Monday, June 10, 2013

Quotations From Pete Seeger: On Bob Dylan's Artistic Deterioration

On July 28, 1965 Pete Seeger wrote a memo to himself that contained the following reference to Bob Dylan's apparent post-1964 artistic, moral and political deterioration:

"It isn't pretty to see a corpse--man or beast...

"I knew that last week at Newport, I ran to hide my eyes and ears because I could not bear either the screaming of the crowd nor some of the most destructive music this side of Hell. Bob Dylan, the frail, restless, homeless kid who came to New York in `61 was now the frail, restless, homeless star on the stage.

"...When we see a flaming streak across the sky, we all exclaim, though the light has died before the echo of our voices. But I am glad I saw this shooting star...The songs Bob wrote in 1962 and 1963 will be sung for many a year...

"...What is the reason for the change--I don't know. A girl gone perhaps. A manager come. The claws of fame. Or was he killed with kindness?...

"His more recent songs--who is going to sing them? And for how long?..."

(from the Pete Seeger: In His Own Words book of 2012 that Rob Rosenthal and Sam Rosenthal edited)

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