The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #142469   Message #3292118
Posted By: TheSnail
18-Jan-12 - 09:46 AM
Thread Name: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
Hello Jim. deluightful to hear from you again. In my post (which you do now appear to have read although there was no evidence of it in your immediate response) you may recall that I said "I am a little reluctant to pass an opinion on the John Brune incident. I can only speculate. I know very little about it and, judging by past experience, if I get it "wrong" in your estimation you are likely to call me lots of rude names." Whatever could have made me think that?

I won't waste much time on this but there are some things I can't resist.

Jim Carroll

Whatever excuse was given for the squalid stunt, it was not acceptable on any level – you suggest it might have been.

No I don't.

Yes – Brune did blow the whistle on himself, when it was too late to correct the problems his behaviour had caused.

Demonstrably false. The problems were corrected and the programme went out.

it was the cause of Sheila Stewart being withdrawn.

In part. As I said,he wasn't to know that MacColl would ask Sheila Stewart to sing the songs which does seem a fairly strange thing to do. Why didn't he get her to sing something from her own family tradition?

Personally, I didn't find the suggestion that Brune should have sung songs from his own native tradition at all offensive.

No but then you aren't John Brune. You haven't had to flee you homeland to escape persecution. Perhaps he resented being told "You are an Austrian Jew. You should be singing your own songs not OURS."

I think I will treasure for a long time the image of Ewan MacColl trying to tell Paul Robeson that he should have sung songs from his own native tradition.

A great deal of effort has been expended here trying to prove that McColl didn't like Dylan

Not me. I'm just trying to find out the facts.

(very few actual examples of exactly what his criticisms were) - as I asked earlier – so what if he didn't like his singing, lots of others felt the same way? There is no evidence whatever of what he said, when and to whom, or that he or anybody ever made a fetish, or even a regular practice of it.

I know. Frustrating isn't it. What's more frustrating for me is that you, as one of the witnesses of the time, seem determined to put up barriers against finding out any more. That can only arouse suspicion that there is something to hide.

What do we have? We know that MacColl wrote a satirical article about Dylan called "Jack Speedwell". It would be nice to get hold of that. If he wasn't interested in Dylan, why did he bother to write it? Did he write similar satires of other performers?

This quote from him in the September 1965 issue of Sing Out!, "Our traditional songs and ballads are the creations of extraordinarily talented artists working inside disciplines formulated over time... 'But what of Bobby Dylan?' scream the outraged teenagers... Only a completely non-critical audience, nourished on the watery pap of pop music, could have fallen for such tenth-rate drivel." crops up all over the place. Sadly I can't find the original article but I'm working on it.

We have Frankie Armstrong's statement on the radio programme of which you say -

Frankie said what she said without providing examples; I'm not doubting her word

Make up your mind Jim. Either accept what she said or don't. Maybe I'll ask her next time I see her. I could ask Sandra Kerr about it all sometime if I get the chance.

Then there's the published testomony of his son Hamish which you seem determined to ignore.

Why did MacColl dislike Dylan – perhaps he though he was a rotten singer who wrote indifferent songs.

If you never heard him mention Dylan, how do you know that's what he thought?

I cut this one out and kept it till last.

I am aware of Brune's work with Travellers – it seems, on this occasion, his blind hatred of McColl took precedence –nothing new there!

I cant help feeling that your loathing of John Brune stems not from any damage he did to the Travellers (actually none at all) but from the fact that he made MacColl look a bit of a fool and that is unforgivable. But "his blind hatred of McColl took precedence –nothing new there!". That raises a question. Why did MacColl arouse such "blind hatred"? Why was he surrounded by "vicious prickism"? Why was he subjected to "vituprative hatred"? I'd really like to know.

I really am spending too much time on this.