I originally posted this over at Crispin's place and am putting it here in case somebody reads this site still. Crispin and I disagree about a number of things, people, trends and so on. I thought his advocacy of argyle underwear matching your socks was a bit off, and he has always mocked my preference for Gibson guitars over Silvertone instruments made and marketed by Sears in the 60s. Anyway, one of those things that we disagree on is Bob Dylan.Crispy admits he doesn't get Dylan and he doesn't like Dylan and he doesn't get people who like Dylan and he wishes Dylan would just go away and die. I have a different perspective.
I'm a few years older than Crispin and I remember discovering him as a road to something else...he doesn't really want to be an anything to anybody, but he is still best summed up with his line in Don't Look Back. "They called me an anarchist, man...give the anarchist a cigarette..."
The Bob Dylan – “Like a Rolling Stone” Interactive Video showcases a patented technology platform, created by the digital media company Interlude, which allows viewers to play an active role in the story of the music video. The experience begins when users press play and have the ability to surf 16 different “TV channels” within the video in real-time. These channels are comprised of American TV formats in which, no matter what channel you are on, the hosts and actors are all lip-syncing the lyrics to "Like a Rolling Stone" as the song continues to play seamlessly. No two people will engage with the video in the same way twice. The full interactive video can also be experienced on iPhones and iPads and is easily shared across social media platforms.
I get why Dylan makes people like Crispin crazy. At his base, Crispin is a very grounded type of thinker and human being. Fundamentally, Dylan calls into question the entire purpose of being grounded. This new official video of "Like a Rolling Stone" seems based in that. If you don't like the video you're looking at or are curious about other views, well, change the channel. But ultimately, it's all the same...ungrounded, full of angst, confusion and possibility. (Although Drew Carey lipsyncing along while doing The Price is Right is a shattering metaphor in some ways...and bizarre in others.)
Dylan obviously didn't do this project by himself. But, he's been pretty fierce about artistic control of his music and his vision. (The way Al Cooper's organ got into the original was based on Dylan's demand to turn up the organ, saying "I'll say who's a keyboard player" to an apologetic and slightly irritated producer.) So, he had a lot of control of the vision and I'm sure had to approve the execution. This is what Dylan is at his best -- challenging us to push through the doors of perception not to ecstasy but to acceptance and maybe a bit of tea and sympathy...he makes other musicians better, he makes other writers better and he makes other thinkers better. Him, he's still on the road, headed toward another choice, challengng us to feel the same but see it from some other point of view...