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PostPosted: Wed December 30th, 2009, 14:38 GMT 

Joined: Sun May 10th, 2009, 09:40 GMT
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sphinx wrote:
Yeah, it is easier to be a wiseacre than to address difficult-to-refute charges, isn't it?


You're an injured party of this case?


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PostPosted: Wed December 30th, 2009, 18:56 GMT 

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Jesus Christ, guys, I'm not asking you to prove that MT is a great album. I'm asking how you can justify Dylan's recent theft and I'm attempting to offer something like a reality check for the benefit of those of you who are too shortsighted to realize that there's a tremendous difference between his appropriation 40 years ago and today. For god's sake, you're acting like I'm a x heretic for simply pointing out that some of you are being less than honest about the nature of what Dylan's been up to of late.


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PostPosted: Wed December 30th, 2009, 19:14 GMT 

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How can I justify the theft? I enjoy listening to the songs.

It's like "Hm, this TV is stolen but i sure do like watching it" only not illegal.


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PostPosted: Wed December 30th, 2009, 22:00 GMT 
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sphinx wrote:
Jesus Christ, guys, I'm not asking you to prove that MT is a great album. I'm asking how you can justify Dylan's recent theft and I'm attempting to offer something like a reality check for the benefit of those of you who are too shortsighted to realize that there's a tremendous difference between his appropriation 40 years ago and today. For god's sake, you're acting like I'm a x heretic for simply pointing out that some of you are being less than honest about the nature of what Dylan's been up to of late.


Are you asking us to be honest, or to accept what you percieve as honesty. There is a difference. Two people can look at one thing and have totally different interpretations of what it is. That's life, my friend. In anycase, unlike the NET thread where your arguments were straight forward, convincing, and well argued, these posts are pretty condencending, and you may have noticed, no one agrees with you. Let's just let this one go and let the people that are enjoying the thread enjoy it. No one is saying you can't disagree, but you've already done that, now it's time to move on.


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PostPosted: Wed December 30th, 2009, 23:30 GMT 

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Fine. Go on believing that note-for-note theft is anything like the folk process. I realize now that you could tell me the sky is purple and find a way to justify it, so I'm finished with this ridiculous thread.

I must say, though, I'm amazed to see LJ reduced to a non-argument that's on a par with his own trademark "WOO! WATCHTOWER!"


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PostPosted: Thu December 31st, 2009, 02:36 GMT 
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What non-argument, doofus? The AMG review is a well argued defense of the album, and the note-for-note theft you imagine you hear is (1) not note-for-note anything and (2) something that someone else appropriated from someone else ad infinitum. Why you decide to assume the role of copyright police we just don't understand.


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PostPosted: Thu December 31st, 2009, 04:09 GMT 
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sphinx wrote:
Fine. Go on believing that note-for-note theft is anything like the folk process. I realize now that you could tell me the sky is purple and find a way to justify it, so I'm finished with this ridiculous thread.

I must say, though, I'm amazed to see LJ reduced to a non-argument that's on a par with his own trademark "WOO! WATCHTOWER!"


Sphinx,
Thanks for your commitment to shaking the delusional morons out of their stupor. You're like a biblical prophet speaking the truth of God to a wicked and terrible people. I hope you never, never give up on this thread or any other opportunity you find to shake people by their lapels until they see the truth about Dylan.

Your humility and spirit of service to others is an inspiration.

Yours in God.
MMD


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PostPosted: Thu December 31st, 2009, 04:16 GMT 
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Before sphinx wet his/her pants in this thread (can we call for a mop and bucket?), wasn't there some discussion of the idea of authorship and genius?
It seems to me that one of the effects of the idea of Dylan as romantic genius is that his songs are judged by that standard. And that means not that they have to be great but that they were seen as having sprouted from Dylan's mind by divine grace or like a flowering plant out of the soil of his soul. Upon discovering that he in fact wrote songs like songs have always been written, by appropriation, suddenly Dylan seems to have either abjectly failed or to have been a fraud all along.
Dylan never seemed utterly original to me in the "genius" sense I described above. He seemed to take styles and materials and combine them in an excellent way. I think his use of texts and music is fascinating and pleasing. I know that the lines of Yakuza he appropriated sound great in the song.


