We're back with a new entry, written by one of your classmates, Miguel from 2NI. He has succeeded in matching the purpose of the unit we are studying with one of his favourite singers. Congratulations, Miguel!!!
"A few days ago we were learning new vocabulary, new adjectives. We connect the adjectives with important figures in order to understand the meaning, and the difference among the adjectives. We talked about Leonardo, Picasso, Mandela, Obama and other well known personalities.
We can go over the adjectives by talking about a celebrity, for me, a person who assembles all the characteristics described in the learned adjectives. I´m going to write about Robert Allen Zimmerman, a name that to the majority doesn’t say anything, but everyone knows him by his stage name, Bob Dylan.
Bob Dylan was born Robert Allen Zimmerman on May 24, 1941, in Duluth, Minnesota. He grew with the birth of Rock and Roll, driven by the influences of early rock stars like Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard (who he used to imitate on the piano at high school dances), the young Dylan formed his own bands.
While studying at University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, he began performing folk and country songs at local cafés, taking the name of "Bob Dylan," after the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.
In 1960, Dylan dropped out of college and moved to New York where his idol, the legendary folk singer Woody Guthrie was hospitalized. Dylan visited Guthrie regularly in his hospital room; he also became a regular in the folk clubs and coffeehouses of Greenwich Village; and began writing songs at an incredible pace, including "Song to Woody," a tribute to his ailing hero.
He is ORIGINAL, his songs are different, authentic, creative, imaginative and genuine.
In the fall of 1961, after one of his performances received a good review in The New York Times, Dylan signed a recording contract with Columbia Records. Their first album, released early in 1962, was named “Bob Dylan”. The 1963 release of “The Freewheelin” marked Dylan's emergence as one of the most ORIGINAL and poetic voices in the history of American popular music. The album included two of the most memorable 1960s folk songs, "Blowin' in the Wind" (which later became a huge hit for the folk trio Peter, Paul, and Mary) and "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall."
His next album, “The Times They Are A-Changin”, firmly established Dylan as the definitive songwriter of the 60s protest movement, a reputation that only increased after he became involved in one of the movement's established icons, Joan Baez, in 1963. Dylan began to be one of the most INFLUENTIAL singers of the second part of the 20th century. Dylan, as an INFLUENTIAL artist was able to change a generation mind, guiding lots of young people and being a meaningful and significant songwriter.
By 1964 he was playing 200 concerts annually, but had become tired of his role as "the" folk singer-songwriter of the protest movement. “Another Side of Bob Dylan”, recorded in 1964, was a much more personal, introspective collection of songs, far less politically charged than Dylan's previous efforts.
In 1965, Dylan scandalized many of his folkie fans by recording the half-acoustic, half-electric album “Bringing It All Back Home”. On July 25, 1965, he was famously booed at the Newport Folk Festival when he performed electrically for the first time. The albums that followed, “Highway 61 Revisited” (1965),which included the influential rock song "Like a Rolling Stone", my favorite song of the rock and roll history, and the two-record set “Blonde on Blonde” (1966) represented Dylan at his most INNOVATIVE, Dylan introduced something new, he introduced changes and new ideas, he is new and original. With his unmistakable voice and unforgettable lyrics, he brought the worlds of music and literature together as no one else had.
During these early years he was an INSPIRATIONAL leader; he made people think about themselves, he was a source of ideas and a creator of feelings of enthusiasm.
But Dylan is also a BRAVE person, when it was in the top of the success playing as a folk singer-songwriter, he was willing to do a big change. As I have already said, he was booed at the Newport Folk Festival when he performed electrically for the first time, and a year later, on the European Tour, in Manchester he was also booed when he began to play with his electrical guitar. You can see the images in a fantastic film “No Direction Home” directed by Martin Scorsese.
In this film you can see a CHARISMATIC person, how he attracts people, how Dylan influences and inspires the youth of the 60s. Without showing off, being a shy person, he is an enticing singer.
Over the course of the next three decades, Dylan continued to reinvent himself. He appeared in the movie, “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid”, a feature film directed by Sam Peckinpah. He also wrote the film's soundtrack, which became a hit and included the now-classic song, "Knockin' on Heaven's Door".
Years after, in 1997 Dylan sang this song in front of the Pope John Paul II, another sign of being a BRAVE and courageous person. Not often we can see rock singers and the hierarchy of the Church together.
