Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?

Related threads:
Phil Ochs-what would he say about happenings now? (9)
In honor of Phil Ochs (20)
Phil Ochs - ever see him perform? (62)
Phil Ochs - paid agitator? (22)
Obit: Alice Ochs, widow of Phil (27 Nov 2010) (3)
Review: Pete Seeger to Phil Ochs (17)
Phil Ochs - There But For Fortune (film) (15)
Review: Phil Ochs Documentary for 2011 (28)
Phil Ochs' 70th Birth Anniversary, 12/19 (1)
Phil Ochs (62)
Review: Phil Ochs (46)
Phil Ochs Birthday(19 Dec 1940), died 9 April 1976 (29)
I just discovered Phil Och's music (54)
Announce: Phil Ochs - DNTO (3)
Help: ochs cd (5)
Phil Ochs as guitarist (2)
Phil Ochs reissues (2)
Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, Pat Sky (36)
Phil Ochs' guitar tuning (3)
Music of Phil Ochs, Sat. 18th (2)


M. Ted (inactive) 26 Jun 00 - 01:18 PM
L R Mole 26 Jun 00 - 01:42 PM
Jim the Bart 26 Jun 00 - 01:47 PM
InOBU 26 Jun 00 - 01:50 PM
Amergin 26 Jun 00 - 01:57 PM
Mike Regenstreif 26 Jun 00 - 01:58 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 26 Jun 00 - 05:28 PM
Rick Fielding 26 Jun 00 - 05:39 PM
Mike Regenstreif 26 Jun 00 - 05:56 PM
Max 26 Jun 00 - 06:04 PM
bob jr 26 Jun 00 - 09:57 PM
Lonesome EJ 27 Jun 00 - 12:48 AM
DADGBE 27 Jun 00 - 12:55 AM
Whistle Stop 27 Jun 00 - 08:50 AM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Jun 00 - 09:29 AM
Whistle Stop 27 Jun 00 - 10:46 AM
M. Ted (inactive) 27 Jun 00 - 10:56 AM
L R Mole 27 Jun 00 - 11:44 AM
Mike Regenstreif 27 Jun 00 - 12:12 PM
Amergin 27 Jun 00 - 12:40 PM
Rick Fielding 27 Jun 00 - 12:49 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 27 Jun 00 - 01:12 PM
Whistle Stop 27 Jun 00 - 01:15 PM
GUEST,dadaid 27 Jun 00 - 01:45 PM
Rick Fielding 27 Jun 00 - 01:48 PM
GUEST,dadaid 27 Jun 00 - 01:53 PM
annamill 27 Jun 00 - 02:11 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 27 Jun 00 - 03:05 PM
Whistle Stop 27 Jun 00 - 03:27 PM
bflat 27 Jun 00 - 04:35 PM
Bert 27 Jun 00 - 04:47 PM
Lanfranc 27 Jun 00 - 06:15 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 27 Jun 00 - 06:35 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 27 Jun 00 - 07:00 PM
bob jr 27 Jun 00 - 08:55 PM
mccomas 27 Jun 00 - 09:17 PM
bob jr 27 Jun 00 - 10:07 PM
Rick Fielding 27 Jun 00 - 10:16 PM
bob jr 27 Jun 00 - 10:30 PM
Ron Olesko 27 Jun 00 - 10:41 PM
GUEST,Ted Crouch 27 Jun 00 - 11:13 PM
GUEST 28 Jun 00 - 10:00 AM
annamill 28 Jun 00 - 03:19 PM
GUEST,Ben Birdwell 29 Jun 00 - 02:16 AM
Steve Latimer 29 Jun 00 - 11:01 AM
L R Mole 29 Jun 00 - 12:31 PM
Peter T. 29 Jun 00 - 12:44 PM
Jim the Bart 29 Jun 00 - 01:41 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 29 Jun 00 - 03:21 PM
GUEST,Jim Dean of India 01 Jul 00 - 04:20 PM
GUEST 07 Jul 00 - 11:17 PM
BK 08 Jul 00 - 12:00 AM
Thomas the Rhymer 08 Jul 00 - 01:25 AM
WillH 08 Jul 00 - 11:42 AM
bob jr 09 Jul 00 - 12:19 AM
GUEST,Bill Perry 17 Jun 11 - 09:04 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 17 Jun 11 - 09:31 AM
GUEST,Garry Gilermitt 17 Jun 11 - 08:44 PM
Jeri 17 Jun 11 - 10:34 PM
Little Hawk 17 Jun 11 - 11:02 PM
GUEST,Bill Perry 18 Jun 11 - 01:09 AM
GUEST,Doug Saum 18 Jun 11 - 01:43 PM
Little Hawk 19 Jun 11 - 12:48 AM
GUEST,DonMeixner 19 Jun 11 - 07:58 PM
Little Hawk 19 Jun 11 - 09:37 PM
GUEST,DonMeixner 20 Jun 11 - 12:28 AM
GUEST,Guest - Lin 20 Jun 11 - 01:28 AM
Jim McLean 20 Jun 11 - 09:01 AM
Little Hawk 20 Jun 11 - 10:40 AM
EBarnacle 20 Jun 11 - 05:27 PM
GUEST,DonMeixner 21 Jun 11 - 12:05 AM
Little Hawk 21 Jun 11 - 12:25 PM
Lexman 21 Jun 11 - 07:32 PM
Bobert 21 Jun 11 - 08:33 PM
Little Hawk 22 Jun 11 - 02:08 PM
GUEST 22 Jun 11 - 04:10 PM
Lexman 22 Jun 11 - 11:31 PM
Joe Offer 23 Jun 11 - 01:30 AM
GUEST,Doug Saum 23 Jun 11 - 12:57 PM
Joe Offer 24 Aug 11 - 08:52 PM
Bobert 24 Aug 11 - 09:29 PM
Max 24 Aug 11 - 10:47 PM
michaelr 24 Aug 11 - 11:59 PM
Max 25 Aug 11 - 12:23 AM
Acme 25 Aug 11 - 12:27 AM
Max 25 Aug 11 - 01:15 AM
Stringsinger 25 Aug 11 - 09:47 AM
meself 25 Aug 11 - 11:58 AM
Bill D 25 Aug 11 - 03:52 PM
GUEST,banjopicker 28 Nov 11 - 08:20 PM
pdq 28 Nov 11 - 08:37 PM
GUEST,999 28 Nov 11 - 08:53 PM
GUEST 21 Mar 13 - 01:39 PM
Uncle Tone 21 Mar 13 - 02:27 PM
GUEST 07 Jan 14 - 11:16 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Why did Bob Dylan shun Phil Ochs?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 26 Jun 00 - 01:18 PM

People are starting to get interested in Phil again--and with that come a new generation of listeners, who hear his songs, his voice, and his guitar playing on it's own merit, and not as something that is subordinate to Dylan. That is great, as far as I am concerned, because I loved everything that he did, from the beginning to the end, and I have always felt that he was never properly appreciated.

