In 1964, when Bob Dylan wrote and recorded his slow and personal acoustic folk number ‘My Back Pages’, he could never have foreseen it entering the bombarding world of punk rock. However, when it comes to the fast and ferocious word of the Ramones, nothing is predictable.
The origins of the song marked a major change for Dylan, a time in which he was growing increasingly disillusioned with the 1960s folk protest movement, singing the lyrics: “Ah, but I was so much older then/I’m younger than that now,” hinting at his desire to move in a new direction.
Referencing his feelings at the time, Dylan told the Sheffield University Paper in May 1965: “The big difference is that the songs I was writing last year… they were what I call one-dimensional songs, but my new songs I’m trying to make more three-dimensional, you know, there’s more symbolism, they’re written on more than one level.” The same year, famously, Dylan shocked the folk world and went electric in a mindblowing performance.
While ‘My Back Pages’ marked a moment that Dylan changed direction, the Ramones decided to rip up the map and totally spin the song around when they put their own spin on the song in the early 1990s as part of their Acid Eaters tribute album.
The record, which is the band’s first and only album entirely composed of covers, pays homage to the Ramones’ favourite artists of the 1960s and references the likes of the Beach Boys, the Who, the Rolling Stones and, of course, Bob Dylan.
Below, enjoy their take on the Dylan number.