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October 22, 1998 - Image 24

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-10-22

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Dylan again atop rock n' roll world

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The Micht Daily Weekend Magazine Thursday, October 22, *8-- 44

University Alumni Association courts larger classes

By Ryan Malkin
Daily Arts Writer
Bob Dylan rolls into the Palace of
Auburn Hills Oct. 28 with folk legend
Joni Mitchell at yet another pinnacle of
his career. His music has spanned over
three decades, 43 albums, 21 films and
he has toured to almost every country in
the world. Yet, from the moment he
began his crusade on rock music he has
struggled - riding out as many pit falls
as periods of wild success.
He can't sing. He can't play, critics
charged from the get-go, even going so
far as to question Dylan's song-writing
talents
But the poet proved them wrong, with
a Princeton University Honorary
Doctrine of Music, a Commandeur Des
Arts Et Des Lettres Award (the highest
cultural award in France a foreigner can
receive) the Founders Award of the
American Society of Composers and,
most recently, a Lifetime Achievement
Award at the 20th Grammy Awards, to
name just a few.
It all started in Greenwich Village in
1961, when New York Times critic Robert
Shelton said the twangy folk singer was,
"bursting at the seams with talent."
Dylan's days of playing after-midnight
sets at camped village joints for $5 a day
ended with a deal with Columbia
Records. The result: his first album, "Bob
Dylan" was released in 1962.
While the album was well-received by
a spattering of New York folk purists, no
one was prepared for what was to
become one of the most famous songs
ever written - "Blowin' in the Wind."
The release of the album "The
Freewheelin' Bob Dylan,' allowed the
raspy-voiced nobody from Minnesota to
firmly establish a foot-hold as one of the
nation's up-and-coming musical talents
and allowed him to begin his ascentsto the
top. Folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary's cover
of "Blowin' in the Wind" went to No. 2
on the pop charts.
Dylan's next major albums wielded
some of the most famous rock songs of
the era, such as "The Times They Are-A-
Changin," "Mr. Tambourine Man" and
"Subterranean Homesick Blues."

But the world proved still unready for
Dylan's next wave of success. With the
release of the longest song ever recorded
on a 45 LP, "Like a Rolling Stone,' -
which reached no. 2 on the Billboard sin-
gles chart-- Dylan now had a larger fol-
lowing than ever.
Thus far, Dylan had been playing solo
acoustic guitar both on records and in
concert. But in 1965 that changed. Dylan
appeared at the Newport Folk Festival
with an electric guitar in hand and per-
formed the first electric set ever heard at
the Folk Fest. As he changed rock histo-
ry, the audience booed and hissed.
After the world had grown accus-
tomed to Dylan's new passion for elec-
tric, however, Dylan quickly became a
folk/rock hero. With the release of the
critically adored smash album "Blonde
on Blonde" came the politically incorrect
"Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35." The
song's chorus "everybody must get
stoned," besides forever assuring Dylan a
place in the heart of all stoners, was met
with sharp criticism from conservative
music critics, parents' and religious orga-
nizations. In response, and rather ironi-
cally, Dylan was quoted as saying "I
never have and never will write a drug
song," in reference to "Rainy Day
Woman #12 & 35."
As controversy brewed, Dylan was
touring the world with his backing band,
The Hawks, today known simply as The
Band. On May 17, 1966 the contingent
played the now legendary performance at
The Royal Albert Hall in England. Due
to a serious motorcycle accident, howev-
er, this was Dylan's last live performance
for more than five years.
Instead of the non-stop touring sched-
ule which he had endured for almost a
decade, Dylan retreated with the Band to
a compound in Woodstock, NY, to recov-
er from his accident. Dylan's work during
his recovery period has recently been
released in the scratchy and melancholy
yet brilliant album the "Basement Tapes."
Before resuming their lives on the
road, Dylan and the band finished
"Planet Waves" Dylan's first album to hit
No. I on the charts.
When Dylan and The Band went back

