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Clip: Jakob Dylan on Bob Dylan

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  • Carl Zimring
    A Different Set of Chronicles By ANTHONY DeCURTIS Published: May 8, 2005 ON a perfect, sunny
    Message 1 of 3 , May 8, 2005
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      <http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/08/arts/music/08decu.html?>

      A Different Set of Chronicles

      By ANTHONY DeCURTIS
      Published: May 8, 2005

      ON a perfect, sunny afternoon, Jakob Dylan sat not quite comfortably in the
      small recording studio he maintains on the grounds of his Los Angeles home.
      A single candle burned in the room, which was crowded with instruments and
      gear. The blue eyes that helped make him a '90s-era heartthrob shone, and
      his black hair, pushed back off his face, jutted this way and that in hip
      disarray. The Wallflowers, the band Mr. Dylan has led for 15 years, have a
      new album coming out, and that can mean only one thing: more questions
      about his dad.

      "You got right to the head of why people have a problem with me," he said
      patiently in response to just such a question. "If people want to talk
      about Bob Dylan, I can talk about that. But my dad belongs to me and four
      other people exclusively. I'm very protective of that. And telling people
      whether he was affectionate is telling people a lot. It has so little to do
      with me. I come up against a wall."

      That wall is something Mr. Dylan, who is 35, has negotiated his entire
      life. Those "four other people" are his brothers and sisters, of whom he is
      the youngest. His parents have been divorced for almost 30 years, and Mr.
      Dylan was raised by his mother, Sara Lowndes, in California. His father,
      meanwhile, has confounded fans interested in his personal life for more
      than four decades. Now 63, the elder Dylan remains hidden in plain sight, a
      complete mystery despite a current best-selling memoir, a recent movie, a
      documentary with Martin Scorsese in the works, more than a hundred concerts
      a year, the steady release of new and archival music, and a mountain of
      books, articles and exhibitions about him.

      In interviews Mr. Dylan has rarely discussed his father, or even used the
      words "my dad," so determined has he been to guard his father's privacy. He
      also once believed, however naïvely, that his own considerable
      accomplishments - for example, the Wallflowers selling four million copies
      of their 1996 album, "Bringing Down the Horse," and winning two Grammys in
      the process - might make people less curious about his lineage. He has now
      accepted that that will very likely never happen. "I still go into a
      restaurant and people say, 'I love your dad's work,' " he said, wearily. So
      he might as well address the questions honestly, he has now decided.

      In his studio that afternoon, he had the look of a man who is standing on a
      diving board, wondering whether to jump. Then he jumped. "Yes," he said,
      taking a breath, "he was affectionate. When I was a kid, he was a god to me
      for all the right reasons. Other people have put that tag on him in some
      otherworldly sense. I say it as any kid who admired his dad and had a great
      relationship with him. He never missed a single Little League game I had.
      He's collected every home run ball I ever hit. And he's still affectionate
      to me." He paused and smiled. "Maybe he doesn't want people to know that,"
      he said. "But I'll tell you, because it's my interview."

      Mr. Dylan's refusal to speak about his father has sometimes been
      interpreted as a sign of tension between them, which is another reason he
      has broken his silence. However complicated it has been to be Bob Dylan's
      son, Mr. Dylan loves and admires both the man and his music. Andrew Slater,
      the president of Capitol Records and formerly the Wallflowers' manager, was
      initially surprised that Mr. Dylan would listen to his father's songs as
      the band traveled in its van. "I finally found the right moment to ask
      him," Mr. Slater said. "I said, 'Jakob, what goes through your mind when
      you listen to your father's records?' He said, 'When I'm listening to
      'Subterranean Homesick Blues,' I'm grooving along just like you. But when
      I'm listening to 'Blood on the Tracks,' that's about my parents.' I never
      asked him again."

