August 20, 2009

Talk about an "arrogant bastard"!

Is it Bob Dylan... or Graeme Wood?

Wood quotes every jackass he can find in Hibbing, Minnesota and never even considers the theory that Dylan sings not like the townsfolk he heard talk but the singers he heard sing.

28 comments:

Bissage said...

Please have mercy on Mr. Wood.

He may well be too young to have ever experienced the shock that came from hearing one of the Beatles speak during an interview.

Who among us didn't wonder where the accent came from?

In any event, Mr. Wood can always get a job working for the government.

Sheepman said...

My thought as well when I read that article earlier today at Expecting Rain.

Seems like the writer went in with a story angle and looked for people to confirm it.

A short while ago, Hibbing High had their 50th graduation reunion and a British journalist went there to see if Bob would turn up and to get comments about him from his classmates. The comments weren't negative.

I've actually met a couple of people from Hibbing here in Norway in connection with work. Of course I asked about Bob. A young college student said that most people felt that he rejected Hibbing and they should reject him. The other was older than Bob (this was a few years back), and was a respectable member of the community. He was pleased that Hibbing was getting attention because of Bob.

Pogo said...

The disbelief for Shakespeare as the true author of his works arises from the same animus.

The genius is either a liar or a contemptible bastard, and thereby we are not diminished by their achievements.

John said...

I think it's a legitimate question: why does Dylan sing and speak like a sickly old toad? The answer: it's an affectation, as phony as when Madonna suddenly started speaking with a British accent.

Chip Ahoy said...

Aw dadgumit. Ah don't pay no nevah-mind about these here kind-a storeez. Ah often git axked 'bout my dadgum U-row-peen aksent, n the truf iz, don't kum from no-wheah n ah kant do nufin 'bout it.

traditionalguy said...

Another shot across the Boomer's bow by a generation that only has Bruce Springsteen to brag about.

Saul said...

Springsteen is only eight years younger than Dylan, so I doubt Bruce is from the writer's generation.

Dylan is certainly talented, but he doesn't have a monopoly on talent.

The Boomer generation is completed overrated, and in any event is on their way to the nursing home.

bagoh20 said...

Every generation reveres the music of their youth, but us boomers are unique in our level of narcissism. Even Dylan admits his music had little meaning and that people would make it up for themselves. If there is genius there, it is in us, cause we are more special than everyone else.

We need to face it, our generation lived our lives with relatively little real challenge, and therefore we fabricate substance.

Nothing wrong with getting lucky or living well, but let's recognize that a man with a talent for putting words and tunes together, used to be someone who begged for handouts going from village to village.

Yes, I'm bitter. Life is too damn easy.

Joseph said...

Or perhaps Dylan just created his own style. There's nothing wrong or inauthentic about that. Every generation talks differently than their parents. Every person has their own little quirks. And when you're talking about a performer trying to set himself apart, those trends naturally get amplified.

ricpic said...

I stopped reading at this schmuck's assertion that there were Yiddish miners. Yiddish sellers of candles to put in the miner's helmets, that I can believe. But Yiddish miners? Not even the schlemiels or the schlimazls.

traditionalguy said...

bagoh20...A small point to your insightful comment, but Dylan had few fans in the 1960s and no one who was a fan liked his odd singing voice then. They liked his Folk Song repertoire, but dumped him 4 years later when he went electric. He really was only christened a "genius" when his lyrics were re-listened to 30 years later, and again his singing voice was never a part of this new attraction. People need to take him for what his value is to them today, and forgive him for ever having been a performer during the 1960s.

Smilin' Jack said...

Once you hear Joan Baez's covers of Dylan's songs, you'll never want to hear Dylan sing them again.

Ann Althouse said...

Joan Baez can get pretty annoying. So earnest. So humorless...

L. E. Lee said...

Here is one of the few Baez interpretations of Dylan that like

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmWRnbxACH0

john said...

L.E. Lee:

You should learn how to make an embedded link.

Practice it, and you will eventually get more respect,

you hillbilly.

Earnest, boring, humorless, whatever - Baez's singing voice is pure heaven.

bagoh20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bagoh20 said...

"Joan Baez can get pretty annoying. So earnest. So humorless..."

She would be great singing an acoustic version of Kiss's "Love Gun".

I really love you baby
I love what you've got
Let's get together, we can
Get hot
No more tomorrow, baby
Time is today
Girl, I can make you feel
Okay
No place for hidin' baby
No place to run
You pull the trigger of my
Love gun, love gun
Love gun, love gun

Now that's poetry.

L. E. Lee said...

Sorry John I don't live on the internet like you guys. I have a business to run.

L. E. Lee said...

Plus John, most internet sites create the link automatically. I forget that is not always the case when on these backwaters.

G Wood said...

Surely we can both be arrogant bastards!

L. E. Lee said...

Yes we can.

Jeffrey said...

Wood quotes every jackass he can find in Hibbing, Minnesota (sic) and never even considers the theory that Dylan sings not like the townsfolk he heard talk but the singers he heard sing.

To my understanding as a teacher, the name of the state should be set off by two commas, not one. I've been seeing this error more and more over the last few years.

So it should read:

Wood quotes every jackass he can find in Hibbing, Minnesota[,] and never even considers the theory that Dylan sings not like the townsfolk he heard talk but the singers he heard sing.

Any comments?

*

bagoh20 said...

Why does the embed link function not work for me? ctr+shft+a does nothing. I'm using firefox 3.5.2 and windows xp.

WV: hosangl = measure of a man's interest.

John Lynch said...

Smear.

That said, a lot of people hate boomers. I think that's what's going on here.

Jenifer said...

The genius is either a liar or a contemptible bastard, and thereby we are not diminished by their achievements.


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Sheepman said...

Joan Baez can get pretty annoying. So earnest. So humorless...

Agree.

Also her singing is too polished to do Dylan right. It's his rough edges and quirks that hook me.

Her song, "Diamonds and Rust" was decent though.

ninefoureight said...

Dylan's music is banal: the voice that sounds as though it's coming from the throat of a guy with severe adenoid trouble, the uninteresting and childish harmonica licks with their falling inflection at the end of *every* phrase, the robotic head turn at the end of *every* phrase, the mindless vocal slide at the end of *every* phrase, the narcissistic lyrics that were frequently just doggerel . . .

Long ago when I was an undergraduate music major (at UW-M!) we used to call people like Dylan "a Miles Davis without ideas - bad tone, bad technique, nobody home in there."

G Wood said...

But does he compare favorably to the Byrds?