It has taken Bob Dylan until now to issue his taped lecture, which cites Buddy Holly as an influence.
Bob Dylan had until June 10 to deliver the lecture or forfeit the prize money.
He mentioned three influential books – Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, Homer’s The Odyssey and Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front – in his lecture.
Sara Danius, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, which awards the prize, wrote in a blog post: “The speech is extraordinary and, as one might expect, eloquent. Now that the lecture has been delivered, the Dylan adventure is coming to a close.”
Bob Dylan said: “If I was to go back to the dawning of it all, I guess I’d have to start with Buddy Holly… He was the archetype. Everything I wasn’t and wanted to be.”
The singer said he “had to travel a hundred miles to get to see him play” and “wasn’t disappointed”.
Image source Wikipedia
Describing the encounter, Bob Dylan said Buddy Holly “was powerful and electrifying and had a commanding presence”.
“Out of the blue, the most uncanny thing happened. He looked me right straight dead in the eye, and he transmitted something. Something I didn’t know what. And it gave me the chills.
“It was a day or two after that that his plane went down… somebody handed me a Leadbelly record with the song Cottonfields on it. And that record changed my life right then and there.”
This lead Bob Dylan on to other Leadbelly artists including Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, the New Lost City Ramblers and Jean Ritchie.
“By listening to all the early folk artists and singing the songs yourself, you pick up the vernacular. You internalize it.”
Bob Dylan then went on to talk about his literary influences: “Specific books that have stuck with me ever since I read them way back in grammar school – I want to tell you about three of them: Moby Dick, All Quiet on the Western Front and The Odyssey.”
The musician described Moby Dick as “a fascinating book, a book that’s filled with scenes of high drama and dramatic dialogue”.
“All Quiet on the Western Front is a horror story. This is a book where you lose your childhood, your faith in a meaningful world, and your concern for individuals.
“The Odyssey is a great book whose themes have worked its way into the ballads of a lot of songwriters: Homeward Bound, Green, Green Grass of Home, Home on the Range, and my songs as well,” Bob Dylan said.
He also spoke about the meaning in songs, saying: “If a song moves you, that’s all that’s important. I don’t have to know what a song means. I’ve written all kinds of things into my songs. And I’m not going to worry about it – what it all means.”
Bob Dylan concluded: “Our songs are alive in the land of the living. But songs are unlike literature. They’re meant to be sung, not read. The words in Shakespeare’s plays were meant to be acted on the stage. Just as lyrics in songs are meant to be sung, not read on a page.
“And I hope some of you get the chance to listen to these lyrics the way they were intended to be heard: in concert or on record or however people are listening to songs these days. I return once again to Homer, who says, <<Sing in me, oh Muse, and through me tell the story>>.”
Bob Dylan has finally said he accepts his Nobel Prize in literature, ending a silence since being awarded the prize earlier this month.
The singer-songwriter said the honor had left him “speechless”, the Nobel Foundation said in a statement.
The Nobel foundation said it had not yet been decided if Bob Dylan would attend the awards ceremony in December.
Image source Wikipedia
However, Bob Dylan reportedly told the Daily Telegraph he intended to pick up the award in person “if at all possible”.
The award was announced on October 13 “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.
However, Bob Dylan’s failure to acknowledge it raised eyebrows.
Last week, a member of the Swedish Academy, which awards the Nobel prizes, described Bob Dylan’s silence as “impolite and arrogant”.
However, on October 28, the Nobel Foundation said Bob Dylan had called Sara Danius, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, telling her: “The news about the Nobel Prize left me speechless. I appreciate the honor so much.”
Although the statement said it was unclear if Bob Dylan would attend the prize-giving banquet in Stockholm, the Daily Telegraph quoted the musician as saying: “Absolutely. If it’s at all possible.”
In an interview with the publication he described the prize as “amazing, incredible”.
“It’s hard to believe. Whoever dreams about something like that?” the publication quoted Bob Dylan as saying.
Bob Dylan will be named 2015’s MusiCares person of the year at the special pre-Grammys event in February.
Jack White, Neil Young, The Black Keys, Willie Nelson and Crosby, Stills and Nash will perform at the gala to celebrate Bob Dylan, 73.
Carole King and Bruce Springsteen are among the honor’s previous recipients.
Bob Dylan has won 10 Grammys, seven of them after being handed a lifetime achievement award in 1992.
