In a career spanning five decades, Bob Dylan has earned many laurels. From being a country folk icon in the 60s to receiving a Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016, Dylan is one of those modern artists who continue to shape the world with their innovative and evolving contributions.
An influential artistic figure, Bob Dylan revolutionized folk rock music with his lyrical mastery and ingenious sound. Soon after his entry into the music industry, he was walking the same path as his ideal, Woody Guthrie. Along with his peers Bruce Springsteen and later Grateful Dead, Dylan remained driven through his passion for folk music and his talent leaves no possibility for him to fade away.
At 76, Bob Dylan is still carrying forward his “Never Ending Tour” that started in June 1988 and in 2018 will record 26 European shows. North American leg will also be announced soon as the fans wait in anticipation for Bob Dylan tickets. As of November 2017, Bob Dylan has performed in 2,903 concerts and the number will soon increase with his 2018 schedule.
Bob Dylan – Early Life
Tapping into the deep and poignant wealth of folk music, Bob Dylan transformed the genre by implementing his lyrical and musical talent.
Born and raised in Duluth, Minnesota, this future legend was born as Robert Allen Zimmerman. Greatly influenced by the poet Dylan Thomas, he legally changed his name to Bob Dylan in 1962, believing that “it’s the land of the free and you call yourself what you want to call yourself”.
Just like any other aspiring musician growing up in the 50s, Bob Dylan was also heavily influenced by Little Richard, Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis. In fact, his high school yearbook included the title “Robert Zimmerman: to join ‘Little Richard’”.
Upon graduating from high school, Dylan enrolled in the University of Minnesota and started performing in local cafes. Although a huge fan of rock n roll, Bob Dylan was looking for something deeper that the listeners could connect with. He wanted to croon songs that were more serious, revealed both sadness and triumph and profound feelings. As the famous author Herb Bowie stated, that more than a musician and a rock star, Bob Dylan was a poet with a guitar. Instead of creating infectious melodies – which too came naturally to him, Dylan focused more on the lyrics and according to Bowie was “a wordsmith”.
Striking a perfect balance between heartfelt lyrics, soothing melodies and deep, earthy voice, 59 years later Bob Dylan continues to build a connection with the next generations.
Moments that Elevated Bob Dylan from a Folk Artist to an Icon
Many consider Bob Dylan an institution who broke into the traditional folk music and elevated it to its multi-genre standing. He earned his pop icon status by not just composing foot-tapping, entertaining music but also through his stance for using lyrics to create political and social awareness. Even in music he was a rebel. Refusing to put a label on his music style, Bob Dylan experimented with various forms of music, treating the fans to an eclectic fusion rock, hip-hop, country, gospel and blues.
A versatile artist, Bob Dylan’s biggest contribution to the world of music is through his songwriting. Besides an induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Dylan was also honored by the 2008 Pulitzer Prize jury with a special citation. He was given the prestigious award for his “profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power”.
In 2016, he became the first songwriter to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. A great achievement, Dylan was praised for creating fresh poetic expressions without compromising on the great American song tradition. Even world renowned writers and poets, including Sir Andrew Motion lauded Dylan’s writing prowess. Through his poetic lyrics and gravelly voice, Bob Dylan muses over betrayal, heartbreak, war and death, bringing glory to life’s greatest tragedies.
Long before the release of “Blowin’ in the Wind” in 1963, Bob Dylan was enjoying top ranks on the music charts, so the song can’t exactly be called his career breakthrough. But it’s a number that cements his place in the industry as a visual artist. A song about humanity, peace, freedom and war, it received a Grammy Hall of Fame induction in 1994 and ranks 14 on the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” list by the Rolling Stone Magazine.
Bob Dylan went electric in 1965, releasing the song “Like a Rolling Stone”. A revolutionary track, it was a classic blend of Dylan’s youthfulness, energy, cynicism and powerful vocals. Overnight he entered from folk into the rock category and the fans went ecstatic. The song became a worldwide hit and peaked at number two on the Billboard 200. It also had its share of controversies.
Many folk enthusiasts objected to their idol heading into a new direction. During one of his concerts in Manchester in 1966, the crowd at the Free Trade Hall started calling him “Judas”, referring to his ‘betrayal’ to folk music. An equally angered Dylan shouted back, “I don’t believe you. You’re a liar”, and pushed his backing band to play the song even louder. The song elevated him from a famous musician to a pop star.
Never Ending Tour
Closing in on his 3000th performance on the epic “Never Ending Tour”, Bob Dylan will soon have a new record to his name.
Officially starting in 1988, Bob Dylan hasn’t skipped a year and in 2018 will perform on 26 European dates. Bob Dylan tour tickets continue to record massive sales and the fans can’t get enough of the “Love and Theft” singer.
The nonpareil songsmith and rock music’s modern troubadour, Bob Dylan is performing songs from his 2017 album “Triplicate”, along with his previous hits like “Things Have Changed”. Dylan’s vocals have aged like a fine bourbon, sounding gritty and husky, sweeping the listeners off their feet.
A staple on his “Never Ending Tour”, the charismatic performer’s rendition of “Summer Days” always stun his audience. Foot-tapping rhythm and the fusion of bluegrass fiddle with eclectic beats remains the highlight of his concert.
There is no such thing as forever, so while you still have the chance, attend Bob Dylan’s tour. Don’t miss out on the passion and adventure he brings to the live stage.