Within English speaking countries the word culture has long been synonymous with the name Bob Dylan.
There are many interpretations of the definition of the word culture. One definition describes culture as "the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively."
When referencing this definition with regard to the publics perception of Bob Dylan, we learn that Bob Dylan is the most revered celebrity on the planet by the intellectual community. Dylan is the most quoted and chronicled celebrity of our time. It is that chronicling that establishes him as the most revered.
Hailed as a prophet by the mainstream media and praised by the Beatles as being an idol Dylan secures the top spot in the genre of respect.
No other celebrity has been afforded the amount of adoration. College professors, actors, playwrights, editors, critics, reporters, producers and columnist all hail Bob Dylan as the pinnacle of intellectualism.
When examining the reasons Dylan is so revered one must consider his position. Being a songwriter positions Dylan as a creator of original thought.
It is this position that affords Dylan the great mantel of respect.
Throughout Dylan's fifty year cultivation of his mysterious subliminal persona there have been many secrets. Some of these secrets were and still are covered up by the mainstream media. One of the most damning secret is that Bob Dylan does not write music. While being interviewed by Robert Hilburn of the L.A. Times Dylan stated:
“Well you have to understand that I’m not a melodist. My songs are either based on old Protestant hymns or Carter Family songs. What happens is, I’LL take a song and simply start playing it in my head. That’s the way I meditate.” “I wrote ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ in 10 minutes, just put words to an old spiritual, probably something I learned from Carter Family records. ‘The Times They Are A-Changing’ is probably from an old Scottish folk Song.” "I'll be playing Bob Nolan's 'Tumbling Tumbleweeds,' for instance, in my head constantly, while I'm driving a car or talking to a person or sitting around or whatever. People will think they are talking to me and I'm talking back, but I'm not. I'm listening to the song in my head. At a certain point, some of the words will change and I'll start writing a song.".......Bob Dylan
At first glance it appears that Dylan is being forthright by appearing to be honest about his song writing process which is actually a major form of plagiarism.
A second glance tells us that the date of the interview was Aug. 4, 2004.
After a study of Bob Dylan's melodies it was learned that a great percentage of Dylan's melodies were actually from preexisting melodies in which no credit had been given to the original author of the melody. We know this by reviewing the actual label on the record that states written by Bob Dylan.
For example it is uncontested common knowledge now that the melody line to "Like A Rolling Stone" was actually the melody line to an old anti slavery song titled "No More Auction Block". Dylan simply discarded the words to the old song and replaced them with his own words. The label to the record states that the song was written by Bob Dylan. There is no mention of the original author anywhere on the label or the album covers liner notes.
Dylan would have gotten away with this nefariousness had it not been for the internet. When the internet hit people started scrutinizing the origins of his songs. Feeling betrayed his fans started posting the similarities one by one until an avalanche of damning evidence was common knowledge.
After forty five years of profiting from royalties on stolen melodies it was this phenomena that persuaded Dylan to come out and admit the truth. After careful crafting a statement he called for an interview and released his statement that he is not a melodist.
Rolling Stone magazine actually published an article "Dylan's Greatest Thefts"
For decades Dylan simply credited himself on the entire song and mislead the public to believe that he had written the entire song including the music which he had not written. In some instances Dylan stole music and lyrics verbatim.
Subterranean Homesick Blues was written by George Formby and released in the 40's twenty years before Dylan's release. The song was stolen verbatim.
For decades Dylan's song writing process was a nice big fat cash cow bringing in an enormous amount of money. All in all he had been accused of plagiarism in more than two hundred incidences.
When Dylan's music plagiarism issue started getting a substantial amount of publicity he released a series of paintings in which he blatantly plagiarized another authors work as a diversion to the plagiarism issue. The painting plagiarism issue would fill the Google searches. He apparently thought it would look better to his fans to be accused of plagiarizing paintings instead of songs.
Rolling Stone magazine stated:
The paintings in Bob Dylan‘s “The Asia Series,” which are currently on display at the Gagosian Gallery in Manhattan, have come under fire for their resemblance to widely available pre-existing photographs. The series of paintings, which are said to part of a “visual journal” made by the singer during his travels through Japan, China, Vietnam and Korea, have been compared to famous photos by well-known photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson and Léon Busy.
“The most striking thing is that Dylan has not merely used a photograph to inspire a painting: he has taken the photographer’s shot composition and copied it exactly,” wrote Dylan critic Michael Gray in a post on his blog, Bob Dylan Encyclopedia. “He’s replicated everything as closely as possible. That may be a (very self-enriching) game he’s playing with his followers, but it’s not a very imaginative approach to painting.
More damning evidence of plagiarism surfaced when a hand written Bob Dylan poem was being auctioned off at Christeis and someone realized that the poem had been written by someone else. The article reads below;
Dylan "poem" on sale was actually Hank Snow song
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A “poem” purportedly written by a teenage Bob Dylan and up for auction at Christie’s is actually a song written by the late Canadian country singer Hank Snow, the auction house said on Wednesday.
