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Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?

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Stringsinger 10 Jan 12 - 05:20 PM
The Sandman 10 Jan 12 - 05:25 PM
Little Hawk 10 Jan 12 - 05:26 PM
Tootler 10 Jan 12 - 06:48 PM
Jim Carroll 11 Jan 12 - 04:19 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 11 Jan 12 - 05:14 AM
GUEST,folknob 11 Jan 12 - 05:35 AM
MGM·Lion 11 Jan 12 - 06:04 AM
TheSnail 11 Jan 12 - 06:39 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Jan 12 - 06:45 AM
GUEST 11 Jan 12 - 07:55 AM
Little Hawk 11 Jan 12 - 08:47 AM
Trevor Thomas 11 Jan 12 - 08:50 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Jan 12 - 08:57 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Jan 12 - 09:02 AM
Baz Bowdidge 11 Jan 12 - 09:21 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Jan 12 - 10:01 AM
The Sandman 11 Jan 12 - 10:33 AM
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GUEST,grumpy 11 Jan 12 - 12:44 PM
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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 10 Jan 12 - 05:20 PM

L.H. I have learned to mistrust biographies over the years, having lived through the times and met some of the biographees personally.

The angry making thing which really in life is trivial is that Bob Dylan became associated as a representative of folk music, not that he wasn't an important pop star.

McColl was not a pop star and loved traditional music, working to encourage the collection and interest of it in Britain.

Another dubious point is that Dylan purported to write "protest" music without protesting against anything himself. He kept himself aloof.

I am not castigating Dylan for his success, he obviously has earned it, but don't like
the false representation he conveys. He is not Woody despite the early image that he lifted from Woody.

I don't really care what music Dylan wants to or doesn't want to play.

He is another media personality like Elvis, (who I have grown to like), or any other
pop star in the music biz firmament. There is nothing wrong with being a pop star as
long as you don't pass him/her off as a traditional folk singer or even "protest" singer.

There is so much BS in the music business. 75% of it is about the image conveyed.


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Jan 12 - 05:25 PM

'Four or five good songs'? You've no idea about Dylan, have you, GSS?"
yes I have, and so have you, we both have opinions, I think yours are crap,and you think mine are crap. well whats new, lets agree to disagree.
what is a fact is Dylan's dropping of Paul Metser's song, nohing like helping another songwriter, and then there is PaulClayton's song and DONT THINK TWICE


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 10 Jan 12 - 05:26 PM

As far as live performing goes, I think Bob Dylan was at his absolute peak in 1975 on the Rolling Thunder Revue tour. He was happy, energized, and inspired. He was also absolutely sure that Rubin Carter was an innocent man (after reading Carter's book which was written in prison), was outraged at his unjust imprisonment, and did a great deal to help Carter's cause and raise money and legal help for him. He also visited him in jail. That speaks well for Mr Dylan.

Joan Baez, who has always been committed to progressive social causes, has made comments about Dylan and the early protest songs. She says she doesn't buy the notion that he wrote them simply to cash in on a popular political phase. She thinks he wrote them out of genuine feeling for the issues they expressed. So do I. The fact that he wanted to move on from that phase after about 3 years does not in any way invalidate what went before, because he has moved on similarly from virtually every other phase he ever went through. He doesn't like standing still. And I can understand why.


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: Tootler
Date: 10 Jan 12 - 06:48 PM

I would suggest that,in the UK of the sixties, Dylan probably introduced more young people to folk music than Commissar MacColl and his coterie in 'The Smoke' did

True for me. Dylan, Peter, Paul and Mary & Tom Paxton were early influences plus the Spinners & Pentangle. It was through the latter two that I began to discover my own folk song heritage. I only discovered Ewan MacColl later, though I did come across some of his songs through the Spinners and the University Folk Club.


