by Larry Fyffe
Mauricie and Paul Zimmerman be two of Bob Dylan’s uncles, brothers of his father Abe.
So an analyser of Dylan’s technically-musicless book “Tarantula” might suggest that there’s some auto/biographical material therein:
& men going outside with Maurice who ain't the Peoria Kid (Bob Dylan: Tarantula)
Uncles Maurice and Paul set up an electric appliance business in Hibbing, Minnesota.
And that’s all there is folks, ye sons of vermits!
Instead, Bob Buckley Darwin sails the Jungian seas; he turns out to be a monkey’s uncle who often docks his boat where there are strange, cartoonish parties going on all the time:
Well, I set my monkey on the log And ordered him to do the dog He wagged his tail, and shook his head And he went and did the cat instead (Bob Dylan: I Shall Be Free No. 10)
Parties where men in black masks get saddled up by Asian women who think they’re in the Ireland, the land of of lore:
& she say "yeah man I be a yellow monkey ooweel" & he say "you just folly me baby snooks! jus you folly me & you feel fine!" & she say "giddy up & hi ho silver & i feel irish" (Bob Dylan: Tarantula)
In ”Tarantula”, everything from biblical verses to nursery rhymes merge:
Tom, Tom, the piper's son Stole a pig, and away he run The pig was eat, and Tom was beat And Tom went running down the street (Tom The Piper's Son ~ nursery rhyme)
Perhaps below the royal muse Melodius from the biblical days of King David be happy that Tom Tom’s beaten up for eating pork.
But she’s not amused that Tom Tom escapes further punishment:
Josie said everybody at the trial came with a blow gun ... Tom Tom made Melodius hate him, then jumped from a window (Bob Dylan: Tarantula)
Now that’s certainly not the way things turn out in regards to the worshippers of Baal in ancient Northern Israel.
According to the Holy Bible, the Hebrew non-eaters of “overly-reproductive” pigs regain power there:
And she (Jezebel) painted her face, and tired her head And looked out the window .... And he (Jehu) said, "Throw her down" So they threw her down And some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall And on the horses And he trod her under foot (II Kings 9:30,33)
Nonetheless, Jezebel, presented as the archetypical lip-sticked sow, shows up later in the New Testament:
Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee Because though sufferest that woman Jezebel Which calleth herself a prophetess To teach and seduce my servants to commit fornication And to eat things sacrificed unto idols (Revelation 2: 20)
Indeed! From out of Carl Jung’s shadowy world break loose all kinds of bloodied vampiric themes ~ criss-crossed; confused.
And dark humoured:
... Jezebel the nun, she violently knits A bald wig for Jack the Ripper ... (Bob Dylan: Tombstone Blues)
Muddled up, often humorous, allusions be the hallmark of Bob Dylan’s “Tarantula”.
- Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” gets reviewed by the narrator in the following lines.
(F)inally read the great glaspy - helluva book just a helluva one - that cat sure tells it like it is, not much happening around here (Bob Dylan: Tarantula)
The novel above referred to later on in these song lyrics below:
She say, "You can't repeat the past" I say, "You can't? What do you mean, 'you can't ' Of course, you can" (Bob Dylan: Summer Days)
Jay Gatsby’s line goes, “Can’t repeat the past? Why of course you can”.
The quote from “Tarantula” beneath alludes to ancient mythology (texts from different editions of the Dylan book vary):
Phaedra pounding her knuckles into a piece of water - scratching her snake bites (Bob Dylan: Tarantula)
The Greek/Roman goddess Venus puts a curse on mortal Phaedra that makes her lust after her own stepson.
That mythological story obliquely referenced in the following song – it might be suggested:
Well, Phaedra with her looking glass .... She gets all messed up, then she faints That's 'cause she's so obvious, and you ain't (Bob Dylan: I Wanna Be Your Lover)
Referenced again below:
"(L)ove is magic" says Phaedra - Funky Phaedra - Rabbit dont say nothing - Weep the Greed says "go to it gal!" (Bob Dylan: Tarantula)
Mighty mythology modernized:
(T)here is no more room in the car - phaedra scrowls & she bellows "love is going plumb insane" (Bob Dylan: Tarantula)
Could it be that Phaedra above refers to an actual person ~ alive, outside the book?
No one knows, for sure.
Unlike, of course, the two people mentioned below:
(A)nnette & frankie avalon found in pacific ocean - hands tied behind their backs (Bob Dylan: Tarantula)
- 1: Tarantula
- 2: The Tarantula Crawls Across The Circus Floor and 3: Arachnida Is Dead
- 4: The Bride and 5: The Return of Tarantula
- 6: Everybody loves a critic and 7: Hopalong Bob
- 8: Mad, Bad, And A Stranger To Know and 9: Miss Lucy And Mr. Jinx
- 10: A Madder Piece From Ginsberg Street and 11: The Long Dark Stranger
- 12: More Mixed Up Confusion and 13: Oval Faubus
- 14: A tattletale Heart; and 15: Tarzantula
- 16: Tarantula: “Shake that Spear” and 17: “Hopalong Bob”
- 18: The Tale Of Dale And Debbie and 19: The Golden Gate
- 20: Your Harmless Fate and 21: Thelonius
- 22: the Egotist and 23: The Lord of the Spiders
- 24: Cream Cheese and 25 Davy Crocker
- 26: The Lumberjacks Are Coming
- 27: Lem the Clam; 28: An Untold Production: Tyrantula, The Motion Picture
- 29: The Tarantula Files continued
- Tarantula 30: Oh Pancho Oh Cisco
- 31 & 32 “Too hot to handle” and “Lucien’s Tarantula”
- 33: The ‘Untold’ Movie Musical Extravaganza “Tarantula” (with liner notes)
- Tarantulazarus and Clytia (Tarantula 34 & 35)
- Nadine and the Censor (Tarantula 36 & 37)
- Claudette and Peoria: The Tarantula Files (38 & 39)
- Oedipus and Agnes (40 & 41)
- Zevon and Rip van Winkle (42 & 43)