On February 6, ten time GRAMMY winner Bob Dylan was honored as the 2015 MusiCares Person of the Year on stage at the 25th annual benefit gala dinner and concert at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles. The award was presented by former US President Jimmy Carter.
"There's no doubt that his words of peace and human rights are much more incisive and much more powerful and much more permanent than those of any president of the United States." (Jimmy Carter)
While Bob Dylan himself did not perform at the gala concert, his songs were interpreted by an all-star lineup of artists including GRAMMY winners Bruce Springsteen (who performed "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" together with Don Was on bass and Tom Morello on lead guitar), Crosby Stills & Nash ("Girl From The North Country"), Beck ("Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat"), Norah Jones ("I'll Be Your Baby Tonight"), John Mellencamp ("Highway 61 Revisited"), Alanis Morissette ("Subterranean Homesick Blues"), Willie Nelson ("Señor (Tales Of Yankee Power)"), Jack White ("One More Cup Of Coffee (Valley Below)"), Neil Young ("Blowin’ In The Wind") and Sheryl Crow ("Boots Of Spanish Leather"), among others. It was the biggest show in Dylan's honor since the "30th Anniversary Concert Celebration" at Madison Square Garden in 1992.
For someone who has spent decades avoiding public interviews, especially on television, it was a welcomed surprise to Friday's audience to be able to experience Dylan's unexpected extensive half-hour speech. It was his longest public statement since his "60 Minutes" CBS-interview in 2004, 11 years ago.
"I'm glad for my songs to be honored like this, but you know they didn't get it by themselves, it's been a long road and it's taken a lot of doing. These songs of mine they're like mystery plays, the kind that Shakespeare saw when he was growing up. I think you could trace back what I do that far." (Bob Dylan)
During the past decade it seems Dylan, now 73, finally has found peace with his own legacy. Never before he publicly opened up in such detail about his life, his influences, other artists and his own songs. With the same warm voice of his latest studio recordings for "Shadows in the Night" and the same verbal eloquence that had delivered some of the greatest popular songs ever written, he carefully read his written-down words,– with a pleased grin on his face, but at the same time with obvious honesty.
What could very well have been a chapter from his autobiography "Chronicles", instantly became one of Dylan's most epic public moments.