OUR FAVORITE PRESIDENT  12:27 am May 24, 2011

Happy 70th Birthday, Bob Dylan!

by Ken Layne

Guess who is 70 years old now? Hint: Probably not Mitt Romney, although who would even care? American troubadour Bob Dylan is 70. And throughout this May 24, anyone who visits any news site is going to encounter so many lame pun headlines based on whatever Dylan song the headline writer happens to know. We won’t do that at all. We’ll just put up a couple of after-midnight videos in the Wonkette tradition.

Thanks Bob!

Related video

Hola wonkerados.

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Beowoof May 24, 2011 at 12:33 am

Dylan gave voice to a generation. Saw him a couple of years ago, his voice is a little raspy, but the show was awesome.

charlesdegoal May 24, 2011 at 4:39 am

Our generation is a bit raspy too, thanks.

Terry May 24, 2011 at 9:08 am

He brought folk and poetry to the mainstream. Awesome writer.

mariser May 24, 2011 at 12:49 pm

"his voice is a little raspy"
as opposed to his normal, very raspy voice?

I kid, I kid. glad you enjoyed the show

Bezoar May 24, 2011 at 12:33 am

Thanks, Ken, for this wonderfully enjoyable post.

DaRooster May 24, 2011 at 9:05 am

A comment that hasn't been uttered in a while… you know 'cuz of the way its been.

memzilla May 24, 2011 at 12:38 am

I actually went to college next to Highway 61.
Ken, however, gets his kicks on Route 66.

HempDogbane May 24, 2011 at 12:43 am

Purple Rain is one of his best !

Doktor Zoom May 24, 2011 at 2:44 am

I always get those Minnesota guys mixed up, too. Is it Dylan or Prince who sings that "Powdermilk Biscuits" song?

Geminisunmars May 24, 2011 at 3:23 am

I believe it is Expeditious.

jaytingle May 24, 2011 at 8:01 am

Shut up, it's the Coen Brothers.

Cheetah Repeater May 24, 2011 at 8:35 am

I thought 'Prince' was Dylan in his purple phase.

Terry May 24, 2011 at 9:11 am

I will always love Prince for his Superbowl performance. My family was at a Superbowl party at an American Legion hall. When he stepped behind that screen and the shadow formed and his guitar moved into position, my sister and I were laughing ourselves silly. No one else in the room got it. We did point it out to Dad, who joined us in cackling. Awesome mix of subtle and completely unsubtle, and he slid it right by the censors. lol

HempDogbane May 24, 2011 at 9:32 am

Bob is awesome, and makes Minnesota proud, and has done so for half a century. This is especially important in a time when many assholes have risen up to embarrass this great state. They know who they are, and should be shamed as often as possible. Not you Prince. You're OK, too.

Angry_Marmot May 25, 2011 at 2:40 am

MST3K and Reed Waller, FTW. Also.

edywin2 May 24, 2011 at 12:46 am

He has a website! I wonder how many old geezers in Depends are still pissed that he went electric.

nounverb911 May 24, 2011 at 12:46 am

Happy Birthday Bob!
May your royalties last another 70 years.

(BTW Happy Birthday Tommy Chong)

weejee May 24, 2011 at 5:55 am

Up in Smoke is blowin' in the wind?

Cheetah Repeater May 24, 2011 at 8:43 am

The Times They Are A-Still Smokin'

Angry_Marmot May 25, 2011 at 2:41 am

Dave's not here, Man.

DerrickWildcat May 24, 2011 at 12:52 am

Although that Bob Dylan guy does an ok version of, "If Not For You" I have to say the original version by Olivia Newton John Bachman just can't be touched.

Dashboard_Jesus May 24, 2011 at 3:32 am

wow, that is so many degrees of awesome I can't find words to describe it…ONJ shoulda been at least the 2nd or 3rd Mrs. Dylan just for that!

charlesdegoal May 24, 2011 at 4:44 am

Disturbing to think that is what some of us (the hippest among us) were like then.

OkieDokieDog May 24, 2011 at 12:55 am

So glad I grew up listening to Bob Dylan instead of crap boy bands (how can they be "bands" without playing any instruments? I don't know!) or that Justin Bieber boy.

