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Beat of the Day

Breakfast with Bob.

From the stellar 1966 Playboy Interview:

PLAYBOY: Some of your old fans would agree with you – and not in a complimentary vein – since your debut with the rock-’n’-roll combo at last year’s Newport Folk Festival, where many of them booed you loudly for “selling out” to commercial pop tastes. The early Bob Dylan, they felt, was the “pure” Bob Dylan. How do you feel about it?

DYLAN: I was kind of stunned. But I can’t put anybody down for coming and booing: after all, they paid to get in. They could have been maybe a little guieter and not so persistent, though. There were a lot of old people there, too; lots of whole families had driven down from Vermont, lots of nurses and their parents, and well, like they just came to hear some relaxing hoedowns, you know, maybe an Indian polka or two. And just when everything’s going all right, here I come on, and the whole place turns into a beer factory. There were a lot of people there who were very pleased that I got booed. I saw them afterward. I do resent somewhat, though, that everybody that booed said they did it because they were old fans.

PLAYBOY: What about their charge that you vulgarized your natural gifts?

DYLAN: What can I say? I’d like to see one of these so-called fans. I’d like to have him blindfolded and brought to me. It’s like going out to the desert and screaming and then having little kids throw their sandbox at you. I’m only 24. These people that said this – were they Americans?

8 comments

1 BronxToCT   ~  Aug 6, 2010 9:14 am

One of my favorite songs of all time, and that was one hell of a raw rendition. I listened closely to the studio version while driving last year and was struck for the first time at how the lyrics are so terribly vindictive and unforgiving. Payback time for sure, but to whom? Old "friends" or lovers? Officious or pretentious musicians or music industry executives?

2 Matt Blankman   ~  Aug 6, 2010 9:23 am

Bob & The Hawks in 1966 are on the short list of the very greatest rock'n'roll bands of all time. They were somehow of their time and yet a few years ahead of it. Listen to a full set - they scorched the earth. Too bad Levon had flown the coop for that tour, and it's always fun to see Hudson, Manuel and Danko pre-facial hair.

3 Alex Belth   ~  Aug 6, 2010 9:37 am

Matt, what was behind the breakup of The Band? Robbie Robertson? Big ego thing?

4 Matt Blankman   ~  Aug 6, 2010 9:41 am

From what I understand, Robbie wanted to stop touring, Manuel was a mess with drink & drugs, and hence, the Last Waltz. However, Helm says that the rest of them didn't want to quit at that point, hence the later reunions without Robertson. I know there is no love lost between Helm and Robertson at this point, which is sad, given all they accomplished together.

I've been told Helm's book is a good read. I know he got Dylan to do one of the blurb quotes.

5 Matt Blankman   ~  Aug 6, 2010 9:45 am

Also, kinda funny that Robertson went Hollywood and Helm turned out to be the better actor!

6 kenboyer made me cry   ~  Aug 6, 2010 9:54 am

It seems so long ago, the 44 years is ancient history to many here (and to put it in perspective, 44 years prior to this performance Rudy Vallee was singing through a megaphone), yet this band and music still has relevance to rock and roll made today. That generation made this stuff up, and while you can say it was derivative of delta blues, hillbilly folk and more, the creativity and energy to pull this from he air is a remarkable creative process.

It's cool to hear Robbie Robertson play his riffs and fills prescient to what we heard later with The Band.

Bob Dylan is an American treasure.

7 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Aug 6, 2010 7:03 pm

Awesome. Contemporary "rock" bands can't come close to this no matter how much volume they add..no wonder all the folkies flipped out!

8 NoamSane   ~  Aug 6, 2010 10:17 pm

[4] Re: Reasons for break-up, you pretty much nailed it. In addition, they had been squabbling about songwriting credits for years--the non R. Robertson members contending that they were deserving of more credit than they were getting.

If you're interested in the Band, Levon's auto-bio is a *helluva* good read.
Another good read is this book, a fictionalized account of the late '60s in Woodstock--The Band & Dylan, etc.

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