Bob Dylan Q&A about The Philosophy of Modern Song and Ronnie James Dio

You might have read Bob Dylan being interviewed by Jeff Slate (paywall version). Well worth reading, if you haven’t already.

Rainbow Rising Stargazer

The Official Bob Dylan Site reposted the WSJ Q&A, which includes this answer:

When you first hear a song, it might be related to what time of day you hear it. Maybe at daybreak – at dawn with the sun in your face – it would probably stay with you longer than if you heard it at dusk. Or maybe, if you first hear it at sunset, it would probably mean something different, than if you heard it first at 2 in the afternoon. Or maybe you hear something in the dead of night, in the darkness, with night eyes. Maybe it’ll be “Eleanor Rigby,” and it puts you in touch with your ancient ancestors. You’re liable to remember that for a while. “Star Gazer,” the Ronnie James Dio song would probably mean a lot more to you if you first heard it at midnight under a full moon beneath an expanding universe, than if you first heard it in the middle of a dreary day with rain pouring down.

(click here to continue reading non-paywalled Bob Dylan Q&A about “The Philosophy of Modern Song” | The Official Bob Dylan Site.)

I lost track of Ronnie James Dio’s solo career after his first two LPs, so I don’t know if he ever played Stargazer live. But in my mind, this epic song is from the band that Dio was the singer and lyricist for, Rainbow, for a couple of records, including Rising, and is a favorite of mine as well. The band was really Ritchie Blackmore’s, he gets co-credit on Stargazer. Ronnie James Dio’s operatic voice is the star, as is usually the case.

Here’s a YouTube version

I can see why Bob Dylan is a fan, there are some religious undertones to the lyric, as well as some subtext of rock star hubris. Or maybe Bob just appreciates Dio’s powerful voice? Or maybe they hung out in New York? Who knows.

Lyrics – Temporary Like Achilles – Bob Dylan was uploaded to Flickr

At the LBJ Presidential Library for some reason (maybe a traveling exhibition, I don’t recall).

The lyrics are slightly different on Blonde on Blonde, but close

Temporary Like Achilles
Standing on your window, honey
Yes, I’ve been here before
Feeling so harmless
I’m looking at your second door
How come you don’t send me no regards?
You know I want your lovin’
Honey, why are you so hard?

Kneeling ’neath your ceiling
Yes, I guess I’ll be here for a while
I’m tryin’ to read your portrait, but
I’m helpless, like a rich man’s child
How come you send someone out to have me barred?
You know I want your lovin’
Honey, why are you so hard?

Like a poor fool in his prime
Yes, I know you can hear me walk
But is your heart made out of stone, or is it lime
Or is it just solid rock?

Well, I rush into your hallway
Lean against your velvet door
I watch upon your scorpion
Who crawls across your circus floor
Just what do you think you have to guard?
You know I want your lovin’
Honey, but you’re so hard

Achilles is in your alleyway
He don’t want me here, he does brag
He’s pointing to the sky
And he’s hungry, like a man in drag
How come you get someone like him to be your guard?
You know I want your lovin’
Honey, but you’re so hard
Copyright © 1966 by Dwarf Music; renewed 1994 by Dwarf Music

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I took Lyrics – Temporary Like Achilles – Bob Dylan on July 20, 2014 at 09:27AM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on April 12, 2016 at 11:50PM