23 November 2002
And the language that he used
Jesse Walker, at long last, has seen a Dylan concert, and one thing perplexed him: the emcee's intro, which went something like this:
"Ladies and gentlemen, the poet laureate of rock'n'roll. A man closely identified with the '60s counterculture, who then disappeared into a haze of substance abuse in the '70s, only to find Jesus at the end of the decade. By the end of the '80s, most people wrote him off as a has-been, but in the late '90s he turned his career around with some of the strongest work of his career. Ladies and gentlemen, Columbia recording artist Mr. Bob Dylan!"
Walker wonders, not unreasonably:
Did Dylan write that long and not so flattering speech himself? Or was an overzealous announcer fired as soon as he stepped down from the microphone?
I'd like to think #2, but I'm fairly certain it wasn't #1 either. For some reason, Dylan seems to invite this sort of drivel; the fawning tripe Pete Hamill wrote for the Blood on the Tracks liner is the archetype.
And Walker reports that he'd thought briefly about yelling "Judas!" during the set, which, were I in charge of the accounting, would earn him lots of extra karma points.