      Mr. Dylan takes a kind of perverse satisfaction in realizing that he is
      hardly the only songwriter who is awed by the long shadow that his father's
      genius has cast. "Look, he's the best at what I do," he said matter of
      factly. "I know that, and so do my heroes. I got to watch my heroes meet
      him and saw how they reacted, whether it was Joe Strummer or Tom Waits. It
      was peculiar. I'm so stoked to meet Tom Waits, and he's so nervous to meet
      my dad. It's a head spin."

      "Rebel, Sweetheart," the Wallflowers' fifth album, is set for release on
      May 24 - Bob Dylan's 64th birthday, as it happens. As usual, the younger
      Dylan, who sings and plays guitar, wrote all 12 songs on the album, which
      was produced by Brendan O'Brien, who has also worked with Bruce Springsteen
      and Pearl Jam. Mr. O'Brien has focused and toughened the Wallflowers'
      elemental, roots-rock sound, while preserving the melodic flair of Mr.
      Dylan's songs. The single, "The Beautiful Side of Somewhere," gracefully
      rises into a memorable chorus, while the ballad "How Far You've Come"
      offers sweet encouragement. "You're not the only one/Who's failed to hang
      on to a moving star," Mr. Dylan sings.

      Those words are meant to buck up the singer himself. Since the blockbuster
      sales of "Bringing Down the Horse," he has had to compete not only with his
      father's peerless achievements, but also with the standard of his own
      commercial success. Two subsequent albums, "(Breach)" and "Red Letter Days"
      have not sold nearly as well.

      Mr. Dylan, who is married and has three young boys of his own, credits his
      father with helping him maintain perspective on his professional ups and
      downs. "To us, there was Bob Dylan and there was dad," he explained. "As
      for what he meant to other people, that was never glorified in our house.
      There were no accolades there, no gold records. You wouldn't know if he had
      a good year or not. That's the way I try to conduct myself."

      The family clearly became a sanctum against the insanity that has been an
      unfortunate byproduct of the Dylan mystique - another reason for son's
      reluctance to discuss his father's personal life. "He's acquired some
      strange fans over the years," Mr. Dylan said wryly.

      "The second you walked out the door, it was everywhere," he said. "Do most
      kids have people crash their bar mitzvah?" He mentions A. J. Weberman, the
      infamous "garbologist," who pored over the Dylan family's trash in an
      effort to glean insight into Bob's songs. "Those were my diapers," Mr.
      Dylan said, still incredulous.

      The sense of vulnerability was frightening. "When I was a kid, 13 or 14,
      we'd visit New York, and we'd eat at a friend's house in the Village," Mr.
      Dylan recalled. "Our hotel would be by Central Park, and we'd walk straight
      up there after dinner. I would be terrified the entire time that someone
      would hurt him. I was little, and I felt like, 'I can't help you if
      somebody comes up to you.' I always felt safer when we were in some
      secluded situation."

      The two men remain close, and see each other every week when they're not
      traveling. So don't hold your breath for a scandalous Dylan family reality
      show. "My father said it himself in an interview many years ago: 'Husband
      and wife failed, but mother and father didn't,' " Mr. Dylan said. "People
      watch those shows and want to see you live a terrible life and embarrass
      yourself. But I've got a life that really matters to me, and that's because
      of the way I was raised. My ethics are high because my parents did a great
      job."
    • Linda Maxwell
      Ah, thank you, Carl Really interesting article and umm...I really am looking forward to checking out the new Wallflowers album. Linda M. ... From: Carl
      Message 2 of 3 , May 8, 2005
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        Ah, thank you, Carl
        Really interesting article and umm...I really am looking forward to checking
        out the new Wallflowers' album.

        Linda M.



