I grew up listening to Bob Dylan, watching documentaries about the chain-smoking, smart-talking folk singer, and sitting in corners of bookstores, rifling through an ever-growing pile of Dylan-focused books. I don’t mean “I got into Dylan two years ago, experienced all the hipster-hype, and I’m ‘growing up’ now.” No. I mean that Bob Dylan was a part of my childhood, just like he was a part of my teenage years, just like he will be a part of my adult years.
A couple of Christmases ago I bought my dad the Bob Dylan Scrapbook because I (secretly) wanted to read it first. Then, last summer, I was at an antiques warehouse and bought a 95-cent book from the 1960s for fifteen dollars. It wasn’t even in good shape and I had to glue the cover back on. What can I say? I’m a sucker for a 20-something Dylan in a blazer and dress-shirt, grinning and hiding from the camera.
Daniel Kramer’s Bob Dylan (1967), along with documentaries like Don’t Look Back and No Direction Home, have convinced me that if I were a man, I would do whatever it took to look like Dylan. I’d cut my hair like his, messy and uneven, and I’d wear slim-fitting slacks, blazers, polka-dot shirts, and high-heeled Cuban boots every day of my life. Yes, every day of my life. Oh, and Wayfarers, of course.
Not only would I be a shameless Bob Dylan impersonator, but I’d tell people the real Bob was my grandpa. I’d make up a story about how my grandma met him in Greenwich Village in the sixties, and “it was all very secretive” because I think he was with Suze then.
Everyone would believe me.