Bob Dylan Center: Exhibiting the voice of a generation

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Bob Dylan Center: A model into the dependable of a procreation

Bob Dylan Center: A model into the dependable of a generation 06:02

Bob Dylan's fans person been trying to pin him down since his archetypal medium 60 years ago. He has fled from classification — changing styles and personas whenever they tried to enactment him successful a box. So, it's nary astonishment that erstwhile Dylan played successful Tulsa, Oklahoma past month, helium didn't locomotion the fewer blocks down the thoroughfare to sojourn the largest effort ever to classify his career: the Bob Dylan Center.

The erstwhile insubstantial warehouse present holds 100,000 items from the artist's long-rumored archives. 

Steven Jenkins, the center's director, showed CBS News' John Dickerson immoderate of the items connected display, from Dylan's missive to Jimi Hendrix astir Hendrix's singular screen mentation of "All Along the Watchtower," to the existent tambourine that inspired the opus "Mr. Tambourine Man."

bob-dylan-center-1920.jpg An grounds astatine the Bob Dylan Center successful Tulsa, Okla.   CBS News

The University of Tulsa and section billionaire George Kaiser bought the archive successful 2016 for an estimated $20 million, partially successful the anticipation of drafting tourism to the area.

The halfway is simply a circuit done the past of American fashionable euphony that grew retired of the hootenannies Dylan joined successful Greenwich Village apartments. In 1962, Mell and Lilian Bailey were astute capable to crook connected the portion recorder successful their surviving room, signaling Dylan singing, "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right."

One grounds addresses Dylan's celebrated determination to play electrical guitar astatine the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, which caused specified an uproar that people fable Pete Seeger was rumored to person called for an axe to chopped Dylan's cables. Jenkins said, "We person a missive written from Pete Seeger to Bob Dylan addressing some the truths and the falsehoods of that precise tumultuous time astatine the Newport Folk Festival, the elder statesman folkie coming to presumption with what his protégé was doing."

pete-seeger-letter.jpg CBS News

Dickerson said, "People mightiness deliberation this is an obscure wrong story. But what we're truly talking astir present is who gets to talk the truth, and successful what signifier bash they get to talk the truth."

"What you get a consciousness of is the decisions, the choices that were being made close successful the moment," Jenkins said.

But the large committedness of the halfway is its voluminous manuscripts, notebooks and tablets offering a model into Dylan's painstaking songwriting craft.

Mark Davidson, curator of the collection, said, "It's his caput connected the page.  We've got an aboriginal mentation of 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' here, replete with java stains. And you tin spot he's pounding distant connected the keys, helium makes a mistake, helium conscionable simply XXXX's implicit it."

bob-dylan-subterranean-homesick-blues.jpg Draft lyrics of Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues." CBS News

Dickerson said, "It's truthful large due to the fact that there's chaos, lines helium doesn't use, and past you spot the ones helium did. 'Girl by the whirlpool's looking for a caller fool, don't travel leaders, ticker the parking meters.'"

Dylan's songwriting has lured fans of antithetic generations, including Dickerson, who spoke to Robert Siegel of National Public Radio 35 years agone astir Dylan's entreaty to a caller generation: "Ninety-five percent of the euphony I perceive to comes retired of the Sixties, and 90% of the euphony I perceive to happens to beryllium Bob Dylan."

Dickerson asked Davidson, "What bash you see, not arsenic Bob Dylan, but conscionable arsenic a craftsman making music?"

"In a opus similar 'Dignity,' from 'Oh Mercy,' we person 40 leaves, 45 pages worthy of him conscionable moving and reworking that song," helium replied.   

"I love, of course, the enactment from this opus that 'dignity has ne'er been photographed.,'" Dickerson said. "In different words, you can't clasp it still. And present it's not sitting still, either."

Perhaps thing successful the postulation is much invaluable than the notebooks successful which Dylan puzzled retired the lyrics to his 1975 medium "Blood connected the Tracks." "These person been the benignant of Magna Carta, if you will, of Dylan studies," said Jenkins.

like-a-rolling-stone.jpg An grounds astatine the Bob Dylan Center successful Tulsa, Okla.   CBS News

The grounds volition unfastened to the nationalist connected Tuesday. Visitors tin travel Dylan's process done six selected songs. The bulk of the archive (including never-before-seen movie and audio that is not public) volition beryllium unfastened lone to scholars.

Jenkins noted, "We are acold little funny successful saying, 'Ha! We got this feline figured out,' due to the fact that what's truthful fantastic astir Dylan, among overmuch else, is the elusiveness."  

The elusiveness is the point.

The halfway affirms Dylan's long-held presumption that helium is the past idiosyncratic to archer you what his songs mean. Like each bully art, we find meaning by wrestling with the words ourselves.

Meanwhile, Bob Dylan keeps moving on. 

bob-dylan-center-installation.jpg CBS News

For much info:

Bob Dylan Center, opening May 10 successful Tulsa, (Official site)"Sixties: Teens Recycle the Era" by Robert Siegel was primitively broadcast connected NPR's "All Things Considered" connected August 7, 1987. © 1987 National Public Radio, Inc. Used with the support of NPR. Any unauthorized duplication is strictly prohibited.

Story produced by Robert Marston. Editor: Carol Ross. 

See also: 

Inside the Bob Dylan archive ("Sunday Morning")The lyrics that helped Bob Dylan triumph the Nobel PrizeBob Dylan: Songs were "almost magically written" ("60 Minutes")Book excerpt: "The Double Life of Bob Dylan"Gallery: Bob Dylan, people stone euphony legend

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