Frankfurter Allgemeine: In Bob Dylan's Footsteps
By Christoph Moeskes
The tour just does not stop
It is nice in Minneapolis, where the young Mississippi already flows to the south as a mighty river. Coffee is drunk from large, self-made cups, which you can hold on well. There are lakes and jogging trails, and in the Sculpture Park of the Walker Art Center a silent bell that lacks the Klöckel swings. There is also a huge Bob Dylan mural, because the now 77-year-old singer and Nobel laureate in literature lived here for a while in 1959. The brightly colored triptych unmistakably sprayed the Brazilian Eduardo Kobra.
One would think it would go on forever in Minnesota: metropolitan-friendly, tidy and very contemporary. But if you head north, it's all over. At Interstate 35, a piercing wind blows around the gas station. Winter is in the air, a first freezing that will soon be eaten bit by bit from the plains of Canada deeper into the land. Foamed soy milk is no longer available here, instead the gas station attendant puts a thick cap of spray cream out of the can onto the cappuccino.
Here it begins, the "beautiful Nordland", which for Dylan had already moved into mythical distance in 1963. On May 24, 1941, he was born as Robert Allen Zimmerman in the port city of Duluth on Lake Superior. Because the father had polio, the family moved to nearby Hibbing six years later. There Abe Zimmerman worked in the electric business of his two brothers, while his son went to high school, drove like a obsessive motorcycle and heard with his girlfriend Echo Helstrom plates. For most Dylan researchers she is the "Girl from the North Country".
Harbor cruise with thin filter coffee
Heavy clouds hang over the largest of the Great Lakes, which are connected to the ocean with much noise and noise, with locks and storms. Dylan's birthplace is on a glacial ridge on Lake Superior. It is the last corner of an extremely dilute Atlantic, four thousand kilometers from the open sea. In 1001, the Viking Leif Erikson from Iceland is also said to have landed here, say some historians. Is it true? After all, a park on the waterfront is named after him.
Did I really want to come here? Did I really want to turn on the former US Highway 61, Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited"? I have been listening to Dylan since I was 14. At that time, a strangely curled man with even stranger fervor sang "When the Nights Comes Falling from the Sky". It was a mercilessly over-produced disco number. And yet it was better than anything I had heard so far. So my entry into the Dylan Universe began. And at some point I wanted to come here. Wanted to hear the car drive over the Aerial Lift Bridge, over that high and declining iron structure that allows the ships to enter Lake Superior from the harbor. It buzzes and howls like a starting propeller plane when you drive over the iron grid at 15 miles per hour. I wanted to go for a walk in the Waterfront Area with their re-made seafood restaurants, outdoor shops and microbreweries. Wanted to hear about the iron ore and wood that has been shipped from here over the Great Lakes for more than a hundred years - even if only during a harbor cruise with thin filter coffee.