June 16- 1978 – Bob Dylan @ Earls Court (7 Photos and Interview)



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This is a new song, recently recorded. (before Baby Stop Crying)
Thank you. This next song is the story of my life. (before Shelter From The Storm)
All right, thank you, Ballad Of A Thin Man! It was thirteen years ago I recorded that song. This is called I Ain’t Gonna Work On Maggie’s Farm No More. I played this at the Newport Folk Festival, some time, recently. This is the song that got me booed off the stage. This is it. (before Maggie’s Farm)
Thank you. This is a song I recorded with The Band a few years back. On one of my albums if you can find it. Anyway we’re gonna take a break after this song. Gotta do some things backstage, with a telephone. OK, so we’ll see you in about 5 minutes. (before Going, Going, Gone)
David Mansfield on the violin! I taught him how to play that. All right! (after All Along The Watchtower)
Thank you! All right! It gives me a great deal of pleasure to me and it also gives me a great deal of pleasure to play with this band. I think a whole lot of this band and I wanna introduce them to you now. On the guitar, on the rhythm guitar, right here is a man of great renown, Mr. Steven Soles. You’ll be hearing more from him. All right, on the drums, Ian Wallace. I know some of you know him, give him a bigger hand than that, Ian Wallace. On the bass guitar, and you know how good he is, Jerry Scheff. All right, on the keyboards, Alan Pasqua. Lead guitar, Billy Cross. On the conga drums, from Detroit, Bobbye Hall. You met this young man here earlier this evening. Plays just about every thing and more, David Mansfield. On the tenor saxophone, I know you’ve been waiting to know who this man is, Mr. Steve Douglas. All right, on the background vocals tonight… all right, these girls make me cry every night. On the left, my fiancée Carolyn Dennis. On the right, this girl’s my cousin, my first cousin, Jo Ann Harris. And in the middle, my current girlfriend, Helena Springs. We’re gonna do this now, recorded a few years back in New York City, called, It’s Alright Ma, I’m Only Bleeding.
We’re gonna do this one last tune, and as Jerry Garcia would say, “beat it on down the line”. So, till we meet again. (before Forever Young)
Thank you. I hope this song means as much to you as it means to me. I really do. (before The Times They Are A-Changin’)

1 new song (3%) compared to previous concert. 1 new song for this tour.

16, 1978
Published in L’Express 3 July 1978 Translation published in “Fourth Time Around
2” (TWM 331 mentions 2 interviews for L’Express?)
(What was it you wanted #8)
Adler: When you came on stage last night in London you received
a fantastic ovation. Intoxicating, wasn’t it?
Dylan: No, because I didn’t think it was for me. It was an ovation
for someone or something else.
Adler: In the English press this morning they’re talking about you
as a living legend, an electric poet…
Dylan: I don’t care. It even annoys me a little. As soon as people
start sticking a label on me that puts up a barrier between me and
the public.
Adler: No you seem to be returning to the stage. Does that mean
that the journey through the wilderness has ended?
Dylan: Yes, I believe so. I’m back on the tracks.
Adler: Is it for the money?
Dylan: No. Of course I need the money and I know how to spend
it, but basically it’s because I wanted to do the only thing I’ve ever
known how to do; sing and play. I’m a musician that’s all.
Adler: We won’t need to wait another 12 years to see you again?
Dylan: No, no. The amnesia is finished (laughs).
Adler: In your new band there’s a lot of percussion …
Dylan: That’s essential for me. My songs need a lot of rhythm.
Next time I’ll come with three drummers.
Adler: It’s been said that in taking on three pretty singers you’re
paving the way to Las Vegas.
Dylan: Pfff! Ummmmm!
Adler: Are you going to present the same programme in Paris as
in the States and in London?
Dylan: I still don’t know. I might put in a few more songs from the
new album, now that it’s out. But that means I’ll have to take out
other ones, and I never know which ones to take out. There are so
very many.
Adler: Legend has it that your very first song was dedicated to
Brigitte Bardot.
Dylan: That’s right.
Adler: Could you sing it again for me?
Dylan: I can’t remember it anymore. I only know that it was very
short (laughs).
Adler: How old was you when you bought your first guitar?
Dylan: I was 12. It was an electric guitar. I was mad about Elvis
Presley, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and I played rock. And then,
one day, I heard a record by Odetta, and everything changed.
Adler: I thought that you had been influenced at first by Woody
Dylan: No, it was the rock and rollers, then Odetta, The Kingston
Trio, Harry Belafonte, The Carter Family. Guthrie only came along
afterwards but what a shock! I learned off by heart more than 200
of his songs.
