Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Born in Belfast, Ireland, Van Morrison’s musical career has bridged such a wide variety of genres that he is difficult to label. He has written and performed some of rock music’s most enduring standards, including “Gloria,” “Brown Eyed Girl,” and “Moondance,” and is a member of both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. At his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 1993, Robbie Robertson, former member of The Band, said of Morrison, “In the tradition of the great Irish poets and the great soul singers, he is the Caruso of rock and roll.”

Morrison’s career began as a teenager, covering popular hits at shows and in clubs in Northern Ireland. His first hit came as a member of the band Them when he wrote and recorded “Gloria” in 1964, which was the B-side of the single “Baby, Please Don’t Go.” Three years later as a solo artist, working for Bang Records executive Bert Berns, he released “Brown Eyed Girl” and while many consider it to be his signature song, he said in an interview with Time that he has “about 300 songs” that are better. Morrison certainly does not have good feelings about the song, which may also impact his lack of desire to perform it live. He has reported in more than one interview that he was never paid for the song. He told the Los Angeles Times in 2008, “I call that ‘The Money Song’ – because they got all the money and I got none. What happened after that is I ended up with zero money. I was broke and depressed and remained that way for many years after that, and I just decided to make a stand for myself and do things my way, not theirs.”

Shortly after “Brown Eyed Girl” became a hit, Berns died and Warner Brothers bought out Morrison’s contract. He was given three sessions to records the album Astral Weeks. Morrison said at this point, he was literally a starving artist. He had little time for reflection about his work. He needed money to survive. Rolling Stonemagazine later named Astral Weeks #19 on its list of 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, saying that it defies easy description and Morrison was “never this open, and naked, again.”

True to Morrison’s form, he veered away from the almost sorrowful tone of Astral Weeks to the more uplifting Moondance in 1970, which became his first album to sell a million copies and also made the Rolling Stone greatest albums list, at #65. The title track and “Into The Mystic” received radio play for decades after their release. After continuing to make hit records, such as “Wild Night” from the Tupelo Honey album, along with its country-tinged title track, Morrison took a step back from recording and performing in 1974. He said in a 1978 interview with Rolling Stone that he had needed to get his “energy together, doing things I like to do, and just living as if I were nobody instead of somebody.”

In interviews, he’s a notorious scold, often stonewalling and berating reporters. “You’re very naive. You shouldn’t be in the business you’re in,” he said when David Fricke of Rolling Stone asked why he was once blacklisted.

Morrison continued to record and perform into the 21st century, including a live performance of the entire Astral Weeks album at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles in November 2008. He continues to maintain some bitterness for the industry – he did not attend the ceremony when inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – although not for the music itself. He regularly collaborates with other artists, such as his recording of “Have I Told You Lately” with the Chieftans in 1995, which won a Grammy Award. Still, as he said in a 2008 interview with the Los Angeles Times, when the reporter questioned him about his music, “It’s a funny feeling that you actually have the courtesy of asking me about my songs. Did you know there have been numerous books written about my music where none of the authors were interested in my take on my music? I guess they all want to make it into something it’s not or was not intended to be by me.”

Morrison married Janet Rigsbee in 1968. Known as “Janet Planet,” she inspired songs like “Crazy Love” and “The Way Young Lovers Do.” She became known as Morrison’s Earth-goddess muse, but their relationship was rocky, and they split in 1973. The couple had one child together, a daughter named Shana.

He and his family moved to a ranch house in Woodstock, New York in 1969, largely because Bob Dylan lived there.

Morrison said that his song “Wonderful Remark” was “the only song that was really what Woodstock was about.” The song “Brand New Day,” meanwhile, was “kind of what it had been about, but it wasn’t a brand new day anymore.”

These statements echo the sour relationship that Van Morrison had with the town of Woodstock and, to an extent, with the hippie counterculture in general. Morrison went to Woodstock hoping for a peaceful, honest escape from the big lights, but ended up being turned off by the backstabbing and fakery that he perceived to fill the place.

Charlie’s Angel Farrah Fawcett was a huge fan of Van Morrison. When the actress was dying of cancer and too sick to attend one of his concerts, the Irish singer taped it especially for her. It was one of the last things she ever watched.

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Black Francis’ real name is Charles Thompson. When The Pixies broke up, he used the name Frank Black.

