The Day Detroit Fell
My name is
Daniel Mackay and I was born in Detroit, Michigan in the early 1970s.
I have one daughter,
one wife, one dog, and many passions, Bob Dylan’s music being among them. I
first got turned on to Dylan’s music in January of 1989 when I saw a film of
Peter, Paul, & Mary singing “The Times They Are-A Changin’”
at the Newport Folk Festival. Mary Travers defiantly shaking her blonde
wind-swept hair from her face, jaw clenched as she sang “Come mothers and
fathers throughout the land / And don’t criticize what you can’t understand”
collided with my adolescent brain at precisely the right altitude. At that
moment, the place that I was from fell away from my perception and the thrill
of liberty beckoned.
Around the same
time, it also seemed like every time I turned around, I would hear a song
that I liked that had been written by this Dylan guy. I asked my older sister
to pick me up some of his cassette tapes at the local music store one day and
when she came home from the mall with The
Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan and Greatest Hits and then, not long after, Highway 61 Revisited, I was hooked.
No doubt because
of Dylan’s influence, I studied English Literature, eventually earning a PhD and going on to teach literature and writing at college.
My dissertation examined both Walt Whitman and also
twentieth-century American poetry.
Long ago, I moved to “the great north woods” of Oregon after completing some graduate work in New York City, where I authored a book on role-playing games (The Fantasy Role-Playing Game: A New Performing Art). In addition to teaching in Oregon, I co-host a weekly Dylan radio show on KEPW (kepw.org, 97.3 FM-LP) in Eugene, Oregon: “Hard Rain & Slow Trains: Bob Dylan & Fellow Travelers.”