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Bob Dylan on 60 Minutes


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It is always funny to hear an interview with someone as big as Bob Dylan. It made me wonder what that kind of fame can do to a person. Ed Bradley asked so great questions. I found it interesting that B.D. thought he could not write like he used to. I like love and theft and time out of mind, but would not try to compare it to his early work.

I think Im getting the first of his Chronicles for a gift soon.

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Originally posted by Timmayock:

...I found it interesting that B.D. thought he could not write like he used to. I like love and theft and time out of mind, but would not try to compare it to his early work.

...[/QB]

That's more of a comment on us than him. Of course he can't write like he used to - he's a different person, and the world is a different world, compared to 1961.
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He's had some good moments, but I think the motorcycle wreck took something out of him. John Wesley Hardin was a great album, but I suspect a lot of it was written before the crash. The next album is Nashville Skyline, which, while having some songs that would be considered nice from other artists, and which delivered at least one huge hit "Lay, Lady, Lay" was a huge disappointment to me. (And, man, did I get to hate Lay, Lady, Lay. Teeth-clenching, white-knuckled hate. Well, I sort of was amused by the line, "once I held mountains in the palm of my hand" -- that was a chuckle.) But it ain't no Highway 61 or Blonde on Blonde.

 

And then, if I'm not mistaken, the next thing from Dylan was Self-Portrait. I had to just walk away. That was too much. I basically preteneded he was dead just so I could still enjoy the old stuff in a kind of vacuum. So when hipsters today say, geez, I hate Dylan, I know they're talking about the one that was left over after the wreck. 'Cause they sure ain't talking about the one who wrote Desolation Row.

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Originally posted by Doug Osborne:

That's more of a comment on us than him. Of course he can't write like he used to - he's a different person, and the world is a different world, compared to 1961.

It's an important point that Doug brings up here.

 

I often hear about a number of artists that people say don't write like they used to. Well... yeah, of course.

 

Especially with artists that have any longevity, one can't expect them to remain static as people. I know that I'm a different person than the guy I was who was listening to music 20 years ago, so why should I expect the artist who created it to have remained the same over the course of time?

 

The same can be said for painters, authors, sculptors, filmmakers... anyone who is influenced by society to create their work.

 

- Jeff

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Damn! I wanted to catch that. Been a Dylan freak since '63.

 

I agree with the assessment that the wreck changed him some. Good LP's from then on have been sporadic. "Nashville Skyline" WAS a bit disappointing, and "Self Portrait" seemed more like a contract fullfillment. "New Morning" though, wasn't all that bad. But we all had to wait for "Blood On The Tracks" and then "Desire" to hear Dylan come even close to his old self. THEN we had to wait for his Jesus freak days and the '80's to end before he was listenable again. But the fact that through it all, he was still basically doing what he WANTED, instead of what might have been EXPECTED still indicated he was still the same Bob.

 

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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Songwriters come and songwriters go, but every generation gets someone whose songs truly capture the zeitgeist of the time that they were written. When you read their biographies you find it very common to hear them refer to their work as “coming through them”. Mozart, Gershwin, and Dylan are a few who come to mind.

 

I don't think it means that they didn't write as good later in their careers, only that they wrote differently, and may not have been as open to the cultural currents as in their younger days. I found the Dylan interview to be very interesting.

 

I like to try to look at an artist in their totality; not just their earlier work. Dylan is a legend and he has done some pretty amazing work over his career. Nobody can take that away from him.

Jotown:)

 

"It's all good: Except when it's Great"

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It's funny cause I liked Nashville Skyline a lot, and his 3 christian records are some of my favorites. Songs like 'Trouble' and 'Dead Men' have a lot of edge to them, and 'Every Grain of Sand' and 'I Believe in You' are destined to be songs that live on for a long time. Don't get me wrong - I also listened to all the early Dylan, but I wasn't a big 'Blood on the Tracks' fan.

 

I said that to say this - because he followed his muse he has been able to attract new fans during all phases of his career - I hope that any of us could do so well!

- Calfee Jones
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He revealed that his craft, was inspiration driven in some way during at least the early songs...

 

Writers all, either get a song washed through them with little effort or they craft the songs which is more effortful and can wander through tune form, stagnation, dead end lyric cliches and so on, until evlovement into a real song of stature.

 

To say he, lost it, may be a stretch.

 

For example, To Make You Feel My Love, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood coverd it in the Connick/Bullock movie, Hope Floats.

 

That song can bring you to tears...

 

He seemed none to pensive and if one were to meet him in a studio setting, he'd pretty much be the same as Wille Nelson, Kris Kristoffersen or some other laconic writer of the time.

 

Actually, he seemed fairly much like a somgwriter without and ax to grind.

 

I've seen some major league folks at the Blue Bird (regular's so to speak) who have the demeanor of a rattlesnake, with way more chip per shoulder then Dylan has...

 

FWIW.

 

R

Label on the reverb, inside 1973 Ampeg G-212: "Folded Line Reverberation Unit" Manufactured by beautiful girls in Milton WIS. under controlled atmosphere conditions.
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Lot's of depth to that artist...from some of my favorite stuff like the Desolation Row period and Mike Bloomfield Like a Rolling stone psychedelic period, before that the Woodie Guthrie protester period, and the religous - cross that, spiritual period Everybody Gotta Serve Somebody, to his fun God created PIG stuff...from the Band to the Grateful Dead period...John Wesley Harding & Dear Landlord. Holy cow there's tons of stuff I haven't even heard yet. hehe Nashville Skyline & Johnny Cash...

