Music stars including Bruce Springsteen, Tom Jones, Neil Young and Willie Nelson paid tribute to Bob Dylan as he was named the MusiCares Person of the Year for 2015 at a gala on Friday night.
Dylan was introduced by former President Jimmy Carter. During his 30-minute acceptance speech, he paid tribute to those who had inspired him and covered his work, including Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash and Joan Baez.
He said of Hendrix:
We can’t forget Jimi Hendrix. I actually saw Jimi perform when he was with a band called Jimmy James and the Blue Flames. Something like that. And Jimi didn’t even sing. He was just the guitar player. He took some small songs of mine that nobody paid any attention to and brought them up into the outer limits of the stratosphere, turned them all into classics. I have to thank Jimi, too. I wish he was here.
He was similarly enthusiastic in his praise of Cash:
He traveled long, he traveled hard, but he was a hero of mine. I heard many of his songs growing up. I knew them better than I knew my own….Johnny was an intense character, and he saw that people were putting me down [for] playing electric music. And he posted letters to magazines, scolding people, telling them to ‘shut up and let him sing.’ In Johnny Cash’s world of hardcore Southern drama, that kind of thing didn’t exist. Nobody told anybody what to sing or what not to sing.
There were also kind words for Joan Baez:
Oh, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Joan Baez. She was the queen of folk music then and now. She took a liking to my songs and brought me with her to play concerts where she had crowds of thousands of people enthralled with her beauty and voice. People say, ‘What are you doing with that ragtag, scrubby looking waif?’ And she’d tell the audience in no uncertain terms, ‘Now, you’d better be quiet and listen to your songs.’ We even played a few of them together.
Joan Baez is a tough-minded as they come. A free, independent spirit. Nobody can tell her what to do if she doesn’t want to do it. I learned a lot of things from her. A woman of devastating honesty. For her kind of love and devotion, I could never repay that back.
It wasn’t an entirely conventional acceptable speech though, as he also found time to criticise those who weren’t so appreciative of his songs, including Merle Haggard, Tom T. Hall and even Leiber & Stoller (noting that they wrote “novelty songs” and “weren’t saying anything serious”). Does he keep a list of those who have offended his artistic sensibilities?
Bob Dylan: MusiCares Person of the Year 2015 – Excerpts
The setlist for the all-star concert was as follows:
- “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat” – Beck
- “Shooting Star” – Aaron Neville
- “Subterranean Homesick Blues” – Alanis Morissette
- “On A Night Like This” – Los Lobo
- “Señor (Tales Of Yankee Power)” – Willie Nelson
- “Blind Willie McTell” – Jackson Browne
- “Highway 61 Revisited” – John Mellencamp
- “One More Cup Of Coffee” – Jack White
- “What Good Am I?” – Tom Jones
- “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” – Norah Jones
- “Million Miles” – Dereck Trucks And Susan Tedeschi
- “Pressing On” – John Doe
- “Girl From The North County” – Crosby, Stills & Nash
- “Standing In The Doorway” – Bonnie Raitt
- “Boots Of Spanish Leather” – Sheryl Crow
- “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” – Bruce Springsteen
- “Blowin’ In The Wind” – Neil Young.
Bob Dylan’s new album, “Shadows In The Night,” was released last week on CD, digital download and vinyl.
Shadows in the Night (CD)
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Shadows in the Night (Download)
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Shadows in the Night (Vinyl)
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Tags: Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan - MusiCares Person of the Year for 2015, MusiCares, MusiCares person of the year
Posted in Awards, Folk |