Hi, Bob! | AspenTimes.com

Hi, Bob!

Stewart OksenhornThe Aspen TimesAspen, CO Colorado

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Dear Bob,I couldnt believe your publicity guy told me you didnt want to do an interview. Seems like every time I turn around these days, youre there on TV, in the movies, books. I even dropped the name of my buddy Babe Zats he was your moms travel agent, owned Village Travel in St. Paul, says your mom was a sweetheart, and always talking about what her Bobby was up to but no go.Plus, I figure a guy like you has plenty to say. So, in case it was just a miscommunication with your publicity team, here are a few questions I had. You can e-mail your responses, or give me a call. Better yet, why dont we meet up after the show tonight? Say, 10 p.m., Cooper Street Pier?1) Lets get this issue settled once and for all. Self-Portrait Cosmic joke, misunderstood artistic achievement, or intentional career sabotage?2) Who was your favorite Dylan in Im Not There? What was weirder: having a woman play you, or a black kid? And could you shed any light on the Richard Gere segment?3) For a guy whos supposed to be reclusive and mysterious, you sure are coming out a lot in public lately and so collegial, with nothing but nice things to say about everyone, especially in Chronicles, Vol. 1. Whats going on there?4) Lights flicker from the opposite loft/ In this room the heat pipes just cough/ The country music station plays soft, but theres nothing, really nothing to turn off: I mean, I know youre Bob Dylan and all, but still, how the hell do you do that?5) So who are you praying to these days: Jah Rastafari? Jesus? Buddha? The holy trinity of Charlie Patton, Doc Boggs and Woody Guthrie?6) We have a small gang of Dylanologists here in Aspen who, when we get together, spend our time discussing the overlooked merits of Street Legal. What do you think all the critics had against that one? While were on the subject, could you play Where Are You Tonight?Dang, I knew I shouldnt have started in with the song requests, but … : Every Grain of Sand, Positively Fourth Street, Mississippi, Blind Willie McTell, I Want You, This Wheels on Fire, and of course, Vision of Johanna. You pick the rest; I trust you.7) Remember that show, 8/19/01, Vails Ford Amphitheatre? If not, I understand its Vail! (Thats a Colorado ski resort joke.) Anyway, the highlight of the show was your harmonica solo on Wicked Messenger. The question is, if youre going to retire from playing guitar, why not take up the harp instead of keyboards?8) You still live in Malibu? Nice, quiet beach community, sure, but I dont see it as your kind of place. I hear the chief of police is a real reactionary. Ever consider moving back to the West Village? Dude, I bet youd pull a lot of weight there.And could you play The Man in Me?9) Does your band have any idea what song youre singing before you get halfway through the verses or are they like the rest of us?Yours,Stew

Bob Dylan performs Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Festival in Snowmass Village. Also performing on the main stage are Ziggy Marley, at 5 p.m., and Nikka Costa, at 3 p.m. The festival runs through Monday, Sept. 1.stewart@aspentimes.com

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