        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Carl Zimring" <cz28@...>
        To: <fearnwhiskey@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Sunday, May 08, 2005 8:26 PM
        Subject: [fearnwhiskey] Clip: Jakob Dylan on Bob Dylan


        <http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/08/arts/music/08decu.html?>

        A Different Set of Chronicles

        By ANTHONY DeCURTIS
        Published: May 8, 2005

        ON a perfect, sunny afternoon, Jakob Dylan sat not quite comfortably in the
        small recording studio he maintains on the grounds of his Los Angeles home.
        A single candle burned in the room, which was crowded with instruments and
        gear. The blue eyes that helped make him a '90s-era heartthrob shone, and
        his black hair, pushed back off his face, jutted this way and that in hip
        disarray. The Wallflowers, the band Mr. Dylan has led for 15 years, have a
        new album coming out, and that can mean only one thing: more questions
        about his dad.

        "You got right to the head of why people have a problem with me," he said
        patiently in response to just such a question. "If people want to talk
        about Bob Dylan, I can talk about that. But my dad belongs to me and four
        other people exclusively. I'm very protective of that. And telling people
        whether he was affectionate is telling people a lot. It has so little to do
        with me. I come up against a wall."

        That wall is something Mr. Dylan, who is 35, has negotiated his entire
        life. Those "four other people" are his brothers and sisters, of whom he is
        the youngest. His parents have been divorced for almost 30 years, and Mr.
        Dylan was raised by his mother, Sara Lowndes, in California. His father,
        meanwhile, has confounded fans interested in his personal life for more
        than four decades. Now 63, the elder Dylan remains hidden in plain sight, a
        complete mystery despite a current best-selling memoir, a recent movie, a
        documentary with Martin Scorsese in the works, more than a hundred concerts
        a year, the steady release of new and archival music, and a mountain of
        books, articles and exhibitions about him.

        In interviews Mr. Dylan has rarely discussed his father, or even used the
        words "my dad," so determined has he been to guard his father's privacy. He
        also once believed, however naïvely, that his own considerable
        accomplishments - for example, the Wallflowers selling four million copies
        of their 1996 album, "Bringing Down the Horse," and winning two Grammys in
        the process - might make people less curious about his lineage. He has now
        accepted that that will very likely never happen. "I still go into a
        restaurant and people say, 'I love your dad's work,' " he said, wearily. So
        he might as well address the questions honestly, he has now decided.

        In his studio that afternoon, he had the look of a man who is standing on a
        diving board, wondering whether to jump. Then he jumped. "Yes," he said,
        taking a breath, "he was affectionate. When I was a kid, he was a god to me
        for all the right reasons. Other people have put that tag on him in some
        otherworldly sense. I say it as any kid who admired his dad and had a great
        relationship with him. He never missed a single Little League game I had.
        He's collected every home run ball I ever hit. And he's still affectionate
        to me." He paused and smiled. "Maybe he doesn't want people to know that,"
        he said. "But I'll tell you, because it's my interview."

        Mr. Dylan's refusal to speak about his father has sometimes been
        interpreted as a sign of tension between them, which is another reason he
        has broken his silence. However complicated it has been to be Bob Dylan's
        son, Mr. Dylan loves and admires both the man and his music. Andrew Slater,
        the president of Capitol Records and formerly the Wallflowers' manager, was
        initially surprised that Mr. Dylan would listen to his father's songs as
        the band traveled in its van. "I finally found the right moment to ask
        him," Mr. Slater said. "I said, 'Jakob, what goes through your mind when
        you listen to your father's records?' He said, 'When I'm listening to
        'Subterranean Homesick Blues,' I'm grooving along just like you. But when
        I'm listening to 'Blood on the Tracks,' that's about my parents.' I never
        asked him again."

        Mr. Dylan takes a kind of perverse satisfaction in realizing that he is
        hardly the only songwriter who is awed by the long shadow that his father's
        genius has cast. "Look, he's the best at what I do," he said matter of
        factly. "I know that, and so do my heroes. I got to watch my heroes meet
        him and saw how they reacted, whether it was Joe Strummer or Tom Waits. It
        was peculiar. I'm so stoked to meet Tom Waits, and he's so nervous to meet
        my dad. It's a head spin."

