- 13 May 21
The Bob Dylan special feature also includes contributions from Villagers, Judy Collins, David Keenan, Inhaler, Fionn Regan, Wallis Bird, Declan O'Rourke, Dani Larkin, Willie Mason, Maria Doyle Kennedy, David Mansfield, Lughaidh Armstrong of Sky Atlas, and more...
In the new issue of Hot Press, out today, Fontaines D.C. have shared a powerful reflection on the influence and impact of Bob Dylan – as part of our special feature, celebrating the legendary songwriter's 80th birthday on May 24.
Fontaines D.C.'s piece finds bass player Conor Deegan sharing his thoughts on Dylan's remarkable career, from a "boy of 23-years-old... saddled with the weight of the world", to the embodiment of the "first punk motive – that to be great in itself is not good if you're not free."
"To reclaim his youth and be free was by no means an easy move, but one which paved the way for so many to come to constantly assess where they are in life, or in art," Conor continues. "And this is a lesson for anyone who has suffered, who has lived too seriously too young, only to find life becoming a drag and the most mundane crisis."
He goes on to note that, "youth culture (read: lowbrow culture) was never the same again, through his synthesis of the naïve and the profound."
Elsewhere in the special feature, Villagers' Conor J. O'Brien addresses Dylan as a profound source of inspiration: "Your words and music continue to lift my spirits and sharpen my intellect every day."
Iconic singer-songwriter Judy Collins also features, reflecting on the first time she met Dylan, "in a little club called the Gilded Garter in Central City, Colorado" – describing him as a "miracle".
Inhaler share their "good memories of singing 'Highway 61' together in the back of the van", while David Keenan describes Dylan as "a lightbulb moment that remains lit and for the passerby what a galorious world to witness."
The issue also finds Niall Stokes, Pat Carty and Anne Margaret Daniel exploring different aspects of the extraordinary legacy of the world’s greatest songwriter...
"As a callow youth with a guitar slung over his shoulder, and under the influence of Woody Guthrie, he may not have had anything in mind other than to sing, and to write, great songs, and to see where it'd take him," Hot Press editor Niall Stokes writes. "But since he first stepped onstage, and through all of the ravages of time and history since, Bob Dylan has succeeded in transforming popular culture and in doing so, he has influenced people from street level to the summit of power, enriching the world of everyone who listens, with songs that will be remembered and sung, honestly, forever."
To read the full extensive special feature on Dylan at 80, pick up a copy of the new issue of Hot Press in shops now – or order online below: