Radio.com Minimation: Bob Dylan: ‘Anybody Can Make a Video’
By Brian Ives
On Minimation, we comb through the archives of legendary New York radio station WNEW-FM and animate interviews with legendary rock artists. This installment is taken from a 1985 interview with Bob Dylan, where he discusses his feelings about the then-budding art form of music videos. This minimation was created for Radio.com by Elliot Lobell.
Bob Dylan’s 1966 short film for “Subterranean Homesick Blues” is often cited as being one of the first music videos. Shot and released decades before there was any real outlet for the medium, it was something of a curiosity at the time. But in 1985, when this interview was recorded, it was a much different era. MTV was becoming a dominant cultural force, and it was pretty much mandatory that artists made at least one video (if not more) to promote their new albums. Ever the contrarian, Dylan’s mood on music videos had cooled by then.
“I don’t mind making videos,” he said. “It’s fake, it’s like making a movie, it’s all fake.” This, by the way, was two years before he’d co-star in the otherwise-forgettable 1987 flick Hearts of Fire , which he co-starred in with Rupert Everett and pop singer Fiona.
“Anybody can make a video. Anybody. All you need is a camera.”
Oddly enough, his son Jesse Dylan, went on to be a director of films as well as videos: his resume includes clips by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (“A Face in the Crowd”), Tom Waits (“God’s Away on Business”) and the Black Keys’s immortal “Lonely Boy” (which, to be fair, anybody could have made). Oh, and also a little 2008 video called “Yes We Can” that possibly helped get a president elected.
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