Exhuming Bob 23a: Bob, Andy, Edie And Like A Rolling Stone

January 22, 2010

 

Exhuming Bob 23a of a and b

Bob, Andy, Edie And Like A Rolling Stone

by

R.E. Prindle

If Tomorrow Wasn't Such A Long Time

     As concerns the oeuvre of Bob Dylan through 1966 Andy Warhol astutely remarked that the first phase that  established Dylan’s reputation was social protest while the latter half was personal protest.  Warhol should have known.  That’s what the Jews call kvetching and American’s whining.  It was from this latter period that a pure kvetches like Positively Fourth Street and Like A Rolling Stone would be written.

     There is absolutely nothing prophetic or profound in songs of this type by Dylan.  They are simply complaints.  In this early phase the finger pointing was directed at society; in the later at people.  John Lennon, who was heavily influenced by Dylan analyzed his method, said the notion is to seem to say more than you are saying.  So Dylan disguises his kvetches in obscure language while the subject remains simple.

     Thus the subject of Like A Rolling Sone is Dylan’s relationship with the woman, Edie Sedgwick.  Edie is a sore point with Dylan because

Andy Warhol

he has been blamed for her death in 1971 some six years later.  Doesn’t seem likely but he’s sensitive to the accusation.  So sensitive that he obscures whatever relationship he had.  When questioned he doesn’t deny it saying instead that he couldn’t remember one.  Well, Dylan’s always had a ready hand with the ladies so it is quite possible he’s forgotten a few of them.

     But I think Edie would have been one of  the Big Four and he remembers her quite well.  Dylan then had four women on the string at one time.  The first was Suze Rotolo, a long time girl friend and live in dating back to his arrival in NYC in 1961; the second was Joan Baez who he met a little later.  The third was Sara Lownds who he was keeping at the Chelsea Hotel; the fourth was Edie Sedgwick, of whom he wrote at least three songs.

     Of course there were many other women married and unmarried that he ‘comforted.’  One or more of these might have been ongoing relationships.  Dylan married Sara Lownds in November of ’65 without mentioning the fact to any of his other women.   His relationship with Suze Rotolo blew up in 1964 when Suze’s sister Carla and her mother grew tired of Dylan’s abuse of the relationship ordering him away.   Dylan maintained a relationship with Suze even asking her to be his mistress after he married.  He records the dispute with Carla in Ballad In Plain D when he heard Carla scream out the famous imprecation:  Leave my sister alone.  Goddamn you, get out.  In his usual way Dylan makes himself the aggrieved party as though there were four Bob Dylan’s in town and he had nothing to do with the other three.

     He must have known something of the other three because the Dylan of Bob and Sara offered Suze a role out on the side.  Hep. Hep.

     To Edie Sedgwick:  I’ve read several versions about Dylan and Edie.  In one both Dylan and Bobby Neuwirth knew Edie in Boston where she attended Radcliffe and whose eccentric behavior had already made her notorious.  Both Dylan and Neuwirth were in Boston at

Edie Sedgwick

times so that is possible.  It was in Boston Dylan met the folksinger Eric Von Schmidt who he admired greatly.  Some say he met Edie only in December of ’65.   Whether he first met Edie in December of ’65 or renewed the acquaintance it seems clear that Edie became involved with Dylan personally or with the Dylan organization.

     Remember that Dylan arrived in NYC in 1961 with nothing, no money, no reputation.  he was a hick from the sticks.  It might have been deadly to admit that he was just another kid from Podunksville come to the big city, so, to give himself glamour and mystery he invented a preposterous past, claiming to have been an orphan, the babe in the bullrushes, just like Sargon or Moses, Romulus or Remus out in the woods feeding off a wolf.  Undoubtedly a very wise move.  He gained credibility and he was to a large extent granted his glamour and mystery.

     Four years later he was a pinnacle in the NYC underground.  As ’65 was ending he seems to have been in competition with Andy Warhol for the top spot.  Warhol had been a successful commercial artist in the fifties.  Beginning in 1960 almost as the same time as Dylan he made his move into fine art being one of the innovators in the move to Pop Art.  Unlike Dylan’s career in Folk Warhol had had a diffiucult time breaking into the fine art world.  Having succeeded he remained an outsider running an atelier he called The Factory populated by bums, drug addicts and losers.  Like Dylan everything he touched he wanted to destroy.  He wanted to destroy the concept of fine art and largely he did it.  By 1965 he fancied himself a filmmaker.  One of his stars was Edie Sedgwick. 

