People Disappoint Me


Tonight I put up the following away message:

We never did much talking anyway… don’t think twice, it’s all right.

There wasn’t any particular meaning in it — it’s just a song I like that mentions not talking, which seems appropriate for an “Away” message. But then someone IMed me with the following: “Ironically enough, I’m listening to Vonda Shepard right now,” which confused me a little, given that I had no idea Vonda Shepard covered that song. Ignoring the fact that she meant “coincidentally” not “ironically,” what does it say about the world when someone credits Vonda Shepard with a Bob Dylan song? (As it turns out, she had no idea that it was even a cover.) This is almost worse than those people who think that “Across the Universe” was written by Fiona Apple.
There are three B’s of classical music that every budding pianist learns about — Beethoven, Bach, and Brahms. Well, I think people ought to learn the three B’s of 20th century popular music as well — The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and The Beach Boys. And don’t credit their songs to sub-par cover artists — at least not around me!


One response

  1. If you get the chance, check out the Dylan stuff on PBS this week (directed by Martin Scorsese; albeit he never met with Dylan and it’s a documentary, so the direction is really more an editing chore).
    At any rate, Dave Van Ronk relates the tale of Dylan’s first album wherein Dylan covers Van Ronk’s version of “The House of the Rising Sun”. Van Ronk had planned on recording the song as well, but Dylan beat him to it. Consequently, Van Ronk was forced to quit playing the song because everyone accused him of ripping off Dylan. (Integrity being all it for the folk scene then.) It’s with a special glee that Van Ronk goes on to say that when The Animals recorded the song in the mid-sixties, Dylan was forced to quit playing the song because folks accused him of ripping off The Animals.
    I guess it happens to the best of them, eh? Perhaps we should just leave it as imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.