Dylan Revisionism



Will writes from Washington, D.C. (well, Arlington, Virginia). You can reach him at willblogcorrespondence at gmail dot com.

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8 Responses

  1. For some reason, the phrase “noted Creed apologist” made me laugh.Report

  2. Avatar Bob Cheeks says:

    “down the street the dogs are barkin’, the day is a-growin’ short
    as the night comes on t’ fallin’ the dogs will loose their bark,
    well I was right from my side
    and you were right from yours
    we’re both just one t’ many mornin’s and a thousand miles behind.
    Nobody wrote, or played like Dylan..he told the truth as he knew it, and every once in a while…well, the dude was just honest about it and, in the end, that’s all that matters!Report

  3. Avatar Sonny Bunch says:

    This isn’t “revisionism” so much as “preaching the truth.” And Andy’s in fine preachin’ mode with this one.Report

  4. Avatar Joe Carter says:

    Noted Creed apologist

    Of all the ways I’ve ever been described, I have to say that is one of the funniest. ; )Report

  5. Avatar JosephFM says:

    I’m 27. I love some of those old Dylan records. But I grew up on music he’d influenced – Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, etc.

    A lot of this could have been said about lot of people. I feel roughly the same about Dylan as I do about U2: some really great music, some tripe that fans – like fans of anything – will forgive or rationalize. Nothing wrong with that, it goes with longevity and being prolific. But it’ll always give ammo to haters just as much.

    That said, fellow Joe, I take your attack on Morrissey in the comments way more personally.Report

  6. Avatar Joe Carter says:

    That said, fellow Joe, I take your attack on Morrissey in the comments way more personally.

    Attack on Morrissey? That wasn’t my intention at all. I love The Smiths and think Morrissey is superior to Dylan. My point was merely that just because I love a band I grew up—which is admittedly an acquired taste—does not mean all future generations must respect them.Report

    • Avatar JosephFM in reply to Joe Carter says:

      Ohhh, misread that completely, my apologies! Totally agreed.

      Also, I’m 25, not 27. That was just a typo. Ack. Need to check my comments better.

      But heck, is that what this was about? Feeling like your elders are judging you for not absolutely adoring the same music as them? Funny, you’d think Boomers of all people would get that. 😛Report

  7. Avatar William Brafford says:

    I am surprised to say that I agree with the Weekly Standard on this one. I’m surprised because I don’t think of myself as anti-Dylan, and I had a lengthy Dylan phase in high school, and I remember having some kind of wildly intense aesthetic experience when I saw Dylan live during that phase. But I think the reason I agree with the Weekly Standard is that I’ve definitely seen this thing happen where dedicated Dylan fans let Bob’s music determine their scale of judgment. Things like melodic complexity, rise and fall, and the craft of arranging just drop off the list of things that the greatest songwriter ever would have to have a grasp on.

    There’s something to be said for trusting an artist to the point where you suspend your judgment. This is what I will do with anything by The Mountain Goats or Lambchop. But then I have to keep myself aware that when other people hear recent stuff by TMG, they might just hear a guy with a nasal voice and an affinity for adult contemporary production, and Lambchop might just sound like lazy lounge music. That is to say: it can be a worthwhile trade to ignore an artist’s shortcomings in order to appreciate what they do well, but outsiders are going to find it incomprehensible when you start insisting that the shortcomings are in fact strengths. And this shortcomings-to-strengths thing is what the Weekly Standard guy is complaining about.

    Sometimes I try to imagine what kind of music Bob Dylan would have written if he’d never had to wrestle with fame.

    I like John Sellers’s description of growing up with a Dylan-fanatic father.Report