At the same time,as an impressionable teenager, I accepted the Dylan myth, the Dylan image, and the Dylan outlook, and tended to carry those impressions with me. Now I feel like it is maybe time to look a little deeper.

I just have been thinking about Rick Fielding's comment about "Positively 4th Street" that Dylan wrote it about Phil (though I had also heard that it was directed at Dave Van Ronk and/or Mark Spoelstra or even Ramblin' Jack Elliot). Whether it was specifically targetted at Phil or not, I do know that he was very cold toward Phil Ochs during the last years of his life. does anyone know why?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: L R Mole
Date: 26 Jun 00 - 01:42 PM

Unsubstantiated rumor, which might be in "A Small Circle of Friends"; I don't have that in front of me just now:when Bob played Phil a demo of "Positively 4th St., the latter said, " It's great, Bob, but it'll never be another "Like a Rolling Stone". They didn't speak again for years. I'm off home to ransack the reference shelf, to correct, or verify, or at least blame someone else.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 26 Jun 00 - 01:47 PM

Why do Rams and Bucks bang their heads together? Dissing the competition is a natural thing. Dylan obviously felt that Phil Ochs was a threat. All those other guys you mention were also part of the pack that young Mr. D. saw as his competition, but there were few out there that had the body of high quality work that Phil Ochs did. We live in a very competitive society (if anyone hasn't noticed). This is not meant as a criticism, but Capitalism fosters competition rather than cooperation. You have to be very self-assured to not react negatively when you feel challenged. On the other hand, you have to be tough when the criticism is aimed at you and see other's criticism for what it is. You have to take it all with the proverbial grain of salt. It's a shame that Phil Ochs appeared to take it all too seriously. He forgot that quality work stands on its own, whether accepted when offered or not. He lost faith that his work would eventually be proven out. And finally, he began to see himself as past his time. Maybe if he would have felt the support from a peer like Dylan, he might have weathered that period of his life, seen some of the appreciation of his work that has developed, and gone on to write even more high quality stuff.

This is all just my speculation on this subject, based on what I've read. I think it's a shame that Phil Ochs isn't around now.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: InOBU
Date: 26 Jun 00 - 01:50 PM

Jealosy
Larry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Amergin
Date: 26 Jun 00 - 01:57 PM

I think InObu hit the nail on the head, jealousy the green eyed monster. Dylan has ever been the egocentric SOB.

Amergin


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Mike Regenstreif
Date: 26 Jun 00 - 01:58 PM

My understanding of "Positively 4th Street" was that it was directed at those in the folk scene who felt that Dylan was deserting the cause by exploring new directions in lyrics, music and song forms.

So far as I know, Dylan has never said that it was directed at Phil Ochs, or any other specific individual.

On occasion, I have talked about Dylan with both Dave Van Ronk and Ramblin' Jack Elliott. Neither ever indicated to me that they felt personally attacked by the song. Dave says that he learned more from Dylan than Dylan learned from him.

In one of the books of Dylanology that I read years ago, it said that Irwin Silber, the 1960s-era editor of Sing Out! Magazine was the intended target of "Positively 4th Street" and that the song was in response to Irwin's "open letter to Bob Dylan" that he published in Sing Out! in 1964.

Mike Regenstreif


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 26 Jun 00 - 05:28 PM

Interesting thoughts here--

Susan Rotolo, who might know better than anyone what Dylan had in mind at the time that he wrote it, said that she understood why Van Ronk and Spoelstra might be upset about P. 4thSt.

Larry--The animosity that Dylan felt seems very deep, though he was once close to Phil, I am told that he never sent any condolences to the family after his death, and that he never dignified the invitations to play at Phil's Memorial with any response at all. If it was jealousy, it was one of the extreme cases!!

Judging by the quality of stuff he was writing in the last part of his career--"Chords of Fame" "Jim Dean of Indiana" and "Tape from California", he was way better than Dylan at growing, changing as a songwriter, and, especially, at anticipating where music was going--


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 26 Jun 00 - 05:39 PM

Actually in the years up to his death, Phil played several times with Dylan, so they must have worked something out. The legendary feuds (Terry and McGee, Weavers, Almanacs, CSNY, Monroe-Flatt-Scruggs etc.) rarely have simple answers. My guess is that being mouthy at the wrong time was probably the cause of most of them...and money!

Rick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Mike Regenstreif
Date: 26 Jun 00 - 05:56 PM

M.Ted,

I'm not sure that Suze Rotolo would be a good source for definitive information on this matter. The song dates from 1965. If I recall correctly, her relationship with Dylan ended circa 1963.

Also, while Dylan may not have been nice to Phil Ochs during the '60s, I really don't think you can make the case that it was Dylan who was jealous of Phil. Clearly, it was the reverse. Read Marc Elliot's biography of Phil for some background.

Mike Regenstreif


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Max
Date: 26 Jun 00 - 06:04 PM

What about the famous max and dick feud? Lasted damn near thirty years. It all started when we was playing craps and I threw a 7 but he swore I threw and 8. Then he wore my brand new Stetson hat and all hell broke loose. Didn't speak for years. Then one day I'm in a doughnut shop in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and I heard this voice order a danish and a jelly doughnut and just knew who that was. We stared each other down, seemingly looking for weakness and intent, never blinking, and then embraced with laughter. He finally admitted that it was in fact a 7 I threw all them years back. He just really liked my hat. So we sat and drank 17 cups of darkroast coffee and decided to start this Web site. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Oh, still, neither of us are talking to Dylan... he's a poor loser.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: bob jr
Date: 26 Jun 00 - 09:57 PM

okay well here is the real source of the big fight between dylan and ochs it wasnt positvely 4th street which was a stone radio hit out of the box but its follow up "can you please crawl out of your window" which ochs dismissed as a non hit and he was right but later the same evening dylan kicked ochs out of his limousine telling him (quite rightly at the time) that ochs was "a reporter not a songwriter" . as to ochs sad descent after this time it sure didnt show better songwriting than bob just a slavish attempt to be as good as bob which ochs like so many others didnt come close too doing sorry for all of you who cant hear that .........


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 12:48 AM

Well, Max, maybe. Not the way Dick tells it, though.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: DADGBE
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 12:55 AM

Rumor, the stuff of legend. Or legends, the stuff of rumor. Tales are told that P.4St. was about Irwin Silber. Tales are also told that the target was Richard Farina.
Does anyone know the true myth?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 08:50 AM

Based on what I've read, Dylan was dissing Ochs long before either Positively 4th Street or Can You Please Crawl Out Yoyr Window were written. I can't buy the jealousy theory -- Dylan was clearly the superior writer and creative force, and there's no question that he had a much more successful career. I'm sorry Ochs' life ended the way it did, but you know, the guy was kind of a second-rate writer, and his "vision" was not especially visionary. He just wasn't in the same league as Dylan, and they both knew it.

