“Hi – it’s Bob’s birthday today” “Gee – is it that time of year again?? “ “What age did you say he is now?” “Oooohhh – I don’t belieeeeevve you!!! 70?????? Do you remember when……….????”
OooooooooooooMG = I had pictures of Bob over all my books and his name in felt tips on my ring binders when I was doing my GCE’s (note: not GCSE’s!!!!)
You just had to know all the words to Subterranean Homesick Blues if you wanted to have any credibility in my fourth/fifth form. Highway 61 thudded out from the record player as I studied (???) for exams and I hummed Like a Rolling Stone as I walked to school.
He was the icon of my youth. I had just missed the era of James Dean. Bob Dylan was our angry young man. Awakening the conscience of our generation. The voice of Protest, calling upon us to question what world leaders were doing in our name and where society was going. Challenging young people to take a stand for new values. Defining a new era of youth culture, grunge, idealism. Offering the music and language of a thousand marches worldwide.
Oooohhh. Days of my youth……. Heady, happy days of CND, Reclaim the Night and every other leftist gathering at Belfast City Hall and environs. All inspired by soul scorching, plaintive, rugged, harmonica accompanied poetry, demanding that we change the world!!
So – How can he possibly be 70???????????
I guess it just sort of creeps up on you. And me. (Although – can I assure all of you, even though you may not believe me – I AM YOUNGER than Bob!!!)
So – all there is left to say is – Happy Birthday Bob – and thanks for the memories!!!!