Bob Dylan talks past and present in rare interview for his official website

A rare and lengthy interview with Bob Dylan was posted to his official web site on Wednesday night, and in it he provides insight on a wide variety of topics, ranging from his new triple album of Sinatra standards Triplicate to musicians he’s worked with in the past to some of his favorite more recent artists.

Much of the interview, conducted by Bill Flanagan, deals with Triplicate, due out March 31. At one point, Flanagan asked Dylan is he was worried about what fans might think of the new album.

“These songs are meant for the man on the street, the common man, the everyday person,” Dylan said. “Maybe that is a Bob Dylan fan, maybe not, I don’t know.”

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Here are a few more highlights from the interview:

* On Joan Baez: “She was something else, almost too much to take. Her voice was like that of a siren from off some Greek island. Just the sound of it could put you into a spell. She was an enchantress. You’d have to get yourself strapped to the mast like Odysseus and plug up your ears so you wouldn’t hear her. She’d make you forget who you were.”

* On his hairdo in 1966: “I was trying to look like Little Richard, my version of Little Richard. I wanted wild hair, I wanted to be recognized.”

* Here’s an entertaining exchange concerning how Dylan views guests at his shows as well as some projects that fell through:

Q: You’ve had all sorts of celebrated people in your audience – presidents, kings, a pope, movie stars, the Beatles, Muhammad Ali. Anyone make you nervous?

A: All of them.

Q: I heard you and George Harrison were once supposed to do a recording session with Elvis, but he never showed up. What’s the real story?

A: He did show up, it was us that didn’t.

Q: Warren Beatty says he wanted you to play Clyde Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde. Did that offer get to you?

A: No, the offer was sent to my manager’s office and we weren’t speaking; we had had a falling out. I didn’t get any mail or offers that were sent there.

Q: You could have had some love scenes with Faye Dunaway – any regrets?

A: Nope.

* On the song “American Pie”, in which the jester mentioned is supposed to be him: “Yeah, Don McLean, ‘American Pie,’ what a song that is. A jester? Sure, the jester writes songs like ‘Masters of War,’ ‘A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall,’ ‘It’s Alright, Ma’ – some jester. I have to think he’s talking about somebody else. Ask him.”

* On recent music:

Q: What format do you listen to music on? Do you stream music?

A: I listen on CDs mostly.

Q: Heard any good records lately?

A: Iggy Pop’s Après, that’s a good record. Imelda May, I like her. Valerie June, The Stereophonics. I like Willie Nelson and Norah Jones’ album with Wynton Marsalis, the Ray Charles tribute record. I liked Amy Winehouse’s last record.

Q: Were you a fan of hers?

A: Yeah, absolutely. She was the last real individualist around.

* On what he watches on the tour bus:I Love Lucy“, all the time, non-stop.

Check out the full interview here. It’s a must-read for Dylan fans!

Photo: by Alberto Cabello from Vitoria Gasteiz (Bob Dylan) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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