I saw Bob open for Tom Petty in the 1980s, and though they were great friends, it just didn’t seem right.
It’s because Bob can get on stage with lesser-known talent and blow them away with his harp!
Here’s his Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat from his acclaimed 1966 album, Blonde on Blonde:
Dylan’s lyrics affectionately ridicule a female “fashion victim” who wears a leopard-skin pillbox hat. The pillbox hat was a fashionable ladies’ hat in the United States in the early to mid-1960s, most famously worn by Jacqueline Kennedy. Dylan satirically crosses this accessory’s high-fashion image with leopard-skin material, perceived as more downmarket and vulgar. The song was also written and released after pillbox hats had been at the height of fashion.
Some journalists and Dylan biographers have speculated that the song was inspired by Edie Sedgwick, an actress and model associated with Andy Warhol. It has been suggested that Sedgwick was an inspiration for other Dylan songs of the time as well, particularly some from Blonde on Blonde.
The song melodically and lyrically resembles Lightnin’ Hopkins’s “Automobile Blues”, with Dylan’s opening line of “Well, I see you got your brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat,” echoing Hopkins’s “I saw you riding ’round in your brand new automobile,” and the repeated line of “…brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat,” melodically descending in the same manner of the Hopkins refrain “…in your brand new fast car”. The Dylan reference to “the garage door” in the final verse of “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat” may also be an allusion to the automobile of Hopkins’s song.