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Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan

GUEST,Wandering/Wondering 04 Jul 18 - 03:03 PM
The Sandman 04 Jul 18 - 05:21 PM
GUEST 04 Jul 18 - 05:48 PM
Joe Offer 04 Jul 18 - 11:21 PM
Little Hawk 05 Jul 18 - 12:04 AM
Little Hawk 05 Jul 18 - 12:06 AM
Little Hawk 05 Jul 18 - 12:23 AM
Joe Offer 05 Jul 18 - 01:32 AM
GUEST,Jerry 05 Jul 18 - 06:28 AM
Steve Shaw 05 Jul 18 - 06:35 AM
keberoxu 05 Jul 18 - 09:06 AM
GUEST 05 Jul 18 - 09:32 AM
GUEST,BALLAD IN PAIN 05 Jul 18 - 09:38 AM
Thomas Stern 05 Jul 18 - 10:31 AM
GUEST,Mike B. 05 Jul 18 - 01:00 PM
GUEST,Mike B. 05 Jul 18 - 01:03 PM
Little Hawk 05 Jul 18 - 02:37 PM
Little Hawk 05 Jul 18 - 02:41 PM
Little Hawk 05 Jul 18 - 02:49 PM
Little Hawk 05 Jul 18 - 02:56 PM
keberoxu 05 Jul 18 - 03:00 PM
meself 05 Jul 18 - 03:13 PM
The Sandman 05 Jul 18 - 03:15 PM
Big Al Whittle 05 Jul 18 - 03:22 PM
GUEST,Jerry 05 Jul 18 - 04:09 PM
The Sandman 05 Jul 18 - 04:21 PM
Little Hawk 05 Jul 18 - 04:41 PM
The Sandman 05 Jul 18 - 05:41 PM
Little Hawk 05 Jul 18 - 06:02 PM
GUEST,Jerry 05 Jul 18 - 06:55 PM
GUEST,henryp 05 Jul 18 - 07:06 PM
voyager 05 Jul 18 - 08:11 PM
GUEST,Gerry 05 Jul 18 - 11:43 PM
The Sandman 06 Jul 18 - 02:20 AM
Big Al Whittle 06 Jul 18 - 03:47 AM
GUEST 06 Jul 18 - 04:03 AM
The Sandman 06 Jul 18 - 06:38 AM
GUEST,Jerry 06 Jul 18 - 06:47 AM
The Sandman 06 Jul 18 - 06:54 AM
The Sandman 06 Jul 18 - 06:56 AM
Steve Shaw 06 Jul 18 - 07:25 AM
The Sandman 06 Jul 18 - 08:24 AM
GUEST,Jerry 06 Jul 18 - 09:31 AM
GUEST,Greg F. 06 Jul 18 - 10:37 AM
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Subject: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: GUEST,Wandering/Wondering
Date: 04 Jul 18 - 03:03 PM

Why is Bob Dylan, who became a pop/rock star fairly quickly (and seemingly abandoned social-commentary/protest song) always mentioned when documentaries and news reports mention the popularity of folk music in the '60s and '70s, and Phil Ochs largely ignored and most often not mentioned at all?

I know it's a matter of opinion as regards liking or disliking someone's style or delivery, but imho Phil Ochs was demonstrably a better songwriter when it comes to an ability to condense actual concrete stories and ideas into verse, rather than creating metaphorical imagery and language that needed interpreting.

Why is Dylan all over the history of pop and folk music, whereas Ochs is barely a footnote?

Asking today specifically because broadsides and sociopolitical commentary are oh, so apropos when remembering people's fight for freedom against the tyranny of the oligarchy.


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Jul 18 - 05:21 PM

possibly, Dylan was a fake anti establishment figure, who knows? and was commercially more acceptable whereas OCHS was genuine, only possible ideas


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jul 18 - 05:48 PM

Dylan is all over the history of pop and folk music because he sold a lot of records.

Why? I guess that he wanted to be rich.

And Phil Ochs? Perhaps he wanted to change the world.


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Jul 18 - 11:21 PM

Ochs had a musical career that spanned from 1962 or so, until his death in 1976 - but his music had gone downhill long before his death. Dylan, just 6 months younger than Ochs, had a career that began in about 1961 and continues to the present day.
Both could be terrific songwriters and performers, and both could be horrible songwriters and performers. But Dylan achieved mainstream popularity, and Ochs did not. I don't know that I'd say that one was better than the other, but it's clear that Dylan was more popular. Them's the breaks.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 12:04 AM

You might not know this, Guest, but Phil Ochs tremendously admired Bob Dylan's songwriting and thought it was the best material out there at the time. It profoundly affected him. He continued to defend Dylan against much of the folk establishment after they got angry that Dylan wasn't doing "protest songs" anymore, as well as angry that he'd started playing electric music. Ochs continued this passionate defense of Dylan's songwriting and music right on through all that uproar, so obviously he saw something in those songs that some others did not.

Ochs also made a big contribution at the time, no doubt about that, but it was Dylan's songs that reached the most people in the deepest way, and not just because of successful marketing, but because he writes in universal symbols that can be interpreted on several different levels simultaneously. Such songs have a much more long lasting effect than songs with more literal and specific lyrics, because the metaphors in Dylan's songs work on several subtle levels, not just on the obvious literal level. Dylan wrote songs that were completely astounding, lyrically speaking, and they were unlike anything that had come before them.

