One of the most famous eclipses in US History travels along the northern boundary of the United States, where it is viewed by hundreds of thousands in New York City, the last total solar eclipse in that city. 16 years and four months before the birth of perhaps our nation's greatest cultural figure, Bob Dylan. The path begins in Upper Minnesota, with both Dylan's hometown Hibbing and birthplace Duluth, and adopted home of Woodstock ( Bethel New York) in the eclipse totality.
see the path traveling from upper Minnesota to New York City, Woodstock is to the Northwest of NYC
On January 24th 1961 19 year old Bob Dylan arrives in a snowy New York, with friend Fred Underhill. He goes to the Cafe Wha. It is a hootenanny night, and he performs a couple of songs. The Wha’s owner, Manny Roth, asks the audience to provide them with a place to stay for the night.
Dylan tells the crowd:
“I been travelin’ around the country, followin’ in
Woody Guthrie’s footsteps”.
Why Bob Dylan? Born Robert Zimmerman on May 24 1941 to Jewish parents descended from Lithuanian and Russian stock. Probably the most influential and controversial poet/musician since King David. The most significant popularly known entertainment figure in history to consistently incorporate Biblical themes and apocalyptic prophecy in his work. The most fully realized and recognized songwriter of the popular era, and also a musical and world historian. The most famous Jewish Christian since the Apostle Paul. One of the best gospel songwriters of the 20th century. A master of riddles and story, whose techniques resembles the storytelling techniques of eclipses, living outside of and through time. Along with Elvis, perhaps the most simultaneously mocked and imitated performer of all time.An example of maximum expression, which does not imply righteousness, but rather the existence of example in story. His last release in 2020 includes the 17 minute epic Murder Most Foul about the killing of John F. Kennedy. Dylan performed Blowin in the Wind at the March on Washington in 1963 led by Martin Luther King. Injustice has always been one of the primary themes on Dylan's work.
The eclipse distinctly marked the midpoint of the 1920's.
The eclipse path leaves New York City and travels across the Atlantic, ending just after crossing the extreme northern sections of the United Kingdom, thus linking the Dylan Eclipse with the 20th century's other greatest example of maximum musical expression, The Beatles.
All the Beatles became friends with Dylan and their musical expressions helped feed each other's art.
86% coverage in Liverpool
Obviously the January eclipse was about more than Dylan, but it is a great example of personality mixed with cosmic timekeeping.
"I got my back to the sun 'cause the light is too intense
I can see what everybody in the world is up against
You can't turn back- you can't come back, sometimes we push too far
One day you'll open up your eyes and you'll see where we are ....
Just as sure as we're living, just as sure as you're born
Look up, look up-- seek your Maker 'fore Gabriel blows his horn "
Sugar Baby...Bob Dylan
from Love and Theft released September 11, 2001
One of the only total solar eclipses to cross Liverpool in hundreds of years broke through heavy cloud banks to give an immortal show to thousands of Brits.
In the 1920's the British Empire covered nearly a quarter of the Earth's surface.
Within the same time frame as the span between the Hibbing eclipse and Dylan's birth ( 16 years) all members of the Beatles are born in the eclipse path in Liverpool. Within the same time frame of 40 years from time of eclipse, their music achieves maximum popularity. June 1967 is the release of Seargeant Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band
Clearly the path travels over virtually no other populated regions besides Scandanavia and the UK, but nevertheless connects Britain and America- beginning just to the west of the British Isles before traveling a great eliptic path across the northern latitudes ending just after crossing the Aleutian Islands of Alaska.
Beatles songs about the cosmos include: Good Day Sunshine, Here Comes the Sun, Across the Universe, I'll Follow the Sun, The Sun King
Saros Cycle 145. This was to be the last total solar eclipse visible from the United Kingdom until the great Judgment Eclipse of Aug 11 1999. Incidentally , that happened to also be Saros Cycle 145, which then reappears on the August 21 2017 USA Total Solar Eclipse.
"The sense of exaltation produced by such stupendous beauty was so great that when the first pencil of light from the reappearing sun robbed the corona from our eyes, one seemed to fall back to earth through an untold distance, back to the common reality of ourselves, our fellow beings, and the wet sand on which we stood, Totality was ended. "
S. Seeley—The Total Eclipse of June 29, 1927, Liverpool England— writing for The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada
Elvis Presley had an enormous impact on The Beatles and Dylan and three are usually considered together when discussing the most popular performers of the rock era. His very first billed show occurred on July 30, 1954, exactly a month after a total solar eclipse in the USA (June 30 1954) which featured 97% coverage of the sun in Hibbing Minnesota, 75 % in Liverpool and 67% in Elvis's birthplace of Tupelo Mississippi. He sang "Blue Moon of Kentucky". at that show. Other than that, it's difficult to establish any reasonable links between Elvis and eclipses.