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  • Bob Dylan - Nobel Banquet Speech News > Bob Dylan - Nobel Banquet Speech - "Is this literature?" - Banquet speech by Bob Dylan given by the United States Ambassador to Sweden, Azita Raji, at the Nobel Banquet, 10 December 2016 Good evening, everyone. I extend my warmest greetings to the members of the Swedish Academy and to all of the other distinguished guests in attendance tonight. I'm sorry I can't be with you in person, but please know that I am most definitely with you in spirit and honored to be receiving such a prestigious prize. Being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature is something I never could have imagined or seen coming. From an early age, I've been familiar with and reading and absorbing the ...
    Posted 11 Dec 2016, 15:02 by Robert Allen Zimmerman
  • Shadows in the Night. The New Album by Bob Dylan News > Shadows in the Night New Dylan album released today Posted 2 Feb 2015, 18:20Shadows in the Night is the title of the new album by Bob Dylan, his 36th studio album, which gets its release today. A collection of covers, Dylan describes it as 'a real privilege to make'. "I've wanted to do something like this for a long time but was never brave enough to approach 30-piece complicated arrangements and refine them down for a 5-piece band. That's the key to all these performances. We knew these songs extremely well. It was all done live. Maybe one or two takes. No overdubbing. No vocal booths. No headphones. No separate tracking, and, for ...
    Posted 14 Feb 2015, 13:44 by Robert Allen Zimmerman
  • Another Self Portrait: The Bootleg Series Vol 10 News > Another Self Portrait The Never Ending Bootleg Series posted 25 Aug 2013, 15:16This week sees the release of the eagerly anticipated Another Self Portrait, no 10 in the ever-expanding Bob Dylan Bootleg Series containing 35 rare and previously unreleased (except on bootleg presumably) recordings. The tracks that have been selected for this edition comprise mainly out-takes from the recording sessions that produced the trio of albums that include Nashville Skyline, Self-Portrait and New Morning. Self Portrait was Dylan's tenth studio album. Released in June 1970 by Columbia Records it consists mostly of covers with a few live recordings thrown in. Largely derided by critics at the time of its release (one of whom ...
    Posted 14 Feb 2015, 14:27 by Robert Allen Zimmerman
  • Like a Rolling Stone News > Like a Rolling Stone posted 27 May 2013, 06:12I been all over these United States, but I ain't never yet found Fennario. An interesting and indeed, most welcome tribute was paid to Bob Dylan, on the occasion of his 72 birthday, which was also, apparently, the 50th anniversary of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (you didn't know that, did you?). An interactive map, charting "every street, town, and city Dylan has ever sung about", has been prepared and made public, courtesy of Slate.com. The map claims to present "entries for every place-name in a song written by Dylan and released on some kind of album (including the official Greatest Hits and Bootleg series)." Mind ...
    Posted 14 Feb 2015, 13:58 by Robert Allen Zimmerman
  • Tour Dates Announced for April, 2013 News > Upcoming Tour Dates and Venues posted 27 Feb 2013, 16:28From the horse's mouth (namely, the official Bob Dylan website): Bob Dylan and his Band will perform U.S. concert dates in April. Ticket sales begin this weekend. Visit the Upcoming Dates page at bobdylan.com regularly for dates and ticket information. Good news for Dylan's North American fans. The rest will have to wait their turn but it's a good bet that he'll get around eventually. By all accounts the guy likes touring and the day he stops touring will be the day he drops dead - and who wants to think about that dreadful day.
