Since the pandemic began, Bob Dylan has released his first two songs in almost a decade, "Murder Most Foul" (above), a beautiful ballad about the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and the stunning "I Contain Multitudes" (below). In a very rare interview in today's New York Times, Dylan talks to Douglas Brinkley about his new music, the curious references to both Indiana Jones and Anne Frank in his latest song, and, of course, sheltering-in-place. From the New York Times:
Why didn't more people pay attention to Little Richard's gospel music?
Probably because gospel music is the music of good news and in these days there just isn't any. Good news in today's world is like a fugitive, treated like a hoodlum and put on the run. Castigated. All we see is good-for-nothing news. And we have to thank the media industry for that. It stirs people up. Gossip and dirty laundry. Dark news that depresses and horrifies you[….]
Does having the Pacific Ocean in your backyard help you process the Covid-19 pandemic in a spiritual way? There is a theory called "blue mind" which believes that living near water is a health curative.
Yeah, I can believe that. "Cool Water," "Many Rivers to Cross," "How Deep Is the Ocean." I hear any of those songs and it's like some kind of cure. I don't know what for, but a cure for something that I don't even know I have. A fix of some kind. It's like a spiritual thing. Water is a spiritual thing. I never heard of "blue mind" before. Sounds like it could be some kind of slow blues song. Something Van Morrison would write. Maybe he has, I don't know.[…]
Do you think of this pandemic in almost biblical terms? A plague that has swept the land?
I think it's a forerunner of something else to come. It's an invasion for sure, and it's widespread, but biblical? You mean like some kind of warning sign for people to repent of their wrongdoings? That would imply that the world is in line for some sort of divine punishment. Extreme arrogance can have some disastrous penalties. Maybe we are on the eve of destruction. There are numerous ways you can think about this virus. I think you just have to let it run its course.