If your wife thinks your record collection is over the top …

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Spencer R, May 22, 2020.

  1. Spencer R

    Spencer R Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Oxford, MS
    Collector owns both of Bob Dylan's childhood homes – and his highchair

    In his teeming Bob Dylan collection, Bill Pagel has more than 15,000 photos, 4,000 concert posters and 18 four-drawer file cabinets filled with manuscripts and ephemera. He owns the Minnesota native’s childhood homes in Duluth and Hibbing, not to mention little Bobby’s highchair.

    Just don’t ask Pagel to analyze the Rock Hall of Famer’s songs, even though he has hundreds of Dylan recordings and bootlegs.

    “I’m not an expert. I don’t try to see if there’s any hidden meaning. I just enjoy the music,” Pagel said. “I’m a collector. I’m also an archivist and a preservationist. I’m trying to preserve Bob’s legacy in northern Minnesota.”

    Obsessive? Perhaps. Dedicated, for sure. Nerdy, you betcha. And unquestionably over the top.

    “I paid way too much for that house,” Pagel said of the Hibbing landmark, specifically $320,000, easily three times its intrinsic value in July 2019. “ ‘End-stage collecting’ is when you start collecting houses right before you’re committed. That’s my demented humor, although there might be some truth in that one.”




    Three of Pagel’s prized possessions came from people who knew Dylan in New York in the early ’60s:

    • Typed lyrics for “Go Away You Bomb,” a 1963 song Dylan wrote for Izzy Young of the Folklore Center that was never recorded. Pagel acquired the only known copy of the lyrics at auction.

    • Lyrics to “Ballad of Donald White” scribbled in a copy of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “Tales of a Wayside Inn,” a 1906 book from a Brooklyn school library that Dylan had on the kitchen table of the McKenzie home where he lived for a few months in 1961.

    • A letter from Suze Rotolo, Dylan’s girlfriend who was at college in Europe, to her mother, urging Mom to stop saying bad things to and about her boyfriend.

    Ever cagey, Pagel won’t say what he’s paid for some pricey pieces. “Let’s just say I could have bought a very nice car, and in some cases more than one car, for what I spent on an individual manuscript,” he
    demurred.
     
  2. thnkgreen

    thnkgreen Discography Junkie and Jazz Addict

    Location:
    Winston-Salem, NC
    I'm wondering what the end goal is with all of this collecting. I know this is going to sound preachy, but I'm already starting to feel like three or four generations from now most people will be like "Bob who"? With everything that is going on in the world these days (specifically unemployment/the wealth gap), I'm starting to wonder why certain people are viewed as worth so much while the rest scrape by. Personally I enjoy a lot of Dylan's work, but I would never spend the sums of money this guy has... for any one person. Seriously, picture.... Graceland 300 years from now... who is going to care? I could be completely wrong though, because I know there are museums dedicated to Mozart, Beethoven, etc. Heck people still visit the pyramids, so what do I know. Just my 2 cents. Rant away everyone....
     
  3. Spencer R

    Spencer R Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Oxford, MS
    In 300 years, people will still care. I’ve been to Shakespeare’s home in Stratford, and, assuming society still exists 300 years from now, people will still visit Bob Dylan’s childhood home. While this guy may be an obsessive fan, and aren’t we all, to one degree or another, I say that he is performing a valuable public service by preserving and restoring an important historical site.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
  4. Maurice

    Maurice Forum Resident

    Location:
    North Yarmouth, ME
    I think you sort of answered your question, at least for me anyway. Of the icons of the "rock era," I think it'd be a safe bet Dylan's legacy will carry through the next few centuries at the very least. And one of the preeminent art museums in Tulsa, OK just recently moved in order to make room for the Bob Dylan Center, scheduled to open next year : The Bob Dylan Archive - The University of Tulsa .
     
  5. thnkgreen

    thnkgreen Discography Junkie and Jazz Addict

    Location:
    Winston-Salem, NC
    I guess only time will tell
     
    Maurice likes this.
  6. Spencer R

    Spencer R Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Oxford, MS
    Agree. People are still talking about Mark Twain and Huckleberry Finn and Herman Melville and Moby Dick, and they’ll still be talking about Bob for a long time to come.
     
  7. Spencer R

    Spencer R Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Oxford, MS
  8. TheGoodDoctor

    TheGoodDoctor Dylan Acolyte

    Location:
    London
    I’m fascinated by the fact he considers Dylan’s highchair as a jewel of his collection. Seems bizarre to me.
     
