AceShowbiz - Bob Dylan was handed a trophy by former President Jimmy Carter at the MusiCares Person of the Year gala after a number of stars like Bruce Springsteen, Jack White, Norah Jones, and Alanis Morissette delivered their renditions of his hit singles. In his speech, Dylan poked fun at his critics and praised his idols.
"My songs had detractors and supporters," he said as quoted by USA Today. "The last thing I thought about was who cared what song I was writing. I was just writing them. I didn't think I was doing anything different. I thought I was just extending the line."
"I didn't really care what [Jerry] Leiber &[Mike] Stoller thought of my songs," he said of the songwriting duo who wrote some of Elvis Presley's hits. "They didn't like them. But Doc Pomus did. That was all right they didn't like them. 'Cause I didn't like their songs, either," he quipped.
"Novelty songs. They weren't saying anything serious," he explained. "But Doc's songs, they were better. This Magic Moment. Lonely Avenue. Save the Last Dance for Me. Those songs broke my heart. I figured I'd rather have his blessings any day than theirs."
He later said, "Critics say I mangle my melodies, render my songs unrecognizable. Let me tell you something: I was at a boxing match a few years ago, seeing Floyd Mayweather fight a Puerto Rican guy. And the Puerto Rican national anthem, somebody sang it. And it was beautiful, it was heartfelt, it was moving."
"After that, it was time for our national anthem, and a very popular soul-singing sister was chosen to sing it. She sang every note that exists and some that don't exist. Talk about mangling a melody. Take a one-syllable word and make it last for 15 minutes. She was doing vocal gymnastics like she was a trapeze act. To me, it was not funny. Mangling lyrics, mangling a melody, mangling a treasured song. No, I get the blame." He didn't name the singer, but the person is believed to be Marsha Ambrosius.
Earlier during his speech, he thanked some of the artists like Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash, and Cher who covered his songs in the past. "They made some of my songs top 10 hits, but I wasn't a pop songwriter and I really didn't want to be that, but it was good that it happened. Their versions of songs were like commercials, but I didn't really mind that because 50 years later my songs were being used in commercials. So that was good too. I was glad it happened, and I was glad they'd done it," he said.