Friday, April 14, 2017
My Bob Dylan column
Dear Rolling Stone Publisher, Mr. Wenner:
First of all let me say that I am a great admirer of your magazine, so much so that sometimes I read some of the articles in it. I am especially keen on that political writer, Tabibi or something. Tell him I said "Hey." He'll be very excited about my compliment but probably won't believe you. It's okay with me if you show him this letter to convince him.
But I didn't just write to chat, much as I find it relaxing to shoot the breeze with you here.
No, I have a proposal, about Bob Dylan.
Yes, I know you are keen on Bob over there at Rolling Stone. But I am also fully aware that Bob Dylan is well covered territory. Perhaps he is over covered territory, like those ancient paths in England that have worn down over time and from so much walking that they now lay ten feet below the surface of the countryside. One can't see much from down in those ancient paths. They're almost like tunnels. It is then fortunate that I have a new perspective here. One might even say I have the holy grail of new perspectives on Bob Dylan. I am Bob Dylan's personal friend.
I know! This is the in that everyone has been waiting for since about 1965!
I have drinks with Bob on Thursdays, pretty regular. I write brief accounts of our get-togethers, which usually take place at local craft distillery cocktail bars, and, catching Dylan in these unguarded moments, I come closer to the truth of this enigmatic genius than anyone has since the 70's.
"Wait!" You may be crying out. "Isn't that sleazy and opportunistic of you to be writing accounts of your personal relationship."
Oh, no. He's sort of okay with it. And for the part where he isn't, well, he totally deserves it. I think with your long experience of him you can probably understand that.
"Hey!" You may cry out again, probably after you read my enclosed accounts "I don't believe you actually know Bob Dylan and you're making this all up! What if he sues us or never does another interview with us again?"
Ah, yes, well, these interactions all may or may not have happened. But even if they didn't happen they should have, and don't you think what should have happened is just as important as what happened? Bob would understand this, which is why he won't sue you. He'd just get irritated, super irritated. But I think we can both agree that an irritated Bob Dylan is far more likely to stop singing old Frank Sinatra songs and Christmas Carols and take a couple more stabs at some late stage genius. We don't know if he's got it in him, but we owe it to him to trick him into trying.
I look forward to working with you,