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Article Bob Dylan

April 22nd, 1966: In April 1966 a group of South Australian journalists tried to interview Bob Dylan, listen here.

In April 1966 a group of South Australian journalists tried to interview Bob Dylan, listen here.

The events we write about at Gaslight Records happened in some form or another 50 years ago to the day. Roll along with us and imagine you are back in 1969.

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"I never was a teenager. I never played football, basketball, soccer. I never went to you know... track meets. I never had good grades in school. I never was in the honor society. I never graduated with high degrees. I never took an interest in anything."

April 22nd, 1966 - While on tour in Australia, Bob Dylan sat down for a press conference with a room of journalists in Adelaide. Listen to the audio of the press conference at the bottom of this article.

Below is a transcript of the press conference:

Interviewer: Do you think that you can sing well?

Dylan: I think I sing great. Most people underestimate my voice, but ah, left alone in an empty room I can sing better than anybody else.

Interviewer: How do ya go in a hall with alot of people?

Dylan: Well, that's a hard question to answer. Um, I've had voice training you know? Uh, I just sing in front of the microphone in the empty halls and it rings you know? That's all, I depend on microphones... in the full hall that's a different circumstance you know?

In April 1966 a group of South Australian journalists tried to interview Bob Dylan, listen here.

Interviewer: There's a man that you first got the folk kick from, it was Woody Guthrie wasn't it? You were sort of a debutant of Woody Guthrie.

Dylan: It was Hank Williams.

Interviewer: Hank Williams? And he was more a cowboy sort of singer was he?

Dylan: No, he was a Country and Western singer.

"I must know a hundred white people who can sing blues better than two-hundred negros."

Interviewer: Well I understand that you are a debutant of Woody Guthrie nevertheless is that right?

Dylan: Well, I know who Woody Guthrie is, I've listened to his music. I even uh.. got wrapped up in the idea of him, for a certain time, but not a long time. Not a long time at all. No more time than ah, you know than it would take to learn one of his songs really.

Interviewer: Oh see I understood it that you were more wrapped up in him than that and Woody never ever became sort of commercial, I just wondered what his attitude would be to your...

Dylan: He never became commercial because he got sick. But I'd be wondering what his attitude would be today, if he was around.

On a side note: If you've never heard it, listen below to a poem that Dylan wrote about Woody Guthrie three years earlier at age 21.

Interviewer: Would you say that ahh, Negros are better musicians than the white race?

Dylan: Yeh they used to be, but I don't think so anymore.

Interviewer: Now why is this do you think? Because you're up there with 'em?

Dylan: No, most of them are going to colleges now. Most of them now live in the suburbs. Well, a lot of them do, not most of them. Negro music used to be great music because it was all poverty music. You know there wasn't any pick and choice. There wasn't any one great one, they were all great. But ah, now God... You know, I must know myself, I must know a hundred white people who can sing blues better than two hundred Negros.

In April 1966 a group of South Australian journalists tried to interview Bob Dylan, listen here.

Interviewer: Do you sit down and think what you're writing or do you just go ahead and write?

Dylan: I've answered that question on television cameras.

Interviewer: Ahh we weren't here then can you repeat it?

Dylan: You can watch it on television.

Interviewer: This is radio, I wonder if you'd like to answer for this medium?

Dylan: No, I answered on the television I can't...

Interviewer: Which medium do you prefer radio or TV?

Dylan: Uhh, I prefer, I prefer ummm, movies really.

Interviewer: You prefer the movies. Have you any chance of doing a movie?

Dylan: (Laughs) Any chance of doing a movie? Ummm. You'd have to ask other people, I don't know you'd have to ask other people, I'm not ahh. (mumbles over interviewer) what?

Interviewer: Would you be keen to do a movie yourself?

Dylan: Would I be keen? What's that mean?

Interviewer: Would you be interested in doing a movie?

Dylan: I'd be interested to do a movie, I think I'd be very keen yeah.

Interviewer: At what stage of your life Bob did you find that this was the sort of thing that you wanted to do? I mean, has it always been that way or...

Dylan: It's always been that way ever since I was... Of course it's always been that way.

Interviewer: I mean how'd you know that sort of certain feeling that you wanted to commuicate... you don't want to communicate with people do you really?

Dylan: No.

Interviewer: What actually do you want to do?

Dylan: Nothing.

Interviewer: You'd rather do nothing but you sort of sing because.. you have to.

Dylan: I don't have a job that I have to do. I mean I have nobody that's bossing me you know. I don't have any assignments, you understand? I don't have anything which I have to get done because I'm gonna lose something. You know, I just have nothing like that.

Interviewer: (inaudible)

Dylan: No, no. You know, if people are nice to me, I'm nice to them. But, ahh, if people got something else in the back of their mind, then I can destroy 'em.

Interviewer: What, with your songs and lyrics you can destroy them?

Dylan: Nah, I can just sit here and destroy 'em.

Interviewer: What about your parents, do you feel anything towards your parents?

Dylan: I have no contact with my parents, I've never had contact with my parents.

Interviewer: Do you miss this at all?

Dylan: Miss this? I never had it. You're trying to make me out to be some kind of a rebel.

Interviewer: Nah, I just wondered what you think about other teenagers, do you think it's a good idea for them to...

Dylan: I never was a teenager. I never played football, basketball, soccer. I never went to, you know, track meets. I never had good grades in school. I never was in the honor society. I never graduated with high degrees. I never took an interest in anything. There just was none of that, I didn't know it that's all.

Interviewer: What is success Bob, what do you think?

Dylan: Success?

Interviewer: What is it? No, really.

Dylan: I dunno, what do you think it is? Are you successful.

Interviewer: Well I'm supposed to be in my field, yeah.

Dylan: Well I'm supposed to be in my field, too.

Interviewer: Yeah alright. What is it money or something, I dunno.

Dylan: What do you say it is? Answer what it is for you and I'll answer what it is.

Interviewer: Well, I would say it's satisfaction.

Dylan: I wanna hear your words.

Interviewer: Alright, my words are: Success is having real satisfaction in the job you're doing, do you agree?

Dylan: Do I agree? Well, I agree, yeah I guess. You said it, I didn't.

Interviewer: Do you make money a yardstick? Or doesn't it matter to you at all?

Dylan: Make money a yardstick?

Interviewer: In life. Do you think that having a lot of money is a good thing or doesn't it really worry you at all having... I mean, you must have a lot of money by singing the songs you do. Do you sing songs because you can make some money out of this? Or do you sing just because you like to sing the songs and money doesn't mean anything at all.

Dylan: I consider that an insult, sir.

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