News came down yesterday on the wire. Starting in March, Bob Dylan is getting his own show on XM Radio. A very interesting choice both for XM and for Dylan, who has, errr, never exactly been known for his golden pipes. Or his love of the media, for that matter. Basically, I had an ambivalent reaction to the news. This show could either be really, really good, and/or really, really bad.
One thing Dylan can indisputably do is write a song. I am a huge fan of his, and I think he is a genius (and I don't throw that word around a lot) and quite simply the greatest songwriter in rock and roll history. What's that, you said? You're more into G Unit? Well, that's a good one, Sparky. But no. Or perhaps you favor McCartney and Lennon? Jagger and Richards? Brian Wilson? Chuck Berry? That guy from Guided By Voices? Sam Cooke? Kurt Cobain? Dave Spiwack? All great, but I'm not putting anyone in Dylan's category until they get nominated for a Nobel Prize in Literature. Then we can talk.
I'm sure he also has a couple of friends in the business that would drop by for an interview. You know, maybe Pete Townshend one afternoon, then Ringo Starr the next? Just a coupla guys. And if nothing else, maybe he can interview himself. Maybe this would compel him to actually cooperate with an interviewer for a change.
Radio? I ain't got no tiiiiiime for radio. Er, yes I do.
On the downside, however, there is the fact that he is, how should I put this, a bit of a mealy-mouthed rambler.
I don't know how else to put it. I can picture him on the mic, after playing an Eminem song, and saying "that was subterranean, man, like a car bomb outside of nowhere on the galactic freeway to the lollipops. I mean, this guy knows it, man! Feels it! Sees it! Picks it up and eats it like a steak, goin' southward on the tightrope of my miiiiind!" But of course, to the listeners, it will sound like "BLEEEteraanickangkake. Greathkeithkeighalopapapaa. MememelgenglelRISHous miiiiiiiind!" Okay, maybe not that bad, but pretty close. When I last saw him in concert two summers ago, it sounded like he had swallowed a broken ashtray before taking the stage. Granted, the sound system at Cal Ripken Stadium is not the best, but still - broken ashtray!
At a minimum, he'll spin some good tunes. And he's Bob Dylan, for God's sake! I'll definitely give it a listen, and I hope it works out. After all, what else is there to listen to on the radio?