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From poet laureate of rock 'n' roll to Nobel laureate - Bob Dylan


Graeme Byrd's thoughts, stories and adventures. Lessons from life.

From poet laureate of rock 'n' roll to Nobel laureate - Bob Dylan

Graeme Byrd

Bob Dylan, recipient of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature. Wow.

For many years I've wondered if this would ever happen - that a singer/songwriter (and an American) would receive the Nobel Prize for Literature - and especially if the poet laureate of rock 'n' roll..."the voice of the promise of the 60s counterculture. The guy who forced folk into bed with rock. Who donned makeup in the 70s and disappeared into a haze of substance abuse. Who emerged to find Jesus..." would ever be the recipient.

While I first saw Bob Dylan in concert in 1991 (at San Jose State University), it was in 1997, when I was in high school, that Bob Dylan was the subject of two school projects - one in my English class and the other in my US History class. That was the first time I listened to all of Dylan's official recordings in chronological order (and of course added in a number of bootlegs). It was that experience which educated me on the impact he had on American history. I fell in love with his music and gained a deeper appreciation of how one man, one voice, can influence movements. It was also in 1997 when I was extensively researching Bob Dylan, that I first read letters and articles by academics explaining that Bob Dylan should receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. Nearly 20 years later, I woke up this morning to this news:

So much can be said about Bob Dylan, but simply put, today he is being honored "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”

I've adventured around the United States to see him perform in concert many times. I've attended concerts with friends and family, the most memorable experiences have always been with my father. He is the one who opened my eyes to Bob Dylan in the early 90s. He is the one who I share Bob Dylan stories with on a regular basis. Thank you to dad for opening up my eyes to this amazing genius.