Many of their songs were slow in the verses, but would explode with the chorus. They were a major influence on Nirvana.

At some of their shows, they played the songs in alphabetical order. In others, they would start with the encore and play “backwards.”

Kim Deal formed The Breeders as a side project in 1990.

The Pixies were slightly ahead of their time. Grunge bands that they influenced had lots of success and radio play just after they broke up.

In 1992, they opened for U2 on the Zoo TV tour. They were not well received by fans waiting to see the headliners.

Francis, an astronomy lover, decided to either travel to New Zealand to observe Halley’s Comet or form a band. He chose the band.

Santiago comes from one of the wealthiest families in the Philippines.

Deal responded to an ad put out by Francis in the Boston Phoenix looking for a bassist who liked both Husker Du and Peter, Paul and Mary. She brought her friend, Lovering, with her.

“Most of those adverts were guys going, ‘Looking for blonde singer aged 19-22. Hair must be between shoulder length and mid-back,’ or, ‘Looking for drummer with a PROFESSIONAL ATTITUDE’,” Deal explained to NME. “So, ‘Looking for someone into Peter, Paul and Mary and Hüsker Dü. No chops’ caught my eye. I thought it was funny.”

On their first two albums, Deal is referred to as Mrs. John Murphy.

Joey Santiago and Black Francis shared a dorm room at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

David Lovering has a PhD in Physics and tours the US with a science show. He’s really quite good at it.

The band regrouped in 2004 and released a single, “Bam Thwok,” featuring Kim Deal on vocals.

Kim Deal didn’t know how to play bass when she joined the band; she didn’t even own one.

The group arrived at its name after Joey Santiago selected the word “pixies” randomly from a dictionary. He liked its definition of “mischievous little elves.”

After Dave Lovering’s friend Grant-Lee Phillips took him to a magic convention in the late 1990s, the drummer was inspired to take up a magic career. As the Scientific Phenomentalist, Lovering performs science and physics experiments on stage.

Many Pixies songs are under two minutes long, and very few run more than 3:30. “I think just about everybody play their songs too long,” Frank Black said.

Francis’ favorite hobby is painting. He told The Sun he enjoys working on his artwork because there are no other people involved. “I don’t have to answer to anyone. I can do it for hours and hours. I can listen to music or not listen to music. I can be alone and I can do it all day every day,” the singer explained. “If this music thing doesn’t pan out, or if I take a sabbatical, I would totally just do painting.”

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Brown was a singer, songwriter, bandleader and dancer known as “The Godfather Of Soul.” Members of his band have said that he was very demanding, but could bring out their great performances.

In the ’60s and ’70s, he regularly topped the R&B charts, and although he never had a #1 Pop hit, he charted 96 songs on the Hot 100, second only to Elvis.

His stage moves were legendary, with spins, shuffles and incredibly quick footwork. These moves were emulated by many performers, including Mick Jagger and Michael Jackson.

At the end of the ’60s, he owned a publishing company, three radio stations and a Learjet.

Brown valued an organic sound with live instruments. “A computer don’t breathe, it sounds mechanical, no dynamics at all,” he told Q magazine in 2006.

In January 2004, he was arrested on a domestic violence charge after his 33-year-old wife, Tomi Rea Brown, called police to report that Brown pushed her onto the ground during an argument. She suffered scratches and bruises on her arm and hip. Brown ended up pleading no contest and paid $1,087 as punishment.

In December 1988, James Brown was sentenced to a 6-year prison sentence after being arrested on several assault, drug possession, and vehicular charges. He was released on February 27, 1991. A year later he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at that Grammy Awards.

In 1985, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of its first members.

He was imprisoned for petty theft in 1949 after breaking into a car, and paroled three years later.

His first group was The Flames, and he was the drummer. He sang some lead vocals with other members and quickly became their frontman.

In 1988, intoxicated on PCP, he burst into an insurance seminar adjoining his own office in Augusta, then led police on a car chase across the South Carolina border. He was sentenced to prison for carrying a deadly weapon at a public gathering, attempting to flee a police officer and driving under the influence of drugs, and was released in 1991.

On Christmas day, 1990, he performed two sets of three songs each for soldiers at Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina who had to stay there because of the impending Gulf War. Brown was given a four-day furlough from the work center where he was incarcerated in order to perform the free show. It was his first concert in two years.