As for why Dylan dissed him (exactly when did "dis" and its parent word "disrespect" become a verb, anyway?), I think it was because (a) Ochs was a weak personality, and (b) Dylan had a real cruel streak, especially at that point in his life. Dylan dissed a lot of people; Ochs' big problem was that he kept coming back for more.

Just my opinion, of course; I'm sure there are folks out there who have a higher regard for Ochs' talent than I do, and I hope I haven't offended them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 09:29 AM

Just because you are better at some things than someone else doesn't stop you being jealous and resentful of them, if that's the sort of person you are.

Self hate has a lot to do with it, and Dylan had a lot of that, you can see it in song after song. It's a sort of fuel.

It's a bit interesting speculating about what was in someone's mind when they write a song, but it's not the end of the story. All kind of things can set off a song, and the song is there at the end of it, and if it's the kind of song Dylan was writing then, it can apply to all sorts of other things. A branch on a tree might grow in a particular shape because of the wind and the weather, but the important thing, if someone's turning it into a didgeridoo, say, is what shape it is, rather than why it became that shape. (Not that I've ever made a didgeridoo, but you get the point.)

Positivily Fourth Street isn't "about Phil Ochs". It's about broken friendship and stuff like that. And that's why it's a good song, because we all experience that sometimes, at a personal level, at a group level, at any level you like. You could quote it in any of the threads about national flaws we keep getting in the Mudcat, and it'd be relevant to that. Or men and women. Or flaming.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 10:46 AM

Good points, McGrath. I write a lot myself, and my writing is heavily influenced by Dylan. While there is often an event or motivation that triggers the song initially, by the time I've reached the end of the writing process the specific meaning of the song tends to be a lot harder to identify. I prefer songs like that; songs that have more than one application, and reflect more than one emotion. The interesting things in life are not black and white -- reality is more ambiguous than that, and emotions tend to be more conflicted. Songs that acknowledge this ambiguity mean more to me than songs that never move beyond the starting point, but just take a "position" and try to hammer the point home.

Yes, I think Dylan had a lot of self-hatred, or at least self-disappointment. And people who feel that way often lash out at others (look how cruel adolescents can be, particularly to their less popular peers). Dylan also was very clever verbally, and surrounded himself with friends who reinforced his cruelty and arrogance. It wasn't pretty, and he probably has some regrets now about how he treated people back then. Don't we all...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 10:56 AM

Whistlestop--I actually tried to change "dis" to something else, it was the only word I could think of allowed me to convey the thought in a little box--when I came up with a better word, it was too late, and I coudn't change it--nonetheless,"Dis" is, as you probably know, a slang truncation that was current in urban speech,, and came into general usage from is use by certain performing artists and songwriters--you all know what I mean, but I won't go there.

Mike--Of course I have read Marc Eliot, and know what he has to say about Phil--I am curious about what Dylan's motivation might have been.

The comments about Phil being as second rate songwriter, and lacking vision show make me think that you haven't listened to him lately--Whether you like him or not, Phil had a gift for melody and lyrics--and he was a very good and very versatile singer, and made effective use of his guitar.

Bob,Jr, I think it is pretty hard to make a case that Phil was a slavish imitator of Dylan--they are artists who may have started in the same place, but they took their work in different directions. Dylan's work tended to be oblique interior monologue, rendering both his emotions and his social and political commentary through surreal imagery, while Phil tended to focus on the concrete, the pictures of life, and their political and moral ramifications.

Like everybody, I tend to feel that I have a personal relationship with the performers and artists that I like. The truth of course is that we only know the work, and we know them only to the degree that the work expresses who they are.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: L R Mole
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 11:44 AM

Well put, McG. Jersey Bruce said (most recently, I suppose),"Trust the art, not the artist." The universality of songs weathers circumstances and gossip, if they're good enough. Reference to Mr. Farina I suppose is from "Morgan the Pirate", from R& M's "Memories" album (which I think is cited here, somewhere. But who is lucky enough to not live among pirates? Similarly, "Crucifixion" is assumed to be about Jack Kennedy, which is certainly is on one level, but it might as well be about Phil. Or the original subject, for that matter.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Mike Regenstreif
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 12:12 PM

M. Ted,

Please reread my post, I did not suggest in any way that Phil Ochs was a second-rate songwriter. In fact, I did not even mention his songwriting in my post.

Mike Regenstreif


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Amergin
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 12:40 PM

L.R. Mole, Phil Ochs himself said that Crucifixion was about "the mystical process which took the lives of John and Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King." Not much of an assumption there when the writer himself has said it.

Amergin


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 12:49 PM

From everything I've heard and read, all of Dylan's cronies came back for more insults and "dissing". That's pretty true of all famous people and the folks who wanna be famous by association. Kinda silly isn't it?

Rick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 01:12 PM

Mike, sorry if I wasn't clear in my attribution--Whistlestop and Bob, Jr. made the comments that I was responding to. I looked at the way it came up, and realized that it looks like I am responding to you in that line--which I didn't intend.

I have been sitting here and listening, for the last couple hours, to "Fairwells and Fantasies", which is the best CD collection of his work, and I have made it to "Cucifixion" up til now, nearly every song seems like his best one, but maybe this one is...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 01:15 PM

M.Ted, in defense of Mike, it was I who said that Phil Ochs was a second-rate songwriter who lacked vision. A personal opinion only, and I'll confess that I'm not as familiar with his entire body of work as a lot of the rest of you folks are (we tend to listen to the people we like, and I don't like his music very much, so I don't listen to it -- know what I mean?). But I've heard the better-known ones -- I Ain't Marchin' Any More, Changes, Love Me I'm A Liberal (or whatever it's called), etc. -- and I am not all that impressed. I certainly don't rate him as highly as Dylan. But it's okay for us to disagree on that, and I remain open to changing my assessment if and when I hear more of his work.

As for "dis," I hope you don't feel I was criticizing you. It's just one of those words that I don't particularly care for, and think we could do without. No big deal.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: GUEST,dadaid
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 01:45 PM

all youse peoples have way too much free time...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 01:48 PM

Dear Dadaid, ain't it the truth? We're all successful Day Traders with constant incomes.