After a painful split with his wife, Sara Lowndes, the song "Sara" on the album Desire (1976), was Dylan's unsuccessful attempt to win Sara back. But it was a number 1 hit.
Bob Dylan again reinvented himself, declaring in 1979 that he was a born-again Christian. The evangelical album “Slow Train Coming” was a commercial hit, and won Dylan his first Grammy Award.
Beginning in the 1980s, Dylan began touring full time, sometimes with legends of the music world, like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and the Grateful Dead. Notable albums during this period included “Infidels”(1983); the five-disc retrospective “Biograph” (1985); “Knocked Out Loaded” (1986); and “Oh Mercy” (1989), which became his best-received album in years. And many other albums, -in his official website there are 61 albums.
There is no doubt that Dylan has been a CREATIVE person, not only because of the large number of albums produced, but also the large majority of the songs are composed, music and lyrics, by him. His lyrics have made him worthy of being nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature. His originality and the use in a new way of instruments like the guitar or the harmonica, or the accompaniments with all kinds of musical instruments, make him one of the most CREATIVE musicians of the last sixty years.
I think Dylan is also an EXEMPLARY person in the world of pop music, a world not always EXEMPLARY. But Bob Dylan is a model, an admirable musician. Look at the words that another singer said.
In 1989, when Dylan was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Bruce Springsteen spoke at the ceremony, declaring that "Bob freed the mind the way Elvis freed the body ... He invented a new way a pop singer could sound, broke through the limitations of what a recording artist could achieve, and changed the face of rock and roll forever."
In October 2009, Dylan continued to surprise fans by changing the subject on a new album. He released a Christmas album, “Christmas in the Heart”, comprising such Christmas standards as "Little Drummer Boy", "Winter Wonderland" and "Here Comes Santa Claus". Dylan's royalties from the sale of this album would benefit the charities Feeding America in the USA, Crisis in the UK, and the World Food Program.
Dylan continued to tour throughout the first decade of the 21st century and in the second decade as well. He is in The Never Ending Tour. It’s the popular name for Bob Dylan’s endless touring schedule since June 7, 1988. Last year, when a reporter asked him when the Tour ended, and he came home, Dylan said that, What about at home? Now he is in Japan, but most of the time he is playing in small cities of USA.
And finally a personal vision of Bob Dylan. Within their world tour, in summer of 1984, Robert Zimmerman stepped on stage for the first time in our country, Spain. The scenario of the event was the field of Rayo Vallecano in Madrid, in the same concert another mythical band Santana and a Spanish group called Minuit Polonia as openers played. I could be present at the concert; I remember the heat and Dylan with a long frock coat as worn by some cowboys in western movies. The field wasn't full so I separated from my friends to approach the stage and see Dylan closer.
Two years ago, Dylan was in Spain, he played at the Benicassim Festival, in Bilbao and at the Cap Roig Festival in Girona. The tickets for all these performances were very expensive. But near Spain, in the bullring of Bayonne, named Arena, in France I could see the concert. Dylan with a group of musicians that I've seen in videos playing twenty years ago, who looked to be the bad men from a western movie. Dylan, 72 years old, didn’t play the guitar, he only played the piano, the keyboard and the harmonica. On the piano was the Oscar he had won few years before. Bob Dylan continues to thrill audiences of all ages; I could see people from 15 to 70 years old.
Dylan is on the road, he plays more than 200 concerts each year, just as when he started in the bars of New York. Throughout his career he has accumulated countless awards, including the Prince of Asturias of Arts in 2007. A total of 61 albums have become a performance by Bob Dylan in more than a concert.
Dylan is a myth that continues making music, like over 50 years, for too many it seems always the same, but others believe he does something different every day. If you want to hear my favorite song by Dylan, well, below are the links. I'm not very original, the Rolling Stones magazine's list of the 500 GREATEST SONGS OF ALL TIME, is headed by the song 'Like a Rolling Stone', lyrics and music by Bob Dylan."
Incidentally, the handwritten draft of this song will be auctioned today. There will be someone able to pay a lot of money for it.
Thanks again, Miguel for bringing this artist to us. We really appreciate your hard work and patience to see this entry published.
OK, now your turn to comment on it. Do you like Bob Dylan? Do the adjectives suit him? Who would you consider a brave, innovative, exemplary, charismatic, imaginative, creative, inspirational, or original person?