BOB DYLAN REJECTS THE PERCEPTION OF HIMSELF
AS A "PROPHET" OR "SAVIOR," HE TELLS ED BRADLEY
IN HIS FIRST TELEVISION INTERVIEW IN 19 YEARS,
SUNDAY ON "60 MINUTES"
Music Legend Says Becoming Elvis Presley is a More Plausible Image in His Mind
They thought of him as their prophet or savior. But Bob Dylan, the music legend worshipped by so many members of the 60s Generation, rejects such solemn notions. He never saw himself as more than a singer-songwriter, he tells Ed Bradley in his first television interview in 19 years. The interview will be broadcast on 60 MINUTES, Sunday Dec. 5 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
The idea of such a perception made him uncomfortable in his own skin, feeling like an "imposter," says Dylan. "It was like being in an Edgar Allen Poe story and you're just not that person everybody thinks you are, though they call you that all the time," he tells Bradley.
"'You're the prophet. You're the savior.' I never wanted to be a prophet or a savior," says Dylan. "Elvis maybe. I could see myself becoming him. But prophet? No."
Although he is keenly aware of the immutable perception, especially when awestruck fans approach him in public, Dylan still can't reconcile it with his own reality. "My stuff�[they]were songs�they weren't sermons," he tells Bradley. "If you examine the songs I don't believe you're going find anything in there that says that I'm a spokesman for anybody or anything really�[Those who feel that way] must not have heard the songs," he says.
Perhaps the Dylan song heard the most, his signature "Like a Rolling Stone," was recently named by Rolling Stone magazine the best song of all time. The honor may mean more to his fans than to Dylan. "Oh, maybe this week [it's number one]. But you know, the list, they change names�quite frequently, really. I don't pay much attention to that," he tells Bradley. Bradley retorts, "But it's a pat on the back, Bob," to which Dylan replies, "This week it is. But you know, who's to say how long that's going to last."
Also discussed in the interview is Dylan's recently published memoir, titled Chronicles Volume One. The book's publisher, Simon & Schuster, and CBS News, are subsidiaries of Viacom.