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Bob Dylan and Joan Baez in 1963
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Bob Dylan is coming to Lubbock for a concert Oct. 20 at City Bank Auditorium.
Bob Dylan, the musician Rolling Stone named the greatest songwriter of all time, is coming to Lubbock for a concert Oct. 20. During the 1960s, Dylan’s poetic lyrics and powerfully influential vocal phrasing changed popular music forever. Dylan made folk music political, then went on to make rock n’ roll spiritual. Songs such as “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “Mr. Tambourine Man,” and “Like a Rolling Stone” became instant classics. Half a century and dozens of albums later, Dylan’s artistic vision remains compelling.
The upcoming concert promises to be a thrilling event for fans, especially because of Dylan’s deep connection to Buddy Holly, Lubbock’s native son. In winter 1959, two days before he died in a plane crash, Holly performed at the Duluth National Guard Armory. A 17-year-old kid named Bobby Zimmerman was sitting in the front row. Two years later the kid, calling himself Bob Dylan, hitchhiked to New York and began writing songs that would make him famous, but that night in 1959 he was still a complete unknown.
Something transformative occurred during the Holly concert. Accepting a Grammy award in 1998, Dylan said, “I just want to say that when I was 16 or 17-years-old, I went to see Buddy Holly play… and I was three feet away from him… and he looked at me. And I just have some sort of feeling that he was—I don’t know how or why—but I know he was with us all the time we were making this record…” Buddy Holly was one of the first rock n’ rollers to write his own songs — a spiritual inheritance that fell to a young Bob Dylan. “Buddy Holly was a poet,” Dylan once said, “way ahead of his time.”
Dylan’s 1963 album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan immediately established him as a major creative force. In the decades since, his iconoclastic instincts have kept him constantly moving forward. From folk to rock, from the political to the personal, Dylan never stops reinventing himself.
His recording career contains multiple periods and surprising transformations. When he went electric in 1965, folk purists booed and called him Judas. When rock star Dylan got saved in 1979, he was booed again, causing him to remark, “Years ago they said I was a prophet. I used to say, ‘No, I'm not a prophet…’ They used to say, ‘You sure are a prophet…’ Now I come out and say Jesus Christ is the answer [and] they say, ‘Bob Dylan’s no prophet.’ They just can’t handle it.” With the release of his most recent studio albums, Shadows in the Night and Fallen Angels, he’s undergone yet another reinvention as he breathes new life into pop standards made famous by Sinatra.
Dylan maintains a busy touring schedule, playing hundreds of shows each year, and the poet laureate of rock n’ roll shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. The Oct. 20 concert will take place at City Bank Auditorium. Tickets are available through Select-A-Seat.
By Max McNabb