I seem to always find myself saying that I probably should have been alive in the sixties, and that I would be a hippie who was part of the Anti-War Movement. Although, sadly I was not and as of late there has not been a time machine invented. However, there are many who were such individuals and I am able to read about their exciting lives.
One man whose life is particularly interesting is Bob Dylan. An American singer-songwriter, whose powerful and meaningful lyrics became anthems for the Civil Rights and Anti-War movements, Dylan was born on May 24, 1941. Originally named Robert Allen Zimmerman, he grew up in Minnesota. From childhood he was tuned to music: he constantly listened to the radio and even formed several bands in high school. Zimmerman enrolled at the University of Minnesota in 1959 and became highly interested in folk music and later explained that it was because folk dealt with “more despair, more sadness, more triumph, more faith in the supernatural, much deeper feelings.”
The first time he began to introduce himself as “Bob Dylan” was when he was involved with the local Dinkytown folk music circuit by campus. The name change was influenced by the poetry of Dylan Thomas and he later explained in an interview that, “you’re born, you know, the wrong names, wrong parents. I mean, that happens. You call yourself what you want to call yourself. This is the land of the free.” What I love about Dylan is that he speaks so truthfully, from his mind and heart.
Now known by people as Bob Dylan, he dropped out of college at the end of his freshman year and moved to the concrete jungle of New York City in 1961. In the beginning, Dylan played at various clubs around Greenwich Village and obviously became signed, not too long after. Within the next few years and the release of two albums, Dylan began to gain popularity. What has been most popular of Dylan’s music is his lyrics, which are extremely meaningful and relevant. His lyrics are what associate Dylan with poetry; he has a poetic power through his words. He was even influenced by the Beat poets such as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. Bob Dylan was such an influential individual himself as his songs spoke to people about the current issues of that time. Dylan was referred to as an “Informal Chronicler” by the way in which he communicates with society.
Dylan continues to tour the world to this day on his “The Never Ending Tour.” He is such an influential and honest individual. I only hope that someday my words will resonate with and affect as many people as Bob Dylan has.