“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.
— Chris McCandless”—
“What gives value to travel is fear. It is a fact that, at a certain moment, when we are so far from our own country, we are seized by a vague fear and an instinctive desire to go back to the protection of old habits. I look upon it more as an occasion for testing.”—
Back in 1963, Bob Dylan was the new darling and outspoken voice of political protest in America, performing songs seeking truth and justice– “Only a Pawn in Their Game”,“Who Killed Davey Moore?”, and most notably, “Blowin’ in the Wind”– backed by the Folk movement’s super-establishment including Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, the Freedom Singers, and Peter, Paul & Mary. But Dylan’s talent quickly proved too big to be boxed in by the narrow and idealistic parameters of Folk purists. By 1964 he’d already moved on musically– “Mr. Tambourine Man”, and “It Ain’t Me, Babe” showcased the emerging depth of his songwriting skills outside of protests and politics. Dylan’s fans worship him with a god-like fervor and frenzy. At the 1964 Newport Folk Festival, the enthusiastic crowd woos Dylan– cheering, chanting, and roaring for him to return to the stage at the end of his acoustic set. When he reappears on stage, it’s a love-fest. “I wanna say thank you, I love you”, says Dylan to the crowd. He can seemingly do no wrong.
Bob Dylan At Piano During Recording Session, 1965. Bob Dylan in a contemplative mood, lost in thought behind his Ray-Bans, pausing for a break between takes at the upright piano at Studio A, Columbia Recording Studios in New York City during the sessions for “Highway 61 Revisited” in June 1965, a mere month before his electric set at the Newport Folk Festival would send Folk and Rock and Pop music into a whole new direction. –Photo by Jerry Schatzberg, Via.
By the summer of ’65, Dylan’s stardom surpassed that of the Folk traditionalists at the Newport Folk Festival. Hundreds of adoring fans overwhelm Dylan’s car, as he basks in the attention, smiling and stating, “They’re all my friends.” But there is wave of rebellion beginning to well-up against Dylan among the so-called Folk purist fans. They see him as already being a sell-out, having moved over to the side of the establishment. In their eyes, Dylan is now just another cog in the wheel. The stage is now set for the epic event that will forever be remembered as– When Dylan Went Electric. So what inspired Dylan to go electric in the first place? Some say Dylan was inspired (or challenged perhaps) by an exchange he had with John Lennon. Dylan slammed Lennon, essentially dismissing The Beatles lyrically– “you guys have nothing to say”, was the message. Lennon’s counter was to enlighten Dylan of the fact that– he had no sound, man. Whether or not it resulted in Dylan going electric, or The Beatles writing more introspective lyrics, who knows– but it’s a helluva story.
Jerry Schatzberg’s shot of Bob Dylan in a New York studio. Unusual in that the singer is unguarded, and not posing for the camera – was taken in June 1965, during the recording of the Highway 61 Revisited album.
Dylan took the stage on Sunday with what was essentially the Paul Butterfield Blues Band– Mike Bloomfield on guitar, Sam Lay on drums, Jerome Arnold on bass, Al Kooper on organ, and Barry Goldberg on pian. They’d practiced with Dylan all Saturday night in a nearby mansion, but according to Kooper, “The Butterfield Band didn’t have the best chemistry to back Dylan… It (the practice) was a tough night… complicated and ugly”. Peter Yarrow introduced Dylan: “Ladies and gentlemen, the person that’s going to come up now has a limited amount of time … His name is Bob Dylan.” When Dylan and the band go into a loud, and raucous rendition of “Maggie’s Farm” the boos erupt almost immediately, along with mixed cheers. Then Dylan goes into “Like a Rolling Stone” (the week the song was released as a single) and the boos continue. After playing “Phantom Engineer” and still facing scorn from the crowd, Dylan tells the band, “Let’s go, man. That’s all”, and walks off stage– pissed and frustrated. A flustered Peter Yarrow returned to the microphone to try and calm things down, and along with Joan Baez manages to coax Dylan back on stage. Yarrow panders to the crowd by telling them Dylan is getting his acoustic guitar. Dylan is now ready to play for the crowd in an almost apologetic gesture– then there’s an awkward and tense appeal to the crowd for an E harmonica, followed finally by a classic Dylan rendition of “Mr. Tambourine Man” that gets things back on track for the folkies. It’s amazing to see Dylan do an about-face, reverting to acoustic, on a night when “going electric” was meant to be an epic artistic statement. And although the crowd exploded with applause at the end of Dylan’s forced acoustic set, he would not return to the Newport stage again for 37 years– and Ironically enough, the song they so fervently booed at Newport, “Like a Rolling Stone”, was named by none other than Rolling Stone magazine as the greatest rock song of all time.