Negropolis May 24, 2011 at 12:58 am

I'm only old enough to know Bob Dylan as America's Favorite Eccentric, Mumbly Grampa. Though, I'm still not sure I "get" his style even when watching his early works. But, to each his or her own, I guess.

Lascauxcaveman May 24, 2011 at 1:36 am

Honestly? I'm technically a much better singer than Bob Dylan (not saying much, I know.) The songs I've written, to me, make just as much or more sense than his.

I can play guitar as well or better than he can, at least from what you see on these videos. (Although I can't really play piano at all.)

I'm taller, and by just about anybody's subjective judgment, better looking than him.

But Bob Dylan (not me) was banging Joan Baez back in her prime, and that's what really counts, doesn't it?

Dashboard_Jesus May 24, 2011 at 3:34 am

oh yeah, Joanie was (is) hawt! http://currentlyhot.com/joan-baez-falls-from-tree

Negropolis May 24, 2011 at 4:22 am

I bet you she's far better at falling out of trees that Keith Richards. When Keith does it, it just looks and sounds pitiful.

Dashboard_Jesus May 24, 2011 at 4:54 am

just knowing that Joanie has a treehouse is incredibly comforting thought

AJW@[redacted] May 24, 2011 at 10:54 am

Mimi was way hotter, RIP.

Negropolis May 24, 2011 at 4:20 am

But Bob Dylan (not me) was banging Joan Baez back in her prime, and that's what really counts, doesn't it?

You won't hear any protests from me on that one, no siree.

V572..whatever May 24, 2011 at 8:55 am

Plus: "Mr Tambourine Man," "Gates of Eden," etc. Long after the last Lady Gaga mp3 has been erased and she's retired to a Tampa condo, some kid somewhere will still be doping out drop-d tuning or the opening lick to "Don't Think Twice."

CrunchyKnee May 24, 2011 at 8:45 am

The youngs, go figure. (And git off'n my lawn!)

Terry May 24, 2011 at 9:14 am

That droney style of singing links right back to a way of reciting beatnik-ish poetry that was popular in NYC when Dylan arrived there.

I love his writing a lot more than his voice. Anyone who adores Woody Guthrie the way Dylan does is a-ok in my book.

Negropolis May 24, 2011 at 10:29 pm

I see some are taking my comment as some bitter attack against the man. I'd like to reiterate that just because I don't "get" him doesn't mean I think he's a horrible artist.

Lascauxcaveman May 24, 2011 at 12:59 am

Ha! What d' ya say about this guy?

Nothing. He already said it all, himself.

Buzz Feedback May 24, 2011 at 1:02 am

Nice songs. Can we get someone else to sing them?

Janinthepan May 24, 2011 at 9:03 am

How about Rebecca Black? Oh wait…

nounverb911 May 24, 2011 at 1:05 am


Hey Ken!
Wonkette Jr did a good job today, hope he/she sticks around for a while.

memzilla May 24, 2011 at 1:15 am

Agreed about Wonkette Jr.! However, I wonder… whom does the anonymity protect more: the author, the website, or the website's owner?

Radiotherapy May 24, 2011 at 2:21 am

How about Trig's honor?

Terry May 24, 2011 at 9:15 am

The big secret is that Wonkette Jr is actually Willow Palin.

Ken Layne May 25, 2011 at 1:49 am

Haha like Willow Palin would ever need a job ….

Terry May 25, 2011 at 6:17 am

True, and these posts contain way too many letters than does a tweet.

BarackMyWorld May 24, 2011 at 1:05 am

It's hard to believe one songwriter could be responsible for so many masterpieces, but Dylan proved it was possible. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hk3mAX5xdxo

Dashboard_Jesus May 24, 2011 at 3:43 am

among many favorites, Masters of War says it all…fuck all the military-industrial fucks! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBkhXtgqyps

…and Eddie's version is awesome, also too http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hG443N7lo4Q

Dashboard_Jesus May 24, 2011 at 3:55 am

actually this is my favorite version by Eddie (fuckin' YouTube fascists 'removed' it, of course…just one more reason why I hate this fuckin' cuntry!)
Masters of War – Eddie Vedder http://video.libero.it/app/play?id=8e63f5bf16c9c0

mavenmaven May 24, 2011 at 1:13 am

I liked him best in the Partridge Family.

bumfug May 24, 2011 at 1:14 am

I saw him last in 2006 when he was touring minor-league ballfields. What a great show.
Thanks, Ken, for this post.

