Saturday, February 7, 2009

"The Riot Squads Are Restless"

A couple of weeks ago, My Chemical Romance released their single "Desolation Row," a cover of the 1965 song by Bob Dylan. The song is featured in the upcoming Watchmen film adaptation by Zack Snyder (300, Dawn of the Dead). I guess I'll add my voice to the growing Internet conversation over this...

I loved My Chemical Romance in high school, and even a bit after. Their album The Black Parade (which I own on vinyl) was one of the most important events of my summer '07 existential crisis. Now I'm more of a nostalgic fan, but still think they can genuinely go places. I also love Bob Dylan like I need air. Another Side of Bob Dylan might be my favorite Dylan album (and I own it on vinyl as well), and along with many other Dylan songs, it was a big part of my healing process during my struggles last fall (when I also saw him perform in Park City) with the aftermath of my '08 summer romance. So I have personal reasons for loving each of these musicians in their own separate and different ways.

That all said: I believe that the Dylan fans who are bemoaning the so-called "murder of Dylan" are being melodramatic. Sorry, people - not only is he still alive and walking around, but he actually likes their version. (Even though it's Way, consider that if this was slander, surely Dylan or his assistants would've spoken up by now.) I also think that the MCR fans are being very reactionary, for the most part. As one person has said, it's ironic to note that Gerard Way & Co. remain ever respectful of Dylan and love him, and Dylan himself loves their version. They get along, but their fans are at war.

I enjoy Dylan covers, and I like 80's punk. I'm okay when they're together - and this isn't the first time; The Ramones do a pretty good cover of "My Back Pages" (one of my favorite Dylan songs). It's not an amazing cover and I'm not too big on some of the production elements; I think that some of their live clips are a bit better, in fact. But I still think that given what they set out to do - namely, make a punk-stylized cover of "Desolation Row" that fits into Znyder's version of Alan Moore's Reagan-era - they succeed pretty well. They're brave for doing it and it'll likely introduce people to Dylan. I love both versions in different ways.

1 comment:

  1. Not my favorite song, but I am okay with this cover. I would have LOVED to have bee part of the filming, though. Riot party! :)