Friday, April 20, 2007

Look mama I'm on the cover of the Rolling Stone!


they did it again, damn... as usual Bob Dylan's interviews with that magazine are some of his best ever

check out here www.rollingstone.com if you want to hear the man himself speaking

meanwhile...

For our 40th anniversary, the editors of Rolling Stone have interviewed twenty artists and leaders who helped shape our time. Over the next four weeks, every day, we’ll be debuting exclusive audio clips from the Q&As, giving you unparalleled access to some of the most compelling personalities in history.

Today we present Mr. Tambourine Man himself, Bob Dylan. One of the most important and influential artists of the past century. The voice of an entire generation. Blonde On Blonde and Blood on the Tracks, etc. A man so complex, it takes a combined six actors to portray him in an upcoming biopic. And that’s not even scratching the surface of Bob Dylan’s legend. Sitting down with Rolling Stone founder and editor-in-chief Jann S. Wenner, Dylan ruminates about the music that inspired him as a young man, where he stands in terms of religion, the ongoing metamorphosis of his songs, the 1960s and The Beatles. Listen to five highlights from their conversation, and for the magazine’s definitive profile, pick up your copy of our 40th Anniversary issue on newsstands today.

1. Jann Wenner interviews Bob Dylan, as Bob Dylan interviews Jann Wenner about his magazine’s 40th anniversary: “You’re the one who’s here to be celebrated. Forty years…forty years with a magazine that obviously now has intellectual recognition. Did you ever think that would happen when you started?”

2. Even Bob Dylan needs inspiration. Here, he talks about a few of the heroes that helped mold Dylan: “Robert Johnson had just died, three years before I was born. All the great original artists were still there to be heard, felt and seen. Once that gets into your blood, you can’t get rid of it that easily…”

3. Dylan talks about a few of the artists that reside with him atop rock’s Mount Olympus: “Lennon, to this day, it’s hard to find a better singer than Lennon was, or than McCartney was and still is. I’m in awe of McCartney. He’s about the only one that I am in awe of. He can do it all. And he’s never let up…”

4. Dylan, who released a trilogy of piously Christian albums when the 1970s turned 1980s, discusses his attitude toward religion today: “Religion is supposedly a force for positive good. Where can you look in the world and see that religion has been a force for positive good? Where can you look at humanity and say, ‘Humanity has been uplifted by a connection to a godly

JW: What is your faith these days?
BD: Faith doesn't have a name. It doesn't have a category. It's oblique. So it's unspeakable. We degrade faith by talking about religion. Its not about religion, its about faith... faith is a different matter...”

5. Having long ago conquered the music scene, Dylan talks about the tribulations of making the transition into best-selling author: “A song, you can keep it with you, you can hum it, you can kind of go over things when you’re out and around, you can keep it in your mind. It’s all small. But you can’t do that with a book. If you want to check it, you have to reread what you’ve done. It’s very time-consuming… “
Check back Monday for the next installment of our twenty-part audio interviews, featuring some of the most iconic and influential pop culture figures of the last 40 years. We’ll give you two hints as to Monday’s interview. Hint #1, Dylan discusses this person in his interview. Hint #2, this quote:

We were just riding the crest of this wave, this artistic wave. And, as I say, it was particularly nice because some people had thought that we’d dried up, and here we were at this peak. It was pretty cool to have that amount of influence….

Friday, April 13, 2007

The day that music died

5 aprile 1994



“Vieni come sei, come eri
Come voglio che tu sia
Come un amico, un amico, un vecchio nemico
Fai con calma, sbrigati
Sta a te, non arrivare tardi
Riposati come un amico, un vecchio ricordo”
(Come As You Are, Kurt Cobain)

Il pomeriggio del 5 aprile 1994 Kurt Cobain, leader e frontman dei Nirvana, allora il gruppo rock più popolare e di successo del mondo, si spara in bocca con un fucile da caccia modello Remington. Non era la prima volta che tentava il suicidio.
Con lui scompare l’artefice dell’ultima, fondamentale rivoluzione musicale e stilistica del rock e uno dei suoi autori più geniali di sempre. Aveva 27 anni.
Non fu la conseguenza della classica vita da rockstar, infarcita di droga (sebbene Cobain sia stato un tossicodipendente) ma qualcosa che giungeva da più lontano. “Da bambino si svegliava tutti i giorni con una tale gioia”, dirà sua madre. “Quando andavamo in giro per i negozi cantava alla gente”. Ma quando i suoi genitori divorziano “la sua vita è andata distrutta”.