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Jan 12 - 04:19 AM

"I'm puzzled. If MacColl didn't dislike Dylan, why are so many people so determined to prove that he was entirely justified in doing so? "
I'm puzzled too - If MacColl did dislike Dylan - how did that dislike manifest itself? - nothing has been put up here as far as I can see.
MacColl wrote a short satirical article on Dylan for a Karl Dallas magazine 47 years ago, for which he has been accused of despising young people, anti-Americanism, anti Semitism, and jealousy.
Is it too much to ask for evidence for such accuastions? - suppose it is really!!!!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 11 Jan 12 - 05:14 AM

I hate to disagree with Jim, whose collecting I much admire, and whose defence of MacColl I also admire, though I don't always agree with what he says! .... but ... he wanted some evidence of macColl's attitude towards Dylan, so here's some:

In Kirsty MacColl: The One and Only: A Biography by Karen O'Brien, page 26:

Hamish macColl realls once answering the phone at home and being stunned to hear a voice he'd only ever heard singing some of the best-known songs of the sixties.

"It was Bob Dylan, wanting to speak to my dad. But my dad hated Bob Dylan, he hated the Beatles, so he answered the phone and spoke to him in this very snotty voice and basically told him to fuck off - although not in those exact words! he had a big chip on his shoulder. My dad would have been the best capitalist in the world; he would have out-Rupert Murdoch-ed Rupert Murdoch, because he was very competitive. he didn't like the fact that the Beatles were instantly famous when he'd worked at it all his life!"

In Ewan's mind, says Hamish, there were only three kinds of authentic music that were worthy of his approval: "Classical music, traditional folk music and jazz. That was it. Everything else was rubbish as far as he was concerned. That didn't sit too well with either me or Kirsty, because we were both quite into the charts and pop music."

That's the end of the quote. Now I realise that Hamish and Kirsty were the children of Ewan and Jean Newlove, and that Ewan left Jean for Peggy and that the 2 children therefore no doubt had a particular view about their part-time dad, but....

Derek


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: GUEST,folknob
Date: 11 Jan 12 - 05:35 AM

Who really cares what that obnoxious self righteous prat thought?

Wasn't fit to lick Dylan's boots!!!


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Jan 12 - 06:04 AM

Congratulations, folknob, on one of the best-chosen poster-nicknames one has ever come across...


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: TheSnail
Date: 11 Jan 12 - 06:39 AM

Jim Carroll

I'm puzzled too - If MacColl did dislike Dylan - how did that dislike manifest itself? - nothing has been put up here as far as I can see.

A very good question, Jim, which Derek has already partially answered (having got up and put his trousers on I hope). I would also like to know. But it doesn't answer my question as to why a number of people, including you to some extent, feel that the appropriate response is to rubbish Dylan. I have no particular flag to fly for Dylan (although, like Don Wise and Tootler, he was my route into folk music in the sixties) but it's a tendency I have seen before; when somebody takes the name of the Blessed Ewan in vain, start laying into someone else. Some of the people who have come under attack in the past are people I know and admire. I don't want to be forced into an anti-MacColl position when I have nothing against the man. I would rather have a clear, objective discussion of the history of the history of the folk revival that I have had a small part in.


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Jan 12 - 06:45 AM

Sorry Derek - not the point of my argument - MacColl disliked Dylan's music, so did/do many others, including me.
Here Ewan appears to be accused of mounting a vendetta against Dylan - based on jealousy, anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism, dislike of young people....
I asked how Ewan's dislike manifested itself - I provided an example of an article written 47 years ago, you gave an example of his personal attitude expressed at home.
If that's it - what's the big deal - aren't we allowed to express an opinion on singers we don't reckon?
I've never claimed Ewan didn't dislike Dylan's music, I do say that his few public comments on it measure somewhat small against the vituprative hatred macColl was subjected to, both during his lifetime and even 20-odd years after his death:
"Who really cares what that obnoxious self righteous prat thought?
Wasn't fit to lick Dylan's boots!!!"
It seems that NECROPHOBIA STILL RULES - OK, wouldn't you say?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Jan 12 - 07:55 AM

If McColl criticised Dylan for being 'derivative' and 'old hat', then I find that particularly hilarious, in view of his own output.