Rick (who doesn't manage his time wisely)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: GUEST,dadaid
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 01:53 PM

Rick ! tanx, i too am a day trader but livin here in atlanta.., well lets just say i dont get around much anymore .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: annamill
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 02:11 PM

..and here, all this time, I thought it was ME the song was about! I saw and heard Dylan play in the village (that's Greenwich Village to non-NYers) and I used to hear everyone say he had big..well, you know whats to get up in public with that terrible voice. I was one of them. When he walked into one of our coffee houses we would stand in the back and just shake our heads. It just so happens that most of these coffee houses were around W. 4th Street. Boy, were we shocked when he was picked up. And it wasn't even Folkways, it was Columbia!! A few of us (not me) were lucky (or unlucky) enough to get to hang out with him. I always thought that this song was about we who laughed. Go figure. Another FACT gone. Amazing.

Love, annap


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 03:05 PM

Whistlestop--

As I mentioned, I've been listening to "Fairwells and Fantasies" which is a three CD compilation, produced by Gary Stewart, Michael Ochs, Meegan Lee Ochs. It features recordings from his entire career, including lots of live cuts, and also including some of the best of his later stuff, which is really good--well written, well produced, well performed, it falls short of greatness in only one way--it is not well known.

There is an inclination to dimiss this highly produced studio work as a "wrong direction" but it is exceptional music, and it shows that he had the capacity to do the kind of work that turned 70's singer-songwriters types, like the Eagles, Jackson Brown, Billy Joel, Dan Fogelberg, and Seals and Crofts into Superstars. Only thing is, from what I understand, that wasn't what he wanted.

Anyway, you should listen to it--my special faves are most everything from "Pleasures of the Harbor"(which has been newly released on CD), including "Outside a Small Circle of Friends", "Crucifixion", "Miranda", and the title cut, "Jim Dean of Indiana", "No More Songs", and "The Chords of Fame".

He is worth hearing--


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 03:27 PM

Thanks for the tip, M.Ted -- I'll have to give him another listen.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: bflat
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 04:35 PM

I have very much enjoyed all the comments. I came late to the dance and never saw either during this period. I will say that I find Ochs compelling and enigmatic. Dylan is easier to play and not as complicated to understand his message. Speaking only for myself. Perhaps the discord was due to only one loving the other's work and not a reciprocal response.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Bert
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 04:47 PM

And I'm jealous of Amos and McGrath of bleedin' Harlow and all those other Mudcatter song challenge winners who keep writing songs that are better than mine. Rotten bastards, I hate the bleedin' lot of you.

Bert. (Love you really guys and gals)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Lanfranc
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 06:15 PM

Phil Ochs was a clever, complicated person who left us prematurely. Too many musicians do - David Munrow and Peter Bellamy are two sadly similar cases from this side of the pond.

Whatever devils sat on their shoulders and whispered "You're no good, you're past it" or whatever were probably the same who inspired the best of the works that we remember them by.

Dylan failed to die romantically young, although fate and a motorcycle did have one abortive attempt. He came to songwriting from a very different direction. To a certain extent Ochs was more a journalist than a poet, but I find his songs are often more accessible than Dylan's.

Not better, nor worse, just different.

We'd be poorer without either. Whatever their personal animosities, real or imagined.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 06:35 PM

I think a definitive answer would be one that Phil Ochs himself stated. Though,my suspicion is that other things led up to it.

There is a recorded interview given by Phil at Irwin Silber's facility. The interview tape was given to me and I played the Dylan excerpt on my program some time ago. He tells a long story on it--the essence of which is as follows:

Ben Blue and Phil were in Dylan's limo. When asked his opinion of Dylan's new work he said something to the effect that it will certainly not be another Rolling Stone. Bob D then told him, according to Phil, that he Phil was nothing but a reporter while he (D) was a songwritger. Then proceeded to kick him out of the car.

This is from Phil's mouth.

As to me---I think Phil was a terrific songwriter AND reporter.

Bill Hahn


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 07:00 PM

Question for Alan, what do you mean when you say "more of a journalist than a poet"? I have heard this idea expressed a few times, and I am not sure what it means--it reminds me vaguely of Truman Capote's famous, if not particularly inciteful comment on Kerouac, "That's not writing, that's typing"--


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: bob jr
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 08:55 PM

hey bill h thanks for repeating almost verbatim the story i told way earlier in this thread!!! i guess nobody including me reads these things from the begining and phil often talked about trying to be as big as dylan so if you doubt it read some of his bios cause he says it himself. i like phil ochs enough to read about his life and i like his later material to his earlier stuff but he just wasnt as good as bob dylan ,as for bobs stuff being simple PLEASE if that is simple then i wish i was a dumb as him


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: mccomas
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 09:17 PM

I think this whole issue is nothing but "Dylan for Dollars."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: bob jr
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 10:07 PM

well i guess someone had to say something real dumb nice job mccomas


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 10:16 PM

Lotsa people READ the posts before they post, Jr.

The "journalist" thing has been slung at Ochs so many times, perhaps even HE believed it. It's as stupid as comparing their work to see who's was better. Can anyone fathom just how much all of these guys DRANK, before they had their "philisophical" discussions? It's a wonder ANY of them are alive today.

Rick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: bob jr
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 10:30 PM

and in the end bob did go and do that chile benefit at the felt forum so i think they were done fighting


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 10:41 PM

Well put Rick. Booze, drugs, and the times certainly enter into the story. We will never know what really transpired, but it amazes me that there are some people that point to this incident as the turning point in Phil's life - as if that was the incident that would make him take his own life 11 years later. It is more complex then that.

And why do people knock journalists? What is so bad about calling him a journalist? He looked at himself as a troubadour, and if your look up that definition you will see that troubadours were the journalists of their day.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: GUEST,Ted Crouch
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 11:13 PM

These guys came together at a time when there was room for many more songwriters. Whatever went down between them happens to all of us in some way along the way. Pity they didn't carry on in their own way. I think we've all been blessed a bit having writers like Dylan and Ochs living in our time!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jun 00 - 10:00 AM

Despite what Annap said about people shaking their heads, I remember most of us in the Village being in awe of Bobby's amazing talents. If you ever get a chance to talk to Tom Paxton, Noel Stookey, Peter Yarrow or Dave Van Ronk, they'll back me up on this.

Phil worshipped Bobby. Phil's behavior could also be very erratic and he was sometimes really difficult to be around. Bobby took a lot of shit from Phil for a long time before that limo incident. In the last years of his life, Phil literally disintegrated mentally. We later found out he suffered from bipolar disease.