This sort of songwriting is completely opaque to some people, they just can't relate, but it's totally meaningful to others.

As Joan Baez said about Bob Dylan (and I'm paraphrasing as best I can from memory), "He goes way deep for some people, and others don't get it at all. He went way deep for me." And that's why she did covers of so many of his songs, while covering just 2 or 3 of those written by Phil Ochs.

Ochs would have agreed with her on that. He was an honest and courageous man, and he never stopped defending the quality and value of Dylan's art even when he and Dylan weren't speaking to each other. That takes a lot of character, and it speaks very well for Phil Ochs.

If you want some insight on it, read what Joan Baez had to say at the time. Read what Ochs himself had to say. They both had their personal differences with Bob Dylan at times, but they sure had a high opinion of his songwriting. Same deal with Neal Young, Leonard Cohen, and so many others I could mention. Most of the musicians at that time figured Dylan was simply the best songwriter out there, and I tend to agree.


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 12:06 AM

"Neil" Young...I should have spelled it.


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 12:23 AM

And it wasn't that Dylan "abandoned" protest. It's that he simply had taken it as far as he possibly could in about 3 years of songwriting until at a certain point he felt he'd done everything to express himself in that particular way, and then he wanted to do something else instead...to break new ground. He went through a whole bunch of changes like that, because he didn't like standing still, artistically speaking, and just endlessly repeating himself (as many musical acts do...they become like a museum exhibit of themselves). This ended up producing many different phases in Dylan's music all through his career, and it's one of the things that makes him so interesting.

Ochs also did that, by the way, he went through some musical changes too, but people don't tend to notice that as much in his case, because they're just not as observant of Ochs as they are of Dylan.

And as far as protest...Dylan has actually returned to protest again and again over the years, but people don't seem to think he's doing it unless he does *nothing BUT protest songs*. And that's kind of silly. He wrote stuff after the "protest" period that in my opinion protested just about everything. The song "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) " is a spectacular example of that, and so are other songs like "Gates of Eden", "Desolation Row", "Senor (Tales of Yankee Power)", "Changing of the Guards", "Blind Willie McTell", "Clean Cut Kid", "License to Kill", and many others. He once quipped to the press in 1965 or '66, "All my songs are protest songs", and he wasn't too far off from the truth in saying that...although he just said it because he was annoyed with them for asking the same dumb questions over and over again ("Why don't you still write protest songs?". Bob Dylan is not a one-trick pony.


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 01:32 AM

Little Hawk: 👍


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 06:28 AM

Whilst I admire the writing of both of them, I think Dylan had the edge by introducing a twist into his protest songs. Rather than just saying something was wrong or unfair, songs like Hattie Carroll, Only a Pawn and Who Killed Davey Moore make us think further about the issue, such as the situation from the villain’s side, and how far we are all partly to blame. However, both used humour and sarcasm to expose wrongs I suppose, in the likes of Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre and Love Me I’m a Liberal.


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 06:35 AM

Bob Dylan does absolutely nothing for me. That's life. But I protest at being told that it's because, in the words of Joan Baez, "I don't get it." There's just a sneaking possibility that I "get it" a damn sight more than many of his more sycophantic disciples.


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: keberoxu
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 09:06 AM

There is no doubt that these two artists --
contemporaries, as earlier posts have made clear --
had a lot to contend with in terms of
the entertainment business, and the fickle nature of popularity.
Dylan has not found it an easy road at all,
however well-rooted he appears today.

Dylan, whatever his own private demons
(which he flaunts in more than one interview,
as if to terrorize the journalist doing the job --
see the latest Rolling Stone installment),
had what was required to hold himself together.

Phil Ochs had demons of his own, as is well known,
and his own struggles with those demons are well documented.
Not that this is the entire story,
however, Phil Ochs came apart psychologically,
while Dylan somehow pulled through and kept going.


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 09:32 AM

Hattie Carroll is a good suubject matter but not well written.
The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
Bob Dylan
William Zanzinger killed poor Hattie Carroll
With a cane that he twirled around his diamond ring finger
At a Baltimore hotel society gathering
And the cops were called in and his weapon took from him
As they rode him in custody down to the station
And booked William Zanzinger for first-degree murder
But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
Take the rag away from your face
Now ain't the time for your tears
William Zanzinger, who at twenty-four years
Owns a tobacco farm of six hundred acres
With rich wealthy parents who provide and protect him
And high office relations in the politics of Maryland
Reacted to his deed with a shrug of his shoulders
And swear words and sneering, and his tongue it was snarling
In a matter of minutes, on bail was out walking
But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize fears
Take the rag away from your face
Now ain't the time for your tears
Hattie Carroll was a maid in the kitchen
She was fifty-one years old and gave birth to ten children
Who carried the dishes and took out the garbage
And never sat once at the head of the table
And didn't even talk to the people at the table
Who just cleaned up all the food from the table
And emptied the ashtrays on a whole other level
Got killed by a blow, lay slain by a cane
That sailed through the air and came down through the room
Doomed and determined to destroy all the gentle
And she never done nothing to William Zanzinger
And you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
Take the rag away from your face
Now ain't the time for your tears
In the courtroom of honor, the judge pounded his gavel
To show that all's equal and that the courts are on the level
And that the strings in the books ain't pulled and persuaded
And that even the nobles get properly handled
Once that the cops have chased after and caught 'em
And that the ladder of law has no top and no bottom
Stared at the person who killed for no reason
Who just happened to be feelin' that way without warnin'
And he spoke through his cloak, most deep and distinguished
And handed out strongly, for penalty and repentance
William Zanzinger with a six-month sentence
Oh, but you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
Bury the rag deep in your face
For now's the time for your tears
Songwriters: B. Dylan