Where folk music is concerned, if it's not derivative then it's not 'authentic', and the older the 'hat', the better.


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Jan 12 - 08:47 AM

I assumed that the Guest post on Ewan's "despising young people, anti-Americanism, anti Semitism, and jealousy" was basically a joke, Jim, posted somewhat tongue in cheek, and I reacted accordingly to it. It sounded like it was humorously intended to me...although there might be more than a grain of truth in it (aside from the anti-Jewish part).

I say anti-Jewish, because I don't use the term anti-Semitism. Arabs and Palestinians are Semites too, after all, so I think it's a deeply misleading and patently dishonest term that should be consigned to the trash barrel of political history).


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: Trevor Thomas
Date: 11 Jan 12 - 08:50 AM

Guest post above (7.55) was me.


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Jan 12 - 08:57 AM

"....start laying into someone else."
Is this anywhere near an accurate description of what happens in these arguments Brian?
I have been witnessing atacks on MacColl - both as an individual and as an artist - for the 50 years I have been listening to his singing.
Any arguments I have taken part in have usually centered on misrepresentation, deliberate or otherwise, of what he said and what he believed about folk music; attempts to contradict and correct these usually culminating in such predictable crassness as "takes the name of the Blessed Ewan in vain".
Here I have responded as best I can to the question in hand "Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?"; if I have not managed to match your level of cutting-edge debate, my apologies; we do what we can with what the good lord gave us.
Any opinion I have offered about Dylan's music, here or elsewhere, have been based on how I feel about him as a performer and nothing whatever about how I feel about MacColl; I don't belive I have ever sunk to the level that some of the postings on any of these threads - correct me if I have.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Jan 12 - 09:02 AM

Sorry LH - cross posted
"basically a joke" - sorry, didn't strike me as such, but there again, I never did find Bernard Manning particularly funny
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: Baz Bowdidge
Date: 11 Jan 12 - 09:21 AM

>for the 50 years I have been listening to his singing<
Ten minutes is enough for me Jim.
(worsened by that out-of-tune guitar)
Baz


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Jan 12 - 10:01 AM

"Ten minutes is enough for me Jim."
Takes all kinds Baz - leaves me to wonder about the fact that The Singers Club was crammed to the gunn'ls every night MacColl and Seeger performed there, and if you were out of London, you stood in a queue to hear them - and Ewan's albumms are still being issued 20 odd years after he stopped making them.
Thought somebody had alread dealt with Peggy's musicianship - must have different ideas about 'tuning'
Perhaps you could point out exactly where her guitar, banjo, autoharp, dulcimer, citern, concertina... or whatever she turned her hand to, was out of tune - sounded fine to me in November, when we saw her.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Jan 12 - 10:33 AM

nothing wrong here, in fact a wonderful version of the golden ball, baz if you can do better please demonstrate otherwise be quiethttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8ZFVD7qkRU


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Jan 12 - 10:36 AM

the golden ball starts, 23 46, no out of tune guitar in fact her playing is tasteful


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Jan 12 - 10:41 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Pxr_m4801Q&feature=related
ewan with his mother and peggy


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Jan 12 - 12:15 PM

Jim - Who is Bernard Manning?


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Jan 12 - 12:22 PM

"Jim - Who is Bernard Manning? "
Sorry - thought you were one of us.
He's a foul-mouthed racist English comedian who bad-mouths everbody who isn't a white, Anglo-Saxon
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: GUEST,grumpy
Date: 11 Jan 12 - 12:44 PM

Bernard Manning died in 2007, Jim.


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Jan 12 - 01:15 PM

Sounds like he was a thoroughly unpleasant chap, Jim. ;-D I wonder if he was related to Mrs Olive Whatnoll?

North America is polluted with a host of obnoxious and vulgar so-called "comedians", people who have built a lucrative career on spewing bad language and showing a total lack of respect for virtually everyone, so don't think that you in the UK must suffer this sort of abuse alone. Solidarity, I say! Let's join together in stamping out this creeping blight upon humanity.


