When Bob Dylan heard Nirvana play Polly (a song about a serial killer tying up a young girl and… lighting her on fire?), he choose it as his favorite song of the night and said of Kurt Cobain, “The kid has heart.”
Kurt did a terrible Bob Dylan impression:
On tracks such as ‘Lithium’ and ‘Come As You Are’, Cobain’s agonising voice –
always straining, always sore – seemed to embody the impotent rage of an American generation,
half Sid Vicious, half Jeff Buckley. ‘The kid has heart,’ Bob Dylan remarked after hearing Nevermind’s chilling ‘Polly’.
By the time of his death, Kurt Cobain had become the voice of his generation, the most influential American musician since Bob Dylan.
While Cobain himself was eager to point to influences from the punk scene from the late 1980s,
his music also resonates with a wide range of even earlier artists.
Kurt’s lyrics are filled with a kind of playfulness and fascination with wordplay that can be found in the lyrics of John Lennon (“I Dig A Pony,” “Mean Mr. Mustard”), Bob Dylan, and even Chuck Berry.
Turned on to Bob Dylan by Kurt Cobain
HIS music career began behind the kit for a grunge band but these days Benjamin Folke Thomas, described by one critic as “like Oliver Reed at an AA meeting”, is creating acoustic music that is closer to the early work of Bob Dylan.
The change came on hearing grunge icon Kurt Cobain singing In The Pines on Nirvana’s Unplugged album. The teenager steeped himself in Leadbelly, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen and, by the age of 20, the Londoner was an accomplished finger-picker and confident performer. His debut mini-album, Equinox, was described in the Sunday Times by comedian and writer Stewart Lee as “a quietly convincing calling card. It captures the spirit of Greenwich Village circa 1965…”
Bella Union label boss said Simon Raymonde: “If you like Nick Drake, John Martyn, Van Morrison, Blood On The Tracks Dylan, then you will love Benjamin Folke Thomas.”