The Wall Street Journal suggests 69 year old Bob Dylan - voice shot even more than usual - ought to hang it up.
Who cares if his voice is shot?
Does anybody actually listen to Dylan for his voice?
Is anybody who really knows Dylan's work surprised to learn he's changing set lists every night, changing the way the songs sound every night, his voice more frequently out of tune and abrasive then in?
He's been that way for a long, long time now.
Last time I remember his voice sounding sweet?
That was a long, long time ago.
And Dylan is a lot older.
And unlike the Rolling Stones, who present a jukebox of hits every night they play, Dylan stays relevant with new stuff, redoing old stuff, throwing in great cover songs.
Listen, I LOVE seeing old guys.
I saw Ian Hunter this April and he was fucking fantastic.
I'm not old enough to have seen Mott the Hoople, but I'm sure Ian has lost a step or two since the Hammersmith Odeon days.
And yeah, his voice is raspy and abrasive at times.
So the fuck what?
I listen to Ian Hunter and Mott records for the music and the lyrics and indeed, even the abrasive voice, and because they're smart and funny and poignant.
And like Dylan, Hunter is still putting out albums, really good albums, and playing those songs live.
That's all that matters to me.
Hunter's less likely to redo songs the way Dylan does, and yeah, he plays All The Young Dudes at the end of every show, so maybe he's not the perfectly analogy to Dylan.
But he's 72, he's old and he's fucking fantastic.
Just like Bob Dylan.
And if you want to hear them like in the old days, then stay home and play the old records.
PS: If you wanna hear some really bad Dylan shows, check out the 90's shows when he was still drinking.
Yikes - some of those shows were challenging!