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Friday, June 06, 2008

Theme Time Radio Hour Makes Bob Dylan Smile

An interesting interview conducted by the Times (UK) Online here. Some nuggets:

When I ask if he finds the art establishment preferable to the one he is more used to, Dylan grins and pulls a face of mock disgust. “The music world's a made-up bunch of hypocritical rubbish. I know from publishing a memoir [2004's Chronicles Volume One] that the book people are a whole lot saner. And the art world? From the small steps I've taken in it, I'd say, yeah, the people are honest, upfront and deliver what they say. Basically, they are who they say they are. They don't pretend. And having been in the music world most of my life [he laughs again], I can tell you it's not that way. Let's just say it's less...dignified.”
He's had two proposals for a new series of paintings, both of which he sounds interested in doing. The first is Dylan portraits of celebrities: "inventors, mathematicians, scientists, business people, actors..." The other Dylan's interpretation of "historically romantic figures. Napoleon and Josephine, Dante and Beatrice, Captain John Smith and Pocahontas, Brad and Angelina [here he laughs]..."

As already reported, he's at work on Volume II of Chronicles. On Volume I he notes:
“It took me maybe two years in total. I was touring so much in the beginning, on days off or on a bus, I'd write my thoughts out in longhand or on a typewriter. It was the transcribing of the stuff, the rereading and retelling of it, that was time-consuming and I came to figure that there had to be a better way. I know what that is now. You need a full-time secretary so that you can get the ideas down immediately, then deal with them later.”
He is, unsurprisingly, hopeful about Barack Obama:

“Well, you know right now America is in a state of upheaval,” he says. “Poverty is demoralising. You can't expect people to have the virtue of purity when they are poor. But we've got this guy out there now who is redefining the nature of politics from the ground up...Barack Obama. He's redefining what a politician is, so we'll have to see how things play out. Am I hopeful? Yes, I'm hopeful that things might change. Some things are going to have to.” He offers a parting handshake. “You should always take the best from the past, leave the worst back there and go forward into the future,” he notes as the door closes between us.

And when Theme Time Radio Hour is mentioned, Dylan smiles.


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