Many wonder how artists evolve, how they develop their own "voice." Early in his career, author Hunter S. Thompson typed out parts of Faulkner, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald as a way of trying to get into the rhythm, to understand how those authors worked with words. “It’s basically like music,” Thompson said in an interview with Charlie Rose. It was from there he found his own voice and created his gonzo style of writing
Bob Dylan began by imitating the music of Little Richard and Woody Guthrie.
According to Dylan, “Guthrie was a worthy mortal to imitate.” However while in New York, in the early 60s, he couldn’t get away with playing a Guthrie set because nobody cared. So he began to develop his own repertoire of songs and those songs he imitated suddenly became “Dylanized.”
Bob Dylan: The Golden Years looks at these ideas and more, following his life and music from the early 60s to the late 70s. The documentary is separated into two discs, before and after his motorcycle accident in July of 1966.
The film isn’t as notorious as the 1965 classic Don’t Look Back, directed by D.A. Pennebaker. However it does provide several interviews and contributions from colleagues as diverse as his school day friends and teachers to A.J. Weberman, a Dylanologist, who used to sift through the musician’s garbage.
A common theme throughout the film is Dylan’s consistent metamorphosis into a new Dylan. From schoolboy rocker to folk hero to actor, Dylan travels through many cities and genres. As he once said about himself, “I came out, I’m still here, but I’m a changed man.”