Bob Dylan; In Memoriam


Fifth Estate # 1, November 19-December 2, 1965

Detroit took its first glimpse at the “new” Bob Dylan in his concert at the Masonic Temple on Oct. 24. The first half of the spectacle was the traditional Dylan. Following the intermission, the audience was confronted by Dylan wielding an electric guitar, surrounded by his rock & roll combo.

His first song, “Tombstone Blues”, resulted in cries of “We want Dylan!”

To which he replied, “Well, who’d ya come to see?” After a few unfavorable responses to his songs, he seated himself at the piano and sang “Ballad of a Thin Man.” The Chorus is: “There’s somethin’ goin’ on up here but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?” The audience remained quiet for the remainder of the concert.

When the concert ended, those who had come not knowing the “new” Dylan were astonished and offended. Others merely shrugged their shoulders and left the auditorium. For most of the audience, the image of Bob Dylan, bard of young America, was crushed.

Detroit’s reaction was not so radical or unusual. Dylan has met the same response throughout the United States.

The question which remains in the minds of many is simply “Why?” “why the change?” Dylan states, “I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. Those people who dig me know where I’m at–I don’t have to come on to them; I’m not a bathroom singer.” Regarding those who dislike the rock & roll, he states, “I’m not interested In them, I’m not writing and singing for anybody, to tell the truth. Hey, really, I don’t care what people say, I don’t care what they tell other people I am.”

Now Bob Dylan feels he can “make it” in rock & roll. Perhaps he can.