Rock star, folk singer, poet, and national treasure Bob Dylan turns 70 today, and just in case you haven’t made plans to mark the occasion, we’ve got a few options for you: If you’d like some company, you can check out this Google map of all the septuagenarian celebrations worldwide to see if there will be one in your hometown. Or you can re-read Joe Queenan’s brilliantly incorrect assessment of the rebel at 50 in Spy Magazine. And if you’re feeling solitary and reflective, there’s always Chronicles Vol. 1 and DylanRadio by candlelight.
We chose to go with the lovely “Guess I’m Doing Fine” from the singer’s earliest days in New York City (now available on “The Witmark Demos: 1962-1964,” the latest installment of The Bootleg Series. Watch the trailer here). The 20-year old’s voice sounds a bit thin and plaintive, and the lament perhaps undercut by the many miles of road he hasn’t yet travelled, especially when he moans:
No, I ain’t got my childhood
Or friends I once did know.
But I still got my voice left,
I can take it anywhere I go.
But don’t be too hard on young Bobby Zimmerman… He was a whole lot older then, and he’s younger than that now.
Sheerly Avni is a San Francisco-based arts and culture writer. Her work has appeared in Salon, LA Weekly, Mother Jones, and many other publications. You can follow her on twitter at @sheerly.