When the last rays of daylight go down
Buddy, you’ll roll no more.
-Bob Dylan, Standing in the Doorway
I was driving back home late on the interstate the other night. The Cummins diesel steadily whined and the dash lights in my cab glowed. I plugged my old iPod in the auxiliary jack of my truck’s stereo and listened to a few albums from the likes of Steve Earle and Bob Dylan. I just bought Earle’s Guitar Town and am enjoying it’s roots rock and roll and common man poetry. The fact that Guitar Town was released the year I was born, not quite thirty years ago, puts things in perspective for me. Some people are busy being born while others are busy creating.
I have been a Dylan fan since I “discovered” Highway 61 Revisited when I was seventeen. I first heard the single, “Like a Rolling Stone, ” in a tv miniseries called The 60s (or something like that). Changed my life. I appreciate the multifaceted nature of Dylans work. He has always ploughed through the expectations of what music critics and fans have wanted him to be.
I started off near Reno, listening to Dylan’s John Wesley Harding and Guitar Town by Earle, and by the time I reached Lovelock, I was head long in Dylan’s Time Out of Mind. Nothing is quite as reflectively lonesome on a dark night out on the road listening to the lines from Standing in the Doorway:
Behind every beautiful thing
There’s been some kind of pain
When I headed over Golconda Summit, the lines from Steve Earle came back to me:
I heard someone callin’ my name one day
And I followed that voice down the lost highway
The night wore on and the music played. I poured another cup of coffee from my Stanley. All-day-old coffee is tolerable when you have to get home from a long day. Next came Valmy, Battle Mountain, Emigrant Pass, Carlin, and finnally Elko. The last rays of daylight were long forgotten when I had finally made it home.