24 May 2011


"I never really knew Bob Dylan's stuff as a kid, so he was never a fundamental part of me as he was with some. There are those out there, you can see it, who have Dylan scorched into their flesh like a brand and every artistic action that he takes or has taken is cause for celebration, debate, hand-wringing, concern, mourning or whatever. I never got that. I missed all that early stuff of his, the '60s, most of the '70s.

But I did, in the end, have my Dylan moment.

I was sitting, on my own, in a bar, in New York — it was the first time I'd ever been to that city — and I went over to the jukebox to have a look at what was on offer. I saw a song, 'Gotta Serve Somebody' by Bob Dylan, and thought that that was a great title for a song, so I put it on, and that, as they say, was that. I was knocked down. What I heard seemed so simple, yet so full of ideas — chilling, funny, absurd, perverse, audacious, but heartfelt and mind-bendingly beautiful. I felt like grabbing the guy next to me and saying, 'Did you hear that song?' I felt like running out on the street and waving my arms around and yelling, 'Hey! Has anyone ever heard of Bob Dylan?' It was like I'd missed the moon landing or something.

So, I started a slow trawl backwards, down the years, through the records, and it was like stepping into Aladdin's Cave — there it was, oceans of the stuff — all the terrible love and beauty you could ever want to hear.

Happy birthday, Bob"
. (Nick Cave)


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