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‘I have written a blasphemous book’, said Melville when his novel was first published in 1851, ‘and I feel as spotless as the lamb’. Deeply subversive, in almost every way imaginable, Moby-Dick is a virtual, alternative bible – and as such, ripe for reinterpretation in this new world of new media. Out of Dominion was born its bastard child – or perhaps its immaculate conception – the Moby-Dick Big Read: an online version of Melville’s magisterial tome: each of its 135 chapters read out aloud ...
 
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show series
 
Writer Matt Rowland Hill is well placed to comment on Dylan’s ‘Property of Jesus’ years: “the kind of fire-and-brimstone Christianity that I grew up with was exactly the kind that Dylan converted into. He was ripe to be captured”. At the age of 17, Matt wangled his way past security in London, hoping to accost his hero, only to told by members of D…
 
Jeff Hanna, founder member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, is a team player. He has played with Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, Jackson Browne, John Prine, Levon Helm, Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Rosanne Cash, Linda Ronstadt and Matraca Berg. Oh, and Roger McGuinn, Jason Isbell, Rodney Crowell, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Larry Campbell an…
 
Australian singer/songwriter Emma Swift's highly acclaimed Blonde On The Tracks album, with guitar backing by life partner (and former podcast guest) Robyn Hitchcock, was her breakthrough recording. Emma swears that "singing Dylan's songs is like wearing a magical cape. Suddenly you have special powers. My job is to give each song a different emoti…
 
Prize-winning poet and playwright Caroline Bird reminds us that “we’re all poets when we’re asleep. Writing is trying to find a way to dream while we’re awake”. On Bob Dylan: “You always hear him choosing the dark side of the road”; “What I love is that his songs are full of denial. Whenever the emotion gets too real, he runs away” and “He’s so naï…
 
Patti Smith Group guitarist and author Lenny Kaye reminds us that “Bob Dylan is still experimenting, seeing who he might be, putting on the weirdest shows ever, upending barriers”. Almost in one breath, Lenny gives forth on working with or listening to Suzanne Vega, John Coltrane, Gayle, The Stooges, Brian Eno, The Byrds, Bing Crosby and Janis Jopl…
 
Film director/screenwriter Justin Trefgarne talks about Dylan, but also about fathers, sons, archetypes and coincidence. “Bob has been the guardian angel and surrogate father for my entire adult existence,” he tells us. From his first encounter with Like A Rolling Stone (which he played for five hours straight), “everything was up for grabs”. Hear …
 
Singer/Songwriter/Actor John Doe tells terrific tales: hanging with Dennis Quaid and Winona Ryder in Memphis, gigging with Nick Lowe in London and hearing his voice come out of Christian Bale’s mouth in Todd Haynes’s Dylan biopic I’m Not There. Did John’s appearance with LA punk band X on the Letterman Show in 1983 inspire Dylan’s wild 1984 set wit…
 
Belfast’s Steven Cockcroft (co-host of leading Beatles podcast Nothing Is Real) offers unexpected takes on The Boys and Bob: “Roll On John isn’t about an individual, it’s about the sanctification of Lennon” and “The Travelling Wilburys was a calculated move by George”. Also on the menu: Dylan’s questionable harmonies on an obscure Ringo album track…
 
Our special culinary episode with critic Eric Asimov includes the story of long-time Dylan bass player Tony Garnier’s delicious Christmas gumbo and Dylan’s wine-making venture, Planet Waves (“the wine has aged better than the album”). A fan since hearing “I Want You” the age of eight, Eric is “drawn to the atmosphere Bob creates. It’s misty. It’s a…
 
Singer, songwriter and saxophonist Curtis Stigers tells us true stories with a cast of characters including Van Morrison, Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan. A fan from way back (“Bob is the perfect creation. He’s an art form in himself”), his jazzy cover versions include Things Have Changed (“people go nuts for that song. Their heads explode”). A committe…
 
Comic actor Thom Tuck discovered Bob Dylan when, growing up in Bangladesh, he caught the promo for Subterranean Homesick Blues on MTV Rewind. His family eventually returned to Leeds, where his outsider status was made even worse/better by his obsession with all things Bob. At university, he didn’t improve his lot by writing a play called “One More …
 
Fellow podcaster Laura Tenschert’s Definitely Dylan contains multitudes of theories and insights which she shares in this eye-opening episode. German-born Laura learned English by listening to Bob, which gave her sharper ears than most. Dozens of songs are given forensic treatment, ranging from classics like Lord Protect My Child and Buckets of Rai…
 
Writer and musician Richard Strange insists “If you don’t want to be Bob Dylan, you shouldn’t be writing songs”. He takes us on a journey that starts in his Brixton comprehensive (“I was always bunking off, going to art galleries and the haunted, dingy Soho flesh-pot folk clubs”). He discovers “the boy band of Beat literature: Burroughs, Kerouac an…
 
Author, editor and podcaster Andy Miller is mad as hell and he’s not going to take it anymore: “Bob Dylan is not a safe option!” “The heritage industry around the Beatles and Dylan is neutering the anarchy of the music. The world sees me as just another bloke buying a Dad Rock box set at Christmas. But it’s not a hygienic vision of what rock ‘n’ ro…
 
Music journalist Kate French-Morris, 29, found her calling in a University of California class taught by Greil Marcus (“he gets closer to Bob’s mind than anyone can, with his sideways thinking and his cattiness”). Kate shares a birthday with Dylan, but her main man might be Bruce Springsteen, who figures strongly in this, our first studio recording…
 
While held captive for 32 months by Somali pirates, writer and Dylan fan Michael Scott Moore had plenty of opportunity to contemplate lyrics, especially All Along The Watchtower. He was given a Bible during his captivity and discovered, in Isaiah, “the ramparts, the princes, the two horsemen and the wildcat. The whole song clicked! It’s about the f…
 
Comedy writer Daniel Radosh initiated the Twitter hashtag #BD969, celebrating every officially released Dylan song, as well as posting four playlists for The 80th Birthday: Bob Dylan For Beginners. We discuss these gems and open up the contentious topic of Dylan’s album cover art, from best to worst and everything in between. Other albums covered i…
 
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