America, Countries, Music

Sing for Minnesota and Prince and Dylan

I’d heralded in the last year with a party like it’s Two-Zero-One-Nine and a celebration of the Purple One’s state. 2021 will catch up so let’s sing for Minnesota and Prince and Dylan.

2019 was special not least because I clocked up more air miles than an astronaut.

Minne marvel: Minneapolis.

But also because Aer Lingus launched its inaugural flight from Dublin to Minneapolis. Unhelpfully, though, that was when I was already on my travels so I’ve still got to check in.

This year will be even better in Prince’s backyard as Paisley Park reopens after Covid and the Mid-West state also celebrates folk poet Bob Dylan’s 80th birthday in his home town of Duluth.

The legends

The King and I: In Vegas

It always comes as a source of inspiration to me that our musical legends don’t generally hail from the glittering cities of the world but rather Mississippi/Memphis (Elvis), Liverpool/Hamburg (The Beatles), Gary, Indiana (Jacko) Barbados (Rihanna) and Minneapolis (Prince) and Duluth (Dylan).

For Prince fans, and the rest of us, the reopening of the sex thimble’s iconic recording studio and home at Paisley Park will have us letting out high-pitched screams.

So what can we expect? A lot of purple (obvs), his wardrobe and yes only a Rock God can pull some of those outfits off while it also helps to have a hairy chest.

The Ultimate

Chest a minute: Prince.

You can wonder at his eclectic elecrtric guitars and pianos… and, er, his ping-pong table and pick up a paddle and play. The table tennis that is.

Three packages are advertised on their site: The Ultimate Experience ($160), The VIP Experience ($85) and The Paisley Experience ($45). And for the $160 I’d want to get behind a Little Red Corvette. Only saying!

Now while Prince was the idol of the Eighties, alongwith Michael Jackson (and let’s face it for all time) the Poet Laureate of the Sixties was another Minnesotan Bob Dylan.

Mr Zimmerman

The answer my friend: Bob Dylan.

Dylan was born Robert Zimmerman in Duluth which is 154 miles north of Minneapolis on Lake Superior. 

Again an unlikely port of call for a Rock God.

The young Robert spent the first six years of his life in the port by the Greatest Lake of them all before his family relocated to Hibbing 75 miles north-west. 

So each have a claim to the Great Man. 

Man of Minnesota

Moothie man: Dylan

And how do they solve such things in Minnesota?

Well Minnesotans and sharing and caring and are celebrating their favourite son together.

Duluth Dylan Fest , the Hibbing Dylan Project, Visit Duluth, the Hibbing Area Chamber of Commerce, Iron Range Tourism and the Minnesota Discovery Center have all formed a band (Dylan reference there) under the title Year of Dylan.

The year will run between Dylan’s 80th and 81st birthdays which will be celebrated both in Duluth and Hibbing. 

It will all get under way at the Dylan Monument at Hibbing High School on May 22, as well as music at Dylan’s boyhood home in Hibbing. 

Who’s your favourite?

I’ll keep you updated as we go along but let’s just celebrate this Mid-West state and sing for Minnesota and Prince and Dylan.





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