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: GUEST,BALLAD IN PAIN
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 09:38 AM

Ballad in Plain DSearch Results
Ballad in Plain D
Bob Dylan
I once loved a girl, her skin it was bronze
With the innocence of a lamb, she was gentle like a fawn
I courted her proudly but now she is gone
Gone as the season she's taken
In a young summer's youth, I stole her away
From her mother and sister, though close did they stay
Each one of them suffering from the failures of their day
With strings of guilt they tried hard to guide us
Of the two sisters, I loved the young
With sensitive instincts, she was the creative one
The constant scrapegoat, she was easily undone
By the jealousy of others around her
For her parasite sister, I had no respect
Bound by her boredom, her pride to protect
Countless visions of the other she'd reflect
As a crutch for her scenes and her society
Myself, for what I did, I cannot be excused
The changes I was going through can't even be used
For the lies that I told her in hopes not to lose
The could-be dream-lover of my lifetime
With unseen consciousness, I possessed in my grip
A magnificent mantelpiece, though its heart being chipped
Noticing not that I'd already slipped
To the sin of love's false security
From silhouetted anger to manufactured peace
Answers of emptiness, voice vacancies
'Till the tombstones of damage read me no questions but, "Please
What's wrong and what's exactly the matter?"
And so it did happen like it could have been foreseen
The timeless explosion of fantasy's dream
At the peak of the night, the king and the queen
Tumbled all down into pieces
"The tragic figure!" her sister did shout
"Leave her alone, god damn you, get out!"
And I in my armor, turning about
And nailing her in the ruins of her pettiness
Beneath a bare light bulb the plaster did pound
Her sister and I in a screaming battleground
And she in between, the victim of sound
Soon shattered as a child to the shadows
All is gone, all is gone, admit it, take flight
I gagged in contradiction, tears blinding my sight
My mind it was mangled, I ran into the night
Leaving all of love's ashes behind me
The wind knocks my window, the room it is wet
The words to say I'm sorry, I haven't found yet
I think of her often and hope whoever she's met
Will be fully aware of how precious she is
Ah, my friends from the prison, they ask unto me
"How good, how good does it feel to be free?"
And I answer them most mysteriously
"Are birds free from the chains of the skyway?"
Songwriters: Bob Dylan                                           Bob Dylan, at his worst, truly feeble


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 10:31 AM

The distress in Phil Ochs life is well illustrated in the
Carnegie Hall Concert, and Greatest Hits albums, and perhaps
Rehearsals for Retirement.
Little has been said about his recording made in Africa
using native musicians which predates by a decade
the similar and greatly successful work by Paul Simon.
The 2 tracks were issued on a 45rpm single only in Africa, but
later were included in the 2-CD UK anthology AMERICAN TROUBADOUR.
Phil's first recording, though uncredited, is an album of
children's CAMP FAVORITES. artist credit as THE CAMPERS.

Cheers, Thomas.


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: GUEST,Mike B.
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 01:00 PM

In cases where both songwriters used the same story from the headlines as inspiration, a side-by-side comparison might be illuminating.

Davey Moore
By Phil Ochs

It was out to california young davey moore did go,
To meet with sugar ramos and trade him blow for blow
He left his home in springfield, his wife and children five;
The spring was fast approaching, it was good to be alive.
His wife, she begged and pleaded, "you have to leave this game.
Is it worth the bloodshed and is it worth the pain? "
But davey could not hear above the cheering crowd
He was a champion, and champions are proud.
Hang his gloves upon the wall, shine his trophies bright clear,
Another man will fall before we dry our tears
For the fighters must destroy as the poets must sing,
As the hungry crowd must gather for the blood upon the ring.

And thousands gave a roar when davey moore walked in,
Another man to beat, another purse to win
And all along the ringside, a sight beyond compare

The money-chasing vultures were waiting for their share,
He stood there in his corner and he waited for the bell;
The signal of the struggle of two men facin’ hell;
And when the bell was sounded, the blows began to rain,
And blows will lead to hate -- hate drives men insane.

And thousands gave a roar…

The fists were flying fast and hard, the sweat was pouring down,
And davey moore grew weaker with ev’ry passin’ round.
His legs began to wobble and his arms began to strain,
He fell upon the canvas floor, a fog around his brain.
At last the fight was over, young davey fought no more,
He lost the final battle behind a doctor’s door.
And back at the arena, the screaming crowd is gone,
And death is waiting ringside, for the next fight to come on.

