Matt Steichen Pulls Back the Curtain on Bob Dylan & His Fans
The 2023 Duluth Dylan Fest was filled with memorable moments again this year. In addition to boatloads of music we were treated to two John Bushey Memorial Lectures. The first, at the beginning of the week, featured Seth Rogovoy, author of Bob Dylan: Prophet, Mystic, Poet. The second lecture featured Matt Steichen, host of a podcast called The Bobcats, who also delivered a rewarding and insightful talk titled Bob Dylan and his Fans: Searching for Love and Inspiration.
Matt Steichen is also a co-contributor to the newly released Bob Dylan in Minnesota: Troubadour Tales from Duluth, Hibbing and Dinkytown (McNidder & Grace) .
Not only did he expand our understanding of why and how Dylan has been so influential, Matt demonstrated in no uncertain terms how much Minnesota has been in Dylan’s DNA and the values that formed the foundation of his career — and has never forgotten his roots.
What follows is the presentation Matt delivered at Wussow’s in Duluth on May 27, 2023.
Hello everyone. I am honored to be here to talk about Bob Dylan in Bob’s hometown on the week of his 82nd birthday. And of course thank you to the Duluth Dylan Fest committee for inviting me.
I’m going to start by reading an excerpt from an article that appeared in Rolling Stone magazine in 2009.
“Dylan belongs to no city or state. There is Dylan the family man who spends time in California with his children and grandchildren in Malibu, West Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Sometimes Dylan lingers in the Bay Area for weeks at a time, sketching fishmongers and longshoremen. As a New York Yankee fan, he can be found sitting behind first base in the Bronx on random autumnal nights, wishing Mickey Mantle were still batting cleanup. But it’s Minnesota’s north country, which seems to always lie just over the frozen brow of a long-remembered field, where the road still reaches into the void on below-zero blue winter days, that remains Dylan’s touchstone place. That’s the American landscape which has influenced him most. The Great Lakes region is where he learned Mexican conjunto music by way of Polish polka…