    Posted 14 Feb 2015, 14:26 by Robert Allen Zimmerman
  • Times they are a'changin over at Muscatine News > Workingmens' Blues posted 24 Feb 2013, 14:28It would indeed appear to be sundown on the Union. Bob Dylan Lays Off 2,000 Workers From Songwriting Factory
    Posted 14 Feb 2015, 14:05 by Robert Allen Zimmerman
  • New album Tempest coming in September News > Tempest on the Horizon posted 17 Jul 2012, 15:07Just announced: Bob Dylan's new studio album, Tempest, will be released on September 11, 2012 featuring ten new and original Bob Dylan songs. Tempest marks the 50th anniversary of his 1962 Columbia Records debut album Bob Dylan. The new album, produced by Jack Frost, is the 35th studio release from Bob Dylan, and can be pre-ordered now on iTunes and Amazon. READ MORE
    Posted 14 Feb 2015, 14:15 by Robert Allen Zimmerman
  • Dylan at 70 - not looking back News > Forever Young posted 6 Feb 2012, 08:55A short clip from a radio programme offers a frank and candid view of Dylan, the man and his legacy, from people who knew him and were close to him over the years.
    Posted 14 Feb 2015, 14:18 by Robert Allen Zimmerman
  • Dylan on China News > Dylan's China Syndrome posted 26 May 2011, 18:05A recent post (13 May, 2011) on Bob Dylan's official website clarifies the situation regarding "this so-called China controversy which has been going on for over a year." Dylan says that: "We were never denied permission to play in China. ... If anybody had bothered to check with the Chinese authorities, it would have been clear that the Chinese authorities were unaware of the whole thing." Concerts in China were not poorly attended as has been alleged. On censorship: "the Chinese government had asked for the names of the songs that I would be playing. There's no logical answer to that, so we sent them the set ...
    Posted 14 Feb 2015, 14:22 by Robert Allen Zimmerman
  • Happy 70th Birthday Bob Dylan News > Happy 70th Birthday, Bob Dylan - another milestone in a remarkable life - posted 25 May 2011, 06:53So we're a day late but that's still no reason not to mark the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the birth of one Bob Dylan. The auspicious event happened on 24th May, 1941 in St. Mary's Hospital in Duluth, Minnesota. He was born to Abram Zimmerman and Beatrice Stone. We don't know how much he weighed but you can follow a (partially constructed but it will get better over time) timeline here. The story is not finished yet.
    Posted 14 Feb 2015, 14:24 by Robert Allen Zimmerman
  • Death of Suze Rotolo News > Suze Rotolo (1943-2011) posted 5 Mar 2011, 12:14It has been reported that Susan Elizabeth Rotolo (known as Suze Rotolo) passed away on Friday, 25 February 2011 after a long illness. She was 67. Suze Rotolo was an artist and civil rights activists and important influence on Dylan early in his career. She is the woman pictured with him on the cover of his second album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. That album includes many of Dylan's notable compositions that championed civil rights and addressed social and political issues. It is widely regarded that Dylan's relationship with Rotolo was influential in this regard, but their relationship is also believed to have inspired some of Dylan's ...
    Posted 14 Feb 2015, 13:47 by Robert Allen Zimmerman
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Bob Dylan - Nobel Banquet Speech

