Oct 12, 2005

Bob is Beautiful

Just when I was about to throw the remote at the TV last night, Ryder & I ran across Bob Dylan: No Direction Home, A Martin Scorsese Picture on PBS’ American Masters. Holy crap! Marty Scorsese gets it done. There was a grip of previously unreleased film footage & interviews with Allen Ginsberg, Joan Baez & Pete Seeger. The film focuses on Dylan up to 1966, but spends a lot of time detailing the 1965 Newport Folk Festival when the man went electric. Holy crap! I don’t care what anyone says about the Velvet Underground, the Stooges, the MC5 or the New York Dolls; punk rock started in ’65 when Bob went electric. It was hilarious, all those folkies are at this festival to celebrate peace & love, but when Dylan came out with a band, sans an acoustic guitar, they booed him. Freaking hypocrites. Meanwhile, back stage Seeger is threatening to take an axe to the electrical equipment because Dylan’s set wasn’t folkie enough. Bob only played a few songs that night, but in his shows that followed he kept playing electric despite much criticism from everyone. And the entire time he’s loving it. That my friends is punk rock. Holy crap!

It will always puzzle me how so musicians can hear someone as genius as Dylan & still produce the crap that they do. Have they no pride? One of the coolest stories I’ve ever heard was about the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson & the first time he heard Sgt. Pepper’s. I’ve probably told this story before. Wilson thought Sgt. Pepper’s was so good & so ahead of its time & so much better than anything that the Beach Boys had produced that for an entire year, Wilson went into a deep depression & seclusion. He finally came out of it & the Beach Boys produced Pet Sounds, which is regarded as one of the best rock & roll albums of all time. The point is, Wilson had enough integrity to not just put out something crappy after hearing Sgt. Pepper’s.

I heard a similar story about the drummer of A Perfect Circle after he heard the newest Tool album. He thought the percussion was so good & so much better than his own work that he went into a depression. I sometimes used to feel that way when I wrote for a living. I’d read one of Scott Rousseau’s Cycle News pieces & get frustrated & depressed because I felt it was so much better than what I was currently writing. Not only was he good, he was fast. No one could whip out a print-day editorial with substance like Rousseau. He is by far the best moto-journalist in the business. When that guy goes, generations from now, the dirt track (and motorcycle world for that matter), is going to mourn like Laker fans did the passing of Chick Hearn. Anyway, I digress. If more musicians, writers, directors & artists in general had a little more pride like Brian Wilson & weren’t just trying to get richer, then I wouldn’t be tempted to throw my remote at the TV in the first place. And regardless of his dwindling voice, Bob is bad-ass. After that comes Shane MacGowan. No one else can hold a candle to either of them except for maybe Paul Simon (hey, The Only Living Boy in New York is full of classic angst). I could go on forever about Bob & Shane…

Wednesday It Is!
The popular consensus for the weekly mountain bike night ride seems to be hump day. Here’s what I’m thinking; we roll from my warm & well-lit garage in Mentone between 6:15 & 6:30 pm. You can park in the street, use the hose for water & the more hygienic of the group can even use the bathroom if require. From there we have a choice of about 5 rides like Crafton, Upper Workout, Lower Workout, up the Wash & the Dam Ride. The pace should be casual & stopping & breaks should be at a minimum so we’re not out past my bedtime. Starting next Wednesday, October 19. If you want to go & need directions to my house email at freemanrace@sbcglobal.net


I’m officially pack-fill. I’ve been granted my Category 2 license.

My Dane Cook CD isn’t going to return itself.

...neither is my long-lost Minor Threat CD

Jeremy Templeman was kind enough to find me a mascot for the blog. Here he is:

That's what I'm saying.

Quote: “A bicycle ride is a flight from sadness.”James E. Starrs, The Noiseless Tenor

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