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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Gerry Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs (78* d) RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs 04 May 20

"Normally, I wouldn't comment on the tastes of others, but, as an admirer of MacColl, I have become more than a little tired of someone I knew and worked with, known and admired for twenty years while he was living and, now thirty years after his death, still being dug up for a regular kicking - in my experience, Dylanites are among the worst (something to do with Ewan's refusing to take Bobby's phone call one time)"

Jim, if in fact Dylanites are among the worst MacColl kickers, there may be more to it than any one-time refusal to take a phone call. Here's some of what MacColl had to say about Dylan, in 1965. After denigrating "the present crop of contemporary American song[writers]", he writes:

"" 'But what of Bobby Dylan?' scream the outraged teenagers of all ages. Well I have watched with fascination the meteoric rise of the American idol and I am still unable to see in him anything other than a youth of mediocre talent. Only a completely non-critical audience, nourished on the watery pap of pop music, could have fallen for such tenth-rate drivel. 'But the poetry?' What poetry? The cultivated illiteracy of his topical songs or the embarrassing fourth grade schoolboy attempts at free verse? The latter reminds me of elderly female schoolteachers clad in Greek tunics rolling hoops across lawns at weekend theatre schools."

This appeared in Sing Out in 1965, reprinted in DeTurk & Poulin, eds., The American Folk Scene. It's no excuse for kicking a man thrity years dead, but it suggests that the Dylanites' alleged kicking may have more than a missed phone call behind it.

[Ordinarily, it would be beneath me to draw attention to typographical errors, but I couldn't let this one go by: "Nowadays, I try to avoid discussion of him, but, as far as I am concerned, no public performer is above criticism or comment - if their fans feel they are above and beyond criticism or comment they should confine their activities to their bath and choose only their rubber dick as audience."]

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