When you asked how I was doing
Was that some kind of joke?
All these people that you mention
Yes, I know them, they’re quite lame
I had to rearrange their faces
And give them all another name
Bob, where is Desolation Row? Bob Dylan: Where? Oh, that’s someplace in Mexico. It’s across the border. It’s noted for it’s coke factory. Coca-Cola machines are… sells -… sell a lotta Coca-Cola down there.
~San Francisco Press Conference – Dec 3, 1965
Bob Dylan: As I look back on it now, I am surprised that I came up with so many of them. At the time it seemed like a natural thing to do. Now I can look back and see that I must have
written those songs “in the spirit,” you know? Like “Desolation Row” – I was just thinkin’ about that the other night. There’s no logical way that you can arrive at lyrics like that. I don’t know how it was done.
KL: It just came to you?
BD: It just came out through me.
~Bob Dylan – Kurt Loder interview, Oct 1987
All of the songs from the Desire sessions are collaborations between Dylan (words and music) and Levy (words), with the exception of “Sara,” “Abandoned Love,” “One More Cup of Coffee,” and “Golden Loom,” all written by Dylan alone. It is of course uncharacteristic of Dylan to work with another writer-this marks only the first or second time he ever shared credit for the lyrics of a song, and still stands as his most extensive collaboration with another songwriter.
~Paul Williams (Bob Dylan: Performing Artist, Vol 2: The Middle Years 1974-1986)
SongTalk: Your collaborations with Jacques Levy came out pretty great.
Bob Dylan: We both were pretty much lyricists. Yeah, very panoramic songs because, you know, after one of my lines, one of his lines would come out. Writing with Jacques wasn’t difficult. It was trying to just get it down. It just didn’t stop. Lyrically. Of course, my melodies are very simple anyway so they’re very easy to remember.
-From the Paul Zollo (SongTalk) interview with Bob Dylan – April 1991
This is a great interview from May 2004 uploaded to YouTube 2013. Sadly enough Levy passed away in September 2004.
..Dylan, who is interviewed backstage at Wembley by Martha Quinn for MTV. The interview lasts over half an hour. Dylan is extremely talkative, discussing such matters as his early days at the Cafe Wha, the recording of Infidels, and his attitude toward videos. MTV broadcasts very little of the interview. At the end of the interview, Dylan tells Quinn that she asked some really good questions.
~Clinton Heylin (Bob Dylan: A Life in Stolen Moments Day by Day 1941-1995)
Martha Quinn: Will this tour help you reach a new generation? Bob Dylan: I don’t reach anybody. They find me. They find me. It’s not for me to go out and reach somebody. If they can find me, they find me, and if they don’t, they don’t. That’s the way it’s always been. I don’t think it’s gonna change now just because I’m such an old man and it’s nineteen-eighty… what is it?
7 July 1984
Martha Quinn interview for MTV,
Wembley Stadium backstage, London, England
In the course of a remarkable interview with Horace Judson, from Time magazine, given at the Royal Albert Hall, London, May 9, 1965, Dylan, wired up with youth’s impatience (at least), and moving among lumpen dullards like some beautiful alien from superior space, can say to the 40-something reporter..
-Michael gray (The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia)
Bob was being absolutely appalling, but so brilliant. By this time I’d learnt that he could pull strips of skin off people, verbally … [ButJudson] was quite abusive as well. He was extremely upset, he really was; and in a way I suppose it was not really his fault-not properly briefed, treating Bob as some sort of curiosity, not as a serious artist.
Royal Albert Hall
9 May 1965
Interview by Horace Judson.
April 28: Bob Dylan Klas Burling Interview, Stockholm, Sweden,1966
What do you think Mozart would say to you if you ever come up to him and ask him the questions that you’ve been asking, you know? What kind of questions would you ask him, you know, ‘Tell me, Mr. Mozart… ‘
~Bob Dylan (to Klas Burling, April 28, 1966)
Immediately after the official press conference at the Hotel Flamingo at Stockholm, Dylan was interviewed for Swedish Radio 3: Stockholm: Radiohuset by Sweden’s first disc jockey, Klas Burling. Burling asked all the questions that Dylan had clearly grown sick and tired of hearing and got a really hard time as a result. You have to give poor Burling credit for lasting the distance and carrying the interview through to the end. (Every Mind Polluting Word)