2015年8月9日 星期日

Bob Dylan. Dylan Goes Electric! by Elijah Wald


Happy birthday to Bob Dylan! Here’s a portrait of him by David Oxtobyhttp://ow.ly/xdmbi




巴布·狄倫英語Bob Dylan,1941年5月24日)原名勞勃·艾倫·齊默曼Robert Allen Zimmerman),是一位美國唱作人藝術家作家。從1961年發布首張專輯至今,狄倫在流行音樂界和文化界起到的影響已超過50年。他的大多數著名作品都來自1960年代的反抗民謠,也被廣泛認為是當時美國新興的反叛文化的代言人,儘管他否認了這一點。他的早期作品例如《Blowing' in the Wind》和《The Times They Are a-Changing》都有成為當時美國民權反戰運動的聖歌。1960年代中期,狄倫開始從原先的抗議民謠風格轉型,1965年發行單曲《Like a Rolling Stone》,並改變了流行音樂的傳統類別。在一些搖滾樂手的幫助下,他在60年代中期的一些作品登上了《美國公告》冠軍,與此同時也受到了來自民權運動者的指責和批評。
狄倫早期有受到美國創作歌手小理察的表演和音樂人伍迪·蓋瑟瑞勞勃·詹森漢克·威廉斯的歌詞的影響,並在後來發展及個性化了既有的音樂風格。狄倫在其50多年的歌唱生涯中探索了美國歌曲風格里的各種成分——從民謠藍調鄉村福音音樂搖滾樂洛卡比里,再到英格蘭式、蘇格蘭式和愛爾蘭式民謠,還有爵士樂搖擺樂。狄倫通常的演奏樂器為吉他鍵盤樂器口琴。在不同的音樂人的支持下,狄倫從20世紀80年代末開始就一直在舉辦他的「永不停息巡演」(Never Ending Tour)。作為一個唱片藝術家和表演者,狄倫的成就主要以他的演藝生涯為核心,但他最大的貢獻被普遍認為是他的作詞。
自1994年以來狄倫已出版了6本畫作書,他的作品也曾在大型藝術畫廊中展出過。作為一個音樂家,狄倫的唱片總銷量已超過了1億,也讓他成為暢銷音樂藝人之一。狄倫得到過包括葛萊美金球獎奧斯卡金像獎在內的獎項。2012年5月,狄倫獲得了由美國總統貝拉克·歐巴馬頒布的總統自由勳章

職業生涯

書評

鮑勃·迪倫插電背後的故事

1965年7月25日星期日,鮑勃·迪倫在羅德島的新港民謠節上演出。
1965年7月25日星期日,鮑勃·迪倫在羅德島的新港民謠節上演出。Diana Davies, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, Smithsonian Institution
週六晚上是迪倫那場宿命對決的50週年紀念日:50年前的那個晚上,鮑勃·迪倫(Bob Dylan)用響亮的電子噪音侵襲了新港民謠節,那裡本是從未遭到玷污的聖所。1965年迪倫在新港的戰鬥已經眾所周知。它的影響被一再闡釋,已經有些令人作嘔。每一本迪倫的傳記裡都會對之不厭其煩地詳細描述。這件事對於迪倫的故事來說是如此重要,簡直可以為它寫幾首民謠歌曲了。所以為這座古怪的紀念碑再來寫一本書,老實說似乎完全沒有必要。
但《迪倫插電了!》(Dylan Goes Electric!)卻令人驚喜。這本精彩有趣的音樂學與文化史著作由以利亞·沃爾德(Elijah Wald)帶來,他著述頗豐,涉獵廣泛,作品包括《迷幻走廊》(Narcocorrido)、《“披頭士”是怎樣毀了搖滾樂》(How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll)和《全球吟遊歌手》(Global Ministrels),因此寫新港民謠節時也用上了豐富的知識儲備。他最有名的作品可能是與戴夫·範·容克(Dave Van ROnk)合著的《麥克道格街市長》(The Mayor of Macdougal Street)一書,這本範·容克的回憶錄在他去世後出版。那本書讀來充滿愛意,這本書也是如此。
沃爾德非常擅長解析自己筆下的事件。而且他的解析完全不顧傳統的理解。就連前言中也有不少驚人的內容,表明《迪倫插電了!》絕對是從新的角度去闡述這個老故事。大多數關於新港的神話都說,迪倫當時演唱的那些非民謠的新歌,比如《麥琪的農場》(Maggie's Farm)、《像一塊滾石》(Like a Rolling Stone)和《一切都結束了,藍寶貝》(It's All Over Now, Baby Blue)帶來了令人耳目一新的遠景,但如果事實並非如此,如果迪倫的行為只是向唯我主義和自我中心的倒退,那又會怎麼樣呢?
Patricia Wall/The New York Times


