blake, Simpson, (ok, so it’s only “only soul murder” M. Jackson), etc. Today, everything is SO messed up, and it’s far more likely that a star would do the deed than be the victim. And then either be aquitted (or in Spector’s case, have it postponed for, forever . . .), of course.

    And that’s where we’ve come. But it does make it a little easier to understand the youthful Bob Dillon (or whatever he was calling himself at that moment).

    In the ’80s, that might have been a real scandal. Nowadays, it’s no biggie. Scary, huh?


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