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: David C. Carter
Date: 11 Jan 12 - 02:40 PM

LH,Roy'Chubby'Brown is just as bad,if not worse.

They're both on Youtube.





Bob Dyluded


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Jan 12 - 02:47 PM

Oh? Well, I guess I'll have to take a look at that. I'll have a stiff drink first, eh? ;-)

*****

A question for the Dylan critics here. What is the main underlying theme of the entire album "Blonde on Blonde"? Discuss at some length and give us your views.


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: TheSnail
Date: 11 Jan 12 - 05:54 PM

Jim Carroll

"....start laying into someone else."
Is this anywhere near an accurate description of what happens in these arguments Brian?


Yes. (It's Bryan by the way.)

I have been witnessing atacks on MacColl - both as an individual and as an artist - for the 50 years I have been listening to his singing.

So why do people attack him? I'd be interested to find out. As I have said, I never met him or heard him perform but I know several people who did and I have to say that they are not entirely unstinting with their praise (I think that made sense). For instance, one chap I know said that he found him, to say the least, "difficult" but that to sit across a kitchen table from him while he sang was a wonderful experience.

Any arguments I have taken part in have usually centered on misrepresentation, deliberate or otherwise, of what he said and what he believed about folk music; attempts to contradict and correct these usually culminating in such predictable crassness as "takes the name of the Blessed Ewan in vain".

I'm sorry, but that's the way it comes over. His supporters seem to regard him with a sort of reverence; his detractors, as the Devil Incarnate. I'd like to know the truth. I suspect he may have aspects of both. I'd like to find out about the real man.

Here I have responded as best I can to the question in hand "Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?"

No you haven't. You have simply denied any evidence put before you. You brush aside Derek Schofield's comments and completely ignore what Frankie Armstrong said in the programme while placing heavy emphasis on the trolls "scratch" and "folknob" (probably the same person) because they provide easy targets. Nobody has supported what they say.

if I have not managed to match your level of cutting-edge debate, my apologies; we do what we can with what the good lord gave us.

Who's being snide now?

Any opinion I have offered about Dylan's music, here or elsewhere, have been based on how I feel about him as a performer and nothing whatever about how I feel about MacColl;

So what is it's relevance to this thread? How does what you think about Dylan have any bearing on what MacColl thought about him?

I don't belive I have ever sunk to the level that some of the postings on any of these threads - correct me if I have.

No, you haven't, but several people have and you've added your thrupence worth. My original post wasn't particularly aimed at you. On the other hand, you can be pretty vicious when it suits you. Alex Campbell had his problems. The only time I saw him he announced during the second half "You may think I'm inebriated. I'm not. I'm as pissed as a fart in a bottle." and he was. Be that as it may and passing over the motives and emotions that we will probably never know, he made an extraordinarily generous act in marrying Peggy Seeger. If it were not for that, she would have been sent back to the USA or possibly rendered stateless and the whole history of the Critics Group and the revival might have been very different. Despite that, you seem to have nothing but contempt for the man. Look to your own prejudices.


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Jan 12 - 06:00 PM

"You may think I'm inebriated. I'm not. I'm as pissed as a fart in a bottle."


LOL!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: Joe_F
Date: 11 Jan 12 - 06:33 PM

Calling his marrying Peggy Seeger a "generous" act strikes me as an ungenerous (not to say ungallant) remark. It is also at variance with the sequence of events depicted in this article.


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: TheSnail
Date: 11 Jan 12 - 06:49 PM

Sorry, Joe, but you've lost me. My only implication was that, for helping out in this way, Alex Campbell deserved more respect than he appeared to be getting.