And thousands gave a roar…


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: GUEST,Mike B.
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 01:03 PM

Who Killed Davey Moore?
By Bob Dylan

Who killed Davey Moore,
Why an' what's the reason for?
"Not I, " says the referee,
"Don't point your finger at me.
I could've stopped it in the eighth
An' maybe kept him from his fate,
But the crowd would've booed, I'm sure,
At not gettin' their money's worth.
It's too bad he had to go,
But there was a pressure on me too, you know.
It wasn't me that made him fall.
No, you can't blame me at all."

Who killed Davey Moore,
Why an' what's the reason for?
"Not us, " says the angry crowd,
Whose screams filled the arena loud.
"It's too bad he died that night
But we just like to see a fight.
We didn't mean for him t' meet his death,
We just meant to see some sweat,
There ain't nothing wrong in that.
It wasn't us that made him fall.
No, you can't blame us at all."

Who killed Davey Moore,
Why an' what's the reason for?
"Not me, " says his manager,
Puffing on a big cigar.
"It's hard to say, it's hard to tell,
I always thought that he was well.
It's too bad for his wife an' kids he's dead,
But if he was sick, he should've said.
It wasn't me that made him fall.
No, you can't blame me at all."

Who killed Davey Moore,
Why an' what's the reason for?
"Not me, " says the gambling man,
With his ticket stub still in his hand.
"It wasn't me that knocked him down,
My hands never touched him none.
I didn't commit no ugly sin,
Anyway, I put money on him to win.
It wasn't me that made him fall.
No, you can't blame me at all."

Who killed Davey Moore,
Why an' what's the reason for?
"Not me, " says the boxing writer,
Pounding print on his old typewriter,
Sayin', "Boxing ain't to blame,
There's just as much danger in a football game."
Sayin', "Fist fighting is here to stay,
It's just the old American way.
It wasn't me that made him fall.
No, you can't blame me at all."

Who killed Davey Moore,
Why an' what's the reason for?
"Not me, " says the man whose fists
Laid him low in a cloud of mist,
Who came here from Cuba's door
Where boxing ain't allowed no more.
"I hit him, yes, it's true,
But that's what I am paid to do.
Don't say 'murder, ' don't say 'kill.'
It was destiny, it was God's will."
Who killed Davey Moore,
Why an' what's the reason for?

(Safe to assume that Dylan was familiar with the 18th century nursery rhyme "Who Killed Cock Robin"?)


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 02:37 PM

Dylan himself has said that "Ballad in Plain D" is the one song he regrets having written, so he clearly agrees with the Guest above who doesn't like that one. It has a couple of nice lines here and there, but overall should have been discarded.

As for "Hattie Carrol", it's tremendously powerful and effective simply *as a protest song*, maybe the best song on that 3rd album, but it is not at all accurate as regards the true facts of the case, as is well explained in Clinton Heylin's exhaustive book on Dylan "Revolution In The Air". It grossly misrepresents what actually occurred at that nightclub, probably due to the fact that Dylan got his whole impression about the incident from just one sensationalist newspaper article that was itself full of inaccurate statements about what had occurred. Zantzinger (the actual spelling of the man's name) could easily have sued Bob Dylan for slander, and won, but he decided not to bother.

Now let me be quite clear about this: I love the song. It's a terrific protest song and achieves what it sets out to do in the most powerful way. But not in a factual way. William Zantzinger clearly acted like a jerk that night, was drunk and disorderly, and created a noisy scene at the hotel. He did not kill Hattie Carrol, however. He did upset her (and he upset several other people, which is why police were called). He did her no significant physical damage at all, and no mark was made on any part of her body. The cane was not as suggested in the song...it was a lightweight toy bamboo cane...and he did not strike her a heavy blow in the head with it, but seems to have lightly tapped her on the rear end with it. She was in quite ill health, got emotionally quite upset, felt ill, and so they took her to the hospital where she died several hours later from a stroke.

Zantzinger should not have been charged with either murder or manslaughter...he should have been charged with drunk and disorderly behavior and verbal harassment...and possibly a very minor form of assault charge for the tap from the can.

And saying all this...I STILL say that "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll" is a brilliant song in its own right. It's just not a factual song, that's all. It paints a false picture in a number of ways...ways which did appeal tremendously to anyone who supported the cause of racial equality, which I and millions of others certainly did, and it provides a perfectly stereotypical black-hearted racist "villain" for people in that cause to focus their anger on.

Here's a bunch of discussion about it on ExpectingRain.com : discussion about "Hattie Carroll"


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 02:41 PM

from the article: And again, those things don't address the transformation of the events into a one-dimensional melodrama that's laughably heavy handed in it's creation of a Snidely Whiplash-like "bad guy."

His charge was reduced to manslaughter and assault, based on the likelihood that it was her stress reaction to his verbal and physical abuse led to the intracranial bleeding, rather than blunt-force trauma from the blow that left no lasting mark.

And it's not just me. Clinton Heylin defends Zantzinger and chastises Dylan: "Dylan's portrait of William Zantzinger verges on the libelous… That the song itself is a masterpiece of drama and wordplay does not excuse Dylan's distortions, and thirty-six years on he continues to misrepresent poor William Zantzinger in concert." [Bob Dylan: Behind the Shades Take Two, pp. 124-125]


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 02:49 PM

I suspect that what happened when Dylan wrote that song is this.