Bob Dylan, early 1960s. –Photo by Michael Ochs Archives
A thought. Why do fans start calling “sell-outs” to their music idols as soon as they become mainstream? They should be proud instead of angry. That means they’ve made it! Some decide to change their looks, their friends are actors, actresses and fashion designers. But if their music is still amazing, why trash them?
Contra los lunes, la dieta de la piña, los domingos sin fútbol, los domingos con fútbol, el calentamiento de la tierra, las lavadoras que se estropean sin avisar, los díás grises, los síndromes premenstruales, la pitopausia, las raíces cuadradas, la insoportable levedad del ser, los rizos rebeldes sin causa, el hombre del tiempo gafe, las llaves que se pierden solas, el precio de la vivienda en general y el aburrimiento en particular.
Cada recipiente de Happy Pills contiene el equivalente a: Las risas de una tarde en el circo y una noche en la ópera. Las lágrimas de risa de un chiste de Eugenio. Los colores de cuando amanece, que no es poco. Los colores de un cómic de Tintín. Un vals de Strauss (hijo). Una subida al Machu Picchu. Una bajada de los tipos de interés. Un viaje a la luna. Un viaje al centro de la tierra. Un walk on the wild side. ¡Un aplauso! Dos globos. Tres globos.
From the archives of Esquire magazine, featured in their 70th anniversary issue–
Frank Sinatra, holding a glass of bourbon in one hand and a cigarette in the other, stood in a dark corner of the bar between two attractive but fading blondes who sat waiting for him to say something. But he said nothing; he had been silent during much of the evening, except now in this private club in Beverly Hills he seemed even more distant, staring out through the smoke and semidarkness into a large room beyond the bar where dozens of young couples sat huddled around small tables or twisted in the center of the floor to the clamorous clang of folk-rock music blaring from the stereo. The two blondes knew, as did Sinatra’s four male friends who stood nearby, that it was a bad idea to force conversation upon him when he was in this mood of sullen silence, a mood that had hardly been uncommon during this first week of November, a month before his fiftieth birthday.
Hyannis Port, MA, Circa 1965– Singer Frank Sinatra with then actress girlfriend Mia Farrow on deck of the yacht, Southern Breeze. His look implies “Hit the road, Mac.” –photo by Bill Eppridge for LIFE
(…) Sinatra had been working in a film that he now disliked, could not wait to finish; he was tired of all the publicity attached to his dating the twenty-year-old Mia Farrow, who was not in sight tonight; he was angry that a CBS television documentary of his life, to be shown in two weeks, was reportedly prying into his privacy, even speculating on his possible friendship with Mafia leaders; he was worried about his starring role in an hour-long NBC show entitled Sinatra — A Man and His Music, which would require that he sing eighteen songs with a voice that at this particular moment, just a few nights before the taping was to begin, was weak and sore and uncertain. Sinatra was ill. He was the victim of an ailment so common that most people would consider it trivial. But when it gets to Sinatra it can plunge him into a state of anguish, deep depression, panic, even rage. Frank Sinatra had a cold.(…)
Circa 1963– Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin & unident. man during recording session for movie “Come Blow Your Horn.” –photo by Gjon Mili for LIFE
(…) The two blondes, who seemed to be in their middle thirties, were preened and polished, their matured bodies softly molded within tight dark suits. They sat, legs crossed, perched on the high bar stools. They listened to the music. Then one of them pulled out a Kent and Sinatra quickly placed his gold lighter under it and she held his hand, looked at his fingers: they were nubby and raw, and the pinkies protruded, being so stiff from arthritis that he could barely bend them. He was, as usual, immaculately dressed. He wore an oxford-grey suit with a vest, a suit conservatively cut on the outside but trimmed with flamboyant silk within; his shoes, British, seemed to be shined even on the bottom of the soles. He also wore, as everybody seemed to know, a remarkably convincing black hairpiece, one of sixty that he owns, most of them under the care of an inconspicuous little grey-haired lady who, holding his hair in a tiny satchel, follows him around whenever he performs. She earns $400 a week. The most distinguishing thing about Sinatra’s face are his eyes, clear blue and alert, eyes that within seconds can go cold with anger, or glow with affection, or, as now, reflect a vague detachment that keeps his friends silent and distant.(…)
In the summer of ‘71, The Rolling Stones, seeking shelter from their UK tax woes, exiled to the South of France. Keith Richards set up house with Anita Pallenberg and their son Marlon in Villa Nellcôte– a 16 room waterfront mansion that once served as Gestapo headquarters for the Nazis during WWII. The infamy continued with it now best remembered among rock fans as the grand flop-house where Exile On Main Street was recorded.