(February 3, 2014)
People are moaning–and having seen the commercial, I can understand why–that Bob Dylan is selling Chryslers now. That’s because Bob Dylan didn’t die. If you die early enough you’re never corrupted. But if you live to old age people condemn you for things that they themselves would do in a minute, given the chance. Alas none of us ever will get that chance. But I’d bet even money that Bob Marley is selling Caribbean Cruises in an alternate universe right now.
Then there’s blinkered memories…people forget that John Lennon was a washed up junkie has been when he died. Not saying he wouldn’t have turned around, but his stuff was no better than Paul’s crap of the time. We dis Paul. Whatever happened to him? Was it Linda? But John was heading in an even limper direction, that first album ancient history. Remember he sang, but he probably didn’t. Hard drugs do that. Then he is murdered and suddenly he was as great as he ever was, perfection, a martyr. He and Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix and John Coltrane and Hank Williams and you name it, all dying before a long spell of rot set in. It’s lucky Jesus died when he did, a fat old Jesus with a drinking problem could not have launched a faith.
I picked up a Sonny Rollins album. Sonny is my hero of heroes. There was a tune on side 2 called Disco Monk. Had I seen it on there I would never have bought the album. Disco Monk. From The Bridge and East Broadway Rundown to Disco Monk. I heard that and wondered about John Coltrane in long sideburns playing sessions with the BeeGees and felt a cold shiver down my spine. Age is tragic for a martyr. Bob Dylan came so close to perfection in that motorcycle accident. We’d have all been so happy now, comparing all the sell outs to Bob Dylan lying there lifeless on the side of the road.