….would be Like A Rolling Stone because I wrote that after I’d quit. I’d literally quit singing and playing, and I found myself writing this song, this story, this long piece of vomit about twenty pages long, and out of it I took Like A Rolling Stone and made it as a single. And I’d never written anything like that before and it suddenly came to me that that was what I should do, you know. I mean, nobody had ever done that before.
~Bob Dylan (to Martin Bronstein – Feb 1966)
.. The sound is so rich the song never plays the same way twice
The first time I heard Bob Dylan, I was in the car with my mother listening to WMCA, and on came that snare shot that sounded like somebody had kicked open the door to your mind
~Bruce Springsteen (Jan 1988)
First time I really listened to “Like A Rolling Stone”, I felt I entered a parallel universe.. a place of intense beauty.. a place filled with this wonderful blues-fueled rock music… and a spellbinding ..organ! I had never heard anything like it.. anything this good..
That was the day I understood that there is bad music, good music, great music & then there is Bob Dylan. He plays in another league. His musical universe is still as beautiful now as it was first time I flew into it.. “Like A Rolling Stone” still sounds as fresh as it did the first time I listened ~25 years ago.
..HOW does it feeeeeel?
Let’s not start with the original version (as most of you reading this probably have heard hundreds of times), but instead a frightening version.. a slow & demanding versions… an “ugly” version (some people might say).. a dangerous version.. but most importantly a BRILLIANT version:
…We get to hear a rarity on the tour… Bob introduces The Band. Then he kicks into the highlight of disc one… a paifully slow Like A Rolling Stone in which Bob spits words at the crowd with venom, and drags them into eternity.
@ Royal Albert Hall – London, England – 26 May 1966:
Everything is changed now from before. Last spring I guess I was going to quit singing. I was very drained and the way things were going it was a very draggy situation – I mean, when you do Everybody Loves You For Your Black Eye and meanwhile the back of your head is caving in. Anyway, I was playing a lot of songs I didn’t want to play. I was singing words I didn’t really want to sing. I don’t mean words like “God” and “mother” and “president” and “suicide” and “meat cleaver”. I mean simple little words like “if” and “hope” and “you”. But Like A Rolling Stone changed it all; I didn’t care any more after that about writing books or poems or whatever. I mean it was something that I myself could dig. It’s very tiring having other people tell you how much they dig you if you yourself don’t dig you. It’s also very deadly entertainment-wise. Contrary to what some scary people think, I don’t play with a band now for any kind of propaganda-type or commercial-type reasons. It’s just that my songs are pictures and the band makes the sound of the pictures.
~Bob Dylan (to Nat Hentoff – March 1966)
To be without a home