 

What a great artist who was able to uniquely capture, interpret and share his thoughts as he passed thru a lot of the same things the rest of us did. I'm glad he didn't die on that motorcycle - he had a lot left to accomplish after that too!

 

Also - for the most part when I listen to his stuff the recordings are transparent (except some of the real early Woody stuff perhaps - needs remastering) and I get the visual of BD strummin guitar in front of a mic in a studio - or Bob and the band tappin out some rag tag gypsy hobo blues. In other words the recording process hasn't gotten in the way of the music in general - I remember thinking in Nashville Skyline a few times I could feel the recording engineers were a little too near but that's about it.

 

I file his stuff under my National Treasure section :D

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Here's what you guys need to know... he said something very profound. I swear, he said something like "I made bad records on purpose." (I think because people were building him up as a prophet or something?)

 

Here's what I posted on another forum...

 

=

 

To me, I am very glad I got to see it, as he rarely is interviewed. First one in like 20 years. He was Dylan, elusive yet this time, totally understandable, even though elusive. Actually, many answers were not elusive at all, they were direct answers. I guess a better word for this one would be "mysterious."

 

He said he felt destiny from an early age. I thought that was the most compelling part. His description that he felt it then and continues to feel an "obligation" (my word) to destiny... to continue touring and doing 100 shows a year at age 63.

 

Coolest answer was "You have said you wrote 'Blowin In The Wind' (I think that was the song) in ten minutes. Really, in ten minutes?"

 

He shrugged and said "Something like that."

 

"Where did it come from?"

 

I think his answer was "from the wellspring of creativity" or something like that. He did not say "the muse" or "from God" or anything like that. (He later did refer to "answering to God," about another question.) He said the song came from HIS creativity. Which is PRECISELY the answer I have always given people when they've asked me.

 

The MAJORITY of songwriters that I have read, they claim there is some connect with "something" bigger than themselves. I've always thought that is very romantic but I don't buy it. I'm not saying it isn't, I'm saying I don't buy it. I just think stuff comes from creative minds and very hard work.

 

I dreamed an entire song one time. I could see the band playing it. The riffs, everything. Where'd it come from? (It was about going to Heaven.) It was pretty bizarre but I just think my subconscious had been working on it. (I had been having this particular hook floating around in my mind.)

 

Even Dylan, I've seen him quoted many times about hard work. Few come as "easy" as Blowin In The Wind or the song I dreamed.

 

Another thing, I wish they would have spent more time on... he said he intentionally made crappy records. (I dunno... to make people mad because they build him up too high?)

 

He said he was nothing like people built him up to be. I guess he meant he's just a man, a writer, nothing special. He said he's been called a prophet but he had disdain for that.

 

Another thing he said was that he admitted his early work... there were some masterpieces (my word) in there. Pushed on it, he said he could not do it again. Pushed again, he said "I did it once. At least I did that." Something like that. Like, it could never happen again but at least he did it once. (Create songs for the ages.)

 

It was quite a compelling interview, I thought.

 

=

 

Also check out this page.

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I recall reading another interview(somewhere) that he claimed to get into his "half singing-half talking" nasal whining phase after hearing too much made about his not being able to sing. Well, actually, much of his early work(check out "Gospel Plow" and "Corrina, Corrina" from his first LP and "Freewheelin'" respectively)showed he did possess a good singing voice. Just not a "pretty" voice like contemporaries Phil Ochs or Dave Paxton. Said he felt that if people thought he couldn't sing, he wasn't going to try. And it worked out for him.

 

Dylan never DID like being called a prophet, and his history will reveal he was no less an opportunist than anyone else at the time. He basically had a dream of being a rock'n'roll "star", but upon arriving in New York he found the folk scene exploding. So he went "folk". To his credit, he had in a very short time built up a repretoir of songs and playing styles that can hardly be rivaled by anyone. He played old country tunes. He played slide blues. He played traditional folk songs. I've seen him over the years sit down with artists from other musical arenas and pick out some obscure old tune in those fashions that even the person he was jamming with almost forgot. I've seen him do this with Earl Scruggs, Bill Broonzy and Van Morrison. Listen closely to his earlier acoustic work, and you'll discover a far underrated stylist. Add that to the composition of lyrics to songs like "Bob Dylan's Dream", written when only 21, but with the retrospective aplomb of someone 40 years older, and it becomes the stuff legends ARE made of. His switch to electric instruments was not really a sellout, but a move toward where he was intending to go in the first place. At the time, staying a "folksinger" would have lead to the same obscurity visited by his contemporaries. His move to electric instrumentation only opened new doors. What made Dylan's efforts enjoyable was the same thing us old folks loved about the Beatles or Hendrix. Each new album WAS new, and not always the same old crap in a new jacket. In the study of what makes these and other "legendary" artists legendary, and you'll find it's pretty much that very thing.

 

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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Originally posted by PBBPaul:

My favorite Bob Dylan quote from the mid-late 60's -

 

An interviewer remarked that he didn't sound as angry as he had and Bob replied: "It's hard to be angry when you're amillionaire".

someone asked springsteen that, paraphrased:

"is it hard to write for the downtrodden when yer poolboy makes more than the very people you're trying to represent"

i forget bruce's answer :D

s :cool:

AMPSSOUNDBETTERLOUDER
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