The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #142469   Message #3295415
Posted By: GUEST,Bob Coltman
24-Jan-12 - 09:07 AM
Thread Name: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
With MacColl's set of preconceptions, there is no possible way he could have found Dylan even half listenable.

I myself enjoy and am inspired by Dylan as one of the most vital songsters of the 20th century. But his early days, as represented by his presence after coming to NY and what we hear of it on his 1st album, he had everything to make the folk world hate him. There was little sign then that he was not a poseur, bad imitator, destroyer of perfectly good songs, etc.

He was first recorded before he was ready. He had to grow up and become seasoned in public and some of the results were less than good. In the year or so thereafter his difference continued to be just too drastic. He got a lot of rejection—just like anyone who changes things too sweepingly.

The greatness began emerging with the second album, which began to show he wasn't just hacking around. And it took some people a long time to see it. For example, in my book Paul Clayton and the Folk Revival I quote the late, great Sandy Paton who bridled at seeing Paul carrying Dylan's guitar to a gig, saying flatly that Dylan was not fit to carry Paul's guitar.

My own conversion to a Dylan fan happened, oddly enough, not before, but ~when~ he went electric. What went before had some really good songs ... but IMHHHO he only came into his own as a world-class performer when he had the electric backing and could work with it—one of his great less-noticed talents has been his restless creativity in welding a group of disparate musicians into a dazzling lever for innovation. And IMHHHO not until then were his creative talents fully developed.

Okay, fine, take a crack at me ... but you needed to be there as everything was changing to feel how powerful the resentment against Dylan was, Jan 1961-mid-1963, in the honest hearts of a number of musicians and audiences.

And I say this as an enthusiastic fan who loves the broad range of his life's work.