Me and Bob and Adolf

My comments on Bob Dylan’s book seem to have been misconstrued. Firstly, I consider Dylan the greatest songwriter of the second half of the Twentieth Century, who paved the way for the rest of us. I have no axe to grind against him. I met him only once, and it was a non-meeting. My reference to other peoples’ opinions about the early Dylan were based on books like ‘Positively Fourth Street’, where he comes across as rather mean, ruthless and ambitious. I’ve heard this from other people who were around the New York and Boston folk scenes as well. And then a few people say he was the most fun of anybody to be with – but this contradiction seems consistent with someone ‘chameleon-like’, who is able to reinvent himself and present different faces to the world.

I was not comparing Hitler and Dylan. What would be the point, or basis, for that? ‘The Hitler Diaries’ were a big academic and publishing scandal in Britain, and they bamboozled a lot of people who should have known better. What seemed absurd about them were the day to day trivial entries, totally at odds with the public image and doings and historical legacy of a very public figure. This is what struck me about the Dylan book – the contradiction between Bob’s view of things and the widely accepted view of Bob among musicians and the music industry. Obviously it isn’t a forgery, but to me, in my sad, demented state, it read that way.