“在大多數說法中,迪倫象徵著年輕與未來,那些對他起哄的人像徵著正在消亡的過去,”沃爾德寫道。“但在另一個版本里,觀眾們才象徵著年輕與希望,迪倫只是把自己封閉在電子噪音構成的牆壁之後,把自己閉鎖在財富與權力的城堡之中。”那個成為60年代精神像徵的鮑勃·迪倫——當然,是嬉皮那一半的60年代——其實有部分是一種錯覺。一場摩托車禍之後,他就隱居在伍德斯托克,1968年還曾經問一個老朋友,“你怎麼知道我不——不支持戰爭?”
迪倫在1963年像一尊新的神祇一樣降臨新港,兩年後又把這裡變成了黨派之爭的憤怒戰場,沃爾德知道,要寫好新港音樂節的迪倫,也需要以同樣的努力去思考皮特·西格(Pete Seeger),思考他一手締造的民謠運動、民謠運動所滋養的理想、民謠轉向商業的過程中又是如何偏離了這些理想,乃至“新港對於他來說意味著什麼,當擴音器攫取權力的時候,光線是如何一點點熄滅下去”。
沃爾德盡了最大努力去避免過度簡單化的傾向,但他也同樣擅長創造簡化,並對之進行分析。是的,西格可以被描述為試圖利用民謠音樂來完成民主的理念,讓人們在樂觀主義精神之下一起工作;是的,迪倫可以被視為一個孤獨者,一個只走自己道路的憤世嫉俗者。但沃爾德指出,這些刻板印像中存在巨大的缺陷,更大的真相是,新港吸引了一群理想主義的​​年輕聽眾,商業化民謠傳遞的狂熱信息可以激勵他們,也可以把他們碾碎。
沃爾德精彩地描述了西格從眼前理想與商業的衝突中艱苦學到的教訓。新港民謠節舉行的時候,他已經目睹過商業成功的兩極結果:他的“紡織工”(Weavers)樂隊的一首歌曾經登上排行榜榜首,之後就被列入黑名單。他頗具自我犧牲精神,但他既是一個要養家活口的男人,也有自己的信息要傳遞,1963年他達到了名望與成功的頂峰,在新港極受歡迎。
(這張著名的照片展示了新港的核心成員們——西格、瓊·貝茲[Joan Ba​​ez]、奧德塔[Odetta]、“彼得、保羅與瑪麗”[Peter Paul and Mary]、自由歌手[the Freedom Singers]以及新手鮑勃·迪倫——他們肩並肩地歌唱西格版本的《我們會勝利》[We Shall Overcome],西奧多·比克爾[Theodore Bikel]也在其列,他於週二逝世,這個重要時刻在他的訃告裡幾乎沒怎麼提起。)
以利亞·沃爾德。
Diana Davies, Ralph Rinzler
兩年後,這片淨土開始在西格腳下遭到侵蝕。儘管他努力工作組織民謠運動,但並非所有人都認同他對當代民謠音樂的看法。他的唱法也開始漸漸淪為一種音樂背景,甚至被“金斯頓三人組”(Kingston Trio)這樣的暴發戶蓋過風頭。《迪倫插電了!》裡有大量細節,寫出許多競爭與對抗,包括偉大而迂腐的歌曲收集者艾倫·洛馬克斯(Alan Lomax)與經紀人阿爾伯特·格羅斯曼(Albert Grossman)之間的大戰。
新港的黨派之爭令這種對抗產生了嚴重後果。格羅斯曼旗下都是當時最流行的所謂民謠樂手,從戈登·萊特福特(Gordon Lightfoot)、“伊恩與西爾維婭”(Ian and Sylvia)、“彼得、保羅與瑪麗”到已經封聖的迪倫本人。洛馬克斯仍然是老派觀點的守門人,對他們表示輕蔑。復仇的格羅斯曼挑逗迪倫對邁克·布魯姆菲爾德(Mike Bloomfield)與保羅·巴塔菲爾德(Paul Butterfield)的電聲節奏組產生興趣,讓周日晚上的的音樂變得更加響亮吵鬧,藉此來獲得權力。
接下來場面一團糟,儘管西格本人一再闢謠,但最有名的說法仍然是西格當時抄起了斧子。對於這個重大場面,沃爾德並不只是檢視各方的說法,2014年,他採訪了一位在場者,此人聽到西格事後對父親查爾斯·西格(Charles Seeger)說,“我覺得他大有希望,”——他說的正是離經叛道的迪倫。
就算你是剛剛入門,還需要一些最基本的東西才能產生對這個話題的興趣,沃爾德也為你精心選擇了相關素材。60年代初的媒體非常緩慢地才分辨出這些長發的波西米亞人到底想要幹什麼,它們為本書提供了精彩的各種引言:《公告牌》(Billboard)雜誌評論“彼得、保羅與瑪麗”唱紅的《答案就在風中飄》(Blowin' in the Wind)時,說他們的版本是“鮑勃·迪倫創作的花哨小調,是水手的哀嘆,歌聲溫和柔軟”。
演唱會的評論者也同樣遲鈍。1965年,瓊·貝茲在新港“非常快地向約翰遜總統了不起的外交政策致敬”,之後唱了一段《以愛的名義停止!》(Stop! In the Name of Love),最後一句是“好好想想吧”,一家本地報紙報導她只不過是忍不住唱了一首“至高無上”(Supremes)的金曲。人們對那些所謂有爭議的歌曲感到不安。抗議戰爭與種族主義的歌曲沒有遭到什麼反對,但西格因為唱了英國民歌《拾糞拾糞》(Manyura Manyah)而受到責難。這首歌講述一個拾糞工人的工作被汽車取代的故事。
從這本書裡,你可以了解到迪倫1965年那場具有重大意義的演出時間安排有多麼糟糕,在他後面登場的是一個名叫“艾米表妹”(Cousin Emmy)的女人,她在臉頰上拍出《稻草中的火雞》(Turkey in the Straw)的旋律。但沃爾德的思維非常機敏,他把這樁早已僵化的事件變當做活生生的歷史對待,令《迪倫插電了》非常精彩。全書結尾,他認為迪倫這場35分鐘的新港演出毀壞了西格的聲譽,摧毀了西格辛辛苦苦建立起來的民謠運動。“迪倫代表未來,這不是新聞,”他寫道,“真正的新聞是,西格已經成為過去。”
《迪倫插電了!新港、西格、迪倫與那個撕裂60年代的夜晚》
以利亞·沃爾德/著
有插圖,354頁,Dey St.出版社,26.99元

