Sunday, May 3, 2009

Riffs: The Blacker the Berry...

Some months ago my wife somehow, accidentally, subscribed to Rolling Stone. Nobody knows how, or why, but it started coming, and it’s still coming. Issue 1078 arrived yesterday with the rain, and with Bob Dylan on the cover. After years of struggle, he’s finally made the Big Time.

Now, centaurs, unicorns and other mythical beasts such as persons who have been following Rodak Riffs since the early days, will be aware of my devotion to Dylan’s career, and that my devotion is of very long standing. (see here and here)

So, even though the last time I picked up a Rolling Stone, Kurt Cobain was still alive and rockin’ ‘em out like Johnny B. Goode, I found myself reading the article “Bob Dylan’s America” by Douglas Brinkley. I haven’t finished it yet, but I thought I’d share the arresting passage at which my reading was paused:

In the pecking order of rock & roll survivors, Dylan sees himself as number two, behind only Chuck Berry. …A friendship has developed between Dylan and Berry over the years. “Chuck said to me, ‘By God, I hope you live to be 100, and I hope I live forever,’” Dylan says with a laugh. “He said that to me a couple of years ago. In my universe, Chuck is irreplaceable….All that brilliance is still there, and he’s still a force of nature. As long as Chuck Berry’s around, everything’s as it should be. This a man who has been through it all. The world treated him so nasty. But in the end, it was the world that got beat.”

…the sweeter the tunes.