Bob Dylan Considers Only One Artist As His Mentor
via Bob Dylan/YouTube
From a unique perspective point, Bob Dylan may appear to have all the answers to any music-related subject matter yet even he has sought help from more knowledgeable, older brains. Gordon Lightfoot, a Canadian singer-songwriter, was his very first point of contact.
Lightfoot, who was born in 1938, just three years prior to Dylan, grew up immersed in folk music and taught himself how to play. In 1958, Lightfoot took a big decision by moving to the United States to pursue jazz composition and orchestration studies at Westlake College of Music in Hollywood.
Despite Dylan gaining mainstream success before Lightfoot, Dylan held the Canadian singer-songwriter in high esteem, almost as if he were a well-known figure.
Influences Within Industry
During a 2011 interview with Bill Flanagan, Dylan was unsurprisingly quick to include Lightfoot in his list of favorite songwriters when asked about his musical influences. He said:
“Buffett, I guess. Lightfoot. Warren Zevon. Randy. John Prine. Guy Clark. Those kinds of writers.”
Dylan had openly shared his admiration for Lightfoot’s music on multiple occasions, going as far as stating that the Canadian artist had assembled a flawless list of songs in his whole career. He once famously expressed his unwavering respect for Lightfoot, stating:
“I can’t find a Gordon Lightfoot song that I don’t enjoy. Each time I listen to one of his songs, I wish it would never end… Lightfoot has been a mentor to me for a long time, and I believe he continues to be even today.”
When Forbes inquired if there were any songs that Lightfoot never gets tired of hearing, he responded by expressing gratitude for the admiration Dylan had shown him, saying:
“Similar to how Kris Kristofferson’s ‘Sunday Morning Coming Down’ resonates with me, I wonder which of my own songs I truly love. There are so many. Although my writing style is quite different from Bob Dylan’s, he has been a huge influence on me.”
Nevertheless, Lightfoot played a significant role in Dylan’s musical journey.
In A Different Point Of View
Lightfoot mentioned in a 2009 interview with Now Toronto that he has known Dylan for a long time and believes Dylan plays his music on his satellite radio show, indicating their continued connection despite having different management at one point. Lightfoot stated:
“During a period of time, We had the same manager at one point, and over the years, we reconnected. We had some fantastic parties in Rosedale when I lived there. It’s been a while since I saw him, but we all age with time.”