Dylan on The Beatles
The first meeting of The Beatles and Bob Dylan was in a room at the Delmonico Hotel in New York on Friday 28 August 1964.At this point, The Beatles were the hottest property in the world and Dylan an emerging, but comparatively minor star.
In terms of musical influence the relationship was inverse. Paul McCartney, the Beatle songwriter least obviously in thrall to Bob, describes the guru-master relationship:
He was our idol... I could feel myself climbing a spiral walkway as I was talking to Dylan. I felt like I was figuring it all out, the meaning of life.
Dylan, for his part, initially admired the energy and creativity of The Beatles. Later, he seemed to have reservations. In 1966 he hinted Lennon and McCartney were overpraised:
If you go into the Library of Congress, you can find a lot better than that. There are millions of songs like ‘Michelle’ and ‘Yesterday’ written in Tin Pan Alley.
Bob later changed his tune again. Or rather he changed Paul’s most famous one. In 1970 he recorded an impromptu version of Yesterday, with his Beatles bestie, George Harrison playing guitar.
Times They Are A Changing (again)
Over the decades Bob mellowed, or at least channeled his grumpiness in new unlikely directions (see It Must Be Santa). In 2007 he cleared up previous misunderstandings.
John Lennon? Best singer you'll ever hear. Paul McCartney? What can't that guy do? And Peace and Love to my old friend Ringo...