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Should Dylan retire?

ROCK OF AGED: In today’s Wall Street Journal, pop critic John Jurgensen ponders the question of whether the musical icons hitting retirement age would be wise to do just that by looking at 69-yeart-old Bob Dylan, who has been averaging 100 shows a year since 1988. “Dylan has defied the young-genius playbook simply by continuing to roam the earth, unlike Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin” notes Jurgensen. “The result: the somewhat disconcerting spectacle of a rock star acting his age. Mortality has been an undercurrent in his recent music. The song ‘Forgetful Heart’ on last year's Together Through Life album features the closing line ‘The door has closed forevermore, if indeed there ever was a door.’” [Dylan in America author Sean] Wilentz says we're witnessing an unvarnished evolution, pointing out that Dylan hasn't made obvious fixes with cosmetic surgery, and favors ‘old man's clothes.’ With flat wide-brimmed hats and dark suits with piping on his pant legs, ‘he looks like a cross between a parson and a Mississippi riverboat gambler. It's stagey, but it's certainly sedate.’” The most persuasive arguments for Zimmy’s retirement are the illustrations that accompany the story, above. (12/3a)

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