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Is This Man An Icon ?

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Smedley 07 Oct 09 - 08:14 AM
GUEST,Mike of Hessle 07 Oct 09 - 08:36 AM
Jack Campin 07 Oct 09 - 08:37 AM
Mr Happy 07 Oct 09 - 08:39 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 07 Oct 09 - 08:40 AM
Mr Happy 07 Oct 09 - 08:46 AM
Smedley 07 Oct 09 - 09:09 AM
Wesley S 07 Oct 09 - 09:22 AM
Dave Hanson 07 Oct 09 - 09:28 AM
GUEST,Ed 07 Oct 09 - 09:34 AM
GUEST,leeneia 07 Oct 09 - 09:35 AM
theleveller 07 Oct 09 - 09:48 AM
Banjiman 07 Oct 09 - 09:49 AM
Jack Blandiver 07 Oct 09 - 09:54 AM
TheSnail 07 Oct 09 - 10:08 AM
DonMeixner 07 Oct 09 - 10:15 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 07 Oct 09 - 10:24 AM
Spleen Cringe 07 Oct 09 - 10:32 AM
Willie-O 07 Oct 09 - 10:33 AM
Banjiman 07 Oct 09 - 10:46 AM
alanabit 07 Oct 09 - 11:13 AM
Dave Hanson 07 Oct 09 - 11:15 AM
katlaughing 07 Oct 09 - 11:19 AM
GREEN WELLIES 07 Oct 09 - 11:39 AM
Smedley 07 Oct 09 - 11:48 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 07 Oct 09 - 11:50 AM
M.Ted 07 Oct 09 - 01:23 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Oct 09 - 01:34 PM
katlaughing 07 Oct 09 - 02:35 PM
open mike 07 Oct 09 - 02:38 PM
GUEST,Joseph de Culver City 07 Oct 09 - 02:45 PM
Don Firth 07 Oct 09 - 02:52 PM
Spleen Cringe 07 Oct 09 - 02:56 PM
katlaughing 07 Oct 09 - 03:05 PM
Spleen Cringe 07 Oct 09 - 03:12 PM
MGM·Lion 07 Oct 09 - 03:28 PM
katlaughing 07 Oct 09 - 03:35 PM
Don Firth 07 Oct 09 - 03:49 PM
Tim Leaning 07 Oct 09 - 04:13 PM
Spleen Cringe 07 Oct 09 - 04:16 PM
GUEST,Edthefolkie 07 Oct 09 - 05:32 PM
GUEST,Gerry 08 Oct 09 - 01:01 AM
open mike 08 Oct 09 - 01:11 AM
Peace 08 Oct 09 - 01:29 AM
MGM·Lion 08 Oct 09 - 01:46 AM
Bryn Pugh 08 Oct 09 - 04:48 AM
Smedley 08 Oct 09 - 05:21 AM
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alex s 08 Oct 09 - 05:57 AM
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Subject: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: Smedley
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 08:14 AM

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8294097.stm

Not too often you see the words 'folk' and 'icon' in a mainstream news story. A deserved honour ? Or is he too far from most Mudcat regulars' musical preferences to be of interest ?


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: GUEST,Mike of Hessle
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 08:36 AM

In a word - NO


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 08:37 AM

He means Donovan, who has been given an award by BMI.

Guck urgh barf.


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 08:39 AM

No he's a man, this is an Icon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icon


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 08:40 AM

He certainly thinks he is!


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 08:46 AM

Donovan, described by BMI as "a man of unfathomable talent", ??


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: Smedley
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 09:09 AM

I see his fan club are all online today.....

What interested me about this story was (a) the fact he is still described as a 'folk' artist when that description isn't really accurate (or hasn't been for decades) and (b) the fact that somebody who made a handful of (to my mind) really good pop singles in the 1960s gets to qualify for such a grandiose title.

Maybe all you have to do these days to get an 'icon' label is to not be dead yet.


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: Wesley S
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 09:22 AM

To the type of people who give away these awards the term "folk" is defined as anyone who plays an acoustic guitar. That's the reality of it - and they won't be checking into the Mudcat to discover the error of their ways.


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 09:28 AM

' A man of unfathomable talent ' means no one knows what his songs are about.

