Dave Russo Art

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Human Portraits
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Bugs / Microbes

Covered Bridges
Dominican Ruins
Northampton MA
Ashfield MA
Brattleboro VT

Mayan Ruins
Niagara Falls
Music Venues




Bob Dylan Lyric Illustrations

Stuck Inside Of Mobile

Visions Of Johanna

Desolation Row

Simple Twist Of Fate

Tombstone Blues

Tangled Up In Blue


Like A Rolling Stone

Highway 61 Revisited

Mr Tambourine Man



Highway 61 Revisited

Oh, God said to Abraham, "Kill me a son"
Abe said, "Man, you must be puttin' me on"
God said, "No" Abe say, "What?"
God say, "You can do what you want, Abe, but
The next time you see me comin', you better run"
Well, Abe said, "Where d'you want this killin' done?"
God said, "Out on Highway 61"

Well, Georgia Sam, he had a bloody nose
Welfare department, they wouldn't give him no clothes
He asked poor Howard, "Where can I go?"
Howard said, "There's only one place I know"
Sam said, "Tell me quick, man, I got to run"
Oh, Howard just pointed with his gun
And said, "That way, down Highway 61"

Well, Mack the Finger said to Louie the King
"I got forty red-white-and-blue shoestrings
And a thousand telephones that don't ring
Do you know where I can get rid of these things?"
And Louie the King said, "Let me think for a minute, son"
Then he said, "Yes, I think it can be easily done
Just take everything down to Highway 61"

Now, the fifth daughter on the twelfth night
Told the first father that things weren't right
"My complexion, " she says, "is much too white"
He said, "Come here and step into the light"
He said, "Hmm, you're right, let me tell the second mother this has been done"
But the second mother was with the seventh son
And they were both out on Highway 61

Now, the roving gambler he was very bored
Trying to create a next world war
He found a promoter who nearly fell off the floor
He said, "I never engaged in this kind of thing before
But yes, I think it can be very easily done
We'll just put some bleachers out in the sun
And have it on Highway 61"

by Bob Dylan

11x15" Prismacolor Marker and Micron Pen on Watercolor paper.

Archival ink on acid free paper
11x14" print: $40
8x10" print: $30
5x7" print: $20

Ships USPS
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Synopsis by the artist

In many of these illustrations, I'm projecting my own interpretations and probably miles away from Dylan's intentions. But on this one, I feel pretty confident. Father Abraham was not the only Abraham in history to issue his own flesh and blood a death sentence. I accuse this song of being about the military industrial complex.

Things to know:

  1. The American industrial complex cut it's teeth in the Civil War.
  2. Highway 61 was nicknamed the blues highway because it historically connects Memphis to Chicago. An important NORTH VS SOUTH musical split developed. Sort of like the East Coast West Coast thing in 80's rap. Or the highland Mongolian throat singers vs the valley Mongolian throat singers (I clearly don't know who's going to read this).
  3. The Crossroads (which was not just a movie staring the Karate Kid as a guitar shredder) is an actual place on US 61. Modern American folklore tells us that blues man Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads in order to play a mean guitar. These stories were later projected onto Jimmy Page and others. It's also easy to find similar themes dating all the way back to the Old Testament.
  4. Wartime politicians, not unlike subjects of blues legends, claim motives of divine intervention.
  5. The song was recorded with the musical aesthetic of an old blues tune.

- Dave Russo