Is It Rolling, Bob? Talking Dylan

Is It Rolling, Bob? Talking Dylan

By Lucas Hare, Kerry Shale

Actors Kerry Shale and Lucas Hare talk to interesting people about Bob Dylan. And lots of other things.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.


Sarah Lee

Guardian/Observer staff photographer Sarah Lee first watched Dont Look Back whilst perched on a crowded bed in a Camden flat with a struggling rock combo called Coldplay. As she’s now a BAFTA photographer, Sarah checks plenty of other names in this episode, including Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston, Austin Butler and Cate Blanchett. On celebrity photography: “I like having no control. I like pressure. I’m always terrified”. On Dylan album cover photography: “He knows why it works. He doesn’t need Christopher Ricks to write 4000 words on it.” We also focus our telephoto lens on Sarah’s love of Joan Baez and her admiration for Cat Power’s recreation of Dylan’s 1966 gig at the Royal Albert Hall (“It felt like witchcraft”).Sarah Lee has been a photographer for The Guardian/Observer since 2000, specialising in portraiture, features and the Arts. Her work has appeared on the covers of Time magazine, Weekend and Billboard as well as in Rolling Stone, The Sunday Times and Vanity Fair. Commercial clients have included Leica, Visa, Apple and Transport for London. In 2012, she shot most of the portraits for Coldplay’s MX album. Sarah is a fellow of the British American Project and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. With the writer and broadcaster Laura Barton providing the introduction, her photography book West of West was published in 2020.WebsiteTwitterTrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 21st April 2023 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
11/06/2353m 6s

Rebecca Slaman

Rebecca Slaman, writer and social media guru, is a fan of Bob Dylan’s “perfect random meme humour.” Twitter? “Girls lust after him! But I’ve seen some pretty egregious stuff. Old people don’t understand the platform.” Dylan’s 1987 film Hearts of Fire? “He cannot act. How can he not act? He’s been acting his whole life. So bad - but so entertaining!” Songs like My Own Version of You? “They clue us into his mind palace. He radiates this energy.” We know you’ll enjoy this energetic episode from a born-again Dylan obsessive.Rebecca Slaman is a New York City-based writer. She graduated from Fordham University Lincoln Center in 2020 with a BA in English and Classics and has spoken at Bob Dylan conferences in Tulsa and Miami. Her subjects include Dylan fan culture and Dylan’s visual art. Rebecca has been a staff writer at The Fordham Observer, Grain of Salt Magazine and theatre satire publication The Broadway Beat. She likes “Wiggle Wiggle”.WebsiteTwitterTrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 26th January 2023 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
14/05/2350m 53s

Bettye LaVette

In the 61st year of her singing career, five-time Grammy nominee Bettye LaVette warns us that our chat will be “straight, no chaser”. And she lives up to that promise. Bettye describes her surprise backstage meeting with Bob Dylan: “He kissed me on the mouth. It was no big deal. I’ve kissed Otis Redding and David Ruffin”. Working with Keith Richards on her Things Have Changed album of Dylan songs was more fun: “We were instant friends” (other friends/fans include Jon Bon Jovi, Pete Townshend and Margo Price). She recalls the Kennedy Center Honors where she stopped the show in front of Streisand, Aretha and Beyoncé, the Jazz Café gig where she threw out an arguing couple (“You can’t come starting no fight in the middle of my show!”) and why she loves working with her own band (“I’d rather be bit in the ass by a snaggletoothed mule than go to rehearsal”). The problem with Dylan’s Emotionally Yours versus her version? (“He was trying to say I love you. But he couldn’t. It was too simple”). Ladies and gentlemen, the one and only Miss Bettye LaVette…Bettye LaVette made her first record in 1962 at the age of sixteen. Her eclectic musical style combines elements of soul, blues, rock and roll, funk, gospel and country music. Despite recording singles and albums, touring in a Broadway musical and being a mainstay of the Northern Soul phenomenon in the UK, she didn’t begin to break through until 2003, with the release of her album A Woman Like Me (at the age of 57). Her albums The Scene of the Crime, Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook, Worthy, the Bob Dylan project Things Have Changed (which Greil Marcus named Best Album of 2018) and Blackbirds were subsequently nominated for Grammy Awards. She has been a guest on countless television programmes including Letterman and Later... with Jools Holland. In 2020, Bettye was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. Her new album LaVette! is out on 16th June.WebsiteTwitterTrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 17th January 2023 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/04/2350m 23s

