It's not that I don't like Dylan. I love the bizarrely wonderful song "Subterranean Homesick Blues," especially for the lines "Twenty years of schoolin' / And they put you on the day shift." And I love "Tangled up in Blue," although I think the Indigo Girls' cover injects more heart and more drama into the song.
Beyond that, though, I could take Dylan or leave him. I don't disagree that he's a genius who has made a huge impact on American music. It's just that, like Joni Mitchell, he's an icon that belongs to a generation that preceded mine.
Among the three Simanoff boys, Michael appreciated Dylan the most. After Michael died last year, I had nearly all of his CDs shipped down to Tampa. He owned nine Bob Dylan albums, and one CD of Dylan covers. I'll never get to ask Michael why he liked Dylan so much, but I can always load those albums into my iPod and try to figure it out for myself.
I'm thinking about Dylan these days because he's just released a large box set called, appropriately enough, "Dylan." To promote the set, there's a new Dylan site that makes incredibly cool videos:
Apparently, these customized clips are based on an ancient music video Dylan made for "Subterranean Homesick Blues." Of course, as a member of the MTV generation, it seems to me that Dylan is ripping off INXS's "Mediate" music video: