Poetry

The line it is drawn

Steve Kline Ages of Rock


August 6, 1963

thetimesareEvening.  Studio A, Columbia Recording Studio, New York City. Bob Dylan records the first session produced by Tom Wilson for the album The Times They Are A-Changin’. Dylan’s third studio album is the first collection to feature only original compositions, the title track being one of his most famous. The album consists mostly of stark, sparsely-arranged story songs concerning issues such as racism, poverty, and social change.


 

And pretend that he just doesn’t see

Steve Kline Ages of Rock


July 9, 1962

cover-large_fileBob Dylan records Blowin’ In the Wind at Columbia Recording Studios in New York City during an afternoon session. Dylan originally writes and performs a two-verse version of the song, its first public performance, at Gerde’s Folk City on April 16, 1962. Shortly after this, he adds the middle verse. The song asks nine questions that are as urgent and hungry for answers as ever.

Through the smoke rings of my mind

Steve Kline Ages of Rock


June 9, 1964

Byrds-MrTambourineManDuring an evening session, Bob Dylan records Mr. Tambourine Man at Columbia Recording Studios in New York City. It is the first session for the LP that will become Another Side of Bob Dylan. Dylan records 14 original compositions this night. Later, The Byrds’ cover of Mr. Tambourine Man tops U.S. charts and ushers in the era of folk-rock, with jangly guitars and intellectual lyrics.

And pretend that he just doesn’t see

Steve Kline Ages of Rock


April 17, 1965

FWBDBob Dylan’s second studio album, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, is at #1 on the U.K. album chart. It will peak at #22 in the U.S. The album opens with Blowin’ in the Wind, which becomes an anthem of the 1960s, and an international hit for Peter, Paul & Mary.

Two riders were approaching

Steve Kline Ages of Rock


March 9, 1968

JWHBob Dylan begins a 10-week run atop the U.K. albums chart with John Wesley Harding, his eighth studio LP. It marks his return the acoustic music after three electric rock albums. It will peak at #2 on U.S. charts and includes the haunting and oft-covered All Along the Watchtower.

Surviving Divorce

by Steve Kline

February 23, 2017

 

Some days I had to imagine I was a climber

on some dangerous height in an icy storm and if

all I got done that day was to inch one hand upward

to the next solid handhold, grip it tight, and

prepare to pull myself up — whenever —

then, well,

that would be something. And I had to give myself

honor and praise for finding a way

to move one hand a few inches

in one day.

♥                     ♥                    ♥

You learn to sift the pain, and

seeing a thing bright with promise and hope

and you cling to it and thus

your life goes on.

One day

the imaginary climber

reaches a real mountain top

where sunlight washes him clean

and the bright sky rolls out

like some newly freed soul, lean

and hungry for the harvest.

Copyright © 2017 Stephen T. Kline

Everybody’s gonna jump for joy

Steve Kline Ages of Rock


February 14, 1968

8944597Manfred Mann is at #1 on the U.K. singles chart (#10 in the U.S.) with the Bob Dylan-penned  Mighty Quinn. This is the first release of a recording of this song, which will be titled Quinn the Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn) in later iterations. Dylan records it in 1967 during The Basement Tapes sessions, but will not release his version for another three years. The Manfred Mann version hits #1 in Ireland and Germany as well. The subject of the song is the arrival of mighty Quinn the Eskimo, who changes despair into joy and chaos into rest, and attracts attention from the animals. What we wouldn’t give now for Quinn to arrive in the U.S.

Revolution in the air

Steve Kline Ages of Rock


February 8, 1975

Bob Dylan 1Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks goes to #1 on U.S. album charts. It is his 15th studio album and it marks his return to Columbia Records after a two-album stint with Asylum. The subtext for this LP is Dylan’s painful divorce. Breakup is the theme of the incredible Side One, Track One Tangled Up in Blue. It is impossible to pick a “best” Dylan LP, but this one has to be in the conversation.