16. "Positively 4th Street" (1967)
Lucinda Williams: I love the theme of this song: jealousy over artistic success. I've seen it happen. "You see me on the street, you always act surprised/You say, 'How are you? Good luck!' But you don't mean it." I discovered that when I tried to move back to Austin. I started there singing on the street in 1974, and then I tried to move back there later after I'd been in Los Angeles. It just didn't work. Once we were playing somewhere, and I ran into a friend I knew from back in the day, another musician. I was getting back on the bus, and she wanted to hang out – she said, "Lucinda, sometimes I wish you weren't famous." What the hell is that supposed to mean? Jesus. But that's exactly what "Positively 4th Street" is about. I love the way the song closes: "I wish that for just one time, you could stand inside my shoes/You'd know what a drag it is to see you." Those lines feel so good to sing. I've heard that Dylan wrote the song when he started getting famous and he was still living in the Village in New York. Nobody wants to admit that that kind of stuff goes on, and of course nobody knows anything about what it's really like to be Bob Dylan. There's only one of him. And he's so damn good at that.