Bob Dylan has been hailed a “huge hero” by Kings of Leon.
The legendary ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ singer celebrates his 70th birthday today (24.05.11) and a host of stars have all paid tribute to his influence, with stars such as Slash, Arcade Fire and Keith Richards all wishing him well.
Kings of Leon frontman Caleb Followill said: “He’s a huge hero. Anyone who’s ever tried to write a song feels stupid when they hear one of his.
“We met him on tour. I almost passed out.”
Former Guns N’ Roses guitar player Slash was also full of praise, saying: “I’ve played with some of the greats but Bob Dylan is one of the greatest without a doubt.”
Arcade Fire singer Win Butler added: “I got into Bob Dylan while at school. Once exposed to this music it made radio a lot harder to listen to.”
Bob rose to prominence in the early 60s and quickly gained a reputation as a civil rights campaigner with tracks tackling social injustice and documenting the huge social shift of the decade. He was particularly prolific in the early part of his career, recording some 300 songs in his first three years as an artist. His albums ‘Highway 61 Revisited’ and ‘Blonde on Blonde’ and ‘Blood on the Tracks’ are all regarded as classics of folk rock.
Although Bob’s output started to slow in the latter part of the 70s, he has consistently released albums up to 2009s ‘Together Through Life’ and is still playing shows on his Never Ending Tour, which has seen him play roughly 100 shows a year since 1988.
Other artists to have played tribute to Bob over the weekend include The Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, who said: “He’s an inspiration, really, to us all, beyond even the songwriting, because he’s always trying to go somewhere new. I love the man.
U2 frontman Bono said he loves how ahead of his time Bob was, saying: “The tumble of words, images, ire and spleen – shapeshifts easily into music forms 10 or 20 years away, like punk, grunge or hip-hop.”