Gopherit May 24, 2011 at 1:19 am

Huh. He spent 60 years being incomprehensible…….something that it takes most people a lifetime. Well done.

memzilla May 24, 2011 at 1:19 am

For the Youngz out there, you cannot imagine how perfectly in sync Dylan was with the times… the stupid war, the fight for civil (=black) rights, the disillusionment with government, the riots, the drugs, the Summer of Love… *snf*… OK, time for another Geritol 'N Vodka smoothie.

LetUsBray May 24, 2011 at 1:36 am

Stupid wars? Disillusionment with government? Civil rights getting trampled on? Thank goodness we don't have to deal with shit like that any more.

Bonzos_Bed_Time May 24, 2011 at 2:06 am

Yeah, I was bummed when Rage Against The Machine broke up, too (supposedly back together???)

WunkRocker May 24, 2011 at 9:00 am

Yeah RATM are playing on the bill with Muse and Lauryn Hill. Morello is all kinds of Dylan-styled-activist. Only really.

Bonzos_Bed_Time May 24, 2011 at 9:43 am

I saw that after I posted. LA Coliseum, yuck. NEVER go to a concert there! It's an absolutely terrible venue to see a band you care about. Stay home and buy the DVD.

Dylan seems more a musician that was embraced by activists (right place, right time), while Rage are pissed-off activists that happen to be musicians (that rock out!).

I'll tell you the missed opportunity of the last decade was not having Chuck D front Rage when ZdlR went solo.

WunkRocker May 24, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Yeah I don't do arena shows. I think it was that year my 1st wife drug me to Lilith, The Stones, The Who, and some asshole gave us tix to the Wallflowers/Counting Crows that did it. Free tix are over priced. I'd rather get rape-tured with MC DSK!

PhilippePetain May 24, 2011 at 3:08 am

As if we didn't have Soulja Boy to help us along. Jeez, you geezer.

pinkocommi May 24, 2011 at 1:40 am

Smoking reefer seems to do wonders for longevity.

mrblifil May 24, 2011 at 1:43 am

That and the constant offers of no strings attached sex.

HarryButtle May 24, 2011 at 6:51 am

Bob Marley would disagree. Damn, even the reefer is racist!

Negropolis May 24, 2011 at 10:24 pm

Actually, cancer is what's racist.

mrblifil May 24, 2011 at 1:43 am

He had the heart of a poet and the nose of a Yiddish Theatre melodrama villain.

Nothingisamiss May 24, 2011 at 8:58 am

Nicely done.

SorosBot May 24, 2011 at 1:51 am

As I'm sure has been obvious, I'm a total Dylan fanboy, and am torn for my favorite song of his between Visions of Johanna:

Idiot Wind:

And Workingman's Blues 2 (from just 2006 people; he's still got it):

Gorillionaire May 24, 2011 at 9:14 am

Excellent choices all.

AddHomonym May 24, 2011 at 2:05 am

That last one is an Adam Sandler parody, right?

Bonzos_Bed_Time May 24, 2011 at 2:08 am

If you have a chance, listen to his Theme Time Radio Hour on Sirius. It might be floating around elsewhere, but they are marvelous shows to listen to. Fun, educational, occasionally poignant. Worth your time to check them out!

Ken Layne May 25, 2011 at 1:51 am

Still plays all the time on Sirius XM, I think the "deep tracks" channel. You can find 'em all online, too. I've got 'em all and when they come up on shuffle, you're going to hear a very good hour of music and poetry and cornball jokes.