posted 11 Dec 2016, 15:01 by Robert Allen Zimmerman   [ updated 11 Dec 2016, 15:02 ]

Bob Dylan - Nobel Banquet Speech
- "Is this literature?" -

Banquet speech by Bob Dylan given by the United States Ambassador to Sweden, Azita Raji, at the Nobel Banquet, 10 December 2016

Good evening, everyone. I extend my warmest greetings to the members of the Swedish Academy and to all of the other distinguished guests in attendance tonight.

I'm sorry I can't be with you in person, but please know that I am most definitely with you in spirit and honored to be receiving such a prestigious prize. Being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature is something I never could have imagined or seen coming. From an early age, I've been familiar with and reading and absorbing the works of those who were deemed worthy of such a distinction: Kipling, Shaw, Thomas Mann, Pearl Buck, Albert Camus, Hemingway. These giants of literature whose works are taught in the schoolroom, housed in libraries around the world and spoken of in reverent tones have always made a deep impression. That I now join the names on such a list is truly beyond words.

I don't know if these men and women ever thought of the Nobel honor for themselves, but I suppose that anyone writing a book, or a poem, or a play anywhere in the world might harbor that secret dream deep down inside. It's probably buried so deep that they don't even know it's there.

If someone had ever told me that I had the slightest chance of winning the Nobel Prize, I would have to think that I'd have about the same odds as standing on the moon. In fact, during the year I was born and for a few years after, there wasn't anyone in the world who was considered good enough to win this Nobel Prize. So, I recognize that I am in very rare company, to say the least.

I was out on the road when I received this surprising news, and it took me more than a few minutes to properly process it. I began to think about William Shakespeare, the great literary figure. I would reckon he thought of himself as a dramatist. The thought that he was writing literature couldn't have entered his head. His words were written for the stage. Meant to be spoken not read. When he was writing Hamlet, I'm sure he was thinking about a lot of different things: "Who're the right actors for these roles?" "How should this be staged?" "Do I really want to set this in Denmark?" His creative vision and ambitions were no doubt at the forefront of his mind, but there were also more mundane matters to consider and deal with. "Is the financing in place?" "Are there enough good seats for my patrons?" "Where am I going to get a human skull?" I would bet that the farthest thing from Shakespeare's mind was the question "Is this literature?"

When I started writing songs as a teenager, and even as I started to achieve some renown for my abilities, my aspirations for these songs only went so far. I thought they could be heard in coffee houses or bars, maybe later in places like Carnegie Hall, the London Palladium. If I was really dreaming big, maybe I could imagine getting to make a record and then hearing my songs on the radio. That was really the big prize in my mind. Making records and hearing your songs on the radio meant that you were reaching a big audience and that you might get to keep doing what you had set out to do.

Well, I've been doing what I set out to do for a long time, now. I've made dozens of records and played thousands of concerts all around the world. But it's my songs that are at the vital center of almost everything I do. They seemed to have found a place in the lives of many people throughout many different cultures and I'm grateful for that.

But there's one thing I must say. As a performer I've played for 50,000 people and I've played for 50 people and I can tell you that it is harder to play for 50 people. 50,000 people have a singular persona, not so with 50. Each person has an individual, separate identity, a world unto themselves. They can perceive things more clearly. Your honesty and how it relates to the depth of your talent is tried. The fact that the Nobel committee is so small is not lost on me.

But, like Shakespeare, I too am often occupied with the pursuit of my creative endeavors and dealing with all aspects of life's mundane matters. "Who are the best musicians for these songs?" "Am I recording in the right studio?" "Is this song in the right key?" Some things never change, even in 400 years.

Not once have I ever had the time to ask myself, "Are my songs literature?"

So, I do thank the Swedish Academy, both for taking the time to consider that very question, and, ultimately, for providing such a wonderful answer.

My best wishes to you all,

Bob Dylan


Bob Dylan - Banquet Speech. Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 11 Dec 2016. Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 2016.*


*Reproduced here in accordance with guidlines provided by NobelPrize.org website: "General permission is granted for immediate publication in editorial contexts, in print or online, in any language within two weeks of December 10, 2016. Thereafter, any publication requires the consent of the Nobel Foundation. On all publications in full or in major parts the above copyright notice must be applied."

Shadows in the Night. The New Album by Bob Dylan

posted 2 Feb 2015, 18:15 by Robert Allen Zimmerman   [ updated 14 Feb 2015, 13:44 ]

Shadows in the Night
New Dylan album released today

Posted 2 Feb 2015, 18:20
Shadows in the Night is the title of the new album by Bob Dylan, his 36th studio album, which gets its release today. A collection of covers, Dylan describes it as 'a real privilege to make'.

"I've wanted to do something like this for a long time but was never brave enough to approach 30-piece complicated arrangements and refine them down for a 5-piece band. That's the key to all these performances. We knew these songs extremely well. It was all done live. Maybe one or two takes. No overdubbing. No vocal booths. No headphones. No separate tracking, and, for the most part, mixed as it was recorded. I don't see myself as covering these songs in any way. They've been covered enough. Buried, as a matter a fact. What me and my band are basically doing is uncovering them. Lifting them out of the grave and bringing them into the light of day." - from the official Bob Dylan website.

Shadows in the Night consists of 10 tracks, two of which have been made available for live streaming - see below. To listen to the remainder, you will have to buy the album, which is available from Amazon and iTunes.