on the road in 1972, after an almost
seven-year layover from any full-scale
touring, the event's promoter, Bill
Graham, said, "There were over 12 mil-
lion requests for tickets, while only seats
for 40 shows were available."
Dylan's career was booming once
again, but his personal life was falling to
pieces. During the next year, 1975, Dylan
separated from his wife, Sara, and wrote
mature emotional classics like "Tangled
Up In Blue," "Idiot Wind" and "Shelter
From the Storm." These songs were
released on Dylan's second no. 1 album,
"Blood On The Tracks."
Dylan's next record, "Desire" again
topped the pop charts, this time riding the
momentum of the politically charged
"Hurricane." But Dylan's personal life
continued to come apart at the seams as
divorce proceedings were finalized with
his estranged wife.
The breakup left Dylan emotionally
distraught. In his time of need he turned
to God. Dylan, born Robert Zimerman,
had grown up a non-practicing Jew. In
the early '80s Dylan publicly converted
to Christianity and began stunning sold-
out crowds with new spiritual religious
rock rather than their old favorites.
Dylan's Christian fervor produced such
forgettable '80s albums as "Street Legal"
and "Slow Train Coming"
It was not until 1993, when his "30th
Anniversary Concert Celebration" was
released, that his fans began to regain
optimism. Yet even with the help of Tom
Petty, Eric Clapton and Neil Young, this
album did not win Dylan many new fans.
A performance on "MTV's
Unplugged" led to another album and a
new song "Dignity" but failed to make a
big splash. Critics complained his voice
was not as clear as it once was and that he
had not put out any classic songs in years.
Dylan seemed to lack the excitement he
had always shown for studio and live per-
forming, but he surprised everybody in
1997 with the release of "Time Out Of
Mind." fans and critics alike.
"Time Out Of Mind" immediately
gained critical acclaim, but Dylan was
almost not around to enjoy it. Before the
album hit stories, Dylan was hospitalized
in June 1997 for histoplasmosis - an
infection that creates a sac surrounding
the heart. As always, Dylan bounced
back. He was back on the road to com-
plete a European tour, including a perfor-
mance in Rome at the behest of Pope
See DYLAN, Page 16B

By Carly Blatt
For the Daily
A graying fan who goes to football
games in a camper, wears yellow pants
and- other University apparel bought at
the nearest mall. What immediately
comes to mind?
A stereotypical average alumnus may
conjure such an image, says Steve
Grafton, executive director of the
University's Alumni Association. The
Alumni Association is taking steps to
change this image to provide more
appeal for students and young alumni.
"This is not just your father's alumni
association anymore," said Grafton.
"We are becoming much closer to stu-
dent life."
Boasting 105,000 members, Grafton
said the association provides a myriad
of benefits for both alumni and stu-
dents. It offers graduates a way to stay
involved and connected with the
University.
Several thousand current students
also reap the advantages of member-
ship. The special $10 student member-
ship includes "discounts, free meals
during finals, a T-shirt, and a chance to
be matched up with an alumni to learn
about their job," said Kenneth
Blochowski, manager of Student and
Young Alumni Programs.
Gerald Sigler, the programs execu-
tive director, agreed.
"We want to play a tangible role in
creating positive experiences while
(students) are on campus," Sigler said .
As for recent graduates, Grafton
notes that "in the past we have had a
problem getting younger alumni
involved, but that's changing." For one,
the introduction of a young alumni e-
mail chat group has become popular.
Recent graduates discuss campus and
political issues, such as the changes to
the stadium, issues surrounding
Clinton, and excitement about the Bowl
games.
New graduates may benefit from the
networking the association provides. "It
is a liaison to a wealth of resources for
career services," Grafton said. The
association also offers educational pro-

