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the pioneer of Dylan Studies; writer, public speaker, critic; became a Doctor of Letters in 2015 (awarded by the University of York, UK)

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Friday, May 11, 2007


. . . from bad to worse.

Here was a mildly amusing report from the New York Post:

May 3, 2007 -- KINDERGARTEN kids in ritzy L.A. suburb Calabasas have been coming home to their parents and talking about the "weird man" who keeps coming to their class to sing "scary" songs on his guitar. The "weird" one turns out to be Bob Dylan, whose grandson (Jakob Dylan's son) attends the school. He's been singing to the kindergarten class just for fun, but the kiddies have no idea they're being serenaded by a musical legend - to them, he's just Weird Guitar Guy.

And this is what The Times (or The London Times, as Americans insist on calling it) managed to do to the story the day after:

Parents at a flashy LA kindergarten were alarmed when their youngsters started telling of the “weird man” who keeps coming to their class singing “scary” songs, reports the New York Post. The children, it transpires, did not appreciate Jakob Dylan’s grandfather, a chap by the name of Bob, popping in and serenading them.

So The Times can't get a grip on the fact that Bob is the father, not grandfather, of Jakob and that Jakob is not a small boy attending kindergarten, even though the paper they take the story from explains it very clearly.

This shows a standard of précis-work that would have earned an 8-year-old a very poor score in an English test when I was at school. On top of which, of course, you might think that a section of The Times that concerns itself with celebrity gossip just might have heard of Jakob Dylan, and a multi-platinum-selling band of his called The Wallflowers (whose debut album came out 15 years ago). And this was once a great newspaper...

Meanwhile here's another nice Dylan-related story, read a long time ago but re-encountered the other day (on Maza's Weblog):

In the coffee room of [a US] bookstore, three teenage boys with spiky hair and skateboards were reading Interview magazine and discussing the current music scene. The conversation turned to Robert Zimmerman, a.k.a. Bob Dylan. Said one: “I don’t get why he changed his name from Zimmerman. All the coolest guys I know are named Zimmerman.” His friend: “Yeah, when I grow up I’m gonna change my name to Zimmerman.”

Your sons and your daughters [and grandchildren] are beyond your command / Your old road is rapidly agin'...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the kind of newsitem I always find suspicious. It might be true, but also a hoax. I believe Jakob's first child was born around 1997, so a third or fourth kid might be attending kindergarten at this time. Still, it sounds fishy. Maybe I just have a suspicious mind. It is a funny story, I'll grant you that.

10:06 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Times used to be a great newspaper, yes. Then Rupert Murdoch bought it.

The outcome from there on in was surely inevitable?

Homer the Slut

9:15 pm  

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