PLAYBOY: Do you feel you use colors in the same way you use notes or chords?
DYLAN: Oh, yeah. There's much information you could get on the meaning of colors. Every color has a certain mood and feeling. For instance, red is a very vital color. There're a lot of reds in this movie, a lot of blues. A lot of cobalt blue.
PLAYBOY: Why cobalt blue?
DYLAN: It's the color of dissension.
PLAYBOY: Did you study painting?
DYLAN: A lot of the ideas I have were influenced by an old man who had definite ideas on life and the universe and nature - all that matters.
PLAYBOY: Who was he?
DYLAN: Just an old man. His name wouldn't mean anything to you. He came to this country from Russia in the Twenties, started out as a boxer and ended up painting portraits of women.
PLAYBOY: You don't want to mention his name, just to give him a plug?
DYLAN: His first name was Norman. Every time I mention somebody's name, it's like they get a tremendous amount of distraction and irrelevancy in their lives. For instance, there's this lady in L.A. I respect a lot who reads palms. Her name's Tamara Rand. She's for real, she's not a gypsy fortuneteller. But she's accurate! She'll take a look at your hand and tell you things you feel but don't really understand about where you're heading, what the future looks like. She's a surprisingly hopeful person.
PLAYBOY: Are you sure you want to know if there's bad news in your future?
DYLAN: Well, sometimes when the world falls on your head, you know there are ways to get out, but you want to know which way. Usually, there's someone who can tell you how to crawl out, which way to take.
PLAYBOY: Getting back to colors and chords, are there particular musical keys that have personalities or moods the way colors do for you?
DYLAN: Yeah. B major and B-flat major.
PLAYBOY: How would you describe them?
DYLAN: (Pause) Each one is hard to define. Assume the characteristic that is true of both of them and you'll find you're not sure whether you're speaking to them or to their echo.
PLAYBOY: What does a major key generally conjure up for you?
DYLAN: I think any major key deals with romance.
PLAYBOY: And the minor keys?
DYLAN: The supernatural.
PLAYBOY: Someone said that when you gave up cigarettes, your voice changed. Now we see you're smoking again. Is your voice getting huskier again?
DYLAN: No, you know, you can do anything with your voice if you put your mind to it. I mean, you can become a ventriloquist or you can become an imitator of other people's voices. I'm usually just stuck with my own voice. I can do a few other people's voices.
PLAYBOY: Whose voices can you imitate?
DYLAN: Richard Widmark. Sydney Greenstreet. Peter Lorre. I like those voices. They really had distinctive voices in the early talkie films. Nowadays, you go to a movie and you can't tell one voice from the other. Jane Fonda sounds like Tatum O'Neal.
PLAYBOY: So if the women in your songs have become more real, if there are fewer goddesses -
DYLAN: The goddess isn't real. A pretty woman as a goddess is just up there on a pedestal. The flower is what we are really concerned about here. The opening and the closing, the growth, the bafflement. You don't lust after flowers.
PLAYBOY: Your regard for women, then, has changed?
DYLAN: People are people to me. I don't single out women as anything to get hung up about.
PLAYBOY: But in the past?
DYLAN: In the past, I was guilty of that shameless crime.
PLAYBOY: You're claiming to be completely rehabilitated?
DYLAN: In that area, I don't have any serious problems.
PLAYBOY: There's a line in your film in which someone says to Sara, "I need you because I need your magic to protect me.
DYLAN: Well, the real magic of women is that throughout the ages, they've had to do all the work and yet they can have a sense of humor.
PLAYBOY: When you think about rock and the rhythm of the heartbeat is it tied into love in some way?
DYLAN: The heartbeat. Have you ever lain with somebody when your hearts were beating in the same rhythm? That's true love. A man and a woman who lie down with their hearts beating together are truly lucky. Then you've truly been in love, m' boy. Yeah, that's true love. You might see that person once a month, once a year, maybe once a lifetime, but you have the guarantee your lives are going to be in rhythm. That's all you need.
posted by Ian 7/10/2003 11:33:00 AM