Sonny and Michael Ochs have done a great job of keeping Phil's music alive. Would that we all have such a supportive family.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: annamill
Date: 28 Jun 00 - 03:19 PM

Guest, what are you talking about?? He came up with his big ole D28, a harp around his neck, and an absolutely terrible voice. He later developed his music and I am one of his fans NOW. But at first, it just wasn't there. By the way, I never saw Tom Paxton, Noel Stookey, Peter Yarrow or Dave Van Ronk in any of the coffee houses I worked at. And I worked at a lot of them, because they all had my phone number if someone couldn't come in. This includes 'The Fat, Black Pussy Cat', ' The Night Owl', 'The Bitter End', 'Rienzi's', 'The Feenjon', 'The Wha!', and many others. Bob would make the rounds each night, just like all the other folk singers did, and I was there and I heard how the people responded..and laughed. He may have been great then, but we poor listeners didn't know it.

Love, annap


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: GUEST,Ben Birdwell
Date: 29 Jun 00 - 02:16 AM

A very cool discussion....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 29 Jun 00 - 11:01 AM

I've told this story on the 'Cat before, but it is worth repeating. A friend of mine who actually earned his living in the late fifties and early sixties performing Ukranian Folk songs in Canada (I'm not making this up) decided to go go to New York to take in the village. He tells of seeing a strange looking young man in overalls singing songs in a voice so stange that he and his companions were actually laughing. But he said on the drive back to Toronto he couldn't get the songs out of his head. He was watching T.V. a few months later and saw the same fellow. It was of course Bob.

The other story he tells is of sitting out a terrible snowstorm at Toronto's famed Riverboat. Apparently there was him and about four other patrons due to the weather. He saw a woman there who absolutely captivated him, it was Joni on her first trip to Toronto.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: L R Mole
Date: 29 Jun 00 - 12:31 PM

Amergin: precisely my point. You let art of any sort out, and prople will find stuff in there beyond what you say or intend. Da Vinci probably thought of Mona as some patroness with bad teeth.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Peter T.
Date: 29 Jun 00 - 12:44 PM

Steve, the story is slightly exaggerated. I occasionally frequented the Riverboat, and while I remember it being damp from time to time, I can't believe that there was a terrible snowstorm at the Riverboat -- if so, the four patrons were noble. And of course, the fact that Joni, like all sensible people would have the urge for going and not leave would be remarkable. Wait a minute!! I feel a song coming on!!!

yours, Peter T.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 29 Jun 00 - 01:41 PM

The real pity in this whole thing was that Phil Ochs cared so much about what Bob Dylan and others said about him. There is plenty of room for both of them in my toon library, just as there is plenty of room for journalists and poets in my words library.

As President Jack Nicholson said in "Mars Attacks", "Can't we all just . . .get along."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 29 Jun 00 - 03:21 PM

It occurs to me from time to time that the people who perform, and especially those who write, seem to carry around a lot of anger. It may be that if you find an effective way to channel it outward, you can end up a success, and if you let it turn back on yourself, you end up like--Well, you can fill in the names yourselves...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: GUEST,Jim Dean of India
Date: 01 Jul 00 - 04:20 PM

Let's not forget that Bob at one point said ``I just can't keep up with Phil. And he's getting better and better and better.'' if he meant it then he might very well have been jelous of phil. If he didn't who knows. Either way, you know never know if Dylan means something or is just being his pretentious fuck of a self. Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Jul 00 - 11:17 PM

refresh


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: BK
Date: 08 Jul 00 - 12:00 AM

Fact: dylan was more famous & financially successful. Does this mean in engineering a successful mass appeal he stooped to a least-common-denominator level of communication, or pandered to the crowd? (Or made people feel ok because EVERYBODY'S voice was better than his..?)

The rest is opinion. I always found dylan a mixed bag at best. Never really liked his voice, but it worked well for some songs.

I can't see in him some special intrinsic merit greater than Phil & may other writers & singers. In fact, for the most part I find less merit or memorable in dylan than in Phil or almost any "peer" or contemporary of his. I don't listen to his old albums, but I do listen to MANY others from then (& now).

& when I found out about the trad song "The Leavin' of Liverpool" I really felt ripped off by dylan

As for being a "reporter." What's wrong w/that? One of the many things real artists do is "report" their observations of humanity, the world, etc thru their art.. They illuminate, explain, inform, record such for posterity, etc...

1 man's opinion. BK


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 08 Jul 00 - 01:25 AM

1.) Dylan is mean sometimes 2.) mean people are usually insecure 3.) Ochs is blatant, and sometimes rude 4.) Ochs was what we now would call "a sensitive male" A.) this is a bad combination for a songwriter, especially when trying to fall asleep at night 5.) Any refference made to competition between these two is absurd. A.) Dylan writes to transcend the specific instance that inspired him... 1.) extensive traditional music training B.) Ochs wrote to GLORIFY the specific incidence that inspired him... 2.) popular song training?

I'm sorry, but I don't think Dylan dissed Ochs any more than he dissed everything else in his vicinity, and Ochs couldn't stop going out of his way to try to get the messenger killed... These guys were/are tallented songwriters, and both had a bone to pick. But most of all, they were playing for crouds that were not so appathetic and sheltered as most of us are now. Well, I guess we'll have to listen more closely if we are to hear that little tiny complaining voice in the psyche of the common man screeming to no effect through the layers of fat and fancy...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: WillH
Date: 08 Jul 00 - 11:42 AM

I guess I am late here, but I agree with BK about Dylan. I'll go a bit father too, and say that a lot of his songs were very sloppy, with too many words the lines, and bad rhymes. His older stuff was very gimmicky,and those sarcastic one liners. with the surrealistic images, wear really thin after a while. His newer stuff just plods, on and on and on.

A couple years back,for a birthday party for a dear friend who was a Dylan fan, we played a couple of hours worth of stuff. There were some great moments, but it got very thin at times.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: bob jr
Date: 09 Jul 00 - 12:19 AM

well i guess i am gonna defend bob dylan again but i sure get tired of it..i mean dont you folks have ears out there? first lets put some stupid dogs down here dylan was an affected singer but when he stopped (ie when the world wasnt listening ) he sounds great!! nashville skyline? great singing no question ,the unrealesed basement tapes? fantastic singing but you got to go look for it...during his "i am gonna be woody guthrie"phase or his "look how many drugs i am on"phase yeah his singing could suck and sometimes when he got older it was a mushmouthed affair i admit but most of the time this guy is a very expressive singer i will quote chapter and verse if you like

second point that old "dylan stole from tradition" ok who was bobs biggest influence in coming in to folk music?

any one who doesnt know it was woody guthrie please stop talking bout bob dylan forever or until you listen to some of guthries "originals"...woody wrote great words but when it came to tunes he just out and out stole them from other traditional songs and if its ok for guthrie (and just about everyone else for that damn matter) why is not ok for bob dylan...when someone takes something out of traditional music and brings into todays scene (such as dont think twice based on an old traditional song called whose gonna buy your chickens now) i think that is great why shouldnt tradition be adaptable to the times?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: GUEST,Bill Perry
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 09:04 AM

Just found this site.

