Dylan/Alan J. Weberman phone conversation: jan '71

in this excerpt, weberman is reading dylan an article he (weberman) wrote about him (dylan)

WEBERMAN: 'Hey, Bob -- why not show the people your heart's in the right place and do a benefit for John Sinclair?' 'But, I don t have my thing together.' 'Bullshit -- all you gotta do is show up and plunk your guitar a little and a hundred thousand freaks will come out of their pads and go anywhere you are -- '

DYLAN: I-I don t want to say I don't have my thing together, man. I got my thing together!

WEBERMAN: -- so, why *don't y'do* the thing?

DYLAN: Well, I want to get back to that statement first.

WEBERMAN: -- yeah --

DYLAN: I don t want to say that thing that I don't have my thing together.

WEBERMAN: -- right --

DYLAN: See, you, you can make somp'n* else up, but, uh -- don't leave that in there.

WEBERMAN: What should I say, then?

DYLAN: Let's see -- what's the statement? (pause) How 'bout, uh -- let's see -- how 'bout --

WEBERMAN: You said -- you don't have your thing together. You said, you know -- you're not ready to -- you --

DYLAN: -- oh yeah -- right -- I m not ready to go play concerts, man. That's th**

WEBERMAN: -- all right, I'm not ready --

DYLAN: -- that's not the same thing as saying --

WEBERMAN: -- all right --

DYLAN: -- I don't have my thing together

WEBERMAN: -- I'm not ready to go play concerts --

DYLAN: -- I'm not about to --

WEBERMAN: I'm not about to -- go play concerts. -- all right --

DYLAN: -- at this time.

WEBERMAN: Right -- I don't blame you, man. You know -- you, uh -- you know -- y-you don t want to be part of the scene -- you know -- uh, all kinds of terrible things could happen to you in that hour, man -- *y-know --

DYLAN: No, man -- like, what for? Why should I go play th*-for twenty thousand people, man? I mean, what --

WEBERMAN: -- **it would be**

DYLAN: -- you know --

WEBERMAN: -- more than twenty thousand.

DYLAN: Hey, I've been there before --

WEBERMAN: You make people happy, man*.*

DYLAN: I've been there before, I --

WEBERMAN: You make people happy --

DYLAN: I've done it before --

WEBERMAN: You set the whole trend in rock, man --

DYLAN: I did --

WEBERMAN: -- if you started doing things like that --

DYLAN: You shoulda been at the Isle of Wight, man. I'd just like to see how much you'd still be talking --

WEBERMAN: The Isle of Wight --

DYLAN: -- if you were at the Isle of Wight.

WEBERMAN: -- was a capitalist rip-off, man. I'm not talking about that kind of a scene -- I m talking --

DYLAN: Were you --

WEBERMAN: -- about --

DYLAN: -- at Woodstock? (pause) Were you at Woodstock?

WEBERMAN: I-I wasn t at Woodstock, man --

DYLAN: Well, then you *never didn't* --

WEBERMAN: -- I'm not talking about Woodstock --

DYLAN: -- seen those kind of things --

WEBERMAN: I'm not talking about a free concert, man. I'm not talking about that -- I'm talking about a benefit, you dig -- at Madison Square Garden, or something like that, man --

DYLAN: Go, *on* let's finish the article --

WEBERMAN: (pause) Uh, you know -- 'but I don t have my thing together. Bullshit.

DYLAN: Uh, no, no -- we're going to change that --

WEBERMAN: *Uh*, right, right -- uh, somp'n in what you said before -- but, you gotta -- 'all you gotta do is show up and plunk your guitar then a hundred thousand freaks will come -- **hear the duh-duh-duh** ' 'Sorry, Al -- I can t do it. But I will write a song about political prisoners on my next album.' 'I don t want promises for nine months later. I wanna see some action, now. See, Bob -- you set the trends in rock -- and if you become, like, a human being -- a lot of other performers will go along. (pause) The sun had set and Dylan's wife had called him for dinner -- on the phone ***and *** --'

DYLAN: Oh, that -- that whole last paragraph -- that, man -- I didn t think that was necessary.