1. He read the one very sensationalist article where he got all his "facts" (and it was full of inaccuracies). He believed it, and he based his song on his immediate gut reaction to what he had just read. Perfectly understandable on his part.

2. He looked no further than that. He had a great song, he no doubt felt strongly about it, and he went with it.

I can't fault his artistic instincts when it came to writing "Hattie Carroll", and it's not surprising he would have believed the article, because it met any idealistic 60's young radical's expectations perfectly. It provided the perfect victim and the perfect racist perpetrator. I'd have believed every word in it too at the time, no doubt. He probably should have read a few more articles about the incident after that, though, before going ahead and recording the song, because it could have come back to haunt him if it had gone to court.


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 02:56 PM

And some more info about the same: Further discussion of "Hattie Carroll"

I think Bob got inspired and outraged (understandably) and wrote a great song about injustice and prejudice, but with some very misleading information in it. And he probably did so in all innocence. It wouldn't matter if he hadn't become famous, because no one would care.

Draw your own conclusions.


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: keberoxu
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 03:00 PM

Martin Carthy has spoken regularly and often
about how important it was, for him,
to hear Bob Dylan singing this ballad in England
when both of them were young men.

Not a question of accurate versus inaccurate,
but a question of length:
will an audience sit still for a ballad that long?

Because Carthy was in a position to know of
more than one traditional, old ballad, in English,
that could be compared to "Hattie Carroll"
in length and in drama.

And so Carthy took in the audience's sober reception of Dylan's song,
and thought,
if an audience will receive "Hattie Carroll" respectfully,
they might listen to the really old stuff as well.

Martin Carthy, like Dylan and Ochs, took his hard knocks
from the music business as well,
and he was another one who preferred to soldier on
and hold himself together
rather than do the poète maudit thing.
And of course he would see some of his English contemporaries
whose careers, and lives, ended far sooner than they ought to have done.


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: meself
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 03:13 PM

Neither song about the boxing death strikes me as great poetry. Comparing them - they are trying to do somewhat different things. Dylan's has more depth, and is more nuanced; Ochs's is more direct. So - whichever you find superior will depend on what you are looking for.

Going further back up the thread: what is the point of publishing the 'worst' of Dylan (or anyone else)? Dylan is not celebrated for his 'worst' - no one, but the poster apparently, cares about his worst - he is celebrated for his best. Shakespeare wrote some 'feeble' bits - but nobody cares. And it is particularly pointless publishing the 'worst' of Dylan in the context of a comparison, unless you're going to publish the 'worst' of whomever you're comparing him to (Ochs, in this case). Even then - it's pointless.


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 03:15 PM

the writing technique of hattie carrolli is imo poor. it is to me a bit like a shopping list.
Some of the rhyming is unispired it is writtem like a shopping listsome of the rhymes are poor, 3 times he uses table, it imo a poor effort. it was good that it was written because it drew peoples attention to the case.With a cane that he twirled around his diamond ring finger
At a Baltimore hotel society gathering
And the cops were called in and his weapon took from him
As they rode him in custody down to the station
And booked William Zanzinger for first-degree murder
But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
Take the rag away from your face
Now ain't the time for your tears
William Zanzinger, who at twenty-four years
Owns a tobacco farm of six hundred acres
With rich wealthy parents who provide and protect him
And high office relations in the politics of Maryland
Reacted to his deed with a shrug of his shoulders
And swear words and sneering, and his tongue it was snarling
In a matter of minutes, on bail was out walking
But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize fears
Take the rag away from your face
Now ain't the time for your tears
Hattie Carroll was a maid in the kitchen
She was fifty-one years old and gave birth to ten children
Who carried the dishes and took out the garbage
And never sat once at the head of the table
And didn't even talk to the people at the table
Who just cleaned up all the food from the table
And emptied the ashtrays on a whole other level
Got killed by a blow, lay slain by a cane
That sailed through the air and came down through the room
Doomed and determined to destroy all the gentle
And she never done nothing to William Zanzinger
And you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
Take the rag away from your face
Now ain't the time for your tears
In the courtroom of honor, the judge pounded his gavel
To show that all's equal and that the courts are on the level
And that the strings in the books ain't pulled and persuaded
And that even the nobles get properly handled
Once that the cops have chased after and caught 'em
And that the ladder of law has no top and no bottom
Stared at the person who killed for no reason
Who just happened to be feelin' that way without warnin'
And he spoke through his cloak, most deep and distinguished
And handed out strongly, for penalty and repentance
William Zanzinger with a six-month sentence
Oh, but you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
Bury the rag deep in your face
For now's the time for your tears
Songwriters: B. Dylan


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 03:22 PM

Who put the bom in the bom-bo-bomp-bom-bomp
Who put the ram in the rama-lama-ding-dong
Who put the bup in the bup-shu-bup-shu-bup
Who put the di-di in the di-didi-di-di
Who was that man, I?d like to shake his hand
He made my baby fall in love with me


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 04:09 PM

For the record, I wasn’t suggesting the above songs were good poetically, but rather are clever or at least refreshing in approaching their subject from a different angle. Ochs tells the story of Davey Moore, but Dylan talks about the rest of the people involved. Yes, the inconsistent use of assonance and clumsy feminine rhymes in Hattie Carroll have always seemed irksome, and even if the facts are misrepresented, it’s still a good song. Yes, I know the tune is borrowed as well.


