Monday, April 20, 2009

Bob Dylan on Stevie Wonder

From the new installment of the Bill Flanagan interview with Bob Dylan on the Huffington Post, the following exchange:

BF: Certain singers show up in "it's All Good." Neil Young and Alicia Keys have popped up on your recent albums. Do you think all your musician friends are going to be looking for shout-outs now? Once you start down that road how do you get out of it?

BD: Well these people are archetypes, too. They might not think of themselves like that, but they are. They represent an idea.

BF: Could you write a song about anybody?

BD: Well I bet you could, yeah.

BF: How would you get Stevie Wonder into a song?

BD: When Stevie Wonder recorded "Blowin' in the Wind"/ I was playin' cards/ I was drinkin' gin/

I want to hear the rest of that song. That's a brilliant couplet. Dylan describing what it felt like to be hailed as the Voice of His Generation, everybody looking at him like to a saint or a prophet, when he knew very well he had vices, that he was a risky proposition, and/or that at age 25 he'd already lost the youthful innocence that had allowed him to write such a song (Wonder's cover was released in 1966, and we all know what Dylan was writing and singing and doing in 1966). That's what I hear in that line.

(On the other hand, it could be random flippancy. You never know with Bob. But it would still be a brilliant couplet, I say.)

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