WEBERMAN: 'Bob gave me his phone number and asked me to call him when I'm on the radio -- or if something comes up. Ever hear me on the radio, Bob?' 'Just a couple of times on Alex Bennett's show -- I dug it when he asked if you had any personal messages for me. What do you think of Bob Fass?' 'He's a revolutionary brother, but he don't dig it when I attack you -- course* you were an old friend of his.' 'Well, Al, so long -- Uh, one more thing -- you re not gonna get into my life' -- 'Why?' --

DYLAN: (breath) **Le** those two sentences, man. I don't get them at all. I don't understand them, even --

WEBERMAN: -- why, if you do, I might gain a soul --

DYLAN: Yeah, well, that's shit -- those last two sentences. I don't think I said that.

WEBERMAN: Yes, you did. That's just what you said, man. You said, You re not gonna get into my life -- I said, 'Why?' -- * then you said, 'If you do, I might gain a soul.'

DYLAN: I don't understand that, do you?

WEBERMAN: (pause) Uhh -- I don't know -- I don't know -- it could be looked at in a number of ways, man -- you could *** --

DYLAN: Yeah, why don't you -- d'why don t you take it out of your article and look at it in a number of ways -- and let s d'uh -- you know, and -- and roll it around awhile -- and then when you -- when we know what it means -- why don't you tell me, and then -- ah, let's see if it's worth putting in an article --

WEBERMAN: (pause) Uh** --

DYLAN: Is that fair? I don t know what it means man.

WEBERMAN: So,* how would you have me in the article?

DYLAN: I don't know. It's your article. (pause) **Shit, I mean** --

WEBERMAN: ****, I just lost you. All right, man -- like, uh --

DYLAN: I don't know --

WEBERMAN: **but** **that's** what happened during our --

DYLAN: I know that's what happened.

WEBERMAN: -- first conversation --

DYLAN: But that ain't what happened, man -- ***?*** like, that last, uh -- that last sentence don't **end any** article -- you know that. That didn t happen like that. I re'ember --

WEBERMAN: -- all right --

DYLAN: -- saying something like that, but it didn't have anything to do with how you're using it -- you're just taking it out of context.

WEBERMAN: **saytin now**

DYLAN: Then you re like some -- **

WEBERMAN: All right --

DYLAN: -- fucking Look Magazine --

WEBERMAN: -- **you want me to put it into context -- you **wanta do it back kinda ** -- then I say, 'Is that a threat?' -- and then you say, you know -- 'no, it is, but I know people who can kill you' -- that's what I remembered --

DYLAN: Oh no -- man!

WEBERMAN: -- or something like that, man.


WEBERMAN: I was very paranoid -- in a very paranoid mood, man.

DYLAN: Well, don't take it out on me, man. I mean, come on --

WEBERMAN: Well, that's why I changed it around, man. I don t have you, uh -- comin' on like that. That's why I took it out, you know -- so, I left it -- I left it -- other interpretation -- I might gain a soul. You couldn't --

DYLAN: I don't want to say that, *man --

WEBERMAN: ***you couldn t ????***

DYLAN: -- 'cause I don't -- that** sounds *shitty --

WEBERMAN: ***that***

DYLAN: -- what the --

WEBERMAN: -- **that's** **so fucking** quotable, man --

DYLAN: W-what does that mean -- I mean, like, I -- eh, uh** -- that don't -- aaoh -- it leaves me cold, man -- like, uh -- it s, uh -- doesn t even sound like me.

WEBERMAN: But you said it -- those are your exact words.

DYLAN: I gained a soul -- uh**, what could that mean?

WEBERMAN: Man, you know -- you ought'a stand behind things that you say.

DYLAN: (breath) Yeah, man, but I -- that was taken --

WEBERMAN: **that's the truth***

DYLAN: -- right outta, right out of -- I do stand behind most of what I say, man -- but you know, I'm nyh-- **stuff**

WEBERMAN: **No,** you don't stand behind anything you say, man.

DYLAN: Sure, I do -- sure, I do.


DYLAN: -- I just don t dig it --

WEBERMAN: ***inaudible*** ***Dylan, man*** *that s for sure --

DYLAN: Man, I'm gonna do an article on you, man. I think I'm gonna write a song about you, too.

WEBERMAN: Well, I could use the publicity.

DYLAN: Yeah, *well -- that s one reason why I wouldn t, man --

WEBERMAN: (laughter)

DYLAN: -- but, uh --

WEBERMAN: (laughter)

DYLAN: -- I got a good song, man -- if I ever want* to do one --

WEBERMAN: What s it called?

DYLAN: It s called "Pig" --

WEBERMAN: I'm a pig, eh?

DYLAN: -- yeah.