Con oltre dieci milioni di copie vendute del loro disco migliore, Nevermind del 1991, che contiene l’anti inno generazionale Smells Like Teen Spirit, i Nirvana sono stati l’ultima grande storia del rock’n’roll. In un momento storico (uno dei tanti) in cui questa musica sembrava aver smarrito una strada e un centro, i Nirvana si imposero nel modo più semplice ma anche più intelligente, riunendo in sé cioè quanto di meglio la musica rock aveva prodotto in precedenza. Nel loro caso, mettendo insieme uno spiccato senso della melodia pop tipicamente alla Beatles con i riff monolitici dell’hard rock e con l’irruenza del punk. La loro era una canzone che alternava sospensioni e devastanti irruzioni sonore, come avevano appreso da un’altra band, i Pixies, rimasti però questi ultimi sconosciuti ai più. Una miscela esplosiva che avrebbe gettato un solco tra quanto era stato fatto prima e che avrebbe influenzato tutto quanto sarebbe venuto dopo almeno per i dieci anni successivi. I Nirvana facevano canzoni semplici ma furiose, canzoni che, come diceva lo stesso Cobain, erano “melodiche, aggressive, poi ancora melodiche”. Era il ritorno alla semplicità e alla irruenza stessa del miglior rock’n’roll: tre accordi, un gran senso della melodia, un impatto devastante.

Nella musica violenta dei Nirvana c’era tutto il disagio e la disperazione della Generazione X, quella “a cui hanno eliminato il concetto di Dio”, come disse lo scrittore Douglas Coupland, autore di Generation X. In una società opulenta e massificante, i Nirvana cantavano l’angoscia di chi non ha più padri né madri. Come ha detto una celebre rockstar di una generazione più vecchia di Kurt Cobain, Tom Petty, “credo che la causa di fenomeni devastanti come la droga e il suicidio sia da attribuirsi al crollo di un valore come quello della famiglia”. Nella fredda e piovosa Seattle, da dove i Nirvana giungevano, questa angoscia di una generazione smarrita si poteva toccare con mano.

Con i Nirvana da Seattle giunse il grunge, l’ultima rivoluzione del rock: capelli lunghi, cappellino di lana in testa, jeans sdruciti, sorta di figli dei fiori in ritardo di trent’anni ma che non sorridevano mai, a differenza degli hippie di cui riprendevano solo il look esteriore.
Kurt Cobain odiava essere diventato una rockstar. Odiava il successo e quello che rappresentava. Nell’Unplugged, splendido concerto acustico per Mtv pubblicato solo qualche mese dopo la sua morte, emerge, privata del muro di suono delle chitarre elettriche, tutta la disarmante e inquietante bellezza delle canzoni che componeva. Ma emerge soprattutto un urlo, di dolore, davvero raggelante, con cui conclude l’ultima esibizione. Quello di Kurt Cobain e della Generazione X è stato un urlo di dolore dalle viscere di un’America ormai cinicamente sorda che nessuno ha saputo raccogliere.

“Odio mamma odio papà, papà odia mamma, mamma odia papà, questo ti fa solo sentire triste”, aveva scritto sulla parete della sua cameretta Kurt bambino. A fianco vi aveva disegnato un enorme punto interrogativo. Il suo suicidio è un punto interrogativo ancora oggi sanguinante nella coscienza dell’America.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

When He returns

And he departed from our sight that we might return to our heart, and there find Him.
For He departed, and behold, He is here.