How dare they put this oaf in the same company as Ray Davies ?

Icon ? my arse.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 09:34 AM

No


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 09:35 AM

Thanks, Dave. I've only been up one hour, and I've had a good laugh already.

Also thanks, Mr. Happy. I get tired of people using 'icon' to refer to any schlemiel who got some favorable publicity. Also 'litany' to mean any cliche.


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: theleveller
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 09:48 AM

Well, the 'con' bit's right.


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: Banjiman
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 09:49 AM

Who?

I've just checked with my Mum, she says she thinks she might of heard of him along time ago.........


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 09:54 AM

It was Donovan I first heard sing Child #250 - when I was maybe eleven or so. Quite liked it at the time; wonder what I'd make of it now?


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 10:08 AM

Banjiman

I've just checked with my Mum, she says she thinks she might of heard of him along time ago.........

Does that make him a traditional singer?


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 10:15 AM

I have never met Donovan but I've seen him in concert a few times. Always enjoyable. I don't recall him as being iconic or grandiose, just polite and humorous. Always in key and pretty OK as a guitarist.

Seems to me he is catching a lot of blame for some titles he maybe hasn't asked for and others are foisting upon him.

Don


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 10:24 AM

Icon, well he already seems to be a bit too full of his own self importance
judging by recent Biography Documentary TV shows..

But despite his most dire career killing later recordings,
Donovan does deserve a reasonable degree of respect
for the best of his 60's era pop-folk-rock output;
and recognition for introducing a younger generation to the wider world
of trad Folk and mediaeval & non western styles of music.

He was a significant influence on my young teenage music development back in the early 70's........


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 10:32 AM

This! Enough for me, anyway. A psych-folk classic...

Ducks and runs.


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: Willie-O
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 10:33 AM

Donovan saved my arse once in the 80s. Busking in Toronto, yr humble idiot servant had his car towed (turns out those little tow-truck icon signs mean just that) and was totally broke after getting it back. Mr Donovan Leitch was playing a concert at the Danforth Music Hall so we went and busked the lineup--made some great and much-needed $$. At one point (break time I guess) he came out to the sidewalk and seemed very pleased to see us there doing our thing.

It was my birthday, didn't see his show but made beer, dinner and gas money (other gig we were supposed to have fell through--different story) --I've had a soft spot for him ever since! Liked his early music, especially.

W-O


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: Banjiman
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 10:46 AM

"Does that make him a traditional singer?"

I think I better let others more qualified than me answer that one. Don't try and tempt me into that trap........

I refuse to answer any question that has "folk" or "traditional" in it!!!


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: alanabit
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 11:13 AM

I thought he was a good singer, a good guitarist and a reasonable pop songwriter, who could possibly have done even better things had he been so inclined. Maybe he did, but I never got to hear them. I enjoyed his gigs on television and he came over to me as he did to Don Meixner.
I would agree that some folks have overpraised his talent and achievements, but that is no reason to castigate the man himself. He is not someone, whom I would call a folk icon, but he does come across as a likeable man and a fine entertainer. "The Ballad of Geraldine" is a fine reworking of the "Rosemary Lane" genre of folk songs and I would not be surprised if it eventually joined the tradition.
As it happens, I also reckon that in a hundred years, Ray Davies is far more likely to be considered as a source of lasting folk songs.


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 11:15 AM

In fairness he started out well but went into hippy drippy airy fairy up his own arse mode quite quickly.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 11:19 AM

To be fair the article does say folk rock. I wouldn't call him an icon, but I would say he was as important a part of the whole folk-pop-rock era and I loved his earlier albums AND LOVE one of his latest, "Sutras." It has the most beautiful, haunting songs on it and his voice is more mature, imo.

Also, I know someone who interviewed him for a book they were writing; he was very open, honest, kind, and approachable..they got a great interview and there was no hoity-toitiness about him.


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: GREEN WELLIES
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 11:39 AM

May do well to remember that this award was given TO him by OTHERS.

I dont recall him referring to himself as an Icon, or anything else. These are comments being made by the media and I dont see anywhere him saying 'Oh yes actually, I am a bit of an icon with an unfathomable talent'.
I think such comments as "Guck urgh barf" are completely unnecessary, and rather childish.