     Dylan himself takes credit for destroying Tin Pan Alley because they had no place for him.  While he didn’t destroy folk music he transformed it along with others.  Of course by 1964 folk artists had about exhausted the genre.  The same songs were being sung while the artists had stylized the genre to boredom.  Who wanted to go see trios in loden green Robin Hood outfits?  If anything Dylan escaped a dying scene.

     Dylan and Warhol were nearly identical while both were vying to be King of the Underground.  Perhaps Edie Sedgwick became merely a pawn in their game.  She became the prize that would determine the winner.  That contest raged between December ’65 through February ’66. 

     The competition between the two- Dylan and Warhol- went back further.  Perhaps Dylan’s screen test with Warhol in the summer of ’65

The fabled Silver Elvis

 crystalized the conflict.  Dylan went down to the Factory, Warhol’s atelier for the screen test claiming a copy of Warhol’s silk screen, the Silver Elvis, as his price.  Warhol is reported to have been outraged by the appropriation.

     While both men tried to maintain their cool the underlying hostility was apparent.  On Warhol’s part he said that he heard that Dylan was using the painting as a dart board so maybe he, Warhol, should be worried.  While Dylan may have been doing so he showed his contempt for Warhol by trading the Silver Elvis with his manager Albert Grossman for a sofa.

     Now, as Warhol correctly said, after Another Side, Dylan edged into personal protest.  That means that the songs of the personal trilogy- Home, ’61 and Blonde, were written about specific events or people.  Both of Dylan’s two most irate kvetches were written back to back.  One should compare them to Ballad In Plain D for intent.  First was Like A Rolling Stone directed at Edie and then Positively Fourth Street directed at Warhol.   Both obviously written around the Factory.  Stone evinces a sexual scream of perhaps the rejected lover addressed to a woman while Street is a sneering putdown of a man.

     It may be true that Stone began as a twenty page vomit of pain as Dylan says but the catalyst to distill the actual song from the kvetch was Sedgwick.

     To take the second song, Positively Fourth Street, first.  The sixth verse terminates with the line, what HE don’t know to begin with, so the song is directed at a single man, a he.  This is not a generalized he, a philosphical rant but a putdown of one specific guy.

     The first verse states the HE wasn’t around when Dylan could have used him, the second verse states the HE is merely an opportunist, the third verse addresses a kvetch by HIM that Dylan disappointed HIM, the fourth verse claims a loss of faith in Dylan that Dylan scoffs at, the fifth verse acknowledges that HE defames Dylan behind his back, the sixth verse derides him as a poseur who ‘tried to hide what he didn’t know to begin with’, the seventh verse accuses HIM of insincerity, while the eigth verse say that HE wishes Dylan ill luck.

     Coming to the ninth verse we have this telling line:  No, I do not feel that good when I see the heartbreaks you embrace.  Warhol filled the Factory with drug addicts, losers and nutty street people of all kinds so that it actually sickens one to read about them much less see or mingle with them.  Then Dylan adds, Perhaps if I were a master thief I’d rob them.  Well, Dylan was a master thief and he did steal the only superstar Warhol had who was Edie Sedgwich so perhaps the struggle for her body and soul began that summer of  ’65.

     Next Dylan adds the verse:

And I know you’re dissatisfied

With your position and your place

Don’t you understand

It’s not my problem.

     OK, that describes Warhol to a T and warns him not to use Dylan as a stepping stone.   The last two verses describe how Dylan is revolted by Warhol

     So, rather than being some allegorical complaint the song is a description of Dylan’s kvetch against Warhol.  If one bears that in mind the song reads like a letter rather than an allegory.

      Having solved that problem let us turn to Like A Rolling Stone.  this song too reads like a letter if you bear in mind Deylan’s relationship to Warhol and Edie.

     By mid-sixty-five Dylan had become a success.  At this stage in his career Dylan’s success consisted of his publishing royalties brought about by the efforts of his manager, Albert Grossman.  Grossman’s first effort was to create and establish his folk group, Peter Paul And Mary.  As this was astonishingly quick and easy one believes that Grossman was well connected.  As PPM were on Warner Bros. run by Jews his connections most probably originated in Chicago where he had established The Gate Of Horn as the premier folk club.

