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2012年05月15日

Bob Dylan, Past, Present

“As you get older, your memory blossoms. You remember that these things came from somewhere else, they came from your own experience but you didn’t remember them until something tripped in your head, and unlocked to a whole room of things you hadn’t been thinking about or you didn’t realize you had been thinking about, from the past, all those things like Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Jimmy Rogers, so, music is an unbroken chain no matter what happens with record business and how often we’re told on the Billboard like this person is brand-new, but they’re not, they all came from somewhere, from someone else, and we’re all links from a chain, that extend forward and back. Just like any art-form or science. We all come from somewhere, and he is the thumb in the eye of anybody saying, there is this brand-new thing, Dylan KNOWS he wasn’t brand-new. That takes some reminding a lot of times. No matter what happens, there’s always gonna be someone to come after you, just like you came from someone somewhere.

“Poor Boy” is like a guy coming sitting next to you by an airport bar. Like in Chicago, like a salesman, this guy is talking to you. And you imagine, you answer back but you’re not really interested, but he keeps on talking and you realize he’s not trying to get you interested, just trying to tell you about his life, and he’s got a lot to let off his chest, and then that song “Poor Boy” comes around, and he’s telling you “I’ve been where you are and everything’s gonna be okay”. What he was saying had validity to me. He was like, say something sincere to me.”

--Josh Ritter

“If you ever walked with Dylan around town - which I didn’t do very often if not at all - he’d go out and disguises and he could disappear. You would look at this person and you wouldn’t think it’s Bob. I don’t know how he did it. He has ways of getting around and be unrecognizable, but then again he is recognizable every five steps.”

“We did one show, and the crowd became like Beatle-maniac, they came at the hood of the car, and on the roof of the car, and we’re were driving slow, and I was like, “be careful, we don’t wanna hurt anybody”, and then Bob looked over and said, “what’s the matter”, I said, “well, I’m frightened,” and he said, “what are you scared of, it’s only love.”
I said, well, I can’t get used to this, but then he said agaim, David, it’s only love.

We would play in a rehearsal hall for three days. One of the three days we played only Dean Martin songs. We play them on the record-player, and then he’d sing it, and then we were ready, we could play the whole repertoire, we could do a gig playing all those songs. But we never ever played them. We just polished them up and that was that. And he would do that with Johnny and Jack songs, and the Stanley Brothers and really early American artists too. He would turn us on to these things, he would bring records and make tapes for us with all that early stuff, and the next day at rehearsals we’d run through them and learn to play them. And most of them we never would play. And the first day we came together for “Love And Theft” he started playing, and he would say, I wanna play it in a style of this song. Say, we played Summer Days, and he would start with Rebecca by Pete Johnson and Big Joe Turner. Then it became apparent to me, that he’d been training us over a year to learn these old styles. That way, we were far more prepared for what he had in store than had he not gone through this precedure. We never talked about this, maybe that’s the way I took that process, it certainly was like going to college for me, or to a school of Bob, or a school of Americana music, presented by Bob.”

--David Camper


“When you and I hear an old scratchy recording from 1930, we can dig it, we can get excited about it, we can see why it’s cool, but it is from another world, it is alien. If Bob hears that, it’s like the guy he met at the diners, that voice is not abstract, that’s not somebody from another planet, that’s somebody real telling you about the world: let me tell you what just happened, the mare got in the corn. There’s that enormous empathy, People are still dealing with those universal issues. These themes no more go away. The flood waters rising, and the terror’s not going away, we haven’t cured ourselves from that world. It’s amazing how all the country and blues tunes Bob had picked up came out of the headlines. People still get lost in the flood.”

--Bill Flanagan

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