Monday, March 27, 2017

Ten questions with Bob Dylan

Recently Bob Dylan posted a new interview on his website. This is rare enough that the St. Paul daily paper, The Pioneer Press, put news of it on its front page. Minnesota, after decades of stand-offishness, has finally accepted Dylan as its proud own, like F. Scott Fitzgerald or Charles Schultz, two other artistic legends who fled Minnesota for other places. "Bob Dylan Posts Rare Interview on his Website" was the title of the article, or something like that. Even I consider that questionable as front page news, but a new Bob Dylan interview is indeed rare. And don't think I didn't let Bob know it.

"You know, it's one thing when you aren't doing any interviews." I said to Bob over cocktails. "But it's kind of cold that you won't do an interview on my blog when you're happy to do one on your own, already sufficiently popular, website!"

"Oh man." Bob complained.

"The guilt and shame hurts?"

"No, what do they put in this drink? It's making me so weird." Bob said.

"Too much green chartreuse, I think." I replied. "Super pretty though with the absinthe and dry ice."

"Absinthe!" Dylan exclaimed startled. "Are you sure it's not driving me mad?"

"No, no, bunch of myths about absinthe."

"Go ahead. Do yourself an interview. Ten questions." Bob said, magnanimously.

"Wait, let me get out my post-it notes."

                                   Ten Questions with Bob Dylan


Me: What are your favorite blog posts on clerkmanifesto?

Bob: Uh, I like the ones mostly about library policy and procedures, I guess.

Me: Really, what about the ones with you in it?

Bob: The only ones I don't like are the ones with me in it.

Me: But they're really good. They're funny. Plus no one believes they're real anyway.

Bob: Why wouldn't someone believe they're real?

Me: For someone as crusty and knowing as yourself you can suddenly get so disarmingly innocent.

Bob: Bah!

Me: How many questions have we used up so far?

Bob: I think with that one you're at, like, 8 or 9.

Me: Let me check my notes. It's three! It's only three. And you're at one. So it's three to one.

Bob: Okay, my turn. What's your favorite liqueur?

Me: St. Germaine.

Bob: Bartenders ketchup.

Me: I like ketchup. Ketchup is amazing.

Bob: You go.

Me: What do you think of Messi, the greatest soccer player of all time?

Bob: I think you get these fixations. And then you think everyone should have them.

Me: No. He's really that good. Besides, what about you?

Bob: What about me what?

Me: Three more discs coming out of you singing songs from the Great American Songbook, or whatever.

Bob: These are classics. Some of the greatest songs ever written!

Me: They're fine, but around the time I was born, which is a long time ago already, you had single-handedly begun the process of ripping open the soft belly of the Great American Songbook, gutting it, and reinventing what a person can do with a song.

Bob: Really, I did that?

Me: They gave you a Nobel Prize for it.

Bob: Oh yeah, that. (In a smaller voice) I was too busy to go get it. (Bob starts giggling).

I gently teased the remains of his cocktail away from him as he giggled some more. Then I drank it myself. Then I started giggling a bit too. It took a while for us to resume.

Bob: I think that was ten questions. Five each?

Me: Close enough.

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