Bless That Maid
My personal cover story
Somewhere in the autumn of 1966 (I was 11 years old then) the music-bug bit me quite bad. Looking back now, more than fifty years later, I can totaly blame that teenage girl who helped my mother with her household work.
She dressed differently from other girls we knew, smoked cigarettes that she rolled herself and while she was doing her job she listened to a pirate radio station. That music was unheard of in our home. She often told stories about the places she went to in the weekends and what she and her friends did. Those things made my mother sigh and look up to the sky.
One day, when my mother was out-of-town, she brought her record player and let me listen to her singles (Stones, Pretty Things, Troggs). She obviously didn’t like the Beatles and the Monkees (like I did). She also let me read her stacks of pop-music-magazines.
I liked these so much that I bought them with the ‘pocket-money’ my parents gave me each Saturday morning. One of these magazines (Muziek Expres) had this monthly column with the birthdays of artists. It was ment to sent your favorite artist a birthday card, obviously. I remember well how, at the end of April 1967, I went to the bookstore and while still in the shop browsed to this page, curious which artist would have his birthday together with me. Somehow this must’ve meant a lot to me.
Read the Muziek Expres magazine pages here.
There were four birthdays at the 24th. Three of them were complete unknown to me and of the fourth I sort of vaguely knew the name but couldn’t tag any songs to it: Bob Dylan (1941). (click the spread for enlargement).
Our maid knew more, when I asked her about this Bob Dylan. In fact... she again brought her record player together with two of her singles. She placed the record player on the kitchen table and put on the first single. I guess that must have been Subterranean Homesick Blues. I remember well that my mother was quite upset by the music. She roared about blasphemy, disrespect for God and the church and the end of the times being near. She pulled out the plug and I was sent to my room.
Later that afternoon the maid told me that the other song was about using drugs (so that must’ve been Rainy Day Women #12 & 35) and that she thought that my mother was a very oldfashion woman that couldn't keep her temper. A week later we got a new maid that was recommended to my parents by the church people.
In 1970 I bought Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits. The one with the subtitle “Nobody Sings Dylan Like Dylan”. It was at the same time when “Wigwam” was a single.
I had just started trying to play the guitar then and “Mr. Tambourine Man” was the first song I mastered, puzzled by what a jingle-jangle morning exactly was.
About five years later (I owned the regular albums and a few bootlegs) I started to make “mixtapes” of Dylan covers. And I was very, very surprised that, when I met the “real” Dylan collectors in 1981, some of them also were collecting these.
I made a database of my collection and somehow this database got to Dave Plentus who later built his extended website and maintained it until his unfortunate passing away in January 2011.
Five years later, in January 2016, I decided to go further from where his work had suddenly stopped. This website is dedicated to him. It is called NobodySingsDylanLikeDylan because of the first album I bought. I realy like the expression. It sort of explains it all... Nobody sings Dylans songs like he does and that could both be a blessing or a pity.