Simon Munnery

Like his main man Bob Dylan, comedian Simon Munnery knows a few things about heckles: aside from being arrested in Edinburgh for heckling Arthur Smith, he met his future wife when she heckled him in Australia. When not on the road, Simon joins his local Morris Men in Bedfordshire pubs, serenading fellow drinkers with his version of Blind Willie McTell. But he no longer owns any Dylan albums (“I’ve given them all away. I went through a period of being quite evangelist”). Munnery cracks us up with his drunken plot to meet Madonna at a record launch, enlightens us with his passionate appreciation of The Velvet Underground’s Beginning To See The Light, cracks us up again with his theory about Kate Bush swapping places with God and mystifies us as to why he played Kind of Blue on a loop for six months. There’s lots about Bob Dylan, too.Simon Munnery is “one of the most original and talented comics in the country” (The Observer). After Cambridge University in the mid-eighties, he worked with Steve Coogan, Patrick Marber, Richard Herring and Stewart Lee on an Edinburgh Fringe piece called The Dum Show. In the nineties, he performed sell-out solo shows at London theatres and international festivals, featuring characters including Alan Parker: Urban Warrior, The League Against Tedium and Buckethead. Simon starred in ITV’s flagship stand-up show Saturday Live, won a Sony Gold Radio Award for his BBC Radio 1 series Alan Parker’s 29 Minutes of Truth and was nominated for a British Comedy Award for his BBC2 show London Shouting. His TV series Attention Scum was directed by Stewart Lee. Simon appeared as Alan Parker on a music track by The Orb called Grey Clouds. He is currently touring Simon Munnery: Trials And Tribulations.WebsiteTwitterTrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 10th January 2023 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
19/03/2346m 26s

Helen Barrett

Journalist Helen Barrett was lullabied to sleep as her mother sang Mr. Tambourine Man; she had it played at her mother’s funeral (“the Dylan version, not the Byrds cover”). To top it off, Baby, Stop Crying was the soundtrack to her Dylan-loving parents’ divorce. Helen analyses Dylan’s clothes (“John Lennon wasn’t given to copying people, but he copied Dylan’s look”), his album covers (“when I was nine, I wanted to be Sally Grossman”) and his current incarnation (“he’s the ringmaster of a magical circus show.”) Download this stylish episode and discover oddities like the name of the Soho shop where Bob Neuwirth purchased his famous orange and white “Highway 61” T-shirt.Helen Barrett is a writer and editor, based in London. From 2012 - 2021, she was a journalist at the Financial Times. She currently writes for the FT, the Telegraph, the Spectator and other publications on art, design, architecture, music, fashion, travel, modern life and popular culture. Her work includes features and opinion pieces which cover everything from the future of gastropubs to the new era of protest music. She also reviews theatre, dance, books and films.Bob Dylan clothes shopping in 1965Sandie Shaw photoWebsiteTwitterTrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 20th December 2022 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
19/02/2353m 48s

