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Bob Dylan Responds to Plagiarism Accusation: 'Wussies and Pussies Complain About That Stuff'

In a new interview, the legendary folk rocker brushes off critics who say he stole from various obscure poets.

Vieilles Charrues Music Festival Bob Dylan - P 2012
FRED TANNEAU/Getty Images

Bob Dylan has heard the complaints. He just doesn't care.

The 71-year-old rock icon was accused of lifting lines from Confederate Civil War poet Henry Timrod in his 2006 chart-topping album, Modern Times, and Japanese author Junichi Yakuza on Love and Theft, the album that preceded it. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, he admits he took lines from the two writers, but finds no problem with his having done so.

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"As far as Henry Timrod is concerned, have you even heard of him?" he asked. "Who's been reading him lately? ... Ask his descendants what they think of the hoopla. And if you think it's so easy to quote him and it can help your work, do it yourself and see how far you can get. Wussies and pussies complain about that stuff."

Dylan also references when he was called Judas during a 1965-66 tour, which featured his partial conversion to electric rock, from his original accoustic folk roots.

"Judas, the most hated name in human history! If you think you've been called a bad name, try to work your way out from under that. Yeah, and for what? For playing an electric guitar? As if that is in some kind of way equitable to betraying our Lord and delivering him up to be crucified. All those evil motherf-----s can rot in hell."

Last year, Dylan was accused of stealing from photographs for a painting exhibition he put on in New York City. He released a new album, The Tempest, on Tuesday.