Bob Dylan says plagiarism charges made by "wussies and pussies"

Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:18pm EDT
 
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Chris Francescani

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bob Dylan has angrily responded to charges he plagiarized some of his lyrics, calling critics "wussies and pussies" and saying musical appropriation is "part of the folk tradition."

In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine for its Friday edition, the influential 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."

Rolling Stone released excerpts of the interview on Wednesday and Reuters obtained a complete transcript.

In 2003, the Wall Street Journal reported that lyrics from Dylan's 2001 record "Love and Theft" were remarkably similar to phrases in an obscure 1995 biography of a Japanese mobster.

A line from the biography, "I'm not as cool or forgiving as I might have sounded" was compared to Dylan's "I'm not quite as cool or forgiving as I sound." Twelve such similar phrasings have been identified.

In 2006, the New York Times made similar claims about a Civil War era poet's phrasings and Dylan's 2006 record "Modern Times."

"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."   Continued...

 
U.S. musician Bob Dylan (R) performs on the second day of the Hop Farm Music Festival in Paddock Wood, Kent June 30, 2012. REUTERS/ Ki Price