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PostPosted: Thu December 31st, 2009, 04:34 GMT 
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I agree completely. If the lines work in the song, who cares whether or not they were previously used in an entirely different context. Someone said earlier that, if anything, it caused sales of the Confessions of a Yakuza book to go up. I can tell you that, in my case, this was definately the case. I had never even heard of the book, but, upon hearing that Bob had used many lines from that book in songs on L&T, I read it. Good book actually. The lines are not used in the same context as Bob uses it, which makes his lyrical process all the more interesting to me. In anycase, while, to a certain degree, sphinx did make a good point in that Tweedle Dee is almost a direct musical copy of Uncle John's Bongos, LJ summed it all up with the comment that it was "something that someone else appropriated from someone else ad infinitum." In the genre of music that Bob works in, that being folk, country, blues, ect., this is exactley what happens and has always happened. Until the last 20-30 years, artist did it constantly and no one cared. All of the sudden, when money is the primary focus, it's a huge deal to some people. I think the strangest thing about it all is that Bob seems to be one of those people. If I recall correctly, didn't he sue Hooty and the Blowfish over the use of the line "tangled up in blue?" While it may not have been him directly, I'm sure he was at least aware of the situation and, as the writer of that line, could have stopped it. That bothers me. Using exisiting lines to create a new song does not.


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PostPosted: Thu December 31st, 2009, 05:35 GMT 

Joined: Wed April 13th, 2005, 14:09 GMT
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Location: the mountains I got lost in
sphinx wrote:
...somebody showed up and dared to pierce the veil of lazy apologetics by actually being honest about the staggeringly apparent differences that separate Dylan's classic work from his recent work? I disagree, obviously.



until the web sheriff crowd ( of one) hijacked it. just 'cause you're loud don't make you right.


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PostPosted: Thu December 31st, 2009, 06:04 GMT 
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jman wrote:
sphinx wrote:
...somebody showed up and dared to pierce the veil of lazy apologetics by actually being honest about the staggeringly apparent differences that separate Dylan's classic work from his recent work? I disagree, obviously.



until the web sheriff crowd ( of one) hijacked it. just 'cause you're loud don't make you right.


Thanks for flagging this one, jman.

Sphinx, you are hilarious: it's better hyperbole and lack of perspective than thickboy's amusing schtick. Yes, you "pierced the veil of lazy apologetics."

You know you're talking about a couple of records on a discussion forum, right. 10 people are going to read it and think you are a puffed up petulant teenager. Your "piercing" isn't going to feed the hungry..
But that thieving bastard Dylan is...

Go take a nap.

Sincerely,
MMD


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PostPosted: Thu December 31st, 2009, 11:30 GMT 

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Now sphinx has left the building, we could continue to clear up the original question.

I think that the orginality thing is too overrated. (Whatever it means - copyright - credits - fame ...)
Of course there could be nothing without the original idea, but then there should be some value for the developing too.
There are many examples:
The Beatles (Almost completely Lennon_McCartney)
The Band (Robbie Robertson vs the band)
Dylan (Dylans bands have has tremendous impact to his records)
Most Motown records ...
And all those riffs and alike that "make" the song (These boot are made for walkin comes to mind).

Of course it's question of money, but how we (! funny: this not our business at all) share it.
(In some cases it may have been shared. For example I don't know how Beatles shared their incomes.)
What is the share of Yakuza (or whatever the name was) of L+T?
How much must Dylan pay to heirs of Robert Johnson or Moses?
Or must those who benefited from for example Dylan using their creations pay to Dylan.
Because they'd earned nothing without Dylans attention.


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PostPosted: Thu December 31st, 2009, 12:21 GMT 
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Yes. Like most 14 year-olds, Sphinx lives in a world far more black & white than the gray world the grown ups inhabit. Pop music - and music in general - involves more cross pollination than a bee colony and more inbreeding than Alabama and Georgia put together. As for the "original idea"..... I don;t know that I believe in it. What happens if the heirs of the creators of the infamous Duluth lynching postcard of the early 1950s were to show up and sue Dylan over "Desolation Row"? What if they joined with the heirs of John Steinbeck in a class action suit?

I always loved the unique songwriting approach that Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford used in Squeeze, one of my favorite bands of the 80s. One wrote the words, the other the music. They would start when the word guy took some song... could be "Mr. Tambourine Man" or "A Day in the Life" or anything and simply sat down and wrote a totally new set of lyrics to it. Then he'd give them to the music guy, BUT never (ever) tell him what song he rewrote. The music guy would write m,usic that never resembled the original source (since he never knew what it was) and, Bob's yer uncle, "Black Coffee in Bed" or "Pulling Muscles From a Shell" was born.

I have a writing exercise that works by taking the first line of a song, for example, "Early one morning the sin was rising, I was laying in bed." and using it as the first line in a story you will write, BUT a story that never has anything else to do with whatever story was in the song. When you're done, you go back and change the first line and now there's no connection between your story and the song, even though the song was the starting point for the story.

