Happy Birthday wishes to Bob Dylan who celebrates his 71st birthday today. Dylan is still on the road and now features our own Duke Robillard on a 50th anniversary 1962 Sorrento in the touring band. Though critics (all of whom have a job because of Dylan) chide him for his so-called 'never ending tour,' it's clear what the plan was all along---bring rock and roll anywhere and everywhere. That's what Dylan experienced as a kid watching Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee Lewis. And if there's someone out there who might be inspired to pick up where he left off, why not?

For those who go back far enough, in 1974, Bob Dylan reunited with The Band for the first time since their infamous tour of England in 1966. Known as Before the Flood, it was a filthy lucre tour to pay off debts old and new. Dylan--a keen collector of guitars--took along a vintage Epiphone Casino, no doubt in homage to his favorite band, The Beatles, who encouraged his desire to go electric in 1965 though he had already been playing rock and roll long before he hit the Village in 1961.

Over the years, Dylan has also been seen with other Epiphones including a Cortez and an Epiphone FT150 on the Rolling Thunder Tour. Visit Bobdylansgear.blogspot and you'll see a very democratic sampling of makes and models though heavy on Epiphone and Gibson. And what's it all worth? A lot, if you get a song out of it. There is no released footage of the Before the Flood tour but this clip of The Band shot in Woodstock featuring Robbie Robertson on a Riviera (go to about the 8:00 mark) will give you a good indication of what audiences heard in 1974, except not quite as loud. Happy Birthday, Mr. Dylan--long may you run.