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Music

The world-famous band Bob Dylan called "a piece of shit"

Bob Dylan makes a strong claim to be the finest songwriter of all time. The troubadour’s prose is akin to a hybrid of Woody Guthrie’s and Dante Alighieri’s, and almost invariably over his long career, he has produced songs that leave an indelible mark on the listener, sending them into an existential trance where all the minutiae of living are considered and examined, the real objective of music. 

A true polymath, Dylan’s impact on culture has been extensive and continues to be ever-expanding, as his 2020 single, the historical epic ‘Murder Most Foul’, confirmed. 

Whilst it is easy to wax lyrical about Dylan, one thing has been made clear time and time again over his career; he can be a rather thorny individual. The stories of his slightly miserly ways are numerous, cementing the ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ musician as one of the more cynical figures in rock. Who can blame him, though? He’s seen and done it all and has no time for bullshit. 

Over the years, many musicians who hold Dylan in the highest regard have fallen foul of his vitriolic opinion, including American rockers Counting Crows. The band’s frontman Adam Duritz is a lifelong fan of Dylan, but it’s not an admiration that is shared by Dylan, as one of his former guitarists once claimed.

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Speaking to American SongwriterDuritz revealed that he has never actually met Dylan, and he’s not in a rush to, as he’s learnt from experience that meeting your idols can be very awkward, where you can look like “a fucking” idiot”.

“I was around him a few times, we opened for him, and I saw him,” Duritz told the publication. “But I don’t always rush to meet my idols because I don’t know what the fuck to say to them. And I don’t want to stand in front of them like an idiot and I’ve done that with some of my idols. [I] stood in front of them like a fucking idiot who couldn’t think of anything to say. So, I’m not always rushing to do that.”

Duritz then revealed that he’s struggled to meet stars of the A-list calibre such as Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, despite the latter being very affable towards him. The Counting Crows frontman also explained that he’s never rushed to meet Dylan because his prickly reputation precedes him. 

“So, I wasn’t rushing to talk to Bob Dylan, who is famous for being difficult to talk to because I know how much trouble I have with Bruce, who is, quite honestly, quite easy to talk to and a nice guy,” he said. “I don’t know. I have my idols and I admire them to the ends of the earth, but I’m not always trying to talk.”

It’s safe to say that Duritz made the right call in not rushing to meet Dylan, as it transpires that his opinion of Counting Crows is very, very low. At least, this is according to an account from César Díaz, Dylan’s former touring guitarist. He recalled an interaction he had with the folk legend where Duritz and the band came up in conversation. 

“I would go … ‘Bob, the guy from the Counting Crows, he wants to be you,’” Díaz said, as reported in Vulture. “And that was before they did that ‘Mr. Jones’ thing, you know.”

Dylan allegedly agreed with Díaz’s assertion and responded with some real venom sent in the direction of Duritz and his band: “He goes, ‘Yeah, look at them. What a piece of shit.’”

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