The Next New Bob Dylan


Advice for yet another
next “New Bob Dylan”,
If you wish to save
your immortal soul,
and your vocal chords,
from oblivion;

Don’t drink. Don’t smoke.
Don’t go riding the dragon,
like Daenerys Targaryen.
Or that painted lady
from the brow
of the Super Brain.
Don’t flirt with Queen Mary,
who is just like a woman.
And definitely
keep your shirt on!
Don’t go jamming
way past midnight
with freewheelin’ musicians.
In fact, put simply,
don’t be a bum.
Best you choose to chew gum.
Absolutely no need
to be handsome,
you being prettier
than Marilyn,
Marilyn Manson,
qu’est-ce que c’est,
in a boy band kind of way.
But dude, hey,
I hope and pray,
that one day,
the press don’t say,
that the next “New Bob Dylan
was found in the nude”,
on the Costa Brava
at the Cleopatra Hotel & Spa,
with a sign
hanging on your door
‘Por Favor ~ No Molester’.

So don’t pout and swagger.
Don’t move like Jagger.
Don’t do a number
with some rapper.
Not till your career
is down the crapper.
Or with Snoop, a number
wrapped in rice paper.
Don’t twist and shout.
Not till you know
what it’s all about.
You were taylor made
for this digital age.
Did a record company
algorithm knock you out ?
With music offered
to rolling idols,
by stoneless infidels.
Classless, and alas,
Yet, even
a King of Pop’s ransom
couldn’t pave the way
for a single day
for you to be
the next “New Bob Dylan”!

So don’t go wooing
the maidens fair
with songs of eternal devotion.
Don’t go to wild parties
at the house of Molly Meldrum
(… holy moly!).
Don’t sleep in late,
past the rising sun.
And man,
don’t even consider
playing the zimmer
with the Tambourine Man.
Don’t roam
the streets of Roma,
with Ramona, in roman sandals.
Past the Colosseum,
from whence the Vandals
first took the handle.
Better head
to the Sistine Chapel
and light yourself a candle.
Don’t get stoned
with rainy day women.
You can’t afford the scandal!
And definitely
don’t go mixing it up
with that Texas Medicine.
It’ll just mess you up,
and leave you immobile, or
a raving imbecile
(even more so).
But, then again,
perhaps you should aquire
a taste for Railroad Gin?
It’ll help you
to grow some fluff
upon your chinny-chin-chin.
But perhaps you should wait
untill you start shaving,
if you’re to be the real deal
the real thing
the New & Improved
Next “New Bob Dylan”.

Don’t get taped
jamming in a basement.
Don’t get homesick blues
on the pavement.
Don’t go choke on coke
and a disco biscuit.
Never river the phoenix.
Don’t even think
about the government.
Don’t ever be a Folkster
on the outer
with an electric guitar.
Don’t try rocking
the Festival at Newport
Like some Judas Priest,
you’d just be rolled
and stoned for it.
Being the next “New Bob Dylan”
could be a lot
harder than you think!

So don’t go singing
the blues about it.
Never be the Jester
juggling his harmonica
with a twisted coat hanger.
Yet more than a troubadour,
a Matador,
versing them Masters of War.
And whilst
he’s looking around,
for a new kind of sound,
or for what kind of shit
is about to go down,
don’t try stealing
his thorny crown.
From the watchtower
of your safe and secure
medical facility
(Are you sick of love
or just love sick?)
watch out
for a Band of Gypsies
with Mr. Jimi in the lead.
Apparently, he always
got what you want
but that’s not what you need.
Remember to never excel
and never exceed.
But unfortunately,
in your case it means,
you’ll never succeed
in being the next
“New Bob Dylan”.

Retro San Francisco
thick in the air
like rolling thunder.
Be sure to wear
in your slick hair
a flower.
Perhaps even a bandana?
But never take a bus trip
with the Four Fabulous,
and a Walrus,
cruising like Carlos
along Via Santa Anna.
Don’t fly high.
Don’t try to kiss the sky.
You’ll just land
on your Icarus.
Don’t go painting
a self portrait.
Don’t cover a true original
(Not exactly a masterpiece?).
To summarise,
don’t try to harmonise,
with them Black Magic Women.
But then,
you’ll never have the backing
to be the next “New Bob Dylan”.

