“All the truth in the world adds up to one big lie”
Two years ago, around this time I was learning to love Bob Dylan and I wrote something (in his voice) to represent how I feel he was eminent and how his life can be portrayed:
Ever since the day I was born, a long time ago in Minnesota, I have been on stage. Growing up, I didn’t feel like Robert Zimmerman and I knew I was born into the wrong family. Some people just are and they’re given the wrong names too. I was one of those people.
As I grew up, I realized that unique feeling of really physically being onstage, experimenting with a couple of bands. They weren’t much good but I liked it. There was just something about music that drew me in, so I realized I had to get away from this place, it was the middle of nowhere. I needed to get where I could expose myself to real music and be heard, and I needed to get away from the life I wasn’t suited for. So off I went to New York, to follow my destiny.
I started off in little cafes, on their tiny stages, soaking up any exposure I could get. I needed to be discovered and I knew exactly how. I was, at that time, and unknown musician. Few people had ever heard of Bob Dylan and even fewer people cared. There was one advantage to that though: being noticed is a burden, Jesus got himself crucified because he got noticed and getting away was really easy then.
I had a real craving for folk music, being so inspired by Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly and so many more so I hung around in the local folk shop. It wasn’t a great sight, just a small shop with some records and instruments but folk was MY kind of music. My music was meaningful, not just the “I love you” songs all over the radio. After a while, I was discovered and signed. My career was looking up from there but I drew back from the world a bit. I didn’t dig everyone making such a big deal of me.
By that time, I finally realized that my love of performing transferred into my everyday life. I had become big then and I was being judged by everyone, everyone saw me a different way. Bob Dylan was thousands of different people. Some people would even go to the extent of calling me a Messiah, a Prophet. One time I was even called Judas. I’m just a song and dance man but as a musician, I had to just let people see me how they wanted to. So what I had to do, was be on stage all the time, act like the Bob Dylan the people needed, whether they were ready for him or not.
This brought me happiness in some sort of way because at times in my life, the only place I have been happy is when I’m on stage and touring, performing and being the Bob Dylan everyone wanted accomplished that for me. I had become what I see as a true artist: someone who can be interpreted many ways by all kinds of people. Throughout this time I had reached a level of personal satisfaction and I sometimes would stretch it to feeling successful in a way.
Now, the toughest thing about success is that you’ve got to keep on being a success. I think Irving Berlin said that. A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do. I said that.