Bob Dylan Gives Press Conference in San Francisco

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Do you think your party could end the war with China?
Uh – I don't know. I don't know if they would have any people over there that would be in the same kind of party. Y'know? It might be kind of hard to infiltrate. I don't think my party would ever be approved by the White House or anything like that.

Is there anyone else in your party?
No. Most of us don't even know each other, y'know. It's hard to tell who's in it and who's not in it.

Would you recognize them if you see them?
Oh, you can recognize the people when you see them.

How long do you think it will be before you will finally quit?
Gee, I don't know. I could answer that you know, but it would mean something different probably for everybody, so we want to keep away from those kind of sayings.

What did you mean when you said . . .
I don't know, what things were we talking about?

You said I don't think things can turn out on a . . .
No, no, no – it's not that I don't think things can turn out, I don't think anything you plan ever turns out the way you plan.

Is that your philosophy?
No, no. Doesn't mean anything.

Do you think that it's fun to put on an audience.
I don't know, I've never done it.

You wrote a song called "Baby You Been On My Mind." Do you sing it in concerts?
No I haven't. No I haven't.

Are the concerts fun still?
Yeah. Concerts are much more fun than they used to be.

Do you consider them more important than your albums, for instance?
No. It's just a kick to do it now. The albums are the most important.

Because they reach more people?
No, because it's all concise, it's very concise, and it's easy to hear the words and everything. There's no chance of the sound interfering, whereas in a concert, we've played some concerts where sometimes they have those very bad halls. You know, microphone systems. So it's not that easy for somebody to just come and just listen to a band as if they were listening to one person, you know.

Do you consider your old songs less valid than the ones you are putting out now?
No, I just consider them something else to themselves, you know for another time, another dimension. It would be kind of dishonest for me to sing them now, because I wouldn't really feel like singing them.

What is the strangest thing that ever happened to you?
You're gonna get it, man.

What is the weirdest thing that ever happened to you?
I'll talk to you about it, later. I wouldn't do that to you.

What areas in music that you haven't gotten into do you hope to get into.
Writing symphony – with different melodies and different words, different ideas – all being the same which just roll on top of each other and underneath each other.

Mr. Dylan, when would you know that it was time to get out of the music field into another field?
When I get very dragged.

When you stop making money?
No. When my teeth get better – or God, when something makes a drastic – uh – when I start to itch, y'know? When something just goes to a terrifying turn and I know it's got nothing to do with anything and I know it's time to leave.

You say you would like to write symphonies. Is this in the terms that we think of symphonies?
I'm not sure. Songs are all written as part of a symphony – different melodies, different changes – with words or without them, you know, but the end result being a total . . . I mean they say that my songs are long now, y'know, well sometime it's just gonna come up with the one that's going to be one whole album, consisting of one song. I don't know who's going to buy it. That might be the time to leave.

What's the longest song you've recorded?
I don't know. I don't really check those things, they just turn out long. I guess I've recorded one about 11 or 12 minutes long. "Ballad of Hollis Brown" was pretty long on the second record and "With God on Your Side" was kind of long. But none of them, I don't think, are as much into anything as "Desolation Row" was, and that was long, too. Songs shouldn't seem long, y'know, it just so happens that it looks that way on paper, y'know. The length of it doesn't have anything to do with it.

Doesn't this give you a problem in issuing records?
No, they are just ready to do anything that I put down now, so they don't really care.

What happens if they have to cut a song in half like "Subterranean Homesick Blues"?
They didn't have to cut that in half.

They didn't have to but they did.
No they didn't.

No. You're talking about "Like A Rolling Stone."

Oh, yeah.
They cut it in half for the disc jockeys. Well, you see, it didn't matter for the disc jockeys if they had it cut in half because the other side was just a continuation on the other side and if anybody was interested they could just turn it over and listen to what really happens, you know. We just made a song the other day which came out ten minutes long, and I thought of releasing it as a single but they would have easily released it and just cut it up but it wouldn't have worked that way so we're not going to turn it out as a single. It's called "Freeze Out." you'll hear it on the next album.

This story is from the December 14th, 1967 issue of Rolling Stone.

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