Going to a Bob Dylan concert is a bit of a crap shoot—you never know what you’re going to get. It could be great. It could be incoherent. It could be a little of both.
In 1961, Dylan began singing and playing folk music in New York’s Greenwich Village. By 1965, he’d written a number of notable folk songs and protest songs, including Blowin’ in the Wind and The Times They Are a-Changin. March 1965 saw the release of Bringing It All Back Home, Dylan’s first album featuring the use of electric instruments.
The folk music establishment went ballistic. Ewan MacColl, writing in Sing Out!, said:
“Our traditional songs and ballads are the creations of extraordinarily talented artists working inside traditions formulated over time…But what of Bobby Dylan?…a youth of mediocre talent. Only a non-critical audience, nourished on the watery pap of pop music could have fallen for such tenth-rate drivel.”
There are folk music enthusiasts who to this day still haven’t forgiven Dylan for breaking out into the mainstream.
“A lot of people can’t stand touring but to me it’s like breathing. I do it because I’m driven to do it.”
— Bob Dylan
Idiot Wind is one of my favorite Dylan songs. It’s certainly the most angry. Because of copyright issues, I can’t reprint the lyrics here, but fortunately, the lyrics are printed on Dylan’s website. The song comes from the Blood on the Tracks album, released in 1975. The version presented here is from a 1976 concert.