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Local Music Notebook: Shut Up, Studs!

This 1963 Studs Terkel interview of Bob Dylan has bounced around social media the last couple of months with rave reviews. Being a huge Dylan fan, I was eager to listen, but I never made it past the first few minutes because I became so frustrated with Terkel interrupting Dylan, jumping around in his questions instead of maintaining a consistent narrative, and putting words in Dylan's mouth.

Is it just me?

"If you're a fan of Dylan's early work, I implore you to spend an hour with this stellar interview that he did with Studs Terkel from the spring of 1963," Jason Shafer writes at Dangerous Minds. "You won't regret it. It's a very cool piece of history in my humble opinion."

Not so sure about that.

The original source, besides the original show, appears to be NPR - from 2011.

It was a picked up by Open Culture more than a year ago and then by Dangerous Minds in November (which sourced it to a YouTube version).

From Open Culture:

"In the spring of 1963 Studs Terkel introduced Chicago radio listeners to an up-and-coming musician, not yet 22 years old, 'a young folk poet who you might say looks like Huckleberry Finn, if he lived in the 20th century. His name is Bob Dylan.

"Dylan had just finished recording the songs for his second album, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, when he traveled from New York to Chicago to play a gig at a little place partly owned by his manager, Albert Grossman, called The Bear Club.

"The next day he went to the WFMT studios for the hour-long appearance on The Studs Terkel Program. Most sources give the date of the interview as April 26, 1963, though Dylan scholar Michael Krogsgaard has given it as May 3."

Here it is.

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The Ghost Of Tom Morello
Libertyville-raised Tom Morello, best known for his work as a guitar god in Rage Against The Machine and for his solo Nightwatchman project, is an awfully unlikely selection as the newest (de facto) member of the E Street Band, but there you have it.

From Springsteen in Rolling Stone:

I was on the road and, just to amuse myself, I'll have a computer filled with a lot of this music. Very often, if I have nothing to do late at night, I'll bring it up and look at different bodies of music I have to be worked on. I guess if there was a common thread in this music it would be that most of it had been recorded over the past 10 years and it had, for one reason or another, not gotten on The Rising or Magic or Working on a Dream.

I had music that was relatively current by my lights and had a similar sound-picture. They were modern recordings of the E Street band, which I credit to Brendan O'Brien as being the initiator of the modern sound of the E Street band on record. He was the guy that, when we went to do The Rising, I went down and cut two or three songs, came into the studio and immediately heard the band in a very fresh and different way. He kickstarted our recording career into another gear back in 2002, when we did The Rising. This is all stuff that's post-that event, post-his influence.

There was this certain common currency to its sound picture. I was interested in putting this material together in some form because, orally, it sounded like it fit together. So I had that music, and Tom came in and what he did was, he took that music and sort of jolted it into the now. He brings a complete sound picture with him. He's one of the few, few guitarists that creates a world by himself. It's like, "Whoa." Edge does it. Obviously, Pete Townshend, Jimi Hendrix, the great guitarists. Different guys for different bands. Johnny Marr, the Smiths, had that ability.

It's funny. When Tom Morello's up there, the E Street Band is a pretty big house. But he builds on another room. He builds on a room that hadn't existed before. With that idea in mind - that I had another architect - I re-looked at the music that I had and said, "Let me run this one through Tom." So that's what I started to do. His influence is very noticeable on maybe half the [tracks].

Tom's a very intellectually-inspiring guy. He has a lot of ideas. He's very articulate about them, and very casual as we worked together. He has so much creativity. I'd just send him a track and he'd send me back four or five things that were just terrific. He was another way that I unified this particular group of material. He became a filter that I ran all of that music through, and he would send it back to me with a very current slant on it. I'm not sure if the record would exactly exist without his influence. He really allowed me to tie it all together, in a way that I've been looking for that I hadn't found. He just really brought that stuff to life.

See also: Tom Morello: 'Bruce Springsteen Concerts Are Orthopedically Exhausting.'

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Reviews not so good.
* Kot: Springsteen Smothers High Hopes.
* Guarino: Bruce Springsteen Covers Old Ground.

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Lawrence Arms To Hold You
From their first album in eight years, dropping January 18 on Epitaph.

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By Steve Rhodes. Comments welcome.



Permalink

Posted on January 14, 2014


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SPORTS - Ryan Pace's Narratives Are Killing Us.

BOOKS - Chicago For Dummies.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - The Sears Motor Buggy.


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