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Jean-Marie Perier, Bob Dylan on Tour (on stage, profile), England, 1966, Fahey/Klein Gallery, Los Angeles
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by Charlie Finch

Looking back at the long, fecund career of the generational muse and lyrical shapeshifter, it might seem impossible to divine a common thread to Bob Dylan’s half century of creative hits, yet there is one: his love and pursuit, and occasional rejection, of women. In this concern, which Bob shares with Picasso and Casanova (not to mention Arnold Schwarzenegger!), Dylan has been a master at translating the specifics of his love life into universal sentiments, whose lyrics drift through our heads ("but she breaks just like a little girl"). Indeed his sentiments reek of Tin Pan Alley and his resentments breathe country music, especially those of his first influence as a teenager on the make in the desolate Iron Country of North Minnesota, Hank Williams.