Music by Bob Dylan was a favorite of Paul McCartney’s. In the 1960s, the two collaborated on a number of projects, and McCartney frequently credited Dylan as having a significant impact on the Beatles’ musical style.
Dylan has also praised McCartney’s music and even cracked a joke about wanting the former Beatles to stop performing because of his ability. However, he allegedly didn’t always have this opinion of McCartney. Filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker, who collaborated with Dylan on a number of occasions, claimed that Dylan didn’t even enjoy listening to music in the same room as McCartney.
Dylan attended additional performances by The Beatles. Neil Aspinall, The Beatles’ road manager, claimed that he always gave John Lennon the most care In the book, John Lennon: The Life by Phillip Norman, he wrote, “If ever Bob got together with the Beatles after that, John was always the one he zeroed in on, If ever Bob got together with the Beatles after that, John was always the one he zeroed in on.”
Lennon was a close companion to Dylan, according to Pennebaker, who collaborated with the American musician on Don’t Look Back, Eat the Document, and several music videos. According to him, he said, “John was a very good friend of Dylan’s, John just loved him. And vice versa. They adored each other.”
He added, “And the rest of the Beatles? Paul would come in and play something and Dylan would get up and walk out of the room.”
Before all this, the American musician met The Beatles in 1964. In 1964, Dylan and The Beatles convened at the Delmonico Hotel in New York. He brought marijuana to the group at this point. Paul explained in his book Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now by Barry Miles, “George Harrison, John [Lennon], and I were sitting in the main room of the suite, the lounge, drinking, We were sitting there with our Scotch and Cokes, and Dylan had just given Ringo [Starr] a puff of it.”
The rest of the band desired some after Starr tried it. McCartney cited his growing conviction that he had found the meaning of existence. He said, “I spent the whole evening running around trying to find a pencil and paper because when I went back in the bedroom later, I discovered the Meaning of Life, And I suddenly felt like a reporter, on behalf of my local newspaper in Liverpool. I wanted to tell my people what it was. I was the great discoverer, on this sea of pot, in New York.”
Dylan may have fled the room when McCartney’s music started playing when he first met The Beatles, but over time he came to respect the other musician. While talking with Rolling Stone in 2007, he explained,
“I’m in awe of Paul McCartney, He’s about the only one that I am in awe of. But I’m in awe of him. He can do it all and he’s never let up, you know. He’s got the gift for melody, he’s got the rhythm. He can play any instrument. He can scream and shout as good as anybody and he can sing the ballad as good as anybody, you know so … And his melodies are, you know, effortless. That’s what you have to be in awe … I’m in awe of him maybe just because he’s just so damn effortless.”