Jakob Dylan Has Been Born Again

Bob's Not The Only Dylan On Comeback Trail

Jakob Dylan and The Wallflowers
Getty Images
Jakob Dylan and The Wallflowers

By Seth Rogovoy

Published December 05, 2012, issue of December 14, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

Jakob Dylan may have had his fate set in (rolling) stone when his father immortalized him in song when he was still a child. When Dylan, who turns 43 this December, was 5 years old, old man Bob rewrote the Friday night Sabbath blessing over the children, turning it into a folk hymn that became the all-purpose rock anthem “Forever Young,” with its biblical imagery not-so-cleverly disguising it as a gift to his youngest son (“May you build a ladder to the stars / And climb on every rung”).

Jakob would grow up to be the only one of the brood to follow in his father’s footsteps (older brother Jesse became a video director; older sister Maria married Peter Himmelman, a Minnesota-bred Jewish folk-rock singer songwriter just like dad; not much is known of the other Dylan siblings), making it all the way to the cover of “Rolling Stone” on the basis of his leadership of the rock band.

The Wallflowers (possibly named after an obscure Bob Dylan tune called “Wallflower”). The group enjoyed huge popularity and commercial success in the mid to late 1990s, outselling anything that Dylan pere ever did, before going on hiatus for much of the aughts. The Wallflowers have regrouped and are back out on the road this fall with a terrific new album, “Glad All Over,” their first in seven years. It boasts a revitalized sound and the group’s strongest lineup ever, with founding members Rami Jaffee on keyboards and Greg Richling on bass, recent addition Stuart Mathis on guitar and a new drummer in Jack Irons — a founding member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, a former drummer for Pearl Jam,and a member of the Rock and Roll of Fame.

The album also pairs Dylan up with his longtime musical idol Mick Jones, from the iconic English punk-rock group the Clash. In interviews dating from the early 1990s, Dylan has consistently paid tribute to the Clash as a key influence. Jones was the only Jewish member of the Clash, and he lends a hand here on two tracks: the bright, poppy “Misfits and Lovers” and the very Clash-like “Reboot the Mission,” a musical remake of that group’s rock-rap classic, “The Magnificent Seven,” with Dylan stepping in for the late Joe Strummer. The lyrics, which serve as a kind of manifesto for the newly re-formed Wallflowers, name-check Strummer and note that Irons served a stint with him, thereby bringing it all back home.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.