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If Not for Bob: A Playlist for Bob Dylan at the Grammy Awards

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Today's a very good day at work. I'm actually getting paid to watch my lifelong hero Bob Dylan rehearse a segment for Sunday's Grammy Awards that will find him playing alongside two of today's better bands in the world whose folk rock roots are showing -- The Avett Brothers and Mumford & Sons. To make my workday even better, some guys named Jagger and Eminem are stopping by after him. I woke up this morning at 5AM, put my iPod on shuffle and the first song that came up was by Bob and it perfectly describes my mood today -- "Can't Wait."

So I thought I should write this playlist today. See Bob Dylan made me want to be a writer -- any kind of writer. I named my firstborn in Dylan's honor -- and no, I didn't call him "Zimmy." I've been honored to speak with my hero on a number of occasions times over the years, and the truth is he's never let me down. Once I wrote liner notes for one of Dylan's albums, and he very politely asked me not to use "any adjectives." You can't make this stuff up -- and please notice I didn't use any adjective in front of "stuff."

Another time in 2001, my hero and I had a two-hour meeting about a project that he had imagined, and that day I realized something about true genius. The real geniuses are way ahead of the rest of us -- hell, I didn't even figure out what Dylan's idea was until a few hours after I got home that night -- if then. Great minds are not linear -- which I was reminded of again when I read Chronicles, Volume One, a remarkable book about a remarkable life. Sadly, "remarkable" is an adjective.

What I did understand from that meeting was that my hero could not have been sweeter to me or more fascinating. I got so comfortable at one point, I found myself -- at Dylan's good-natured urging, mind you -- acting out his less-than-convincing fight scene with Rupert Everett in Hearts of Fire, a 1987 movie anyone better adjusted than a Dylan completist like me me might have long forgotten. When I was leaving Dylan's hotel room that day, the greatest songwriter in history, stopped me and wrapped up some cookies in a hotel napkin for me to take home to my then little kids -- include the one who I'd named in his honor.

So thank you Bob Dylan, for those cookies and for a lifetime of inspiration for me and for anyone else who gives a damn about words and music, and the way the two can come together in the right hands. And sorry about those adjectives.

Here, then, are the songs I will be playing today on my way to work at the Grammy Awards.

If Not For You - Bob Dylan

Can't Wait - Bob Dylan

Forever Young - Bob Dylan

All Along The Watchtower - Bob Dylan

Pressing On - Bob Dylan

Everything Is Broken - Bob Dylan

Jokerman- Bob Dylan

My Back Pages - Bob Dylan

I Believe In You - Bob Dylan

Every Grain Of Sand - Bob Dylan

4th Time Around - Bob Dylan

Is Your Love In Vain - Bob Dylan

Caribbean Wind - Bob Dylan

In The Summertime - Bob Dylan

Buckets Of Rain - Bob Dylan

TV Talkin' Blues - Bob Dylan

Born In Time - Bob Dylan

Series Of Dreams - Bob Dylan

Ain't Talkin' - Bob Dylan

Not Dark Yet - Bob Dylan

If you are so moved, please share your favorite Dylan songs here.