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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Dave Sutherland Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs (78* d) RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs 04 May 20

Sorry to arrive late here but it has been a busy morning in lockdown but………… in Hell does a discussion on Bob Dylan’s top 50 songs as published in The Guardian suddenly turn into a defence against those intent on attacking Ewan MacColl? I have never given MacColl a kicking either alive or otherwise in the fifty odd years that I have been aware of his work. On the contrary I have the highest regard for the man; if I hadn’t why would I have booked him at our club on three occasions, travelled to other venues where he was performing to hear him, possess a vast amount of his recordings as well as his own writings and writings about him?
If Dylan fans attack MacColl it would have more to do, in my opinion, with the interview previously quoted from Sing Out which is almost verbatim to the one he gave Karl Dallas in Melody Maker around the same time (late summer 1965) where he slaughtered Dylan as a songwriter, a poet and a political commentator. He still found room to have a go at Tom Paxton and Phil Ochs stating that they “weren’t saying anything that LBJ could disagree with” – naturally it provoked a record mailbag to the paper. Even some four years later on the ITV programme “Abroad with Behan” he was just starting to dismiss Dylan as the programmes’ credits rolled. However having followed Dylan for some 56 years and having heard countless tales about him, some plausible, some apocryphal I have to say that this one about a telephone call is a new one on me; still every day is a school day!
As Dave pointed out earlier (thank you) my comments were totally in connection with the actual article in The Guardian where there were 1,626 posts to the list published which, while some disagreed ferociously with the choices, it was all carried out in a most good natured, supportive and amicable atmosphere that it was a pleasure to be involved.
Very similar to the atmosphere following Dylan’s (along with Neil Young’s) Hyde Park appearance last July when it was possible to discuss with complete strangers the concert just completed along with previous concerts and his work in general in the same non-confrontational ambiance – which was the point I was trying to make some 24 hours ago.

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