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 04:21 PM

The tune being borrowed is not problematical for me masters of war imo his best song and an excellent piece of song writing uses a borrowed tune
Come, you masters of war
You that build the big guns
You that build the death planes
You that build all the bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks

[Verse 2]
You that never done nothing
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it’s your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly

[Verse 3]
Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain

[Verse 4]
You fasten all the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
While the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
While the young people’s blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud

[Verse 5]
You’ve thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain't worth the blood
That runs in your veins

[Verse 6]
How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I’m young
You might say I’m unlearned
But there’s one thing I know
Though I’m younger than you
That even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do

[Verse 7]
Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul

[Verse 8]
And I hope that you die
And your death will come soon
I will follow your casket
By the pale afternoon
And I’ll watch while you’re lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I’ll stand over your grave
'Til I’m sure that you’re dead


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 04:41 PM

"Masters of War" is very straightforward and VERY powerful. It is THE definitive song to deliver that particular message.


Regarding earlier comments about how good this or that lyric was...the important thing with a song lyric...as opposed to pure poetry or prose without any music...is that you have to *hear it being sung by someone who sings it really effectively* and that along with the music to see how well the lyrics work as a performance. How effectively do they communicate the *feeling* and the meaning in the song? Just reading them straight off the page usually won't give you that. This is one of the reasons why songs aren't necessarily written quite the way poems are, though they do contain poetry.

It is the way Bob Dylan sings his songs that makes up at least 50% of the effect, if not more than that, and you can't get that by reading the lyrics off the page. It's a certain intensity he brings to it. You could say he "takes no prisoners". This was another reason that his material had greater impact in the 1960's than that of many other performers at the time. As Bruce Springsteen said about the first time he heard "Like a Rolling Stone", "it was the toughest voice I'd ever heard". That was that intensity I'm talking about in Dylan's voice. His mother said "That guy can't sing" but Springsteen thought it was the best singing he'd ever heard. That's how subjective it is.

Of course, if you didn't happen to like his particular style or his kind of sound, then you'd probably be listening to somebody else instead. I didn't like it initially...because it wasn't at all what I was used to hearing. Then a few years later, upon reconsideration, I loved the way he sounded.

I do find Ochs' particular vocal sound a bit grating for some reason, though I like his idealism and his commitment. It's all a matter of personal taste. I can see why for someone else it would be just the other way around. (grin) In his elder years, of course, Dylan often sounds like he's singing through cinders and gravel, but he was crystal clear in the early years. Too many cigarettes. But I'm glad he has lasted this long.


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 05:41 PM

It is the way Bob Dylan sings his songs that makes up at least 50% of the effect"
i only partly agree, part of his singning problem was his poor diction,he visited Woody ,when Woody was ill ,and imo seemed to imitate him,by mumbling his songs ,
earlier woody had clear diction,words were important to woody,in my opinion a better singer than dylan was rambling jack


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 06:02 PM

Ramblin' Jack was a terrific singer. Dylan himself took note of that in his book "Chronicles".

Early in his career (specially the first two albums, I'd say) Bob was imitating Guthrie's vocals quite closely, but I don't see that being a problem by the time he recorded "Bringing it All Back Home". He'd found his own sound by that time, and his diction is generally very clear from there on through the rest of the 1960's.

He hero worshipped Guthrie so much in those first 2 or 3 years that it's not surprising he started copying his sound.


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 06:55 PM

I have to say that Masters of War is not one I would regard as that clever, because it is too simple in its construct, and apart from a few good lines, much of it is a bit jejune without any twists in the tail that his others have. However, I daresay it is that simplicity and directness of message that can be appealing. Ballad in Plain D suffers from similar directness, but then that was probably because of it re-working an English folk song lyric (I Once Loved a Girl). Hope this doesn’t sound too pretentious.


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 07:06 PM

Many of the opinions about Dylan were rehearsed in this thread;

Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?

Some people liked Dylan, some didn't.


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: voyager
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 08:11 PM

foreshadowing this discussion are Phil Of us poignant lyric -

There but for Fortune go you and I
You and I

voyager


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 11:43 PM

That gargantuan thread (1107 messages, and counting), "New Book: Folk Song in England", has a long article by Martha Bayles, The strange career of folk music, from the Michigan Quarterly Review 44 (2005), from which the following excerpt may shed some light on the different fates of Dylan and Ochs:

This attitude had a lot to do with the sudden rise of Bob Dylan. All of these early 1960s folkies were more political than any rock'n'rollers. But to the older generation of leftist folk adherents the fact that a bland folkish song like "Tom Dooley" could become a number one hit (for the Kingston Trio, in 1958) was an embarrassment. The older folkies kept the pressure on, and in 1962 a new magazine, Broadside, began to publish pacifist, union, and civil rights songs under the editorship of the once black-listed musician Sis Cunningham and her husband, the leftist journalist Gordon Friesen. Along with the older Seegers, Cunningham, and other Folk Revival veterans such as Malvina Reynolds, Broadside also gave a platform to younger protest voices: Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, Janis Ian, and Dylan.