WEBERMAN: Aw, bullshit, I'm a --

DYLAN: -- yeah, man --

WEBERMAN: -- pig, man --

**DYLAN: -- yeah, man --**

WEBERMAN: You re the one who's a pig --

DYLAN: -- oh, no -- not at all --

WEBERMAN: -- Oh, yeah --

DYLAN: -- not at all, (laugh) man -- not at all. I don't think I'm gonna write it, though -- just because of that publicity thing. I don't dig that -- at all. But, I got the song, man.

WEBERMAN: **You re killing me*** --

DYLAN: -- I'll sing it for you. (pause) Well, I don't have it finished, actually -- but, uh --

WEBERMAN: -- I'm a pig, **man?

DYLAN: -- hey, man --

WEBERMAN: I don't have a million fucking dollars, man --

DYLAN: I don t ha -- ***d'uh *wait* -- what does that have to do with it?

WEBERMAN: 'Cause you have a million fucking dollars, man. See, you ain t'th' eh -- you ain't that much better than the cat who --

DYLAN: (breath)

WEBERMAN: -- has nothing, man. You dig it* -- the cat who's walking around the bowery, man -- it s true, like -- you know --

DYLAN: -- (whisper) waaht* --

WEBERMAN: -- in some ways you're better, but you ain't a million dollars better worth -- you know what I mean? Like, in times like this **?** like, you know, when you have a million dollars in this society, man -- it means, that other people don't have it -- you know -- (pause) uh -- don't you dig what I mean -- nobody should have, like -- a million dollars, man -- nobody should be allowed to accumulate that much wealth -- you know -- that much surplus wealth -- when, uh -- peop*le, uh*, when there are other people around that don t have shit. You know -- and not -- 'cau -- 'cause of their fuckin' skin color, man -- not because of, uh -- of anything else -- 'cause they're despised -- 'cause they re not like *straights* -- like hate anyone who s different than them in any kind of a way --

DYLAN: -- ay a* --

WEBERMAN: -- right?

DYLAN: -- yeah, man -- I think you re over -- you're overlooking --

WEBERMAN: -- no! **I m telling you,** man**

DYLAN: -- a lot, man. You're overlooking a lot --

WEBERMAN: **I've had friends, man* -- I've had friends -- that got a lotta money together -- you know -- and, uh, I told them, man -- you -- you should put some of this fuckin' money back in the community -- most of it -- enough that, you know -- keep enough so th' you can live decently -- but don't fuckin' , uh -- you know, they didn't have peanuts compared to you, man. You know, and y' -- I told them to go fuck themselves if they're gonna fuckin' rip off, uh -- the, you know -- people not putting anything back -- but you're just a capitalist -- that's all, man. 'Cept, instead of producing, uh -- you know, yah -- instead of producing, uh -- uh, cars, or guns -- you produce, uh -- you know -- records -- music.

DYLAN: Hey man, that's, uh -- that's something, though.

WEBERMAN: It s somp'n, man -- but lately, it's nothin.

DYLAN: (pthtt)*

WEBERMAN: **but** not only do you keep the money, but you d' -- the lyrics themselves have no kind of, uh -- redeeming value -- you're -- they're just -- in fact, they're reactionary -- you know. You're just, uh -- every -- all the shit is hitting the fuckin' fan -- and you're singin' 'Hope it -- looks like nothin' but rain' -- you know -- uh --

DYLAN: -- that's a good song, man -- <_sign on the window_/_new morning_>

WEBERMAN: -- what are you --

DYLAN: -- like --

WEBERMAN: -- a weatherman?

DYLAN: -- a what?

WEBERMAN: -- a weatherman?

DYLAN: -- *do you mind?*

WEBERMAN: -- **if it's** nothin but rain --

DYLAN: (laugh)

WEBERMAN: -- but I wanted, uh -- if I want to fuckin , uh --

DYLAN: -- is your tape recorder still on, man?

WEBERMAN: **and it**

DYLAN: -- is it still running?

WEBERMAN: -- yeah.

DYLAN: Oh, it didn't break down?

WEBERMAN: Uh -- no, no -- it's -- it's a good one.

DYLAN: Yeah -- well, I ain't gonna call you no more, man -- just because of that. I mean -- I don't trust yah.

WEBERMAN: Why, wuh -- don't tell me you didn't tape-record my conversation --

DYLAN: -- no, man, I -- would, uh --

WEBERMAN: -- any conversations with me, man --

DYLAN: -- no, what do I want to do that for --