365 Days of Bob Dylan: January 1 – Musical Hero Townes Van Zandt Dies

Every musician is shaped and governed by two of the must mundane paradigms of the human mind, time and by time and place. Both factor into determine hown art is seen, heard and felt.how they hear, see and feel the piece. Even though he came from immigrant parents, Dylan’s point of view over his lifetime has been entirely guided by his Midwestern upbringing. One such individual whose music would appeal to Dylan was Townes Van Zandt. Sadly, on this day of January 1 in 1997 of what was officially termed a heart attack but, in truth, the musician’s lifetime of drug and alcohol abuse were contributing factors.

Hank Williams

In the early part of the 1970s,musicians began to the two biggest genres together. The whole psychedelic thing was devolving from a search for expansion, both physically to pure hedonism. Men like Townes Van Zandt had the purity of mind and sound that had been lost in the haze of hallucinogenics

You don’t need to be knocked senseless by Bob Dylan’s 1968 album Nashville Skyline to under the influence of country music on the Minnesota born singer/songwriter. His list of country music influences served as a musical backbone for the iconic singer’s sound .Men such as the incomparable Johnny Cash, who Dylan spoke about in great reverence in a piece written for Rolling Stone magazine –

“In plain terms, Johnny was and is the North Star; you could guide your ship by him — the greatest of the greats then and now.”

Or Hank Williams who he praises in an article in The New York Times –Or Hank Williams who he praises in an article in The New York Times –

 “I became aware that in Hank’s recorded songs were the archetype rules of poetic songwriting,” he wrote. “The architectural forms are like marble pillars.”

Given his affection for Cash and Williams and their similar musical styles, it is easy to believe Van Zandt’s wife’s claim that Van Zandt actually turned down an offer to collaborate with Dylan.

Dylan’s celebrity soured Van Zandt from doing any creative collaboration. Drugs and alcohol abuse put further hurdles in the way.. Townes Van Zandt was as lost as everyone else was.