Wednesday, November 25, 2015

From The Pen Of Joshua Lawrence Breslin-When Bob Dylan Ruled The Folk Rock Universe, Circa 1965

CD Review
The Essential Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan, Columbia Records, 2000

Peter Paul Markin was restless, restless like he had never been before. Just out of the military service (Army, ‘Nam, 1969-70), just out of a war marriage not made in heaven, just out of love with a woman he had met in Cambridge, just out of dough since his savings had been depleted to nil, just out of luck, good luck anyway since he got back to the “real world” he decided he had to drift, drift west into that good night. Drift west in search of that almost childlike belief in what he called the great blue-pink Great American West night. The night when he could rest his mind and his dreams out there maybe in some pacific coast cave around Big Sur, north to Mendocino, or some ghost chance thunder road.
In 1971, however, the roads west, the main highways and back roads too, were clogged full of lonesome pilgrims seeking their own blue-pink nights. And so he found before he was long out of Boston where he started his trip that he was among kindred more often than not on the great hitchhike road dream brought by forbears like old okie hills Woody Guthrie and Lowell mill boy Jack Kerouac. So he walked roads, grabbed rides, got picked up for“vag” a couple times, went hobo jungle railroad tracks more than once , headed south a little to avoid the cold, then west landing just off Los Angeles in sainted ghost-ridden Joshua Tree National Park on some wayward Volkswagen minibus explosion. He bit good-bye to those fellow-travelers who were heading south to Mexico and cheap, cheap everything and sun but mainly cheap and righteous herb (ganga, mary jane, sister, marijuana whatever you call it in your neighborhood).

Carrying his life-line (and life’s full possessions at just that moment) bed-roll knapsack combination he headed into the park. Walk some dusty stone-etched miles to one of the camping sites expecting to find some more kindred and stews against some hunger. Sundown was approaching as he fixed up his assigned site when he heard a loud blast of Bob Dylan’s youth nation national anthem, Like A Rolling Stone, coming from, coming from somewhere. Maybe it was the dust of the road, too many roads, maybe it was his time, maybe it was some tumbleweed passing by remembrance, but at first he could not fathom where such music would be coming from in the high desert.
Then he saw it. Saw the biggest yellow school bus now all painted in the six hundred colors of psychedelia with a huge speaker mounted on its top and about sixteen crazed lunatics (although that information was only confirmed later) dancing in various conditions of dress, and undress. He approached, someone passed him a joint, another some cheap fine wine, and another pointed him to the fireplace stew broth. All without a word. Home, home among the rolling stones.

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