People often talk & argue who is the most influential iconic musician of all time? From Elvis to Marley to Lennon to Dylan. Initially, I would have said Elvis in an instant. However recently I’ve come to realize it was Mr. Bob Dylan who’s profound lyrical message’s lead to this social unrest & the forever awakening & realization that artists could write, sing & play whatever they wanted, regardless of whether or not it was socially & politically correct.
Dylan changed the landscape for popular music. From what I’ve read about him, Dylan had this insatiable drive to be “someone”…famous if you will. He knew he wasn’t the best folk guitar player around & definitely not the best singer. So what did he do? He channeled his energy through the strongest outlet he had going for him: his lyrics. The rest, as we know, is history……
If Dylan had not come along to rub the cat’s fur the wrong way, the Beatles entire discography would have been a collection of songs like “I wanna hold your hand”. It is not coincidental that when Bob finally became a international star The Beatles musical depth was taking shape to a whole other level of social relevance. The Beatles are only one of many examples who Dylan inspired. Bob Marley being another. Many had seen the impact & significance Dylan had conjured through his rebellious & in many ways, truthful outbursts. Today it is normal to hear a song that is controversial & lyrically daring. In fact, it’s quite common. However, there was a time where the lyrical content only went as far as “my woman’s gone & left me”….seriously. That was until Bob Dylan emerged to create a domino effect through the last 5 decades that has left a sustaining message & lyrical freedom that seems to be inscribed subconsciously within our boundaries of entitlement as musical artists. So for that, Mr. Dylan I thank you!