Laughing City

Would Bob Dylan be more fondly remembered if he had died in 1966?
Yes
25%
 25%  [ 4 ]
No
75%
 75%  [ 12 ]
Total Votes : 16

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DRMS_7888
Vintage Newbie


In 1966, Bob Dylan got into a serious motorcycle accident that could have easily killed him. Assuming he had died at that point, what would the implications be on his legacy?

On the one hand, many people agree that his most important musical contributions (folk protest/counterculture movement, going electric, etc) came before his accident. When you combine that with the untimely death of a young pop star, that's going to add a lot of attention.

But, he still had lots of popular songs in his permanent repertoire (like All Along the Watchtower or Knockin' on Heaven's Door) afterwords. He also is on the charts when he releases a new album, and still tours regularly.

What do you think?

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uncreative
Vintage Newbie


I say no because I think about Buddy Holly and how he isn't recognized or known nearly as much as he should today, and I think if he wouldn't have died and continued to make music, even if some of it would have sucked much later on his career, he would be more known today. I kind of think if Dylan died, he'd be like Buddy Holly is today, a well respected musician among people who like good music, but not "popular" or "trendy," and not as well known.
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wilsmith
Vintage Newbie


For alot of people (I am NOT one) Bob Dylan walks on water, and always will. The only difference is, had he died, I would not have to ever listen to the Wallflowers Twisted Evil
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singsoftly
Golly, Poster


I think no, solely on the basis that, people have continually been able to hear is past greatness at his concerts, so he's kinda made sure that he's seen as an icon. when he does pass though, it'll be like johnny cash where for at least the year after, he will once again blow up across all types of people.
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sukieinthe_g
Golly, Poster


My vote is for no, but only because I love what came after 1966. I like getting the chance to watch writer grow old, just like everyone else does. Even if the stuff is not so stellar in the golden years, it's cool to be able to look at someone's entire life of work.
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wilsmith
Vintage Newbie


I just want to add that it's easy to look at artist who had an untimely (by OUR standards) demise and think they were elevated but...

We have no clue what benefits Longevity might have offered them. I think that lionizing of artists is an illusion because, if they were as great as we hoped they would be around preserving and magnifying their legacy themselves, with our without our support.

Some people say that's not the case, and use that argument to justify propping up those artists who died with small catalogs of works, and I think it's not legit. I think Dylan, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Page and Plant, Pete Townsend, and James Taylor are living proof that if an artist can shake off trends and continue to employ their inherent gifts, they will continue to grow and craft compelling music. They MAY be the exception, but if you go listen to:
Greendale
Turbulent Indigo and Taming the Tiger
Walking through Clarksdale and Mighty Rearanger
Endless Wire
October Road

you'll find that 25 years after their primes, or longer, these guys still have great material and performances in them.

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Last edited by wilsmith on Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:47 am; edited 1 time in total
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mikep0922
Lost at Forum


No. You still had John Wesley Harding, Nashville Skyline, and most importantly, Blood on the Tracks! Sure, Bringing it All Back Home and Highway 61 Revisited, to say nothing of Blond on Blond, were behind him, but those latter works would have been seen as great if a lesser artist had done them!
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Sea Post King


I voted no, since he still had a lot of great music in him, and he was arguably already a legend by that point. James Dean comes to mind in this scenario, and he'd only worked on three movies in a starring role when he died.

Also, I finally got to see Bob Dylan live last December, and it was an interesting experience. He's been touring essentially non-stop since 1999, and he's definitely still a pro. But I'm glad I did my homework and read some reviews to see what the show would be like, because then I was expecting the following things.

He doesn't address the crowd at all.
He didn't touch a guitar for the whole show.
He plays 95% "new" (relatively speaking) material. The only classic Dylan song I heard was Blowin' In the Wind, and it was so rearranged that it took a few verses to recognize it.
Most of his singing is borderline unintelligible.

It was a fun show, and it was great to see a legend live, but I was really glad I knew all of that going in beforehand. Tickets weren't cheap, and some people in the crowd were pretty upset over his performance. I guess they were expecting a 60's retrospective, or something. He's still Bob Dylan, and he still does his own thing.
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Sea Post King


Bump. Has anyone changed their mind about this topic?
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