Beck, Tom Jones and Norah Jones are among the stars who will perform versions of Bob Dylan’s songs at the show on February 6, 2015, two days before the Grammys.
Bob Dylan has won 10 Grammys, seven of them after being handed a lifetime achievement award in 1992
Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, Bonnie Rait and John Mellencamp will also take part in the charity gala.
“[Bob Dylan’s] body of creative work has contributed to America’s culture, as well as that of the entire world, in genuinely deep and lasting ways,” said Neil Portnow, head of the MusiCares Foundation and The Recording Academy.
Bob Dylan follows in the footsteps of the likes of Neil Young, Paul McCartney and Barbra Streisand.
Paul Simon, Elton John and Billy Joel have also been honored with the award since it was created in 1989.
“Bob Dylan’s songwriting ability is unmatched, and it will be an extraordinary evening to hear his work showcased by such a remarkable group of artists,” said Bill Silva, chair of the MusiCares Foundation Board.
Bob Dylan has also been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame in the US.
Bob Dylan has been placed under judicial investigation in France for allegedly provoking ethnic hatred of Croats.
The move follows a legal complaint lodged by a Croat association in France over a 2012 interview Bob Dylan gave to Rolling Stone magazine.
In the interview Bob Dylan allegedly compared the relationship between Jews and Nazis to that of Serbs and Croats.
Bob Dylan, 72, was served notice of the investigation last month.
At the time the singer was in Paris to receive the Legion of Honor, a prestigious French award.
In the Rolling Stone interview, Bob Dylan was sharing his thoughts about US history and the country’s racial divide.
Bob Dylan has been placed under judicial investigation in France for provoking ethnic hatred of Croats
The singer is reported to have said: “Blacks know that some whites didn’t want to give up slavery – that if they had their way, they would still be under the yoke, and they can’t pretend they don’t know that.
“If you got a slave master or [Ku Klux] Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that. That stuff lingers to this day. Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood.”
During WWII, the Croat Ustashe fascist movement killed hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Jews, Roma and others in their death camps.
Croats and Serbs also fought each other during the break-up of Yugoslavia, in a 1991-1995 war that left around 20,000 people dead.
After the interview was published, the Council of Croats in France (CRICCF) filed a complaint.
Being placed under judicial investigation means that authorities are taking the complaint seriously, but that it won’t necessarily go further.
Bob Dylan, who played concerts in Serbia and Croatia in 2010, rose to fame in the 1960s partly for his support of the US civil rights movement.
Bob Dylan has received France’s highest award, the Legion of Honor, in a brief ceremony in Paris.
Presenting him with the award, France’s Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti said Bob Dylan was a hero for young people hungry for justice and independence.
Bob Dylan has famously never liked being used as a spokesman for other people’s causes.
After the speech, Bob Dylan said simply that he was “proud and grateful” and left.
No cameras were allowed for the ceremony at the culture ministry.
Bob Dylan, 72, has never recorded any songs in French but a generation of people in France fell in love with his music and his message in the 1960s and 70s.
Bob Dylan has received France’s highest award, the Legion of Honor, in a brief ceremony in Paris
Cover versions were legion, many of them by the singer Hugues Aufray, who was in the audience.
In her speech, Aurelie Filippetti waxed lyrical about Bob Dylan’s cultural importance.
Naming song after song, ranging from The Times They Are A-Changin’ in the 1960s to Time Out Of Mind in the 1990s, Aurelie Filippetti sought to tie them to eras and causes such as the US civil rights movement.
Bob Dylan, she told him in the speech, had himself been inspired by poets including the French symbolists Verlaine et Rimbaud.
The minister also made an awkward allusion to Dylan’s influence on the famous Paris student uprising of May 1968.
A journalist who attended the ceremony said Bob Dylan had looked distinctly uncomfortable.
Bob Dylan, who is playing concerts in Paris this week, met Justice Minister Christiane Taubira at a reception after the ceremony, Le Parisien newspaper reports. No details were given.
Bob Dylan’s award was temporarily blocked earlier this year after army general Jean-Louis Georgelin, the Grand Chancellor of the Legion, voiced reservations about his use of cannabis and anti-war politics.
Established by Napoleon, the Order of the Legion of Honor is presented to individuals who have served France in various ways.
