General Question

ibstubro's avatar

Internet challenge: Can you find a period quote from the 1960's-1970's that is uncomplimentary to Bob Dylan, the American singer/songwriter?

Asked by ibstubro (18765points) February 19th, 2015

The quote has to be uncomplimentary to Bob Dylan.
It has to have been said from 1960 to 1971.
Must be attributed and sourced.

Honestly, I spent quite a lot of time looking for a period quote (60’s) that questioned Dylan’s talent as a singer, and I got zero. Zip. I know that the ‘establishment’ certainly had to have had unpleasant things to say about his ‘vocal styling’, much less his peers.

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10 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m sure we can!

janbb's avatar

If this link comes through, read the comment by eminent poet John Ciardi,

zenvelo's avatar

Bob Dylan on the Beatles,” you have nothing to say”
John Lennon on Bob Dylan, “he had no sound, man.”


Dylan was much disparaged after the 1965 Newport Folk Festival when he went electric.

ibstubro's avatar

I was looking for the quote to answer you on another thread, @Dutchess_III, initially.

It’s password protected, @janbb, and try as I might I can’t find it elsewhere. But led me to:
Historian Francis Newton, 1964:
“It’s clear – especially from Dylan’s fairly numerous bad verses – that he comes from that Reader’s Digest mass civilisation that has atrophied not merely men’s souls but also their language, confining the ordinary person to a mixture of stammering and cliche.”

Thanks, @zenvelo.

janbb's avatar

@ibstubro It’s from the historical NY Times database. I have access to it through work. I can download but can’t upload it

No “A” for effort?

ibstubro's avatar

Oh, sure, sorry @janbb. I thought I GAed you, if nothing else because you led me to a quote.
Can you just copy and paste the quote? We’ll give you a pass on sourcing, and I’ll see if I can backtrack from the quote to a source.

janbb's avatar

No – I can’t because it’s a PDF. Can’t do any selecting on it at all. Sorry.

ibstubro's avatar

Yeah, I had the same problem, @janbb. The only quotes I found relating to your two names were PDF book excerpts.

Funny, because at the time there had to have been a lot of people that disliked and made fun of him.

Search engines have become nearly worthless for anything other than current events and trivia. The shopping isn’t even worth a damn any more.

janbb's avatar

You’re not understanding the problem. It’s because it’s a subscription database to the historical NY Times that you can’t access it and I can. If you have access to the New York Times database through a library, you can find it and other petinent articles and reviews about Dylan

ibstubro's avatar

Yeah, I understand that I cannot see your link because it’s a subscription service, @janbb.

What I was saying was that I likely found your quote by searching quotes involving Dylan and the poet John Ciardi, but I, too, was unable to copy/paste because the quotes I found were also in PDF.

Here is a link to a PDF with a Ciardi quote on Dylan that I can’t do any selecting on.

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