Dylan in the 80s – worth more than a second glimpse… and his thoughts on music and film.

A little over a year ago I wrote an article about Bob Dylan’s “Saved” album which received a wide readership and was generally positively received:


My intention had been to write a similar article about the 1981 album “Shot of Love” and then to go on and write a series of articles or a book about the albums and tours since then looking particularly at Mr Dylan’s use of Old Testament and New Testament imagery but also other imagery he used commonly across many years which helps us to understand and appreciate his work.

Unfortunately, I got bogged down in the article on “Shot of Love” which is still not finished although I keep returning to it and tinkering with it. I hope it will be completed as I think I might have some important things to say but who knows when.

This week, as has become his habit when a new album is due. Dylan’s staff published on his website a new interview he has given to Bill Flanagan:


Mr Flanagan seems to be a writer that Bob particularly trusts and he has given him several important interviews over the past decade. This new one is intended to herald his latest album of standards, the 3-disc set “Triplicate”.

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The continuing adventures of Sarah Jane

Far be it from me to take on the Doctor Who experts on LiveJournal but I noticed that the BBC are repeating the first series of the Sarah Jane Adventures on Sunday afternoons beginning today. Complete stories (double episodes) are being shown each Sunday in the run-up to the beginning of the second series in the Autumn. For my money this is the most enjoyable of the Doctor Who spin-offs and sees Elisabeth Sladen continue her excellent reprisal of her Sarah Jane role which began in the company of Jon Pertwee (the third Doctor, I believe) in the Seventies. Well worth watching.



I try not to watch too much televsion. When I do watch it tends to be to chill out after a long day at work and most of what I see isn’t worth the time I’ve wasted.
This makes DVDs and the new download services very valuable.
Last night I watched the last episode in the second (and seemingly the last) series of Skins on Channel 4’s download service.
This quirky series about the lives of a group of 17 and 18 year olds growing up in Bristol has really hit a golden vein through the last few episodes of this second run.
The first series was patchy. The episode dealing with Cassie’s (Hannah Murray) anorexia and bulimia and attendant mental problems was well crafted but the remainder was inconsistent.

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The second series has also had its unconvincing and confusing moments but the last three episodes dealing with Jal’s (Larissa Wilson) pregnancy, Chris’ (Joe Dempsie) illness and sudden death and Cassie’s flight to New York were consistently moving and funny in turns. Sid Jenkins (Mike Bailey) has been excellent throughout these episodes as indeed he has been throughout the two series.

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The characters have now reached the end of their A-levels and are moving towards the future with lots of built in ambiguities about where this may take them. Let’s hope the writers / directors and Channel 4 have the good sense to leave it this way and not move it towards a rumoured third series featuring the next generation. This road leads to the inevitable catch-up “see what happened to them in three years” time series featuring the original cast or those who are willing to return and should be avoided at all costs.

“Skins” was a programme that I thought was going to be nothing more than a light-hearted series about teenage drug-taking (hardly what we need at the moment). That it has turned into a series with mostly credible characters and thoughtful and poignant moments is to Channel 4’s credit.