The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #142469   Message #3285077
Posted By: Little Hawk
05-Jan-12 - 12:27 AM
Thread Name: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
My condolences, Richard! ;-D I can arrange to send you a care package...


Brian May - While I agree that some people sing some of Dylan's songs better than Dylan does (and one could say that of Leonard Cohen and some of his songs too)...I think that Dylan has sung certain of his songs better than anyone else ever did...if you go back to when they were first recorded. The original versions are unbeatable.

For instance:

Blind Willie McTell
Like a Rolling Stone
Visions of Johanna
Ballad of a Thin Man

(just to mention 4 songs where I think Dylan's original version remains THE definitive version)

And the other useful point, which I think you did sort of acknowledge is: If Dylan had not written those songs, nobody would have gotten to cover them. So, thanks to Bob.

Ewan MacColl did some wonderful stuff. I have a record of him doing Robert Burns material. I love it.

But...I think he was a fairly typical tight-assed, snobby, pretentious folk purist of the type I've seen in action ever since I picked up a guitar. They are besotted with their own supposed musical purity and their imagined sublime superiority over EVERY other form of music other than what they call "folk music", which means only their narrow version of it. They sneer down their noses at practically everybody except a tiny little in-group of similar bastards who are playing the same exclusivity game they are. They treat young people and singer-songwriters like garbage, and they perform music as if they were museum curators wheeling out a sacred relic in a glass case.

They are pompous, tiresome, and vain. Most of them are fat, ruddy-faced, caustic men with beards. They infest certain little dimly lit clubs where they make it so unpleasant for anyone not in their in-group to go that they can be assured to have the place pretty much to themselves.

I've seen them ever since I, a person utterly in love with folk music at the tender age of 21, tried to go and play a few folksongs at some "folk" venues where these pretentious gits were ruling the roost. Yes, their contempt for youngsters like me who dared to play an original song....or a Dylan song... or a Neil Young song...or any song not from the UK and not written prior to 1900...was palpable.

A pox on their bloody houses, I say! They are not very likable chaps. May they be dragged from their sodding ivory towers, denied their daily ration of ale for at least a week, thrown into pits full of famished hedeghogs, and then made to walk naked through the streets of Soho to teach them a little humility and common brotherhood.

(wicked grin)