CELEBRATING BOB DYLAN’S 80th BIRTHDAY
(“I don’t believe in Zimmerman!”)
Dylan’s screen test:
Iggy Pop Re: Dylan:
My Major Role Models
“I was about 16 or 17 and going out with an older woman who had friends who were considered beatniks. I had never seen anything like these people. They were engineer boots, flannel shirts and long hair. I was dreaming about being in a rock ‘n’ roll band and they were dreaming about being on a freight train. But this girl turned me onto the Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan album. I had never heard of a talking blues. And at the time, I had a literary ambitions; I won $25 for a poem I had written that a girlfriend of mine had entered in a literary contest. I saw Dylan at a concert where he did the first half acoustic, all by himself, then took a 15-minute break. He reappeared wearing a gray Edwardian suit and a Stratocaster, his back to the audience, jumped, turned around, and started hitting chords to ‘Tombstone Blues’ with this killer band. It must’ve been like with Jesus Christ, when the crowd threw stuff at him. I couldn’t understand why they were booing him; it was the best thing I have ever heard in my life.”
– Iggy Pop, Yakety Yak: Midnight Confessions and Revelations of 37 Rock Stars & Legends – June 1994
“Bob showed me that you can make things differently in rock music, and that was a true revelation. A few months ago I had seen the Beach Boys at the very same place. They had impressed me so much, that I immediately bought the same shirt that they were wearing. But they hadn’t given me any hope that I could ever be like them— I knew that I would never sing as high and clear, let alone understand anything about diminished 9-chords or such stuff.
But Bob Dylan, The Stones or The Kingsmen made me think: Okay, why don’t I do something like that, maybe just a little more simple?”
– Iggy Pop, Far Out magazine, July 2020
Phil Spector Re: Dylan
By Jann s Wanner 1969
What artist do you really feel has not been recorded right that you’d like to record?
I’d do a Dylan opera with him. I’d produce him. You see he’s never been produced. He’s always gone into the studio on the strength of his lyrics, and they have sold enough records to cover up everything – all the honesty of his records. But he’s never really made a production. He doesn’t really have to.His favorite song is “Like a Rolling Stone,” and it stands to reason because that’s his grooviest song, as far as songs go. It may not be his grooviest message. It may not be the greatest thing he ever wrote, but I can see why he gets the most satisfaction out of it, because rewriting “La Bamba” chord changes is always a lot of fun and any time you can make a Number One record and rewrite those kind of changes, it is very satisfying.
I think Mick Jagger could be a lot of fun to record. It’s not just the big artists; I think Janis Joplin leaves a lot to be desired recording-wise. How well she can sing when she’s way up front – I don’t know. How well she would sing under different circumstances I don’t know.But the one that really would be the most satisfying probably would be Dylan because I could communicate with him and justify what he really wants to say – no matter what it is – musically, which is something that you don’t see very often happening today.