Steve Sailer writes:
The logic of amplification is most apparent in the career of Bob Dylan, who grew up wanting to be a leather-jacketed rock ’n’ roll star. But by the time he got to Greenwich Village, rock was floundering. So he hopped on the folk music fad of the early 1960s, with its acoustic guitars and everybody singing about union solidarity. Dylan immediately took over folk music, and then set about draining the communal, socialist politics out of folk songs, using them instead as stages to display his own idiosyncratic verbal genius.
Rick McGinnis brought that up to me recently, noticing that Dylan’s latest release covers the Great American Songbook a la Ella Fitzgerald. Not a folk song in the bunch.
We talked about how many musicians, even those we still loved and admired, didn’t actually go home at night (or more accurately, the next morning) and listen for pleasure to the same genre of music they played onstage.
John Lydon didn’t put on the latest Stranglers’ album; he was a reggae connoisseur who — despite the t-shirt — loved Pink Floyd, Can and Captain Beefheart.
(I doubt anybody in CRASS permitted themselves to own a record player.)
Did that make them “phony”? The question of authenticity is one I wrestle with…