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Jan 12 - 03:50 AM

Bryan (sorry, I know that's the spelling - memory lapse)
No - it certainly isn't a fair description of what happens in pro-anti MacColl arguments - not in my experience anyway. Every one I have witnessed or been involved in has bogged down in personality; I can not recall one single argument which has extended beyond the 'legend of Jimmy Miller' stage.
"So why do people attack him? "
Why did John Brune attempt to sabotage the most influential Radio Ballads - 'The Travelling People' by attempting to include recordings of fake traditional singers (as described by Sheila Stewart in a Living Tradition interview?)
Why has it been consistently claimed that MacColl didn't write Shoals of Herring or Freeborn Man, but stole them from traditional singers and copyrighted them?
Why was it suggested that The Radio Ballads were the creations of Charles Parker and Ewan and Peggy merely wrote the songs (while at the same time claiming that until Parker prsented MacColl to the public he was an unknown and insignificant singer)?
Why is it virtually impossible to get a discussion going on MacColl's work and ideas without getting totally sidetracked by personal attacks, as has happened on this forum over and over again?
You tell me.
"No you haven't."
Yes I have - we can go on with this forever.
I responded to Derek's posting by pointing out that the only evidence of MacColl's opinion of Dylan that has been produced here is the existance of a satirical article written around 1965 (no quotes from it) and a reported private telephone conversation - that isn't "brushing it aside" - that is stating it as it is.
MacColl was one of many at the time who didn't like Dylan's performance (I seem to remember reading Pete Seeger wasn't bowled over by him at Newport). Certainly in my experience MacColl at no time criticised Dylan in public, nor wrote derogatory things of him following the 48 year old one - if that is not true, show me where he did.
You "completely ignore what Frankie Armstrong said in the programme"
I was not around at the time of the break-up of the acting group, so I have no way of commenting on what happened there; my interpretation of MacColl's work on singing comes from my two years membership of the Critics Group and the period following virtually up to his death in 1989.
When I moved to London in 1969 to join the group Ewan and Peggy were generous enough to share their home with me for around a month while I found work and a home of my own - long conversations with Ewan when he should have been working and I should have been jobseeking.
After the break-up of the group, Ewan volunteered his assistance with the London Singers Workshop - another opportunity to see him work up close.
Pat and I interviewed him in detail over a period of six months on his work and ideas as a singer.
We got together recordings of his seminars and what little he wrote for our Singers Workshop archive.
In preparation for my talk at his 70th birthday seminar I interviewd ex members of the group, including Ewan and Peggy on the work they had done and it's successes and failures.
After sixteen years effort I eventually obtained a copy of the 300 hours of recordings of the group meetings, which I have listened to and partially indexed and digitised.
It is all this I have based my opinions of MacColl's work on.
Personally, I don't give a toss whether people share my opinion of MacColl as a singer, and I'm sure the reverse is the case.
I do believe that, for all it's flaws, some valuable work was done by the group that might be of use to others - that is my sole interest in MacColl and his work, and has been for a very long time.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Jan 12 - 04:07 AM

Let me just say that, while Ewan had his faults [he could be unjust and unreasonable, as in his treatment of my friend John Brunner which I have related before, which even shocked the generally easy-going and impartial Eric Winter {see the 'What Did You Do In The War Ewan?' thread}], I regard his contribution to and influence on the Folk Revival, and the folk scene as a whole, to have been overwhelmingly beneficial. I also regard him as an incomparably gifted performer, although I have found that his style and delivery tend not to appeal so much to my younger acquaintance.

In sum, tho, FWIW I most definitely tend to Jim's side in this argument.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Jan 12 - 04:14 AM

"So what is it's relevance to this thread?"
I'm doing this seperately so it doesn't get buried in the above ramblings.
I was never a big fan of Campbell as a singer - that's about it as far as that side of things go.
I was somewhat taken aback when I heard him taking up time in a discussion on the future of the revival by complaining about young singers being paid the same fees as he was (dating the remarks, this would have included new singers such as Carthy and The Watersons) - not directly relevant to this.
I am fully aware of Campbell's generosity towards Peggy - it was me who pointed it out in my quote from 'Class Act'
The only real gripe I have with Alex Campbell's attitude,which I believe touches on every discussion about MacColl, was his persistant "near enough for folk" comment which I heard every time I saw him perform in public.
Even here, I'm prepared to accept, as has been argued, that it was a joke, but it is a philosophy which I believe has been taken seriously by others and has come to dominate certain sections of the revival to its detriment - open up threads such as "Are standards necessary" if you dispute this.
I have no strong opinions of Campbell one way or the other beyond this influence, which runs totally counter to my own feelings on the singing of folk songs.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Jan 12 - 07:05 AM

I agree with MGM.
"Hamish macColl realls once answering the phone at home and being stunned to hear a voice he'd only ever heard singing some of the best-known songs of the sixties.

