What to say? Well, not much. I can't sum up what both Bob and his music means to me. And I am not on a big mission to convert anyone. When people say he can't sing; that he never could sing - I kind of know what they mean. I disagree, but I know what they mean. I know that nothing I say is going to change their way of thinking.
When other people try and sum him up it usually bugs me. The phrase "There's Bob Dylan and there's everybody else" probably comes closest, but that doesn't exactly pin him down. Then again he seems to have spent his whole career trying to avoid being pinned down.
Anyway. Bob is 70. If you are interested in a gem of a live performance from 1975, read this blurb below (I pasted it from here.) and then click on the video link.
^ Johnson, Tracy, Encounters with Bob Dylan: If You See Him, Say Hello, Humble press, 2000. ISBN 0-9647009-2-1. Cf. story "1975: Abandoned Love" by Joe Kivak. "On a Thursday night in July 1975, I headed out to see Ramblin' Jack Elliott at The Bitter End in New York City ... Their first song was 'Pretty Boy Floyd,' with Bob singing harmony and his guitar buzzing right along. Then Jack started 'How Long Blues.' After the first verse, he looked at Bob in a way that seemed to ask him to sing a verse. Bob simply shook his head and mouthed something inaudible. When the song finished, however, Dylan began strumming his guitar. But since it was still buzzing, he asked Jack to trade instruments with him. At that moment, everyone in the room was in a trance; it's not every day one gets to hear an impromptu Bob Dylan performance in a tiny club. After a couple of lines, we realized he was performing a new song, with each line getting even better than the last. The song was 'Abandoned Love,' and it still is the most powerful performance I've ever heard."
Happy Birthday, Bob. Thanks for everything.
(What do you mean he probably isn't reading this!?)