The Moment Neil Young Understood Bob Dylan’s Uniqueness
Neil Young is one of the most celebrated artists in popular music history, particularly thanks to his distorted electric guitar playing and deeply personal lyrics. In fact, his songs have such impeccable lyrics that, the ‘Godfather of Grunge’ is often named among the best songwriters of all time.
Speaking of which, it would be impossible to mention celebrated songwriting without Bob Dylan. The musician isn’t only a major figure in popular culture but is also often regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time. Dylan is especially praised for his range of themes reflecting political, social, philosophical, and literary influences.
Fortunately for their fans, these two applauded songwriters are close friends who have occasionally been working together since the mid-1970s. While they opened up about each other’s artistry during several interviews, there’s a special conversation Young had about his fellow musician during which he revealed a magical moment regarding Dylan.
Neil Young Recalled A Memory About Bob Dylan
During an old interview with Charlie Rose, Neil Young was asked about being regarded as equally great as Bob Dylan when it comes to songwriting. The musician started his words by saying that it’s an honor to be considered a successful songwriter and continued by reflecting on Dylan himself.
Young remembered something during that conversation that happened just yesterday. Apparently, the rocker was walking down the street when he saw an African-American guy who was about 30 years old, wearing a suit, driving his car. That’s when Young heard Bob Dylan’s voice coming from this man’s Lincoln Navigator.
After realizing that a man like that was screaming at the top of his lungs to a Bob Dylan song, Neil Young had an epiphany about the uniqueness of his friend. According to Young, that moment made him understand the essence of Dylan who had such power through music that his artistry had no limits when it comes to having a wide audience.
When his songwriting skills resembled Bob Dylan, Young said:
“Well, that’s a great honor. Who else would I put up there? Well, I wouldn’t know. I think there have been some amazing writers over time, but I don’t know. I’m so absent, I don’t really pay much attention. I love Bob Dylan. I think he’s great, and in the beginning, I knew he was great.
Yesterday, I was walking down the street, and then there was this guy in a Lincoln Navigator, or something else. He’s in there and blasting like a rolling stone and singing at the top of his lungs. An Afro-American guy sitting there, he’s about 30 years old in a suit, just rocking. I did hear Bob’s voice and went, ‘This is Bob, this is the essence of his feeling.’ I went, ‘Wow, this is so powerful.'”
You can watch the interview below.