Bob Dylan has been referred to as ‘The voice of a generation’, He is one of the most influential figures in popular music, since the 60s. He began his career in the early 60s and gained fame for his work in genres such as folk, rock, and blues music. Not only that, he has an influence on politics and other popular culture too. That’s one reason he’s been deemed an influence for everyone.
When it comes to influences most people are hesitant in revealing them. On top of that, artists have big inflated egos which stop them from asking for advice from other fellow artists. This is really unnecessary, as one individual can influence others.
Not doubting their actual potential. An artist could fully believe in their work and that could be one reason they don’t go on asking for advice. For some others, it could be a sign of vulnerability which could be counted as a weakness.
However, we have a story of Bob Dylan and another artist whom he asked for advice. Even though, Bob is a big deal, hearing him taking advice from other artists sounds intriguing. The other artist was John Mellencamp. Both of them are one of the most regarded musicians in the world. With successful careers, and peaking into fame, it’s good to know they cast aside their egos when it came to their craft.
In 2022 while talking with Billboard, John revealed he was fed up with Bob Dylan. It was because he would call him in the middle of the night to read him his lyrics. He said, “Bob Dylan used to call me up in the middle of the night and read his lyrics to me that he was working on for new records. And I finally told him, ‘Bob, would you quit calling me, because I’m not gonna say anything. I’m not a good sounding board because I like everything you do. I’m happy to hear this stuff, but I’m not that great of a sounding board.’”
Mellencamp has been known as ‘Johnny Cougar’ since the 1970s and is successful due to his blend of folk and rock like Bob. There are other things that define him and make him close to Bob Dylan. He also uses his platform for political activism.
Both have been influential figures in popular music. They have both been associated with the ‘heartland rock’ genre. Dylan and Mellencamp have performed together too. In 2007 they performed together as part of the ‘Change Rocks’ concert which raised awareness for poverty and hunger in the United States. In 2008, they performed together as a part of “Farm Aid”.
Both of them show us that interaction is all it takes. Even though they were very successful, they relied on each other. In the end, it’s all about learning from each other. One may not complete the puzzle himself, but with several hands up his sleeves, the puzzle will be completed for sure. Interacting with others can help us give insights into things we cannot comprehend ourselves.
Watch John Mellencamp perform Bob Dylan’s ‘Delia’ with Sammy Hagar.