For Bob Dylan’s 70th Birthday, Footage From His Earliest NYC Days

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.

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