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“Other people’s words are the bridge you use to cross from where you were to wherever you’re going.”

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source: “Other People’s Words, Part One,” in Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays (New York: Penguin, 2009).

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medium: Essay

“Quotation is something that happens a lot in the music world. Merle Haggard can mimic Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson perfectly. The Beatles, in ‘Back in the USSR,’ mimic The Beach Boys. Quotation is a phrase that is used all the time in jazz solos. It happens a lot in old-time string band music too. One song is always using a line from another song to brace it. But then goes off on another tangent. Minstrels did it all the time. Weird takes on Shakespeare plays, stuff like that. It’s just done automatically.”

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source: “Bob Dylan in Conversation with John Elderfield,” Spring 2011.

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medium: Interview

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