1 Like A Rolling StoneFrom Highway 61 Revisited (August 1965)
KRIS KRISTOFFERSON: I was active in Nashville aback I aboriginal heard “Like A Rolling Stone”. By then, well, annihilation he did afraid me. I aloof admired it: it was like an anthem. I didn’t appetite to apprehend the rumours of who was who and what was what. It aloof worked. I was there aback he did Blonde On Blonde, and I was the alone songwriter in Nashville accustomed in the architecture – because I was the janitor! None of my accompany could get accomplished the police. Those were the wildest sessions I’d anytime apparent in Nashville, you were accepted to get three or four songs during a three-hour session. They ran it in-and-out, because time is money. And, God, Bob went into the big A-studio at Columbia and sat at the piano for hours while the musicians were out arena ping pong and cards – and he’s autograph a song. It was the best camp behaviour anybody in Nashville had anytime seen, because he didn’t almanac the abuse affair until the sun came up. I wasn’t there for all of the Nashville Skyline sessions. I apperceive that I didn’t see him do “Lay Lady Lay”, because I bethink Bob Johnston arena it for me afterwards in the studio, and aloof actuality agape out. But I was there aback he cut a affair with John. “Girl Of The North Country”. And, Jesus. you charge to accept these were absolute agitative times for me: I was still about four years out of the military, and I acquainted like history was accident afore my eyes. Johnny Cash was absolute ambiguous at the time – he was like communicable lightning in a bottle. And to get them both together, it was like watching two pieces of lightning.
IAN MacDONALD: Added anxiously controlled than abounding of Dylan’s best aggressive lyrics of the 1965-66 period, “Like A Rolling Stone” is a blithely abrasive adornment of the abatement into self-discovery rendered in four diffuse stanzas. Here, music and lyric are appropriately outstanding, activity so able-bodied calm that it’s adamantine to brainstorm them apart. Thunderous on the 1965-66 apple tour, the accomplishment cements the effect, benumbed the abstraction as if in a carnival-painted cadillac. One of the top 10 singles of all time.
HOWARD DEVOTO: Me and this song is like the cliché of adventurous comedy, area antecedent abhorrence masks accurate love. I was 13 in 1965 and it had been abhorrence at aboriginal afterimage amid me and Mr Dylan’s aboriginal two singles [“The Times They Are A-Changin’” and “Subterranean Homesick Blues”]. Afresh three or four months later, for some reason, I buy “Like A Rolling Stone”. Next affair I apperceive I’m aerial over the almanac player, affective the aggravate aback and forth, aggravating to address bottomward the lyrics bandage by line. The agency was a badly important agency in the appulse the distinct had. Me and my alone associate of the time, who was a Dylan fan, were bedeviled by a little ascent agency byword in the third ballad which I’m hard-pressed to apprehend at all these days. You can’t advice but accept it was Dylan audition Alan Price’s arena on The Animals’ “House Of The Ascent Sun” that fabricated him prick up his aerial aback Al Kooper – allegedly ad-lib – started noodling about on the agency during the recording session. And apologetic to get banal but you absolutely accept to apprehend it in the aboriginal mono.
GRANT-LEE PHILLIPS: This allegedly would accept been the aboriginal song that l was anytime apparent to of Dylan’s. It works on so abounding altered levels. Firstly there’s the activity of this wild, twister-like affair that whips up, demography aggregate with it, and the accompanist alone has this abrupt moment to aback his capital plea, which is to attending activity absolutely in the eye and blab the judgements that we ability accept harboured about those things we accept no associate with. Although it’s absolutely heavy, you tend to get swept up in the spirit of the song. Perhaps it could be said that Dylan appeared to be this character, the rolling bean who is the spirit of Woody Guthrie, Jack Kerouac and others who begin agnate abeyant in the adventure for cocky out on the big arenaceous road. All of that fabricated for a absolute adventurous account of who absolutely Bob Dylan was. It’s still the song l’d comedy for the conflicting who aloof landed, allurement to be taken to our songwriting leader.
CP LEE: l was 15 aback this came out and to apprehend it over the radio, for the absolute aboriginal time ever, is one of those moments that, for the blow of my life, makes me beholden to accept aggregate the planet with the man who wrote this. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the greatest distinct ever. lts aftereffect in 1965 was cataclysmic. That rimshot from the boom blame it off is aloof staggering. It signalled the anarchy in lots and lots of ways. It’s a advantage to be on the aforementioned planet as the man who wrote that.
STEVIE JACKSON: Allegedly a lot of people’s favourite, and I apperceive best of the others in Belle & Sebastian adulation Dylan and this in particular. I bethink Stuart [Murdoch] DJing one time and he played this in his set. Isobel [Campbell] is a absolutely big fan too. Sometimes she wears her Dylan dress, which is absolutely air-conditioned – aloof a dress with a account of Dylan on it about ’66, with the aphotic shades. At Belle & Sebastian gigs we consistently do ad-lib covers, and I assume to bethink we did try “Like A Rolling Stone” one time. Well, I say “we”, but absolutely it was mainly me!
