Friday, January 09, 2009
The times they are a changing
Melted cars from the 911 disaster...ya think?
From a Playboy interview...Jan. 1966
As a versatile musicologist and trenchant social commentator, Nat Hentoff brings uniquely pertinent credentials to his dual tasks in this month's issue - as the author of "We're Happening All Over, Baby!" (on page 82) an insightful anatomizing of America's youthful new generation of anti-establishment social activists, and as interviewer of this month's controversial subject, about whom he writes:
"Less than five years ago, Bob Dylan was scuffling in New York - sleeping in friends' apartments on the Lower East Side and getting very occasional singing work at Gerde's Folk City, an unprepossessing bar for citybillies in the Village. With his leather cap, blue jeans and battered desert boots - his unvarying costume in those days - Dylan looked like an updated, undernourished Huck Finn. And like Huck, he had come out of the Midwest; he would have said 'escaped.' The son of Abraham Zimmerman, an appliance dealer, he was raised in Hibbing, Minnesota, a bleak mining town near the Canadian border. Though he ran away from home regularly between the ages of 10 and 18, young Zimmerman did manage to finish high school, and went on to spend about six months at the University of Minnesota in 1960. By then, he called himself Bob Dylan - in tribute to Dylan Thomas, according to legend; but actually after a gambling uncle whose last name was similar to Dylan.
See article + interview
PLAYBOY: How are we doing, making our own way?
DYLAN: The truth is that we're born and we die. We're concerned here in this life with the journey from point A to point Z, or from what we think is point A to point Z. But it's pretty self-deluding if you think that's all there is.
PLAYBOY: What do you think is beyond Z?
DYLAN: You mean, what do I think is in the great unknown? [Pause] Sounds, echoes of laughter.
PLAYBOY: Do you feel there's some sense of karmic balance in the universe, that you suffer for acts of bad faith?
DYLAN: Of course. I. think everybody knows that's true. After you've lived long enough, you realize that's the case. You can get away with anything for a while. But it's like Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart or Dostoievsky's Crime and Punishment: Somewhere along the line, sooner or later, you're going to have to pay.
PLAYBOY: Do you feel you've paid for what you got away with earlier?
DYLAN: Right now, I'm about even.
PLAYBOY: Isn't that what you said after your motorcycle accident-"Something had to be evened up"?
PLAYBOY: And you meant. . . ?
DYLAN: I meant my back wheel had to be aligned.