Adler: When you gave up the folk guitar for the electric, your early
fans didn’t appreciate it.
Dylan: Oh, no! They threw me off the stage in Newport in ’65
(laughs). After that I got used to the whistles. Deep down I think
that people enjoy whistling. Like at a ball game.
Adler: Why have you changed your name from Zimmerman to
Dylan: Why do people change their towns, nationalities, lives? I
don’t possess this name. It just fell off my tongue one day, it
rained on me, I kept it.
Adler: Is there any link with Dylan Thomas?
Dylan: No, none at all! If I were a fan of Dylan Thomas I would
have sung his poems or I would be called Bob Thomas.
Adler: You’ve always remained very mysterious about your
childhood. At one time you even pretended to be an orphan. Your
biographies say that your father was a chemist or a miner or an
Dylan: No, none of these. My father was a very active man, but
he was stricken very early by an attack of polio. The illness put an
end to all his dreams I believe. He could barely walk. When we
moved from the North of the country two of his brothers who were
electrical fitters, opened a shop and they took him with them so
he could mind the shop.
Adler: Before that, had he been a student?
Dylan: No. You know my grand father had come over from Russia
in the 1920s. He was a peddler and made shoes. He has 7 sons
and one daughter, well, my father never had the time to go to
college. He used to do odd jobs to bring home some money to his
mother. He died in ’68.
Adler: Your motorcycle accident in ’66 happened like a sign of
destiny, at a time when you were burning the candle at both ends.
Dylan: I couldn’t have kept going for at that pace…
Adler: Well, there was this long period when you seemed to
disappear into thin air.
Dylan: Yes. That was the amnesia (laughs).
Adler: After Paris are you going to take a rest?
Dylan: No, not at all! I’m going to Sweden, then I return to
England for a gigantic festival in the open air on a disused airfield.
They are expecting more than 100,000 people. After that I’m on
tour in America until the end of the year. Then I’ll cut a new album.
Adler: Where and when do you write?
Dylan: Anywhere and anytime.
Adler: Do you often have ideas for songs?
Dylan: All the time. I put all my ideas down on paper.
Adler: Do you have a note book?
Dylan: No, loose leaves. Like you and the same pen as you
Adler: Do you think that your recent songs touch on current
events like those ones when when you were starting out?
Dylan: Yes, I think so. This will be even more obvious with the
ones on my next album. I think these really ought to reflect the
way people think about things today. At last the people I see.
Adler: Who are they?
Dylan: Musicians, painters. People who travel. I go everywhere
where there are people. I listen to them talking. I listen to them
chatting and I pick up on their feelings.
Adler: A song like “Times They Are A-Changin'” is 15 years old
now. You’re still singing it. Doesn’t that bother you?
Dylan: Each time I sing it, I feel like I wrote it the day before.
Adler: What do you think of punks?
Dylan: I don’t know much about this movement. I’ve heard some
records and I’ve seen some groups. I think that above all they’re
releasing a lot of energy and that’s important, but, to be frank, I
mostly listen to good music. Rhythm & Blues, Hillbilly, Blues.
Adler: And those dark glasses you wear all the time, should they
be seen as a sign of aggression?
Dylan: No, of insecurity, above all else (laughs). I really think that I
wear them because I like wearing them.
Adler: You once said that you were a “guy under 30” and that you
were counting on staying that way as long as possible. How do
you feel now that you’re 37?
Dylan: Well, now I’m a guy under 15 years old!
Adler: During your “amnesia” some of your fans formed a “Dylan
Liberation Front” to force you to come out from your retreat, to
take up your engagements. At one point they made a lot of noise
about you having bought shares in an arms factory that was
making napalm bombs.
Dylan: I’ve never done that (shrugging his shoulders). I’ve got my
own armoury at home (laughs). I’ve got revolvers, pistols like all
Americans. But there’s no napalm, no, no.
Adler: Are you still living in your amazing house at Point Zuma?
Dylan: Yes, but I’m not often there. It’s just a place to sleep.
Adler: It appears to be topped by a rather mysterious copper
dome. People have said that it’s an eagles’ nest, an observatory,
a peeled onion. Which is right?
Dylan: A landmark, so that I can recognize it (laughs).
Adler: At the time of your divorce from Sara, didn’t your wife want
to keep it?
Dylan: She’d gone elsewhere. Anyway, she hadn’t lived there
Adler: Do you see your children often?
Dylan: Everytime I get the chance to.
Adler: What would you do if you learnt that one of them was
taking drugs?