     Once PPM was a big hit Grossman had them record Dylan’s songs which then allowed him to place Dylan’s songs elsewhere.  Thus Dylan was known outside NYC as a songwriter while not so much as a performer.  But he was a songwriting sensation thereby receiving substantial royalties making him the richest and most powerful folkie.  The future promised to be even more golden once he got into touring.

     Now his mind disoriented by success and even further disoriented by his massive intake of drugs Dylan and Grossman needed to flex their muscles lording it over the scene.

      Dylan apparently wished to have a sexual relationship with Edie Sedgwick who was being billed and the next Marilyn or America’s ‘It’ girl because of her role in Warhol’s trashy films.  She too was another drug abuser and unstable personality.  Whether she and Dylan did get together is unclear.  Edie is dead, of course, and can say nothing while Dylan neither denies or affirms.  He says that he can’t remember having relations with Edie and you’d think he’d remember if he had, wouldn’t he?  Given the drugs, who knows, but saying you can’t remember such a desired object as America’s new ‘It’ girl is the same as saying yhou didn’t, while saying you would remember if you had is expressing regret or resentment.

     I will write on the assumption that at least by the time of writing he hadn’t and Like A Rolling Stone is a frustrated rant of rejection not too different than Ballad In Plain D.  For the time Dylan ony vents his anger at both Sedgwick and Warhol while he begins plotting his revenge against both.

     Edie had come from a wealthy California family but a difficult home environment.  She was pampered, having a Mercedes to drive around campus in Cambridge so she went to the finest school and now would have to learn to live out on the NYC streets as the song says.  She also had an 80,000 dollar inheritance in 1964, the equivalent of 300 to 500 K today that she went through in a few months leaving her only a stipend from her parents although living in her grandmother’s penthouse’ in NYC.

     The first verse of Stone then describes Edie perfectly.  There is nothing allegorical about it.  No abstruse meaning, this is pure kvetch.  It should  be read only as a spiteful rant against Edie.

Once upon a time you dressed so fine

You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn’t you.

     Edie had spent a large part of her fortune on clothes, as Dylan asserts, dishing out the change to the bums as she went along.

People’d call, say, “Beware doll, you’re bound to fall”

You thought they were all kiddin’ you.

     Born to wealth she couldn’t conceive not having money.

You used to laugh about

Everybody that was hangin’ out.

     Like, for instance, Bob Dylan.

Now you don’t talk so loud

Now you don’t seem so proud,

About having to scrounge for your next meal,

     Self explanatory, then comes the chorus:

How does it feel,

How does it feel,

To be without a home,

Like a complete unknown.

Like a Rolling Stone.

     Here Dylan, the rejected lover, compares Edie’s fall to his own situation when he arrived in NYC.  Like a Rolling Stone seems to be an inept comparison but my corespondent, Robin Mark, (see Conversations With Robin on I, Dynamo) points out that Stone was Dylan’s mother’s name.  Robin, also Jewish, points out that descent is matriarchal  in Judaism so that Dylan would consider himself more a Stone than a Zimmerman.   Given his psychology then Bob Stone is a footloose rolling stone without a home.  That makes the term make more sense than ‘a rolling stone gathers no moss.’   The latter meaning has no application to the song.

     The second verse continues the description of Edie:

You’ve gone to the finest school (singular in the lyric) all right, Miss Lonely

But you know you only used to get juiced in it.

     The school was Harvard’s Ratcliffe and Dylan implies that that doesn’t make her any better than himself who didn’t attend any university as she only partied and never studied.

And nobody has taught you how to live on the street

And now you find you’re gonna have to get used to it.

     The second line especially indicates that this is an immediate situation Dylan is referring to : you FIND you’re gonna have to get used to it.  Edie is now out of her familiar environment no longer protected by her money into Dylan’s, who said he once hustled Times Square, where she had better make some rapid adjustments, beginning now.

You said you’d never compromise

With the mystgery tramp, but now you realize

He’s not selling any alibis

     Mystery Tramp is Dylan’s romantic term for himself- Rolling Stone= Tramp- and he’s turning a deaf ear to any excuses she’s offering.

As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes

And ask HIM do you want to make a deal?

