Album: Highway 61 Revisited.
If groundbreaking-single, titanic-masterpiece-that-better-writers-than-I-have-devoted-full-volumes-to “Like A Rolling Stone” was the opening salvo of Highway 61 Revisited, then “Tombstone Blues” was where everybody realized that Dylan had stepped up his game once and for all.
A warpspeed whipsaw through hallucinatory imagery, powered by rattling keyboards and Michael Bloomfield’s lightning guitar, “Tombstone Blues” was pretty much the musical equivalent of the punk rock attitude that Dylan was serving up on the album cover. It’s so studded with fucking great lines that I don’t even know which one is my favorite.
“The sun’s not yellow, it’s chicken”
“The geometry of innocent flesh on the bone”
“And the National Bank at a profit sells road maps for the soul
To the old folks home in the college”
Again and again, Dylan returns to the chorus, reminding us that while he’s clearly having more fun than everybody else in the song, he’s still deep in with everybody else.
“Mama’s in the factory
She ain’t got no shoes
Daddy’s in the alley
He is lookin’ for food
I’m in the kitchen
With the tombstone blues”
Even still, he’d better get the hell out of that kitchen ASAP or he’s liable to be impaled by a Mike Bloomfield guitar solo.
Official video for “Tombstone Blues”
My Certain Songs Spotify Playlist: