Songs about Dylan: John Wesley Harding

Aaron Galbraith

John Wesley Harding was a friend to the poor…wait, let me start again, I meant to say that John Wesley Harding is a British pop and folk singer and novelist.

He took his stage name from the Dylan song of course and has released many albums since the late 80s including 3 volumes called “Dynablob”, an anagram for Bob Dylan obviously!

Today we will look at 3 of his tracks. First up it’s “Making Love To Bob Dylan”.

In this very amusing video and song he explains that he can make love to just about any other bands music except for Dylan. As he states in the lyrics “it’s partly his voice, it gives me no choice but to focus on what he is saying”. It’s hugely entertaining and a very well done track. I love it.

Next up it’s “Phil Ochs, Bob Dylan, Steve Goodman, David Blue & Me”

Another fine track, it recounts a dream where he has at a party playing guitars with the aforementioned persons. It’s a melancholy piece, much different to the previous track, with a hint of Neil Young in the arrangement and accompaniment. Some cracking lines in the track. My favorites are:

“Teaches Bob 'A Minor' with a glint in his eye
Bob used it on Hollis Brown but that was some time ago”
“Last Thursday they were in the room where he sits
The three making jokes about the meager obits”

Last up it’s “Bastard Son”, in which he claims Dylan as his father, Joan Baez as his mother and Leonard Cohen is his uncle.

Others such as Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, Warren Zevon, Neil Young and Lou Reed drop in to this family reunion and it’s a whole lot of fun!

The studio version is similar in style to “Making Love To Bob Dylan” however, an acoustic version popped up on a subsequent live album which I think I prefer.

What else is here?

You’ll find some notes about our latest posts arranged by themes and subjects on the home page.  You can also see details of our main sections on this site at the top of this page under the picture.

The index to all the 590 Dylan compositions and co-compositions that we have found on the A to Z page.

We also have a very lively discussion group “Untold Dylan” on Facebook with over 2000 active members.  (Try imagining a place where it is always safe and warm).  Just type the phrase “Untold Dylan” in, on your Facebook page or follow this link 

If you are interested in Dylan’s work from a particular year or era, your best place to start is Bob Dylan year by year.

On the other hand if you would like to write for this website, please do drop me a line with details of your idea, or if you prefer, a whole article.  Email Tony@schools.co.uk

And please do note   The Bob Dylan Project, which lists every Dylan song in alphabetical order, and has links to licensed recordings and performances by Dylan and by other artists, is starting to link back to our reviews

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