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How Bob Dylan made George Harrison respect Hip Hop music

Bob Dylan and George Harrison


How Bob Dylan made George Harrison respect Hip Hop music

Bob Dylan and George Harrison met each other still in the 60s and had a huge respect for each other. They remained friends over the decades and even had the chance to be in the same band, the supergroup Traveling Wilburys, which also had Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison. One of the most prolific songwriters of all time with more than 600 songs written, Dylan always paid attention to what was happening in music and it didn’t matter what kind of music was.


But Harrison wasn’t really a big fan of some other music genres that appeared after the 60s, like Hard Rock, Metal and Hip Hop music. But after a conversation with Dylan, who was one of his heroes, he started to respect Hip Hop.

How Bob Dylan made George Harrison respect Hip Hop music

That interesting story was told by George’s son Dhani Harrison in an interview with The Line of Best Fit in 2023. According to him, he asked his parents when he was young if they were ok with him loving the American hip hop collective band Wu-Tang Clan. In return, they told him the story of when Bob Dylan got George Harrison into Hip Hop, since the Folk Rock musician insisted in using a backward hat during a Traveling Wilburys recording session. Dylan said at the time that the Hip Hop artists were the only ones “saying anything” in music during those days.

“My dad didn’t really like rap music. But then I remember when he was doing the Traveling Wilburys, Bob Dylan used to like wearing his hat backwards. My dad would be like, ‘Why? Why are you wearing your hat back?’”

“Until Dylan answered, ‘Because that’s what rappers do, and they are the only ones saying anything!’ Bob Dylan was listening to NWA, Public Enemy. Since then, my dad had more respect for it and left it alone. Later in life, RZA became a dear friend. I think my dad would have gotten on really well with him.”

“They’re both very respectful people who embrace all cultures and are well versed in different forms of spirituality. They would have had a really good conversation,” Dhani Harrison said.

Bob Dylan cap backwards

Photo from Traveling Wilburys’ website

George Harrison was such a big fan of Dylan that he used to record him secretly

George Harrison really worshiped Bob Dylan and according to the late Tom Petty, who was their bandmate in the Traveling Wilburys, the Beatle used to even make his own Dylan bootlegs. He recalled that in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine back in 2002. “George quoted Bob like people quote Scripture.”

“Bob really adored George, too. George used to hang over the balcony videoing Bob while Bob wasn’t aware of it. Bob would be sitting at the piano playing, and George would tape it and listen to it all night. One day George was hiding in the hedge at the house where we were recording. As everybody flew off, George would rise up out of the bushes with his video going.”

“He also did that with Bob. I think George frightened Bob. When the Wilburys started, George was so reverent of Bob. At the end of the first say, he said, ‘We know that you’re Bob Dylan and everything. But we’re going to just treat you and talk to you like we would anybody else.’ Bob went, ‘Well great. Believe it or not, I’m in awe of you guys. It’s the same for me,’” Tom Petty said.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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