Last week, William Zantzinger, the murderer made famous not by his heinous act but by Bob Dylan having written a song about him, passed away. Michael Yockel's excellent article, "Willian Zantzinger's Lonesome Death,"
examines not only the man who inspired Dylan's classic "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll," but also the truth behind the song. In doing so, he wraps up his article by quoting Paul Nelson.
The trouble is, as fitting as the quote may be in the context of Yockel's article, the words—critical of Dylan's having played fast and loose with the truth—do not belong to Paul. To the contrary, Paul had called the tune "Dylan's best protest song."
The quote actually belongs to another fine writer, Clinton Heylin, from his 2001 book Bob Dylan: Behind the Shades Revisited
. Circa 1999, he interviewed Paul and, in the book, writes about Paul's Dylan connection.