Michael Bonner

Michael Bonner, editor of music magazine Uncut, takes on Dylan’s 2022 UK concerts, as well as The Philosophy of Modern Song (“Dylan mimicking the critical noise around Dylan”). Other topics include an in-depth dissection of Key West (“ambient, amniotic and immersive”), Dylan’s “thing that he has about dual guitarists” and a couple of unfortunate Donovan concerts. Plus David Lynch, Sam Shepard, Tom Verlaine, Nick Cave and novelist Jim Thompson. Bonner considers the difference between “artists who allow themselves to be manacled to the expectations of their fans” versus an artist who continues to be concerned with “what’s real and what is not” in this rough and rowdy episode.For Uncut, Michael Bonner has interviewed Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, Willie Nelson, Jeff Tweedy and Daniel Lanois, among many others. After working for magazines including Melody Maker and Deadline, he joined Uncut in 1997 as Film Editor, before becoming editor in 2018. He masterminded two of Uncut's most successful free CDs, both about Dylan: a Best Of The Bootleg Series (2018) and a 2021 album of bespoke cover versions, released as part of Uncut's celebrations of Bob’s 80th birthday.WebsiteTwitterTrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 29th November 2022  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
22/01/2344m 49s

Stewart Lee

Comedian and columnist Stewart Lee remains “grateful to the people who brainwashed me into listening to Bob Dylan during a period of emotional and physical weakness.” He remembers seeing Dylan live at Hyde Park with his kids (“one of the greatest nights of my life”) as well as the time he alienated the audience at a Teenage Cancer Trust Benefit. “It was a good gig. 'Cause it was true. Self-sabotage keeps you alive. Chaos and confusion create a bubble that protects you.” Stew namechecks Dylan, Mark E. Smith, Jerry Sadowitz, William Blake, Roky Erickson and Mozart as fellow artists who “develop a split personality that says: what if I make him do this?” Warning: listeners should keep in mind that Mr Lee is “a cultural bully from the Oxbridge Mafia who wants to appear morally superior but couldn’t cut the mustard on a panel game.” (Lee Mack)This is a review (Dominic Maxwell, The Times) of Stewart’s current show, Basic Lee: "If someone says they’re going back to basics, can they be trusted? When Stewart Lee tells you he is going back to basics you sniff only fresh mischief in his chortlingly bold smush of sarcasm, satire, self-commentary and alternately lugubrious and exultant flights of fancy. It is hard, Lee tells us, to try to be funny in these days of frenetic social and political change. So he bookends this new show, which he wants to stay relevant until its tour ends in 2024, with a reworking of a routine he first performed at the start of his career in 1989. Self-plagiarism? Actually, Lee could profitably spend the rest of his career rejigging old routines, much as Miles Davis was able to find endless new takes on Stella by Starlight. At his best, as he delivers a comedy show that is a kind of lecture about comedy shows, he cheeks the crowd so surely that the effect is insulting yet intimate. Basic Lee is one of his more pretzel-shaped evenings. If its inner logic isn’t always easy to grasp, who cares when something is rendered with this much wit and verve? What’s it all about? It’s all about two hours long, it’s all very clever, but, basically, Basic Lee is very funny.""What would it be like if Bob Dylan from the 60's took a look a stand-up comedy today?"The Dream Syndicate's cover of Blind Willie McTell (1988)Steve Wynn, Murder Most Foul (2020)WebsiteTwitterTrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 16th November 2022 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
25/12/2258m 38s

Matt Rowland Hill

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 Dylan’s band that “Bob’s getting his pre-show acupuncture”. He did, however, manage to spend a drunken evening with legendary literary critic Christopher Ricks, discussing Dylan. As a former addict, Oxford literature graduate Matt is also well placed to give advice on what to do if you’re being watched while waiting for your man (“the police won’t pay any attention to anyone waiting to buy Class A drugs if they’re reading Jane Austen”). This is an episode that accesses areas we have never entered before. Don’t miss it.Matt Rowland Hill grew up as the son of a preacher man in an evangelical Christian church in South Wales. After a loss of faith in his late teens, Matt began his search for salvation elsewhere, turning to books before developing a growing relationship with drugs. He became addicted to crack and heroin in his early twenties, an ordeal that stretched over a decade. His memoir of that time, Original Sins, published in 2022, was nominated for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction. Matt has also written for The Independent, The Guardian, The Literary Review, The New Statesman and The Daily Telegraph. He lives in London.TwitterTrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 26th October 2022 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
27/11/2251m 32s