A hand-written poem believed at the time to be by a teenaged Bob Dylan and signed Bobby Zimmerman is seen in this undated handout photo from Christie's Auction House May 19, 2009. REUTERS
Christie’s announced on Tuesday the sale of the hand-written poem believed to have been written in 1957 when Dylan was 16 and away at Jewish camp.
Christie’s failed to detect that the words, with a few minor variations, matched those of a song previously recorded by Snow, who died in 1999 at age 85.
Reuters discovered the lyrics matched the Snow song when alerted by a reader. Reuters then informed the auction house.
“Additional information has come to our attention about the handwritten poem submitted by Bob Dylan to his camp newspaper, written when he was 16, entitled ‘Little Buddy.’ The words are in fact a revised version of lyrics of a Hank Snow song,” Christie’s said in a statement.
“This still remains among the earliest known handwritten lyrics of Bob Dylan and Christie’s is pleased to offer them in our Pop Culture auction on June 23.”
The manuscript had been expected to fetch $10,000 to $15,000.
Christie’s said Dylan, still using his given name Robert Zimmerman, signed the piece Bobby Zimmerman and submitted it to the Herzl Camp newspaper. The editor of the paper kept it for more than 50 years and recently donated it to Herzl Camp, a Jewish camp in Wisconsin, Christie’s said.
JULIE LEVINE an attorney and writer for the Cardozo Entertainment Law Review did a scholarly article titled" Lo and Behold" DOES TOLERATED USE GIVE AN INCENTIVE TO PLAGIARIZE? AN EXAMPLE THROUGH THE MUSIC OF BOB DYLAN.
Although Ms. Levine reiterated Dylan's importance in popular culture the article is not very flattering to Dylan.
It was revealed in a Bob Dylan interview with Kathryn Baker In the late 80's that Dylan was experiencing writer's block when Ms. Baker published in her article the following statement "he (Bob Dylan) didn't have enough material of his own for an album"
When deposed Ms.Baker testified:
Mr.Kramer: You then continue without quotes: "The other reason for the others is inevitable: He didn't" that's d-i-d-n-'t, as in did not "He didn't have enough material of his own for an album." Did Mr. Dylan say those words?
Ms. Baker "I went back in the transcript and I was paraphrasing him and that's not entirely accurate. He said he didn't have enough songs that he wanted to put on an album."
This interview was given to Ms.Baker on August 5th 1988.
During this exact same period a songwriter named James Damiano had been working on material with Dylan's producer's and publishers at CBS in New York. At the time it was a seven year association that actually continued for a total of eleven years. The association started in the later part of the 70's.
An article written by Jonny Whiteside explains:
FOLK LIES: Joni Mitchell Outs Bob Dylan Print-ready version
by Jonny Whiteside
April 28, 2010
"Bob [Dylan] is not authentic at all. He's a plagiarist, and his name and voice are fake. Everything about Bob is a deception. We are like night and day, he and I."
- Joni Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, April 22, 2010
Caterwauling Canuck "folk singer" Joni Mitchell got just about everybody riled up with that sweet morsel of self-serving insight, but the real shock is not that Mitchell is absolutely correct but that someone finally came out and said it. After decades of carefully manicured deification by Columbia Records, brain-dead rock critics and the slimy elite institution that elevated such barely able snake-oil salesmen as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger to celestial heights, it's high time to flout indoctrination and examine Dylan's track record as a Grade-A phony.
Most Dylan fans would be stunned to realize that his vocal style (for lack of a better term) was high-jacked, in its entirety, from long-dead bluegrass-country singer Carter Stanley. We're not talking about an influence, like Lefty Frizzell for Merle Haggard, but a total appropriation of Stanley's highly idiosyncratic approach. A counterfeit from the get-go, once Dylan realized what an advantage his audience's innate ignorance was, he's exploited it ever since.
Just type "Bob Dylan plagiarism" into your friendly search engine, and a plethora of questionable circumstances pop up, enrobing the singer almost as completely as his years of reflexive media fawning have. Documented from his teenage start, when he submitted a hand written, thinly revised version of country star Hank Snow's "Little Buddy" for publication as an original poem, to his 1963 pilferage of Irish poet Dominic Behan's "Patriot Game"'s melody for the similarly slanted Dylan tune "With God on Our Side" to songwriter James Damiano's ongoing multimillion dollar copyright infringement suit (alleging Dylan's Grammy-nominated "Dignity" is nothing but an altered version of Damiano's "Steel Guitars") to the naked "Red Sails in the Sunset" melody heist for the song "Beyond The Horizon" on his Modern Times album, up through the recent Confessions of a Yakuza-Love & Theft plagiarism charges (Love & Theft? Calling Dr. Freud!), the Timrod controversy, even the numerous passages of Proust and Jack London that (re) appear in the text of Dylan's autobiography, it's a deep, dark thicket of thoroughly damning and apparently chronic bootlegging. Naturally, Dylan has said nothing publicly about any of these, but he already spent over three million dollars defending himself against one-time affiliate Damiano - the classic delay-to-destroy court room technique.