ADAM SWEETING: Al Kooper, who bluffed his way into arena Hammond agency on Highway 61 Revisited, appear that Dylan sessions at the time were like activity affairs to plan the advance of the counterculture. This battleground recording succeeds about admitting itself, with some of the players about benumbed over anniversary added as the clue threatens to abatement apart, but Dylan strides on regardless. lmperious, audacious and allegedly all-knowing, Dylan was gazing bottomward from a acme cipher abroad had anytime accomplished as he delivered this ample put-down of some ambidexterity changeable acquaintance. “How does it feel?” he demanded. Somebody should accept asked Bob the aforementioned question.
GERRY LOVE: Audition this was like audition The Beatles for the aboriginal time, aloof so instantly transforming. What addled me was the best of instruments, and additional I didn’t apperceive how they did it. It appearance aloof a archetypal complete of Hammond, piano, bass and drums but played in a absolute aggressive way. There’s article bewitched about the way they’re all put together. It’s not anxiously abiding but ad-lib and raw. If you accept 15 takes of one song, all you’ve got is 15 altered versions activity on at the aforementioned time. There’s so abundant appearance to what he does, and the flit beats and melody is absolutely abnormal on this as well. Not abounding bodies address in 3/4 time.
MARC ‘LARD’ RILEY: I account this song is above justification. If I were to try I’d allegedly say that from the aperture allurement boom able you apperceive this is activity to be one of the greatest songs of all time. Can a song be classed as an icon? If so, this is one.
DAVE MARSH: The Animate 1966 adaptation is as able as any allotment of music fabricated in American history.
THEA GILMORE: l was consistently absolutely absorbed by this song afterwards award out it was originally accounting in 3/4 because it is the affairs of the words adjoin the accent aback it was put into 4/4 which makes it such a asperous and agitative sound.
DAN BERN: It got to Number Two on the archive (his accomplished ever) and it was about alert as continued as annihilation abroad on the radio. You anticipate you apperceive the song central out, and afresh you apprehend it afresh and it’s cast new. The anatomy of the song is huge, and the choir keeps activity up and up and up.
LYNDON MORGANS: Seems about a cliché to aces this, but it is one of the finest things anytime recorded by anybody. Ever. It set a accomplished new accepted of achievement, and came out over a year afore “Good Vibrations” and 18 months afore “Strawberry Fields Forever”, its aeon in the god-like ability stakes. It’s addictive and claustrophobic and aberrant . . . Bob’s the Solomon of the slag-off. (Costello’s no slouch at it either, but with Dylan it’s so allegedly effortless. With Costello you can feel how he’s ambagious himself up…)
EILEEN ROSE: This is one of the three songs Dylan debuted animate at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival aback he air-conditioned out all the folkies. Everybody abroad is autograph adulation songs, and he comes out spitting and angry about amusing aspiration and the fall-out from self-betrayal. What does it feel like to accept recorded a song that gets labelled ‘the best important and revolutionary’ almanac anytime made? He knew it too. Alike Dylan himself was quoted as saying: “I’m not activity to be able to accomplish a almanac bigger than this one.” I admiration if he heard the complete in his arch first, or stumbled on it. Doesn’t matter. It still rocks and I absolutely ambition I’d accounting it.
JAMIE CATTO: The aboriginal song that got me into Dylan, and one of the aboriginal songs that I bethink actually throwing me about the allowance with affect and exhilaration. Aback I aboriginal heard it – the Animate At Budokan version, apologetic purists – I aloof played it over and over again. It was the aboriginal time a clue had done that to me.
NICK JOHNSTONE: Around-the-clock and amazing alike on the thousandth listen, it’s a song that allegedly every actuality over a assertive age knows. It’s added an figure than a song at this point. It should be classified as the Eighth Admiration Of The World. The music, the air-conditioned factor, the lyrics the delivery, that huge across-the-board accurate chorus: it’s aggregate you could anytime ambition for in a pop song, a bedrock song, any blazon of song.
PETE YORN: l accept a bendable atom for this song because we opened for Bob in Atlanta aftermost year. Our bout bus was anchored appropriate abaft the date because it was an alfresco area and he started arena it aloof as my new adherent and l were accepting it on for the aboriginal time. Through the accessible window of the bus you could apprehend Bob scream “How does it feel!”, and I anticipation to myself, “This feels fucking great”.
MICK FARREN: The hit, the classic, came with a song anatomy and beat arrangement that angrily went area no added bedrock tune had gone before, and adumbration that affected the acuteness of every boyish advocate in the western hemisphere. Although the song was Dylan’s aboriginal above airing with the abounding Fender guitar, Hammond agency rock’n’roll band, the ability of the absolute song is calmly cross-referenced by the versions from Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones.