      The roles are now reversed, Dylan has a lot of money coming in the future while Edie is all but broke.  Vacuum is the blank, unresponsive stare Dylan gives while listening to her try to make a deal.

Princess on the steeple and all the pretty people

They’re drinkin’, thinkin’ that they got it made

Exhangin’ all kinds of precious gifts and things

But you’d better lift your diamond ring, you’d better pawn it, babe

     Here Edie is thought of as a princess among the Harvard types that Warhol noted drifting down from Cambridge to make the scene, the ‘Beautiful’ privileged class that Dylan has been excluded from both by his social background and lack of college education.  It’s a party he can’t join.  Worse still, they’ve been laughing every time they see him.  Now the party is over, if Edie needs money she can pawn her jewelry.

You used to be so amused

At Napoleon in rags and the language he used

Go to him now, he calls you, you can’t refuse.

     This implies Dylan knew Edie before Warhol as she apparently used to tell him how Warhol’s language amused her.  Napoleon in rags is Warhol who like Dylan has been trying to undermine the social order thus he has delusion of grandeur, of being a Napoleon.  As Warhol and Dylan are twins in intent Dylan is also inadvertantly describing himself.

When you’ve got nothin’ you’ve got nothin’ to lose

You’re invisible now, you’ve got no secrets to conceal

     Now that Edie has been reduced to street level, anything goes because from where Dylan was when he hit NYC it was all up from hustling Times Square.  Being invisible means as the invisible man in the Ralph Ellison novel sense.  One walks by negroes without acknowledging their existance hence they are invisible.  Now broke, that is Edies case since she is now insignificant per Dylan she has nothing anyone wants to hear  as per Ellison’s Invisible Man, hence no secrets to conceal.

     So as of mid-summer Dylan has vented his frustrations on Warhol in Positively Fourth Street i.e. the bottom, and Edie in Like A Rolling Stone.  More remarkably he has vented, blasted his privacy all over America on a thousand radio stations as well as in Europe and the world.  The two songs are as searing as Ballad In Plain D although the subjects of his rants are not so obvious.  For him to now say that he want’s to protect his privacy is preposterous.

      The story does not end here.  In Dylan’s war for the top spot of the NYC underground scene, the avant garde, he has to establish himself there for all to see and acknowledge.  In a shameful display of callous disregard for the well being of Edie she will be the object of a tug-of-war between Dylan and Warhol.  She will be the symbol of supremacy in the underground.  That struggle will be the topic of  Exhuming Bob 23b which follows.

 

14 Responses to “Exhuming Bob 23a: Bob, Andy, Edie And Like A Rolling Stone”

  1. Dave Says:

    I find all of this to be very interesting yes, but I think you assume WAY too much information that you can’t back up. Yes this is a possible explanation for many of the lyrics and i think the Like A Rolling Stone analysis works very well. However as Positively goes I think it would be naive to say that just because Dylan says “you” he means ONE person. You say:

    “The first verse states the HE wasn’t around when Dylan could have used him”

    The 1st Verse: “You’ve got a lot of nerve, to say you are my friend. When I was down, you just stood there grinning”

    Where in gods name are you getting “HE” from? NOWHERE in that verse is the singular pronoun used AT ALL, only “you”…. Also, where is your analysis of the title? To many scholars, Positively 4th Street is an obvious reference to the Village and the folk scene… Where does Warhol fit into this?

    It seems to me that you created your thesis first, THEN went to find info to back it up instead of the other way around. Though I do think the Rolling Stone analysis is quite good, the 4th Street disregards important information and even worse just blatently contains errors of fact between the lyrics and your ‘analysis’.

  2. reprindle Says:

    Dave: Thanks for your comments. I’m glad my analysis is at least partially convincing. First, I have to get my arguments into ten or twelve pages as that seems to be the limit people will read, hence this is part a and part b will follow. An attempt to keep my readers.

    That said, Dylan is part of the scene, not the scene. In reading up on Warhol and Sedgwick it became clear that the relationship between Dylan and Warhol was more extensive than the Dylan literature admits and that Sedgwick is key to the relationship. There probably wouldn’t have been one without her.

    Stone and Street were written back to back in the same fit of indignation hence, I concluded they were related. The significance of the title Positively Fourth St is elusive. At the moment I give it the significance of a skid row in the sense of positively dreck or objectionable which is how Dylan feels about Warhol.

