Tuesday 24 October 2017

'The answer my friend is' .. completely obvious

Bob Dylan: Nobel prize for literature
Bob Dylan: Nobel prize for literature

John Masterson

It began with a playful argument about Bob Dylan. It often does. My producer and co-presenter, Eimear Nií Bhraonáin, on KCLR96FM in the mornings is the boss. During our two hours on air, there might be one or two songs. She has banned about a hundred of my favourites. She is one of the smartest people I know but she has a blind spot on Dylan. While my brain has a hypothalamus and amygdala and lots of useful bits, I suspect hers has a section labelled Take That. Enough said.

Last week Bob won the Nobel Prize. He was a news story. It was only a question of how many tracks I could play. I could talk about the time I went to a Christopher Ricks lecture about Dylan's lyrics. He was Professor of English at Cambridge. The 'boss' pointed out that, while that might make good geriatric dinner table conversation, there was no need to inflict it on the good listeners of Carlow and Kilkenny.

When things begin with Dylan there is no telling where they will end. I am not quite sure how we got on to The Mamas and the Papas. 'The who'? came the chorus of the 20- and 30-somethings I am lucky to spend half my day with. Do they make baby buggies? Some of them had never heard of the group. Fair enough, when I hummed Monday Monday they did know that. But California Dreaming, Dedicated To The One I Love, Make your Own Kind of Music, were met with shaking heads.

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