Blog: Trippin’ on John Wesley Harding
We just got done listing the Top 30 Bob Dylan songs of all time.
Over in a different corner of the blog-osphere, Tony Ling is writing a blog about every Bob Dylan song ever. If you haven’t read them yet, their well worth your while.
A recent entry, on the song “John Wesley Harding,” hypothesizes about what it must have been like for listeners to hear 1967′s sparse, country-tinged John Wesley Harding album for the first time, after the over-the-top electric excess of 1966′s Blonde on Blonde.
One reader wrote in to share his unique experience. It’s a pretty wild story:
Craig Kent writes:
“My friends and I were 17 at the time and one lived in the basement of his parents house. There were five of of this night. We all took some very powerful LSD called White Lightning, smoked some dope and lit a candle as we sat crosslegged on the floor watching the candle. Once the acid kicked in we proceeded with the ritual and dropped the needle on the unplayed record. The bareness of the sound was jarring at first but we all soon noticed a rhythm that was languid and hypnotizing. One of my friends picked up a flashlight and started to turn it on and off in rhythm to the beat with Bob’s voice droning on as he flashed it in our eyes. I actually became hypnotized for the first time while under the influence of LSD and it was not entirely pleasant. Bob’s voice sounded much too calm for all the treachery he was singing about: Frankie Lee and Judas Priest broke my heart and I wept, Wicked Messengers and cruel Landlords scared the hell out of me and I felt I was out in the wilderness hearing a wildcat growl.
I don’t know how long me and my friends sat dazed after the album was over. To say it blew my mind would be an understatement. I was not able to listen to the album again for almost a year I was so afraid just hearing it would pull me back into that hypnotic vortex that I couldn’t escape from.
Maybe I should have gotten counseling but time is the great healer. Nowadays it is one of my favorite Dylan albums, right there in a neck to neck tie with about 20 others.”
Got any similar stories?