The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #142469   Message #3289589
Posted By: Little Hawk
12-Jan-12 - 06:23 PM
Thread Name: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
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.