Numbat_Dundee May 24, 2011 at 2:18 am

I'm still trying to get over John Howard (Dubya's best mate from down under) when asked what music he liked. He nominated Dylan and, when the journalist expressed surprise, added that he liked his songs for the tunes rather than the lyrics.

undeterredbyreality May 24, 2011 at 2:37 am

I first saw Bob on the Before The Flood comeback tour in '74 with The Band in Seattle; last saw him last summer in Austin. About 20 times in between, including an unannounced solo appearance in Eugene while he was on the tour with Paul Simon. With the Dead, with Petty, with Van, with Joni. Every time was different, every time was unique; some were better than others, but every one was worth it. SorosBot–you absolutely hit it with Workingman's Blues as a demonstration of his continuing abilities to write great songs. Others–if you don't think he can sing, you haven't listened with your heart, or ever heard him do Blind Willie McTell. I could go on, but what's the point–either you get it or you don't–which just means you haven't heard enough.
Happy Birthday, Bob–I hope I get to see you 20 more times.

(And thanks to you, Ken, for the straight-up great post.)

charlesdegoal May 24, 2011 at 5:00 am

You're fortunate to have seen him perform so often. I only saw him in concert a few times, but spoke with him in bars twice, once at the Kettle of Fish (with Andy Warhol and Dave van Ronk) around 1966 and once at the Gramercy Park Hotel just before the start of the Rolling Thunder Review. Great musician, average conversationalist.

Radiotherapy May 24, 2011 at 2:41 am

Mr. Dylan and his obviously liberal stylings have nothing on the modern production values and independent, free market maudlin formula of toots fucknut.

Rotundo_ May 24, 2011 at 4:55 pm

I just hadda go there. Ouch. Is it still free market if the guy has to pay people to listen? Mr. Dylan on the other hand, can just keep on liberal stylin' as long as he pleases. A 90th birthday bash sounds like fun!

Doktor Zoom May 24, 2011 at 2:41 am

Happy Birthday to the songwriter whose lyrics are most frequently quoted in legal opinions and briefs. Judges and lawyers really like pointing out that "you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."

I, for one, will never forget Nina Totenberg's vivid recreation of the testimony in Vandals v. Handles.

charlesdegoal May 24, 2011 at 5:29 am

There are those who like Dylan and those who don't (see above). Those who think he cannot sing should try and do an apparently simple line like "and you're so kind and careful not to go to her to soon". As in the case of Billie Holiday and many other great singers, it's all in the phrasing, not the voice itself. And the inimitable lyrics. Thanks Ken.

Bezoar May 24, 2011 at 8:31 am

I agree.

Ramon X May 24, 2011 at 10:03 am

Good point. For me, a singer is someone who can put a song over, and Zimmy is a master at that.

HuddledMass May 24, 2011 at 12:23 pm

I honestly did not know what was meant by "phrasing" until I tried to sing Baby Blue in the shower that time.

weejee May 24, 2011 at 6:09 am

Thanks Ken, and you know who else is turning 70?

RedneckMuslin May 24, 2011 at 6:21 am

Me, in 40 years. Okay, 30 years. Er, damn, 20 years.

ProgressiveInga May 24, 2011 at 7:48 am

Newt's first wife thirty years ago?

C_R_Eature May 24, 2011 at 6:34 am

Thanks for this, Ken. It’s a welcome respite from a few genuinely grim news days.

I have to say that, more than any other singer-songwriter; Dylan and his songs have always been there for me when I needed him. Kind of like an old friend of mine who I don’t see for years, then one day drops me a postcard or shows up at my door, on the way to somewhere else and is always welcome.

Anyway, it’s good to see him alive, well and playing still.
But me, I’m still on the road, headed for another joint…

Goonemeritus May 24, 2011 at 6:43 am

Happy birthday Bob I love that you’re still out there. And to all you Dylan and Hippie haters, everyone knows it’s just the anonymity of the internet that gives you freedom to spew your venom. In the public square you would be pummeled by Frisbee’s to within an inch of your life.

Mort_Sinclair May 24, 2011 at 6:48 am

Passing on the hagiography while admitting that his actual songs are outstanding. Having to hear him sing, however, is like having a root canal without anesthesia, pausing for a few seconds, and then going back for more over and over for about 45 to 50 minutes.

