Wed. Sep 27th, 2023

Bob Dylan, who transformed himself from a middling Midwest youngster into a national folk legend, had no intention of being’mediocre.’ The musician either sang about peace, fought vehemently against it, or became a creative saint, with followers declaring him the most despised man in history. All of these components, the paradoxes, contributed to Dylan’s current cloud, a riddle that many attempted to expose or map out. Joni Mitchell was one of those persons who didn’t believe the story of Bob’s authenticity, believing the musician lacked originality and borrowed his entire image from others. Despite the fact that the duo had worked on Dylan’s The Rolling Thunder Revue tour in 1975, Mitchell wasn’t afraid to criticize her old ‘buddy,’ finally implying that they weren’t pals at all. However, she wasn’t the only one who had worked with Bob on the legendary tour and suspected he was also faking things, as another close friend of the singer, Sam Shepard, revealed. You could say Dylan hasn’t had much luck with friends, but Shepard’s words weren’t as caustic as Joni’s.

The dramatist simply intended to depict a different side of Bob than the audience saw while writing to his tour diary in 1975, disclosing a hidden truth that revealed how Bob had changed himself, leaving no traces of the Midwestern lad he once was, and developed a made-up character. Shepard contended: “Dylan created himself.” He fashioned himself up from the ground up. That is, from what he had around him and within him. Dylan is a figment of his own imagination. The goal isn’t to figure him out, but to accept him. He’s going to get into you anyway, so why not take him in? He is not the first person to invent himself, but he is the first person to invent Dylan.” It seems that the two persons who had spent a significant amount of time with Bob, Joni and Sam, believed he had reconditioned not only his own personality but also those around him. He’d abandoned his history as a Midwestern child of Jewish ancestry to become a far more Anglicized rock icon, leading some closest to him to assume the singer was nothing more than a shell of what he once was.

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