He made a habit of calling people “Mister,” because that’s how he liked to be addressed. This endeared him to many business partners who saw it as a sign of respect.

He died December 25th 2006 at 73 years old in Atlanta Georgia of congestive heart failure after being hospitalized for pneumonia.

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In 2005, Black Sabbath was finally inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame. They had been overlooked seven times, prompting Ozzy to ask that the band be taken off the list, feeling it was a sham because fans don’t vote for the inductees. The band’s friend and neighbor, Brian May, inducted them. In 2006, the band was also inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Tony Iommi was almost unable to take his award home with him because airport security told him that the large sculpture could be used as a weapon.

The band used to rehearse across from a movie theater. They got the idea to make scary music after seeing how much people enjoyed horror movies.

There is a 1964 Boris Karloff movie called Black Sabbath, but according to Tony Iommi, none of the band had seen the movie at the time.

Iommi joined Jethro Tull for two weeks in 1968. He appeared with Tull on The Rolling Stones Rock And Roll Circus special, miming “A Song for Jeffrey.” Iommi didn’t like Jethro Tull’s organization, in which he was treated more like an employee than a bandmate. However, he did learn by observing Tull’s disciplined rehearsal routines, and brought that professional work ethic back to the band with Ozzy, Geezer, and Bill. Shortly after becoming more structured, the band started writing the songs that would later be recorded for Black Sabbath.

After working with Jethro Tull, Iommi bought a flute and occasionally played it live. For the most part, it didn’t work out.

According to music historian William Ruhlmann, they originally called their jazz-blues band Polka Tulk, later renaming themselves Earth, and they played extensively in Europe. In early 1969, they decided to change their name again when they found that they were being mistaken for another group called Earth. Butler had written a song called “Black Sabbath” that took its title from a novel by occult writer Dennis Wheatley called The Devil Rides Out, in which a Satanic ritual called a Black Sabbath is described. The group adopted it as their new name and often played up the demonic angle, even though it was mostly an act. Ozzy once said: “The only black magic Sabbath ever got into was a box of chocolates.”

Butler wrote most of the song lyrics by borrowing phrases from Ozzy’s stream-of-consciousness vocal melodies and fleshing them out. Ozzy did very little writing until he left the band.

One of the candidates to replace Ozzy when he left in 1978 was Michael Bolotin, who would later change his name to Michael Bolton and sing soft rock. They went with Dio instead.

They were one of the first bands to be considered “Heavy Metal.” The phrase was introduced by the 1968 Steppenwolf song “Born To Be Wild.”

Osbourne’s solo work did much better than the Black Sabbath material after he left.

Iommi used to date Lita Ford. Ozzy did a duet with her in 1989 – “Close My Eyes Forever.”

Osbourne and Dio hated each other. One of Ozzy’s tours featured a dwarf who Ozzy would call “Ronnie,” referring to the vertically challenged Ronnie James Dio. Dio in turn refused to appear at any date in which Black Sabbath was slated to open for Ozzy’s act, calling Ozzy a clown.

Their music is rather aggressive, but their worldview is not. Ozzy explained: “Sabbath were a hippie band. We were into peace.”

Prior to the group truly coming together, Iommi worked in an industrial factory. He eventually decided to quit and become a full-time working guitarist. During the last few hours of his last day on the job, his hand became caught in a piece of equipment, severing the tips of his fingers on his right (fretting) hand.

Losing the tips of the fingers on your hand is a debilitating accident for a guitarist, but Iommi found a unique way to soldier on. After battling depression over the accident for quite some time, he was visited by his supervisor from the factory, who brought along some Django Reinhardt records. Reinhardt was a jazz guitarist from the mid-20th century who had a disability – several of his fingers had been fused together in a fire. When Iommi heard Reinhardt play (and after receiving a pep talk from his supervisor) he decided that he could overcome his misfortune. He tried various ways to cover and/or extend his fingertips, to dull the pain he now had when trying to play and to make the tips themselves move more easily over the strings. What he finally came up with was taking a plastic detergent bottle, melting it, shaping it into thimble-like prosthetics, sanding them down, and covering them with leather from several jackets until he found one with the right feel. After taking care to form the new tips to snugly fit his fingers, and experimenting with various bonding agents to secure them, Iommi found that he could play again with minimal pain.