"It was Bob Dylan, wanting to speak to my dad. But my dad hated Bob Dylan, he hated the Beatles, so he answered the phone and spoke to him in this very snotty voice and basically told him to fuck off - although not in those exact words! he had a big chip on his shoulder. My dad would have been the best capitalist in the world; he would have out-Rupert Murdoch-ed Rupert Murdoch, because he was very competitive. he didn't like the fact that the Beatles were instantly famous when he'd worked at it all his life!"
The above statement tells me more about Hamish, why would Ewan make a good capatalist, being competitive does not automatically go hand in hand with capitalism, one can be competitive, but still see the flaws of a system, and prefer a different system, under a commune system, there is no reason why artists and musicans can not be competitive.
Hamish clearly does not understand what communism is about.
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, stateless and revolutionary socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production.


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 12 Jan 12 - 08:35 AM

Two points from Jim's most recent postings.
1. I am a bit confused about the difference between the acting group (and presumably the singing group) in the Critics. I know the Critics were involved with Festival of Fools and I know that the split with EM and PS occurred after a performance of the Festival, so how was there a difference and who was in which group, and were any of them in both?
2. what Jim and Pat have done in interviewing Ewan and going through the tapes of meetings is very important ... and deserves to be written up and published (on the net if no-one else will publish it). It would be vital in providing the alternative view on the group, and to understanding an important era in the folk revival. I don't know of any other more committed or enthusiastic supporters of Ewan.
Derek


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Jan 12 - 09:35 AM

Derek - after the 1971 Festival of Fools Ewan announced that he was going to concentrate on forming an agit prop theatre group, using song, music, dance, acting... etc.
He invited those who wished to participate to do so, but those who wanted to continue working on singing to become members of Singers Workshop, a group that had been set up earlier by Sandra Kerr to assist newer singers; Terry Yarnell was to act as advisor for this.
Some of us, me included, opted for the singing workshop (Pat spent some time with the acting group, but eventually joined the singers.)
Six months into 1972 we were invited to see 4 short plays produced by members of the AG at the Union Tavern - convincing me, at least that they had made tremendous headway; I still remember particularly Lorca's 'The Love of Don Perlimplín and Belisa in the Garden'.
Apart from this, there was no communication between the two groups as far as I know, until we went to see the next Festival of Fools - it was after this that the acting group broke up acrimoniously - still have no details of why.
More later,
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 12 Jan 12 - 10:24 AM

Thanks Jim ... just re-read pages 212-7 in Harker's Class Act ... which has reminded me of the splitting of the singers and actors and how and why this happened. Harker fails to really mention what happened to the singers, only what happened with the actors. Perhaps these pages contain some of the errors you've noted!
Derek


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: Baz Bowdidge
Date: 12 Jan 12 - 11:15 AM

>Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, stateless and revolutionary socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production<

Leading to demagogue control of the masses so they conform to that ideology and sing from the same hymn sheet.
Quite appropriate don't you think?

Baz


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Jan 12 - 12:51 PM

no... that is state capitalism or fascism, it is arguable whether there has yet been a true comuunist regime,
what occurred in the soviet union was not, nor what was practised in china by mao, one was stalinism the other maoism, neither was communism, although that is what they tried to tell us it was.
so not appropriate at all


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Jan 12 - 01:10 PM

Correct. True Communism has not happened yet anywhere that I know of, except perhaps in small groups for a brief period of time. It hasn't happened at a governmental or national level. What has occurred is, as GSS says, fascism and/or state capitalism masquerading as communism.

