Bob Dylan doesn't get why critics hate his voice but love Tom Waits' guttural warbling.
In a speech as long and meandering as some of his best-known songs, Dylan on Friday thanked the many people who influenced and propelled his career while accepting an award at the Grammys' annual charity event. But the musician also took time during his 35-minute-long remarks to call out the critics who think he mangles melodies and garbles words.
Critics say I can't sing. I croak. Sound like a frog. Why don't critics say that same thing about Tom Waits? Critics say my voice is shot. That I have no voice. Why don't they say those things about Leonard Cohen? Why do I get special treatment? Critics say I can't carry a tune and I talk my way through a song. Really? I've never heard that said about Lou Reed. Why does he get to go scot-free? [The Los Angeles Times]
Then in his defense, Dylan recalled something Sam Cooke once said when told he had a beautiful voice.
"He said, 'Well that's very kind of you, but voices ought not to be measured by how pretty they are,'" Dylan said. '"Instead they matter only if they convince you that they are telling the truth.'" Jon Terbush