The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #142469   Message #3284517
Posted By: GUEST
04-Jan-12 - 04:11 AM
Thread Name: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
I'm not sure it has anything to do with `music'.

I only heard the last 15-20 mins of the programme - and I don't know if Martin Carthy wrote the script for it - but I got the impression that the Critics Group ended up as a vehicle for criticising, with EM as chief critic, where it would become unacceptable behaviour to say `that was nice'. It is a fairly common control mechanism.

And I got the impression from the programme that several of the members of the Critics Group felt EM was the `first amongst equals' at handing out the criticism, while being none too happy about receiving any, which seems to be a reasonably common social structure, particularly with authoritarian socialist organisations. The connection was made to the fact that EM ended up living rather well in the stockbroker belt.

Under such circumstances I'd be surprised if EM ended up liking anybody's music, except perhaps that music from a very small sub-set of his inner circle. Someone like BD would be outside control and therefore `bad' by definition.

The programme showed EM as something of an authoritarian control freak who would even tell members of the group what subjects they should write songs about (and the line they should take). That sounds a bit like subversion of the roots of folk music. I can't imagine one plough boy, back in the day, saying to another plough boy "you must write a song about how terrible the farmer is by next Wednesday," (and with what sounded in the programme like the threat of a `black mark' against your name if you failed).