All original members were from Aston, which is a suburb of Birmingham. They all lived in a one-mile radius from each other.

Dio helped popularize the “Rock Hand Symbol” of the two middle fingers and thumb in to the palm of the hand and the pinky and index finger out as a symbol to “Rock On.” He got it from his grandmother because she used it towards what she believed to be evil people.

In their early embryonic days as the Polka Tulk Blues Band, the group also featured a slide guitarist and saxophone player. The rest of the band eventually reformed stealthily without them.

Despite going to the same (violent) school in Birmingham, Ozzy and Iommi never spoke to each other much until several years afterward, when they connected through an ad Ozzy had circulated about needing a band.

Early rejected band names included: “Fred Carno’s Army” (suggested by manager Jim Simpson) and “Jimmy Underpass and the Six-Way Combo” (Ozzy’s suggestion).

Upon writing their first original songs, the band immediately knew they had something good. It was dark and menacing and made extensive use of the tritone, a musical interval of notes that sound particularly tense, almost evil. The band soon grew tired of playing cover tunes, especially because their original material didn’t mesh well with the blues that they’d been playing up until that point.

At one point Tony Iommi played an upside down Gibson SG. Someone saw him doing it and said “I have a [right-handed] friend who plays a left-handed one upside down”! That guy and Tony swapped guitars, and both were happy.

In April 1989, while the band was touring in support of Headless Cross, a gig in Mexico was shut down and crew members were arrested on arrival. The Catholic Church in Mexico had protested the Sabbath show, and the mayor banned the event last-minute.

Vocalist Ronnie James Dio died of metastasized stomach cancer in 2010.

On 11-11-11 the band’s original lineup announced that they were reuniting for a new album and tour in 2012, having already written several new songs. The album, titled 13, emerged in 2013.

Black Sabbath’s debut album in 1970 began with the sound effects of a church bell and thunder. Forty-three years later, in 2013, their final album ended with the same sound of a church bell and thunder.

Geezer Butler got arrested in 2015 for punching a Nazi in a bar. He hit the Nazi in the face after he spewed some antisemitic remarks to Butler.

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Growing up, he was called J.R., and when he enlisted in the Air Force it was as John R. He took the name Johnny when he started recording for Sun Records.

Much of his childhood was spent working in his family’s cotton fields. He was a teenager when he started playing guitar and writing songs.

Cash spent a lot of time at prisons, but as an entertainer, not an inmate. He had a few overnight stays in jail on drunk and disorderly charges, but never served time. The closest he came to hard time was in October 1965 when he was arrested upon returning from Mexico when US Customs agents searched his luggage and found hundreds of illegal pills. He was fined $1000 but received a suspended sentence and didn’t go to jail.

In 1968, he married June Carter from the legendary country music Carter Family. Cash credits her for saving his life, as she helped him break his drug habit.

Cash is a member of the Songwriters Hall Of Fame, Country Music Hall Of Fame and the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

From 1969 to 1971, he hosted The Johnny Cash Showon ABC TV. Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Louis Armstrong all appeared as guests.

He died at age 71 due to complications from diabetes.

The 2005 film Walk The Line is about Cash’s life. He was portrayed in the movie by Joaquin Phoenix, who sang as Cash for the stage scenes.

He had his daughter Rosanne with his first wife, Vivian Liberto. Rosanne Cash became a prominent Country singer of her own, and had a crossover hit in 1981 with “Seven Year Ache.”

Barry Gibb from The Bee Gees bought the Tennessee house Cash lived in from 1968 until his death. In 2007, while the home was being renovated for Gibb, it caught fire and burned to the ground.

Cash played many free concerts at prisons throughout his career. His first was at Huntsville State Prison in Texas in 1957. On New Year’s Day 1959 when he played San Quentin prison in San Rafael, California, Merle Haggard, who was serving time for burglary, was in the audience.

A requirement at Johnny Cash shows was an American flag on stage in full view of the audience.

During his time serving in the Air Force, Cash was employed as a code breaker based in Germany, intercepting Morse Code transmissions from Russia. He was the first American to learn of Joseph Stalin’s death when he intercepted a message about the Soviet leader’s demise on March 5, 1953.

