Is It Rolling, Bob? Talking Dylan

Is It Rolling, Bob? Talking Dylan

Actors Kerry Shale and Lucas Hare talk to interesting people about Bob Dylan. Proud part of Pantheon - the podcast network for music lovers.... Show More

Episodes

July 12, 2020 53 min
Rolling Thunder Revue bass player and bandleader Rob Stoner on Jacques Levy, Emmylou Harris, Sam Shepard and how he “made out with Joan Baez on a motel room balcony” for Renaldo & Clara. Rob also sets the record straight on the Scorsese Netflix film: “I got a beef with that Van Dorp character!” and alerts us to his uncredited harmony vocal on Abandoned Love. What was it like playing live with Bob? “Sink or swim. If you’re good ...
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June 14, 2020 45 min
Actor/musician Danny Horn, 31, played The Kinks’ frontman Ray Davies in the West End; but it was listening to Dylan at age 14 that changed his life. Do Dylan and Davies have anything in common? Danny tells us that - in 1967/68 - “they both made love letters to versions of their own countries that never existed. And they share a mercurial way of thinking”. Despite hanging out with Ray D, Danny knows his Bobby D. The conversation ran...
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May 17, 2020 34 min
Actress Nathalie Armin (speaking at a digital distance) has been a Dylan fan since the age of six, when an unknown voice “showed her the colours in her mind” as she lay in the back seat of her father’s car. She graduated to playing Bob games on stage at the Royal Shakespeare Company (“we’d whisper Dylan song titles to each other. I always won”) and watching him perform at the Royal Albert Hall (“he was 72. I don’t know any 20 year-...
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April 19, 2020 46 min
Bestselling Shakespeare authority James Shapiro joined us on the Bob Phone from New York, just before the world locked down and the Shakespeare-laden Murder Most Foul unexpectedly dropped. “In a time like this,” he told us, “I find great comfort in the complete works of William Shakespeare and Bob Dylan”. He goes on to link them more closely: “we think of Shakespeare as a word guy - but he collaborated with the greatest musicians o...
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March 22, 2020 47 min
Comedian Nish Kumar says: “Bob Dylan is the most enduring and important creative relationship of my life. If you can’t think of one Dylan song you like, then a part of your humanity may be missing”. When Bob and his band played the Hendrix arrangement of All Along The Watchtower at his first (and only) Dylan concert, it was “one of the greatest moments of my life”. In other words, he’s our sort of chap. Cheerfully agreeing that “th...
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February 23, 2020 45 min
Scottish playwright David Greig was first “cracked open” to Dylan when he heard Desire in a remote part of South Africa “under the influence of the most extraordinarily strong dope”. “That’s it”, he thought, “I’M GOING IN!” He has yet to come out. David wrote his version of Euripides’ The Bacchae by playing the Hard Rain album over and over while drinking red wine and channelling “Dylan as Dionysius, Dylan as shaman”. Quotes that...
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January 24, 2020 46 min
Writer Neil Gaiman fell in love with A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall via Bryan Ferry’s cover version. It ended up influencing the imagery of his novel American Gods (as well as the Amazon TV series). The song also provided a few gloomy pronouncements (“we’re in an apocalyptic state of mind: the doomsday clock is ticking”) in our otherwise jolly discussion. Colourful Bob theories are espoused: “if I were going to go cold turkey, I would ...
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December 26, 2019 41 min
Rock journalist Barney Hoskyns comes on board for a special episode that focuses on The Band, with Dylan as their “weird” sideman. Tears Of Rage is compared to Philip Roth’s novel American Pastoral. Barney suspects it might just be “an anti-hippie song”. His “deeply emotional” attachment to the town of Woodstock is explored in depth: “overwhelmed by the mythology of the place”, he raised his kids there and explored its musical hist...
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December 15, 2019 47 min
On the BobPhone from the USA: it’s award-winning writer Jonathan Lethem, author of Motherless Brooklyn, with a supremely quotable episode. On his “Big Kahuna” interview of Bob for Rolling Stone: “he was direct and generous; we had a good time”. An advocate for Dylan’s latter-day stuff, he believes that “humour is underrated as a feature of the operation”. Among Jonathan’s many provocative thoughts: “The power of (Dylan’s) negativit...
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December 1, 2019 50 min
Broadcaster, journalist and “swivel-eyed Dylanologist” Andy Kershaw, “a radio station within a radio station” during his time on Radio 1, gives us his unvarnished thoughts. From arguments with his dad about Bob’s greatness to his first sighting of “the human American bald eagle” at Earl’s Court in 1978, to his unravelling of the identity of the “Judas!” heckler, to Bob’s actual response (“he doesn’t say “play fucking loud!”), this ...