Jeff Hanna

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 and... Lee Marvin. Plus Mother Maybelle Carter (“my first guitar hero”), June Carter Cash, Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Roy Acuff and Vassar Clements.Whether labelled Americana, Country Rock, Bluegrass or Traditional Country, the NGDB have come a long way since their early days as a Southern Californian jug band. Their most recent album is Dirt Does Dylan. Jeff sums it up: “Dylan was our North Star. He was always in the conversation. We would analyse every morsel of that sandwich”. Bring your appetite: this is a particularly tasty episode.Jeff Hanna has hundreds of recording credits as a composer, vocalist, arranger, producer and acoustic, electric, steel, slide and twelve-string guitarist. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band recorded their first hit “Buy For Me The Rain” in 1967. An even bigger hit followed in 1970: a cover of Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Mr. Bojangles,” with Jeff on vocals and guitar - it was eventually inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 1971, the band and Jeff recorded Will The Circle Be Unbroken, one of the most influential albums of the era, introducing a generation of young musicians to the generation that came before. Two other Circle albums followed. In 2006, Hanna’s composition “Bless The Broken Road” won a Grammy Award for Best Country Song. The NGDB celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016 with a sold-out concert at the Ryman Auditorium and the live album “Circlin’ Back”. “Dirt Does Dylan” was released in 2022.WebsiteTwitterTrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 21st September 2022 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
30/10/2241m 32s

Emma Swift

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 emotional angle".Currently based in London and East Nashville ("where you go into the grocery store and everybody looks like an extra from The Last Waltz"), Emma is devoted both to Elvis ("I love a man in a leather suit") and The Traveling Wilburys ("Dylan was the curmudgeonly uncle of the group"). If you get the chance, we recommend catching her live set ("if people are laughing, engaged and sometimes crying, that's why I do it!'")Emma Swift was born in Australia but splits her time between the UK and the USA. Inspired by Joni Mitchell, Marianne Faithfull and Linda Ronstadt, her sound is a blend of Folk, Americana and Indie Rock. Blonde On the Tracks received "Best of 2020" accolades from Rolling Stone, No Depression, the Guardian and more. In 2021, Rolling Stone named her version of Queen Jane Approximately as Number 17 in the 80 best Dylan covers of all time. Emma is currently recording two non-Dylan albums.WebsiteTwitterTrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 2nd August 2022 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/10/2245m 38s

Caroline Bird

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 naïve about love”. On Mr. Tambourine Man, first heard at age eight: “It goes past the point where he’s trying to find a truth”. On Dylan’s lyrics: “He holds the pain lightly in order for it to resonate”. On a characteristic she shares with Dylan: “Writing is like dancing on hot sand. You can’t stand still”.Simon Armitage said of Caroline: “You don’t know if a bullet will come out of the barrel or a flag with the word 'BANG' on it”. We do know that we’ve rarely had more fun recording a podcast.Caroline Bird was one of the five official poets at the 2012 London Olympics. A two-time winner of the Foyle Young Poets Award, her first collection, Looking Through Letterboxes, was published in 2002 - when she was fifteen. Her 2020 collection, The Air Year, won the Forward Prize and was chosen as a Book of the Year by The Guardian and The Telegraph. Her most recent book, Rookie: Selected Poems (2022) is taken from her first six poetry collections. Caroline’s plays include her version of Euripedes' The Trojan Women, The Trial Of Dennis the Menace, Chamber Piece, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Iphigenia Quartet and Red Ellen.WebsiteTwitterTrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 13th July 2022 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
04/09/2249m 33s

