Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Bob Dylan in Newsweek

Choice bits from the Bob Dylan interview in newsweek:

"I'm sort of doing what I want to do? I mean not sort of what I want to do, I am doing what I want to do. Or what I believe I was put here to do." He's got six or eight songs toward a new album, and he hopes to finish more before he goes back on the road next month. Then he wants to start re-recording many of his old songs, this time "with the proper structures. A lot of these songs can have, like, a dozen different structures to them. I can't hope to do all that. But I can provide a few things for future generations."

[Rerecording old stuff is classic advanced. Lou Reed is the master of doing that.]

As Dylan sees it, his fame distorted not only his life but his art; he reacted to it with new music calculated to baffle expectations, and he ended up baffling himself. "I didn't know what it was I was really doing. I was going on reputation. Which buys you a certain sum, but you're not in control. And until you gain control, you're never quite sure you're doing the right thing? In my case anyway? So I went for a long time precisely on that fame that we're talking about. But—it was like a bag of wind. I didn't realize it was slipping away until it had slipped away." And how long did this go on? "Artistically speaking, it would have to have begun sometime in Woodstock—not personally, but in a public way—till maybe when that 'Time Out of Mind' record came out." I command myself to keep my mouth shut. He's talking about the 25 years that produced "Blood on the Tracks," "Slow Train Coming," "Shot of Love," "Infidels" and its sublime outtakes....

[I was disapointed to hear him disparage the work that he had done when he was trying to confuse his audience until I read that he was talking about records that everyone loves. Then I understood.]

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