Cash starred in the 1974 “Swan Song” episode of Columbo as Tommy Brown, a homicidal country singer trying to evade the clutches of the homicide detective.

A letter that that Johnny Cash wrote to June Carter Cash for her 65th birthday in 1994 was voted the greatest love letter of all time in a 2015 British survey for Valentine’s Day. The Man in Black’s note beat out epistles by Winston Churchill to wife Clementine Churchill and Richard Burton to Liz Taylor among others in the poll.

So what did Johnny Cash write that melted so many hearts? Part of it reads: “We get old and get used to each other. We think alike. We read each others minds. We know what the other wants without asking. Sometimes we irritate each other a little bit. Maybe sometimes take each other for granted. But once in awhile, like today, I meditate on it and realize how lucky I am to share my life with the greatest woman I ever met.”

Cash was one of the first high-profile musical guests on Sesame Street, performing “Nasty Dan” on Season 5. A Cash-like monster named Ronnie Trash later appeared on the show to sing about the environment.

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Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “Bob Dylan Week” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

His real name is Robert Zimmerman. Rumor has it he took his name from poet Dylan Thomas, but this has never confirmed this. He did confirm in his autobiography Chronicles, Volume I that he went with “Bob” instead of “Bobby” because he didn’t want to be confused with Bobby Darin, Bobby Rydell or Bobby Vee.

Dylan was born in Duluth, Minnesota. At an early age he moved to Hibbing, where he grew up. This part of the state was known for its abundant iron mines at the time. It is known by its inhabitants as “The North Country,” hence the song “Girl From The North Country.”

Dylan briefly attended the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis in the early ’60s. During this time, he hung out frequently in an area known as Dinkytown. Dinkytown had a burgeoning folk scene at the time and this is where he first performed as a solo artist (he was in a number of rock ‘n’ roll bands in high school) and first used the name Bob Dylan.

He was secretly married for six years to Carol Dennis, one of his backup singers. They had a daughter together.

He was married to his first wife, Sara, from 1965-1977. In the divorce, she got half the royalties to the songs Dylan wrote while they were married, some of which were about her.

Dylan played six shows with The Grateful Dead in 1987. They released a live album called Dylan And The Dead.

In a classic 1966 French film Masculin-Feminin, the protagonist reads a headline from a French newspaper saying, “Qui etes-vous Bob Dylan?” This means, “Who are you, Bob Dylan?”

He broke several vertebrae in his neck when he crashed his motorcycle in 1966. It kept him from recording for a while and prompted rumors that he was brain damaged or dead.

Dylan would often make biblical allusions in his lyrics. Two examples:

In “Long Time Gone,” the line “I know I ain’t no prophet/And I ain’t no prophet’s son” reflects Amos 7:14 (“I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son”).

In “Let me Die in My Footsteps,” the line “There’s been rumors of war and wars that have been” reflects Matthew 24:6 (“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars”).

He had a cat named Rollin’ Stone.

In 1960, Dylan was paid 50 dollars to play harmonica on a Harry Belafonte album.

He has recorded under several pseudonyms, including Bob Landy, Robert Milkwood Thomas, and Blind Boy Grunt.

Dylan has starred in a few movies, none of which have done well with critics. They include Hearts Of Fire, Pat Garrett And Billy The kid and Renaldo And Clara.

Dylan’s first band was formed in high school and called the Golden Chords. He was the piano player.

Michael Jackson and Dylan performed together at Elizabeth Taylor’s 55th birthday party in 1987.

In the mid-1970s, then-unknown comic Steve Martin opened for Dylan in Tampa, Florida.

He named his 1969 album after outlaw John Wesley Hardin. His last name was misspelled “Harding.”

In 1991, he won a Lifetime Achievement Grammy.

He was raised Jewish, but became a born-again Christian in the late ’70s.

Dylan and his first wife Sara are the parents of film director Jesse Dylan and musician Jakob Dylan, the lead singer and songwriter of The Wallflowers. Bob Dylan later married his longtime backup singer Carolyn Dennis. Jesse’s wife Susan Traylor and Jakob’s wife Paige Dylan are both actresses.

Dylan: “I consider myself a poet first and a musician second. I live like a poet and I’ll die like a poet.”

