I’ve felt so strongly [without anything but circumstantial evidence], that Bob Dylan must have listened to Shepherd in the early 1960s that I once made up a list of questions about it.
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man,
play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning
I’ll come followin’ you.
What questions would I ask?
Bobby, is That You, Woody?
Q: Mr. Dylan, sir, please, if I may, please. When did you start listening to Shep, please? Were you a Shepherd “night person”? Sir, please.
Q: How, please, did you find out about him, please?
Q: What about him got you interested in him, Mr. Dylan, sir?
Q: What were your thoughts about him then, and what do you think about him now?
Q: When did you stop listening to him and why did you stop?
Yes You Can–Love it!
Dylan quoted from a talk he gave in 2015:
“Sam Cooke said this when told he had a beautiful voice: He said, ‘Well that’s very kind of you, but voices ought not to be measured by how pretty they are. Instead they matter only if they convince you that they are telling the truth.’ Think about that the next time you are listening to a singer.”
[I intrude to amplify that by saying that Maria Callas and Frank Sinatra, without beautiful voices, convince me.]
Q: Are there any ways that you feel especially attuned to what Shepherd said and how he said it?
Q: Any specific ways you’ve thought/behaved/ created that you might feel have been influenced by his style?
Q: Any specific aspects of what he said that might have influenced your music/lyrics?
Nice Ta See Ya Smile, Bobby!
Q: He was very negative toward folk and rock–especially regarding you and Joan Baez–were you aware of that–did you care?
The King and the President,
who says he’s a big Dylan fan.
Q: What about your feelings about Shep–then and now?
Q: What do you feel are Jean Shepherd’s best attributes?
Keep on Rockin’
[Because Jean Shepherd in the 1960s demeaned both Bob Dylan and
Joan Baez, among others, I’ve often felt that not only did he dislike the
political protests they were part of, but that he did not objectively
listen to some of the better rock and other music of the time.
I wish I coulda talked to Shep and gotten him to listen carefully
to some good rock and to some fine Dylan,
and then gotten him to admit what he really felt.
I’d a started with “Mr. Tambourine Man,”
and worked up ta “Like a Rollin’ Stone.”]