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Bob Dylan Isn’t ‘Trying Very Hard’ These Days, Says Indie-Rock Star

Bob Dylan and Wayne Coyne
Kevin Winter / Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Bob Dylan has entered the “rock ‘n’ roll statesman” phase of his career, in which just about every album he releases is showered with critical praise right out of the gate. But Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne sees Dylan’s recent output a little differently.

The subject came up during Coyne’s latest Q&A session with Rolling Stone, in which he addressed the rumors regarding Dylan’s standoffishness during his recent ‘Americanarama’ tour with Wilco and My Morning Jacket. “It doesn’t mean his music isn’t very powerful, but I think Bob Dylan’s been kind of a curmudgeon and I think there’s a contingency of people out there who don’t want to say that,” mused Coyne.

While Dylan’s mercurial nature isn’t exactly a secret among fans and pundits, Coyne struck a little closer to the truth when he pointed out the double standard that affords Dylan what amounts to a free pass for occasionally off-putting behavior. “We pick on Miley Cyrus, who’s 17 years old,” argued Coyne. [Note: Cyrus is 21. –Ed.] “We pick on her, but someone like Bob Dylan, we just protect him even though he’s sitting there, in all actuality, not really trying very hard.”

Whether Dylan has actually been “trying” on his most recent records is up for debate. But either way, it’s hard to argue that Dylan missed out by closing himself off from his tourmates. “I would say, it’s his loss ­to be there with Jim James and his crew, and to be there with Wilco, and not get in on that,” ssid Coyne. “I’m like, ‘It’s your loss, buddy.’ I’d say they could have got rid of Bob Dylan and just done a tour with Wilco and My Morning Jacket and it would’ve been great.”

Next: Top 10 Bob Dylan Songs

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