Lenny Kaye

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 Joplin (“I wanted her to be my girlfriend”). His colleague Patti Smith fought for “the freedom to have a field of noise, beyond language. But also: a hit single.” Elvis “is an extraterrestrial: a mutation”. And after two tours supporting Dylan, he confirms that “Bob is private backstage. You’re instructed not to look at him. But that was OK. I don’t want to meet my idols”. A wise man. And a perfect podcast guest.Lenny Kaye has been the guitarist for The Patti Smith Group since the band's inception in 1974. He produced Patti’s first single and worked on the band’s hugely influential 70s albums: Horses, Easter, Radio Ethiopia and Wave. Lenny has also produced and/or played with dozens of artists such as R.E.M., James, Soul Asylum, Kristen Hersh and Allen Ginsberg. His seminal anthology of 60s garage rock, Nuggets, defined the genre. His first book was Waylon, The Life Story of Waylon Jennings. You Call It Madness: The Sensuous Song of the Croon was published in 2004. His current book is Lightning Striking: Ten Transformative Moments in Rock and Roll. Lenny also wrote the liner notes to the accompanying double CD (he has been nominated three times for Grammy awards in the liner notes category). As a freelancer, he has written for a wide range of periodicals, including Melody Maker, Creem and Rolling Stone.InstagramTrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyDark Eyes (duet between Dylan and Patti Smith)Listeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 28th June 2022 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/08/2251m 53s

Justin Trefgarne

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 how young Justin paid off a bouncer in Seattle to get seats to his first Dylan concert. How he won a Dylan soundalike contest in Las Vegas. And that time he and Bob had a close encounter in the doorway of the Grateful Dead Tattoo Parlour on Venice Beach.For the first time on this podcast, we tackle Robert Bly (author of Iron John), Joseph Campbell (author of The Hero’s Journey) and Federico Garcia Lorca’s concept of duende. Oh and - Justin’s pilot father flew three of the Beatles to see Dylan perform at the Isle of Wight Festival (probably).Justin’s debut feature film as writer-director was the 2015 sci-fi thriller NARCOPOLIS, starring Jonathan Pryce (with a cameo from Kerry Shale). The film spawned a successful graphic novel spin-off. He was head writer on the Nickelodeon reboot of children’s classic PETER RABBIT, for which he was nominated for an Emmy. Justin devised and wrote all ten episodes of the YouTube Original series SHERWOOD, which has had over 70m views. Other writer/director credits include DESIRE, starring Damian Lewis, which opened the Sundance Film Festival. He has also written screenplays for Film4, The BFI and Ruby Films. Justin recently wrote and directed on THE RAZUMOV FILES, a six-part audio-series starring Jessica Brown Findlay.IMdBTwitterTrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 16th June 2022   Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
10/07/2254m 48s

John Doe

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 with The Plugz? What did he say when he suddenly found himself face-to-face with Bruce Springsteen at that Grammy thing? Did Jerry Lee Lewis actually call him a "fucking asshole" the first time they met? John raves about Tulsa’s new Bob Dylan Center and answers all the above questions, as he presses on…John Doe and his bandmates in X made 6 studio recordings from 1978-1993. He has recorded 9 solo records, collaborating with Patty Griffin, Dan Auerbach, Aimee Mann, Don Was, Kathleen Edwards, Dave Alvin and Greg Liesz. Doe has acted in over 50 films and television productions including Road House, Great Balls of Fire, Pure Country and Roswell. His musical side projects include work with The Knitters and The Sadies. Doe co-wrote the definitive book about the LA punk rock scene, Under The Big Black Sun. His new album, Fables In A Foreign Land, was inspired by John Wesley Harding. John currently lives in Austin, Texas.WebsiteTwitterTrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 13th May 2022   Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
12/06/2248m 55s

