Bob Dylan's Speech at MusiCares/Grammys - speaks his mind

Full transcript at the LA Times here:
He talks about his view of music, songwriting and a number of people in the business - some he thinks should be remembered more; some he doesn’t think much of. Has kind words for Joan Baez, who kinda got the fuzzy end of the lollipop in their relationship.
Here’s what he says about singers and singing at one point:

Something something mumble [inaudible] mutter something is kind of every Dylan speech for the last 30-40 years.

Which is too bad; I think the man has some important things to say, in all the forms he has at his command. But like Dustin Hoffman’s unintentionally self-parodic perfomance as Mumbles in Dick Tracy, he has never learned to communicate very well.

Excuse my while I cue up “Desolation Row” at volume that annoys my dogs, and mope a bit.

God, that speech is like some of his worst songs - rambling, no direction, no structure and too long! I had to skim the last 1/4. I would have hated to have been there. Thirty minutes! And I’m sure he thought every word he said was true. And it probably made sense to him.

Though sometimes I have this feeling that Dylan is pulling a big joke on everyone. That he sometimes deliberately puts out crap just to see everyone parse out every syllable to get the “truth” out of it.

Thouhg i do agree about singers that mangle the national anthem. Just sing it like it was written! It’s not a song that is open to alternate versions.

Kanye’s going to be pissed.

Fuckin’ A.

TSSB sung completely straight, by a good singer, is a wondrous experience.

Every time I see some diva belting it out with endless embellishments, her upper lip flapping in the breeze as she trills a note that doesn’t need trilling, I think the right to burn flags should include the right to burn such hacks at the stake.

What about the Hendrix version?

Here you go:

like a rolling stone…

For the time and audience, it was beyond magnificent. Still is.

In front of the 2010 World Series opener, not so much. It’s all context, and even though its singing at baseball games and elsewhere is a ritual, with all its tiresome aspects, it doesn’t need to be dressed up to show how fioritura the singer can get. It’s not an ego ride; it’s for and about all of us, and needs to be sung as a collective anthem with one voice.

I really liked his radio show. Got a very, very dry sense of humour. Not always easy to get.

I ran a foot race in Iraq once. Somehow, some private (chaplain’s assistant? CO’s driver?) talked the colonel in charge into letting him play an electric guitar version of the national anthem before the race.

It started out okay. It was still dark, and as the first few rays came over the horizon, and we were all crowded at the starting line waiting for him to finish. The first few bars were okay, clear, lots of sustain, loudly pouring out of the PA… and then he went off the rails. He lost the melody, started noodling around, and it just got really shitty. Distorted, mushy, no rhythm, it sounded about like when I was 14 and “practiced” my guitar in my bedroom all night. And he never stopped. It went on for an excruciating 10 minutes or so before somebody cut him off and got the race started.

Anyway, it really made me appreciate Jimi. He didn’t just noodle around and show off his sloppy licks. Even if it sounded like that sometimes, he always knew what he was doing.

The Star Spangled Banner sucks no matter who sings it or how they sing it. It’s just a poorly written song that should never have become the national anthem.

Well, I read the thing, so it was good enough to hold my interest. The part about confounding expectations made me raise my eyes – but not quite roll them. If you make a point of confounding expectations, pretty soon you start coming off as just arbitrary. And caring about the expectations of others isn’t something I expect from a major artist.

(He’s confounded my expectations, da tricky bastid.)

You’d think at this point in his career Bob Dylan would kind of be past the need to engage in either name dropping or complaining about music critics. But that speech is pretty much him doing one or the other the whole time.

That was the biggest fail at attempted humility I have ever read. He sounds incredibly vain and full of himself.

For my money it can’t get any better than this!

It’s an insight into his ego isn’t it? He stored those meaningless now-irrelevant slights in his head for forty years, and just HAD to get even.

Here is a dissection of the revenge Bob had against that monster Tom T. Hall. Some excerpts:

“Way back when, I was in Nashville making some records and I read this article, a Tom T. Hall interview,” in which Hall, Dylan said, “was bitching about some kind of new song, and he couldn’t understand what these new kinds of songs that were coming in were about.”

Whatever the upshot of the interview, Dylan seems to have taken it personally. He spent the next couple minutes tearing into Hall’s hit, “I Love” — the one about little baby ducks, old pick-up trucks, slow-moving trains and rain — as “overcooked” and grousing that “Tom and a few other writers had the whole Nashville scene sewed up in a box.”

Haggard tweeted his kill-him-with-kindness response, but what of Hall, now 78 and semi-retired? Don’t expect to hear much. Friends in Nashville said Monday he’s been crushed by the death last month of his wife of 46 years, Dixie. A call to Hall’s office was returned quickly and politely by an assistant. “He appreciates your interest but really didn’t have any comment.”

All those canadian boys standing around on the ice, looking sheepish, with the odd american.

Anyway, beautiful rendition, previously my fav was done by Jewel