How Bob Dylan Reacted To Elvis Presley’s Death
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Countless people were affected by the untimely death of Elvis Presley in 1977, including Bob Dylan, who recently revealed that he struggled to speak after the death of the King of Rock and Roll.
The first time Bob Dylan heard Presley perform, it was a phenomenon that was life-changing of him. Right when he first listened to “Hound Dog,” he highlighted the moment as something the he couldn’t forget. “When I first heard Elvis’ voice,” When I first heard him, it was like getting out of jail on a technicality,” Dylan said. Like many others, Dylan considered Presley as the standard, a format to follow to release one’s true self when performing in front of the audience.
Despite the countless opportunities, Dylan never met the king himself. There were even moments where they “almost” met each other at parties, but the chance just never befell over them. Respect was always been a two-way street, too; not only did Dylan expressed his appreciation for the king in interviews, but also with Presley, who adored Dylan’s “Tomorrow Is A Long Time,” that he decided to record a version of it. To this day, it remains one of the folk-singer’s most beloved renditions to his song.
So, when the legend died in 1977, it was the last straw of a mountainous heap of problems that transpired all over his life. Dylan’s marriage to Sara Lownds had already broken down by this point. Not long before that, Dylan’s friend and former Greenwich Village competitor Phil Ochs took his own life.
While spending his time writing songs for his new album at his farm in Minnesota with his children and their art teacher, Faridi McFree, Dylan was informed of the news. The devastated Dylan informed McFree, who only replied that she wasn’t much of a fan to Presley’s music.
“That’s all I have to say – he didn’t talk to me for a week,” McFree recalled in an interview. “He really took it bad . . . He was really grieving. He said that if it wasn’t for [Presley] he never would have gotten started. He opened the door.”
The wounds from Elvis’ passing were clear to spot, and those who truly admired the legend were the ones who endured it, including Bob Dylan.