Are you saying, GSS, that MacColl was a fully committed believer in true communism? I'm asking that quite sincerely. I don't know all that much about his political beliefs.


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: Baz Bowdidge
Date: 12 Jan 12 - 01:10 PM

So in that case 'communism' wasn't McColl's ideology 'although that is what he tried to tell us it was'.
Baz


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Jan 12 - 02:33 PM

"A fully committed believer in true communism? "
I agree with GSS last statement.
Inspired by being born and brought up in Fredrich Engles' (Condition of the Working Class in Englang) Salford, politically, MacColl was of his time. He, along with a large slice of the left in Britain (including some of my family), believed that they could change the world for the better by aboloshing the class system. They looked on Russia as the first Workers State and Stalin as the guardian of that state (the cult of personality had crept in by then and Stalin was a role model). They dismissed the reports of purges and gulags a "propaganda".
It was during this period (1950) MacColl wrote The Ballad of Stalin, (which was released by 'Stalinist' Topic Records and reprinted by 'Stalinist' Eric Winter's 'Stalinist' magazine 'Sing).
I can still (just) remember the gloom that decended on our house when Stalin's death was announced in 1953. I can also remember the trauma when some of Kruschev's speech to the 20th Congress of the Soviet Union in 1956 began to trickle out, exposing Stalin's crimes.   
After that, (according to Peggy) MacColl grew ashamed of TBoS and never sang it again.
Following the full exposure of what was happening in the Soviet Union MacColl's political efforts were aimed mainly at causes - CND, anti-Apartheid, Trades Unions, Anti-Vietnam - the Chile, Greek and Argentinian juntas, anti racism, anti Thatcherism (gawd bless 'im - Peggy once said that her greatest sadness was that Ewan died when Thatcherism was at its height).
Jim Carroll
PS Suggesting that true communists shouldn't live in nice houses and drive expensive cars is on par with suggesting that all Christians should "Sell what thou hast and give it to the poor"


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Jan 12 - 02:45 PM

Ewan's political views can of course be no surprise considering his upbringing. An early memory, from when he was 9, poignantly related in Journeyman, was of his father Will, on the day of Lenin's death, sitting before the fire weeping inconsolably for hours. He remained faithful to this environment, but did not, as did some, attempt to defend retrospectively the iniquities of Stalinism when they became known.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Jan 12 - 05:45 PM

I too grew up in a household with a mother who was naturally sympathetic to leftist ideals and causes...and to underdogs. That sort of thing establishes a basic foundation of political belief in a child's thinking which generally lasts for a lifetime.


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Jan 12 - 06:23 PM

Okay. Things are slowin' down here. I am going to propose a radical new theory! Listen closely...

My theory is that Ewan MacColl disliked Dylan primarily because of MacColl's deep disapproval of Dylan's choices in men's clothing and fashion accessories!

When MacColl first encountered Dylan he was offended by the worn denim work clothes, the scruffy hat, and the famous leather "barf" jacket that Dylan wore. He felt that Dylan had not earned the right to wear scruffy work clothing like that and that he should also have had the jacket drycleaned! (Joan Baez agreed with MacColl on the latter point.)

Dylan defiantly continued to wear his humble street garb, showing no sensitivity to the pain it was causing Ewan MacColl.

Next, Dylan acquired an ugly little red Swiss mountaineer's cap (a hat which is now in my personal collection of 60's memorabilia). That hat was so incredibly ugly that even Bob really didn't like it much, and he left it at the Village Corner Coffeehouse in Toronto one night whilst attending an Ian and Sylvia show...or it might have been Lightfoot...anyway, he left it there. The owner, Mike Cavendish, gave me that hat a few years back. I'd wear it at gigs, but it's too ugly. And it doesn't fit. So I keep it on the bookshelf.

Anyway, MacColl was so incensed over Bob wearing that hat that he went berserk and busted up a bunch of furniture at the pub one night.

Dylan didn't care.

