Thursday, October 13, 2005

In A Category With A Lot Of Funny People

Like the rest of the pop music world, I'm a little under the spell, at the moment, of early Bob Dylan. He was not an artist whose music I grew up hearing much (except for the hits played on FM radio between the usual tracks by Led Zeppelin and The Allman Brothers), so its as if I'm (re)discovering an old artist for the first time. On some level, I'm much more excited to hear interviews with Dylan than actually listen to some of his songs. It's fascinating to hear just how much the relatively new field of music journalism was struggling to keep up with the places to which his mind (and his music) was already racing. The lavishly illustrated new book, The Bob Dylan Scrapbook, 1956-1966 contains a large amount of insights we all witnessed in Martin Scorsese's No Way Home: Bob Dylan, but the audio disc enclosed within its pages contains a number of fascinating interviews that weren't included in the documentary. Sadly, none of them match the hilarious histrionics of the infamous 1967 press conference with Ralph Gleason (fragments of which were shown in Scorsese's film). So, this interview with Martin Bronstein for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, (held on February 20, 1966) will have to do. It may lack his obtuse wordplay but still shows how journalists were hanging on his every word, back when he was blowing people's minds with every album he released. You can buy this unsparing, overwhelming tome at Dylan's personal website.

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