Tuesday, November 14, 2017

American Foreign Policy

I don't know how many times I have heard the meeting of U.S. American Bob Dylan and Scotland's Donovan Leitch referred to as a "showdown," but a glance online has it in abundance and perpetuated of course by posts like this one.

In Don't Look Back (1967), D.A. Pennebaker's documentary film on Dylan's 1965 tour of England, we see the singer-songwriters sharing songs in a hotel room. Donovan sings "To Sing For You" (1965), while Dylan follows with "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" (1965).

For those watching, the meeting seems friendly enough (Donovan initiated the song sharing to defray tensions over an argument between Dylan and a guest who threw a beer bottle out the window), but many continue to describe the event in adversarial terms, with Donovan challenging Dylan and the latter's song "trumping" the former's.

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