Can you balladeer
to bring a tear?
Can you minstrel
down to the very soul?
Can you pay the darkness’s
heavy toll?
Can you make the intangible,
all too concise,
and too clear?
Can you startle
the sleeping ear to hear?
Could you be a legend
about to begin?
Don’t be without.
Don’t be within.
Don’t be a pigeon
caught awaiting
the mighty Quin,
like Errol Flynn.
Don’t be wined.
Don’t be dined.
Don’t be handled.
To put it bluntly,
don’t be Weinsteined.
But, as far as I can tell,
you’d be doing well,
to be well and truly Adeled.
And don’t have a band
who can take a heavy load,
with wheels of fire,
rolling down the road.
Actually, stay off the road.
You might get Jack Kerouac’ed.
Or, like the Weathermen,
simply explode .
As for me, don’t think twice.
I’m just New York bitchin,
about the next “New Bob Dylan”
cooked up in Hell’s Kitchen.

With all the snap
and crackle of Kpop,
yet uplifting and spiritual
like a Richard Dawkins gospel,
yes, your songs
are just lovely.
I could listen to them all day
whilst shopping
at the supermarket
with a supermarket trolley.
(would it be an insalate to say,
you are my dolci?)
To be, or not to be,
a self styled authentic?
Or just a selfie obsessed
pop star
of the empty pathetic?
Do you have the ability?
Could you ever be
a Poetic Titanic
who runs into
an Allen Ginsberg-er?
To create a stir
and/or rhyme a crime like,
“pin this triple murrr-der”.
Yes, we’ve heard you holler
and moan in rendition.
I heard you roar.
Did you hear me snore ?
it brought me to tears.
But could you prick the ears,
and the conscience,
of a double minded nation ?
Perhaps Dylan would’ve chosen
Patti Smith or Tracy Chapman
to be the new him?
If the New Doctor Who
can be a woman!

Today, the Trump
he is soundbiting.
Things are looking bleak.
Storm clouds are a’ragin’
from the Golden Tower
of worldly power
to a once sunny Mozambique.
The master’s apprentice
is climbing
the Capital spire
with his pants on fire.
The homogenization
of global ambition.
From the creed of greed,
a middle-class event
of mass extinction.
Workers getting thin,
competing with poverty,
from without and within.
Would the next “New Bob Dylan”
even know where to begin?
Maybe Ed Sheeran
should give it a spin.
But he’d need to get some
street mongrel into him.
Replace the Ginger Poodle
with some Pitt Bull.
And then take a turn at being
the next “New Bob Dylan”.

With an Iron Age
of culture clashing.
Lords of War and their
hound dogs rampaging.
Child soldiers,
child labour.
The stain of slavery
Plastic floating
the Arctic melting.
Landfills of the toxic
like the Seven Sisters
of Petroleum flowing.
The entitlement
of enlightenment
from a new millennium
In the homes & businesses
of every nation
the mistreating of women.
In the houses of religion
the abuse of young children.
Who could imagine?!
Once upon a time
the Good Samaritan
crossed tribal lines.
Is it now a crime ?
Yes, the times
they are a changin’.
Yet ancient hatreds
still clinging
to crimes unforgiven.
On Wall Street
sparks are flying
from the sacred cow.
Whilst the Groom
at the altar waits
goodness hides
behind locked gates.
And yes, thank you Bono,
rage is at the heart
of Rock ‘n Roll.
No Ginger Poodle,
we could do with
a next best Bob Dylan
sometime about now.

In the face
of abstract division,
dreaming big
with big picture vision,
could you stand your ground?
The question is,
is Love all there is?
Does it make the world go round
to a homespun country sound?
Or, aught there be a law
against you coming around?
You should try sounding
a bit more… Johnny Rotten.
But without the nasal monotone
rather than Katy Perry
on hillbilly testosterone.
Could you appeal to a Swiftie?
Then perhaps,
you’d pass the audition
as the next “New Bob Dylan”.

Or not.
Or are you just a fizzle,
hoping to T. Swizzle,
with Taylor Swift
(A pay day with Tay-Tay)?
Don’t be condemned to drift.
Never ever go all the way.
Stay safe and warm
in ignorant bliss.
Don’t peek out
from a manhole cover.
Don’t get caught by the farmer,
with the farmer’s daughter.
Don’t be silly.
And never ever sound hillbilly.
Nor run wild
like a roaming gooseberry.
Don’t keep bad company.
Don’t go to see the Gypsy.
Don’t live like a refugee.
Or live in harmony
with the Cosmic Sea,
where there’s no need
to be so Tom Petty …
Whom I hope
is resting peacefully.
And good luck to John Mayer!
I’m dead grateful
that he’s the new Jerry Garcia.
And baby,
before you learn to walk
you should run
like a son of a gun
from Allentown,
where they make you crawl.
Take old Bobby Bare’s advice
and become an ‘All American Boy’.
Then, perhaps
you could be the next
“New Born Bruce Springsteen”?

But only if you’re
a bona fide U.S. citizen.
So never forget
there is hope for you yet,
for the Boss himself was once
the next “New Bob Dylan”.
But, to his eternal credit,
he told the record company
to shovel it. Yes,
everybody’s got a hungry heart.
Don’t let it be processed.
Keep it wholemeal
lest it be ripped apart.
There’s a dearth of love pure
upon this rock ‘n roll earth.
And with you flying the flag’
riding that supermarket cart
for all you’re worth.
like a celebrity cook
spruiking his latest
recipe cook book.
Has the Music
at this pivotal moment
become just
an industry show
from the World Capital
of Blow?
Now turn that thorny crown
upside down.
Become the ‘Footloose Man’.
Just don’t ask for shelter
in a summer swelter.
For Trump & The Clan Manson
have been romancing and dancing
along with the Ancients KLFing,
like a prayer
to the White Madonna,
all bound for Mu Mu Land.
But then again,
what would I know?
For I was once a believer
that Justin Bieber
should’ve been
the next “New Bob Dylan”.

Don’t be boarded by pirates
smuggling pirated recordings.
Don’t be tied to the mast
of a magic ship
sailing a cauldron swirling.
Nor upon the bloodied tracks
of a slow train coming.
Became an Escape Artist
and make your escape.
And don’t speak too soon,
if at all,
or till the wheel
stops spinning.
Perhaps you’d better start
swimming … with Lead Belly?
And with all the humility
of a one hit celebrity,
so classless and P.C.,
(I can only but agree)
being streamed for free.
Yes, a next “New Bob Dylan”
is something to be.
But you’re still
just a download
as far as I can see.
But certainly, wear a
Next New Bob Dylan T-shirt,
courtesy of the Committee
for the Mongering of Music,
like a wandering
billboard whording.

Say, have you ever heard
of Louden Wainright III ?
He too thought being called
the next “New Bob Dylan”
was somewhat absurd.
When actually, he was a next new
Louden Wainright, the third.

Are you one of a kind ?
Can you stand the test of time?
Is your singing,
considered by some
(Frank Zappa for one)
a crime against humanity?
If so, don’t be a lo mofo
(Frank Zappa a mother also).
Be inventive. Create a bio.
Write yourself a new intro.
And don’t be the next
“New Faux Bob Dylan”.

Say, are you on the run
from Pat Garett’s gun?
Hey, you’re welcome to stay
in Mississippi,
a day too long.
Hey hey, did you ever write
and play Woody Guthrie a song?
My my, did you ever try
measuring the distance between
right and wrong ?
No ? So don’t go
knocking on heaven’s door.
Don’t give or take more,
from entrée to encore,
with a standing ovation.
Don’t ford the rivers
of corruption.
Don’t ever ask the
homeless question
of a ramblin companion,
with words that ring
the chimes
of freedom flashing.
Or go seeking an answer
on the wind
for a conflicted generation,
wanting no more
of a hot and cold war.
And don’t be inflicted with
righteous indignation.
Do support the troops, who
with the help of politicians,
are just making a mess.
And with your every aspect
object to
the rebellious conscientious.

Don’t be a tragic romantic
drinking rum
in a Portugal bar.
Don’t scrawl, then publish,
the manic, hectic,
and eclectic.
Voilà, à la ‘Tarantula’.
Don’t keep asking
where to score
once more,
of poor Señor~Señor.
You should perhaps
give it a spell
and go play William Tell,
with William Burroughs
the Junior
(who doesn’t remember you
at all at the Chelsea Hotel).
I’ve been looking
but not seeing
the Schwartz to be on stage
for the Last Waltz.
And yes, imitation is
the sincerest form
of self-flagellation.
And though my ears
are bleeding
keep giving it a crack
and you could well be
the next “New Bob Dylan”.

Even K.West thinks it best
that you give it a rest.
I know because he told me.
And not to go giving
Beyoncé a Swiftie,
when she richly
deserves a Grammy.
But then, she’s already got
a wardrobe full of them.
Just like Bob Dylan.
Remember always,
there’s a slow train coming.
The Jester singing scripture.
But there’ll be pigs high
in the skies
the day Major Lazer
(or Peking Duk,
for that matter)
wins any Prize
for Literature.
At the self-servery,
a static emanating.
A white noise of desolation
humming along
to Taylor and Katy.
Not to mention, again,
Ed Sheeran.
Through the silent scream
of a jacked in screen teen,
would a millennial
even listen
to a next “New Bob Dylan”?