TIM BURGESS: A rude, continued and cruel statement, aloof tellin’ it like it is…
SIMON NICOL: The best song anyone has anytime written. Gershwin, Porter and Strauss included.
IAN MCCULLOCH: It’s one of the aboriginal Dylan songs I heard. Not that l was old abundant to bethink it aback it came out, but later, allegedly article me earlier brother had on tape. Audition it as a kid, alike admitting you’d been told about this Bob Dylan fella actuality some abundant artist and sage, that song was a animation of beginning air, alike as a 12-year-old into me Bowie and Lou Reed. It’s allegedly the song that best bodies into Dylan would’ve aboriginal heard and gone, “Hang on. I like this bloke”. Whereas if you’d heard “Gates Of Eden” aboriginal it’d allegedly accept put you off. Sometimes I anticipate his lyrics are terrible, all that waffling-on stuff, but this is great. All that animosity and acidity absolutely comes across. The complete is aloof so exciting, decidedly with the Hammond, and I anticipate added than best added Dylan advance it’s got a absolute bandage feel to it. It’s of its time, but it’s still not dated. I don’t apperceive what abroad was activity on aback it was appear but it absolutely wasn’t annihilation like what The Beatles and The Rolling Stones were doing, because aback in the Sixties Dylan was the leader. He afflicted The Beatles. And afresh he went crap.
STEPHEN PASTEL: Completely fantastic. He was so ‘on’ at that moment. There’s article absolutely Method Man about Bob Dylan. He affectionate of knew how to position himself and a lot of it was appealing strategic. But he consistently managed to accomplish these absurd leaps into the dark, like there was about article active about the music. There’s so abundant activity in that song, a absolute activity and joy of playing. Triumphant!
JIM SCLAVUNOS: Once again, Dylan upped the ante for bedrock music.
DAVID PAJO: A absurd almanac – but accept you heard the Isle Of Wight version? It’s unrecognisable, the delivery is awesome.
GAVIN MARTIN: An dogged archetype of Dylan as a catalytic force. The aboriginal recording is so animate that 30, 40 years afterwards you can still feel the activity aerial annular the studio. Admitting he had been pilloried for deserting the beef movement at its hour of need, “Like A Rolling Stone” is a bent bang at all the bank duplicity and exploited anamorphosis that the apple can offer. It’s around-the-clock – his greatest insubordinate song. This is raw, unvanquished love; absolute adulation – blood-soaked and hard-earned – borne out of careering animality and truth-telling. You get an epiphany – “You’re airy now, you’ve got no secrets to conceal” – a absolute accompaniment of adroitness afterwards the treachery, the acerbic bath, the accessible blind and the added untold torments. It’s a accepted anthem, but aback he plays it animate Dylan hardly allows it to become a abundant big ‘altogether now’ singalong. That is not its fate – like all abundant works of art, it holds an amaranthine fascination, a abstruseness which he feels belongs to him. So aback he plays it there’s consistently the activity that he steals it aback and reshapes it. The amazing adumbration is brought anew alive, the ball of activity and after-effects revitalised. Maybe tonight he’ll get abutting to unlocking its secret, maybe tomorrow he’ll get alike closer.
PETE WYLIE: I consistently try and do that affair of alert to annal and assuming you’ve never heard them afore – it’s a bold – y’know – but “Like A Rolling Stone” is beauteous every time. It’s aggregate that’s abundant about Dylan. The words are absurd because it’s a ambulatory cry AND a massive put-down. It’s direct, you apperceive absolutely what he’s talking about alike admitting it’s captivated up in all address of abstruseness and intrigue. Is he talking about you? Is he talking about himself? Is he talking about a girl? The abundant affair is that it’s all of those things, he’s got all the truths in one basket. The aboriginal time I was acquainted of this was in the aboriginal Seventies aback I started affairs records. It was through Bowie at first, afterwards “Song For Bob Dylan” on Hunky Dory, that I started advantageous added attention. That was the affair about Bowie which me and Ian McCulloch both had, that annihilation to do with Bowie you capital to get to know. Dylan and “Like A Rolling Stone” affiliated with me appropriate away. I’ve apparent him animate God knows how abounding times, and he’s not consistently great, but it’s absolutely adamantine to ruin that song, although he has managed a brace of times. But the aftermost affair I’ll say about “Like A Rolling Stone” is that it still manages to fizz me. It’s got that affair which, aback you apprehend Dylan, you think, how the fuck did he do that? How did he address that? Those words? It’s like aback Hendrix plays guitar or you apprehend Stevie Admiration or Aretha Franklin sing. You aloof can’t scientifically map it out, apperceive what I mean?
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