~St. Augustine

Easter
Written by - Patti Smith & Jay Dee Daugherty

Easter Sunday
We were walking
Easter Sunday
We were talking
Isabel, my little one
Take my hand
Time has come

Isabella, all is glowing
Isabella, all is knowing
And my heart, Isabella
And my head, Isabella

Frederick and Vitalie
Savior dwells inside of thee
Oh, the path leads to the sun
Brother, sister
Time has come

Isabella, all is glowing
Isabella, all is knowing
Isabella, we are dying
Isabella, we are rising

I am the spring
The holy ground
The endless seed of mystery
The thorn, the veil
The face of grace
The brazen image
The thief of sleep
The ambassador of dreams
The prince of peace
I am the sword
The wound, the stain
Scorned transfigured child of Cain
I rend, I end
I return
Again I am the salt
The bitter laugh
I am the gas in a womb of light
The evening star
The ball of sight that leads
That sheds the tears of Christ
Dying and drying as I rise tonight

Isabella, we are rising
Isabella, we are rising...

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Tell 'em like it is, Keef...

still the coolest cat in the music biz
(from today NME interview)



The biggest cliché in rock'n'roll is...

There's no roll
"They forgot the roll and they only kept the rock. The roll's the whole damn thing dude, the rock is nothing, deal with it, the roll is king. Unfortunately most cats don't get behind the roll."

The three things I guarantee I'll never do again are...

1) Heroin
"The one thing I'll never do is the dope. I won't do that again. Everything else is up for grabs. Why wouldn't I do the dope again? Because I've been there and done that, and it's fucking painful, man. The other schmucks are doing it all the time and I pity them."

2) Climb coconut trees
"I wasn't climbing a tree [when he fell, suffering concussion and subsequently having to undergo brain surgery], I was sitting on a fucking shrub. I was sitting on that shrub again today, but I happened to fall off it the wrong way that day."

3) Be trepanned
"I wouldn't want to do that again. It's having your fucking skull cut open. It's what I had to go through. Yes, I've been trepanned. That's quite an interesting experience, especially for my brain surgeon,
who saw my thoughts flying around in my brain. I've got pictures of it mate, yeah. They cut my head, brain, skull open, went in and pulled out the crap, and put some of it back in again. But that's the way it is, I mean, shit, Keith Richards has got to do everything once."

Never trust anyone...

Who tells you you've six months to live
"I mean some doctor told me I had six months to live and I went to their funeral. The obit columns are of quite an interest to me these days. I don't trust doctors. It's not to say there ain't some good ones, but on a general level, no, I wouldn't trust 'em at all."

You don't know the meaning of the dark side until...

It goes really bad
"Then you never wake up to find out. Several times I've thought, 'This is it.' And it's quite a comforting feeling, actually, thinking, 'Jesus Christ I'm getting out of it now.' I've no pretensions about immortality - I'm the same as everyone else - same as you, same as everybody, I'm the same old bugger, just kind of lucky. I was Number 1 on the Who's Likely To Die list for 10 years, I mean I was really disappointed when I fell off the list."

My favourite new band is...

I ain't got any, they're all a load of crap
"Everyone's a load of crap. They're all trying to be somebody else and they ain't being themselves. The Libertines, Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party? Load of crap, load a crap. Posers, rubbish. There ain't nothing out there that's worth shit. I listen to the real shit, I don't listen to bullshit. I listen to my shit, baby, Motörhead, reggae, Moroccan music. All kinds of shit."

The band I most wish I was in is...

The Rolling Stones
"They're the only band I care about, I can't wait to get back on the road with those bastards, who happen to miraculously be one of the best bands in the world. I dunno how the hell it happened. I mean you're playing beside Charlie Watts - yeah baby, you've gotta gig on. We're doing the Isle Of Wight this summer and that great, it's only down the road - I live in West Wittering, so it's just across the bay, you know."

The best guitar solo ever committed to record is...

Chuck Berry's solo on 'Little Queenie'
"I mean, whoooah! His guitar playing is just so sublime. But then
I could go with Scotty Moore and his solo on 'Mystery Train' with Elvis, when you start me on this shit you really start me going. I'll go on all night."

The best time I've ever had on drugs was...

I can't remember
"It's those nights you forget, but you know what happened because there are 15 other people telling you that you were hanging naked upside down from the chandelier. The other best bit is the morning after, when you wake up and realise you've had a great time. I mean drugs have got really nothing to do with life. Drugs are there if you want them, and it's not a big fucking deal."