grams, including seminars on how to
buy a first home.
It purchases blocks of season tickets
and splits the packages into pairs of sin-
gle game tickets to sell to alumni.
Grafton said this year 3,000 single
game pairs were sold and 5,000 people
requested tickets.
Members also move up a little higher
on the list of people waiting to purchase
season tickets, said Blochowski.
Younger alumni may be particularly
interested in a new development - a
lifetime e-mail address. "We're plan-
ning to organize a way to have an e-mail
address for life. People would send mail
to your (current University) address and
it would be forwarded to your other e-
mail addresses," Grafton said. Members
would receive the service at no cost. It
should be available in November, Sigler
said.
E-mail and the Internet have also
played a role in the Association's com-
munication with members.
"We have 15,000 alumni e-mail
addresses, which gives us the opportu-
nity to quickly and inexpensively keep
in contact with them," Sigler said. "We
can quickly promote different programs
at the last minute."
Blochowski said the information
superhighway has expanded the associ-
ation's horizons in every sense of the
word.
"People have thought of us as an Ann
Arbor or Michigan contact, but with the
World Wide Web, we can be much more
in touch with alumni who are distant,"
Blochowski said.
It has also accelerated information
becoming available. Last year, 7,400
alumni and students went to the
Rose Bowl through the alumni asso-
ciation. As soon as the Ohio State
game was over, the association was
able to immediately post informa-
tion regarding the Bowl and allow
people to print out the application
and fax it in, Grafton said.
Bowl games are not the only travel in
which the association is involved.
Roughly 1,300 people participate in the
40-50 travel programs offered a year,

ADRiaNA YUGOVICH/Daily
Chris Holbrook and Michelle Henry work to prepare for Homecoming. The Alumni Association works throughout the year to
keep graduates informed of University events.

including a trip to Hawaii for the foot-
ball game this year and adventures to
Europe. Alumni can also attend activi-
ties at the association's Michigania
camp located in northern Michigan,
Grafton said.
New graduates may enjoy all of
these benefits at no cost for the first
year. Seniors may sign up for their free
membership during Senior Days, at the
graduation fair or through an invitation
placed in their diploma. Some 5,000to
8,000 people take advantage of free
membership, according to Sigler.
Annual dues are $40 after the first
year.
Recent alumni also have the
opportunity to join an Alumni Club.
"Clubs are basically an extension of
the Alumni Association. They help
us serve alumni outside of the area,"
Sigler said.
The clubs in each area have their own
officers and dues separate to those of
the Alumni Association. Alumni can

choose to be a member of the associa-
tion and not a club, or vice versa.
Approximately 70 percent are members
of both, Grafton said.
Clubs may help provide an emotion-
al connection as well. "(Clubs) are the
best way to stay in touch with the feel-
ing of being in Ann Arbor," enthused
Andy Hwang, a 1995 graduate and
member of the Alumni Club of Los
Angeles.
Social and networking benefits are
another reason to consider joining a
club, said Hilary Packer, a 1991 gradu-
ate and vice president of the alumni
club of New York.
They "give you a great way to meet
new people. The clubs offer networking
opportunities, a chance to get involved
with community service and an oppor-
tunity to meet a great group of people
that you might not have already met on
campus" Packer said.
Karen Kim, another member of the
Alumni Association of New York, said

the organization even brings
University-style entertainment to mem-
bers nationwide.
"We have gone swing dancing, to
wine tastings, and on a cruise
around Manhattan with several other
alumni clubs," said Kim said. "We
saw the Friars perform in New York,
and we watch football games togeth-
er."
There are 120 official alumni clubs
based in a variety of locations. The fur-
thest location, however, is on the moon.
Three University alumni from the
Apollo 15 mission planted a flag on the
moon and the University of Michgan
Club of the Moon was established.
Grafton notes a final interesting tidbit:
the video on MTV showinga flag being
planted on the moon is a variation on
the video of the astronauts planting the
Michigan flag.
Students can check out the alumni
association online at
http://www.umich.edu/~vmalumni.

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