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Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits congratulate Bob Dylan on Nobel Prize win

on October 14, 2016, 9:30am

Bob Dylan won his latest bookend major award on Thursday, as he was named the recipient of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature. He’s the first musician to ever be given the honor and the first American since Toni Morrison in 1993.

Following the announcement, two of Dylan’s contemporaries, who themselves are worthy of such accolade, expressed their congratulations to The Bard.

Tom Waits rarely posts to Twitter, but he made an exception for the special occasion. In a message from himself and his wife, Kathleen Brennan, Waits called Dylan “a Master of [Literature’s] original form.” He went on to say, “Before epic tales and poems were ever written down, they migrated on the winds of the human voice and no voice is greater than Dylan’s.”

Bruce Springsteen also showed appreciation for Dylan’s work, though he actually wrote his statement months ago. Instead of releasing a typical congratulatory statement, The Boss posted an excerpt from his forthcoming memoirs, Born to Run, in which he extols the man he called “the father of my country.”

“Bob pointed true north and served as a beacon to assist you in making your way through the new wilderness America had become,” Springsteen wrote. “He planted a flag, wrote the songs, sang the words that were essential to the times, to the emotional and spiritual survival of so many young Americans at that moment.”

The excerpt closes with a recollection of the time Springsteen sang for Dylan at the Kennedy Center Honors: “We were alone together for a brief moment walking down a back stairwell when he thanked me for being there and said, ‘If there’s anything I can ever do for you…’ I thought, ‘Are you kidding me?’ and answered, ‘It’s already been done.'”

Read the full excerpt below.

“Bob Dylan is the father of my country. Highway 61 Revisited and Bringing It All Back Home were not only great records, but they were the first time I can remember being exposed to a truthful vision of the place I lived. The darkness and light were all there, the veil of illusion and deception ripped aside. He put his boot on the stultifying politeness and daily routine that covered corruption and decay. The world he described was all on view, in my little town, and spread out over the television that beamed into our isolated homes, but it went uncommented on and silently tolerated. He inspired me and gave me hope. He asked the questions everyone else was too frightened to ask, especially to a fifteen-year-old: ‘How does it feel… to be on your own?’ A seismic gap had opened up between generations and you suddenly felt orphaned, abandoned amid the flow of history, your compass spinning, internally homeless. Bob pointed true north and served as a beacon to assist you in making your way through the new wilderness America had become. He planted a flag, wrote the songs, sang the words that were essential to the times, to the emotional and spiritual survival of so many young Americans at that moment.

I had the opportunity to sing ‘The Times They Are A-Changin’ ’ for Bob when he received the Kennedy Center Honors. We were alone together for a brief moment walking down a back stairwell when he thanked me for being there and said, ‘If there’s anything I can ever do for you…’ I thought, ‘Are you kidding me?’ and answered, ‘It’s already been done.'”

President Obama also tweeted his congratulations to “one of my favorite poets.”

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