34 Comments#AtoZChallenge 2017, #MusicalMemories, Memoir, Music, Writing/Blogging

Musical Memories #AtoZChallenge 2017

Welcome everyone, to the
#AtoZChallenge Blogging Extravaganza, where hundreds of bloggers publish 26 posts in 30 days, one for each letter of the alphabet, covering a myriad of topics! “Musical Memories” is my theme. Click HERE to see all posts and HERE to view the A to Z Blog. Please support our efforts by visiting, sharing and commenting. We have all worked long and hard on this project. Have fun and thanks for reading!

Day 11, April 13

This one triggers two memories, 30 years apart:
The time: July 1973 and September 2003
The place: Toronto suburbs, Canada

If you read the ‘D’ post, you’ll know that Hubby and I started dating in October 1971. By January of 1973, we knew we were meant for each other. (How sappy, yes?) The following is an excerpt from my article ‘How to Sustain a Love Relationship’, published in 2013:

We wanted to stay together, so I informed my parents that I wouldn’t be following their plan for college. (Yes, a big fight ensued but it was my life, after all.) I found a job to earn my keep. Nothing glamorous; cashier at a bakery, but it gave me some independence. A few months later, my sweetie and I rented an apartment. What fun to set up housekeeping together! Most beneficial; we saw each other in the “real world”, i.e. sans makeup, teeth not brushed, hair not combed, tired, cranky, etc., as opposed to just the “dating world”, where everyone looks and acts their best. We decided to get married in the summer and picked the first weekend of August, almost two years after that famous first date.

I had an anti-marriage bias and this was an impulsive “now or never” type of situation. With only two months lead time, we managed to pull together a formal Italian-style reception, complete with live band and multi-course feast. In the midst of this planning furor, we went to see the movie ‘Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid’. I was intrigued by the fact that Bob Dylan wrote the soundtrack and had a small role in the film. In my opinion, his songwriting ability far surpasses his vocals. It was a pleasant surprise to hear him perform ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’ so well! We both loved the movie and eventually purchased a copy of the Director’s Cut for our home library.


I’ve been a Warren Zevon fan since his ‘Werewolves of London’ days in 1978 and was saddened by his terminal lung cancer diagnosis in 2002. Eschewing treatment, he instead decided to record one last album, ‘The Wind’, with several famous friends, including Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and Billy Bob Thornton. His poignant cover of Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’ gets to me, every time. The record was released 12 days before his death on Sept. 7, 2003. He was only 56 years old.

R.I.P. Warren. ♥

Do you like Westerns?
Is Bob Dylan a good singer?
Do your mourn the deaths of favourite artists?

Looking forward to your comments!


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Debbie D.
Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as "The Doglady". Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal "hippie/rockchick". Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!

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34 thoughts on “KNOCKIN ON HEAVENS DOOR | #AtoZCHALLENGE (K) #MusicalMemories

  1. Sometimes, one must defy our parents’ wishes in order to be happy. How many people abided by what their parents said and are so unhappy. I was sad to hear he passed away and so young actually. I think Bob Dylan’s voice is an acquired taste and he is not my favourite but I do like this song that he sang. Of course I lament deaths of famous artists whether they be musicians or film people. I still am sad that John Wayne left us too early because I consider him an icon and yes, I love westerns!

  2. Another fun post, Debbie. I do learn a lot about music and those times from your posts. Never knew all that about that “Knockin on Heaven’s Door” song as I haven’t seen that movie and knew nothing about Warren Zevon either. Sad he died so young. I feel sad when artists die young like Micheal Jackson and Prince but I don’t get all devastated about it. Just a feeling of sadness that someone great isn’t around to create their musical magic anymore.
    I don’t like Westerns so that’s probably why I never saw this movie. And Bob Dylan is a great poet but that voice. EEEK! Oh well! He is distinctive and unique. Thanks for the musical memories. I’m learning a lot as well as revelling in some nostalgia along the way.

  3. Wow! You have such a lovely love story, Debbie. Seeing your partner in the ‘real world’ is important because that truly gives you the real perspective.
    Yes, I do mourn the deaths of my fav artists. And we have lost quite a few of them in the recent years. 🙁

  4. Lovely to hear how your hubby and you met. Even lovelier the two of you are still going strong!

    Do I mourn the deaths of favourite artists? Where do I even begin? I feel like almost all of “the great ones” are dead! One exception being Elton John – well he’d better not be dead, we need him to sing at all of his friends’ funerals… 😰

  5. I enjoyed your back story. I always enjoy when I read of your past and I recall some instances, from times past, when you have written about them.

    I would never contend that Dylan is a good singer, but some of his tracks are enjoyable. When I listen to “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door,” I prefer to hear it by Avril Lavigne.

    1. I’m glad you enjoy my memoirs, Myke and that they trigger memories for you as well. 🙂 I remember you mentioned Avril when I used this song in a BOTB. She did a good job with it!

