You may have heard that Bob Dylan released a new record, Together Through LIfe, on Tuesday, and as such, you probably assumed he'll be gracing the cover of the next issue of Rolling Stone. You are correct: issue 1,067 of the magazine will feature yet another Dylan cover story, this one penned by historian Doug Brinkley. There's a preview of the piece on the Rolling Stone site today, which focuses on portions of the article that discuss Dylan's collaboration with Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter on all but one song from the new record. Not surprisingly, Dylan comes off as a bit of a grumpy old asshole.
"He's got a way with words, and I do too," he told Brinkley. "We both write a different type of song than what passes for songwriting today."
Now, I'm currently in my apartment staring at a framed poster from a 1976 Dylan show, and if I turn around in my desk chair and glance at my record collection, I will easily be able to spot the long, beautiful row of Dylan CDs, with their unmistakable white and red Columbia Records spines. My iTunes contains more Dylan than any other artist, my more than a day. What I'm saying is, I'm sorta into the dude. I go through phases where I can't listen to anything else, in fact.
But every time he says something like this, I feel ever so slightly less inclined to listen to anything by him, let alone one of his new records, which we all know skirt by at least partially because every single music critic on the planet is still just looking for an opportunity to write the once-in-a-lifetime piece that sufficiently explains how special he is, or was. There's just nothing less appealing to me, in any situation, than old people complaining about young people, even if it's Bob Dylan.