Gene Simmons Says Bob Dylan’s Individuality Led to Nobel Prize

Ultimate Classic Rock

Gene Simmons is quick with an answer as to why Bob Dylan deserved the Nobel Prize in literature, pointing to the narrative genius of songs like “The Times They Are a-Changing” and “Ballad of a Thin Man.”

“Those lyrics,” Simmons told Ultimate Classic Rock’s Annie Zaleski while appearing at the Visual Japan Summit. “Instead of wagging his finger into people’s faces, it seems to me that those lyrics are more about self observing. Observations on what he saw that was going on all around him. So, very few of the songs were about moon and June, and you broke my heart – like so many songs are. … Dylan never played by those rules.”

And therein lies the larger reason why Simmons has always admired Dylan. “Bob didn’t even play by Bob Dylan’s rules,” Simmons adds, specifically praising the singer-songwriter’s gutsy evolution from folksinger to late ’60s-era rocker.

“He kept doing new versions of whatever he felt,” Simmons notes. “He’s a folkie, then he plugs in and goes electric – even if his fans turned on him. How f—ing cool is that? He will go what he wants to do. So very few artists have a word that’s attached to them that’s called integrity. … Not many like him.”

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