And....... no I'm not particularly a fan.


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: Smedley
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 11:48 AM

I also think he has come back into fashion recently on account of being an influence of some of the 'new folk' (probably in these here parts I should say ''''''''new folk'''''''') artists of the Devendra Banhart persuasion.

This may or may not be a good thing of course......

For two or three years in the 60s he was something of a pioneer, but the particular shape of his pioneering was to mesh folk traditions with other genres & styles, and that is never a way to please the more traditionally minded.


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 11:50 AM

"To be fair the article does say folk rock."

Oh! A 'folk rock' icon! That makes all the difference!


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: M.Ted
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 01:23 PM

Having once been a pop folk singer on the college sandwich and beer club circuit, I found that there were a certain number of Donovan songs that could always be counted on, though thick and thin. Fifteen or so years ago, I finally met the man and told his this, and expressed my thanks, he was gracious and humble, and allowed that he had found it true as well.


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 01:34 PM

I'd say he's as far from being a rock singer as he is from being a folk singer.

Quite a pleasant singer for all that, and a few pleasant enough songs. "Unfathomable talent" comes across to me as saying shallow rather than deep...


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 02:35 PM

M.Ted, thanks for that story.

Shimrod...it had to be pointed out since it seemed most of you were ignoring that...no one says he is just "folk" and of course that could lead us to what is folk ad nauseum.


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: open mike
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 02:38 PM

decide for yourself..
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donovan
http://www.donovan.ie/
http://www.myspace.com/donovanofficial

Beat Cafe' album released 2004
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beat_Cafe

He was born in Scotland and his most recent
song is a Robert Burns poem set to music:
Donovan releases new single "The Banks O'Doon", on Itunes
On this the 250th anniversary of the Scottish Poet Robert Burns Donovan has put a new Melody to the famous Burns poem "The Banks O'Doon". Donovan's rendition of the Burns Poem aims to highlight the plight of the River Doon in Ayrshire Scotland which is now under threat from new power company plans to divert the famous river.The river is the location of many of Burns famous poems.The new song is now released on itunes.


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: GUEST,Joseph de Culver City
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 02:45 PM

They say no man is a prophet in his own country. I guess so...


Icon or no, he is worthy of respect, imho.


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: Don Firth
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 02:52 PM

Not to throw the cat among the pigeons, but I've heard this expression for years now, and I don't really know what it's supposed to mean.

What the heck is "folk rock?"

(Oh, boy! I've probably done it now!:

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 02:56 PM

Don, start a thread and I'll hum along..


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 03:05 PM

Thanks, open mike!

Don, it an o-l-d-e song with a hard rock stuck under the singer/musician's arse while they try to adopt a tortured look in order to display their empathy for the plight of which they sing. Well...you asked, Pigeon.**bg**


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 03:12 PM

My folk rock has a groove down the middle.


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 03:28 PM

Things are usually best explained by examples. FolkRock is Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, Pentangle, Mr Fox, Trees... More or less traditional music played rock-style with amplified instruments & amplification of vocals. Could be well or ill done: at its best, as with Maddy Prior & Bob Johnston & Martin Carthy & Peter Knight & John Kirkpatrick working in Steeleye, or Jansch & McShee in Pentangle (people with a background in traditional folk), it could provide fresh insights to the music — which was, after all, as they would have admitted, still there when they had finished with it.

FolkRock, like Rock in general, implies a *group* to achieve the effect aimed at.

So can't see how a soloist like Donovan would possibly qualify; even if using amplified instruments which he generally didn't (&, drifting slightly, look what happened when Dylan did!).


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 03:35 PM

Uh-oh, now you've done it...a serious answer which begs opinions!**smile**


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: Don Firth
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 03:49 PM

(Sorry. . . .)


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 04:13 PM

Icon no
Man of his time and worthy of respect yes.
Seen many other performers more iconic
appearing to be carved from wood but recipients of near worship from their fans


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 04:16 PM

Also seriously, some of my favourite records are folk rock albums. Both Mr Fox albums, the first three Steeleye Span albums, Shirley Collins and the Albion Band's "No Roses", the Woods Band album and really bloody brilliant, Pentangle's "Cruel Sister"... recently I have also enjoyed folk rock offerings from the Owl Service, Pumajaw, Alasdair Roberts, The Black Flowers, Trembling Bells and the Memory Band.

