Everyone's been noting it for what seems like a few months, but now we can finally say today that Bob Dylan is turning 70. Naturally, it's a good time to spin a few records and reminisce a little bit about the icon. And the web, in turn, has rolled out exclusive features, new "darker side" scandals and even an enthusiastic tribute in AARP magazine to mark the occasion.
As media saturation officially commences, we've filtered out our favorite Dylan tributes and miscellanea. Here's what we thought was worth reading or clicking on as the icon becomes a septuagenarian:
- The First Interview - Rolling Stone has a complete package of Dylan birthday features--if you had to pick one, this is more essential than Bono and Marcus Mumford's musings on his legacy.
- The Birthday Listicle - For sheer length and dedication, we'll recommend the Independent's "70 Reasons Why" Dylan is the most important pop-culture icon. Reason number 4: "Because he invented folk-rock." Sounds about right.
- The 'Long Ago Encounter' Article - The Telegraph's rock critic Neil McCormick has probably been saving this anecdote for the last ten years: "I didn’t actually recognise him at first, perhaps because he bore so little resemblance to the skinny beatnik with the tangled psychedelic curls whose poster adorned my bedroom wall..."
- The 'All My Favorite Artists Are Getting Old' Essay - So, you grew up listening to Lennon, McCartney, Dylan, Hendrix, Aretha Franklin, Lou Reed and Brian Wilson. They all have just turned or will turn 70 within a year. New York Times op-ed contributor David Hadju spins it positively: "Forever Young? In Some Ways, Yes."
- Archive: Rapturous 'Important Person' Profile - As we wrapped up the previous century, Time named him one of the most noteworthy people in the last 100 years with this description: "A series of dreams about America as it once and never was. It was folk music, deep within its core, from the mountains and the delta and the blacktop of Highway 61. ...He put all that together, and found words to match it."
- The 'Never-Before-Seen' Slideshow - Vanity Fair unveiled these exclusive photographs from Dylan's 1975 Rolling Thunder Revue. They include images with the rocker and Patti Smith, Joni Mitchell and Muhammad Ali backstage.
- The 'Early Years' Slideshow - LIFE has the most memorable slideshow of those timed for Dylan's 70th. Peruse images from his first trip to London in 1962, his appearance at the New York's Gaslight night club that same year, and iconic portraits from Woodstock.
- The Deep Cuts Playlist - Authored by The Guardian, this twenty track playlist doesn't attempt to be an authoritative "best of," but revels in the "an occasionally eccentric selection of personal favourites that starts in a listening booth in a basement record shop."
- BBC's Archive on 4 'Bob Dylan and Me' Tribute - Featuring rare Dylan audio clips and personal accounts told by Beat poet Michael McClure, the tribute also includes the rocker's first interview with a radio station. "Oh I think of myself as more a song and dance man y'know," he answered in 1965.
- Dylan's '80s TV News Interviews - A sometimes overlooked time-period in the Dylan canon, this archived clip from YouTube finds Bob musing about his songwriting style: "I don't write songs if they're not easy to write..."
- Indie Artists' Favorite Dylan - NME interviewed a string of shy, British-inflected indie bands about their favorite Dylan song. Kasabian, The Villagers, The Vaccines and, inexplicably, Def Leppard sound off: