Monthly Archives: November 2006


Yesterday may have been “Cyber Monday,” but all conventions are defied here at, as we launch “RWB’s Little Gift Shop” on this Tuesday in November.

Whether it’s your vital Bob Dylan-related paraphernalia, household goods, electronics, or just plain food, you can get everything you need right here without ever having to leave your house.*

Go nuts!

*Consult your physician before adopting any new diet or exercise program.

On the Beeb

So, Bob Dylan’s “Theme Time Radio Hour” will be broadcast on BBC Radio 2, starting just before Christmas with 6 consecutive shows from December 23rd through December 28th. It will later switch to a regular slot on BBC 6 Music every Friday night. Both stations are streamed live on the web, last time I checked, so it seems that this will effectively make Dylan’s show available for free to anyone with internet access across the entire world — a world that is in sorely in need of it, I might add.

It wouldn’t be surprising to see XM striking similar deals with broadcasters in other countries. Dylan is joining a very select group of radio personalities who have been syndicated internationally. In fact, who else is there? Casey Kasem? If you put aside dramas and comedies, what other kinds of radio programming ever get distributed around the world? I guess it’s another measure of how much interest there is out there in hearing Dylan talk about and play his favorite records.

Still somethin’ going on

Last night in New York, Bob Dylan completed what has been, by all believable accounts, an exceptional fall tour. The sixteen song set list included seven songs from his new album, Modern Times, including the live debut of the epic Ain’t Talkin’ (clip here). Taking into account the two songs he played from “Love and Theft”, that makes nine songs out of sixteen in this final gig which were from his two most recent albums. The audience clearly dug them at least as much as they dug the classics, cheering appreciatively at particular lines, like:

You think I’m over the hill
Think I’m past my prime
Let me see what you got
We can have a whoppin’ good time

Not a bad position for a 65-year old singer-songwriter to be in. It’s been a great year for Bob, and a very fun year to be a fan. Not many artists would be able to claim to have had a great year, when the Broadway musical they were associated with closed after 28 performances — think of Paul Simon and his “Capeman” failure. However, that’s a measure of just how great a year it’s been for this guy: a number one album (not only in the U.S. but all over the place), a highly-lauded weekly radio show, and ninety-nine concert appearances (so far). Although 2007 is unlikely to see a new studio album (or a new Broadway musical) from Dylan, it’s fair to say, considering this year’s fecundity, that there will likely be surprises in store.

The limit

Some people spend way too much time thinking about Bob Dylan.

The New York Post today has a feature on how “today’s icon of female fashion” is none other than — you guessed it — Dylan. Especially the kinds of clothes he wore circa 1965.

Dylan probably spent about ten minutes one day back then thinking, “Hmm, I’m tired of these clothes, I’ve gotta change my look.” He came up with the polka dot shirts and shades and whatnot, and now, forty years later, they’re spinning an industry out of it. And just when you thought the marketplace was already way saturated with Dylan-related product.

What in tarnation is next?

Ain’t Gonna Go To Hell

Below is a video clip of Dylan performing one of the songs he wrote during his gospel period but didn’t record and release: Ain’t Gonna Go To Hell For Anybody, courtesy of the generous “rankflv” user on YouTube. It’s from a gig in Toronto in 1980. It’s preceded by some very funny remarks directed to Ronnie Hawkins in the audience, and relevant to the film “Renaldo and Clara.”

Did Dylan refrain from recording this one because it was a little too much? (I mean, if Greil Marcus et al thought that Slow Train Coming was too heavy-handed, what would they think of this?) Or — more likely — did it fail to meet Dylan’s own internal standards in some way? It’s not available in the official book of lyrics: Does that indicate Dylan hasn’t considered it up to snuff? Or is it just one of those things — something that just got away, a question of timing and chance?

I don’t know. But it sure is a rambunctious tune.

I ain’t gonna go to hell for anybody
Ain’t gonna go to hell for anybody
Ain’t gonna go to hell for anybody
Not today, not tonight, not tomorrow, no never, no way!

I can deceive people as well as anybody
I know all the angles, know how to make the jangles
I can twist the truth as well as anybody
Find ’em an’ blind ’em, wine ’em an’ dine ’em
But it don’t suit my purpose, it ain’t my goal
To gain the whole world and give up my soul