There are a lot of beetles

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Bob Dylan 1966

“There are a lot of beetles.”

PLAYBOY: Why do you think rock ‘n’ roll has become such an international phenomenon?

DYLAN: I can’t really think that there is any rock ‘n’ roll. Actually, when you think about it, anything that has no real existence is bound to become an international phenomenon. Anyway, what does it mean, rock ‘n’ roll? Does it mean Beatles, does it mean John Lee Hooker, Bobby Vinton, Jerry Lewis’ kid? What about Lawrence Welk? He must play a few rock-‘n’-roll songs. Are all these people the same? Is Ricky Nelson like Otis Redding? Is Mick Jagger really Ma Rainey? I can tell by the way people hold their cigarettes if they like Ricky Nelson. I think it’s fine to like Ricky Nelson: I couldn’t care less if somebody likes Ricky Nelson. But I think we’re getting off the track here. There isn’t any Ricky Nelson. There isn’t any Beatles; oh, I take that back: there are a lot of beetles. But there isn’t any Bobby Vinton. Anyway, the word is not “international phenomenon”; the word is “parental nightmare.”

Playboy interview with Bob Dylan (1966)

(Interviewer: Nat Hentoff)

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3 Comments

  1. Avatar Vahn wrote:

    Devin!

    Hi there. This is an incredibly random place to introduce myself, but I cannot seem to find any other way to contact you, so this will have to do.

    I’m in the process of finishing up your, “Magic Circles”, and I’m utterly fascinated by it. I’d really like to ask you some questions, and I’ll indicate precisely what I mean to say.

    [email protected]

    Fascinating blog, BTW. I really enjoy your writing style.

    Drop me a line if you have the “time.”

    -Brian

  2. Ironic that in “Chronicles, Vol. 1” Dylan reveals himself as a big Ricky Nelson fan. So how was he holding HIS cigarettes all those years?

  3. Avatar randy wrote:

    He never says here that he doesnt like Ricky Nelson, he says he does not care if you or anybody else likes him. Bob actually seems to be lamenting that there are no Ricky Nelsons or Bobby Vintons at that time, just a bunch of beatle hype bands.

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