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Happy birthday to a big baseball fan from Minnesota

May 24, 2013, 11:02 AM EDT

Dylan reading baseball weekly

Today is Bob Dylan’s 72nd birthday. Bob Dylan likes baseball a lot. He devoted a whole episode of his radio show to baseball songs a few years back and it was fantastic. He also wrote and recorded a song about Catfish Hunter for the “Desire” album in 1976 but he left it off.

No reason for this other than (a) I love Bob Dylan; and (b) it’s a slow day.

  1. proudlycanadian - May 24, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    Happy birthday Bob.

  2. tanzkommandant - May 24, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    Arguably the most overrated singer/songwriter of all time.

    • stlouis1baseball - May 24, 2013 at 11:22 AM

      Singer? I don’t know that I have ever heard/read/seen anyone compliment his singing.
      The songwriting part is beyond reproach. One of the best songwriters to ever put pen to paper.

      • stex52 - May 24, 2013 at 11:47 AM

        Another topic we agree on, SLB. I always liked a Dylan song as long as it was sung by someone else.

      • clemente2 - May 24, 2013 at 1:02 PM

        Let’s differentiate one’s aesthetic enjoyment and technical aspects of singing.

        As Joan Baez, the editor of Pirchfork, and many others have noted, Dylan’s control of his voice is top tier–the placement of and pronouciation of vowels to enhance the rhythm and meaning, the use of a variety of voicings for the tone and content of the song, his understanding of when to jump, to meet, or to lag the beat, etc. Especially true as he was essentially creating his ‘genre’ as he developed the songs. Listen to the first seven albums, from Freewheelin’ to John Wesley Harding, straight through, and see how his voice changes for the type of song, and how meticulously he sings each word and sound.

        Now, you may not like his voice, which is limited in range and always nasal, but he is on pitch and much to the point in his songs, making his delivery exactly match the needs of meaning and tone. Few singers are able to get sneering sarcasm, reluctant self-doubt and assertive recovery all into one vowel; Dylan did it and many other such combinations regularly.

      • nelsonsaint - May 24, 2013 at 1:19 PM

        so well said, mr clemente. spot on.

      • nolanwiffle - May 24, 2013 at 1:26 PM

        I’m with nelson on this one. Clemente2 has just said what I’ve never been able to properly articulate to friends who cannot appreciate Dylan’s work. Well done.

      • stex52 - May 24, 2013 at 2:00 PM

        I appreciate the points, Clemente. As you suggest, personal tastes are personal tastes. I am not converted, but I will listen to him with more appreciation.

      • clemente2 - May 24, 2013 at 2:52 PM

        Thank you all, been reading here (and at Shyster Ball) for years, but tanzkommandant just got me riled up. I think its probably the Germany verse in “With God On Our Side”.

        Stex–my wife hates the voice, too, but can sing many of the songs, so I understand. Perhaps an easy way in: get a copy of the ’64 Philharmonic Hall live (Bootleg #6).

      • schniz61 - May 24, 2013 at 3:35 PM

        clemente2, your comment is awesomely written. I think Dylan’s signing on Blood on the Tracks is also amazing in the same way you describe.

    • schniz61 - May 24, 2013 at 12:11 PM

      Interesting opinion, considering virtually every songwriter of his era and beyond would strongly disagree.

    • clemente2 - May 24, 2013 at 12:49 PM

      Hmmm…I just can’t trust this person.

      “And you don’t know what’s goin’ on, do you, Mr. Jones?”

      • stlouis1baseball - May 24, 2013 at 3:39 PM

        Great post Clemente! I can appreciate people’s affinity for Bob Dylan the musician. Be it his songwriting or singing. Personally…not a fan of the signing. Waay to nasally. Almost to the point of sounding whiney to me. But to each his own. As I mentioned…the mans songwriting ability is off the charts. In fact, most are playing catch-up. Dude has skills to say the least. Serious skills. And for what it’s worth…I also agree with schniz with regards to Dylan signing ‘Blood on the Tracks.”

  3. rickdobrydney - May 24, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    Yeah, I read a long time ago in one of the New York papers that at the time he wrote the “Catfish” tune someone handed Hunter the lyrics to read in the Yankee locker room and he handed them back, saying “That ain’t me….” —– possibly why it never ended up on the album—-

  4. heyblueyoustink - May 24, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    Modern day poet, like the greats through the ages. I sometimes his work ( some of it, not all ) should end up in a classroom someday for discussion.

    • schniz61 - May 24, 2013 at 12:14 PM

      I assure you it already has been in college courses for years.

  5. Liam - May 24, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    Going to tell myself that I inspired this with my comment on the Sotomayor story.
    If someone tells me they don’t like Bob Dylan, I just can’t trust them the same way.

    • Craig Calcaterra - May 24, 2013 at 2:17 PM

      It was. I knew it was his bDay, but you inspired me to find a baseball connection for blogging purposes.

      • Liam - May 24, 2013 at 3:05 PM

        If when I die, my legacy is that I convinced a baseball blogger to find a tenuous baseball connection to Bob Dylan so we could all talk about him, I’ll have done alright for myself.

  6. raybrower - May 24, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    I love Dylan and got tickets to see him & Marc Knopfler at Excel Energy Center last fall. I enjoyed Marc Knopfler quite a bit. Bob Dylan, uh, well, I enjoyed Marc Knopfler quite a bit.

    • dlf9 - May 24, 2013 at 11:58 AM

      *Mark

  7. dawgpoundmember - May 24, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    Well since it is a slow news day, I’m surprised you have not shown the post game interview gifs of the Cincinnati Bearcats yet.

  8. randygnyc - May 24, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    Completely appropriate Craig!

  9. randygnyc - May 24, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    I’m enjoying reading about Bob from all these Dylan aficionados ;-)

  10. indaburg - May 24, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    Happy Birthday, Dylan. I wonder what my name would have been were it not for that one song.

    • swansong76 - May 24, 2013 at 6:05 PM

      your name is Isis???

      • clemente2 - May 24, 2013 at 6:38 PM

        Visions??

      • clemente2 - May 24, 2013 at 6:39 PM

        Queen Jane? (Sorry, this could go on forever…)

      • indaburg - May 24, 2013 at 8:53 PM

        Keep trying…

  11. randygnyc - May 24, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    Queen Jane? Johanna? Sara?

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