I'm sure I'm a bigger Dylan fan than Don or Mick but I also don't consider him a god either. But both Mick and Don touched on some things that to me have more to do with his mystique than his fame.
First, not all his songs are great and Mick's body of work point is quite true. Generally I like or dislike a song right away no matter who the artist is. Sometimes I change my mind as time goes by, but generally not. But Dylan...I'll be listenong along to something I've heard a hundred times, never caring much about it, and all of a sudden it hits me what a great song this is. How have I missed it all these years? I know that happens with other artists but none with the same impact for me as Dylan. It's strange for me to swap out good/bad/good bad/ like that, but with Dylan's stuff it's been happening for 30+ years!
Then there's this adaptability factor. Does anyone come up with so many different renditions of their own songs? Besides that, I'm always kinda' amazed at what other styles his songs fit into. Even some overplayed, chauvinistic, piece of crap like "Don't Think Twice" has stopped me in my tracks. If I heard that thing again......THEN, along comes Clapton on the 30 year tribute thingy and it's a BLUES. A lot of that had to do with Slow Hand himself and his tremendous abilities but, damn if it doesn't sound like an old blues tune, many of which were chauvinistic, but now the character sounds both sad and bitter over a lost love, instead of like a flippant, smart ass. Completely different take.
I too love Tom Paxton, Phil Ochs and many others. So many superb songwriters and singers...according to most accounts Dylan made sure he was in the right place at the right time and created his own mystique as he went. I think his self promotional talents are often overlooked. But that doesn't take away from his stature and his huge volume of songs. I always loved those little one liners that Don mentioned above...some saw through them, but to many it just added to the "mystique."
Finally...TO DON MEIXNER: I was more heavily influenced by Patrick Sky than by any other artist of the era. To the best of my filtering ability, I think you and I are the only ones to have brought his name up in the past year. Many years of moving around the country have separated me from my old worn out 33's and all I can now find available on CD (or any format) is the original "Patrick Sky" album. I still do a lot of his stuff but old age has cost me a lot of lyrics. Got any info on this? And what's become of him? Anybody? Maybe I oughta' try a new thread on him. catspaw