Dylan’s 70th Birthday Celebration

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Posted by Greg on May 24, 2011 at 7:40 am
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That’s right. Today is Bob Dylan’s 70th Birthday. Cameron has covered Dylan over the years including this 1978 Rolling Stone piece on his Universal Amphitheatre concerts and his massive liner notes for the box set, Biograph (sorry, I still haven’t transcribed that yet..it’s a beast!).

You don’t want to miss the recent Rolling Stone issue dedicated to Bawb. It covers “The 70 Greatest Dylan Songs”, “20 Overlooked Classics”, “My Favorite Dylan Song”, Photos, Bootlegs, his first Rolling Stone interview and much more. Cameron participated by talking about #60 on the list of Greatest Dylan songs, “Buckets of Rain”. A fitting choice as I heard that song was played quite a bit on the set of We Bought a Zoo. Here’s what he wrote:

#60 – “Buckets of Rain” – Blood on the Tracks (1975)

ONE OF THE GREAT GIFTS BOB DYLAN HAS IS TO slip a grace note into an album, something that doesn’t cry out to be noticed, but is unforgettable. To me, that’s “Buckets of Rain,” the perfect grace note for Blood on the Tracks: melancholy, loping and bittersweet. It’s sly and unpretentious, but has huge power. Any room I’ve ever played it in has changed as a result.

The one little thing in the corner of an album, a movie or any piece of writing can be the most important element of all. The quiet little song makes Blood on the Tracks complete, and one of his greatest albums.

Dylan was in a middle period when he wrote it. I heard he went back to Minnesota and was living on a farm. He had a notebook, and the lyrics of Blood on the Tracks were honed in that period. He was going to get personal. It was going to hurt to hear, but it was going to be revelatory. It turned out to be the confessional Dylan album that people had been craving for a long time, and he hasn’t really gone back there since. He put up a lot of roadblocks and disinformation about it, but Blood on the Tracks is his Blue – his confessional album about relationships. I can’t think of it without “Buckets of Rain.” Dylan’s stuff continues to inform every generation – it just lives and lives, and a song like “Buckets of Rain” breathes with a simple truth about real life. After a blistering heartache comes a soothing rain.

Cameron Crowe

May, 2011

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