  6. Bob Dylan has a lousy voice, but he’s a good singer.

    I do like Westerns, the old half-hour TV ones like “Have Gun, Will Travel” and “Maverick.”

  7. I guess there’s a lot of weight attached to Zevon’s version and it’s the better of the two here. Bob Dylan is a great songwriter for sure but I don’t really favour his voice, so it’s hard to get into his stuff. It’s probably not the best version but I always revert to the Guns ‘n’ Roses cover, as that’s the one I grew up hearing!

  8. I do not know much of Westerns but I am sorry for the loss. Losing a favorite artist is not something easy, I had felt similarly when some senior artists in the Indian Film Industry passed away.
    Launching SIM Organics This April
    *Menaka Bharathi *

  9. Howdy, DEBBIE ~
    I adore Westerns — they are my #1 favorite movie genre, and I have seen hundreds and hundreds of them (and own a good number of ’em, too).

    I dig Warren Zevon, his acerbic wit and twisted sense of humor. I own 4 of his albums but think his self-titled pseudo-debut was the best. ‘Desperados Under The Eaves’ is almost a personal anthem for me. (And what rocks harder than ‘Boom Boom Mancini’?)

    This is a great song, and although I like Zevon’s very poignant version (given the circumstances of his impending death), I still prefer Dylan’s original. Someone once said that “No one does Dylan better than Dylan”, and I agree with that. No, he did not have a good voice — one that could even be pretty grating at times — but his voice was unmistakable, almost like his trademark. And there are so many times where I feel his bad voice is perfect for the song.

    Nice post, Debbie!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    Check out my new blog @
    (Link:] Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews…

    1. Hi Stephen; It looks like your comment posted twice. Was there an error message or other difficulties? Sorry if the website is being temperamental….I remembered that you’re a fan of both Dylan and Zevon, from the time I used this song in a BOTB (Bob wasn’t in the running and Warren beat out a female singer named RAIGN.) I think this was one of Bob’s best vocal performances, but a lot of people have done Dylan better, in my opinion. Jimi Hendrix comes to mind (‘All Along the Watchtower’). It’s a matter of personal taste. 🙂 Thanks for coming by. I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

  10. Well, I haven’t heard enough Westerns to be able to decide whether I like them or not. But yes, I do get upset when a favorite artist dies. Indian ghazal maestro, Jagjit Singh passed away a few years ago. I actually got depressed.

  11. I have always enjoyed this song, and I agree that Dylan made a better songwriter than singer. I don’t know that I had ever heard Warren Zevon’s rendition, but after reading about his cancer and recording, I gave it a listen. Very moving.

  12. I well remember this song, I loved the versions you put on here.
    Great post and memories. It was aewsome to read.

  13. Bob Dylan does not have the type of voice that you would think of as a “great singer”, but his lyrics were star-making. I can understand not wanting to go to college right after high school. I think plenty of people would take college more seriously if they spent a year or more working out in the real world.

  14. Love the Doors and Western movies were a staple during my childhood. Those were the days of Roy Rogers, John Wayne, and Audie Murphy. Zevon’s version gets me every time.

  15. I’m not a big fan of westerns, but I enjoy them occasionally. I haven’t seen this one.

    I agree with you that Dylan’s songwriting ability surpasses his vocals. I often prefer cover versions.

  16. I love westerns but am not a fan of Bob Dylan. And I really don’t think I mourn at all. To me death is something that is inevitable. It is just really upsetting when it happens to someone who hasn’t had a chance to live their life.

  17. Knocking on Heaven’s Door is a great number. Fan of Bob Dylan here 🙂 and agree that his lyrics are just phenomenal! Like the music of old Westerns more than the films themselves I have to confess.


  18. Yes, I love westerns. Bob Dylan grows on you. And yes, I mourn the deaths of favorite artists. I cry, I write, I binge-listen to their music and rope in fellow-fans to mourn with me, so we can reminisce. I love Tom Petty, Debbie! And both versions above are great! The Warren version is more soulful, though. Gosh! Music is so wonderful – full of memories, happiness and nostalgia! Hugs for this lovely journey with you!

  19. Knocking on heaven’s door is a good song. Love the old westerns but I think more than the movie themselves, I liked their theme songs.

    1. There have been some great theme songs for westerns. 🙂 Ennio Morricone wrote some fabulous scores. Thanks for coming by. Sorry, I’m way behind with responses.

  20. Though I used to listen to the Pat Garrett… soundtrack a lot, I’ve never seen the movie. Knockin’…. is one of those songs I kind of hate, but it’s kind of rock and roll tradition or something.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. It’s a pretty good movie and worth a look if you like westerns. 🙂 I was pleasantly surprised by Dylan’s vocals, which usually aren’t that appealing.