Martin Scorsese’s PBS documentary No Way Home made a strong case that Bob Dylan is the most influential songwriter of the 20th Century. Whether one accepts that opinion or not, there’s ample evidence he was among the most prolific. Remarkably, in just three years, Dylan wrote six classic albums of great original songs.

Freewheelin’ was released May 27, 1963; Times They Are A-Changin’ on January 13, 1964; Another Side of Bob Dylan seven months later on August 8 1964; Bringing It All Back Home on March 22 1965; Highway 61 Revisited five months later on August 30, 1965; and Blonde On Blonde eight months later on May 16, 1966. What other famous songwriter has created such a wealth of brilliant songs in such a short period of time?

In 2008, he became the first Rock musician ever awarded a Pulitzer Prize. He was given the special award for his “profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power.”

Dylan recorded the folk song “The House Of The Rising Sun” on his first album, and after The Animals recorded the song in 1964, it had a profound effect on him. Animals lead singer Eric Burdon told us: “Bob Dylan, who was angry at first, turned into a rocker. Dylan went electric in the shadow of The Animals classic ‘House of the Rising Sun.'”

Back in 1965, when a British reporter asked him what his message was, Bob Dylan replied, “Keep a good head and always carry a light bulb.” His famous quote appears in Don’t Look Back, the documentary that covers Bob Dylan’s 1965 concert tour of the United Kingdom. No wonder then that his explicit demand on his concert rider was to have dressing rooms lit with incandescent lighting.

Bob Dylan was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature. The committee noted he was honored, “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” Dylan was the first American to win the award since Toni Morrison in 1993.

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “Bob Dylan Week” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!


Folk-rock singer-songwriter Bob Dylan signed his first recording contract in 1961, and he emerged as one of the most original and influential voices in American popular music. Dylan has continued to tour and release new studio albums, including Together Through Life(2009), Tempest (2012), Shadows in the Night(2015) and Fallen Angels (2016). The legendary singer-songwriter has received Grammy, Academy and Golden Globe awards, as well as the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Nobel Prize for Literature.

In 1960, Dylan dropped out of college and moved to New York, where his idol, the legendary folk singer Woody Guthrie, was hospitalized with a rare hereditary disease of the nervous system. He visited with Guthrie regularly in his hospital room; became a regular in the folk clubs and coffeehouses of Greenwich Village; met a host of other musicians; and began writing songs at an astonishing pace, including “Song to Woody,” a tribute to his ailing hero.

In the fall of 1961, after one of his performances received a rave review in The New York Times, he signed a recording contract with Columbia Records, at which point he legally changed his surname to Dylan. Released early in 1962, Bob Dylan contained only two original songs, but showcased Dylan’s gravel-voiced singing style in a number of traditional folk songs and covers of blues songs.

The 1963 release of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan marked Dylan’s emergence as one of the most original and poetic voices in the history of American popular music. The album included two of the most memorable 1960s folk songs, “Blowin’ in the Wind” (which later became a huge hit for the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary) and “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.” His next album, The Times They Are A-Changin’, firmly established Dylan as the definitive songwriter of the ’60s protest movement, a reputation that only increased after he became involved with one of the movement’s established icons, Joan Baez, in 1963.

While his romantic relationship with Baez lasted only two years, it benefited both performers immensely in terms of their music careers—Dylan wrote some of Baez’s best-known material, and Baez introduced him to thousands of fans through her concerts. By 1964 Dylan was playing 200 concerts annually, but had become tired of his role as “the” folk singer-songwriter of the protest movement. Another Side of Bob Dylan, recorded in 1964, was a much more personal, introspective collection of songs, far less politically charged than Dylan’s previous efforts.

Reinventing His Image

In 1965, Dylan scandalized many of his folkie fans by recording the half-acoustic, half-electric album Bringing It All Back Home, backed by a nine-piece band. On July 25, 1965, he was famously booed at the Newport Folk Festival when he performed electrically for the first time. The albums that followed, Highway 61 Revisited (1965) — which included the seminal rock song “Like a Rolling Stone” — and the two-record set Blonde on Blonde (1966) represented Dylan at his most innovative. With his unmistakable voice and unforgettable lyrics, Dylan brought the worlds of music and literature together as no one else had.

