…while I work on a larger post about what classical music would look like if it really did connect with the world around us.
Bono on Bob Dylan, from the current issue of Rolling Stone:
When Sam Cooke played Dylan for the young Bobby Womack, Womack said he didn’t understand it. Cooke explained that from now on, it’s not going to be about how pretty the voice is. It’s going to be about believing that the voice is telling the truth.
I read this today to my Juilliard class on music criticism. My question to them (and to everyone in my blog community): How often do any of us ask if a classical artist is telling the truth?
(Historical note: interesting, to see two soul singers (well, Womack was a guitarist, too, and a songwriter) talking about Bob Dylan. Cooke died in 1964, so this was very early Dylan they were hearing. This also would have been around the time that Cooke was writing and recording “A Change is Gonna Come,” in which, after years of recording light pop hits, he certainly did tell the truth. Just now, after writing that line, I’ve learned from Wikipedia that Cooke was directly inspired by Dylan. Cooke’s widow later married Bobby Womack. Did they listen to Dylan at home?)