The worst time I've had on drugs was...

When someone put strychnine in my dope
"It was in Switzerland. I was totally comatose, but I was totally awake,
I could listen to everyone, and they were like, 'He's dead, he's dead!' waving their fingers and pushing me about, and I was thinking, 'I'm not dead!'. So that's sort of the worst one. But I got out of that, I mean otherwise I wouldn't be talking to you. But yeah, bad shit is bad shit. The strangest thing I've tried to snort? My father. I snorted my father. He was cremated and I couldn't resist grinding him up with a little bit of blow. My dad wouldn't have cared, he didn't give a shit.
It went down pretty well, and I'm still alive."



The actor I'd most like to play me in a film is...

Johnny Depp
"Johnny and I had a great time, loads of fun. I expected [filming the third 'Pirates Of The Carribean' movie, 'At World's End'] to be fun but it was even more fun than I had imagined. I was driving through the driveway to Walt Disney studios the other day thinking, 'Jesus Christ, I'm following in the footsteps of Mickey Mouse here.' No, it was brilliant, I was there for four or five days and I did my bit, and Johnny was his usual graceful self and we're both the same size, so we swapped clothes and there it is. I met Johnny and he was just another one of my son's friends, 'This is Brian, this is Debbie, this is Johnny', and we met like that, years ago. I didn't even know what he did, I thought he was a failed rock'n'roll artist, and then I started to see some of his work and then he called me up said, 'Hey Jesus Christ, I've copied you to do 'Pirates...',' which I thought was the gentlemanly way of letting me know. I mean no wonder he paid for all the beers. I didn't realise I was being observed."

The best thing I ever saw was...

When a lady's got her legs wide open. La-di-da
"I don't wanna go there because I'd have to name the ladies and there's far too many. I mean I did go there, but I ain't going there with you."

My best advice to young bands is...

Grow up
"I mean who do you think you're gonna be? It's a matter of finding out who you wanna be. So to a band, I don't care how old or young they are, find out who you wanna be. If they wanna just be famous, or a star, that's easy, for a day or two, if you wanna be in a band then you'd better check out the shit all the way back. My advice for Pete Doherty in particular, though, is that he should shut the fuck up and leave her [Kate Moss] alone. I don't know the man, all I know is he's pushing his luck, and there it is, but so is Kate, who I know very well. Kate wants to play with bad boys, and she's done one, and then another one, and then another one. Badabing, badabang, badaboom! She'll live, the boys will die. It's just copycat bullshit. I did it because that was the way I did it, now people think it's a way of life."

I want to make a record as good as...

'Heartbreak Hotel'
"I mean there's a million of them. I guess '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction''s got to be close, and 'Beast Of Burden' maybe, yeah, and 'Tumbling Dice', 'Honky Tonk Women'. I'm starting to reel them off and it's not fair to all my other babies."

The coolest rock star in the world, ever is...

Me!
"I mean, right, it goes without saying really, doesn't it? I mean
I don't think I'm cool, it's other people that tell me I'm cool, I'm just being who I am. Just be yourself is all I can say, the rest of it's a fucking joke. 'Elegantly wasted' blah-blah-blah, I've had all of that. If you've gotta be cool be cool with yourself. If you've gotta think about being cool, you ain't cool."

I would never have my hair cut like...

Anyone except me
"I've never had my hair cut by anybody, I do it all myself. I've never let anybody touch it. My mum used to give me two shillings and sixpence every two weeks to get my hair cut, and I would just ignore the barber and chop it off myself and keep the fucking money. Spent it on cigs. And a bit of booze, probably, and I'd try and impress a bird here or there, too."

I'll stop playing when...

I croak
"That's it. I don't see any reason why it should stop if there's those of 'em still out there that wanna see it and I wanna play it, let's get it together. I mean I get antsy just sitting in one place for too long. I've had a few brushes with old death, he's kind of a friend of mine, actually, and er, if you hang around me you'll have a brush with it too."

Sympathy for the Lord

"Non puoi combattere la musica gospel. Non puoi combattere una Messa di Beethoven, o l'altezza delle guglie di una cattedrale. Non ...