    Vinyl Richie and thematinggame like this.
  9. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road

    I have no doubt that Elvis and Dylan will join the ranks of Shakespeare and Mozart.
    As much as folks downplay Elvis these days, he will go down as one of the most important figures in music of the twentieth century.
    I personally feel Dylan will also.

    I don't have the money, or really interest to collect on that level, but if someone else does, good for them.
     
  10. sonofjim

    sonofjim Forum Resident

    Make no attempt to “rationalize” collecting. It’ll never make sense to anyone but the individual doing it. I often question my own sanity and yet I continue to buy records.

    It gives us something to always look forward to and makes life more fun. This guy’s just on another level than most. Not his fault really. He’s just fortunate to be able to afford such indulgence.
     
  11. Spencer R

    Spencer R Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Oxford, MS
    The prejudice against artists who don’t write their own material hurts Elvis - and helps Dylan.

    While it’s easy to be a contrarian or a naysayer, it strikes me as a pretty safe bet that, as long as there are human beings interested in American history and culture, there will be human beings interested in Bob Dylan.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
  12. Beamish13

    Beamish13 Forum Resident

    There is a guy in Japan featured in that recent John Coltrane documentary Chasing Trane who is almost, but not quite, at this man’s level
     
    joshm2286 and Spencer R like this.
  13. Spencer R

    Spencer R Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Oxford, MS
    To me, the acetates and manuscripts of unrecorded songs are the most interesting things he owns. However, it appears he is trying to restore Dylan’s childhood home to become a museum, and it makes perfect sense that he’d want original furniture that Baby Bob once sat in. I believe Jimi Hendrix’s flat in London has likewise been turned into a museum. I’ve been to Graceland more than once, and find it very interesting. People can pooh pooh this sort of thing all they want, but it’s inevitable that major rock artists will have their childhood homes preserved just as other cultural figures from the past have had their childhood homes preserved.
     
  14. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road

    Fair comment, and currently true.
    The way modern music seems headed that current bias is very likely to wash away.
     
  15. Sear

    Sear Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tarragona (Spain)
    Who was the owner of Dylan's childhood home?
     
  16. Spencer R

    Spencer R Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Oxford, MS
    Elvis will live on forever as a cultural icon, even if his music doesn’t get all the respect it deserves.
     
  17. TheGoodDoctor

    TheGoodDoctor Dylan Acolyte

    Location:
    London
    I don’t doubt that at all but why the “crown jewel”? It’s got no cultural legacy unlike lyrics, acetates etc

    Hendrix’s flat is indeed a museum, interestingly next to Handel’s.
     
    RSteven and Spencer R like this.
  18. Spencer R

    Spencer R Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Oxford, MS
    I’m primarily interested in Dylan as a musician, so, for me, the crown jewel would be an acetate of an unreleased song, or a manuscript of unrecorded lyrics.

    But some people clearly get off on owning John Lennon’s psychedelic Rolls Royce, Bob Dylan’s baby chair, or Jimi Hendrix’s crushed velvet trousers. Not my bag, but I can see the appeal for others who do collect such personal items from famous people.
     
    RubenH, TheGoodDoctor and RSteven like this.
  19. thnkgreen

    thnkgreen Discography Junkie and Jazz Addict

    Location:
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Honestly, collecting other people's belongings creeps me out lol
     
  20. lightbulb

    lightbulb Not the Brightest of the Bunch

    Location:
    Smogville CA USA
    In this case, perhaps it’s a good thing you’re not Mr Zimmerman....
    ;)
     
  21. Finch Platte

    Finch Platte Forum Resident

    Location:
    NorCal
    I'll wait.
     
    Rick Bartlett likes this.
  22. barking spider

    barking spider Forum Resident

    Location:
    the netherlands
    I bet he is collecting Dylan's garbage as well
     
  23. 131east23

    131east23 Person of Interest

    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Hah... I work at The Andy Warhol Museum and Andy saved everything. We own his archives, and yes it is crazy interesting, probably because he saved everything, even the throw away items that many consider trash.
     
  24. Jack Lord

    Jack Lord Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    The guy collects things related to somebody he likes. He has the funds and a clear love for Dylan's music. I see nothing wrong with it at all.

    Now if it were Milli Vanilli ... :(
     
  25. Anthrax

    Anthrax Forum Resident

    Location:
    Europe
    It's a leftover from the days when the council would grant or deny permission to live there on alphabetical grounds.
     

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