Bob Dylan has responded to charges he plagiarized some of his lyrics, calling critics “wussies” and saying musical appropriation is “part of the folk tradition.”
The singer-songwriter made his first public comments on the accusations, saying that in folk and jazz music “quotation is a rich and enriching tradition.”
“Everyone else can do it but not me,” he complained. “There are different rules for me.”
“I’m working within my art form,” the 71 year-old singer told Rolling Stone. “It’s that simple. … It’s called songwriting. It has to do with melody and rhythm, and then after that, anything goes. You make everything yours. We all do it.”
“These are the same people that tried to pin the name Judas on me,” Dylan added, referring to bitter 1960s folk fans who decried his move into electric guitar blues and famously compared the singer to the Biblical apostle who betrayed Jesus.
“Judas – the most hated name in human history!” he exclaimed. “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. All those evil … can rot in hell,” he said. (Reuters)