Tonight sees the first episode of Dylan’s Theme Time Radio Hour on Phantom 105.2 at 9pm. I know it probably seems sacrilegious to some people but Dylan’s never really done it for me. I have tried. Maybe it’s because Dylan used to be played a lot in my house when I grew up and my initial instinct was to not like him for that very reason (Who wants to listen to the same music that your Dad listens to?). But the fact is that most of his records leave me cold. The exception is ‘Blood On The Tracks’, which does make sense to me and is a very fine record indeed.
This may be a controversial opinion but the thing is, like Saint Etienne, I believe in Donovan over Dylan. (“There are too many bands that look lame, sound tame: I believe in Electrelane… I’m so bored with the myth of common sense. I believe in Donovan over Dylan, love over cynicism.” – ‘Finisterre’, Saint Etienne) .
Donovan is often considered as a bit of a joke, a second-rate Dylan, mostly due to Dylan’s comments about him in ‘Don’t Look Back’. But Donovan is responsible for some terrific records – the legacy of which you can hear in his influence on the likes of Nick Drake, Vashti Bunyan, Devendra Banhart, Belle & Sebastian and Happy Mondays. Some of his tunes are almost proto-baggy records.
But whatever about my personal views on Dylan, I think it’s quite a coup for Phantom 105.2 to get the Dylan show. Hopefully, it will introduce Phantom to a brand new audience and I look forward to hearing it. Tonight’s episode is based on the theme of weather, so perhaps he’ll play ‘Idiot Wind’ from ‘Blood on The Tracks’ or ‘Hurricane’ or ‘Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35’ – In fact, he could probably do a show of his own weather-related songs. However, somehow I doubt he’ll play Donovan’s ‘Catch The Wind’.
Check out rare footage of Dylan doing ‘Simple Twist of Fate’ from 1975 and Donovan doing ‘Season of The Witch’ in 1966 (the footage of this one is a bit distant for the first 55 seconds but stick with it…)
Also, talking of the ‘season of the witch’, here’s a clip I would have posted last week at Halloween time if (a) I had been aware of it and (b) I had started this blog. But I wasn’t and I hadn’t, so here it is now. This is truly surreal – Mike Tyson as ‘Dracula’ and Bobby Brown as James Brown doing ‘The Monster Mash’. You couldn’t make it up…