Bob Dylan, Media Critic


Editor & Publisher's Greg Mitchell argues that the croaky balladeer has been sticking it to Mr. Jones for a good four decades now, including the other night during that excruciatingly executed Ed Bradley interview.

Bradley asked him about the passage in his new memoir where Dylan reveals that he always figured the press was something "you lied to." Bob told him that he knew he had to answer to God, but not to reporters.

I preferred the Simpsons interview, though for sheer missed opportunies, even Bradley can't compete with this passage from a Rolling Stone attempt a few years back:

A: Lonnie Johnson, the blues-jazz player, showed me a technique on the guitar in maybe 1964. I hadn't really understood it when he first showed it to me. It had to do with the mathematical order of the scale on a guitar, and how to make things happen, where it gets under somebody's skin and there's really nothing they can do about it, because it's mathematical. He didn't even play that way himself. He played mostly jazz—a kind of guitar I can't play at all, though when I think of a guitar player, I think of somebody like Eddie Lang or Charlie Christian or Freddie Green. I don't listen to many people in the rock & roll area. Anyway, he just told me, "I want to show you something. You might be able to use this some day." It's more kind of an ancient way of playing. I always wanted to use this technique, but I never was really able to do it with my own songs.

Q: One of the things I've noticed about your shows is that starting in the 1990s they grew more and more musical….

Oh sure, Bob Dylan's just introduced something about the ancient way of playing guitar, based on the mathematical order and hoodoo and forgotten Lonnie Johnson conversations, and dude's all "so, anyway, I see your solos have been getting longer…."

Anyway, for what it's worth, the first 75 pages of Dylan's Chronicles, Vol. 1 have been the most fun I've had reading a book in ages.