Full Moon and Empty Arms is a 1945 composition by Buddy Kaye and Ted Mossman. The best known recording is by Frank Sinatra, who covered all of the songs featured on Shadows in the Night. In an interview with AARP (his first interview in three years and reportedly the only interview which he will be giving in relation to this album) he recalls his youthful influences in explaining his motivation for recording such an album at this time.


Stay with Me by Jerome Moross and Carolyn Leigh served as the theme for the 1963 move, The Cardinal.


Shadows in the Night by Bob Dylan is available from Amazon and iTunes, as well as other retailers and outlets.

Another Self Portrait: The Bootleg Series Vol 10

posted 25 Aug 2013, 15:16 by Robert Allen Zimmerman   [ updated 14 Feb 2015, 14:27 ]

Another Self Portrait
The Never Ending Bootleg Series

posted 25 Aug 2013, 15:16
This week sees the release of the eagerly anticipated Another Self Portrait, no 10 in the ever-expanding Bob Dylan Bootleg Series containing 35 rare and previously unreleased (except on bootleg presumably) recordings. The tracks that have been selected for this edition comprise mainly out-takes from the recording sessions that produced the trio of albums that include Nashville Skyline, Self-Portrait and New Morning.


Self Portrait was Dylan's tenth studio album. Released in June 1970 by Columbia Records it consists mostly of covers with a few live recordings thrown in. Largely derided by critics at the time of its release (one of whom famously remarked, "What is this shit?") it was, nevertheless a commercial success. Appreciation for the album has grown over the years such that it ranks, arguably as one of the most enjoyable listening experiences where Dylan's back catalogue is concerned. Dylan himself has suggested that the album was released in some sort of spirit of defiance:

"Well that was a joke, that album was put out at a time I didn’t like the attention I was getting. I never did want attention. At that time I was getting the wrong kind of attention for things I hadn’t done. So we released that album to get people off my back, so they would not like me anymore, that’s the reason the album was put out, so people would stop buying my records, and they did." – Bob Dylan, 1981. Source: Johanna's Visions website.

In the sleeve notes to the 1985 box set Biograph, he comments:

"Self Portrait was a bunch of tracks that we'd done all the time I'd gone to Nashville. We did that stuff to get a (studio) sound. To open up we'd do two or three songs, just to get things right and then we'd go on and do what we were going to do. And then there was a lot of other stuff that was just on the shelf. But I was being bootlegged at the time and a lot of stuff that was worse was appearing on bootleg records. So I just figured I'd put all this stuff together and put it out, my own bootleg record, so to speak. You know, if it actually had been a bootleg record, people probably would have sneaked around to buy it and played it for each other secretly. Also, I wasn't going to be anybody's puppet and I figured this recorord would put an end to that ... I was just so fed up with all that who people thought I was nonsense." - Biograph, 1985 (sleeve notes by Cameron Crowe)


The Bootleg Series, Vol. 10 - Another Self Portrait (1969-1971) will be released on 27 August and is available for pre-order now on iTunes, Amazon and the Official Bob Dylan Store.

Like a Rolling Stone

posted 27 May 2013, 06:12 by Robert Allen Zimmerman   [ updated 14 Feb 2015, 13:58 ]

Like a Rolling Stone

posted 27 May 2013, 06:12
I been all over these United States, but I ain't never yet found Fennario.

An interesting and indeed, most welcome tribute was paid to Bob Dylan, on the occasion of his 72 birthday, which was also, apparently, the 50th anniversary of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (you didn't know that, did you?).

An interactive map, charting "every street, town, and city Dylan has ever sung about", has been prepared and made public, courtesy of Slate.com. The map claims to present "entries for every place-name in a song written by Dylan and released on some kind of album (including the official Greatest Hits and Bootleg series)." Mind you, they do add the caveat that "If you see anything missing, please note it in the comments and we’ll try to put it in."

