Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Da Capo Best Music Writing 2002

by Jonathan Lethem, Paul Bresnick

So many quotations, so many conclusions written on the wall, I needed not remind myself as I went out walking through Greenwich Village a few days ago. Dylan can spend the rest of his life inside whatever gated Eden in Malibu, but the Village will always be the mystic Mississippi Delta of Dylanology--Bob Ground Zero. Over there, downstairs at 116 MacDougal, where a bar called The Wreck Room is now, that was the Gaslight. Dylan sang "Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues" there, before Dave Van Ronk did "Cocaine Blues." Upstairs was the Kettle of Fish, the bar where Dylan hung with the despondent Phil Ochs and once brought the Supremes, blowing blowsy folkie minds. Around the corner was the sainted Gerde's Folk City. Across Washington Square Park, now outfitted with surveillance cameras by Rudy Giuliani, was the Hotel Earle, currently renovated for tourists but then scruffy and bleak, $19 a week, home to Bob back in 1962.

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