Author Friedman: Bob Dylan Stays Relevant With Skills of a CEO

Friday, 17 Aug 2012 11:41 AM

By Dan Weil and John Bachman

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Rock legend Bob Dylan has stayed in the game for 50 years because of’ his ability to innovate, adapt, and expand, traits that any entrepreneur or CEO would find valuable; MarketWatch’s media column Jon Friedman tells Newsmax.TV.

The Newsmax Insider is author of a new book about Dylan, “Forget About Today: Bob Dylan’s Genius for (Re)invention, Shunning the Naysayers, and Creating a Personal Revolution.” Friedman notes that after 50 years, Dylan is still touring, never stops working, and has a new album, “Tempest,” coming out soon.

Watch the exclusive video here.

“Bob Dylan has shown us through his example how to . . . keep people engaged, how to stay ahead of the pack, and think for yourself,” the author maintains.

“These are qualities that [would help] any entrepreneur, CEO, journalist, anybody. Speaking for yourself, not sticking with a pack, always trying to innovate, always trying to be different, always trying to expand your audience, trying to expand your reach, trying to break new ground all the time — these are good qualities.”

So how has Dylan, now 71, been able to thrive for half a century, while others of his generation have faded to the status of trivia questions?

“Dylan’s a survivor,” Friedman says. “He’s a careerist in the best sense of the word. He wanted to have a long career. From the moment he came to Greenwich Village in 1961, Dylan had in mind the kind of career, a 50-year career. And he’s still going strong.”
Bob Dylan receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama during a White House ceremony in May. (Getty Images)

The motivation behind Dylan’s work is work itself, Friedman says. “He loves the work. He loves to play music. He loves to play in front of people. He likes recording.

"This man loves to perform.”

Dylan’s creativity comes through in concert when he plays the same song differently each time. “He finds this fascinating, because he has a chance to innovate within the same songs,” Friedman says. “These songs are not to him old hat. These songs are chances for him to innovate and break new ground.”

The author offers high praise for the “Tempest” album “It’s a great album,” Friedman says. “It’s going to be groundbreaking in the sense that Dylan is, again, breaking new ground. . . . I don’t want to spoil it for your audience, but they’re going to like this album a lot.”

Dylan’s voice is impressive on the album, Friedman says. “There’s always been a question about his voice because it’s so rough in concert. But his voice sounds good. The songs are great. . . . It’s a fascinating experience.”

The album demonstrates Dylan’s continuing quest to create.

“Dylan never stops innovating as a musician, as a cultural figure,” Friedman says. “He never wants to stand still. . . . New direction, new music, new style, new vocals, new bands. And the man wants to keep you interested as an audience member, as a fan. He wants you to be engaged too.”

And "Tempest" is unlikely to be the iconic musician’s last album, Friedman says. “Dylan will keep working until he drops and he’s not dropping for a long time, let’s hope.”

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