[Marxism] 2 Bob Dylan interviews

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Oct 1 09:32:04 MDT 2005


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.

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 
committed suicide.
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 
the world?
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: 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 
book now?
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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