Bob Dylan: A YouTube Compendium
Now that I've cast my ballot, the only thing I have left to do today (besides, you know, work) is steep in my unbearable anticipation for Bob Dylan's show tonight. What better way to while away the hours than to watch a bunch of videos on YouTube? Here's a list of my 10 favorite Dylan moments available on the internet.
1. The classic. The music video for "Subterranean Homesick Blues" is one of my first Dylan memories. I love how Allen Ginsberg's just chilling in the background.
2. That weird Victoria's Secret commercial. Dylan was once famously quoted as saying that if he was ever going to sell out to a commercial interest, it would be for "women's garments." He stayed true to his word with this advertisement, released in 2004.
3. Dylan bitchslaps Donovan. No offense to Donovan, he's a real nice folk singer and everything, but his lyrics sound like they were written by a pre-schooler in comparison to Dylan's more complex and philosophical lyrical arrangements. This video is from the Pennebaker documentary Don't Look Back. Not only is "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" one of my favorite Dylan songs, but the smug look on his face as he schools Donovan is priceless.
4. That scene in Big Lebowski. The Dude floats around in space as Dylan sings "Man in Me." What more could you ask for?
5. Bobby's electric guitar shocks the nation. All those poor little folkies at Newport in 1965 didn't see it coming. They wanted their favorite folk singer prophet to get up on stage and perform acoustic songs, business as usual, but Dylan had a different plan. Here's a clip of "Maggie's Farm" from that legendary performance.
6. The stubborn interviewee. Dylan is infamous for being a difficult interview subject. This clip from Don't Look Back shows him running circles around a Time Magazine reporter.
7. Rolling Thunder Review. Dylan spent a good part of 1975 and 1976 touring behind Desire, wearing white face paint, and filming the totally bizarre movie Renaldo and Clara -- which spent less than one week at the box office before tanking. Here's a clip from that time period of one of my favorite songs off Desire, "Isis."
8. All-Star Jam. At his 30th Anniversary Concert, Dylan jams with greats like Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Neil Young and Tom Petty. Here's the grand finale performance of "Knockin' on Heaven's Door." (Note: this was in 1992, which means that this year is his 46th anniversary of playing and recording music.)
9. Dylan's contribution to the '80s. Like most artists who got their start in the '60s or '70s, Dylan's career took a strange turn in the '80s. After becoming a born-again Christian and recording a couple of Gospel albums, Dylan surprised critics with Infidels, showing somewhat of a return to form. "Jokerman" is my favorite track on the album. The videos for this song can't be embedded, but click here to watch.
10. Modern Times. After all the ups and downs of his career, Dylan is back to releasing critically-acclaimed and fan-pleasing albums. 2006's Modern Times, his 32nd studio album, has been lauded by some as his best work in years. Here's an iTunes commercial featuring "Someday Baby" and a truly modernized Dylan.