9A friend asked me for a guide on how to get into Bob Dylan's music. Of course people have been offering such guides for sixty years now. How does one learn how to experience the Pacific Ocean? Head west and dive in, I guess.
In May 1994, in the rec.music.dylan newsgroup, someone started a thread on How Did You Get Into Dylan? It was one great story after another. Mine was one of my first writings that I ever saved to my own corner of the Internet, the home page of taxhelp.com. I love to read it to this day, as it reminds me of that moment of inspiration when my life was changed in a very lasting way, for the better.
A few days before Bob's first album of new songs in eight years comes out, a bunch of writers got together and compiled a collection of their own such stories. There are some winners in that collection too. It includes a great description of my favorite album: the supreme fusion of poetry and rock’n’roll on Blonde On Blonde, as well as one story about what quickly became my favorite Dylan song, and has remained so to this day: Visions of Johanna. When I was living in Berkeley, I named my new Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy, Johanna. I wonder how many millions of kids and pets have been named after Bob or characters in his songs?