(What was it you wanted? #24)

Dylan: Yeah, well I was in the carnival when I was about thirteen -- all kinds of shows.

James: Where'd you go?

Dylan: All around the mid-west, uh, Gallup, New Mexico, Aptos, Texas, and then ... lived in, Gallup, New Mexico and ...

James: How old were you?

Dylan: Uh, about seven, eight, something like that.

<--- break --->

Dylan: If I'm on stage, my idol -- even my biggest idol when I'm on stage -- the one that's running through my head all the time, is Charlie Chaplin. And, uh, it, well it takes awhile to explain it, but I'd say he's one of *the* men.

James: When did you first see Chaplin?

Dylan: Ah, I seen some of his films -- I just sort of knew who he was and that kind of stuff. Vaudeville, that kind of thing. Will Rogers. And I never really met anything -- I never really came across anything until I lived in New York. I don't think it's got the best of me. At least I know it hasn't got the better part of me.

James: Touched you?

Dylan: It might have touched me a little bit. In fact it *has* touched me a little bit, but I never lived in a city that was more than 15,000 people. And there's an awful lot of difficulty here.

<--- break --->

Dylan: And I was very stupid at the time, and I was with a friend of mine, and I played. And they booed, and I figured ...

James: Where?

Dylan: Cafe Wha? And I didn't know anything, and they never paid me, and that kind of stuff. And I didn't even want money to play. And he looked at me and he said, "I'll give you a dollar". So he gave me a dollar and said, "Play it cool, man". And it came to a dollar-fifty and I played there and they flipped. They really did. And I figured if they liked me so much, they'd give me a place to stay that night - a better place. So I asked from the stage, and about four hands went up. So my buddy and I, we sort of went and checked 'em all. It was with a girl. And my buddy says to me, "You don't look so hot" and I ... he says "You look pretty gay". [ James laughs ]. And I said - I didn't really know anything, you know. Anyway ... he was with a girl. And the girl got off at 34th Street and we got off at 42nd Street. [ Dylan laughs ]. Well, we went in a bar first before we went to find a place to stay. And we met his friend Dora. Dora was his friend who stayed with him. And we all went to a party. And that was my first night in New York.

<--- break --->

Dylan: I sense they're liking me - maybe not the music so much, but maybe - I feel if they saw me on the street, or playing someplace, I feel like they wouldn't be so friendly.

<--- break --->

Dylan: I like the land, the people that are strange in the west. I like some of the people, don't like some of the people. Hard, hard people. And down south it's worth than that. I can't say much for the south. I hate - I can't stand - anywhere they're thinking ...

<--- break --->

Dylan: I'm not a folk-singer. I just sing a certain place that's all. And ...

James: Was Woody a folk-singer?

Dylan: Woody was a folk-singer, Woody was a folk-singer.

James: Why do you say you're not?

Dylan: Ah, Woody was a folk-singer up to the point. Woody was a glorified singer. Woody was a man that went back to some record ...

James: No, man, no ...

Dylan: Well, you see, Woody was a man who dwelled on a simple record because he was getting attention ... <--- interrupted --->

Dylan: I play the piano. I used to play the piano. I used to play great piano, very great. I used to play Little Richard stuff only an octave higher. And everything came out - He made a big mistake - his records were great records - but couldn't have been greater. His great mistake was he played low. If he had played high, they would've been uncomplicated. Do you listen to Little Richard?

James: No.

Dylan: Well, Little Richard's something else. He's a preacher, man. But I sort of played the piano in his style. And I played everything high and amplified it.

<--- interrupted --->

This interview was conducted by Billy James of CBS sometime in the Fall, 1961. It is the first known taped interview and this is a transcript of the, unfortunately incomplete tape, published in Stephen Pickering's Praxis: One. A complete transcript (?) was published in New Musical Express 4/24/76.