The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #142469   Message #3285346
Posted By: Little Hawk
05-Jan-12 - 01:40 PM
Thread Name: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
That was an excellent and insightful post, Amos.

Pete - Aha! You're an exception. So am I. I'm 63, clean-shaven, not fat, and I have both Martin and Taylor guitars at present...mostly play the Martin HD-28.

I grew up on the North American folk tradition as presented by: The Weavers, Burl Ives, Peter Paul & Mary, Kingston Trio, Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Gordon Lightfoot, Ian & Sylvia, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, and numerous others. Also listened to Donovan quite a bit. And Al Stewart. They were from the UK. Had one Ewan MacColl record I really liked. But most of the people who influenced me strongly were from either Canada or the USA.

Amos has described perfectly the rural American foundation that Bob Dylan's early period of work was based upon....wanderers, labourers, mountain people, cowboys, and intinerant Black blues musicians...all that rich tapestry of the old frontier and prewar America.

It was a very different zeitgeist from the one MacColl grew up with, and it embodied very different styles of manner and delivery. It's not that surprising that MacColl thought Dylan's rough-hewn Guthrie-inspired mannerisms were a load of rubbish...but the young Bob Dylan was absolutely in love with what Guthrie had done. He evoked that style in every way he could because he loved it and identified with it, and there's nothing wrong with that, is there?

As far as I can see, Dylan always played the type of music he most wanted to play because that fulfilled him at the time. It was a totally personal journey, not an attempt to be a leader of some sort. You cannot do better than play the music you love the most at the time, and that's what he did. That music kept changing because he kept changing. He was not content to remain in one single place for his entire life, but kept moving on to new things. That upset people. Well, I think he made the right decision. He was true to himself.

As for those who wish to remain exactly the same forever and ever...there's a place waiting for them in Madam Tussaud's Wax Museum. ;-D