The only time it bothered me that someone sounded like me was when I was living in Phoenix, Arizona, in about ’72 and the big song at the time was “Heart of Gold.” I used to hate it when it came on the radio. I always liked Neil Young, but it bothered me every time I listened to “Heart of Gold.” I think it was up at number one for a long time, and I’d say, “Shit, that’s me. If it sounds like me, it should as well be me.
-Bob Dylan (to Scott Cohen, September 1985)
Neil Percival Young (born November 12, 1945) is a Canadian singer-songwriter. After embarking on a music career in the 1960s, he moved to Los Angeles, where he formed Buffalo Springfield with Stephen Stills, Richie Furay and others. Young had released two solo albums and three as a member of Buffalo Springfield by the time he joined Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1969. From his early solo albums and those with his backing band Crazy Horse, Young has recorded a steady stream of studio and live albums, sometimes warring with his recording company along the way.
What I love about Bob is the fact that no one’s ever been able to really figure him out. With every reinvention, you never know if it’s a genuine shift or just him slyly ducking out of view. No one has had a more profound cultural and political impact on our generation.
Bonnie Lynn Raitt (born November 8, 1949) is an American blues singer, guitarist, songwriter, and activist.
Raitt has received 10 Grammy Awards. She is listed as number 50 in Rolling Stone‘s list of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time” and number 89 on the magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”. Australian Country Music Artist Graeme Connors has said, “Bonnie Raitt does something with a lyric no one else can do; she bends it and twists it right into your heart.”
Well, no. but, then, Joni Mitchell is almost like a man [laughs]. I mean, I love Joni, too. But Joni’s got a strange sense of rhythm that’s all her own, and she lives on that timetable… Joni Mitchell is in her own world all by herself, so she has a right to keep any rhythm she wants. She’s allowed to tell you what time it is.
-Bob Dylan (to Kurt Loder, October 1987)
Roberta Joan “Joni” Mitchell (born November 7, 1943) is a Canadian singer-songwriter. Drawing from folk, pop, rock, and jazz, Mitchell’s songs often reflect social and environmental ideals as well as her feelings about romance, confusion, disillusionment, and joy. She has received many accolades, including nine Grammy Awards and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. Rolling Stone called her “one of the greatest songwriters ever”, and AllMusic has stated, “When the dust settles, Joni Mitchell may stand as the most important and influential female recording artist of the late 20th century”.
Prine’s stuff is pure Proustian existentialism. Midwestern mindtrips to the nth degree. And he writes beautiful songs. I remember when Kris Kristofferson first brought him on the scene. All that stuff about Sam Stone the soldier junky daddy and Donald and Lydia, where people make love from ten miles away. Nobody but Prine could write like that. If I had to pick one song of his, it might be Lake Marie. I don’t remember what album that’s on.
-Bob Dylan (to Bill Flanagan in 2009)
John Prine (born October 10, 1946) is an American country folk singer-songwriter. He has been active as a composer, recording artist, and live performer since the early 1970s, and is known for an often humorous style of country music that has elements of protest and social commentary.