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Monday, May 24, 2021

Bob Dylan @ 80 + A Fascinating Saga: Bob Dylan and Neil Young

"Will The Circle Be Unbroken" - A Tribute to Elliot Roberts
REVIEW: Neil Young Bob Dylan - Nowlan Park, Kilkenny, Ireland - 14 July 2019

COMMENTARY + ANALYSIS: Bob Dylan and Neil Young: Tangled Up in Blue and Out of The Black

Today is Bob Dylan's 80th birthday so Happy Birthday Bob!

Way back in 2011, we chronicled The Bob Dylan and Neil Young Saga as part of the "Bob Dylan 70th Birthday Countdown" on the National Bob Dylan Examiner by Harold Lepidus.

Bob Dylan and Neil Young are friends and mutual admirers. They have appeared on stage together numerous times, and have even referred to each other in their songs.

But we were asked by National Bob Dylan Examiner "So what about those Bob & Neil fans? What's up with that?"

So here was our reply to that age old question... 

Neil Young and Bob Dylan - 1986

Bob Dylan and Neil Young: A Fascinating Saga

Bob Dylan and Neil Young are friends and mutual admirers.  They have appeared on stage together numerous times, and have even referred to each other in their songs.

So the relationship between Bob Dylan and Neil Young is a fascinating saga indeed.

While Dylan is universally acknowledged as the most influential and important 20th century singer-songwriter performing today, Young is among a very small contingent of contenders for second place. Young's integrity and credibility place him among a distinguished group of artists to be compared to Dylan.

As a long time Neil Young fan, we've never really perceived any rivalry whatsoever between the Bob and Neil fan bases, and find the whole Bob vs Neil discussions to be a bit tiresome. It seems no matter your preference, both men are living legends and musical geniuses.

Nevertheless, the whole Bob and Neil business can be quite humorous.


Back in 2006, we linked over to a blog post on Top 10 Reasons Why Neil Young is Better Than Bob Dylan. The tongue-in-cheek posting created quite a bit of an uproar generating nearly 100 comments from outraged Dylan fans. So what exactly would any Dylan fan find objectionable??

Top 10 Reasons Why Neil Young is Better Than Bob Dylan:


Bob Dylan and Tom Petty & Neil Young
"My Back Pages" at BobFest - 1992

In the end, this comment from Karen sums up where many serious music lovers stand on the Bob vs. Neil debate:

I love Neil Young. I am a fanatic. First and foremost, a Rustie (Neil Young fan). But I also love Bob Dylan.

Neil has been very clear over the years on his own admiration and appreciation for Bob Dylan, he (Neil) has called Dylan the master on several occasions. Neil has said many times over that Dylan was an inspiration to him. One of the funniest, more recent comments was during a recent radio interview about 'Prairie Wind', Neil's latest album, the interviewer had apparently heard that Neil does a great impression of Bob Dylan (presumably Dylan's speaking voice, given the context of the interview.) Neil pauses, and as his manager literally breaks into the studio to make sure Neil is NOT going to impersonate Bob Dylan on air, Neil says, Impersonate Bob Dylan, huh? Hey, I've been doing that for forty years. Haven't you been listening?

So. Whether you like Bob, Neil, both or neither, it's all one song...

Bob Dylan Covers "Old Man" by Neil Young - 13 Nov 2002 @ Madison Square Gardens, New York City

"I'm listening to Neil Young, I gotta turn up the sound
Someone's always yellin', 'Turn him down'
Feel like I'm driftin', driftin' from scene to scene
I'm wondering what in the devil could it all possibly mean."

~~Bob Dylan's "Highlands"

"No one can touch you now,
But i can touch you now.
You're invisible.
You got too many secrets.
Bob Dylan said that.
Somethin' like that.

~~Neil Young's "Bandit"

Also, see the issue of Broken Arrow: "Great article on 'Young Plays Dylan Plays Young' that chronicles the songs that Dylan has covered of Young's and vice-versa".

Happy birthday Bob! Thanks Bob for having Bobfest!
(And Thanks Harold!)

"This song is a masterpiece." ~~Neil Young
(see Neil Young on Bob Dylan's "Murder Most Foul": 17 Minutes of The TRUTH )


Neil Young and Bob Dylan
Entertainment Tonight on 4-1-86
(See Bob Dylan's 70th Birthday: The Bob and Neil Saga)


Bob Dylan and Neil Young at ASCAP 1986. 

INTERVIEWER: "What can we look for in the future from Bob Dylan?"

DYLAN: "I'm letting Neil Young answer that." 

Best answer ever.

Bob Dylan & Neil Young Co-Headline Concerts in 2019
(See Bob Dylan and Neil Young: Tangled Up in Blue and Out of The Black)

A Rock & Roll Trinity: The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost
Bob Dylan, Neil Young & Eric Clapton,
Madison Square Garden, New York City - 1992

(See Bob Dylan and Neil Young:Master & Disciple)

Labels: ,


At 5/24/2021 11:51:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

Two unique and gifted artists who use completely different approaches to create their craft. No comparisons are needed as they are both brilliant artists, and we are all blessed that they both exist at the same time.

Happy 80th birthday Bob!!!

Peace 🙏

At 5/24/2021 05:00:00 PM, Blogger Dionys said...

The BA 2011 list of "Neil Young plays Bob Dylan" would be a little bit longer now: "Girl From North Country" (A Letter Home) and "The Times They Are A-Changing" (The Times) are the latest additions. Taken all together these covers would make for an interesting but very heterogenous compilation. Is there a decent version of "Like a Rolling Stone" out there? I mean, beyond that trick of disaster version with Spirit?

At 5/25/2021 02:10:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

Happy 80th Birthday, Bob Dylan! I visited Jimi Hendrix's Memorial in Renton, WA, today. Hendrix played a great version of Like a Rolling Stone, in answer to the question above. Hendrix at Monterey Pop Fest 1967: "A little thing by Bob Dylan. That's his grandmother over there." I love it that these 2 guys have mutual respect. I am a huge fan of both of them, but I must say that Neil's voice is better and Neil plays lead guitar as only the Godfather of Grunge could. Nei's lead guitar playing and guitar playing in general is fantastic. Bob Dylan hasn't played guitar in like 15 years now. Just piano. Dylan's band does most of the playing in the last 15-17 years. Cigarettes ravaged Dylan's voice. Dylan might be able to box better than Neil Young. But when Neil gets grumpy, I doubt Dylan would take him on. I liked his version of Old Man above; if only Dylan could still sing that well. But the years fly by and youth and beauty fade. Some things are immortal, however. Like the music these 2 master Artist made in their lifetimes.
Alan in Seattle

At 5/25/2021 09:46:00 AM, Blogger Rabbi Randy said...

“First time I heard "Like A Rolling Stone"
I felt that magic and took it home
Gave it a twist and made it mine
But nothing was as good as the very first time
Poetry rollin' off his tongue
Like Hank Williams chewin' bubble gum
Askin me "how does it feel?"
-Neil ‘Twisted Road’

At 5/29/2021 07:37:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

The life long controversy of 'best'! Funny stuff.
I recall Neil saying 'there is no best in music'.

I liken the placement to this:
Father, Son and Holy Ghost........
Bob Dylan, Neil Young and John Lennon.
In that, you have it all.

At 5/29/2021 07:38:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...



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