Friday, September 30, 2005


In Bob Dylan week, I've been thinking a lot about influence. Coming to folk music, rather than being immersed in it since birth, Dylan looked for and picked out his influences - from rock, to pop, to Appalachian folksongs, to showtunes to an acetate of Robert Johnson's King of the Delta Blues. From these he took what he wanted or could use and discarded the rest. This magpie eye is what created Dylan the songwriter, and it goes to show that raw talent on its own, can, be massively enhanced by an intelligent mind. It might not work for a symphony composer, but for a pop writer...he took structure from here, subject from there... I think its important to see that influence, in this way, is both a personal thing, and a tool in itself. What am I trying to do? you ask. How might I do it? What can I use?

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