Steven Cockcroft

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 and his controversial cover of Paul’s Things We Said Today. Plus: did you know that John asked Bob to play piano on Cold Turkey? Have you discovered the reference to Ringo on Don’t Fall Apart On Me Tonight? Ever hear Dylan’s in-concert cover of The Long and Winding Road? Or hear about the accusatory T-shirt he was gifted by George?How good is our Beatles episode? This Englishman said fab.Steven Cockroft is a partner in a law firm in Belfast. He co-hosts Nothing Is Real, the best Beatles podcast out there. Born in 1963, he grew up firmly believing the 1960s were the Golden Age. In the late 1970s, he sat out the 'punk wars', listening to Bob Dylan, The Beatles and Van Morrison. Hosting the podcast came about after Steven and co-host Jason Carty won the Beatle Brain of Ireland competition. They have interviewed Kevin Godley, Mark Lewisohn and several ex-members of Wings but are best known for their humorous and forensic following of the Fabs and their post-Beatles projects.TwitterTrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 25th February 2022 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
15/05/2256m 41s

Eric Asimov

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 archaic. You can’t place it in time. It stretches back into history”.Eric’s take on the live performances is simple: “his devotion to his art takes precedence to his devotion to entertainment”. Although Oh Mercy is not a favourite (“too thick and oozy”), there are plenty of Five Star moments in his tasty overview. He concludes, “I can’t think of any other artist who has had that span of creativity. An 80 year-old guy doing his new songs? It’s unheard of”. Bob Dylan is clearly food and drink to Eric Asimov.Eric Asimov is the chief wine critic of The New York Times. His freelance work as a wine and food critic has appeared in Food and Wine Magazine, Details and Martha Stewart Living. For a number of years, he was co-author of The New York Times Guide to Restaurants and other books and guides. At the NYT, he was also editor of the Living section and Styles of The Times. Eric is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the University of Texas at Austin. He lives in Manhattan.'No-Sweat Answers To Some Basic Wine Questions', December 30th 2021TwitterTrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 19th January 2022 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
17/04/2254m 6s

Curtis Stigers

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 committed conversationalist with a huge wealth of musical knowledge, Curtis has strong opinions about Shawn Colvin, Jim Croce, The Carter Family, Neil Diamond, Jimmie Rodgers, Frank Sinatra, Bertolt Brecht and Larry Klein (who produced both Joni Mitchell and Curtis). His cover of Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right “always lights up the room”, he says. We feel the same about Mr. Stigers.Born in Los Angeles, Curtis Stigers grew up in Boise, Idaho. His interest in music began as a teen when he played in punk and blues bands. He moved to New York to pursue rock music but attracted label attention as the saxophonist/vocalist of a jazz trio, signing a deal with Arista and releasing his self-titled first album in 1991 (the multi-platinum album included the Billboard Top Ten single I Wonder Why). He contributed a cover of (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding to the soundtrack of The Bodyguard, which spent 20 consecutive weeks at Number 1 on the Billboard album chart. Curtis’s third album, Brighter Days, featured appearances by Jackson Browne and Benmont Tench. From 2001, he began to concentrate on jazz albums, including Real Emotional and Lost In Dreams. In 2012, he released the country-tinged album Let’s Go Out Tonight, featuring covers of songs by artists like Steve Earle and Richard Thompson. One More For The Road, a live salute to the Sinatra At The Sands album was another big success. Curtis is currently touring the UK, promoting his new album This Life.WebsiteSongs From My KitchenTour DatesTwitterTrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 8th February 2022 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
20/03/2256m 52s

Thom Tuck

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 Layer of Skin”. Despite it all, Thom maintains that Dylan remains his “prism by which to understand the world”.Opinions: Thom reserves a special place in hell for songs like Make You Feel My Love (“Adele heard the Billy Joel version and now every idiot does it”), whilst continuing to rate Under The Red Sky (“as an album to go to sleep to”). Along the way, we swap dozens of the best Dylan cover versions, from bluegrass to hard rock to the “deep thunder” of Tom Jones.Thom Tuck is an actor, writer and comedian. He is currently on tour in the acclaimed Birmingham Rep production of The Play What I Wrote. His theatre work includes Death Of A Salesman (Royal & Derngate), Three Sisters (Southwark Playhouse), Brexit (Spontaneity Shop), A Slight Ache (Pleasance) and Gutted!: A Revenger’s Musical (Assembly Theatre). Thom’s television work includes The Crown, Fresh Meat, Horrible Histories, Babylon and Drifters. As a comedian, Thom was nominated Best Newcomer at the Edinburgh Fringe for his show Thom Tuck Goes Straight-To-DVD, which was adapted for BBC Radio and is now out on DVD. His other solo shows are Thom Tuck Flips Out, The Square Root Of Minus One and An August Institution. Thom is one third of the acclaimed sketch troupe The Penny Dreadfuls. playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 14th December 2021 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
20/02/2238m 4s

