One saviour. A man imposing his considerable will on the world. The artist endlessly reinventing themselves. (And, America isn’t racist). These narratives are why you have to include the search term “Jewish” to find mention on the internet of the most simple reason Bob Dylan changed his name. Every Jewish entertainer did back then. Simon and Garfunkel, formerly (no lie) Tom & Jerry, were amongst the first to buck the trend and they were already IN New York and that was in 1963. The far less urbane Zimmerman was calling himself Dylan before the start of the decade.

“It wasn’t the right name for Rock N Roll”. Well of course not. It’s not Anglicised. It’s actually the same point, disguised.

If we want to credit Dylan for invention, of course he is fundamental to the new form Rock (as distinct from Rock N Roll) that emerged from the mid 1960s. Often grandiose, rambling, and cryptic. The same goes for most Rock Journalism. As someone who is themselves often grandiose I don’t mean it as pure criticism. Reach for the cosmos by all means. Employ labyrinthine structures. The Wasteland is grandiose and none the worse for it. Rock was, in many respects, Pop outgrowing its form, embracing modernism, getting literary, getting symphonic… all that. As much precocious as pretentious. Yet, this is why, especially on the internet, simple truths are sometimes set aside or overlooked.

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