Dylan: Really … (He looked like he was going to give a couple of
claps, almost tenderly, then a burst of laughter). It depends on
what kind of drug he was taking. You know. You can only talk,
explain, people want to go through their own experiences
themselves. In any case I’ve also acted in this way myself (pause).
They need to have enough experience, a sense of their identity to
have confidence in themselves. As for me, that was different,
people were taking drugs and saying that they are creating these
experiences. But I never got hooked on drugs. Yet I took every
sort (grimace). In any case you can’t lay down the law to make
people live according to your own rules. (a silence). For my
children I don’t know what I would do. Perhaps they have already
taken them (laughs). My oldest daughter has undoubtedly already
taken them but I haven’t been on the spot.
Adler: Knowing the influence that you exercise over millions of
young people, don’t you think it’s dangerous to go on singing
“Everybody Must Be Stoned”? (sic)
Dylan: But that song has lot of other meanings.
Adler: Maybe, but it does have a precise one.
Dylan: Marijuana isn’t a drug like the others (a pause), today
there are drugs that are a lot more dangerous than in my time.
There’s one called “Angel Dust”. It’s a tranquilizer that they give to
elephants. People take it to get high (a pause). I think you can do
what you want up until the moment when you realize you have to
be responsible for yourself, or otherwise you’ve had it.
Adler: Did your film “Renaldo & Clara” get a rather cool reception
in the States?
Dylan: At first I was disappointed about it, now I don’t care. They
didn’t want to be impressed, but I didn’t make this film to impress
anybody. And then, they took exception to it, they only wanted to
see the affair of Bob, Sara and Joan Baez – as though the film had
nothing to see but that, I know that’s a beautiful film. People need
to get used to it that’s all.
Adler: Is it still being shown over there?
Dylan: Yes, you can see it in some places. Let’s say that it’s not
in the process of engulfing the planet, but one can see it (laughs).
Adler: Rumour has it that you’re preparing a shorter version?
Dylan: It’s done. Now there’s a choice between a “Renaldo &
Clara” of 4 hours and one of 2 hours (laughs).
Adler: As compensation, it was rather well received at the last
Cannes festival.
Dylan: Oh yes, what do you want … Nobody’s a prophet in his
home country (laughs).
Adler: Are you going to make another?
Dylan: Yes. Painting has always been my passion. For me a film is
a painting that comes alive from a wall. If Michelangelo and
Cezanne were alive today they would be film directors.
Adler: You often list Henry Miller amongst your influences.
Dylan: Yes. I think that he’s the greatest American writer.
Adler: I believe you’ve met him. What did you talk about?
Dylan: We played table tennis (laughs).
Adler: You’re still keeping to your definition of the role of the artist
to instill disillusion into the world?
Dylan: Yes.
Adler: And President Carter, you’ve even met him.
Dylan: Yes, he’s a friend. I once said his heart’s in the right place.
That’s important.
Adler: Have you seen him again recently?
Dylan: No. He hasn’t phoned me (laughs).
Dylan: If President Giscard D’Estang offered you an invitation
during your stay in Paris, what would be your reaction?.
Dylan: Oh, but I don’t think he would ever have heard of me.
Adler: You’re surely mistaken. Once he invited Leonard Cohen.
Dylan: Oh, good! Well, he’ll have to see about that with my agent
Adler: Have you met many people since you’ve been on tour?
Dylan: No, I’m working. I haven’t got the time.
Adler: Do you take your meals in the hotel or go out?
Dylan: I don’t like restaurants or hotels. I enjoy eating when I
know the person who’s prepared the meal.
Adler: Have you friends in France?
Dylan: Yes, some in Paris, Marseilles, St Mares-des-la-mer, but I
repeat that unfortunately I’m here to work (a pause). There’s only
one person I’m sure I want to meet in France, that’s Mr President.
Now there’s a really good guy.
Adler: When are you going to see him?
Dylan: Where and when he wants. I am entirely at his disposal.
Definitely and without discussion (laughs).
Adler: Did you say that failure was preferable to success?
Dylan: Yes, because failure engenders success, whereas
success is the end of the line. I’ve not had the feeling of having
succeeded and I’m very happy about that. If I had had that feeling,
I would no longer be around. Already long gone.
Adler: Do you believe in God?
Dylan: Let’s say, as he shows himself.
Adler: Do you often think about death?
Dylan: Yes, often.
Adler: Do you feel you’re ready to face it?
Dylan: Me? Oh, no not at all. I’ve still got some time, eh? (laughs).

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