February 20: Bob Dylan Martin Bronstein Interview, Montreal (audio) 1966

bob dylan on the phone - 1966

MB: Do you consider yourself a poet or a songwriter?
BD: I don’t consider myself either one of those two things. I did when I first heard the words, you know, of course – “songwriter” – you hear that when you’re very young. “Poet,” I never heard that word really. I never really could think of myself as such until I came to New York and then for a while I did think I was a poet, but I don’t consider myself anymore from seeing all the rest of the people who’re called poets too and I just don’t like to refer to myself as a poet because it puts you in a category with a lot of funny people, you know

Place Des Arts
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
20 February 1966

  • Released in the UK on ON THE CREST OF THE AIRWAVES VOLUME ONE, Music Melon MMLTDBOX12, 13 February 2012.
  • Released on The Classic Interviews 1965-1966, Chrome Dreams CIS2003, 19 May 2003.

MB: When did you first find yourself writing poetry or verse, or writing?
BD: When I was about eight or nine I wrote; I’ve been writing for a very long time, I mean, if you can say that. I mean, I’m not… I don’t know if other – if most people write when they’re eight – or eight or nine, you know, but I actually did write poems at that age, poems, rhymes, you know, for… you know, about the flowers and my mother and stuff like that but… so I’ve been writing for a while.

MB: What made you start singing?
BD: Er, well, er, I just did it, you know. It was a natural thing to do. I started a long time or two – I started singing after I started writing. I started that when I was about ten – ten or eleven – and started out just country and western – Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell kind of things. Hank Williams I think was just about… had just died, and I started playing some time around there.

MB: Was he one of your first influences?
BD: Yeah. I sang… I tried to sing everything he would sing.

MB: What other influences have you had?
BD: Oh! I’ve had a lot of people that I tried to do things the way they did. As it stands now there’s no influence that maybe I’ve taken. Ah, I don’t really know the extent of their influence that they have on what I do. I’ve had… Hank Williams was the first influence I would think, I guess, for a longer period of time than anybody else. Er, he influenced … nobody influenced what I wrote at that age, because I didn’t really see anything that anybody wrote… er…


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