This is a very cool article that ran recently at Michigan Today, the area of the University of Michigan’s website devoted to their alumni:
Bob Dylan’s (maize) and blues
BY ALAN GLENN
Ed Reynolds has mixed recollections of the summer of 1964. It was in September that the 20-year-old once-and-future student at the University of Michigan got married to a girl he hardly knew. It was also in September that he went to see Bob Dylan perform at Ann Arbor High School.
The tickets were a wedding gift from a friend who had connections in advertising. “They were great tickets,” Reynolds says, “right in the middle of the front row. You couldn’t get any closer.”
The marriage didn’t last, but Reynolds’ memories of the concert have. He recently retired as an attorney for the University of Michigan Health System. As a parting gift he received a set of Dylan’s 40-odd albums on compact disc.
“Most of the time, when I listen to them now,” he says, “sooner or later, into my consciousness comes that concert.
“I made an unwise decision to get married in ’64, and the tickets were a wedding present, so it was worth the two-year marriage to get those tickets,” he continues. “That’s the way I look at it.”
Reynolds had discovered Dylan about a year earlier, just after the release of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, the young balladeer’s breakthrough second album. Tracks included the quintessential protest anthem “Blowin’ in the Wind,” along with such other classics as “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” and “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall.”
“I came as close as anybody could come to driving my mother to an asylum,” recalls Reynolds. “The first time I heard the first cut, that was it. I was poleaxed. It’s a wonder I didn’t play it right through the grooves. Over and over and over. It was the greatest thing I’d ever heard. I couldn’t get enough of it.”
Another Ann Arborite who became enraptured with Dylan following the release of Freewheelin’ was 15-year-old Bill Kirchen, himself a budding musician and later a founding member of the country-rock band Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen. Kirchen also played the record incessantly, although his parents didn’t seem to mind.
He remembers how disappointed he was that Christmas to discover that his father had given him an LP of Wagner’s opera music “with a big garish, purple cover.”
Later at the dinner table his father asked if Bill wouldn’t like to play his new record. “I’m like, ‘Oh yeah, sure, thanks, Dad, I’d love to. I can’t wait to put it on.’ So I went out there and I grabbed this Wagner album I had no interest in, and it turned out he’d bought the first Dylan album, and stuck it in the Wagner cover for me. That’s one of my great memories of Bob Dylan and my dad.”
Read the rest of the article here.
Thanks Ron Chester for hipping me to this story!
[I just published my rock ‘n’ roll novel, True Love Scars.” Rolling Stone has a great review of my book in the new issue. Read it here. There’s info about True Love Scars here.]
— A Days Of The Crazy-Wild blog post —