Doktor Zoom May 24, 2011 at 8:55 am

And liking it!

easynewz May 24, 2011 at 7:01 am

You know who else had radical political views and traveled throughout his country inspiring fervent, unquestioning loyalty in his followers at large events?

C_R_Eature May 24, 2011 at 7:28 am

Frank Zappa?

SpurningBeer May 24, 2011 at 7:47 am

Jimmy McMillan?

jakegittes May 24, 2011 at 9:11 am

Billy Graham?

riverside68 May 24, 2011 at 9:26 am

Father Charles Coughlin?
Eugene Debs?
Evita Peron?

WIDTAP May 24, 2011 at 7:10 am

Never trust anyone over 85.

Barb May 24, 2011 at 7:15 am

I am a huge fan of his son, Jakob's music.
Please, don't kick me out of the club.

EatsBabyDingos May 24, 2011 at 8:42 am

Metoo. Saw him at the 930 with Sheryl Crow ten years ago. Awesome! And I may not be gay (no Schock), Jakob was hot.

SpurningBeer May 24, 2011 at 7:15 am

Cow pie.

stanpan May 24, 2011 at 9:09 am

Masked Marauders!

FNMA May 24, 2011 at 8:09 am

A local radio station, Philly's excellent WXPN, is playing 70 Dylan tunes in a row in honor of Bob. On the way into work this morning, I heard "Stuck in Mobile" and it kind of set the mood for the entire day.
It's going to be one those days…

DashboardBuddha May 24, 2011 at 9:37 am

I tried to get their streaming broadcast, but all I could see was the blond lady touting Ithaca…and then they played "In A Big Country".

Ramon X May 24, 2011 at 10:06 am

Oh, mama, can this really be the end?

BaldarTFlagass May 24, 2011 at 8:15 am

That "Alice's Restaurant" song he did still cracks me up.

easynewz May 24, 2011 at 8:36 am

Everybody must get stoned.

PubOption May 24, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Discuss with reference to Saudi Arabia and Iran.

EatsBabyDingos May 24, 2011 at 8:40 am

Now Bob's recognized as the preeminent old white incoherent person, does that make him the new GOP frontrunner? Or is the door still winning?

El Pinche May 24, 2011 at 8:48 am

Weird… Dylan is now ahead of Romney in a strawpoll in Whogivesashit, Iowa.

DashboardBuddha May 24, 2011 at 9:06 am

preeminent old white incoherent person

My Depends, they need a-changin'

bagofmice May 24, 2011 at 8:44 am

This is the guy who did the opening credits of the Watchmen movie…

baconzgood May 24, 2011 at 8:45 am

NEEDS MOAR WEEN!!!!!!!!!!!

BaldarTFlagass May 24, 2011 at 8:50 am

One glaringly overlooked contribution of Dylan was that he turned the Beatles on to the ganja back in August 1964. No Dylan, no Rubber Soul/Revolver/Sgt Pepper.

Right, Baldar, as if no one else would have thought to get them high eventually.

V572..whatever May 24, 2011 at 8:51 am

Thanks for this, Ken.

And for any guitar-plunking Dylan wannabees out there, this site has wonderful stuff.

FakaktaSouth May 24, 2011 at 9:11 am

Ah Bob, Happy Birthday, you're almost as old as you look. Those motorcycle wrecks to the face are a hell of a way to transform oneself.
I love you, Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts forever.
Also, "I wanna be your lover baby, I don't wanna be your boooooooosss….."

EatsBabyDingos May 24, 2011 at 9:17 am

So is Ahnolt.

Gorillionaire May 24, 2011 at 9:23 am

I have seen His Bobness perform about four dozen times since 1986. I have all the records, even the incredibly stupid ones from the 1980's, and books and etc. My spouse and many of my friends think it is hysterical and love to do their cartoonish Dylan impersonations for me.
I know that everybody doesn't get it and I am fine with that, but what I have found over the years is that the overwhelming majority of people who do get it tend to be decent, smart human beings who are concerned about their fellow humans and don't mind getting arrested at a damn good protest here and there.

stanpan May 24, 2011 at 9:27 am

Jimi Hendrix idolized Dylan. Good enough for me.