The important thing to remember is, no matter how good your folk is, your folk rock will only be as good as your rock is. Too often, folk rock is about clumping, soulless rhythm sections, pedestrian arrangements, rocking out badly and the worst excesses of dull, mindnumbing dadrock. Music of this sort should be treated with the circumspection it deserves.

One word (okay, two) for American Mudcatters: Cordelia's Dad. Shit name, phenomenally good band...


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: GUEST,Edthefolkie
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 05:32 PM

Bit too much arbitrary categorisation going on 'ere if you ask me.

As for Donovan, Danny Thompson isn't too proud to play bass for him, and Dan really IS an icon! Whatever...


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 08 Oct 09 - 01:01 AM

One of the many places where US usage differs from UK is "folk rock." In the US the term was used to describe Simon and Garfunkel, The Byrds, Barry McGuire ("Eve of Destruction"), maybe even stretched as far as Lovin' Spoonful, Mamas and Papas. Very different from what Fairport, Steeleye et al did a few years later.


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: open mike
Date: 08 Oct 09 - 01:11 AM

maybe it's folk music with a drummer added?


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: Peace
Date: 08 Oct 09 - 01:29 AM

I think the label "folk" is a compliment to the various performers. My take on it is that back in the day it meant the lyrics would convey feelings or 'philosophies' that had meaning beyond the likes of 'Barbara Ann[e]' or '409' (both songs are OK by me, but they ain't folk-rock. IMO, they ain't 'folk' anything. I particularly like GUEST Gerry's comment just above OM's.

IMO, his 'Colors' was beautiful. I often heard people way back saying things like, "He's trying to be Bob Dylan." Of course, the same people said that about David Cohen (later David Blue) and anyone else who teased his hair so's he look like a buffalo.


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 08 Oct 09 - 01:46 AM

In what sense, GuestGerry, do the Americans categorise acoustic musicians Simon & G & those others you name above as "Rock", which surely implies influence of the Rock'n'Roll movement of the mid-50s [Bill Haley & his successors], with its ostinato amplified beat, long jazz-influenced, in sense of being semi-impro'd, instrumental breaks &c?

I think this matters, because over-extended use of any term [what I have heard semanticists categorise as 'over-defining'] robs it of its meaning? So that if you call S&G 'rock' musicians, what term are you then to use of lineups like Fairport et al who set out deliberately to introduce Rock'n'Roll techniques into the performance of folk music?


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 08 Oct 09 - 04:48 AM

Icon my hairy arse.

A pretty-pretty writer and blagger. What was Catch the Wind other than Chimes of Freedom with different words ?

I remember a Joan Baez concert at the Free Trade Hall (Manchester UK) in 1966. Joan had a nasty cold and sang only about fove or six songs.

Then theis apparition came on stage, sang something and said "My name's Donovan".

The entire pleace exploded into a stamping chorus of "Shit ! Shit! Shit!" and so on till he was effectively booed off stage.


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: Smedley
Date: 08 Oct 09 - 05:21 AM

What an open-minded response ! And I thought a Joan Baez audience would be wall-to-wall woolly liberals.

On the terminology debate, the US usage of 'rock' often baffles me - the Mamas & Papas etc strike me as more accurately called 'folk-pop' - which is not to disparage them, by the way.


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 08 Oct 09 - 05:35 AM

Good old Manchester. I remember Genesis trying to do some sensitive acoustic numbers there in the 1970s when someone shouted out "Play the fucking electric guitars!" And we claim "Judas!" too, of course!


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: alex s
Date: 08 Oct 09 - 05:57 AM

when someone told Bob Dylan he was an icon he said, "that means a washed-up has-been"......


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Subject: RE: Is This Man An Icon ?
From: GUEST,Mike of Hessle
Date: 08 Oct 09 - 06:21 AM

Hi Bryn,

I always thought Catch the Wind was a 'syrupy' love song and quite banal whilst Chimes of Freedom was (and still is) stunning and sends quivers down my spine - Dylan at his best.


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