Laura Tenschert

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 Rain to oddities like Fur Slippers and Dirty World.Topics covered include Dylan commenting on his creativity via his songs, where the next generation of Bob’s fans will come from, his penchant for “Dad jokes” and the tight connection between To Ramona and False Prophet. Laura even manages to explain the difference between Tulsa’s Bob Dylan Institute, Tulsa’s Bob Dylan Archive and the Bob Dylan Centre in (yes) Tulsa. An ideal companion for anyone walkin’ down the Dylan highway.Dylan scholar Laura Tenschert is the creator of Definitely Dylan, a podcast exploring the work of Bob Dylan and its relevance in our culture from a modern, feminist perspective. She is a board member at the Institute of Bob Dylan Studies at the University of Tulsa and contributed to the 2021 book Dylan At 80: It Used To Go Like That, And Now It Goes Like This.WebsiteTwitterTrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 1st December 2021 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/01/2253m 23s

Richard Strange

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 and Ginsberg”. And he reminds us that Another Side of Bob Dylan still provides “an embarrassment of riches, lyrically and emotionally”. From witnessing a 1964 Kinks concert (“it blew my mind and changed my life”) to eventually working with Marianne Faithfull and Anita Pallenberg, Mr Strange proudly concludes that “Bob Dylan still haunts me”.Richard Strange is a writer, musician, composer, nightclub host, curator, actor and adventurer. His proto-punk rock band Doctors of Madness first performed in 1975 (supported by the Sex Pistols). He founded the influential mixed-media Cabaret Futura in 1980 and has subsequently worked as an actor, appearing extensively in films (Batman, Mona Lisa, Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves, Gangs of New York and Harry Potter) and on television. His many stage appearances include Tom Waits’ musical fable The Black Rider. His memoir, Strange - Punks and Drunks and Flicks and Kicks was published in 2005. Richard currently presents the weekly radio show Dark Times Radio and is recording again with Doctors of Madness.WebsiteTwitterTrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 10th November 2021 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
26/12/2145m 43s

Andy Miller

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’ roll used to be. It is what rock ‘n’ roll used to be!”.Other trenchant Miller observations include: “Tarantula is an incredibly rewarding book. Take a hit!” And “I loved the Highway 61 album for its absolute sledgehammer horrible noise. The whole sound is assaulting you.” And “Shadow Kingdom. Why wasn’t it called Masked And Anonymous?” Crank up your stereo and take a bracing 58-minute hit with the Dylan Fan’s Dylan Fan.Andy Miller’s most recent book is The Year of Reading Dangerously (“High Fidelity for bookworms” – The Telegraph). He has also written books about how much he likes the Kinks (The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society, for the 33 1/3 series) and how much he dislikes sport (Tilting At Windmills). He is the co-host of Backlisted, the popular literary podcast that gives new life to old books. His writing has appeared in the Guardian, the Times, the Telegraph, the Spectator, Esquire, Mojo, Sight and Sound and more. He has toured the UK with his motivational lecture 'Read Y'self Fitter' and appears regularly on BBC Radio programmes such as The Verb (Radio 3), The Museum of Curiosity (Radio 4) and Open Book (Radio 4).WebsiteTwitterTrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 27th October 2021 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
28/11/2158m 8s