DashboardBuddha May 24, 2011 at 9:36 am

Not only do I like Bob's work, but I am also a fan of the Tribute Album. In Dylan's case, I have to recommend A Nod To Bob:

Great stuff…especially the Paperboys covering All Along the Watchtower.

AJW@[redacted] May 24, 2011 at 11:13 am

I've had the scorchies for that girl on the fiddle since I saw The Paperboys on the festival circuit in the 90's.

GeneralTapioca May 24, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Is It rolling Bob? Reggae tribute to Dylan, much better than you would expect.

GortRay May 24, 2011 at 9:38 am

I'm listening to"The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" and being blown away by it for about the 10,000th time. And to think he had just turned 22 when it was released. If he had been run over by a cab on 4th Street the day he finished this album he would still be remembered as a towering genius of American music. But, of course, there was much more to come. Happy 70th Bob.

undeterredbyreality May 24, 2011 at 9:39 am

One of the greatest (and hawtest) covers ever: Sophie B. Hawkins doing "I Want You" at the 30th Anniversary Tribute Concert.

(With an as-yet-virtually-unknown and uncredited Sheryl Crow singing backup.)

Weenus299 May 24, 2011 at 10:06 am

Nobody gave a shit when John McCain went electric.

seppdecker May 24, 2011 at 10:43 am

Dylan may get old, but his music never does.

AJW@[redacted] May 24, 2011 at 11:09 am

70? When ya gonna break a hip, Bob?
I kid, I love Bob…

GeneralTapioca May 24, 2011 at 11:23 am

Can't snark on Bob, just can't do it. He'd be a genius if Visions of Johanna was the only song he wrote.

DashboardBuddha May 24, 2011 at 11:33 am

Maggie'sRetirement Home Poor Farm (for the rest of us)

James Michael Curley May 24, 2011 at 11:34 am

Just a reminder Ken, "After Midnight" is by JJ Cale; made unforgetable by Eric Clapton and nobody booed when he played electric guitar.

Still Dylan blows them all away. Happy Birthday – where's the birth certificate?

Ken Layne May 25, 2011 at 1:53 am

Er, "after midnight" is the time of day I like to post music things on Wonkette sometimes.

blinky_twinkie May 24, 2011 at 11:41 am

When has Bob Dylan *NOT* been 70 years old?

Limeylizzie May 24, 2011 at 12:04 pm

I wasn't old enough to appreciate Bob, not sure that I appreciate him even now the singing not the songs. MrLimeyLizzie, however, who also just turned 70 was in San Francisco in 1961 and stayed there until 1974 and he has the best stories of those times

yyyaz May 24, 2011 at 12:20 pm

X2, although I am being charitable, being the bleeding-heart libtard that I am. And even though there is nothing I can say that will add to his legacy, neither is there anything a billion knuckleheads can say that will diminish it.

PubOption May 24, 2011 at 12:31 pm

I've been waiting for a comment by mumbletypeg, but haven't seen one yet.

OneYieldRegular May 24, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Happy birthday, Bob.

But I can never listen to "Oh Sister" without immediately having to follow it up with Joan Baez's fierce ripost to it, "Oh Brother!" (alas, no video seems to be available).

mariser May 24, 2011 at 12:51 pm

happy birthday, Bobby D. you ain't got to work in Maggie's farm no more

LettucePrey May 24, 2011 at 3:39 pm

I have no snark for this post… Just wanted to thank Ken and Wonkette for this wonderful tribute.

Dylan has kept me alive through more than one dark period in my life. I really hope he sticks around.

notreelyhelping May 24, 2011 at 3:44 pm

No snark: Bob's still the real deal. Onward, Jack Frost.

BZ1 May 24, 2011 at 6:30 pm

If Dylan's 70, I must be…holy cow….

NadePaulKuciGravMcKi May 24, 2011 at 8:16 pm

Binyamin Netanyahu:
You don’t need a weatherman
To know which way the wind blows

SonofSpermcube May 25, 2011 at 8:33 am

Conservatives love Bob Dylan and claim him as one of their own.

site:freerepublic.com "bob dylan"

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