How about this one? http://www.break.com/usercontent/2009/1 ... 49781.html

Benjamin Button is based on a short story by Fitzgerald, Forrest Gump is adapted from a novel by Winston Groom. Since both screenplays were written by the same screenwriter I'm not sure who would sue who.....

Any guesses?


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PostPosted: Thu December 31st, 2009, 14:23 GMT 
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I say, send in the copyright police and let them sort it out. It appears to me that if there were serious breaches he'd be in court and in the news. Private as he may want to keep his life, news of something like that, the poet laureate of rock and roll (and all that jazz)... it would be everywhere, at least for a few days. Those from whom he has allegedly borrowed or stolen would see a bottomless pit of money... deep pockets, and no attorney worth his salt would yield until he felt he'd gotten his share. (Albeit, for his deserving client, mind you.)

Bob is living by the dictum, to live outside the law, you gotta be honest.

And if I find out someday that Bob paid people off to keep it from coming to light... as long as both parties are happy with the arrangement and accepted the agreement, I don't really give a damn.

It's about the music, you see.


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PostPosted: Thu December 31st, 2009, 22:49 GMT 

Joined: Wed January 7th, 2009, 06:06 GMT
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Long Johnny wrote:

I always loved the unique songwriting approach that Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford used in Squeeze, one of my favorite bands of the 80s. One wrote the words, the other the music. They would start when the word guy took some song... could be "Mr. Tambourine Man" or "A Day in the Life" or anything and simply sat down and wrote a totally new set of lyrics to it. Then he'd give them to the music guy, BUT never (ever) tell him what song he rewrote. The music guy would write m,usic that never resembled the original source (since he never knew what it was) and, Bob's yer uncle, "Black Coffee in Bed" or "Pulling Muscles From a Shell" was born.


I never knew this; that is cool as hell...


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PostPosted: Thu December 31st, 2009, 23:34 GMT 

Joined: Wed April 22nd, 2009, 03:33 GMT
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Long Johnny wrote:
Yes. Like most 14 year-olds, Sphinx lives in a world far more black & white than the gray world the grown ups inhabit. Pop music - and music in general - involves more cross pollination than a bee colony and more inbreeding than Alabama and Georgia put together. As for the "original idea"..... I don;t know that I believe in it. What happens if the heirs of the creators of the infamous Duluth lynching postcard of the early 1950s were to show up and sue Dylan over "Desolation Row"? What if they joined with the heirs of John Steinbeck in a class action suit?

I always loved the unique songwriting approach that Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford used in Squeeze, one of my favorite bands of the 80s. One wrote the words, the other the music. They would start when the word guy took some song... could be "Mr. Tambourine Man" or "A Day in the Life" or anything and simply sat down and wrote a totally new set of lyrics to it. Then he'd give them to the music guy, BUT never (ever) tell him what song he rewrote. The music guy would write m,usic that never resembled the original source (since he never knew what it was) and, Bob's yer uncle, "Black Coffee in Bed" or "Pulling Muscles From a Shell" was born.

I have a writing exercise that works by taking the first line of a song, for example, "Early one morning the sin was rising, I was laying in bed." and using it as the first line in a story you will write, BUT a story that never has anything else to do with whatever story was in the song. When you're done, you go back and change the first line and now there's no connection between your story and the song, even though the song was the starting point for the story.

How about this one? http://www.break.com/usercontent/2009/1 ... 49781.html

Benjamin Button is based on a short story by Fitzgerald, Forrest Gump is adapted from a novel by Winston Groom. Since both screenplays were written by the same screenwriter I'm not sure who would sue who.....

Any guesses?


Cute exercise, LJ. Would that Dylan had written a new song around an existing piece of music and then bothered to change at least a note or three.

This is just more soft-headed apologetics and you know it. The continued conflation of outright theft with the folk process as witnessed in this thread is contemptible.


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PostPosted: Fri January 1st, 2010, 00:51 GMT 
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Don't tell me what I know. Your arrogance is unbounded AND you obviously don;t keep your word as you said you were done with this thread. I ask on behalf of us all, how can we miss you if you won't go away? :)


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PostPosted: Fri January 1st, 2010, 03:55 GMT 

Joined: Wed April 22nd, 2009, 03:33 GMT
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But I just wrote a song in which each part is identical to Oh Sister, only the lyrics are different. How can I share it with you guys unless I stick around?

