Bob Dylan's least comprehensible interviews - videos

New York Magazine has compiled a set of links to the ten most incomprehensible Bob Dylan interviews of all time. Man, when Dylan rambles, he really rambles. It must be that all his articulateness neurons have been given over to writing some of the greatest poetry in living memory, leaving none left over for pointless little TV interviews. Link (Thanks, Danny!)


  1. You know that old saying about any press being good press? Well, I think that’s what’s in play here. You have a guy who is creatively amazing and who defies logic in his work at times. He really doesn’t need to do any press at all, but the “business” compels him to do so. So what does he do? Just rambles on an on and on. No disrespect to entertainment writer’s but 9 times out of 10 the content of what is written is nowhere near as important as simply saying “New Dylan album out…” or “Dylan on tour…” Dylan takes advantage of that by just mind-farking reporters and others. What does he care? A bad interview won’t affect his sales or fandom.

  2. Yea I have to agree with Jack. He never seemed to care for the press or even his own fandom. He might as well ramble and have some fun.

  3. “She takes just like a woman, yes, she does
    She makes love just like a woman, yes, she does
    And she aches just like a woman
    But she breaks just like a little girl.”

    Oh, really.

    I believe you should’ve qualified your statement to read that Dylan has written “some of the greatest folk rock lyrics in living memory”. If you think that’s great poetry, then I suggest that reading some Elizabeth Bishop or Charles Wright to familiarize yourself with the subject.

  4. I don’t know. For 36-year-old, Cory Doctorow sure has some boomeresque tastes.

    C’mon, Cory. The baby boomers were not the be-all and end-all of Western civilization. Disney, the Beatniks, Dylan: you’re stuck in a time warp, man. And Bob Dylan produced great poetry? Examples?

  5. @Bricology

    “The moon gives light and it shines by night
    Well, I scarcely feel the glow
    We learn to live and then we forgive
    O’er the road we’re bound to go
    More frailer than the flowers, these precious hours
    That keep us so tightly bound
    You come to my eyes like a vision from the skies
    And I’ll be with you when the deal goes down”

    Yes, really.

    Thankfully “Just Like a Woman” isn’t the only song Dylan ever wrote. But he’s part of pop culture so he couldn’t possibly be an actual poet.

  6. “The moon gives light and shines by night”

    Deep. Not exactly “The Wasteland,” is it? Okay, he uses the poetic contraction “o’er,” but other than rhyming this bears little resemblance to poetry.

  7. Not quite accurate either. The moon does not actually give off light, it is simply reflecting light that was actually given off by the sun.

  8. Picking the worst thing someone’s written doesn’t mean they never wrote good things. The same thing could be done with anyone.

    a) my love she speaks like silence
    without ideals or violence
    she doesn’t have to say she’s faithful
    yet she’s true like ice, like fire

    b) perhaps it’s the color of the sun caught flat
    and covering the crossroads I’m standing at
    or maybe it’s the weather, or something like that
    but mama, you’ve been on my mind

    c) God said to Abraham, kill me a son
    Abe said man you must be putting me on
    God said no; Abe said what;
    God said do what you want to, but
    next time you see me coming
    you better run

  9. “The sun’s not yellow, it’s chicken”

    It’s like Chex-lyrics– the dweeb side of me likes the pun, but the rest of me recoils in horror that anyone ever sang this.

  10. @Bricology,

    At a time when the very best of popular culture was singing “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” with the mean expression being more on the lines of “She Wore Blueeeeee Velll-vuht” a song about a guy breaking up with a girl and being a shit about it is definitely in a different dimension. Whether that dimension is poetry is arguable but “Just Like a Woman” is to its peers as memorable poems are to theirs.

    Virgil’s a) is another example, a love ditty where the love interest can be read as Love. Wrapped in a three minute song it hits notes no one is looking for. (That Ricky Nelson records and releases it puts a kind of pre-postmodern irony on everything.)

    To the list add d)

    Maggie comes fleet foot
    Face full of black soot
    Talkin’ that the heat put
    Plants in the bed but
    The phone’s tapped anyway
    Maggie says that many say
    They must bust in early May
    Orders from the D. A.

    Chaucer famously said much the same thing 600 years earlier. The language has changed some.

  11. How ’bout a little Marlowe set to music? This is from the 1995 film Richard III. The singer is Stacey Kent. The lyrics do not start until 2:15, so be patient.

  12. I’ve got to weigh in on the side of those who scoff at the view that Dylan is/was a great poet (which is certainly not to say that his music isn’t enjoyable as hell at times… I especially like his earlier stuff, and NASHVILLE SKYLINE has a permanent place on my master playlist). The huge irony here is that Dylan himself has made numerous comments over the years to the effect that he wholeheartedly agrees with us regarding the non-greatness of his poetry, and has also frequently lamented (sometimes in song) his status as some kind of unapproachable cultural icon rather than simply an entertainer.

    Enjoyable and memorable songs? Sure!
    Great poetry? Ha! Bah!

  13. Have any of you ever heard Dylan’s “Theme Time Radio Hour” on XM on Friday evenings? Articulate, erudite, with a masterful command of American musical culture, he’s / it’s a joy to listen to, one wonders if the press was having its leg pulled for all those years.

  14. you know, I watched all these videos, and yeah, a couple come off like he’s a prick who wants to make reporters look like asses, and yes, there are interviews where he is totally whacked out on heroin (supposedly). That being said though, a majority of these interviews are horrible because of the person asking the questions.

    Case in point; the Santana interview? I think Dylan is the type of character that is begging for a semi intelligent interview where the person asking the questions is vaguely interested in carrying on a conversation with the man. To Dylan’s credit, I think he learned something from that interview… I mean, have we seen another team Dylan-Santana q&a period? “music from african ghettoes as the music of the future?” c’mon santana, loosen the bandana dude.

    I thought the MTV interview in the zebra shirt was ok, but that was an accident. They didn’t know they were even recording… Hardly incomprehensible unless you count dressing like a drug addict as having poor diction. I liked that David Lee Roth anecdote.

    This list of videos is pretty bogus, incomprehensible? Maybe a couple. But I think that a more appropriate title would be ‘ten interviews with Bob Dylan that are worth watching for different reasons entirely’.

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