Bruce Springsteen Praises Bob Dylan After Nobel Prize Win

"He planted a flag, wrote the songs, sang the words that were essential to the times..."

By Radio.com Staff

Bruce Springsteen has acknowledged Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize win by posting an excerpt from his new autobiography Born to Run.

In the short but poignant passage Springsteen offers Dylan the highest praise; beginning by calling him “the father of my country.”

Related: Bob Dylan Wins Nobel Prize in Literature

“He inspired me and gave me hope,” Springsteen wrote. “He asked the questions everyone else was too frightened to ask, especially to a fifteen-year-old: ‘How does it feel… to be on your own?'”

Read the full excerpt below.

Bob Dylan is the father of my country. Highway 61 Revisited and Bringing It All Back Home were not only great records, but they were the first time I can remember being exposed to a truthful vision of the place I lived. The darkness and light were all there, the veil of illusion and deception ripped aside. He put his boot on the stultifying politeness and daily routine that covered corruption and decay. The world he described was all on view, in my little town, and spread out over the television that beamed into our isolated homes, but it went uncommented on and silently tolerated. He inspired me and gave me hope. He asked the questions everyone else was too frightened to ask, especially to a fifteen-year-old: “How does it feel… to be on your own?” A seismic gap had opened up between generations and you suddenly felt orphaned, abandoned amid the flow of history, your compass spinning, internally homeless. Bob pointed true north and served as a beacon to assist you in making your way through the new wilderness America had become. He planted a flag, wrote the songs, sang the words that were essential to the times, to the emotional and spiritual survival of so many young Americans at that moment.

I had the opportunity to sing “The Times They Are A-Changin’ ” for Bob when he received the Kennedy Center Honors. We were alone together for a brief moment walking down a back stairwell when he thanked me for being there and said, “If there’s anything I can ever do for you…” I thought, “Are you kidding me?” and answered, “It’s already been done.”

Of course, it’s not the only time Springsteen has praised Dylan. The title track of Springsteen’s 1988 live EP Chimes of Freedom was a Dylan song; that same year, Springsteen presented Dylan at his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, calling Dylan’s voice “the toughest voice I’d ever heard,” after hearing “Like a Rolling Stone” for the first time on the radio. He then went out to get the 45″ and then he went back to the store to get the entire Highway 61 Revisited album, “and it was all I played for weeks.”

Dylan’s voice, he said, “Sounded somehow simultaneously young and adult… it thrilled and scared me, it made me feel irresponsibly innocent.”

He went on to say that “Without Bob, the Beatles wouldn’t have made Sgt. Pepper, maybe the Beach Boys wouldn’t have made Pet Sounds, the Sex Pistols wouldn’t have made ‘God Save the Queen,’ U2 wouldn’t have done ‘Pride (In the Name of Love),’ Marvin Gaye wouldn’t have done What’s Going On, Grandmaster Flash might not have done ‘The Message’ and the Count Five could not have done ‘Psychotic Reaction.'”

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