The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #68393 Message #1152841
Posted By: Little Hawk
02-Apr-04 - 12:36 PM
Thread Name: BS: Trying to be somebody else?
Subject: RE: BS: Trying to be somebody else?
I tried to be Bob Dylan for many years and eventually SUCCEEDED! I have been mistaken for Bob by numerous people, even though I look a lot younger and better preserved at this point. I look sort of like Bob did some time in the 70's or early 80's. Some young people approached me after a Dylan concert in Toronto a year ago, and asked politely, "Mr Dylan, could we get our photo taken with you?" I graciously agreed to that. It was very intriguing. Not like they didn't know I wasn't him, but I looked more like their mental picture of Bob that day than he did....just like on the cover of Blonde on Blonde, as a matter of fact, although a bit more cheerful.
I have sung Bob Dylan's stuff so convincingly on so many occasions that I can safely say I AM Bob at those times...some people have referred to me as "George Dylan". I am him without the cigarettes and whisky.
It's fun! :-) Fortunately, it hasn't stopped me from writing a whole bunch of my own songs, some of which sound a lot like Bob and some of which don't sound like him in the least.
You start out imitating people because you like them. In the process you learn a lot of good stuff. As time goes by you begin to discover your own unique identity, but you never forget the inspiration you got from others.
I see nothing but good in that process. Bob was inspired by Hank Williams, Buddy Holly, Elvis, Little Richard, Robert Johnson, Woody Guthrie, and a great many others. Little bits of all of them crept into his music and enriched it as he established his own foundation.
I wasn't aware that Melanie had tried to imitate Joan Baez, but it figures. Just about all the female folksingers were trying to imitate Joan back then.
Many have tried to imitate William Shatner too, but that is simply an unattainable pinnacle of grandeur... :-)