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  • Writer's pictureStephen Daniel Arnoff

Episode 1: Salvation

"I practice a faith that's been long abandoned/Ain't no altars on this long and lonesome road" - Bob Dylan, "Ain't Talkin' (2006)

We open with this: Bob Dylan revolutionized rock and roll and popular culture as a whole through his obsessive search for salvation. He was the right person at the right time for a world of seekers that desperately needed him.

Enjoy some moments from Episode one below.

Bob Dylan and George Harrison rehearsing "If Not For You"

It's said that Dylan was a little nervous playing with the Silent Beatle, who had become a loving fan and trusted friend.

Bruce Springsteen Inducts Bob Dylan to Rock Hall: "Bob freed your mind..."

The Boss breaks down Dylan's revolution of rock and roll spirit, from Elvis freeing your body to Dylan freeing your mind -- and making a pop song contain the whole world.

Chris Robinson on the Howard Stern Show: Bob Dylan tells the Rolling Stones to F$(#*k Off

Here's story that didn't make it into the podcast just yet, but was just too much fun to resist: Dylan truly does not give a hoot about anyone anywhere anyhow.

Robbie Robertson on Playing with Dylan: "That was great..."

Few have mythologized rock, self, and playing with Dylan more than Robbie Robertson of the Band, but he is really good at it. Another gem that we thought about including but didn't make the final cut.

Bob Dylan Interviewed by Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone

Those who complain that Dylan doesn't tell the world where he's really at can listen to this or read or listen to hundreds of hours more of interviews laying everything down. We can't be sure if Dylan is pulling Wenner's chain with false admiration, but he sure seems to be telling it like it is when it comes to his views on religion and what makes for musicians who matter.

Sir Laurence Olivier and "To be or not to be" from Hamlet

Because we can. Because he did. To be or not to be.

Dylan answers the question "How many protest singers are there?"

Dylan speaks with great precision -- the numbers ever so precise and clear -- but Mr. Jones does not seem to get the joke.

A recording of Allen Ginsberg reading "Howl"

We wonder what it would have been like to hear Ginsberg crack open poetry and performance, but clearly, listening to the rock and roll that followed the Beats, this mix of erudition and snappy cool enters the music.

"My Salvation" from the film I'm Not There

Even if imagined, even if acted, even if cobbled together in a cinematic dream, this scene is the touchstone of Episode One, and in someways the entire podcast: Dylan's search for salvation. Tracking this search from here, we see a core tenet of not just rock and roll, but popular culture as a whole in a realm where traditional religions are no longer useful for so many seekers.

Joni Michell on Dylan

We close the notes with a clip from an interview with Joni Mitchell, who has a few choice words about Bob Dylan. Maybe she's a curmudgeon, but she certainly rides at the head of the pack with Dylan in race of the pop music geniuses where Dylan runs.


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