Every person who has ever heard any song by Bob Dylan has felt that the American singer-songwriter is speaking to him or her directly through his lyrics. But there are others, like Lou Majaw, who take this feeling to a whole different level. Lou, a Khasi guitarist and singer from Shillong, is now known world over for his Bob Dylan tribute shows.
He was in the City recently to perform a Dylan tribute. Though the tribute could not be as long as he had planned, due to the rains, he performed in high spirits till his equipment finally gave up on him.
A bearer of an undying passion for Dylan, he plans to pursue this music till his very last day. “I’ll never get tired of playing Dylan’s music. The thing is that it gives so much energy and opens a much wider range of views and thoughts. It feels like the windows of your soul are opened!” he tells Metrolife.
Even today, he is known for his crazy stage antics like removing his shirt and playing in denim shorts. While the white hairs on his head may suggest otherwise, his energy certainly defies his age. “Lou Majaw is 65 years young. It is my love for music that keeps me young at heart,” he says with a smile.
When asked about how his musical journey began, he goes into a reverie and recalls that fateful day. “It all started when I heard a Bob Dylan record from a friend, who had a large collection of records. The first song of his that I heard was ‘Blowing in the Wind’. Since then, there’s been no looking back.”
His love for Dylan has carried on as a legacy, since he pioneered the annual Bob Dylan Festival in Shillong on Dylan’s birthday (May 24), which has been sustained since the first edition in 1972.
Since then, he has noticed that a lot more people have started accepting and opening their hearts and ears to Dylan. “When I started, there were very few people who listened to Dylan. My respect and admiration for him kept me going and I wanted more and more people to hear and read his writing, which eventually did happen,” notes Lou. “The beauty of it is that people of all ages listen to the music. He knocks at every door possible, everywhere!” he adds.
For him, Bangaloreans have always proved to be a warm and receptive audience. But what he is impressed by is the number of bands that come out of the City. “I’ve met a lot of musicians from here. It’s really good to know that there’s so much music emerging from here and that people bother to go out and listen to it,” he sums up.