Dylan’s main influences mapped

Mind Map © Hans Buskes

central image Dylan doodle: © upsidedownapril

About Hans Buskes

I am a professional mindmapper, I help companies map their business, I am author of two mindmap books. My clients are law firms, municipalities, banks, consultancies and high-tech companies.
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10 Responses to Dylan’s main influences mapped

  1. kell says:

    I can’t believe you did not include Woody, Little Richard whom he said doing his rock n roll induction that he would not even be doing this if it wasn’t for him..check out youtube. Also Odetta is the person that Bob said cause him to go out and start playing folk..not Woody.. You enver even mention Lonnie Johnson or blind willie mctell who he wrote about and spoke about.

  2. Chuck Stehney says:

    My thoughts.
    Yes, Hendrix had an influence, but weren’t the Beatles mentioned as an influence when Dylan went Electric? Yes Bob was moving away from the Folk Music crowd, but he wasn’t necessarily heading towards Rock & Roll, the Beatles were certainly something to appreciate.
    It’s a little out there, but Dylan was influenced by Eisenhower. A little harder to show, but I think it’s there.
    I can’t argue with TS Eliot, Ginsberg or Hank Williams. About everyone knows how important those folks were to Bob. Kerouac was the source for Subturreanean Homesick Blues and there is a lot there.
    Bible is a little bit broad, but works.
    It will be fun to see how this looks in a month or a year from now.

  3. @funisnumberone Dylan dedicated two CD’s to Hank Williams, recorded (e.g. Basement Tapes) and performed several Hank William songs!

    • funisnumberone says:

      Well, I wouldn’t necessarily leave Hank Williams out of the mix, but it’s my opinion that playing someone’s songs is a nice acknowledgement, like the touching way he included Warren Zevon’s songs in his set lists as he was losing his battle with cancer. WRITING a poem, however, especially one almost as long as Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands, like “Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie” is a tribute of a much different magnitude. Not to disrespect Hank Williams in any way, because I love his music and deeply respect his place in music history, but I just don’t see it as the same. Bob’s journey to seek out Woody, truly his idol at one time in his life, in the New York State Hospital also speaks volumes on the level of influence of Guthrie on Dylan. Last, I noticed your other maps have more branches “growing” from the main eight. This one seems a bit thin in that regard, as it’s simply eight influences and references to justify those eight. I’d have loved to have seen the tree grow fuller and thicker to include Rimbaud and the others he mentions in Chronicles. For Woody not to appear on the page – ANYWHERE – is an oversight I simply had to mention. Thanks for reading. No offense intended, per Bob, “you are right from your side, and I am right from mine”…

  4. funisnumberone says:

    No Woody, no credibility to this thing…
    …”Song to Woody”… “Last thoughts on Woody Guthrie”…
    Bob pays no homage like these to anyone else, listed here or otherwise…
    Huge oversight. Sorry, it’s a cool idea though.

  5. Mr. Echo says:

    You cannot limit Dylan’s influences to just 8.
    Before you include Hendrix, you have to include Little Richard. Dylan’s musical vision had already taken shape before he ever knew Hendrix. Hendrix himself was heavily influenced by Little Richard. No Little Richard, no Hendrix.
    Other important influences that are missing: Sun Records (Warren Smith!), Excello Records (Slim Harpo!), Gene Vincent, Delta Blues, Buddy Holly, Chess Records (Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson II), Blind Willie McTell, Sam Lightnin’ Hopkins, Link Wray.
    Lyrically his influences cannot be mapped, because he takes stuff from everywhere.

  6. Concerning Hendrix, the influence is indeed not on Dylan’s songwriting, but on his guitar playing. And then again, there is a very interesting article that Dylan’s guitar style influences his songwriting. See: http://www.acousticmagazine.com/index.php/news/interviews/445-the-influences-of-bob-dylan Dylan himself said that he’s still playing All along the watchtower the way Hendrix played it as a tribute to him.

  7. Huckel Berry says:

    Woody Guthrie more than Hank Williams. Dylan took his voice and singing from Gutherie . Gutherie was also an influence on his writing style. As for Jimi Hendrix. I think Dylan’s way of writing lyrics is completely different to Hendrix. Maybe it was more Hendrix that was influenced by Dylan. Dylans influences lie more with the old blues players, but even the Chicargo blues was an influence. Like Muddy Waters.

  8. Guthrie was a very obvious choice, however i wanted to limit the mind map to 8 influences. I think the presented influencers had a longer lasting effect on Dylan’s career than Woody Guthrie.

  9. Holly the tramp says:

    No Woody Guthrie?

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