Monday, January 2, 2012

Freewheelin' In The Bronx 1971 (xxix)

After reading the transcript of a telephone conversation between Dylan and AJ (the world’s first Dylanologist)--that AJ had recorded and Rolling Stone magazine had subsequently published—I had concluded that, from a New Left Movement point of view, AJ--in 1971--was a more principled person than was Dylan; and that after 1965, Dylan had, indeed, sold out the Movement in order to become a hip capitalist, corporate media-promoted, multi-millionaire rock star. (Or, as Anthony Scaduto’s late 1971 gossipy biography of Dylan would also indicate, “as big as Elvis,” etc.). And I had then written a protest folk song that condemned late 1960s and early 1970s hip capitalism and hip cultural rip-off artists, titled “A Millionaire,” which was inspired by AJ’s early 1971 writing and Dylan Liberation Front/Rock Liberation Front activism, that contained lyrics like the following:

“Oh, pig Nixon
A millionaire
And Bobby Dylan
A millionaire
And Rockefeller
A millionaire
And Mick Jagger
A millionaire.

“You’re such a phony
Just blowin’ out wind
Makin’ like Woody
To win your million
You made me cry
When I was a kid
But now I’m feelin’
You’re just a rich pig.

“Don’t think we fall
For that `working-class’ shit
Give us your money
And then we might talk
We’re sick and tired
Of your ego-trip
Of making millions
While raising your fist.

“Now it seems to me
It is unfair
That some men
Are millionaires
They steal their money
By various means
Yet sing us songs
To show their pity.

“I’m just a poor boy
Without any bread
I feel all people
Should make the same wage

To rip-off culture
From people oppressed
Is just as bad
As burning their huts.”

And the thought also then occurred to me in late May 1971 that perhaps if I had a "manager" it might make it easier to interest Folkways, Vanguard or Elektra in recording my protest folk songs and folk love songs. And that if I needed a "manager," in 1971 AJ would be the most politically and artistically appropriate person to be my "manager"—although, given my lack of money, I could not afford to pay any money to AJ to be my “manager.”