Bob Dylan has been nominated for France’s top distinction, the Legion d’Honneur, an award previously given to Sir Paul McCartney.the Legion d’Honneur
Bob Dylan’s nomination, by culture minister Aurelie Filipetti, was approved by the award’s 17-member council.
Chancellor Jean-Louis Georgelin wrote in Le Monde that although the panel originally rejected the nomination, Bob Dylan, 72, was an “exceptional artist”.
The “tremendous singer and great poet” got a lower rank of the award in 1990.
Bob Dylan has been nominated for France’s top distinction, the Legion d’Honneur
Satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaine (The Chained Duck) reported in May that Bob Dylan’s nomination was rejected because of his opposition to the war in Vietnam, where France was a former colonial power, and his alleged use of cannabis.
However, Jean-Louis Georgelin did not elaborate on the reason why the nomination was originally blocked, simply citing a past “controversy”.
Bob Dylan shot to fame in the 60s as an icon of the anti-war and civil rights movements.
Songs such as The Times They Are a-Changin’ and Like a Rolling Stone became synonymous with the 60s counterculture,
and he became a poster-boy for a disenchanted generation.
The artist also became an informal historian of America’s troubles with tracks like Blowin’ In The Wind, but his decision to move away from traditional guitar in favor of an electric version in the mid-60s proved controversial among die-hard folk fans.
Bob Dylan was awarded the top civilian honor in the United States, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in May 2012.
Earlier this month, Bob Dylan was made an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Recipients of the Legion d’Honneur, the Legion of Honor, include U2 frontman Bono, artist Louise Bourgeois, singer Charles Aznavour and actor Jean Reno.
Bob Dylan will receive the Medal Of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor, it has been announced.
Bob Dylan is being recognized alongside former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, John Glenn, the third American in space, and Nobel Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison.
President Barack Obama will award the medals at the White House in the coming weeks.
In a statement, Barack Obama said: “They’ve challenged us, they’ve inspired us and they’ve made the world a better place.”
Bob Dylan was born Robert Allen Zimmerman on May 24, 1941 and began his musical career in 1959, playing in coffee houses in Minnesota.
He took his stage name from the poet Dylan Thomas and, not coincidentally, paid as much attention to his lyrics as his music.
Much of his best-known work dates from the 1960s, when Bob Dylan became an informal historian of America’s troubles.
Songs like Blowin’ In The Wind and The Times They Are A-Changin’ became anthems of the anti-war and civil rights movements.
His move away from traditional folk songwriting, paired with a controversial decision to “go electric” proved equally influential – his confessional, introspective lyrics were undoubtedly absorbed by The Beatles in their later work.
Bob Dylan continues to record and tour, expanding his horizons with a US radio show and a recently-signed six-book publishing deal.
Bob Dylan will receive Medal Of Freedom alongside former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, John Glenn, the third American in space, and Nobel Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison has become renowned for her portrayal of the African-American experience in novels such as Song Of Solomon and Beloved, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988.
Born Chloe Anthony Wofford in 1931 in Ohio, Toni Morrison went on to become a senior editor at publishers Random House before pursuing her writing career.
Outside of novels, Toni Morrison has written literary criticism and even lyrics for operas, including Honey and Rue, with music by Andre Previn,
Once asked by a student who she wrote for, Toni Morrison replied: “I want to write for people like me, which is to say black people, curious people, demanding people…
“People who can’t be faked, people who don’t need to be patronized, people who have very, very high criteria.”
Madeleine Albright, meanwhile, was born in Prague – in what was then Czechoslovakia, and was the first woman to hold the top diplomatic post in the US.
Other recipients of the Medal Of Freedom announced by the White House were:
• Shimon Peres, Israeli president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
• Gordon Hirabayashi, who openly defied the forced relocation and internment in the United States of Japanese Americans during World War II.
• John Doar, civil rights attorney.
• William Foege, a physician who led the campaign to eradicate smallpox.
• Dolores Huerta, civil rights worker and women’s advocate.
• Jan Karski, an officer in the Polish Underground during World War II and one of the first people to provide accounts of the Holocaust to the world.
• Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts.
• John Paul Stevens, former Supreme Court Justice.
• Pat Summitt, former women’s basketball coach at the University of Tennessee.
Previous honorees include Mother Theresa, Margaret Thatcher, Stephen Hawking, Walt Disney, Doris Day, Maya Angelou, Duke Ellington and Aretha Franklin.