I was never that big of a Bob Dylan fan over the years but I guess I am now. Bob Dylan’s half hour speech at MusiCares is not in youtube yet… couldn’t find the video online anywhere so I read the transcript.
Read it here…
My favorite part is when Bob lashed out at his critics and haters about his singing and songwriting, Bob said…
“Oh, yeah. Critics have been giving me a hard time since Day One. Critics say I can’t sing. I croak. Sound like a frog. Why don’t critics say that same thing about Tom Waits? Critics say my voice is shot. That I have no voice. What don’t they say those things about Leonard Cohen? Why do I get special treatment? Critics say I can’t carry a tune and I talk my way through a song. Really? I’ve never heard that said about Lou Reed. Why does he get to go scot-free?
What have I done to deserve this special attention? No vocal range? When’s the last time you heard Dr. John? Why don’t you say that about him? Slur my words, got no diction. Have you people ever listened to Charley Patton or Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters. Talk about slurred words and no diction. [Inaudible] doesn’t even matter.” – Bob Dylan
I’m feeling him though ’cause I’m in the same boat as him. People gave me shit about my singing, songwriting and talent since day 1 as well. Seriously, people around the music scene online and off gave me a lot of shit but I never cared. I just played music and continued to play ’cause that’s what I do. It’s what I live for.
People always had this debate on whether I was a professional musician or a “hobbyist” but my thought is who cares? If music is what you love to do then go for it, ya know? You don’t have to be the best singer in the world and don’t have to be great at your instrument to do what you love to do. If you can’t sing, who cares.. just go for it. Singers like Neil Young and Billy Corgan weren’t the best vocalists either but they sing anyway ’cause they love it.
People have said lot of nasty things about my singing over the years… talking about having a speech impediment and all that crap. Who cares? Everybody else doesn’t sing all that perfect either. Other peoples speech is a lot worse than my own and they don’t get flak for it.
You don’t have to be a good singer to write songs and make music. As long as the music says something and has heart, that’s all that matters, ya know?
Over the years, I’ve struggled to get recognized as a songwriter. There are local music websites around this area that refused to promote me when I submitted my music to them for a possible shout-out or a small review but got nothing. I usually get mocked, bullied and get made fun of by other musicians around the area and all that rotten garbage. All the cliques did their best and tried to make me feel left out.
So yeah, I’m in the same boat as Dylan. How did I get all of this special attention as well?
You never saw me get on the cover of the Metroland or get a review on Nippertown but that’s okay.
I’m happy what I’m doing is writing songs and making music… that’s all that matters. This music scene likes to make me feel like I’m nothing but that’s okay, let ’em, ya know? I’m a musician like everyone else and no different than them.
Bob Dylan got so much negativity over the years and I can’t blame him for ranting like this. He just wanted to rant and get it off of his system and this was his opportunity. Why was the speech a half-hour? Because he’s fucking Bob Dylan! He’s a legend, he can talk as long as he wants! Rock on, Bob, and thanks! \m/