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BOB DYLAN PowerPoint Presentation


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  2. Robert Alan Zimmerman • Bob Dylan was born as Robert Alan Zimmerman on May 24, 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota • Grandparents were Jewish-Russian immigrants • His father, Abe Zimmerman, worked for the Standard Oil Company • His mother was Beatrice Zimmerman and in 1946 his brother David Zimmerman was born • In 1947 his family moved to Hibbing, MN, his mother’s small home town close to the Canadian border • By the age of 10 he had been writing poetry and taught himself the basics of piano, guitar, and harmonica

  3. High School Years • Robert in high school delved into his musical influences, mainly Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Hank Williams, and Elvis Presley • His goal in the Hibbing High yearbook of 1959 was to “join Little Richard.” • He formed several bands, The Golden Chords was his most successful • Robert graduated Hibbing High School in 1959 • He was anxious to leave Hibbing and has seldom returned to visit

  4. College • Robert left Hibbing for the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis for the Fall 1959 semester and was enthralled by the big city • His interest in Woody Guthrie peaked at this time and he sought to travel around the world playing music as Woody had done • His interest in music was so strong that he rarely went to class • He performed at local places such as St. Paul’s Purple Onion Pizza and began developing his nasal folk voice that would become his trademark • Before a performance he told the manager that his name was Bob Dylan and has adopted the stage name ever since • It is rumored the name Bob Dylan was in honor of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, although Bob has consistently denied this throughout his career

  5. Talkin’ New York • Bob Dylan dropped out of college and moved to New York City • His two aspirations for New York were to become a part of the Greenwich Village folk scene and to meet his hero Woody Guthrie, hospitalized in New Jersey • He succeeded in both realms, achieving quick popularity in the Village and playing Woody Guthrie’s own songs to him at his bedside • Bob spent all his time with other musicians, who were amazed when he could play back their songs perfectly after only hearing them once • He started writing songs at a very rapid pace

  6. Introducing Bob Dylan • Critic Robert Shelton, after seeing Dylan’s performance at Gerde’s folk city, spoke extremely highly of his talent in an article in the New York Times in Fall 1691 • One month later, John Hammond signed Dylan to Columbia Records • Still unconfident in his songwriting abilities, Dylan selected only two originals for his self-titled debut album • The record “Bob Dylan” showed Dylan’s cut-throat folk side • As much as the record showed his potential, it could not compare to his 1963 record: “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” • The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan is a collection of nothing less than masterpieces, including “Blowin’ In The Wind” which became an anthem for the 60’s.

  7. The Acoustic Poet • Dylan released two more acoustic albums in 1964 • “The Times They Are A-Changin” of 1964is more or less a sequel to “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan,” further reinforcing Dylan’s one-man power on acoustic and vocals • “Freewheelin’” and “The Times” were primary doctrines of the protest movement of the 60’s • Dylan grew weary of his position at the forefront of the protest movement; “Restless Farewell,” the final track on “The Times,” is a goodbye to the protesters • His second album of 1964 and last acoustic album “Another Side of Bob Dylan,” the rawest and most introspective of them all

  8. The Electric Poet • After Dylan’s split with long time girlfriend Suze Rotolo, he became involved with folk diva Joan Baez, who gave each other double exposure • Dylan gained interest in moving beyond the acoustic guitar and added a nine-piece band for his 1965 album “Bringing It All Back Home” • This album is quite possibly the origin of the term “Folk-Rock” • Dylan debuted his new material at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965, and was famously booed off the stage • Dylan’s fame had dominated Baez’s and this caused tension between them which would split them apart • Moving on as usual, he began to see Sara Lowndes, a friend of his manager Albert Grossman’s wife, and a year later would marry her

  9. The Big Time • Also in 1965 Dylan released “Highway 61 Revisited” • The album contained the single “Like A Rolling Stone,” one of the longest, angriest tunes to reach No. 2 on the Billboard Charts. • “Blonde On Blonde” was recorded in 1966 in Nashville, which perfected his stream-of-consciousness rock style introduced in “Highway 61 Revisited” • Dylan toured England with The Hawks (later known as The Band), showing more of his wild rock side • Many of Dylan’s original acoustic fans were beginning to be truly baffled • Dylan was starting to be considered the voice of his generation, which at 25 years of age brought tremendous pressure

  10. Regaining Composure • A near-fatal motorcycle accident on July 29, 1966, proved a blessing in disguise, allowing Dylan to retreat to the solitude of his home in Woodstock, New York, with Sara and their newborn son Jesse to reevaluate his career and priorities. • Bob and Sara would have 4 children, one from one of Sara’s previous marriage (the youngestJakob Dylan is now the frontman of The Wallflowers) • After a rest for a few months, Dylan played at Woodstock and recorded The Basement Tapes with The Band • His next releases, “John Wesley Harding,” “Nashville Skyline,” and “Self-Portrait” especially, were seen as disappointments, yet they represented Bob Dylan’s desire to settle down

  11. Coming Back • “New Morning,” released in 1970, was still not a work of genius but showed the potential for a comeback • His although inspiring set at George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh, seemed to hint at artistic confusion as he did not perform any songs he wrote after 1966 • Dylan accepted an invitation from legendary Western filmmaker Sam Peckinpah (The Wild Bunch) to appear in and compose the score for his new film, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid • Although the film was a fallout, the single on this album “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” became one of the most covered songs in rock history • Dylan had not done a full tour for seven years; he and The Band in 1973 recorded Planet Waves which reached No. 1 on the charts, Dylan’s first No. 1 album ever

  12. Hope for the Future • While the tour seemed to restore Dylan's creativity, his personal life was in a shambles. He and Sara had separated, and Dylan's confusion, pain, and anger over their split inspired his music • The 1975 album “Blood On The Tracks” was the direct result of the split, his most brilliant album that was also his second straight No. 1 • “Blood On The Tracks” did not merely match the his works of the 60’s, they beat them • The 1976 album “Desire” was his third consecutive No. 1 album, with 9 songs of great length and substance • None of Dylan’s albums had and would ever match “Blood On The Tracks”; it was Bob Dylan’s musical peak

  13. Loose Ends • Dylan's first post-divorce album, Street Legal, did not bode well for the future. Overproduced and lyrically senseless, it was even worse than Self Portrait • His next move took the world by surprise: embracing fundamental Christianity, he released the overtly born-again album “Slow Train Coming,” which surprisingly reached No. 3 on the charts, produced the hit single “Gotta Serve Somebody,” and earned Dylan his first Grammy for Best Male Rock Performance • The tour that followed was a fire and brimstone affair that managed to alienate many of Dylan's longtime fans, and his next album, Saved, failed to crack the Top 20 • His next records Shot of Love (1981) and Infidels (1983), offered a positive hope for the future

  14. Current Dylan • Dylan in the late 80’s began to focus on touring with the most famous rock artists of the times, such as Tom Petty and the Grateful Dead • He followed up 1990's Under the Red Sky with two albums' worth of old folk and blues covers: 1992's Good As I Been to You and 1993's World Gone Wrong. While both are largely satisfying efforts, they didn't win him many new fans. • Early in 1997, Dylan recorded songs while snowed in in Minnesota, including seventeen minute long “Highlands,” the last track on “Time Out Of Mind,” which was his only gold record of the 90’s • In early December, Dylan was one of five recipients of his country’s highest award for artistic excellence, the Kennedy Center Honors

  15. BOB DYLAN (is still alive) “Half of the people can be part right all of the time, and some of the people can be all right part of the time, but all of the people can't be all right, all of the time.”