Fascinating interview with Bob Dylan by Bill Flanagan over at NEWSWEEK’s blog, which is also streaming the track “Feelin’ A Change Comin’ On” from the forthcoming Together Through Life. Here he is explaining his mystical attraction to Obama:
Bill Flanagan: You liked Barack Obama early on. Why was that?
Bob Dylan: I’d read his book and it intrigued me.
“Audacity of Hope”?
No, it was called “Dreams [From] My Father.”
What struck you about him?
Well, a number of things. He’s got an interesting background. He’s like a fictional character, but he’s real. First off, his mother was a Kansas girl. Never lived in Kansas, though, but with deep roots. You know, like Kansas bloody Kansas. John Brown the insurrectionist. Jesse James and Quantrill. Bushwhackers, guerillas. Wizard of Oz Kansas. I think Barack has Jefferson Davis back there in his ancestry someplace. And then his father. An African intellectual. Bantu, Masai, Griot-type heritage–cattle raiders, lion killers. I mean, it’s just so incongruous that these two people would meet and fall in love. You kind of get past that, though. And then you’re into his story. Like an odyssey, except in reverse.
In what way?
First of all, Barack is born in Hawaii. Most of us think of Hawaii as paradise, so I guess you could say that he was born in paradise.
ALSO: Very cool Dylan word cloud/interactive thingee at BEYONDHERELIESNOTHING.com which is streaming another track from Together Through Life called “Beyond Here Lies Nothing” — which sounds really frickin’ good!