Bob Dylan Live at the Newport Folk Festival

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=291&v=G8yU8wk67gY

Dylan Goes Electric! by Elijah Wald review – when Bob took a Stratocaster to the Newport folk festival

Legend has it that one act of rebellion heralded the end of the folk revival and the birth of rock. This is what really happened
Photo of Bob Dylan
 Bob Dylan plays a Fender Stratocaster electric guitar for the first time on stage, at the Newport Folk festival in 1965. Photograph: Getty/Alice Ochs
What happened to the musical revolution? From the 1950s to the 90s, popular music was prone to great watershed moments. The process was not neatly linear; change was usually dramatic and often retrospectively pinned to a particular moment: the Beatles appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964; David Bowie announcing the belated start of the 70s when he performed “Starman” on Top of the Pops in July 1972; even as late as the summer of 2001, the arrival of the high-conceptual blues-rock duo the White Stripes in London, as they stylishly set about killing the grindingly awful genre known as “nu-metal”.
The 21st century is very different. When anybody can log in to Spotify and put Quicksilver Messenger Service next to the Clash next to the Beastie Boys next toPharrell Williams, how can one retain any feeling of forward motion? WhenYouTube means we now consume music’s visual aspects in isolation rather than as part of a simultaneous audience of millions, can a single musical event or occasion ever take on huge historical meaning?
On 25 July 1965, Bob Dylan – then 24 – appeared at the Newport folk festival in Rhode Island, backed by the multi-instrumentalist Al Kooper, and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, from Chicago. He played only three songs with the group, before returning solo on stage to play two more on a borrowed acoustic guitar. In response to the electric section, some in the audience cheered, while others booed – though they may have been protesting against Dylan’s short set or the shortcomings of the sound as much as from a feeling of betrayal. That said, a strong conviction that Dylan was doing something unforgivable was in the air: the folklorist Alan Lomax later said that Dylan and his “very bad, very loud, electronic r-r band” had “more or less killed the festival”. Whatever the reality, the accepted account of what had happened was soon established: Dylan and his band facing a wall of boos and catcalls, and carrying on regardless. Some versions had it that the veteran folk musician and activist Pete Seeger reacted to Dylan’s set by trying to cut through cables with an axe.
No matter that Dylan had recently released half an album’s worth of “electric” music on Bringing It All Back Home, nor that a fully powered band had backed him on a 1962 single titled “Mixed-Up Confusion”: Newport became the moment he “went electric”, and scandalised the earnest devotees of the American folk revival so greatly that many never recovered. In not much longer than 10 minutes, as Elijah Wald puts it, Dylan triggered “the end of the folk revival as a mass movement and the birth of rock as the mature artistic voice of a generation”.
But Wald has a habit of exploring the complications and tensions that underlie received stories: witness Escaping the Delta, his fascinating exploration of the legend of Robert Johnson. Dylan Goes Electric! both explains the huge array of subplots that fed into the Newport moment and undermines any idea that the story is clear-cut. It is a great work of scholarship, brimming with insight – among the best music books I have ever read.

