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Understanding Dylan

Paul Williams, Crawdaddy!, August 1966

PERHAPS THE FAVOURITE indoor sport in America today is discussing, worshiping, disparaging, and above all interpreting Bob Dylan. According to legend, young Zimmerman came out of the west, grabbed a guitar, changed his name and decided to be Woody Guthrie. Five years later he had somehow become Elvis Presley (or maybe William Shakespeare); he had sold out, plugged in his feet, and was rumored to live in a state of perpetual high (achieved by smoking rolled-up pages of Newsweek magazine). Today, we stand on the eve of his first published book (Tarantula) and the morning after his most recent and most fully-realized LP (Blonde on Blonde), and there is but one question remaining to fog our freshly-minted minds: what in hell is really going on here?

Total word count of piece: 3713

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