On Music – Thinking A Blue Streak

Spencer Plan is a guest contributor to BBALLJONES.com on the topics of Music & EPL. You can follow him on Twitter @barsandkaps.


Very little. That’s how much I know about Bob Dylan. Perhaps, even less.

Something about Minnesota, something about a typewriter, maybe something else. Perhaps, like others, I mostly connect him to 80s comedians who along with a Dylan also did a De Niro, a Pacino and a Nicholson.

And I don’t know much of his music.

Photo Courtesy of Vanity Fair
Photo Courtesy of Vanity Fair

If I was on a game show I’d wager that I could name four Bob Dylan songs. But given that, I would categorize two of those songs as all-timers, Hurricane and Tangled Up In Blue (TUIB). Now, perhaps this is an easy statement to make. Both songs are on album called ‘The Essential Bob Dylan’ so clearly someone thinks these songs are good.  But, what interests me, is how entirely possible it would have been to never have crossed paths with one of those all-timers.

Hurricane is a classic and its availability was widespread. Your sensory nerves could flatline and you’d think Hurricane was a good song just from that scene in Dazed and Confused.

TUIB is different. I grew up in a town known for music. And I had a typical blue collar youth, gritting and grinding my way through. But it wasn’t until I left Memphis and went to college near D.C. that I was exposed to TUIB. TUIB is good. TUIB is great. I could listen to TUIB on repeat for hours. The law of diminishing marginal utility doesn’t apply. The 29th doughnut tastes as good as the 28th.

Now this isn’t meant to be preachy. ‘Hey bballjones.com readers, go listen to TUIB’ or ‘my music is better than your music’. It’s more about opportunity and chance. It took me having to move states, live with someone from another state and for that person to be in a band that covered TUIB. If not for that, I’d likely not know the song now.

So, how does one cross paths with a song? And is there anything better than crossing paths with the right song?  And fundamental to this website, why aren’t they playing Tangled Up in BLUE at TIGS games? TIGERS!!!

Take a listen: 


3 thoughts on “On Music – Thinking A Blue Streak”

  1. The writer’s article is basically a rhetorical question he struggles to answer growing up in an age of fragmented musical genres with too much choice to be fluent in but few things music.
    My generation had two mediums of exposure. Broadcast radio/TV and playing “vinyl” on our record players. The latter was the only one where “choice” was involved . If you were raised in Memphis during the sixties and seventies you listened to WHBQ and WMPS if you were white and WDIA if you were black. We were fed ALL types of music. A typical hour’s playlist might go something like this:

    The Beatles
    Otis Redding
    The Beach Boys
    James Brown
    Petula Clark
    The Rollikg Stones
    Jan and Dean
    Sam and Dave
    Marvin Gay and Tammy Terrell
    Jimmy Hendrix
    Peter,Paul and Mary
    And yes, Bob Dylan

    We did not have the choice of today nor did we put artists on “genre teams” as if they were political parties or the NBA. We were force fed this plethora of artists and I’m glad. It made us better musicians.

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