The Ship of Theseus

My newest piece is up at First of the Month. It begins:

With Rough and Rowdy Ways (2020), his first album of new songs in eight years, Bob Dylan became the first artist to reach the Top 40 in sales in every decade since the 1960s. In the year prior to the Covid-delayed tour which brought him to Oakland’s Fox Theater for three sold-out shows, Dylan had exhibited paintings in China, offered 180 works for sale on-line through a London gallery, published his first book since 2004, sold his music catalog to Sony for $150-200 million, put up for auction a one-of-a-kind studio recording of “Blowing in the Wind,” which was expected to bring in an additional $1.25 mill, founded “an entire NFT project,” and saw the opening of a Bob Dylan museum containing 100,000 “treasures.” In the 98 days before Adele and I caught his opening at the Fox, he had performed 35 concerts in 18 states, at each of which you could pick up a t-shirt for $40 a pop. These shows brought the total, in what his fans have known since 2008 as the Never-Ending-Tour, to over 3000.