Showing posts with label Ian Bell; Time Out of Mind. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ian Bell; Time Out of Mind. Show all posts

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Ian Bell; Time Out of Mind at EIBF 2014

I have read Ian Bell on the Scottish Independence questions in the only press for YES, The Sunday Herald, and he writes well on why Scottish Independence is the most sensible way forward.   

Bell gave an informed and entertaining chat on the most famous songwriter for more than a generation, of our times and also timeless, with fellow Scottish journalist Alan Taylor at Edinburgh International Book festival 2014. He said Dylan was enigmatic, elusive and perhaps unexplainable and hard to unravel. When the character that he created became successful was Dylan content with what he had created? Dylan's time as the folk singer of protest songs was only brief and he shied away from any leadership role. He was an artist, not a leader. He thought art tends to flee when politics arrive and that is propaganda and not art. 

Dylan always had a need to reinvent himself. Bell said he was a brilliant editor of verses. He was both defiant and fearless, and he doesn't care what others may be doing.  He was also terrifically ambitious. 

Bell said Dylan's 1974 Blood on The Tracks was an extraordinary return to an even higher artistic form.

He said although Dylan's Chronicles was embedded with many quotations he wasn't allowed to quote directly from his autobiography. Dylan wrote about how he steals. The fact is all artist steal it just depends how we do it and what we do with it and with the worldwide web its just all become a much hotter thing to deal with. 

He spoke of Dylan's Bootleg series and that some are terrible recordings but we need them to understand Dylan. He said that Dylan was royally ripped of by his first manager Albert Grossman. 
Bell thought today's generation has it too easy with access to millions of artists. Back then you followed the artists, curating material. In a sea of music, authenticity becomes important to a minority.

Dylan was influenced by poetry, American history, Joan Baez, Robert Burns and the Scottish border ballads. He took bits and pieces from My Hearts in The Highlands. He then stepped away from any political commentary in his songs such as the Vietnam war.

Ian offered some favourite song lines. We all have them, any of us long time Dylan listeners - although he said he didn't particularly like to have favourite ones.  
 'Ain't it just like the night when your tryin' to be so quiet/  Once upon a time you dressed so fine,
 'I'm not There' was a favourite song he said, about those connections between what you understand and why you understand it.

He said that Dylan had a 'Burned cathedral of a voice which worked, especially for Dylan the live performer.' We know Dylan through his songs.

He felt there was something to be gained by knowing Dylan's life, times and art - and how the three work together.
Bob Dylan Glasgow 2011