Defenders and apologist have an extraordinary array of excuses on Zim's behalf, from use of "literary allusion" to his building a "cultural collage," or that his "borrowing" is "homage," to the more deliciously desperate "he obviously doesn't NEED to do it" (strangely, though, he always has). This instamatic, Clinton-ian excuse making serves only to further polish up the shine on Dylan's teflon hubris and to underscore the blind, Pavlovian worship which he has long enjoyed. Let's face it: as a lyricist, Dylan is crap, inarguably unworthy beside, say, Hank Cochran, Chuck Berry, Mickey Newbury or Jimi Hendrix ("All Along the Watchtower" plays as a lead balloon even for Hendrix, nearly deflating his Electric Ladyland masterpiece).
While we're endlessly told that "The pump don't work / cause the vandals took the handle" is vintage Dylan worthy of class room study, in truth it's little more than the wordy spew of a peripatetic rhyming dictionary who'll hang any phrase together as long as it fits. Metaphor is convenience, not expression for Dylan. His songs have also treated women quite badly: the entire attitude of "It Ain't Me, Babe" is ugly; "Just Like a Woman" is nothing short of misogynistic, but, worst of all, Dylan's sheer verbosity has ineradicably stained American pop music, and we've all had to suffer through the post-Dylan legacy of long-winded nonsense ("American Pie," anyone?).
The real tragedy is that none of these very well-documented and nigh irrefutable plagiarism charges will ever emerge from the shadows, as the Cult of Zimmerman's hulking form casts a very, long one. Even when the Hank Snow rip-off stared the world in its face, the strongest reaction was a nervous giggle and murmurs of youthful indiscretion. To capitulate the carefully constructed myth of folk music and Dylan's subsequent installation as rock & roll's poet laureate is unthinkable, a hot, hit-the-panic-button nightmare for generations of quiescent "hipsters" never weaned from the million-selling Dylan teat. His socio-cultural mystique is also an industry-manufactured sham, one that very handily diverted attention away from genuine political stink-stirrers like the MC5 or the lysergic guerilla warfare of the 13th Floor Elevators.
As a junta-backed counter-culture figurehead, Dylan is ideal: a harmless, unoriginal patsy, a cute insouciant whose relentlessly self-involved stance never threatened anyone, save for the hazard of the droning lip service endlessly paid him. We should all praise Joni Mitchell for this overdue call-out (just don't ask us to listen to her records), but it's unlikely that any in the Zim Cult will even consider the ramifications of her statement. But when you pile it up with all the rest, there's a single conclusion to be made: Bob Dylan is an artistic (and ethical) fraud, one whose own fear of creativity has long since given way to an apparently lifelong practice of emulating his superiors by vampirism, siphoning off their intellectual blood and using it to top off his own under-baked efforts. Weirdly, even then, the results have been scarcely palatable.
Damiano turned down a 45 million dollar movie deal to be able to keep the publishing rights to his lifes work. It's an astonishing David and Golliath story that's still in the making.
Joni Mitchell Accuses Bob Dylan of Plagiarism
“Bob [Dylan] is not authentic at all. He’s a plagiarist, and his name and voice are fake. Everything about Bob is a deception. We are like night and day, he and I.” — Joni Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, April 22, 2010
Excerpt from Lo and Behold
Additionally, ruling that a qualified reporter’s privilege existed regarding an interview Dylan gave where he claimed he had writer’s block demonstrates the willingness of courts to protect the big name musician instead of the original composer, thereby endorsing a minor form of plagiarism.
However, protecting Bob Dylan in this one instance may differ in a case where the musician is not well known or does not have a reputation of borrowing from other musicians since the beginning of his career. Indeed, Bob Dylan disclaiming he has writer’s block can give rise to an inference for a reasonable jury to believe that it is more likely that he copied Damiano’s song if the jury heard that he had writer’s block, as compared to the jury not hearing that he had writer’s block.
Therefore, by deeming the requested evidence in the motion to compel irrelevant, it is not clear whether or not Bob Dylan did in fact plagiarize James Damiano’s song or was merely influenced by his music.
Hence, if Damiano’s musicologist’s theory had been presented to the court and was believed as true, it is very possible that Bob Dylan plagiarized James Damiano’s song.
On the other hand, if a contrary theory was presented, one that does not involve the Schenker analysis, it is possible that Bob Dylan was only influenced by Damiano’s song and used that influence to write Dignity, not to copy Steel Guitars as his own.
Nevertheless, it is still unclear whether the court endorsed Bob Dylan’s potential plagiarism because of whom he was or if the court was willing to turn a blind eye to the alleged plagiarism.
This court’s behavior further demonstrates how a court tolerating the use of another’s song may give an incentive to plagiarize. If a court is willing to dismiss a motion to compel discovery that could prove plagiarism, a court may very well do the same for another musician, even if he or she is not as well known as Bob Dylan.
Cordozo Law Journal Article
Lo and Behold
New Jersey Stage Article
The Attorney Who Ruined Bob Dylan's Reputation link below
The following article displays the massive affinity Bob Dylan had for Plagiarism
Trailer to "Bob Dylan's Stealing of James Damiano's Songs"
Narrating Christine Boutsikaris
This is the true story that your
Mainstream Media has hidden from you
The Producers Club
358 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036
Narrating Christine Boutsikaris