A look back to when Bob Dylan met the Soy Bomber during his Grammy performance…..
It’s hard to imagine that Bob Dylan ever needed a comeback. While he’s currently a highly-respected artist who receives endless praise from anyone with ears, and he has more classics in his songbook than most people will write in a lifetime, Robert Zimmerman has spent a good portion of his long career pissing his fans off. In 1965, he went electric, so Pete Seeger came at him with an ax (a story for another day). In 1966, fans wanted to hear more acoustic protest music, so he got in a motorcycle accident, disappeared to a farm in Woodstock, and didn’t release any music for nine years (again, story for another day). He became a born-again Christian and only sang cheesy gospel songs, he rapped on a Kurtis Blow song, and most recently, he responded to winning the highest award in literature with a symbolic “that’s nice” by not showing up to accept it (I could really just start a segment called “Bob Dylan’s Weird-Ass Life” at this point).
By the late 90s, fans’ collective annoyance in Dylan was finally catching up to him, and after spending the better part of two decades releasing some of his worst music, it was clear he needed something to win back the good graces of his listeners. He finally turned things around with 1997’s Time Out Of Mind, a back-to-basics album that showcased Dylan’s signature ability to weave intricate stories and raw emotion with such uncanny simplicity, and proved the then-56 year old still had some good songs in him. The record received high marks across the board, and it was even enough to land the singer-songwriter some major nominations at the 1998 Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year. While it was exciting enough that he was expected to show up, the moment everyone was waiting for was Dylan’s live performance scheduled for the evening. A notoriously reclusive artist, Dylan performing on live TV is always an event, but being that this was his comeback year, the stakes were surprisingly high for the music legend to deliver something memorable, the much-sought after “Grammy moment,” if you will.