If it’s of any consolation,
that inner drive-thru
for perfection
should, by way of reason,
eventually steer you
in the right direction.
I heard recently
there is a vacancy,
so perhaps you should go
and join One Direction?
With screaming teens
and clever machines
to make you sound good!
And dancing instructors,
to instruct you how to
prance like wood in a hood.
Pehaps you should tran,
if you can,
to short circuit
the attention span
of the jaded & fickled fan?
Even delete your social media
and start all over again,
so you can be a free thinker
(Or have you been googled
by Eve’s i apple, deep
in the Amazon Jungle?)
Now that’s a plan!
Drape yourself
over a Kardashian.
Invent a new reputation.
Then we can can, and ban
the next “New Bob Dylan”.

In D.C. City, did you play
for Martin Luther King
at the Civil Rights Rally?
Did you ever follow the river
to get to the sea ?
Will your ship ever come in?
Or are you just
another grifter?
Talk is cheap,
so don’t be a Chet Faker.
Will you ever
be given shelter
from the storm ?
Did you acquit,
or convict the drifter,
who was ravaged in the corn?
Did you defend
‘the Hurricane’ Carter?
Have you seen this world
through eyes reborn ?
Did you venture
inside the museum
to prosecute infinity?
No ? So don’t sing
about your time of dying
with such regularity
and longevity.
Did you Farm Aid,
or are you just Kool Aid?
An acid washed
retro hipster,
laced with heroin chic,
and Old Cyanide.
Did you sing
“We are the World”
with Michael Jackson’s
motly children?
Can you sing for me
one more time,
“We are the Problem”?
We could sure do
with a genuine
next ‘New Bob Dylan”.

Did you ever pick a side?
Then don’t go
rolling the stone
with no direction home.
Just leave it alone,
or you just might end up
back Lloret de Mar.
a cocktail waiter
behind the bar.
But still …
you gonna have to
serve somebody.
So don’t go finding
the dignity
of humanity
in poetry.
no country pie surprise,
that slice
of the Peace Prize.
Except for
the disgruntled poet
who don’t know it.
Dylan’s lyrics be Art,
as they come from,
and speak to,
the heart.
So don’t sing songs
of injustice
and captivity.
Not unless you own it!
And naturally,
with death’s honesty.
Have you taken
Or are you just a component?
For, most of all,
don’t say nothing about it.
Don’t think it
… Don’t speak it.
Don’t even breathe it.
And certainty,
don’t reflect
from the mountains
so all souls can see it.
Could you possibly be
a universal libertarian?
Making a stand
for freedom of expression,
freedom of thought,
freedom from oppression.
To you,
would people listen
upon the prayer wheel
of inspiration ?
Is it too soon
for the Dia Lama’s
that you are the real deal,
the true reincarnation,
of the next
“Reborn Bob Dylan”?

Don’t be tame.
Step into the frame.
It’s only fame.
Don’t be played
like a pawn in their game.
Do not be the one,
the man the authorities
came to blame.
You sound so
politically corrected.
Kind of forlorn and lame.
I don’t know whether
to cry, or yawn …
throw up,
or go up in a flame?
Perhaps you don’t wear black,
like a priest riding a mount.
If you’re going
to give a sermon
at the Grammys,
make it count.
And never do duets.
Not without rehearsing at least,
with the lyrics
pinned to your chest.
Don’t stray into
the belly of the beast.
Don’t go mining hades for tales
of woe and constant sorrow.
Don’t be a harbinger
of tomorrow.
Don’t ride
with Billy the Kid
down a dusty trail
to Durango.
Don’t try to fly
from El Dorado
with contraband cargo.
Don’t be the Joker.
Don’t be the Thief,
who even from Judas
would beg, steel and borrow.
Are you busy being born ,or?
And with no conscience at all
don’t go answering the call.
Don’t go opening the door.
Don’t try scaling the heights
Mount Zion.
Don’t go spying the view
from battle ground Armageddon,
before the flood,
with hard rain a’comin’.
But then again,
if you don’t do these things.
and more, young padawan,
you wouldn’t be the real deal,
the next “New Bob Dylan”.

. . . by david redpath © 201790350fb6-6536-411e-9ff3-7f92347b8ad1-01-01-720400539.jpeg
Photos: david & linda redpath

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