“…nobody was going to be my boss.”

27th May 2011

I guess it is no “Simple Twist of Fate” that the media all over the world enthusiastically celebrate the 70th birthday of one of the most outstanding musicians:  Bob Dylan. Being one of the most influential personalities of the 20th century – musically and culturally – he has become a legend while he is alive. Dylan was even included in the Time 100 (The most important people of the century) where he was called “master poet, caustic social critic and intrepid, guiding spirit of the counterculture generation”. For biographer Howerd Sounes Dylan even belongs in a row with Mozart, Picasso, Frank Lloyd Wright, Shakespeare and Dickens.

What people mostly don’t know is who got him hooked on beat music at a tender age of fourteen. “When I first heard Elvis’s voice I just knew that I wasn’t going to work for anybody, and nobody was going to be my boss,” he said. “Hearing him for the first time was like busting out of jail.” Well, at least, I’ve got one thing in common with this great artist.

I guess every age makes its own kind of genius. This is especially true for Dylan, the singer that never wanted to be or called a prophet. His old, jung, broken and vital voice can be full of hope or despair, bending and reforming lyrics. Hopefully for many years to come.

Tonight I will open my best bottle of Champaign, a tin of Caviar and listen delightfully to the music that moved generations.

Raoul Stöhlker