Mindmap © Hans Buskes
According to many it’s just crap, according to some psychologists 27 is a crucial year in a human’s life and certainly in the life of a pop star. It’s interesting to map what Dylan was up to when he was 27. Well not much. Certainly not up to Dylan standards. Dylan’ critical year seems two years earlier, addicted to heroin and having his “famous” motorcycle incident. In Chronicles he writes: “Truth is that I wanted to get out of the rat race.”
In 1968 in the wake of the Prague Spring, Dylan produced no records (John Wesley Harding very often mistakenly labeled ’68 was released in 1967), had only one performance (during the Woody Guthrie Memorial), wrote a couple of songs, among others Lay Lady Lay (but obviously too late to be included in the film Midnight Cowboy), and that was about it. He lived the quiet life in Woodstock, nicely portrayed by Elliott Landy on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. It is significant that the milestone of 1968 in Dylan’s career was the Hendrix recording of All along the watchtower (#12 on the top 100 of 1968).
Where was Dylan going to? The song If dogs run free (then why not me) pretty much says it all: “To each his own, it’s all unknown.”