Sunday, November 1, 2015

you make my heart sing

------------------------ [excerpt, Bob Dylan In America] ------------------ The French pop singer Johnny Hallyday plays the Olympia.  He...has a backup band that doubles as his warm-up act, a new group, assembled only recently and still a little rough, that is introduced to the audience as hailing from Seattle, Washington, and that performs, among other numbers, a bent-out-of-shape version of the Troggs' Top 40 summer smash "Wild Thing." 

...By now the Paris audience has caught up, musically -- enough to be amazed, not dismayed, by the combo that will later gain fame as the Jimi Hendrix

Experience, in its fourth public appearance. 

Only a year earlier, Hendrix was playing with an ensemble, the Blue Flame, as the obscure house band at the Café Wha? on MacDougal Street,

where Dylan had scratched out his first gigs in New York,

and in time, after his star began to streak, some of Hendrix's most powerful performances would be his soaring interpretations of Dylan songs. 

In a time that, looking back,

seems impossibly compressed,

the early 1960s gave way to the late 1960s,

even in Paris, and to the musical counterculture that Hendrix helped invent but from which Dylan always stood at one remove.

{Bob Dylan In America, by Sean Wilentz.  Doubleday, a division of Random House, New York, 2010}


No comments:

Post a Comment