        "Rebel, Sweetheart," the Wallflowers' fifth album, is set for release on
        May 24 - Bob Dylan's 64th birthday, as it happens. As usual, the younger
        Dylan, who sings and plays guitar, wrote all 12 songs on the album, which
        was produced by Brendan O'Brien, who has also worked with Bruce Springsteen
        and Pearl Jam. Mr. O'Brien has focused and toughened the Wallflowers'
        elemental, roots-rock sound, while preserving the melodic flair of Mr.
        Dylan's songs. The single, "The Beautiful Side of Somewhere," gracefully
        rises into a memorable chorus, while the ballad "How Far You've Come"
        offers sweet encouragement. "You're not the only one/Who's failed to hang
        on to a moving star," Mr. Dylan sings.

        Those words are meant to buck up the singer himself. Since the blockbuster
        sales of "Bringing Down the Horse," he has had to compete not only with his
        father's peerless achievements, but also with the standard of his own
        commercial success. Two subsequent albums, "(Breach)" and "Red Letter Days"
        have not sold nearly as well.

        Mr. Dylan, who is married and has three young boys of his own, credits his
        father with helping him maintain perspective on his professional ups and
        downs. "To us, there was Bob Dylan and there was dad," he explained. "As
        for what he meant to other people, that was never glorified in our house.
        There were no accolades there, no gold records. You wouldn't know if he had
        a good year or not. That's the way I try to conduct myself."

        The family clearly became a sanctum against the insanity that has been an
        unfortunate byproduct of the Dylan mystique - another reason for son's
        reluctance to discuss his father's personal life. "He's acquired some
        strange fans over the years," Mr. Dylan said wryly.

        "The second you walked out the door, it was everywhere," he said. "Do most
        kids have people crash their bar mitzvah?" He mentions A. J. Weberman, the
        infamous "garbologist," who pored over the Dylan family's trash in an
        effort to glean insight into Bob's songs. "Those were my diapers," Mr.
        Dylan said, still incredulous.

        The sense of vulnerability was frightening. "When I was a kid, 13 or 14,
        we'd visit New York, and we'd eat at a friend's house in the Village," Mr.
        Dylan recalled. "Our hotel would be by Central Park, and we'd walk straight
        up there after dinner. I would be terrified the entire time that someone
        would hurt him. I was little, and I felt like, 'I can't help you if
        somebody comes up to you.' I always felt safer when we were in some
        secluded situation."

        The two men remain close, and see each other every week when they're not
        traveling. So don't hold your breath for a scandalous Dylan family reality
        show. "My father said it himself in an interview many years ago: 'Husband
        and wife failed, but mother and father didn't,' " Mr. Dylan said. "People
        watch those shows and want to see you live a terrible life and embarrass
        yourself. But I've got a life that really matters to me, and that's because
        of the way I was raised. My ethics are high because my parents did a great
        job."





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      • Kevin J. Hosey
        I ve gotten behind in responding to Fear n Whiskey, but I had to mention that the third annual edition of this Buffalo event, started and sponsored by Goo Goo
        Message 3 of 3 , Jun 13 8:38 PM
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          I've gotten behind in responding to Fear n Whiskey, but I had to
          mention that the third annual edition of this Buffalo event, started
          and sponsored by Goo Goo Doll Robby Takac and his recording
          studio/record label, just occurred this past weekend. My wife Val and I
          spent more than 20 hours Saturday and Sunday covering the music, art
          and other events here, and Val exhibited her photography for the second
          straight year.
          While our review and lots of photos will be online rather soon
          (hopefully in the next couple of days), I wanted to link this Buffalo
          News story to show how even a very successful event can run into nay
          sayers and disregard, as well as show that the better half of our
          website duet can make it to print.

          http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20050613/1021945.asp

          Takac's group, as well as all of the stuff mentioned in the article,
          collects musical instruments and funds for schools that don't have
          music programs or can't afford equipment.

          Kevin
          http://Buffaloroots.com
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