I like a lot of Bob’s songs… Musically he’s not very gifted, he’s borrowed his voice from a lot of old hillbillies. He’s got a lot of borrowed things.
It’s not like I outed him [as a plagiarist]. He stole all of his lines out of a Japanese hoodlum’s novel. There was a lawsuit impending, but it got dropped. He told me ‘I haven’t written a song in years.’ I said, ‘What’re you talking about? Who’s writing them, then?’ He came down to craft.”
Joni Mitchell, on Bob Dylan. Who knew septuagenarian folk musicians could be so critical, eh?
As far as Henry Timrod [a Civil War-era poet whom Dylan is accused of plagiarising] is concerned, have you even heard of him? Who’s been reading him lately? And who’s pushed him to the forefront? Who’s been making you read him? And ask his descendants what they think of the hoopla. And if you think it’s so easy to quote him and it can help your work, do it yourself and see how far you can get. Wussies and pussies complain about that stuff…. These are the same people that tried to pin the name Judas on me. Judas, the most hated name in human history! If you think you’ve been called a bad name, try to work your way out from under that. Yeah, and for what? For playing an electric guitar? As if that is in some kind of way equitable to betraying our Lord and delivering him up to be crucified. All those evil motherfuckers can rot in hell.