Last week American singer/songwriter Bob Dylan became the first musician ever to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, the most prestigious award in Letters. Pretty much the entire world can agree that iconic Minnesota poet deserves the award (except this guy and this guy). The Swedish-based committee will throw a ceremony in his honor on December 10th.
Dylan himself? He doesn’t give a single, flying fuck.
It would be very un-Dylan to give a fuck.
According to the Nobel committee, Dylan hasn’t responded to their calls or even acknowledged the award, reports the Telegraph. He did a show in Vegas followed by another show for the second weekend of Coachella’s Desert Trip.
It’s not like Dylan is *completely* anti-award. He was named the MusiCares Person of the Year in 2015 before the Grammys. He was honored by President Jimmy Carter and gave a monster speech, throwing out gems like “Critics have said that I’ve made a career out of confounding expectations. Really? Because that’s all I do?” and bashing modern rock for not having a sense of rhythm. The transcript is a must-read.
Over at The Telegraph, there’s a story from President Obama about Dylan’s trademark indifference, even while dealing with the leader of the free world:
“Here’s what I love about Dylan: He was exactly as you’d expect he would be,” recalled Mr Obama, in a 2013 interview.
“He wouldn’t come to the rehearsal; usually, all these guys are practicing before the set in the evening.
“He didn’t want to take a picture with me; usually all the talent is dying to take a picture with me and Michelle before the show, but he didn’t show up to that.
“He came in and played The Times They Are A-Changin’. A beautiful rendition. The guy is so steeped in this stuff that he can just come up with some new arrangement, and the song sounds completely different.
“Finishes the song, steps off the stage — I’m sitting right in the front row — comes up, shakes my hand, sort of tips his head, gives me just a little grin, and then leaves.
“And that was it — then he left. That was our only interaction with him.
“And I thought: That’s how you want Bob Dylan, right? You don’t want him to be all cheesin’ and grinnin’ with you. You want him to be a little sceptical about the whole enterprise.”
The greatest lesson of Bob Dyland is how we all need to be more like Bob Dylan.