Zimmerman was a sleaze ball. I don't know anyone in The Village that "liked" him, although some of his stuff wasn't bad (if other people sang it). The way he used Joni was cruel. Dick Farina hated his guts, and said so in song. I shared a room with Phil for a while in SoHo, so I know Phil's opinion of Zimmerman.

Illustrative story: One night in the Gas Light Zimmerman had been drinking beer and peeing his jeans. He smelled terrible. But when he started to rub his pee-soaked jeans on my leg playing "doggie" I had to cold cock him. Jack Lass, the manager, carried him out into the street until he woke up. That was the "Dylan" of The Village.

A close listen to "Positively 4th St." will confirm what I'm saying.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 09:31 AM

Whew!I rhink I'll go out and breath some fresh air.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: GUEST,Garry Gilermitt
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 08:44 PM

Ladies and gentleman, I give you Mr Bill Perry!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Jeri
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 10:34 PM

Bill Perry is the guy who refreshed a thread that had been dormant for 11 years to write nasty shit about somebody. Other than that, I don't know Bill Perry.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 11:02 PM

Phil Ochs defended Bob Dylan when most of the other East Coast folkies were attacking him for having "betrayed" them by abandoning overt protest songs (while actually composing far more subtle but not so overt protest songs which protested just about EVERYTHING rather than protesting only the specific parochial concerns of the New Left).

Phil Ochs got what Bob was doing in songs like "It's All Right Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)", "Gates of Eden", and "Desolation Row". He praised Bob for doing it.

This showed great courage and honesty on Phil Ochs' part, because he was on the outs with Bob at the time, but was still defending him.

Yes, Bob was mean and spiteful to Phil Ochs on a couple of specific occasions, during a time when he got mean and spiteful with quite a number of people. Fine. He later seems to have regretted it.

He (Bob) still wrote the most powerful, revolutionary, and intelligent songs of that time. If you get it, you get it. If you don't, nothing anyone says will make a particle of difference.

Phil Ochs wrote one really brilliant song: "Changes"

He wrote some other not bad songs as well. He wrote a lot of songs which were strident, too literal for my taste, didn't age well, but I guess that's a matter of taste. If you like his stuff, great. I can take it or leave it. Be that as it may, I still appreciate his sincerity and his honesty.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: GUEST,Bill Perry
Date: 18 Jun 11 - 01:09 AM

I'm not surprised Jeri doesn't know me; musically I wasn't much. It wasn't so much the gross thing Zimmerman did to me that bothered me, it was the way he treated everybody. During the time I saw him around I never remember him doing anything nice for anyone. He struck me as using people to get ahead, then dropping them.

As for some of Bob Dylan's music, heck, I used to do some of it myself, so I have respect for his talent. In fact I think the song he based on some lines from a Medieval poem, "If Today Was Not and Endless Highway," is one of the best songs to come out of that period.

As Little Hawk noted, Phil's popular stuff was topical, but some of it has aged better than other of it. The stuff of Phil's I really used to like, however, was not well known. He put three poems to music that I used to love doing: 1) "The Men Behind the Guns," 2) Poe's "the Bells," and 3) Noyes' "The Highwayman."

I guess one of the things that probably prejudiced me toward Dylan was that I thought Richard Farina's work was much better. When Dick was killed in that motorcycle accident I thought we lost the best man we had in The Village. Considering the way Dylan treated Joan and the rather callous way he took Dick's death and stiffed Mimi, my distaste for him turned to dislike.

Little Hawk was right. Phil did stand up for Dylan when the acoustic purists were all over him. And I never thought Dylan was disrespecting Phil until I saw this thread. I'm still not convinced.

PS: Phil wasn't always so easy to get along with either, but neither was I. He used me to type up his stuff on my old Royal Portable, and I still have a number of early drafts on newsprint typewriter paper.

If Dylan has repented his early behavior I'm glad to hear it. More power to him. It's a shame Phil isn't around to know about it.

I guess I should have kept my mouth shut about Zimmerman, but the thought he might have been putting down Phil just got me to remembering.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: GUEST,Doug Saum
Date: 18 Jun 11 - 01:43 PM

At the time of the limo ride, "Pos 4th Street/Can U pls Crawl," Dylan was undergoing a conscious shift in his musical evolution (the M. O. for his career). Ochs had not yet followed and was more clearly within the "folkie" approach - one-two guitars, one voice, and most importantly possessing a critical stance on the song's topic- for Phil that would be the issues of the day as found in the New York Times (thus the "journalistic" moniker). This is where Dylan ws coming from ("Oxford Town," "Emmett Till," "Times TAA'C" etc.- issues-driven music), but not where he was at then. Phil thought himself a peer and Dylan wanted a sychophant.

What do we know about Phil's fascination with W B Yeats?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 12:48 AM

Another thing Bob has expressed regret about in more recent times is his callous treatment of Joan Baez in the mid-60s, after their relationship began to unravel. Baez found him to be a very complicated individual...at first she thought that she could figure out what "made him tick", but eventually she came to the conclusion that she would never be able to figure it out. She certainly values the contribution he made to songwriting, though.

Richard Farina was a hell of an interesting guy, very charismatic, and he was definitely going to make his mark. Too bad he died so young. He might have died sooner if his young wife Carolyn Hester (in a jealous rage) had shot him...she very nearly did, but he talked her out of it. Fortunately for both of them. She was a fine performer in her own right.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 07:58 PM

Never have I been a big Bob fan. Always have been a Phil supporter. Recently I have found a few Bob Dylan songs that I was surprised with and enjoyed. I find more and more to like about Och's songs but preferred the pre-Gold Suit Phil.

D


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 09:37 PM

Bob's been through a lot of different stages in song styles, so if one looks at his whole catalog, there's got to be some stuff one would like, I should think.

When Phil did the Gold suit thing, he had a theory that the "message" embodied in protest music could only be marketed effectively to the changing demographic by doing it through a "rock star" outer image. He thought that the image would bring the audience, then the message would enlighten them to the serious causes he was espousing. This was pretty naive, seems to me, but it was a sincere attempt on his part. Phil was a man who genuinely gave his heart to the ideal of a social revolution and had his heart broken when that revolution appeared to fail. He wasn't the only one.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 12:28 AM

Phil was also deeply troubled mentally. Some say schizophrenic others say bipolar other say alcohol induced psychosis. I don't know which but he was troubled enough to take his life.

Any one who could write a song like "I threw it All Away" doesn't need to re-imagine traditional songs and call them his own. No doubt Dylan could write. I just didn't like what he wrote all the time.

D


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: GUEST,Guest - Lin
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 01:28 AM

Both these guys were very young in the early 60's and with youth sometimes goes disrespect and big egos. True, musicians of any age can be mean spirited towards another singer or their competition but sometimes rapid fame at such an early age can bring out the worst in a young musician.

