Dylan at 80

This is a rich weekend for Dylan fans like yours truly.

The great man’s 80th birthday is the catalyst for an outpouring of all sorts of broadcast programmes, events and articles.

Here’s a little flavour of ones I’ve listened to or plan to.

These five 15 minute podcasts on BBC Radio 4 by Sean Latham, Director of the Institute for Bob Dylan Studies at the University of Tulsa, and editor of The World of Bob Dylan, are rather wonderful. They trace Dylan’s music, poetry and life in five periods from the early 60s to 2020.

What came across, to me anyway, is the man’s single-minded devotion to his craft. In a world of endless distraction and noise, he has followed his vocation relentlessly – and still is. Thus lie the seeds of true greatness. Know what you want to do and follow your passion. In Dylan’s case never allowing himself to be boxed in to others’ agendas or expectations.

Also on Radio 4 over the weekend was Verbatim, Dylan in his own words

And Front Row on BBC Radio 4 has a programme discussing his music and legacy with Bob Geldof and others

On BBC Radio 6 Cerys Matthews, she of a Welsh lilt and great taste in music, hosted a birthday tribute to saint Bob

And she also has a programme on BBC Radio 2 on Bob Dylan Blues to mark the occasion

The BBC World Service has a ‘Heart and Soul’ programme looking at his Gospel period, broadcast last Friday

In Dublin, tomorrow night there is a free livestream event from the US Embassy on You Tube and Facebook to celebrate his birthday.

That’s enough to be getting on with …. time spent with Bob is time well spent.

Happy Birthday Bob!


A couple of other things to add from today, Dylan’s birthday.

This article from Declan Kiberd in the Irish Times

And this charming letter from the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins – ‘one 80 year old to another’

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