What poets do you dig?
Rimbaud, I guess; W. C. Fields; The family, you know, the trapeze family in the circus; Smokey Robinson; Allen Ginsberg; Charlie Rich – he’s a good poet.
Bob Dylan in an interview, 1967
The criticism that you have received for leaving the folk field and switching to folk-rock hasn’t seemed to bother you a great deal. Do you think you’ll stick to folk-rock or go into more writing?
I don’t play folk-rock.
What would you call your music?
I like to think of it more in terms of vision music – it’s mathematical music.
Would you say that the words are more important than the music?
The words are just as important as the music. There would be no music without the words.
Which do you do first, ordinarily?
Do you think there ever will be a time when you will paint or sculpt?
(…) Bob, you said you always do your words first and think of it as music. When you do the words can you hear it?
The music you want when you do your words?
Yes, oh yes.
Do you hear any music before you have words – do you have any songs that you don’t have words to yet?
Ummm, sometimes, on very general instruments, not on the guitar though – maybe something like the harpsichord or the harmonica or autoharp – I might hear some kind of melody or tune which I would know the words to put to. Not with the guitar though. The guitar is too hard an instrument. I don’t really hear many melodies based on the guitar.