All of these young performers had solid followings, but Dylan was the only one to become a superstar. His singular accomplishments, unrecognized at the time and still not well understood, were that he understood and deeply appreciated the fact that American music is poplore, not folklore; and that like the Lomaxes and Seegers he followed the music instead of the party line.

Dylan's first album of acoustic, original material, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (1963), contributed four classics to the folk canon: "Masters of War," "Ballad of a Thin Man," "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall," and "Blowin' in the Wind." His next, The Times They Are A-Changin' (1963), carried him to triumph at the Newport Folk Festival as the unchallenged bearer of the Guthrie-Seeger mantle.

But then a strange thing happened: the mantle-bearer became a turncoat. First, he stopped singing protest songs. His next album, Another Side of Bob Dylan (1964), contained songs about personal relationships, which irked the editors of Sing Out!, who accused him of "selling out." Second, Dylan gave up his original acoustic sound and took up with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, a young white group who played the fully electrified Chicago blues style identified with figures like Muddy Waters.

Most music fans know, or think they know, that by appearing with the Butterfield band at the 1965 Newport Blues Festival, Dylan scandalized his elders and forged a brave new link between folk music and rock. The story is a bit more complicated, actually. The electric blues was pretty well accepted by then—in fact, earlier in the program Alan Lomax had appeared onstage discussing the fine points of that and other blues styles. Some in the crowd booed the electrified Dylan; Pete Seeger declared himself and angry"; Sing Out! issued another denunciation. But this time, the purists were outnumbered. Most listeners welcomed the new sound, and Dylan's career took off.

Yet it's worth noting that throughout that career, Dylan's greatest contribution has been to swim against the rock current. Most people think of him as the artist who merged folk with rock, and this is true if rock means the blues-based music he played in the 1960s. But Dylan did not sire hard rock, psychedelic rock, art rock, shock rock, heavy metal, glam metal, thrash metal, speed metal, death metal, punk metal, or any other of rock's squealing progeny. Indeed, the true measure of his standing as an American folk artist is how consistently he has returned popular music to its roots.

In 1968 hard rock was reaching its apogee, psychedelic rock ruled the drug scene, heavy metal was starting up, and the last thing the hippies and radicals cared about was country music. So what did Dylan do? He made two country-influenced albums, John Wesley Harding (1968) and Nashville Skyline (1969). A new genre was born, country-rock, which despite its later blandness did reconnect popular music with some of its roots. In the late 1970s, it became fashionable to pickle Dylan as a countercultural relic, holy and dead as Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, and Janis Joplin. But once again he defied the spirit of the age by announcing that he had become the most uncool thing imaginable: a born-again Christian. He began to make gospel albums, the best of which, Slow Train Coming (1979), impresses even secular critics with its musical quality. In 1999 he told Newsweek: "I find the religiosity and the philosophy in the music. I don't find it anywhere else." As a credo for America's best-known folk singer, this keeps the focus where it belongs: on the music.

[The word, "poplore", used above, was introduced a few paragraphs earlier in Bayles' essay: Here we encounter a major complication on the American scene, one that has been there from the beginning: America has never had folk music in the classic European sense. How could it, when its people are descended from Indians, settlers, slaves, and numerous different immigrant groups, rather than from peasants who have tilled the same soil, spoken the same language, and sung the same songs for generations? Some folklorists, notably the late Gene Bluestein, accept this fact about America and argue for a different term, poplore, to describe America's dynamic blend of ethnic traditions and its wide-open market for entertainment.]


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Jul 18 - 02:20 AM

I think Dylan was a musical opportunist, he used the folk protest angle he later used the religous angle, but imo he was single minded in aiming for commercial success,he was a pop singer[with initially a folk stylesound] who used various streams to achieve financial success .
ochs was a singer/writer who saw song as a vehicle for political change ,as writers they both had strenghths and weakness ,but in my opinion neither of them wrote any social comment song that compared to MacColl or Rosselson at their best


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 06 Jul 18 - 03:47 AM

By and large , if you're serious about songwriting - you write the songs you want and they're the best songs you're capable of.

I wouldn't mind the royalty cheques of MacColl, Rosselson, Bob Dylan or Stephen Sondheim , or George Gershwin or Paul MacCartney.

But I wouldn't swap their songs for the ones I wrote. They're what I did with my life and hopefully the best part of me. Comparisons are odious. They did what they wanted. I did what I wanted.

Somewhere along the line Phil Ochs despite being a great talent, lost the joy of it. Its a common fate. I can think of half a dozen of my friends, talented guys - but they didn't get the success, recognition or whatever it takes to sustain your self belief and level of joy at being creative.

Knowing them as I do, and in several cases loving them as people, my heart goes out to Phil Ochs. I've seen guys in a similar creative predicament.But comparing him to Dylan is neither here nor there.

Neither for that matter is it sensible pondering the MacColl/Dylan/Donovan wars - which in retrospect seem to have assumed the importance in some minds of the Castalmarese Mafia face offs and Montgomery versus Rommel.