    Of course Dylan lived on 4th in NYC but that doesn’t seem applicable. There was also a Fourth St. in Dinkytown at the UM that answers the bill a little better, when Dylan was at his nadir. It was a skid row. At the present I conclude that Dylan equates Warhol with skid row which would be correct.

    There’s a movie titled Factory Girl about Edie, Dylan and Warhol that depicts the scene. When Dylan writes, No, I do not feel that good when I see the heartbreaks you embrace he was there and means it. The scene portrayed in the movie was sickening, worse than Sid and Nancy. I couldn’t finish it. The portrayals of Warhol and Sedgwick were letter perfect however. Whoever played Warhol had his act down. Dylan objected to his portrayal so the role was changed so the he was the ‘sensitive’ good guy, the hero on his chrome horse. You might check it out though; you might have a stronger stomach than I.

    Dylan does address the anonymous person as you and he does so directly, meaning a specific person, not the old folk crowd. I find no evidence that he wasn’t helped as much as he was hindered. So I don’t find that a convincing argument. He addresses HE in the verse:

    Do you take me for such a fool
    To think that I’d make contact
    With the ONE who tries to hide
    What HE don’t know to begin with?

    That was the verse I was referring to. I’ll check the text to see where the confusion came from and clarify it. But, you is a HE.

    You (who is a he, the one) got a lotta nerve
    To say you (he) are my friend
    When I was down
    You (he) just stood there grinnin’.

    So, written in sequence with Stone definitely about Edie, the addressee in Street would most likely be Warhol. If not, who? And, of course, there will be further development in part b.

    I don’t think that there are errors in fact between the lyrics and my analysis though. I was perhaps too hasty in my presentation which when I get part b up I may have to rectify with an elaboration line by line. It is a key point.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment. I’m glad I was at least partially convincing in my analysis.

  3. a.j. weber Says:

    Yawn. This is boring. You will never take my crown with this shit.

  4. reprindle Says:

    Hi, Al. Good to hear from you again. You gotta remember you had the advantage of being able to go through all that garbage. I would like to hear about your memories of the scene though. Have you ever published anything along that line?

    Cheers.

    R.E.

  5. Raph Says:

    This is mostly wishfull thinking. It is really not convincing. To present this type of non-logic is quite absurd:

    “So Dylan disguises his sketches in obscure language while the subject remains simple. Thus the subject of Like A Rolling Sone is Dylan’s relationship with the woman, Edie Sedgwick.”

    You have proven nothing. There is no reason to believe that the song was based on her. This surely is not proven in any way in this article.

    It goes on and on throughout this supposed analysis with thin threads of pseudo-links only manifested in the fuzzy mind of the author and have no real value.

    It is in fact just that: Garbage. Garbage in / Grabage out.

  6. Raph Says:

    This all seems to be mostly wishfull thinking rather than fact and logic. Not convincing at all. From the beginning the “conclusion” that the song is about Edie is absurd:

    “So Dylan disguises his kvetches in obscure language while the subject remains simple. Thus the subject of Like A Rolling Sone is Dylan’s relationship with the woman, Edie Sedgwick.” Thus WHAT ???? Where did this come from ???

    The same absurd pretend-logic is repeated time and again throughout the article, basing conclusions on thin wisps of assumed possible not-facts which manifest themselves as ghosts in the mind of the writer alone.

    This is a great song/poem, leave it alone. Don’t spoil it just to try and make yourself somehow part of it. You are NOT.

    Your article is pure garbage – not surprising considering your sources. Garbage in – garbage out.

  7. Raph Says:

    BY THE WAY. I’m a COHEN. They don’t come more jewish than me. And I can tell (as my name implies – descendant of Aaron) that in jewish customs, what matters is who your FATHER is. And if your mother is a Cohen – you are NOT: you have none of the priviledges, duties, respect and responsibilities of a Cohen unless it comes from your father. So do not speak about what you don’t know: Jewish religion & customs and Dylan poetry.

    You got it wrong there too.

  8. reprindle Says:

    Raph: Coherence is not your greatest virtue or, as you say, garbage in and garbage out.

    You say you are a COHEN; does that mean you are a priest in Judaism or that only your name is Cohen along with tens of thousands of others in its variations. You say you can trace your lineage back to Aaron the brother of Moses. Those are roots, man! would it be asking too much for you to put your money where your mouth is, oh Jew of Jews,oh more Jewish than Abe Foxman, oh more Jewish than Jesus or, heaven forbid, Bob Dylan?

