[Marxism] 2 Bob Dylan interviews
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Sat Oct 1 09:32:04 MDT 2005
VILLAGE VOICE, MARCH 3, 1965
VILLAGE VOICE: Bobby, We know you changed your name. Come on now, what's
your real name?
DYLAN: Philip Ochs. I'm gonna change it back when I see it pays.
VILLAGE VOICE: Was Woody Guthrie your greatest influence?
DYLAN: I don't know that I'd say that, but for a spell, the idea of him
affected me quite much.
VILLAGE VOICE: How about Brecht? Read much of him?
DYLAN: No. But I've read him.
VILLAGE VOICE: Rimbaud?
DYLAN: I've read his tiny little book Evil Flowers too.
VILLAGE VOICE: How about Hank Williams? Do you consider him an influence?
DYLAN: Hey look, I consider Hank Williams, Captain Marvel, Marlon Brando,
The Tennessee Stud, Clark Kent, Walter Cronkite, and J. Carrol Nash all
influences. Now what is it-please-what is it exactly you people want to know?
VILLAGE VOICE: Tell us about your movie.
DYLAN: It's gonna be in black and white.
VILLAGE VOICE: Will it be in the Andy Warhol style?
DYLAN: Who's Andy Warhol? Listen, my movie will be-I can say definitely-it
will be in the style of the early Puerto Rican films.
VILLAGE VOICE: Who's writing it?
DYLAN: Allen Ginsberg. I'm going to rewrite it.
VILLAGE VOICE: Who will you play in the film?
DYLAN: The hero.
VILLAGE VOICE: Who is it that you're going to be?
DYLAN: My mother.
VILLAGE VOICE: What about your friends The Beatles? Did you see them when
you were there?
DYLAN: John Lennon and I came down to the Village early morning. They
wouldn't let us in The Figaro or The Hip Bagel or The Feenjon. This time
I'm going to England. This April. I'll see 'em if they're there.
VILLAGE VOICE: Bob, what about the situation of American poets? Kenneth
Roxroth has estimated that since 1900 about thirty American poets have
DYLAN: Thirty poets! What about American housewives, mailmen, street
cleaners, miners? Jesus Christ, what's so special about thirty people that
are called poets? I've known some very good people that have committed
suicide. One didn't do nothing but work in a gas station all his life.
Nobody referred to him as poet, but if you're gonna call people like Robert
Frost a poet, then I got to say this gas station boy was a poet too.
VILLAGE VOICE: Bob, to sum up-don't you have any important philosophy for
DYLAN: Are you kidding? The world don't need me. Christ, I'm only five feet
ten. The world could get along fine without me. Don'cha know, everybody
dies. It don't matter how important you think you are. Look at Shakespeare,
Napoleon, Edgar Allan Poe, for that matter. They are all dead, right?
VILLAGE VOICE: Well, Bob, in your opinion, then, is there one man who can
save the world?
DYLAN: Al Aronowitz. [Al Aronowitz died this year. He was the
self-described"Blacklisted Journalist" at:
DISC WEEKLY, MAY 12, 1965
DISC WEEKLY: Can you tell me when and where you were born?
DYLAN: No, you can go and find out. There's many biographies and you can
look to that. You don't ask me where I was born, where I lived. Don't ask
me those questions. You find out from other papers.
DISC WEEKLY: I'd rather hear it from you.
DYLAN: I'm not going to tell you.
DISC WEEKLY: Can you tell me exactly when you entered the profession? When
you first started writing songs?
DYLAN: When I was 12.
DISC WEEKLY: And you were writing poetry at the time? And you are writing a
DYLAN: I've got a book done.
DISC WEEKLY: Is it already published?
DYLAN: It's going to be published in the fall.
DISC WEEKLY: What's it called?
DYLAN: I'm not going to tell you.
DISC WEEKLY: Can you give me an idea what it is about?
DISC WEEKLY: Can you tell me your favorite song among the ones you've written?
DYLAN: I don't have any. I've no personal songs that I wouldn't con-sider
apart from any other.
DISC WEEKLY: You must obviously make a lot of money nowadays?
DYLAN: I spend it all. I have six Cadillacs. I have four houses. I have a
plantation in Georgia. Oh, I'm also working on a rocket. A little rocket.
Not a big rocket. Not the kind of rocket they have in Cape Canaveral. I
don't know about those kind of rockets.
DISC WEEKLY: Do you have personal things-cameras, watches, and that sort of
DYLAN: No, I don't. I buy cars. I have lot of cars, the Cadillacs. I also
have a few Oldsmobiles, about three.
