There are currently nine (and counting) [edit: ten and counting] [edit: twelve and counting, one of them to this post] identical comments in this site’s spam box, all pointing out the shocking instance of web censorship in the headline: “The Bob Dylan link Eyolf Østrem does not want you to read or see.” They’re all from a guy named Richard Clark, and they point to jamesdamiano dot yolasite dot com (see? I don’t mind you seeing it — or reading it, if you have a week to spare).
But it’s not just my blog that gets flooded. At the discussion board over at expecting rain, we find, from the same Richard:
“The Eyolf Østrem link about The Bob Dylan James Damiano Plagiarism Litigation”
And at rec.music.dylan (r.m.d.?!? does anyone actually post there anymore?!) we have:
New ! Dylan E-book
New Dylan Book Eyolf Østrem ?
It’s like the flu: not every year, but with consistency to be counted on, it comes flushing over you and there is nothing you can do but wait for it to pass: James Damiano’s campaign to convince the world that he “wrote songs released by Bob Dylan”, as it says on his facebook page.
I have no idea what my name is doing there. He has nothing new to say, and neither do I, so I’ll just point to the conversation we had back in the 90s:
Did Dylan steal ‘Dignity’?
It’s remarkable that nowhere in the humongous material that he has amassed is there a sounding example — just a snippet would do — of the song “Steel Guitars” that Dylan allegedly stole.
Can we from this conclude that the song doesn’t even exist, to paraphrase Damiano?
[Update: I just found another incarnation of the videotaped depositions, which are a hoot to watch, btw, and lo and behold, there, in the background of Danny Gallagher’s testimony, is “Steel Guitars”! I have seen that snippet a couple of times now, but I had no idea that was the song, because I was listening for something that may have sounded like Dignity…]
What we do get is a musicologist who plays a generic melody line over the accompaniment of “Dignity”. Of course Dylan’s song sounds a lot like that…
We also get a number of other hit songs by mr Damiano, and man, would Dylan just die to lay his filthy, thieving hands on those beauties!