    Oh arbiter of things Jewish how is it that if your Jewish grandfather married a goi and your mother and father were gois you aren’t Jewish but if your grandmother was Jewish while grandfather and parents were gois you are a Jew? Your name could be Cohen or jackshit in the former instance and it wouldn’t mean diddly squat to Jews. That’s logic, laddybuck, oh Jewish whiz.

    ‘This is a great song/poem, leave it alone.’ Oh, Jew of Jews, your word is my command. Let me prostrate myself before your Jewish majesty. You didn’t do too well as a Cohen, laddybuck, and as a literateur there’s no success like failure and you’ve achieved it. Have you ever heard of Scott, Byron, Shelley, Tennyson or even, dare I say it, Shakespeare? Stone is not a great poem. It is a great piece of invective, if shameful while betraying a small soul. His defence comes from the same quarter.

    Nice to hear from you oh Master Of Judaism. Next time try to be coherent, back up your mouth with both logic and facts. Garbage in, garbage out. Put it on your escutcheon and then put your escutcheon in its cherished place.

    • Raph Says:

      You bet coherence is my virtue.

      Want to verify my COHEN roots ? I am born from a pure lineage of COHEN, all priests by birth, and son of a Rabbi, also son of a Rabbi. If you know COHEN you should know we are NOT allowed to marry out of our faith, or to marry widows or divorcees. A COHEN, sephardim (unlike the fake Ashkenazy Cohens – usually Levis masquerading as the true descendants of Aaron), can ONLY be pure 100%. Genetic DNA studies have proven this. I can trace my lineage back centuries – where my ancestors have had no possibility of marrying outside of the judaism rules and couint at least one Rabbi in each generation. No Rabbi will marry a Cohen to a non-jew.

      Also you will not hear me use racist terms like you do. Non-Jews are entitled to their beliefs and religion and I do not disparage them by using such terms. True Cohen are educated to respect others. In french: “Noblesse oblige”.

      You, on the other hand seem to enjoy criticizing others, to the point of imagining fake-facts and pseudo-logical links to satisfy your poor demagogue arguments, devoid of all merit.

      As a mathematician I am beyond coherent – basing my reasoning on true known facts, strictly scientific – and I can distinguish between proof based logic and your fake links based only on your wild imagination.

      You are also the worst kind of contemptable name dropper: I have read more than you can name, ikn six different langauges….

      Finally, although there are Bob songs for the lovely Edie, LRS is not one of them. Go back to your Bob-listening and use your ears, actual facts and your brain (if you have one) …

  9. reprindle Says:

    Oh wow, you are certified Raph. I did not know that. As far as logic goes, you are the one who brought up your incredible Jewishness and how I should prostrate myself before it, not I. When you resort to invective of that sort you have to take your lumps without kvetching. I give this truth to you as a gift because generosity is my outstanding characteristic

    Oh, so you’re Sephardim. You should have said that right away. That accounts for, if it doesn’t excuse, everything. I too can trace my ancestry back in the same way as you do to the beginning of time. Yea verily, I am one with all humanity. That means I am you, brother, and you are me, all race disappears, there can be no racism just natural conflict.

    You are beyond coherent being a mathematician? Whatever you wish to say about Cohen may be inconstestable but I do need your math creds authenticated. Schools, level of attainment, you know, facts.

    Your attainments, Raph, are staggering. ‘I have read more than you can name in six different languages…’ I don’t question your command of language, Raph, but the precision of your sentence lacks something. Do you mean your combined reading in six different languages exceeds my total reading or that you have read more than me in each of your six different languages?

    In addition to providing your math creds you wouldn’t mind giving us a sentence or two in each of your six different languages would you? You can skip English, that’s already demonstrated.

    I am in awe, Raph.

    • Raph Says:

      Amusing that you would rather talk about my ancestry and language skills erather trhan the topic of the article. Are you a fraud ?

      Probablement. C’est sans doute la raison pour laquelle vous evitez de parler de Bob et Edie, mais vous préférez mettre en doute mes capacités lingusitiques et mathématiques.

      Yo ablo espanol tambien. As any person born in morocco would. French, spanish, arabic, hebrew, english of course, and german as was my wife.