Obviously, things were more complicated than that. From the late 50s, the folk revival regularly gave rise to tensions and splits. It was partly built on the idea of glorying in the work of rural, genuinely “folk” musicians who could be taken from their shotgun shacks and introduced to a mass audience. But it also gave prominence to acts who seemed happy to smother the music in sentimentality and kitsch – most notably, the Kingston Trio, the California band whose huge-selling version of the standard “Tom Dooley” (1958) made folk big business. By the early 60s, it was all going the way of The X Factor, as Wald recounts: “Mercury Records staged a nine-day spring break hootenanny at Daytona Beach in April 1963 that drew more than 36 collegiate folk-singing groups to compete for a recording contract.”Its spine is the contrast between Dylan and Seeger, the Newport festival’s de facto king, who had begun blazing a trail for the folk revival and its inbuilt radical politics in the early 40s. Seeger and his followers, Wald writes, “believed they were working for the good of humanity … but they were intensely aware of the forces marshalled against them: the capitalist system and the moneyed interests that upheld it”. Seeger – “a difficult man to know and sometimes a hard man to like” – endured years of anti-communist blacklisting, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison after refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee. He was acquitted a year later, but it all heightened the quasi-religious sense that folk music was the preserve of saints.
In 1962, Dylan had seemed to answer the call for a more authentic sound – even if, as the son of an electrical goods salesman from Minnesota, he was arguably anything but. Again, it was complicated. Long before he plugged in a Fender Stratocaster, Dylan had already ended up on the wrong side of folk devotees’ prejudices: in response to his first album, some traditionalists deemed him “forced, pretentious and inept”, and when The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylanannounced a shift away from traditional material and his arrival as a songwriter, a folk periodical from his home state complained that he had become “melodramatic and maudlin … his melodies bear more relation now to popular music than folk music”.

He had performed at Newport in 1963 and ’64, and by the time of his third appearance, the sense that he was trying to escape the left-leaning milieu was overwhelming. So much of his songwriting from this time is about the need to challenge the “protesty” (his word) stereotype – from acoustic pieces such as “It Ain’t Me Babe” and “My Back Pages” to electric songs such as “Ballad of a Thin Man” and “Like a Rolling Stone”, the celebration of abandonment and solitude with which he repeatedly taunted the outraged elements of his audience.When he moved into rock, the mother of all backlashes was inevitable. Wald points out that among the songs on the US charts when Dylan began to think about going electric were Chuck Berry’s “Nadine” and Tommy Tucker’s “Hi-Heel Sneakers”: play these two superlative records next to, say, Dylan’s “From a Buick 6” (1965), and you get a real flavour of what he had in mind. Lyrically, he had already begun the shift from unadorned, often topical songs into a more impressionistic, hallucinatory style; musically, he aimed at something much more nimble than the folk revival’s lumbering piety.
Something, then, was always going to give. But at 50 years’ distance, you still marvel at how the briefest of shows could have been freighted with such meaning. Whatever actually happened, Wald observes, Newport symbolically heralded the death “of a left rooted in the progressive dreams of the New Deal and vice president Henry Wallace’s Century of the Common Man”.
It seems that Seeger probably did not try to cut through cables with an axe, but he did recount what had happened with the crestfallen conclusion: “I thought he had so much promise.” Others, by contrast, knew what time it was. In the folk magazine Sing Out!, the critic Paul Nelson compared the two musicians and announced his decision to leave one behind. “Rose-coloured glasses or a magnifying glass?” he wrote. “A nice guy who has subjugated his art through his continued insistence on a world that never was and never can be, or an angry, passionate poet who demands his art to be all?” He said of Newport: “It was a sad parting of the ways for many, myself included.” But then came the slam-dunk resolution: “I choose Dylan. I choose art.”
 To order Dylan Goes Electric! for £12.99 (RRP £16.99) go tobookshop.theguardian.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over £10, online orders only. Phone orders min p&p of £1.99.

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