The lyrics and music are © 2009 sphinx, of course. Not just the lyrics; the music, too! I totally wrote it. All rights reserved. I wrote the music down, I mean, for my band. I wrote the song. It's mine, obviously. I used the folk process! You can see the credits on the disc and in the booklet of my upcoming new album, which is all the justification anybody needs. "It's all good! Woo!"


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PostPosted: Fri January 1st, 2010, 04:02 GMT 

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Hey, remember when Dylan sued Hootie and the Blowfish for using fragmentary lines from Idiot Wind in a song that referenced him by name and praised him?

Good times. The folk process is a shifty thing. Only some people can acess it, apparently. I'm toying with the idea of calling my upcoming new album The Folk Process, just to dispel any illusions listeners might have regarding my intentions. It's similar to the methodology that clearly went into naming Love and Theft.


Last edited by sphinx on Fri January 1st, 2010, 04:04 GMT, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri January 1st, 2010, 04:03 GMT 
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We're not going to get to miss you, are we? :(


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PostPosted: Fri January 1st, 2010, 04:05 GMT 

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Hey, I just like pointing out the stark, raving idiocy of defending a credit that reads "lyrics and music by Bob Dylan" when it's clearly a f*cking lie.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMo5bJzLcCE


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PostPosted: Fri January 1st, 2010, 05:35 GMT 
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You just don't get it, do you?


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PostPosted: Fri January 1st, 2010, 09:19 GMT 
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sphinx wrote:
Hey, remember when Dylan sued Hootie and the Blowfish for using fragmentary lines from Idiot Wind in a song that referenced him by name and praised him?

Good times. The folk process is a shifty thing. Only some people can acess it, apparently. I'm toying with the idea of calling my upcoming new album The Folk Process, just to dispel any illusions listeners might have regarding my intentions. It's similar to the methodology that clearly went into naming Love and Theft.


The Working-Artist, sphinx, is back. Fantastic.

How about this, Working-Artist, tell me what you think (artistic) originality means and whether you think it is possible.

You mentioned that you too, like Dylan's victims, had trouble with intellectual property thieves. Working-Artist, what are the limits of intellectual property?

Then, a concrete problem: If I use your absurd, self-important screeds from this thread in a novel about Dylan fans with personality disorders, would you feel that you owned the words?


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PostPosted: Fri January 1st, 2010, 09:41 GMT 
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sphinx wrote:
Hey, I just like pointing out the stark, raving idiocy of defending a credit that reads "lyrics and music by Bob Dylan" when it's clearly a f*cking lie.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMo5bJzLcCE


So, Working-Artist, your theory is that Dylan and company conspired to steal the music of Houston Turner's "Uncle John's Bongos" because he, "the old man" and his band are bereft of ideas?
2 immediate and preliminary questions -- both of which have been asked in this thread by others:
1. You can't imagine that there might be something non-conspiratorial going on there? I read here that you don't believe in the "folk process." Why is that? On his early albums, Dylan did much the same thing, taking tunes from older songs and then putting new words over them and the folk artists liked that. Guthrie did it. Your argument about the Yakuza novel was that the artist was living. Well, is it plagiarism if a fistful of lines from a novel about one thing are used in a different genre of art and in an entirely different context?

2. Do you think that Houston Turner was the first person to put those notes in that order? You don't think that it's possible that there is a really long musical chain stretching back a long time where that music and that rhythm were passed down, appropriated, new words written on top of it, etc? If Houston Turner might not be the original author of that tune, what then? Maybe you can go spit bile and righteous indignation at his heirs. I suggest you spend some time tracking the history of that tune, first, though.

Then, I have this question: is your concern one of property rights (that is, a legal and economic concern)? I mean, are you trying to protect the right to own ideas of Houston Smith (for example)? Is this a highly emotional defense of capitalism? Or is your rage moral indignation (and don't act like it's not rage, your rhetoric is way too over heated for you to pretend that you are dispassionately arguing)? Is it that Dylan did not credit Turner and so lied?

Looking forward to your answers.


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PostPosted: Fri January 1st, 2010, 13:08 GMT 
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LJ, superb thread, in the beginning anyway. Great writing, great insight. I pretty much agree with all your ideas.

The sphinxster reminds me of an incident in some college class I was in years ago somewhere. We were discussing art. One student told a good story. He had been in some other class discussing Jackson Pollack - famous for his splatter paintings. He was elaborating on the Pollack story when another student blurted out "there's nothing to that technique, I could do it!". "I looked directly at him and said, no you can't, you never did, and you never will!".

All I see in sphinx, which I see in most Dylan doubters, is jealousy(but well written jealousy!). And, if it's so easy, go do it. We'll be looking forward to your greatest hits album - or maybe even one hit song.


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