Also, I think even though Phil Ochs was a very good writer/musician, I don't think he had the same kind of charisma that Dylan had; there was just something about Dylan (besides his great ability as a songwriter) when he was very young, in his early/mid 20's that was very charismatic that Phil Ochs didn't seem to have.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 09:01 AM

I spoke to Dylan a few times in the early 60s and found him to be a decent lad when sober. However he was a particulary nasty drunk. As far as the song Pos. 4Th St. I have always considered it a rather puerile whine.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 10:40 AM

Positively Fourth Street is a pretty mean song, all right. I like the way it sounds, but don't so much sympathize with what it says. He might have been better off not to record that one.

When of the worst things about alcohol is that it causes people's hidden garbage to emerge. We all know about the "angry drunk". Dylan seems to have been more along the lines of the waspish and sarcastic drunk. ;-)

As for charisma, he had loads of that. There was something about him that really got to people.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: EBarnacle
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 05:27 PM

At the time they were both working, I bought Phil's books and records. Phil may have been a "reporter" but the stories he reported are ongoing issues of the human condition and, definitely, more poetic than Dylan's.

Come to a "St. Phil's Night" one of these years. They are annual events.

His work has legs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 21 Jun 11 - 12:05 AM

Saying Phil's work was more poetic is sure to raise a blister somewhere.

I like most of Phil's songs. I like maybe 10 of Bob's. I agree to Phil having legs in his music. The song "Celia" haunts me.

D


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Jun 11 - 12:25 PM

Well, I'm not nearly as familiar with the whole body of Phil's work as I am with Bob's songs, so I can't really say. I do like the poetry in "Changes".

I think Bob Dylan is the best in the world at writing the kind of songs he writes...but that goes without saying. ;-) I could say exactly the same thing about Mary Chapin Carpenter...or Al Stewart...or Joni Mitchell...or Buffy Sainte-Marie....or Bruce Springsteen....

They're all the best in the world at writing the kind of songs they write, meaning their own songs. If you get what I mean...

It's pointless to stand them beside each other and say: "So and so is the best." It would be like picking one of a bunch of flowers or clouds and saying "that one's the best". All you really mean is that for some reason you like it more than you do the others, but they're all the best at the unique thing they do.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Lexman
Date: 21 Jun 11 - 07:32 PM

Little Hawk makes the definitive statement on comparisons.

A lot depends on audiences.

Back in 1970 I was performing at McKelligon Canyon out in El Paso at an anti-war rally (I was in uniform at the time and almost got court martialed for this). The headline performer was some young star from Hollywood whose name I forget. He got up an did "Girl from the North Country," a rather good Dylan song, some of the lyrics for which he got from a Ewan McCall and Peggy Seeger song book ("Scarborough Fair, which Simon and Garfinkel did very succesfully later). It got polite applause.

I got up next with my old Gibson J35 and did Phil's "I Ain't Marching Anymore" and "I'm Gonna Say it Now." I got real applause and some cheers, plus my picture on the from of the El Paso Times.

I wasn't a better singer, but that crowd wasn't interested in Dylan, they were interested in Phil Ochs.

Different times, I guess.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Bobert
Date: 21 Jun 11 - 08:33 PM

Well, I've always loved Bob's music but he did seem to have a certain arrogance to him...

He was in Richmond, Va. in the winter of 69 to play at the Mosque and there was an anti-war demonstration that I was involved with fir the following day so I took a piece of paper with a short paragraph to one of his band mates (The Band, can't remember which one) and asked him if he'd pass it to Dylan to read sometime during the concert... The bandmate said, "Bob won't do that kinda stuff"...

Kinda rubbed me wrong... How can you write anti-war songs yet not take a friggin' 15 seconds to make an announcement of a demonstration against the war???

B~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 02:08 PM

Bob became the New Left's darling by about 1963, because of the powerful protest songs he had written. He was seen as the crown prince of protest, and people looked to him for leadership, but it was a crown he didn't want to wear, so he began distancing himself from it, and simply refused to get involved in political causes pretty much from that point on. He probably felt that saying "yes" to even one such thing was to open the floodgates.

You should have asked Joan Baez to read that note, Bobert. ;-) She would've done it for you, no problem.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 04:10 PM

This will sound petty... but please could someone correct the spelling of this thread title? should be "diss", and irks the hell out of this pedant! :)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Lexman
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 11:31 PM

Maybe one of you who knew Dylan well could comment on whether what I am about to say had any bearing on the Dylan/Ochs clash. I knew Phil pretty well.

Thinking about the times I performed Phil's songs at civil rights and anti-war rallies, I was reminded that Phil could really deliver outdoors. A lot of Phil's songs were written with outdoor delivery in mind. I remember the night I typed up "Here's to the State of Mississippi," which Phil practically dictated. He could get more volume singing out of the side of his mouth than most performers could get swallowing the mike.

Dylan, on the other hand, couldn't really perform well outside of a studio (until he made enough dough to rent the kind of sound equipment we could never find in the smoke and beer drenched cellars we used to perform in).

Did Phil's ability to put across a song in any venue bother Dylan? It never seemed to bother Tom Paxton, who was always a pleasure to listen to in any house, and Paxton's protest songs were the equal of anybodies.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 01:30 AM

Well, O pedantic Guest, this source and this sourcemake me think that "dis" is also correct.

Hey, it's slang. Is it really right to argue which slang is correct and which is not?

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: GUEST,Doug Saum
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 12:57 PM

If Ochs is more poetic than Dylan, a proposition I can't fully endorse, it may be because he, at times, would imitate his poetic idol W B Yeats. Yeats's swirling gyres, lovers on the run, and the poet in the midst of a country's violent political and civil unrest were all grist for Och's mill.

"In Lincoln Park the dark was turning, turning." "William Butler Yeats visits Lincoln Park and Escapes Unscathed" from Rehearsals for Retirement

"Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falconer can not hear the falconer;" "The Second Coming"

(BTW - Both "turning" mentions allude to Homer's simile in The Odyssey when Odysseus & son turn on Penelope's suitors and dispatch them as raptors will prey.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Aug 11 - 08:52 PM

I would hope that Mudcatters would have the wisdom to respond to the racist post above with absolute silence. Please?
-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Bobert
Date: 24 Aug 11 - 09:29 PM

...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Max
Date: 24 Aug 11 - 10:47 PM

I think you more clearly learned where I stand on assholes. Freedom of speech only applies to people. You have yet to show signs of such. If you cared about the party, you would not poop in the punch bowl. Yet I fight like hell to provide you the freedom to do so.