Over the course of the next three decades, Dylan continued to reinvent himself. Following a near-fatal motorcycle accident in July 1966, Dylan spent almost a year recovering in seclusion. His next two albums, John Wesley Harding (1967)—including “All Along the Watchtower,” later recorded by guitar great Jimi Hendrix—and the unabashedly country-ish Nashville Skyline (1969) were far more mellow than his earlier works. Critics blasted the two-record set Self-Portrait (1970) and Tarantula, a long-awaited collection of writings Dylan published in 1971. In 1973, Dylan appeared in Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, a feature film directed by Sam Peckinpah. He also wrote the film’s soundtrack, which became a hit and included the now-classic song, “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.”

In 1974, Dylan began his first full-scale tour since his accident, embarking on a sold-out nationwide tour with his longtime backup band, the Band. An album he recorded with the Band, Planet Waves, became his first No. 1 album ever. He followed these successes with the celebrated 1975 album Blood on the Tracks and Desire (1976), each of which hit No. 1 as well. Desire included the song “Hurricane,” written by Dylan about the boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, then serving life in prison after what many felt was an wrongful conviction of triple homicide in 1967. Dylan was one of many prominent public figures who helped popularize Carter’s cause, leading to a retrial in 1976, when he was again convicted.

After a painful split with his wife, Sara Lowndes — the song “Sara” on Desire was Dylan’s plaintive but unsuccessful attempt to win Lowndes back — Dylan again reinvented himself, declaring in 1979 that he was a born-again Christian. The evangelical Slow Train Coming was a commercial hit, and won Dylan his first Grammy Award. The tour and albums that followed were less successful, however, and Dylan’s religious leanings soon became less overt in his music. In 1982, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. 

Rock Star Status

Beginning in the 1980s, Dylan began touring full time, sometimes with fellow legends Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and the Grateful Dead. Notable albums during this period included Infidels (1983); the five-disc retrospective Biograph (1985); Knocked Out Loaded (1986); and Oh Mercy (1989), which became his best-received album in years. He recorded two albums with the all-star band the Traveling Wilburys, also featuring George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne. In 1994, Dylan returned to his folk roots, winning the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album for World Gone Wrong.

In 1989, when Dylan was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Bruce Springsteen spoke at the ceremony, declaring that “Bob freed the mind the way Elvis freed the body. … He invented a new way a pop singer could sound, broke through the limitations of what a recording artist could achieve and changed the face of rock and roll forever.” In 1997, Dylan became the first rock star ever to receive Kennedy Center Honors, considered the nation’s highest award for artistic excellence.

Dylan’s 1997 album Time Out of Mindreestablished this one-time folk icon as one of rock’s preeminent wise men, winning three Grammy Awards. He continued his vigorous touring schedule, including a memorable performance in 1997 for Pope John Paul II in which he played “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” and a 1999 tour with Paul Simon. In 2000, he recorded the single “Things Have Changed” for the soundtrack of the film Wonder Boys, starring Michael Douglas. The song won Dylan a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Dylan then took time out from his music to tell the story of his life. The singer released Chronicles: Volume One, the first in a three-book memoir series, in the fall of 2004. Dylan gave his first full interview in 20 years for a documentary released in 2005. Entitled No Direction Home: Bob Dylan, the film was directed by Martin Scorsese.

Psychedelic Week

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “Bob Dylan Week” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Bob Dylan: The Stories Behind Some Of His Greatest Songs

‘Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door'(1973)

‘Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door'(1973) What does it mean?: Written for the film Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid and said to be inspired by the relationship between the two lead characters (“Mama put my guns in the ground/ I can’t shoot them anymore”). Dylan made a cameo in the film.

‘Highway 61 Revisited'(1965)

‘Highway 61 Revisited'(1965) What does it mean?: Dylan said it was inspired by Robert Johnson, the legendary blues singer who was said to have sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads of Highway 61 and Highway 49.


‘It Ain’t Me, Babe'(1964)

‘It Ain’t Me, Babe'(1964) What does it mean?: Speculation has been rife that this was simply about a one sided relationship or about his terse connection to the folk movement. Most agree that Dylan’s talking about the fact that at the time he reluctantly took the mantle of a figurehead for his generation (“It ain’t me you’re looking for”).

‘Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands’ (1966)

‘Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands’ (1966)What does it mean?: Said to be about his wife at the time Sara Lownds. On the song ‘Sara’ recorded much later Dylan sings: “Staying up for nights in the Chelsea Hotel, writing ‘Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands’ for you”.

