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“Like a Rolling Stone” Cover by Bruce Hilliard

Welcome to the Better Each Day Podcast Radio Show. I’m still Bruce Hilliard and I’m still waiting to be set free. Set me free, why don’t you babe. That’s a clue for the next guest. I’m meeting with him tomorrow but the episode won’t air for a few more days.

He was the drummer of the band that had a hit with You Keep Me Hangin’ On, and he wasn’t in the Supremes. We’ll be talking with him about working with Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart and Vanilla Fudge coming up soon.

In case you haven’t figured it out, and you’re not up on your drummers, it’s the great Carmine Appice.

But in this episode I’ll throw in a plug in for my Friday May 15th Pawn Shop Boulevard EP release. I’ve played little Whitman samplers of some of the songs and the consensus is I sound like Bob Dylan. Like Bob when he started to go electric and pissed everyone off.

I admit I’ve been a little defiant through the years. No animals were harmed. So let’s talk Bob for a minute.

Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman; May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, author, and visual artist who has been a major figure in popular culture for more than 50 years. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when songs such as “Blowin' in the Wind” (1963) and “The Times They Are a-Changin'” (1964) became anthems for the civil rights and anti-war movements. His lyrics during this period incorporated a range of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences, defied pop music conventions and appealed to the rising counterculture.

Commenting on the six-minute single “Like a Rolling Stone” (1965), Rolling Stone wrote: “No other pop song has so thoroughly challenged and transformed the commercial laws and artistic conventions of its time, for all time.”

Some say when the Bryds covered Mr. Tambourine Man in 1965, another Dylan song, that’s when acoustic folk met electric and gave birth to folk rock. The jury is out on that but that’s probably the best description of how it came about.

So here goes, a Bob Dylan song. I chose one of his iconic ones, Like a Rolling Stone. It was originally recorded in 1965 and featured a whole bunch of studio musicians including Al Kooper. Kooper, now 76, was actually a 21-year-old studio guitar player at the time. He later went on to organize Blood Sweat and Tears, played French horn on You Can't Always Get What You Want by the Rolling Stones and played sessions with everyone and their dog including Mike Bloomfield, Stephen Stills and the list is more insanely long than we have time for. 

Oh and he was also manager and producer of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Here's what he had to say about the Like a Rolling Stone session. 

So, the B-3 organ lick he played, well I play it on a 12-string Rickenbacker.

This is a fun song to sing. I do my Dylan parody but I can’t hear the song any other way. 

I heard the song for years before I really listened to the lyrics. He’s talking to a debutante wannabe that’s gone from riches to rags. 

“You've gone to the finest schools, alright Miss Lonely

But you know you only used to get juiced in it

Nobody's ever taught you how to live out on the street

And now you're gonna have to get used to it”

She’s broke and she ain’t diggin’ it.

So, my apologies to Bob Dylan purests. I’m thinking about releasing it as a single and maybe Mr. Dylan will hear it and have a laugh.

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