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November 17, 2019 37 min
As an early Thanksgiving treat, Luke and Kerry welcome American singer Piney Gir. Piney (real name Angela), hails from “a very strict part of the Bible Belt”, where she grew up listening to cassettes of wholesome Christian music and a few of the “less psychedelic” Beach Boys tracks. One day, Dylan’s Slow Train Coming caused chaos in her parents’ car: her dad, a born-again Vietnam vet, loved it but her mom hated it (“or maybe she mi...
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November 3, 2019 44 min
Is Bob Dylan a poet? We ask Ian McMillan, one of the UK’s best. Ian compares Bob to Dylan Thomas, both of them “great poets who can rub vowels against consonants and make a kind of smoke come out of them… a kind of music.” “Meaning doesn’t matter”, he says. “The basis of poetry is being able to mint a phrase like “Lay, lady, lay”. I was so excited when Dylan won the Nobel Prize. Dylan’s stuff will last forever”. Yorkshire-born Ian ...
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October 19, 2019 46 min
Music journalist Andrew Male begins by examining “the humour that turns sour… the madness” of Bob’s 1965 “speedy, hipster world”, the “fascinating cruelty” of Dont Look Back and Eat The Document (“he couldn’t stand that close to the flame anymore”). He goes on: “if you’re interested in Dylan, you have to see it as a grand narrative, even the points that you flinch from.” This episode bounces between Elvis’s version of “I Shall Be R...
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October 6, 2019 44 min
When writer Geoff Dyer approaches us as a fan of the podcast, we jump at the chance. He leaps right in with a detailed analysis of Idiot Wind, praises previous guest Michael Gray, quotes Simon Armitage and Clinton Heylin, applauds Desire and Scorsese’s Rolling Thunder Revue and hails Dylan’s voice: “you always believe what he’s saying, even though he’s always an unreliable witness. It’s his incredible narrative power”. A few of the...
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September 22, 2019 46 min
Singer Robyn Hitchcock finds “the comfort of doom” in Dylan’s “personal mineshaft of bleakness” as well as in Bob’s latterday performance style (“he’s like a mute lamppost”). Robyn first saw our man at the Isle of Wight Festival at the age of 16 (“with his white suit and his new voice, it was like watching your beloved get off the train but – it’s not them. I was riveted. I just stared.”) A conversation with Nashville cats Charlie ...
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September 8, 2019 38 min
Actor Michael Feast has a deep personal history with Dylan. He won a role in the landmark 1968 London production of Hair by singing Outlaw Blues and Highway 61 Revisited. His drama school years were dramatised by Camden Town flatmate Bruce Robinson in the cult film Withnail & I. “It looked pretty much like it did in the movie. Biba bags hanging over lights and all that sort of caper”. His Brighton Mod scooter and soul thing was...
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August 24, 2019 38 min
Writer/performer Christopher Green illuminates the links between Dylan and female singers such as Indigo Girls, Marlene Dietrich, Marianne Faithfull, Kacey Musgraves and Emmylou Harris. A shape-shifting performer himself, Christopher temporarily gave up on Dylan when he heard Tracey Thorn berate him in her song Me and Bobby D, thinking: “he’s the voice of the Patriarchy and he can’t even sing”. In this episode, we grapple with some...
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August 11, 2019 38 min
Blinded By The Light screenwriter Sarfraz Manzoor joins us for an unexpected “Bob Meets Bruce” episode. A passionate Dylan man, Sarfraz first saw Bob in 1990, camping out with other hardcore fans for tickets at Hammersmith Odeon (he tips his hat to the legendary ‘Lambchop’). Topics include Oh Mercy (“...it feels like a contemporary album. That swampy, darker take on things feels right for now”) and Bob’s age when he recorded it (“h...
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July 28, 2019 41 min
Sheila Atim - actress, singer, writer - won an Olivier Award for her performance as Marianne in Girl From The North Country, which transferred to the West End from London’s Old Vic. Sheila takes us behind the scenes of the most successful theatre adaptation of Dylan’s work. Did Bob come to see it? “I had a fantasy of him in a trench coat and hat, leaving a little post-it note at the stage door, saying “well done”. But that didn’t h...
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July 14, 2019 41 min
Theatre director Stephen Unwin joins Luke and Kerry for one of their widest-ranging discussions; from Unwin’s favourite album The Times They Are A-Changin’ to The Bootleg Series Vol 8: Tell Tale Signs and Tempest. Topics include Bob and Brecht, Dylan and The Dead (“like orange juice and milk”), his disbelief in Tom Waits and his amazement at Bob’s awards ceremony persona (“such a tiny, eccentric, weird little guy!”).  Tracks explor...
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