      For the maths, a master from a french university in pure and applied and a PHD in graph theory should be enough right ????

      But what about Bob ? Any more false truth you want to share with us ? Like what songs are REALLY about Edie ?

  10. reprindle Says:

    Bravo, Raph, didn’t see your mastery of Arabic, Hebrew or German, of course, but as I say I’m a generous man, your word is good enough for me.

    Am I to believe that you ancestors went South after the expulsion and remained in Africa until you chose to migrate? I’m a history major so little details like that fascinate me.

    So, you say you finally want to get around to the topic in hand, eh? OK. Fire away. I’ve made my position clear so it’s up to you to question something specific.

    Ready when you are, C.B.

  11. tgmcewan Says:

    I never quite buy the “Dylan writing a song about individual people” stuff, but I do think he captures and imagines people in situations.

    So far me, Dylan fresh from the craziness of the Savoy Hotel incident in Don’t Look Back, where he found he now had a court of hangers-on that was now beginning to look as sycophantic as the one he’d already observed around Warhol, was musing on the perils of starting to host his own Factory.

    He also had had plenty of opportunity to see Andy Warhol’s loneliness at the heart of the latter’s own scene, and may even have exchanged conversations about similar small town upbringing. Certainly sounds like Warhol was juiced in it as a kid. Also sounds as if the two of them were the main centres of gravity for certain tranches of Manhattan and others would gravitate to one orbit or another but not both.

    Other threads running through this are a desire to avoid phoniness and to find “real life” a la Hemingway Fitzgerald and Kerouac, and a tension (that riddles Highway 61 revisited) between urban art and rural culture.

    So how about Dylan writing a warning to himself as well as to Warhol (and Nico and Edie and so on), a reminder to be nice to people on the way up because you’ll meet them on the way down, and ultimately an invocation to escape the trappings of fame if you want your art to develop. Swapping a Warhol Elvis for a sofa, marrying a few months later, escaping from NY all seem consistent with this.

    And the opening line does tell us that it’s a fairy story, in more ways than one.

  12. reprindle Says:

    Hello Tim: I’ve numbered your paragraphs 1-5.

    Paragraph 2 is the starting place. I think you’ve hit a key point. I too was struck by how Dylan broke role when those loonies began throwing the hotel out the window. Suddenly he was Bobby Zimmerman of Hibbing again. It is possible he realized at that moment that crimes would be committed in his name as leader. He may have dumped the entourage idea at that point.

    Paragraph 5: I discount the notion of a ‘warning’. You’re never going to meet the same people on the way down. On the way down it’s a bunch of new people who have been waiting for you to fall and now they’ve got you. Dylan was soaring on drugs full time, hence unconcerned for the feelings of others, totally self-centered, so I don’t think he was worried about the fate of Edie and Andy.

    The situation he and Warhol created for themselves was new and available at that time only in New York and hence the world. Goodby fifties, hello sixties, the 707 was flying non-stop between NY and London Town, that swinginly metropolis. Both men came from far down in the social order and bobbed to the top, at least in fame and money. The pressure was too much for Dylan and he did try to escape but didn’t really succeed until maybe the eighties when he began to find the niche he is occupying now. And always remember his childhood always weighed heavy on his mind.

    He and Andy rose at the same time although Andy was considerably older. And then Dylan surpassed him in money and probably fame. Reports indicate that Andy was far from lonely, indeed he was the center of attention at the Factory and enjoying it immensely.

    I once thought Dylan had something profound to say not taking into account that he was just a twenty year old punk from the boonies, not too different from me, and had experienced and studied nothing. I wasted a lot of time and jeopardized my college career trying to find the profundity until I began to understand he was just talking and talking about himself.

    To my mind the whole of the ’64-65 output was about specific people and situations put into a mythical or fairy context. Check out my Bob And Edie: Sooner Or Later All Of Us Must Know.

    Dylan is always trying to sound heavy and certainly whiffed it past us but neither he nor it is there.

    Try Warhol’s POPism to get some idea of the flavor of the times from the Warhol side. Dylan’s supposed to have Vol. 2 Chronicles ready but it’s not here either. He said he wasn’t going to talk about this period in Vol. 2 anyway so all we’ve got to on from his side is the heavy symbolism of his movie Masked And Anonymous. It ain’t easy to be heavy and he ain’t my ‘brother.’

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