Do indeed; it is a most worthy project. While you are at it, don't forget to notify us. Our own section of this website detailing Dylan's travels (real or imaginary) can be found under Travelling Wilbury. Giving that the above project appears to have confined itself to Dylan's official releases, it would be fair to assume that there is much more territory to be covered.

Places mentioned in songs of Bob Dylan - from Slate.com
Browse the App on Slate.com

Tour Dates Announced for April, 2013

posted 27 Feb 2013, 16:28 by Robert Allen Zimmerman   [ updated 14 Feb 2015, 14:26 ]

Upcoming Tour Dates and Venues

posted 27 Feb 2013, 16:28
From the horse's mouth (namely, the official Bob Dylan website):

Bob Dylan and his Band will perform U.S. concert dates in April. Ticket sales begin this weekend. Visit the Upcoming Dates page at bobdylan.com regularly for dates and ticket information.

Good news for Dylan's North American fans. The rest will have to wait their turn but it's a good bet that he'll get around eventually. By all accounts the guy likes touring and the day he stops touring will be the day he drops dead - and who wants to think about that dreadful day.

Times they are a'changin over at Muscatine

posted 24 Feb 2013, 14:28 by Robert Allen Zimmerman   [ updated 14 Feb 2015, 14:05 ]

Workingmens' Blues

posted 24 Feb 2013, 14:28
It would indeed appear to be sundown on the Union.


New album Tempest coming in September

posted 17 Jul 2012, 15:07 by Robert Allen Zimmerman   [ updated 14 Feb 2015, 14:15 ]

Tempest on the Horizon

posted 17 Jul 2012, 15:07
Just announced: Bob Dylan's new studio album, Tempest, will be released on September 11, 2012 featuring ten new and original Bob Dylan songs.

Tempest marks the 50th anniversary of his 1962 Columbia Records debut album Bob Dylan. The new album, produced by Jack Frost, is the 35th studio release from Bob Dylan, and can be pre-ordered now on iTunes and Amazon.

Dylan at 70 - not looking back

posted 6 Feb 2012, 08:55 by Robert Allen Zimmerman   [ updated 14 Feb 2015, 14:18 ]

Forever Young

posted 6 Feb 2012, 08:55
A short clip from a radio programme offers a frank and candid view of Dylan, the man and his legacy, from people who knew him and were close to him over the years.

Dylan on China

posted 26 May 2011, 18:05 by Robert Allen Zimmerman   [ updated 14 Feb 2015, 14:22 ]

Dylan's China Syndrome

posted 26 May 2011, 18:05
A recent post (13 May, 2011) on Bob Dylan's official website clarifies the situation regarding "this so-called China controversy which has been going on for over a year."

Dylan says that:

  • "We were never denied permission to play in China. ... If anybody had bothered to check with the Chinese authorities, it would have been clear that the Chinese authorities were unaware of the whole thing."
  • Concerts in China were not poorly attended as has been alleged.
  • On censorship: "the Chinese government had asked for the names of the songs that I would be playing. There's no logical answer to that, so we sent them the set lists from the previous 3 months. If there were any songs, verses or lines censored, nobody ever told me about it and we played all the songs that we intended to play."
The statement, which is entitled To My Fans and Followers ends with this call to action:

"Everybody knows by now that there's a gazillion books on me either out or coming out in the near future. So I'm encouraging anybody who's ever met me, heard me or even seen me, to get in on the action and scribble their own book. You never know, somebody might have a great book in them."

So there you are. Read it for yourself on the official Bob Dylan website.

Happy 70th Birthday Bob Dylan

posted 25 May 2011, 06:53 by Robert Allen Zimmerman   [ updated 14 Feb 2015, 14:24 ]

Happy 70th Birthday, Bob Dylan
- another milestone in a remarkable life -

posted 25 May 2011, 06:53
So we're a day late but that's still no reason not to mark the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the birth of one Bob Dylan. The auspicious event happened on 24th May, 1941 in St. Mary's Hospital in Duluth, Minnesota. He was born to Abram Zimmerman and Beatrice Stone. We don't know how much he weighed but you can follow a (partially constructed but it will get better over time) timeline here.

The story is not finished yet.

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