Rita Mae Plagiarism


After the taping, Dylan and his new band were scheduled to fly back to New York early the next morning. According to Bob Spitz in his biography of Dylan, Stoner decided to pull an all-nighter. Dylan had the same idea, and the two of them walked around Chicago until the sun came up. Stoner said Dylan did this all the time because he could experience the city anonymously. The duo talked a little bit about a tour, but mostly about old rockabilly and "race" records. When he mentioned an old Johnny Burnette track, "Bertha Lou", Dylan knew who the artist was. Then Stoner went on the say that it sounded like a song they recorded for Desire (he did not mention it was the out-take single "Rita May"), Dylan ended the discussion by saying, "Oh, yeah?". Stoner said, " . . . at that moment, I realized that the line between plagiarism and adaption was so blurred that it wasn't even an issue for him."

 To hear Johnny Burnette's Bertha Lou released in 1956 click on the arrow below

bertha lou

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You can click on the arrow below to hear Bob Dylan's "Rita May" that was copyrighted and released by Bob Dylan in 1981


Bob Dylan - Rita Mae

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