“My reaction was, ‘Don’t do what he does. He’s got it covered.’ You’ve got to go your own way or you’re just in a shadow.”
That shadow is too immense to sidestep, says John Mellencamp, a zealous disciple who was in grade school when his older brother played him a Dylan record.
“Bob put down a huge footprint,” he says. “He has brought more beauty into this world than the rest of us combined. He showed us how beautiful sorrow could be and how ridiculous the world looked to him.”
The self-described crank generously insists Dylan has yet to make a bad record. “He’s never let me down. I love Woody Guthrie and Hank Williams, but I got news for those guys: This young kid beat you.”