Later there was the famous motorcycle shirt and the polka dot shirt and the sunglasses!

MacColl was incensed. He demanded an explanation.

Dylan gave him none.

Then there were the "mod" suits, frilly sleeves, cuff links (from Joan Baez), the 35 foot scarf, and other foppish gear that Dylan wore in '65 and '66. And the hair!!! Those upset MacColl so much that he didn't drink for a week! He threatened to go on a hunger strike. He vowed to take "serious action" over it.

Dylan didn't care.

And it just got worse after that.

I submit that the above differences of opinion over what constitutes proper male attire for performers in the folk genre was THE single significant source of all serious acrimony between Bob Dylan and Ewan MacColl.


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: Joe_F
Date: 12 Jan 12 - 06:25 PM

Snail: I am very sorry. I badly misread your posting. I thought, grotesquely, that you were referring to *MacColl's* marriage to Peggy Seeger instead of Campbell's, when in fact you were referring to Campbell's. None of us is getting any younger.


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: Songwronger
Date: 12 Jan 12 - 06:28 PM

Didn't Bill Monroe (bluegrass) call Dylan a "punk" once? Something like that. I think Dylan wanted to do a project with him and Monroe called him a punk.


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Jan 12 - 06:36 PM

Sounds like something Monroe might have done. Dylan respected him. Too bad it didn't go both ways.

Then too, Monroe might have been upset by the ugly little red hat or the frilly sleeves and cuff links! Just think...if Joan Baez had not thought to buy that pair of cuff links for Bob, it might have altered the course of musical history.


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 06:12 AM

"Peggy once said that her greatest sadness was that Ewan died when Thatcherism was at its height ..."

Unfortunately, Jim, Thatcherism never went away - we're still living with it, and feeling its effects, now! Thatcher's most enduring legacy was the entrenchment of the stupid, pernicious ideology of 'free market' capitalism.


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Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
From: TheSnail
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 08:31 AM

Jim Carroll

"So why do people attack him? "
Why...
Why...
Why...
Why...
You tell me.


I don't know Jim, but I'd like to. Poking around some old threads, I have found a clue though. In 2009 you said -

"I agree entirely that Ewan could be bloody unreasonable at times.
I observed it on several occasions, though I have to say I never experienced it personally. Occasionally his pig-headed single-mindedness got the better of him; he certainly didn't like being wrong, but I discovered if you stuck to your guns and put your arguments well he quite often took your points on board (though he was reluctant to admit that you were right!)"


So, basically, he pissed some people off. He told people they were wrong but was unwilling to be told he was wrong. He put people's backs up. Is it all that surprising that some might respond to his unreasonableness by being unreasonable themselves. By his attitude he made enemies.

You end that post with - "None of this altered in any way his (IMO) genius."

Fine. The two qualities are not incompatible in the same individual; they may be inextricably linked. (Isaac Newton was a thoroughly nasty piece of work.)

I responded to Derek's posting by pointing out that the only evidence of MacColl's opinion of Dylan that has been produced here is the existance of a satirical article written around 1965 (no quotes from it)

Yes, it would be nice to get a look at that but I can't really afford to get up to Ruskin College at the moment. Anybody have a copy?

and a reported private telephone conversation

Reported by his son. Are you saying Hamish MacColl was lying about his father?

There also seems to be an issue of Sing Out! where he expresses his opinion fairly strongly judging by the quotes. (Somewhere up this thread.) Again, anybody have a copy?

You "completely ignore what Frankie Armstrong said in the programme"
I was not around at the time of the break-up of the acting group
,

Eh? In a programme about the Critics Group broadcast last week (which you have now listened to), Frankie Armstrong said "He was, at that point, very definitely badmouthing Bob Dylan, saying he was the McGonagall of his age." Do you have any comment on that?

I do believe that, for all it's flaws, some valuable work was done by the group that might be of use to others - that is my sole interest in MacColl and his work, and has been for a very long time.

Really? You seem to be selling him a bit short. Surely there was more to the man than that. Aren't we allowed to know about the whole man?


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