compiled: September 29, 1996
Last revised: July 9, 2000
It has been observed several times in postings to this group
that space travel is a long-standing anathema to Dylan. Some time ago an
EDLIS informant wrote:
One of the major and consistent planks of our hero's political ideology is opposition to rocket ships. . . . [Its] interesting to find one issue where Dylan has presented a consistent opinion and never felt inclined to joke about or strike a mock pose on the topic.The strongest lyrical statement against space travel is found in License To Kill:
Man thinks 'cause he rules the earth heTwo weeks after the Challenger Space Shuttle Disaster, on February 12, 1986 in Sydney, Dylan gave a rare 1986 performance of License To Kill. In his introduction to it, Dylan reiterated his anti-space travel position in no uncertain terms:
can do with it as he please
And if things don't change soon, he will.
Oh, man has invented his doom,
First step was touching the moon.
All right we're gonna try something different tonight. Here's something I wrote a while back, about the space program. You heard about the tragedy right? It really was. It really was a tragedy though 'cause you see the people had no right going up there. Like, there's not enough problems on Earth to solve? So I wanna dedicate this song to all those poor people who were fooled into going up there.Other lyrical references with negative implications regarding space travel include Union Sundown:
They used to grow food in Kansas Now they want to grow it on the moon and eat it raw. I can see the day coming when even your home garden Is gonna be against the law. . . . From Broadway to the Milky Way, That's a lot of territory indeed And a man's gonna do what he has to do When he's got a hungry mouth to feed. and The Devil's Been Busy [Traveling Wilburys Volume 3]: Steaming down the highway with your trucks and toxic waste Where you gonna hide it, maybe outer space?The liner notes from Planet Waves show Dylan's contempt for astronauts:
Space guys off duty with big dicks & duck tails all wired up & voting for Eisenhower, waving flags & jumping off fire engines, getting killed on motorcycles whatever--we sensed each other beneath the mask, pitched a tent in the street & joined the traveling circus, love at first sight!--Larry
Waiting To Find Out What ! Price You Have To Pay To ! Get Out Of Going Through ^ All These Things Twice / \ Waiting To Find Out What /___\ Price You Have To Pay To |= =| Get Out Of Going Through | | All These Things Twice | L | Agency | | | T | | | | K | | | | | | | /|##!##|\ / |##!##| \ / |##!##| \ | / ^ | ^ \ | | / ( | ) \ | |/ ( | ) \| (( )) (( : )) (( : )) (( )) (( )) ( ) . . .
"L. Horton" (email@example.com) writes: >The EDLIS Things Twice Agency is rounding up information on a >recurring thread about Dylan's opposition to space travel. >Here is what we have so far: > >It has been observed several times in postings to this group >that space travel is a long-standing anathema to Dylan.From the Laurie Henshaw Interview, May 12, 1965 . . .
Henshaw: You must obviously make a lot of money nowadays?
I spend it all. I have six Cadillacs. I have four houses. I have a plantation in Georgia. Oh, I'm also working on a rocket. A little rocket. Not a big rocket. Not the kind of rocket they have in Cape Canaveral. I don't know about those kind of rockets.Ron Chester
Anyone have a tape of this performance? What exactly does Bob say about the space programme?
Introducing Licence To Kill (21) -- not a common concert number -- he refers to America's tragedy, "They had no business being up there..." The reference is to the Space Shuttle Disaster.
This is the concert where Stevie Nicks joined in on guitar and vocals for Knockin' On Heaven's Door (27) and then the Australian authorities tried to deport her because she had performed without a work visa...
One of the major and consistent planks of our hero's political ideology is opposition to rocket ships. Anyone care to guess why? Most kids like rocket ships. And 1950s American television was pretty pro-rocket ships, was it not? Or is it a fan-split thing, if you modelled yourself on Matt Dillon you did not like space tv, if you liked the space shows you hated the westerns?
Just interesting to find one issue where Dylan has presented
a consistent opinion and never felt inclined to joke about or strike a
mock pose on the topic.
Craig -- Man thinks 'cause he rules the earth he can do with it as he please And if things don't change soon, he will. Oh, man has invented his doom, First step was touching the moon.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Craig) wrote: |One of the major and consistent planks of our hero's |political ideology is opposition to rocket ships. Anyone |care to guess why? Most kids like rocket ships. And 1950s |American television was pretty pro-rocket ships, was it not? |Or is it a fan-split thing, if you modelled yourself on Matt |Dillon you did not like space tv, if you liked the space |shows you hated the westerns? |Just interesting to find one issue where Dylan has presented |a consistent opinion and never felt inclined to joke about |or strike a mock pose on the topic.My memory may be failing me here, but I don't recall much space talk until the USSR launched the Sputnik satellites. That was 1957, when Bob was probably a sophomore or junior in high school. Then there was much concern that we were a bunch of math and science illiterates and we had to shape up--but that mostly affected children in the lower grades. However, after that, all the hype about our astronauts and "The Right Stuff" (not called that until much later, but it wasn't hard to figure who was the clean-cut astronaut type) I can imagine didn't sit well with his disheveled bohemian James Deanly Bobness.
Or, maybe he just thinks the space program has been an appalling waste of financial resources while so many social and environmental problems have been ignored.
***************************************************************************** Sandy Ramer Take what you have gathered from coincidence. B.D. Madison, WI *****************************************************************************
Bee F. Jerkee (email@example.com) wrote: : On 27 Feb 1995, Bllurrr wrote: : > I'm beginning to believe some jerks have been pulling my (our) leg/s. : > albumn. There is no UFO. Its a hoax. : I just had one question: IS there anybody who knew it was a hoax from the : beginning???I think most readers knew it was a hoax from the beginning. It reflected various previous threads from the newsgroup. E.g. the title UFO reflected a comment some time ago that one of Bob Dylan's few political consistencies is that space travel is wrong. It was then suggested that that was an oversight by Bob and his next album would be pro-space travel. Etc etc etc etc
Fake new albums suddenly withdrawn are common on music newsgroups.
>I'd like to add (Maybe I don't understand it right as English is not my >first language) from License to Kill (which I really like): > >Man is inventing his doom >First step was touching the moon > >It sounds to me as Dylan had the first Line and needed desparately a > >-- Christoph Well, I'm pretty sure the line is Man has invented his doom First step was touching the moonWhich makes more sense tense-wise, but I also have always considered this a really stupid line. I don't have any particular problem with Dylan's well-know opposition to space travel -- but "first step" .... after Auschwitz, after Hiroshima, after Nagasaki, after the Cuban Missile Crisis.....
Another line which I find really silly, but nonetheless enjoy
is Dylan's self-dramatizing declaration
Alright, I'll take a chance I will fall in love with you If I'm a fool you can have the night You can have the money too!As someone has pointed out before this could be damning evidence in the upcoming palimony suit -- but maybe Dylan will claim that Ruth T. actually wrote it.....
Craig Jamieson (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote: >Christoph Borgmeier (email@example.com) wrote: >: Man is inventing his doom >: First step was touching the moon >: >: It sounds to me as Dylan had the first Line and needed desparately a >: rhyme. >Wellll, I recall there was a thread about themes consistent throughout >all of Dylan's work and one of the few was his opposition to travel >in outer space. This is consistent and VERY important to him. His >normal ability to step back and craft a line disappears when outer >space is the topic! He seethes and spits and...Wellll, I remember that thread too...but I can only think of one other reference to space travel in a Dylan song -- also on "Infidels" -- something about raising crops on an orbiting satellite and eating them uncooked. Am I forgetting something? Or are there photographs of him picketing the Apollo launches?