In 1963 Allen Ginsberg had met Bob Dylan as he was gaining momentum in the Beat Poet world. He had been called a “Dylan crony and champion” (Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll). “Highway 61 Revisited” released in 1965 and was the 2nd album that Dylan put out that year. It was with this album that he made a point to stray away from folk music traditionalism and stopped focusing on public criticisms, but rather his own psyche. This album is a reflection on the change of mentality based heavily on his being heavily influenced by of the Beat writers and poets such as Ginsberg, Kerouac, and Rimbaud among others. Ginsberg helped Dylan to feel free to play with length of songs, abandoning rhyme & structure, as well as acoustic instrumentation itself.
On this album Dylan began toying with electric sound more as he distanced himself from his folk hero persona and protest songs. Standout tracks on “Highway 61 Revisited” have a traveling beat feel while “Ballad of a Thin Man” and “Like a Rolling Stone,” are biting commentaries on scenesters and hangers on. The album even, while full of love songs, is full of mischief and biting humor…much like Allen Ginsberg himself.
UnderCover and Faultline are working in collaboration with the Contemporary Jewish Museum’s “Beat Memories: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg” as well as the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, known for their dedication to showcasing Bay Area Music and traditional music. We are presenting this show with both Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, and the Beat Poets in mind. Guest Music Director Karina Denike picked artists known for their appreciation for lyricism and we will be sharing work by Bay Area poets between sets. Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited will be the 7th showcase from this collaborative series between UnderCover & Faultline Studios.