Today I spent another delightful evening with Townsman E. Pluribus Gergely and his family. We briefly discussed the Paul McCartney issue, raised after discussion of Paul’s recent appearance on Letterman. We agreed that Paul’s plastic surgery, Botox, and hair dye were relevant in any criticisms of his performance because he continues to try to sell us on the fact that he’s got something left in the tank when he’s had nothing for the last 25 or more years.
Then we had a little disagreement when I compared him to Bob Dylan, saying, “Dylan doesn’t resort to the Botox; he’s not trying to fool anyone.”
Plurbs said, “No, Dylan’s just as bad. He should go away too.”
I see a difference, though. To me, he deserves credit for his willingness to wander the earth until his dying day in full acknowledgment that he’s got little left to offer the world. I think it’s admirable that Dylan has, over the course of the last decade or so, been humbled enough to openly aspire to being a two-bit troubadour. Check out the above performance, from 1994, in which Dylan, like McCartney to this day, makes one last effort at reviving his Glory Days. Check out the polka-dotted shirt, the teased hair, and the shades. Compare this effort to bring it all back home with the reality of the music. It’s a little depressing, the way McCartney is depressing with his attempts at cheating time. Today’s Dylan may still be a put-on, but his creepy, low-life, man out of time Look matches his music. It makes it possible for some of us to hear his music with humbled expectations, possibly uncovering unexpected riches. Can there be hope for uncovering unexpected riches as long as McCartney poses as a wax likeness of his younger self?
Plurbie wasn’t quite buying this distinction between Dylan and McCartney and suggested that I bring it to the Halls of Rock. What say you, Townspeople?