Bob Dylan and Neil Young, two eminent songwriters, have frequently acknowledged each other’s talents, especially in their ability to pen meaningful lyrics.
Over the years, their mutual admiration has blossomed into a deep friendship, marked by shared performances, duets, and even covers of one another’s songs.
The bond between the two musicians was so profound that they even referenced each other in their songs.
Bob Dylan’s song ‘Highlands’ included the lines, “I’m listening to Neil Young, I gotta turn up the sound,” while Young mentioned Bob in songs like ‘Bandit’ and ‘Flags of Freedom.’
Though Dylan and Young enjoyed a close relationship, there was a time when one of Neil’s songs caused unease for Bob.
In a 1985 interview with Spin, Dylan expressed his displeasure with Young’s hit track ‘Heart of Gold.’
Bob Dylan shared his thoughts on the song that irked him, saying, “The only time it bothered me that someone sounded like me was when I was living in Phoenix, Arizona, in about ’72, and the big song at the time was ‘Heart of Gold.’ I used to hate it when it came on the radio.”
He went on to say, “I always liked Neil Young, but it bothered me every time I listened to ‘Heart of Gold.’ I think it was up at number one for a long time, and I’d say, ‘Shit, that’s me. If it sounds like me, it should as well be me.'”
With ‘Heart of Gold’ climbing the charts, fans began to associate Young’s voice with Dylan’s, leading to a bizarre situation where Bob felt as though he was stalking himself.
He recollected, “I needed to lay back for a while, forget about things, myself included, and I’d get so far away and turn on the radio, and there I am, but it’s not me. It seemed to me somebody else had taken my thing and had run away with it, you know, and I never got over it. Maybe tomorrow.”
Though this episode momentarily caused discomfort for Dylan, it didn’t hinder their friendship. As a testament to their enduring connection, both musicians simultaneously released their albums ‘Rough and Rowdy Ways’ and ‘Homegrown’ in 2020.