He rarely speaks to the crowd, and when he does, his remarks are often gnomic throwaways. ("I had a big brass bed, but I sold it!") He plays some of his best-known songs, but often in contrarian, almost unrecognizable versions, as if to dampen their anthemic qualities. He highlights recent compositions more than most of his 60's coevals, but these, too, are delivered as highly stylized, singsongy chants.I think Bob Dylan has invented the best style of being an old rock star. Better than doing the big showy tours, reaching back, like the Rolling Stones, trying to recapture your glory, is this low-key, constant playing. It poses a fascinating puzzle for us.
Are you afraid of your real life? Are you completely bonded to art? Do you think you owe penance? What are you doing, Bob?
We know something is happening, but we don't know what it is. It's right that Bob Dylan should needle us to the very end.