Someone over at BobDylan.com must have a great connection, because the site landed an exclusive, one-on-one interview with legendary folk musician Bob Dylan – something he doesn't give often.
Most of the lengthy Q&A with Bill Flanagan includes discussions about the classic standards Dylan has recorded for his most recent albums. But Flannagan also gets Dylan to actually acknowledge the existence of his home state of Minnesota, and even talk about growing up in the Northland.
Though still in a pretty brief, Dylan-esque way.
For example, Dylan is asked about if he remembers anything about WWII (he was born in 1941, about six months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor).
"Not much," Dylan replies. "I was born in Duluth – industrial town, ship yards, ore docks, grain elevators, mainline train yards, switching yards. It’s on the banks of Lake Superior, built on granite rock. Lot of fog horns, sailors, loggers, storms, blizzards."
He also remembers food rationing, and not having good access to electricity or metal, and calls it "a dark place, even in the light of day – curfews, gloomy, lonely, all that sort of stuff."
The interviewer then talks about music again for awhile, before coming back to Minnesota, and whether there's anything that "makes Minnesota different from other places? Is there any quality people have there that you don’t find elsewhere?"
Not really, Dylan replies, noting every state has some good people and some bad people. He does, interestingly, say Minnesota has its own "Mason Dixon Line" between the northern and southern parts of the state.
"Up north the weather is more extreme – frostbite in the winter, mosquito-ridden in the summer, no air conditioning when I grew up, steam heat in the winter and you had to wear a lot of clothes when you went outdoors. Your blood gets thick. It’s the land of 10,000 lakes – lot of hunting and fishing. Indian country, Ojibwe, Chippewa, Lakota, birch trees, open pit mines, bears and wolves – the air is raw. Southern Minnesota is farming country, wheat fields and hay stacks, lots of corn fields, horses and milk cows."
Could that all be deduced by anyone who reads Minnesota's Wikipedia page? Probably, but that's OK.
The most personal he gets is right after, when he talks about the outdoors. Though his responses are pretty brief.
He would hunt with his uncle – but hated it. He fished for bass, sturgeon, flatheads and lake trout like everybody else, and cleaned them out. And he enjoyed shooting pellet guns through 2-by-4s.
This is all a pretty small portion of the interview, so make sure to go read the whole thing. Though we did want to share three other responses that made us chuckle.