Happy Birthday Bob Dylan!


(“I don’t believe in Zimmerman!”)

‘I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.’
– Bob Dylan, ‘My Back Pages’ 1964

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


Rolling Stone interview with Phil Spector
By Jann s Wanner 1969

What artist do you really feel has not been recorded right that you’d like to record?

Bob Dylan.
How would you record him?

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.

It’s also probably why the Beatles . . . well it’s obvious that Paul McCartney and John Lennon may be the greatest rock and roll singers that we’ve ever had. They may be the greatest singers of the last ten years – they really may be! I mean there is a reason for the Beatles other than the fact that they’re like Rogers & Hart and Hammerstein, Gershwin and all of ’em. They are great, great singers. They can do anything with their voices.
So to pat them on the back doesn’t mean anything. It’s really from the great background they had – of digging so much all their lives – that not only did they get that great gift of writing, but they have the great talent of singing; which is really where it’s at. When you can get in and sing “Rocky Raccoon” that way, you know that he knows how to sing better than anybody else around, because he can switch right into “Yesterday.” They’ve got a great gift, and for me it’s much more than just sayin’, “the Beatles, the Beatles, the Beatles.”
I would like to record them a certain way because, again, other than what they do themselves – there’s nobody. I don’t know how influential their producer is, and I am sure they have a great deal of respect for him and he’s the fifth Beatle and all that, but I don’t think he thinks the way I would think. Their ideas are so overpowering that you just sort of just go along with them and you’re gonna end up with somethin’ groovy. I don’t think it was necessarily his idea to put “King Lear” on the end of that one record. Which did or did not have to be in the record.

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.

Many of the artists today just sing, they don’t really interpret anything. I mean the Doors don’t interpret. They’re not interpreters of music. They sing ideas. The Beach Boys have always sung ideas – they’ve never been interpreters. The Beatles interpret; “Yesterday” meant something. Whereas “Good Vibrations” was a nice idea on which everybody sort of grooved. That’s what I feel is missing in the Chambers Brothers – the interpretation.
Watch Dylan’s Warhol screen test


One thought on “Happy Birthday Bob Dylan!

  1. Thank you for recognizing America’s greatest living “song and dance man” on his 80th birthday.

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