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His tongue on fire

Bob Dylan turns 80 today. I commissioned this ink drawing for an issue of Time Out celebrating Dylan’s arrival to play at Earl’s Court in 1978, his first London shows in a dozen years. Ralph Steadman chose to make his image out of Bob’s words. When I left the editorship a few months later, the staff very kindly acquired the original from Ralph and gave it to me as a leaving present. As you might imagine, it’s a precious possession, although not quite as precious as all the songs Bob has placed in the common memory over the past six decades. Many happy returns to him.

12 Comments Post a comment
  1. Gordon Hastie #

    A brilliant Steadman, very apt – and Many Happy Returns to the great Bob Dylan!

    May 24, 2021
  2. That’s pretty amazing, Richard! See you Friday!

    May 24, 2021
  3. Absolutely beautiful drawing – just a pleasure to see it. Thanks for sharing


    May 24, 2021
  4. Thirty years ago you commissioned me to ask 50 people what they’d buy Dylan for his 50th – for the Independent.

    May 24, 2021
  5. mick gold #

    Happy Birthday Bob. Truly a voice without restraint!

    May 24, 2021
  6. Amy #

    What a treasure, Richard! And Happy Birthday to my other favourite Bob.

    May 24, 2021
  7. Thanks for sharing this Richard, happy birthday to Bob and all good wishes to you.

    May 24, 2021
  8. Paul Crowe #

    Wonderful, Richard, and Ralph himself had a birthday only some days ago. Time now to return to your Dylan book …….

    May 24, 2021
  9. Neil Hunt #

    I remember this drawing so clearly. Wonderful to see it again. Saw three of those Earls Court concerts. Not maybe the greatest shows but a tremendous retrospective. What a day!

    May 24, 2021
  10. #poebiz right, and Geldof said ‘the polka dot shirt’! I remember reading about that in A Man Called Alias, which the author has been sweetly modest about on this blog but which meant a great deal to teenage me… (thanks Richard Williams, and happy birthday Bob Dylan).

    May 25, 2021
  11. Hi Richard – do you remember the name of a music and arts paper in the 60s – full colour and newspaper sized. it was short lived and obviously not Melody Maker. it carried an interview with Dylan I remember and a photo of him in the yellow sweatshirt, shaded sheepskin jacket and that cap.

    May 27, 2021
  12. Hmm. No, Mike. But I’ll have a think about it. A UK paper, was that?

    May 27, 2021

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