Tuesday, April 16, 2013

“Please, Can We Stop Now?”

“Please, can we stop now?”

Before we end the conversation, I want to ask about the controversy over your quotations in your songs from the works of other writers, such as Japanese author Junichi Saga’s “Confessions of a Yakuza,” and the Civil War poetry of Henry Timrod. Some critics say that you didn’t cite your sources clearly. Yet in folk and jazz, quotation is a rich and enriching tradition. What’s your response to those kinds of charges?

“Oh, yeah, in folk and jazz, quotation is a rich and enriching tradition. That certainly is true. It’s true for everybody, but me, I mean, everyone else can do it but not me. There are different rules for me. And as far as Henry Timrod is concerned, have you even heard of him? Who’s been reading him lately? And who’s pushed him to the forefront? Who’s been making you read him? And ask his descendents what they think of the hoopla. And if you think it’s so easy to quote him and it can help your work, do it yourself and see how far you can get. Wussies and pussies complain about that stuff. It’s an old thing—it’s part of the tradition. It goes way back. These are the same people that tried to pin the name Judas on me. Judas, the most hated name in human history! If you think you’ve been called a bad name, try to work your way out from under that. Yeah, and for what? For playing an electric guitar? As if that is in some kind of way equitable to betraying our Lord and delivering him up to be crucified.”

Bob Dylan
Rolling Stone Interview

An electric guitar that’s not plugged in
can play quieter than an acoustic.

If you live in an apartment building
and you don’t want to disturb your neighbors
but you like practicing and composing
during the quiet hours after midnight
practicing and composing working on
an electric guitar that’s not plugged in
is a thoughtful approach to your neighbors.

If you plug headphones into a keyboard
that can synthesize other instruments
you can make any guitar sounds you like
with less noise than an unplugged electric.

The process of fingers moving on keys
is completely different than against strings
but you won’t disturb your neighbors at all.

It sounds devious. Even subversive.

Writing folk songs or jazz songs silently.

I think it’s devious and subversive.

I don’t mean working at night silently.

I mean just writing folk songs or jazz songs.

I think you have to do that kind of stuff
late at night. When nobody is looking.

Then during the day you can search around
for someplace to play where someone can hear.

Folk songs. Or jazz songs. Please, let’s not stop now.

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Wild Dogs As Acoustic Holdouts

Random Thoughts On This Bonfire Around Us

This Evening At The Stilyagi Bar®

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