DISC WEEKLY: Do you have fears about anything political.
DISC WEEKLY: Of course your songs have a very strong content. . .
DYLAN: Have you heard my songs?
DISC WEEKLY: I have. "Masters Of War." "Blowin' In The Wind."
DYLAN: What about "Spanish Lover"? [sic] Have you heard that? Why don't you
listen to that? Listen, I couldn't care less what your paper writes about
me. Your paper can write anything, don't you realize? The people that
listen to me don't read your paper, you know, to listen to me. I'm not
going to be known from your paper.
DISC WEEKLY: You're already known. Why be so hostile?
DYLAN: Because you're hostile to me. You're using me. I'm an object to you.
I went through this before in the United States, you know. There's nothing
personal. I've nothing against you at all. I just don't want to be bothered
with your paper, that's all. I just don't want to be a part of it. Why
should I have to go along with something just so that somebody else can
eat? Why don't you just say that my name is Kissenovitch. You know, and I,
er, come from Acapulco, Mexico. That my father was an escaped thief from
South Africa. OK. You can say anything you want to say.
DISC WEEKLY: Let's talk about you. Your clothes for instance. Are your
taste in clothes changing at all?
DYLAN: I like clothes. I don't have any particular interests at all. I like
to wear drapes, umbrellas, hats.
DISC WEEKLY: You're not going to tell me you carry an umbrella.
DYLAN: I most certainly do carry an umbrella. Where I come from everybody
carries an umbrella. Have you ever been to South Dakota? Well, I come from
South Dakota, and in South Dakota people carry umbrellas.
DISC WEEKLY: What would you say has been the greatest influence in your life?
DYLAN: You! Your paper happens to influence me a lot. I'm going to go out
and write a song after I've seen you-your know-what I'm used for. I feel
what I'm doing and I feel what your paper does. And you have the nerve and
gall to ask me what influences me and why do I think I'm so accepted. I
don't want to be interviewed by your paper. I don't need it. You don't need
it either. You can build up your own star. Why don't you just get a lot of
money and bring some kid out here from the north of England and say "We're
gonna make you a star! You just comply with everything, everything we do.
Everytime you want an interview you can just sign a paper that means we can
have an interview and write what we want to write. And you'll be a star and
make money!" Why don't you just do that? I'm not going to do it for you.
DISC WEEKLY: Why should we bother to interview you if we didn't think you
were worth interviewing?
DYLAN: Because I'm news. That's why I don't blame you, you have a job to
do. I know that. There's nothing personal here. But don't try to pick up
too much you know.
DISC WEEKLY: When did you start making records?
DYLAN: I started making records in 1947, that was my first recording. A
race record. I made it down south. Actually the first record I made was in
1935. John Hammond came and recorded me. Discovered me in 1935, sitting on
a farm. The man who discovered Benny Goodman saw me down the street. He had
me in to do a session. It happened just like that. Otherwise I wouldn't be
DISC WEEKLY: Do you have a favorite guitar?
DYLAN: Favorite guitar? I have 33 guitars! How can you have one favorite?
I'm going to quit playing the guitar anyway. I'm playing the banjo.
DISC WEEKLY: Have you heard Manfred Mann doing "With God On Our Side"?
DYLAN: No, I haven't heard it. I've only heard about it.
DISC WEEKLY: It was sung on "Ready Steady Goes Live" and it made quite an
DYLAN: I would like to have seen it.
DISC WEEKLY: How do you feel about other groups doing your songs?
DYLAN: Well, how would you feel about other groups doing your songs?
DISC WEEKLY: I'd be complimented.
DYLAN: I'd feel the same as you.
DISC WEEKLY: What sort of people do you like? What type do you cultivate?
DYLAN: I would cultivate the kind of person that sticks to his job. Sticks
to his job and gets his job done. And is not too nervous. But nervous
enough not to come back!
DISC WEEKLY: What kind of people do you take an instant dislike to?
DYLAN: I take an instant dislike to people that shake a lot. An instant
dislike-wham! Most of the time I throw them against a wall. I have a
bodyguard, Toppo. (Dylan here puts his hands to his mouth and calls to the
next room) Toppo! Is Toppo in there? I have a bodyguard to get rid of
people like that. He comes out and wipes them out. He wiped out three
people last week.
DISC WEEKLY: Do you paint?
DYLAN: Yeah, sure.
DISC WEEKLY: What sort of painting.
DYLAN: I painted my house. (at this point Dylan abruptly ended the interview)
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