All of these songwritere were serious artists who believed what they believed about the nature of folk music. The important thing is that their beliefs sustained impressive bodies of work.


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jul 18 - 04:03 AM

Good summary, in both two proceeding posts here, but Ballad of a Thin Man was surely not included on any version of Freewheeling. Oxford Town was a protest song, but interestingly there are a few non protest songs like Don’t Think Twice which I don’t think anyone objected to at that time.


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Jul 18 - 06:38 AM

Dont think Twice is one song that Dylan is not entirely responsible for some of it was written by P Clayton, an example ofDylans intellectual dishonesty.
An attribute he shares with a member of this forum who worships Ewan MacColl


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 06 Jul 18 - 06:47 AM

True, about Don’t Think Twice, but the inclusion of songs like that and Corina (also not original) as substitutes for some of his other protest songs shows that he was already wanting to move on to other stuff. He started out as a rock and roller of course, before discovering folk music, but then didn’t everybody?


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Jul 18 - 06:54 AM

He started out as a rock and roller of course, before discovering folk music, but then didn’t everybody? NO Bill Haley, started as a country singer and yodeller and was later promoted as a rock and roller. Lonie Donegan started as a jazz man and like the other two when he saw the possibilties of commercial money making became a skiffler ,D


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Jul 18 - 06:56 AM

Dylan changed when he could make more money,that is not meant as a critism but an illustration that all along he was single minded in his determination to be commercial


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Jul 18 - 07:25 AM

06.38 am post gratuitously offensive and unnecessary, Dick.


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Jul 18 - 08:24 AM

Dylan was intellectually dishonest in trying to pass if off as his own in the first place, since the other person has not been named,i would advise you to mind your own business, bye


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 06 Jul 18 - 09:31 AM

I meant those of a certain age group were initially drawn to rock and roll; those who were older were obviously more likely to be drawn to what was popular when they themselves were teenagers, which wouldn’t be rock and roll since it had barely appeared by then, but that’s a subject for another thread and another forum surely.


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: GUEST,Greg F.
Date: 06 Jul 18 - 10:37 AM

God help the troubadour
Who tries to be a star
So play the chords of love, my friend
Play the chords of pain
If you want to keep your song,
Don't play the chords of fame


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: GUEST,lefthanded guitar
Date: 06 Jul 18 - 11:15 AM

Not sure I should even get into this discussion as so much has already been said. But I'l l put in my 2 cents worth because Dylan had a profound influence on me ( and so many millions ) - His songs inspired me; not just to love music in a deeoer way than I had before, but to have a greater appreciation of art, poetry, and all endeavors id the creative soul.

I ' m replying to the original question posed here, why has Ochs been
neglected in the annals of fame, compared to Dylan. Well I have two
observations on this. You could ask why ANY of the folk-singer- songwriters
of the period Dylan emerged from were neglected - along with Ochs,
there were excellent songwriters like Tom Paxton, Eric Anderson,
Gordon Bok, Ian and Sylvia, Jean Ritchie, Jerry Jeff Walker, etc etc please feel
free to recall some names of your own. Some wrote topical songs
and some wrote poetic narratives- and all were gifted and many of
us sing their music today. And should we even compare one against the
other? There was a whole mix of musicians from that 60s folk scene that
are not as lauded or well known as not only Dylan, but Donovan, Baez and Collins,
etc. If we!re sitting in a song circle, do we have any less appreciation of sharing music,
whether we sing Forever Young or Goodnight Loving Trail or
Roseville Fair? I'd hope not.

But the bottom line is, for music lovers like me ( and I embrace so many types of music whether it be Lightfoot or Beethoven, Streisand or Miles, Seeger or Satie) - Dylan is the
best. He is like Picasso, going through so many phases and styles of songwriting, following everyone and yet sounding like no one else - and influencing everyone as he has passionately pursued his muse over 50 plus years, and counting. He reached millions, from the start to now. In fact someone in this site turned me onto a more 'recent' song of his - Dark Eyes- as penetrating and mystical and soulful as anything he 's written since he first described a lover as being "true, like ice like fire."

Dylan is a genius, as true to his muse as anyone can be, and he as never stopped
creating and evolving and giving us the songs from his heart. Whether he is angry
at the Masters of War or at a two faced backstabbing phony who has the 'nerve to call yourself a friend' , whether he is tender and passionate in all the complexities of love,   to a Sad eyed Lady or Sara to make a lady 'feel his love' or whether he's doting on his son and everyone's child, and in fact, on everyone- in Forever Young- he has the gift to
touch generations of us all. And I do believe that like Beethoven and
Berlin - his music will outlast his contemporaries - and live in and on.


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Subject: RE: Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan
From: Donuel
Date: 06 Jul 18 - 12:06 PM

Regarding the original question, imo it can never be ultimately answered due to what? Suicide or longevity? A longer deeper pool of poetry?
Should society be the judge, isn't it possible that the quality of perseverence by Dylan in his longevity taint the jury pool? Is suicide predjudicial? I take a psycho social view due to experience.

As for what vocal style is grating, we know Dylan can sound like ahuan na nawn a waanhua ung.

The song scholorship many of you have is profound on this subject.
I do lean a bit toward the LH POV


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