Patti Smith names her 16 favourite Bob Dylan love songs
It’s no secret that Patti Smith and Bob Dylan have a close professional and personal relationship. The two icons of alternative music have bounced off each other for decades, the duo feeding off each other’s creativity ever since their first meeting in New York City.
A little while ago, when sitting down in an interview with Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore, Smith once explained that her first meeting with Dylan was a fearsome one, a performance wrapped in nerves as the folk legend sat in the audience waiting to watch a pre-fame Smith perform live. “Somebody told us he was there. My heart was pounding,” she explained.
“I got instantly rebellious. I made a couple of references, a couple of oblique things to show I knew he was there. And then he came backstage which was really quite gentlemanly of him. He came over to me and I kept moving around. We were like two pit-bulls circling. I was a snot-nose. I had a very high concentration of adrenaline. He said to me, ‘Any poets around here?’ And I said, ‘I don’t like poetry anymore. Poetry sucks!’” and from that moment on the two remained close.
Both Smith and Dylan have shared the stage countless times over the years, both captivating audiences with their spellbinding lyrical work. While both have covered each other’s songs in the studio, Smith’s admiration for Dylan stretches back right to the very beginning. Having put her own unique spin on Dylan’s tracks more times that you can count on your hands.
Sitting down in conversation with Rolling Stone, Smith was drawn into the topic of Dylan’s love songs. With a little prompting, she picked 16 of what she considers to be her favourite tracks from his extensive back catalogue.