DYLAN, Bob (b.1941). Typed manuscript of his interview conducted by Nat Hentoff, published in Playboy, March 1966. 39 pages, 4to.
THE UNPUBLISHED FIRST DRAFT OF DYLAN'S INTERVIEW WITH NAT HENTOFF, A FASCINATING PERSPECTIVE ON THE SONGWRITER. Dylan rose to immense stardom at an extremely early age and his distrust of the media was established quickly once innacurate stories began to appear. As a result, Dylan became a master of media manipulation, viewing press conferences and interviews as outgrowths of his performances on stage. The present interview, bearing corrections in an editorial hand (possibly Hentoff's), transcribes the actual conversation which took place between Hentoff and Dylan, but is not the version used in the magazine. Clinton Heylin, Dylan's biographer, explains the history of the publication: "His second rewrite [after a piece in the New York Herald Tribune] was the legendary Playboy interview, conducted in the fall of 1965, which says more in its seven pages than Tarantula managed in 137. For years, fans found it hard to believe that even Dylan could be as sustainedly, spontaneously funny as the March 1966 issue of Playboy implied. Anthony Scaduto then suggested that Dylan had recomposed the whole interview, but that Hentoff was reluctant to discuss it. In fact, Hentoff seemed perfectly happy to come clean when pressed by Brian Styble for Zimmerman Blues in 1976.
"Nat Hentoff: There were two [Playboy] interviews. The first was really an almost unusually straight interview. As I recall, it was quite sober, almost historical, biographical account, a lot of opinion, a certain amount of his--you know he can't avoid being sardonically funny, but just a straight interview. The galleys were sent to him and I don't recall him making more than two changes of no significance. Then the final set came to him after they messed with it in Chicago. I don't know what they did but I think they put some words in his mouth... I got a call and he was furious. I said, 'Look, tell them to go to hell. Tell them you don't want it to run.' And he said, 'No, I got a better idea. I'm gonna make one up.' I said it probably will work if they very much want to have a Dylan interview. We were on the phone and I did not have a tape recorder then. This was all by hand. I'll never forget, I could hardly move the damn thing for a day. He made up an interview, I helped, I must say. Some of the good straight lines are mine, but all the really funny stuff... is his. It was run with absolutely no indication it was a put-on. I remember I saw him two or three times in the month or two after and he'd say, 'Hey, when's it coming out, when's it coming out?' He thought it was a really funny caper, which it was" (Clinton Heylin, Bob Dylan: Behind the Shades, New York, 2003, pp.229-230). While a bootleg of Hentoff's taped interview has circulated (Temporary Like Bob Dylan, Speaking Tube, 1987), this archive represents the first real opportunity to study the original typescript of Dylan's interview.
[With:] HENTOFF, Nat. Typed letter signed ("Nat") to Murray Fisher, New York, 17 November 1965. Hentoff notes that Dylan is leaving for a three-week tour and so should be sent the typescript soon. -- Playboy typescript of the first version of the interview, with pasted in sections and a multitude of editorial revisions. It is this typescript which makes significant changes to the original Hentoff script above. -- Fragmentary uncorrected galley proof sheets of the first version on the interview, incomplete and with a very few editorial corrections. -- Typed "cut sheets" of pull quotes from the interview, with editorial markings grading them on a scale of A to C-. -- Checking proof for the revised interview as it appeared in Playboy with editorial corrections. 8½ pages. -- White, yellow, pink (and xeroxed) four-book sheets of the revised interview, two sets with editorial corrections, the white set with typed and galley proof taped inserts.
[With:] Nine black-and-white portrait photographs of Dylan and three contact sheets by Werner Wolff, some used for the March 1964 "On the Scene" feature on Dylan and one used to accompany the 1966 interview.
A SUPERB ARCHIVE OF DYLAN MATERIAL, INCLUDING THE UNPUBLISHED DRAFT OF HIS INTERVIEW (18)