July 3, 2006

"It's like you order a pizza and Dylan brings you a pile of dog food..."

Wayne Coyne (of The Flaming Lips) on Bob Dylan:
"What can an eighteen-year-old possibly care about a wrinkled-up old man with a pencil-thin mustache hunched over a keyboard?" he asks incredulously. "I mean, have you seen Dylan lately? You can't recognize a single song he plays anymore. It's like you order a pizza and Dylan brings you a pile of dog food, and you're like, 'What's this? I ordered pizza.' And Dylan says, 'This is my version of a pizza.'"
Ths image is Dylanesque, but Dylan's image would be better:
Now you see this one-eyed midget
Shouting the word "NOW"
And you say, "For what reason?"
And he says, "How?"
And you say, "What does this mean?"
And he screams back, "You're a cow
Give me some milk
Or else go home"

Because something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?
But I'm not attacking Mister Coyne. And I like that Rolling Stone put up the audio of its interview with him, which is mostly not about Dylan.


Buddy Larsen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Buddy Larsen said...


Where does music come in? Music is both a balm for loneliness and a powerful, renewable source of meaning—meaning in time and meaning for time. The first thing music does is banish silence. Silence is at once a metaphor for loneliness and the thing itself: It’s a loneliness of the senses.

Cousin Don said...

I saw Bob Dylan a few years back when he was double billed with Van Morrison at the FleetCenter (now TD BankNorth Garden)in Boston.

Well, Bob Dylan was actually in really good form that night. A buddy of mine who is a rabid Dylan fan said a good Dylan show is a rarity nowadays so treasure it.

In other words, Dylan putting on a bad show isn't anything new at least for the last twenty years or so. I don't know about Dylan in the 60's or 70's. Was he always "on" his A game back then?

Wayne Coyne is no Bob Dylan though

Frank Borger said...

Having grown up at the same time Dylan didn't, may I describe him as the perfect example of the protesting youth of the day.

"You oldsters have f***ed up this world and my generation can see exactly what's wrong. As soon as we get back from Woodstock, finish sex in the van and have another joint, we'll start to fix everything."

When critics today refer to a "unique sound" or "breaking new ground" what they really are saying is "that performer can't sing or play, but rises to mediocracy every once in a while by sheer luck."

Joe said...

It is a narrow generational window of people who appreciate Dylan.

Marghlar said...

Joe, not true. Both my parents and I still get a kick out of Dylan.

Buddy Larsen said...

Dylan never has been about politics, to me. Trite tho it may sound, he's about the human condition, the bitter and the sweet. The voice and lyrics are common, you feel like you yourself could do whatever it is he does.

Handsome Dan said...

I dunno, I'm in my early 30s and I'm as big a Dylan fan as you're likely to meet. Granted, the man hasn't put out a decent record in almost 40 years, but that doesn't look so bad when you consider that some groups - say, I dunno, the Flaming Lips - haven't put out a decent record in, well, ever.

Joe said...

My parents and my kids all hate him. I still love his old stuff, his tunes with the Band.

Elizabeth said...

Buddy, you are so right. He's a bard, an American folk artist in a long tradition of storytellers and poets. Politics is everywhere, and part of art and life, but it's narrowminded to categorize Dylan as just another 60s political singer.

Buddy Larsen said...

Amen, Elizabeth. Artists and folk people will almost always seem 'left' in that 'left' is about feeling, and "right" is about action (classicly, anyway).

Art being expressed emotion, it can't help but 'talk left'.

But working artists themselves--embodying as they do risky-investment, self-reliance, individuality and achievement--are 'acting right', no?

Ann Althouse said...

Buddy: That's a long-standing topic on the Althouse blog.

Cousin Don said...

I think a bunch of 30 year olds such as myself got into Dylan during the Jam Band era of Phish, Widespread Panic, and Blues Traveler etc...

These bands kind of led me to listen to the Grateful Dead and the Band which in turn led me to Dylan, mainly because of Dylan and the Band collaborations such as "Before the Flood."

So, I don't think you can limit Dylan to just baby boomers.

Buddy Larsen said...

Mercy, Ann, you set off a storm over there. Pat Patterson's comment (near top of that looong comment section), that a strong personal goal-orientation often upsets those nearby, is true and complicates the "what makes a good person" question--which I note you hadn't asked, tho many commenters seem to think you had.

timney said...

Wayne Coyne is blathering jack ass. A good litmus test to find out if someone has no taste in music is to find a flaming lips album in their collection. The fact that Coyne's problem with Dylan is that he "doesn't give his audience what they want", displays exactly how much artist is really in good ol Wayne... The flaming Lips are about as interesting as Christopher Cross.