Why I hate (hearing) Bob Dylan (all the time).

Via Waylon Lewis
on Feb 17, 2011
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Update: a few of Dylan’s recent commercials.

Bob Dylan’s Victoria’s Secret commercial:



Love this one:


A Rant inspired by Pandora and Every Café’s lazy love for Bob Dylan.

Bob Dylan has a unique voice. So what. My grandma has a (very) unique voice.

Bob Dylan has—well, had—amazing lyrics. Bob Dylan was cool, back in the day. Now he fronts legitimately cool bands at the Grammys. That was nice of him—a pass-the-baton kinda moment. Now pass that baton, and don’t ask for it back:


He was his own man back in the day, sure, with his baby face and cool dark glasses and wild happy hair and funny way of walking around being mopey and interesting.

But Bob Dylan is just irritating, now. And, worse, he’s mediocre:

Bob Dylan back in the day was the only folk-er to ignore Civil Rights and Vietnam. He never bothered to pick his alt self up off the couch and do anything for the greater good. He was too cool for that.


My dis-ease with Bob Dylan stems from the fact that his worbly horribly wobbling voice is overplayed at cafés nationally—I’ve made an inadvertent study of this and can say that he’s outlasted other ubiquitous safe-yet-alt go-tos such as Postal Service or Regina wassername or whomever got famous off the last Apple ad or Norah Jones and Buena Vista Social Club and even Miles Davis.


But Dylan? He makes ubiquitous look precious.

One time, years ago, without premeditation, I had a temper tantrum and had to leave a cafe when I heard his annoying drawling voice come on. For the 20th time that week.

Yes, literally.

Yes, at moments like that, I wish I had my own office so I could overplay Mumford & Sons or whomever I’m spazzing out on this week.

Yes, I love some of his early stuff.


But I’d take any other strange-voiced whackjob over BD—gimme a young Neil, er, Young (who bothered to care about, yah, Vietnam and Farm Aid and the Iraq Wars) or Johnny Cash any day.

Irritating or Annoying? Take our poll below.


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


57 Responses to “Why I hate (hearing) Bob Dylan (all the time).”

  1. Pablo Cohens says:

    Hello People! Just wanted to tell you that I found tickets to American Idols Live event on Jul 28th. In this site you can find tickets for other dates too. It’s astonishing their performance on stage, this is my third time and I’m still so excited about listening those guys live! On this page you can see the section where you’re buying the ticket, so it’s very recommended! Best Whishes!!

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  3. The Unknown says:

    If you said this around me when i was drunk dissing bob dylan, id punch you in the head, just being honest.

  4. hildairene says:

    De gustibus non est disputandum…and I likevMumford and Sons too….where would they be if not for Bob Dylan

    Think about that my son…

  5. Kim says:

    Really, if you don’t like something, just move on. Why devote time & effort to writing and posting about something you hate? And that’s mindful and Buddhist? ??? I’m listening to Bob Dylan RIGHT NOW (“If You See Her Say Hello”) and listen to him every day. My response to your lazy essay, which really just amounts to, “I don’t like Bob Dylan WHINE WHINE WHINE” is to quote the OTHER Elvis: I can’t find the exact quote, but Elvis Costello once said something like, “You are entitled to your opinion that Bob Dylan isn’t any good. Of course, your opinion would be WRONG.”

  6. Kim says:

    BTW, it's self-important First World Problem-having hipster fools like you that made me leave the Buddhist community after 10 years of practicing Zen.

  7. Dandelion Kicker says:

    I know this is an old article but I needed to say how ignorant I find it, and it should be taken down. For me, it effects the theme of this site. Usually I really like elephant journal, but this is just rude. If I wanted to read petty opinions, I would read Star magazine.
    Bob Dylan was and will always be a great icon in music as well as in art for his poetic lyrics. You use his Christmas album to prove the point that he is mediocre now, but what you didn't say was how all money he makes off of that album goes straight to charity- meaning every Christmas people will be helped thanks to him. And so what if he's done a few commercials? He's a famous icon, he can do what he wants. Honestly, I get excited when I hear a Bob Dylan song playing at a coffee shop, or a department store, or whereever,. Just tells me whoever is in charge of the play list has good taste in music and knows art when they hear it. Come on, I'm 25 and love Bob Dylan.