Thursday, May 12, 2011
Blowing in the wind: A parable
Bob Dylan recently came to NZ and put on a show, many of his oldest fans turned up to hear what they hoped would be a trip down memory lane, like listening to their old vinyl but with the added thrill of the man himself sitting there. Instead they were shocked by the terrible racket being produced and dissapointed not to recognise more than a tiny handful of songs. In disgust many fans walked out.
Others though had followed Dylan's career a bit more closely and knew that he wasn't still rehearsing karaoke versions of his 60's material, some of them were still dissapointed with the performance, but others thrilled to find themselves in the presence of musical genius.
People who expect musicians to remain solidly stuck in the past, don't buy their later records but then complain when they don't know any songs at the concert strike me as being hopeless. They are not fans of the musician at all but instead only fans of a recording, perhaps one that is tied to their youth or a different era, they weren't paying homage to Dylan, they were paying homage to their own nostalgia. Nothing wrong with that I suppose, but how churlish to complain that Dylan had moved on without them, that he had a life of his own and hadn't stayed stuck in their past.
Like the wind, he had moved on. "So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." (John 3:8)