‘Joey’ (1976)

‘Joey’ (1976) What does it mean?: The song was about notorious mobster Joey Gallo. It was criticized at the time for its romantic take on the more violent elements of the gangster’s life.

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “Bob Dylan Week” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Bob Dylan: The Stories Behind Some Of His Greatest Songs

‘Subterranean Home Sick Blues'(1965)

‘Subterranean Home Sick Blues'(1965): Dylan took part of the title from the Jack Kerouac novella The Subterraneans, whose characters were loosely based around Beat writers Burroughs and Ginsberg.

‘Mr. Tambourine Man'(1965)

‘Mr. Tambourine Man'(1965) What does it mean?: ‘Tambourine Man’ was 60s slang for a drugs dealer and Dylan is said to have written it on a hash-fuelled road trip.


‘Rainy Day Women No. 12 And 35′(1966)

‘Rainy Day Women No. 12 And 35′(1966)What does it mean?: Famous for the line “Everybody must get stoned” and, according to Dylan geeks, if you multiply 12 by 35 you get 420 – a number associated with pot culture. Far out, dude.

‘Tangled Up In Blue'(1975)

‘Tangled Up In Blue'(1975) What does it mean?: Said to be influenced by Cubism (Dylan was taking art classes at this time), this song tackles the end of Dylan’s marriage to his wife Sara, but only by way of looking back at his own life (from his Minnesota upbringing to his coffee house days in New York) in a semi-mythical way.

‘I Want You'(1966)

‘I Want You'(1966) What does it mean?: Dylan had a terse friendship with The Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones and the track was said to be about Dylan’s feelings for Jones’ then girlfriend Anita Pallenberg. Others believe it was inspired by Edie Sedgwick.

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Today is Lemmy Kilmisters birthday. He would have been 75 years old.

The end of 2015 was a sad time for all Motörhead fans around the globe. We are slowly coming up on five years without the founder, lead singer, bassist, and songwriter of the extremely well-loved heavy metal band Motörhead — Lemmy Kilmister.
​Not to dwell on the negative, Lemmy was one of the founders of the heavy metal genre and will be remembered as such. In addition to appreciating his professionalism and love of heavy metal music, fans appreciated Lemmy as a unique person who enjoyed breaking barriers.

An excellent way to reminisce about someone is to learn more about them — so, let’s go over some fun facts about the rock god Lemmy.

Lemmy used to be the road manager for Emerson, Lake and Palmer. He was also briefly a roadie for Jimi Hendrix. Lemmy told Rolling Stone in 2010 regarding working for the guitar icon: “Whenever they needed an extra pair of hands I was right there. I didn’t get the job for any talent or anything. But I did see Jimi play a lot. Twice a night for about three months.”

Iron Maiden have a mascot named “Eddy,” Motorhead have “Snaggletooth.” Artist Joe Petagno came up with the idea of a gorilla-dog hybrid with wild boar tusks. Lemmy then added the helmet, chains and spit. Snaggletooth appears on most Motorhead album covers.

Kilmister formed Motorhead in 1975 after being fired from the band Hawkwind in 1975. Motorhead’s original name was “Bastard,” but was changed to “Motorhead” after the last song Lemmy wrote for Hawkwind.

Lemmy’s real name was Ian Fraser Kilminster. He acquired his nickname as a child as he was always asking to borrow money.

Lemmy has acted in several movies directed by Lloyd Kaufman and released by Troma Studios, among them Tromeo & Juliet and Terror Firmer.

Lemmy’s father was a vicar.

Lemmy didn’t pick up a bass until he was 23. He had previously played guitar but, in his own words, he was “mediocrity squared.”

Motorhead provide the entrance music for both WWE wrestler Triple H (“Play The Game”), and Triple H’s wrestling stable Evolution (“Line In The Sand”).

Lemmy is often seen as the most hedonistic artist on earth. He claims to have done speed for over 20 years. Even past age 60 he claims he still does drugs every day, eats lot of junk food, and drinks a bottle of whiskey a day. He claims to have had sex with over 3000 women during his life.

Rumor has it that when Lemmy asked a doctor for blood purification, the doctor said that his body is so adapted to speed that pure blood would kill him.

Psychedelic Lunch