Hunky Dory presents us with three homages to Bowie's heroes: Lou Reed ('Queen Bitch'), Andy Warhol ('Andy Warhol') and Bob Dylan ('Song For Bob Dylan').
We have learnt that Lou Reed loved 'Queen Bitch', whereas Warhol hated 'Andy Warhol'. But it has not to my knowledge been documented what Bob has thought of 'Song For Bob Dylan'.
I have been reading the Bob Dylan autobiography Chronicles and there is a chapter relating to how, now that he has found fame, he is constantly harangued by the press, and the public. He cannot understand why he is held up in such a supreme light, and why his fans are demanding for him to take charge of an entire generation. They all want more songs too, but he will in his own time, and on his own terms.
Dylan is struggling with creativity at this stage, but it doesnot seem to overly bother him. He knows that inspiration can strike at any moment, and he doesnot need to force it, yet his audience demand it of him. They're practically outside his house whilst he tries to bring up a family and he feels resentful.
Therefore I don't think Dylan would have warmed to the lyrics of 'Song For Bob Dylan', where Bowie, like everyone else is urging him to come out, take charge, write more songs for people to live their life by.
It is somewhat contradictory on Bowie's part as well, in that in 'Cygnet Comittee' Bowie is urging us to not follow alternative leaders, yet three years down the line, he is writing precisely the opposite.
Perhaps this is another forshadowing of Ziggy Stardust. Bowie may well be in on the joke and documenting the absurdity of holding Dylan up as this messianic figure. And with his next album he'll take it even further and present his own absurd rock messiah - Ziggy Stardust - to his audience.
I'll leave you with a quote from Chronicles
"Eventually different anachronisms were thrust upon me - anachronisms of lesser dilemma - though they might seem bigger. Legend, Icon, Enigma (buddha in European Clothes was my favorite) - stuff like that, but that was all right. These titles were placid and harmless, threadbare, easy to get around them. Prophet, Messiah, Savior - those are the tough ones." - Bob Dylan
Its about time I had a signature
The Thin White Duke: David Bowie Tribute Band