My home address, my phone number, my picture, my career, my children... are all over this site. You don't even have a name. Who's the coward?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: michaelr
Date: 24 Aug 11 - 11:59 PM

And gnu gets to call me a troll?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Max
Date: 25 Aug 11 - 12:23 AM

Yeah, not my usual self tonight. Gotta soft spot for the Jews. Being the chosen people is quite the prize, you know. Kicked out of 84 countries and not giving up on what you believe is a damn sexy quality to me. Gets me a bit cheeky.

I just felt I had to intervene because I was afraid that your anonymous and textbook perfect proof of assertion argument may have been the straw that broke the camels back and finally defeated there 5000 year old charmed and enchanting odyssey.

You may believe anything you like, and if this were a BS thread, a thread about antisemitism in folk songs, a Klezmer thread even, or a thread about that old ballad where the guy publicly obsesses on a popular victim of prejudice in a particular polarizing environment to offset a weakness in an another area of his life... it had a chance.

My opposition is to context. This is a music thread. Talk about music.

And it hurts. It really hurts me to edit a post. A thousand tragedies I have taken an active roll in, and have mourned every one.

My take (admittedly imaginative) was always that Dylan dissed Phil because he was disoriented and intimidated by the fearless, selfless, pure sincerity and freedom of expectations of his songwriting.

The whole thing sensationalized, no doubt, a fun story to be sure. Ochs is deep, man.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Acme
Date: 25 Aug 11 - 12:27 AM

Interesting thread. For context to the conversation, here is Positively 4th Street. That last bit of the song works well for our offal guest: Yes, I wish that for just one time/You could stand inside my shoes/You'd know what a drag it is/To see you



Positively 4th Street

You got a lotta nerve
To say you are my friend
When I was down
You just stood there grinning

You got a lotta nerve
To say you got a helping hand to lend
You just want to be on
The side that's winning

You say I let you down
You know it's not like that
If you're so hurt
Why then don't you show it

You say you lost your faith
But that's not where it's at
You had no faith to lose
And you know it

I know the reason
That you talk behind my back
I used to be among the crowd
You're in with

Do you take me for such a fool
To think I'd make contact
With the one who tries to hide
What he don't know to begin with

You see me on the street
You always act surprised
You say, "How are you?" "Good luck"
But you don't mean it

When you know as well as me
You'd rather see me paralyzed
Why don't you just come out once
And scream it

No, I do not feel that good
When I see the heartbreaks you embrace
If I was a master thief
Perhaps I'd rob them

And now I know you're dissatisfied
With your position and your place
Don't you understand
It's not my problem

I wish that for just one time
You could stand inside my shoes
And just for that one moment
I could be you

Yes, I wish that for just one time
You could stand inside my shoes
You'd know what a drag it is
To see you


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Max
Date: 25 Aug 11 - 01:15 AM

And looky there... A post of my own from 11 years ago was deleted because of context as well. Folk is bigger and badder than us all.

It'll wait for you to pass out drunk and us all to look away and BAM!, there's an 11 year long conversation about folk music that doesn't make either of us seem like idiots.

Huzzah!!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 25 Aug 11 - 09:47 AM

I'm beginning to think that Dylan might be the Phil Spector of singer/songwriters.

I can never understand why such great talents are a********holes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: meself
Date: 25 Aug 11 - 11:58 AM

Two or three possibilities about the 'great talents':

1) They are no worse than a lot of other people, but no one bothers publicizing the unflattering stories about the other (unknown) people;

2) The great talents we hear about are/were also celebrities, and all the weird stuff that goes along with that brings out the worst in them (which doesn't explain obnoxious behaviour in their pre-celeb. days);

3) An inordinate number of great talents suffer from some form or other - or multiple forms - of mental illness, diagnosed or not. Or, there is something in their brain/mind that is not functioning 'normally', so that their way of seeing and responding to the world can seem to others bizarre if not outright obnoxious, at least when it is not producing art. So, for instance, someone with Asperberger's may seem rude when actually they have missed certain social cues that others pick up on.

4) The drive to create and/or succeed was a response to an unhealthy childhood environment which otherwise contributed to the formation of an unpleasant personality.

5) Various combinations of the above.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Bill D
Date: 25 Aug 11 - 03:52 PM

Well... I am not sure why *I* opened a thread about Dylan, but it sure is an eye-opener about how petty & prejudiced some can be.

We can only hope that " tRaNs1eNt " means that 'it' is moving on.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: GUEST,banjopicker
Date: 28 Nov 11 - 08:20 PM

I dont think Phil is the only one Bob Insulted or dissed or whatever you wanna call it. I got the feeling it was the whole folk community that ever helped him it. I read quite a few books on dylan such as his own auto-biography chronicles. He comes off as quite the asshole


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: pdq
Date: 28 Nov 11 - 08:37 PM

Bob Dylan did not "dis" Phil Ochs with "Positively 4th St."

That song was written for at Irwin Silber who said that Dylan's new marerial was not in the Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger tradition of protest and that Dylan had "let us down"

The song takes that quote and replies "You say I let you down. You know it's not like that. If you're so hurt. Why then don't you show it!"

It's right there. The venom is for Irwin Silber, not Phil Ochs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 28 Nov 11 - 08:53 PM

People talk too much.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Mar 13 - 01:39 PM

You guys are all wrong.The reference Dylan refers is that Phil was a
Journalist major at Ohio State.He dropped out in the last semester of his Sr. Yr. when he got passed over for Head Editor for the College Newspaper.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: Uncle Tone
Date: 21 Mar 13 - 02:27 PM

Quote Lanfranc: We'd be poorer without either. Whatever their personal animosities, real or imagined.

Applause... from, one in Rightpondia who still sings a couple of Ochs songs because few do now, and doesn't sing Dylan songs any more because everyone else does.

Tone


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why did Dylan dis Phil Ochs?
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Jan 14 - 11:16 AM

I suggest removing the posts of tHe tRaNs1eNt. They mar what was an otherwise great 14 year discussion!

In my opinion, any rivalry between the two was blown out of proportion, but it's interesting to speculate on. Both Dylan and Ochs were young, talented and unstable to some degree. I'm sure there was mutual respect.

Dylan's body of work is more impressive than Ochs', but Ochs is a good candidate for the best 60's Village songwriter other than Dylan. This says a lot. I can't think of a better, more universal war protest song (from anyone) than "I Ain't Marching Anymore." The electric version should have been a hit. I mean, just because the Beatles were the best British Invasion band, does that mean we shouldn't listen to the Kinks? Of course not. The same comparison could be made between Dylan and Ochs.

It was Ochs who was making better music in 1970 despite almost complete commercial indifference. This wasn't the peak of Ochs' career, but "Greatest Hits" at least had genuine feeling. At its worst, Dylan's 1970 material was routine.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 17 July 5:49 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.