The Voice Of A Generation
As one gradually makes their way through the exclusive pantheon of Rock & Roll, they will cross paths with such deities as Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry, be exposed to the unparalleled mastery of Jimi Hendrix and absorb the raw emotion of Janis Joplin and Curt Cobain. Eventually, at one point or another, they also must discover Dylan. The 1960s was a fiery decade for the United States, not only due to the fact that this country was engaged in a bloody stalemate in the jungles of Southeast Asia, but because we were gradually transforming into a new, better America back home. Because these tumultuous times were so important in shaping the country, Bob Dylan, a legendary songwriter, became the voice of an entire generation, and therefore, an unlikely icon amidst the other titans of American history.
Perhaps the most famous man ever born in frosty Minnesota, Robert Zimmerman came into this world on May 24, 1941, in Duluth, the son of Eastern European Jews. Robert’s introduction to the world of music came early, and by the time he turned 10, he showed a precocious ability to write poetry and had already learned to play the guitar. Robert spent most of his childhood in Hibbing, Minnesota listening to music on his radio. As powerful, emotional blues and Rock & Roll streamed across the country and out his speakers, Zimmerman was captivated by the performances of Little Richard and Carl Perkins, among others. By the time he enrolled as a freshman at the University of Minnesota in 1959, he had already been drawn away from contemporary rock, and become fixated on American folk music, which was considerably softer and of a more solitary nature. It was soon after, when he became a regular in the Minneapol…
…blishing cultural identity, which in turn plays a huge role in how history is written and recorded. Some may feel the urge to dismiss skinny, frizzy-haired Robert Zimmerman as nothing more than an inconsequential musician from a tiny town in Minnesota, but not only are they overlooking the fact that they are lucky enough to be graced with the art of a musical genius and cultural beacon of light, but are short-changing themselves by refusing to acknowledge the possibility that Bob Dylan and other pop culture icons have a rightful place on the same bookshelf alongside McCullough and Zinn. Dylan always has preferred to write about subjects that are very “human” and close to the heart, and he once said, “A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.” (brainyquote.com) Bob, you are a hero, and heroes are never forgotten by history.