Monday, December 06, 2004

Early thoughts on the Dylan interview...

...mostly random notes, nothing cohesive at this point...

I mentioned to Peg while we were watching that Dylan looked very nervous, as he repeatedly twirled a pen between his fingers, but "nervous" is the wrong term. "Uncomfortable" better describes it, and "reactive." "Reactive" in the sense that I got the impression that most of the questions Bradley asked aren't questions that Dylan spends any time thinking about and he answered only because they were asked.

In the so-called "Rome Interview" conducted with a group of European journalists in July 2001, a very engaged Dylan spends a significant part of the interview talking about the "sound" he's trying to create -- a subject which you can tell the musician is very interested in. The same sense of engagement comes through loud and clear in Volume One of "Chronicles" when Dylan writes about the New Orleans sessions that produced, "Oh Mercy."

The dichotomy between the media/public-created "Dylan" and the musician who goes on stage every night and thinks about the music he's creating becomes more stark with each public statement, and I find I like and identify with the musician more and more.

Other things: It'll be interesting, and nice to see, if the complete out-takes from the reported 90 minute interview ever surface. I'm guessing it must have been a frustrating interview for Bradley and producers, as from a "sound bite" perspective, only Dylan's statement that he couldn't now write something like "It's Alright, Ma..." at the beginning and his closing remark about "holding up his end of the bargain" were the only two provocative segments. You can almost see the 60 Minutes teasers being born: "Big Bubba of Rebellion Sez He Doesn't Have Right Stuff Anymore!" and "Song and Dance Man Admits Bargain with `Chief Commander!'"

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