Date: July 17th, 2012 1:42 AM
Subject: FOLK LIES: Joni Mitchell Outs Bob Dylan by Jonny Whiteside
FOLK LIES: Joni Mitchell Outs Bob Dylan
by Jonny Whiteside
“Bob [Dylan] is not authentic at all. He’s a plagiarist, and his name and voice are fake. Everything about Bob is a deception. We are like night and day, he and I.” — Joni Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, April 22, 2010
Just type “Bob Dylan plagiarism” into your friendly search engine, and a plethora of questionable circumstances pop up, enrobing the singer almost as completely as his years of reflexive media fawning have. Documented from his teenage start, when he submitted a hand written, thinly revised version of country star Hank Snow’s “Little Buddy” for publication as an original poem, to his 1963 pilferage of Irish poet Dominic Behan’s “Patriot Game”’s melody for the similarly slanted Dylan tune “With God on Our Side” to songwriter James Damiano’s ongoing multimillion dollar copyright infringement suit (alleging Dylan’s Grammy-nominated “Dignity” is nothing but an altered version of Damiano’s “Steel Guitars”) to the naked “Red Sails in the Sunset” melody heist for the song “Beyond The Horizon” on his Modern Times album, up through the recent Confessions of a Yakuza-Love & Theft plagiarism charges (Love & Theft? Calling Dr. Freud!), the Timrod controversy, even the numerous passages of Proust and Jack London that (re) appear in the text of Dylan’s autobiography, it’s a deep, dark thicket of thoroughly damning and apparently chronic bootlegging. Naturally, Dylan has said nothing publicly about any of these, but he already spent over three million dollars defending himself against one-time affiliate Damiano–the classic delay-to-destroy court room technique.