Kate French-Morris

Music journalist Kate French-Morris 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 for over eighteen months.From her discovery of Hurricane over the speakers of an LA coffee shop to her in-depth consideration of Lay, Lady, Lay, Most Of The Time and I Want You (first heard as a Springsteen concert bootleg), Kate charts Bob’s entry into her life (“you know those mirrors that magnify your face? Listening to Dylan feels like that: oh god, this is too much!”). A fresh look at the canon by someone who has yet to see him in concert (but can’t wait).Kate French-Morris writes about and reviews music for Record Collector Magazine and online for The Forty-Five. She writes artist biographies and has worked extensively at the Green Man and End of the Road Festivals. Kate graduated from University College, London, in 2018, including a year at U of C, Berkeley, studying “America Song By Song” with Greil Marcus.Record Collector interview with Steve Van ZandtThe Forty-FiveOther writing workTwitterTrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 29th September 2021 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
31/10/2149m 45s

Michael Scott Moore

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 fall of Babylon! Or Western Capitalism. Or the music business.” His other favourite captivity song was Jokerman (“freedom just around the corner for you”).We delve into the mysterious Infidels album in detail (“is he accusing the audience or himself with that title? I never got the sense that he left himself out of the equation”). Other topics covered: Dick Dale, Charlie McCoy, Bobbie Gentry, surfing in the Gaza Strip and the philosophy of Richard Mitchell. Don’t miss our most wide-ranging episode so far.Michael Scott Moore is an award-winning journalist and novelist, author of a comic novel about L.A., Too Much of Nothing, as well as a travel book about surfing, Sweetness and Blood, which was named a best book of 2010 by The Economist. He’s been a visiting professor at the Columbia School of the Arts and worked for several years as an editor and writer at Spiegel Online in Berlin. Michael was kidnapped in early 2012 on a reporting trip to Somalia and held hostage. The Desert and the Sea, his memoir about that ordeal, became an international bestseller.WebsiteTrailerTwitterEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 10th August 2021 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
03/10/2147m 57s

Daniel Radosh

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 include 1974’s Planet Waves (“it feels like it’s about to spring on you and scratch your eyes out”) and Rough and Rowdy Ways (“very danceable!”).Daniel, who has written a book on Contemporary Christian Rock, considers Oh Mercy “a Christian album from a different perspective” and introduces us to Larry Norman (Father of Christian Rock), whose song Righteous Rocker #1 clearly inspired Bob’s Gotta Serve Somebody. Join us for a righteously inspirational episode!Daniel Radosh is an American journalist. He is a senior writer/producer for The Daily Show with Trevor Noah on the Comedy Central TV network. Previously, he was a staff writer for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and a contributing editor at The Week. He also writes for The New Yorker, Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, GQ, Mademoiselle, McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, New York Magazine, The New York Times, Playboy, Salon and Slate.Daniel’s blog,, was named one of the "top 25 blogs" by Time magazine. His book, Rapture Ready! Adventures in the Parallel Universe of Christian Pop Culture, was published in 2008. In 2019, Daniel co-created the satirical political TV sitcom Liberty Crossing.Daniel's four playlists, to spotlight 80 songs for Dylan's 80th birthday:ICONSESSENTIALSDEEP CUTSRARE GEMSTrailerTwitterEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 8th July 2021 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
05/09/2152m 13s

Jonathan Taplin

Jonathan Taplin, former road manager for The Band, has done it all. He set up the equipment for Dylan’s electric set at Newport in ‘65 (“the soundcheck lasted ten minutes”) and was production manager for Dylan and The Band at the Guthrie Tribute in ’68. He organised the groundbreaking Concert For Bangladesh and produced the concert and film of The Last Waltz. Oh, and he was responsible for Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets getting made.Jon “was brought into the circle” by Albert Grossman (“after Bob left and Janis died, Albert got his heart broken”). He saw “all the junkie signs” when he met Keith Richards in the South of France and left Rock behind when he saw what drugs were doing to his friends and the music he loved. He passionately blames illegal Napster downloads for Levon Helm’s financial problems (“the record world dropped off a cliff”). With a cast list including Scorsese, Clapton, Robertson and Dylan (“Bob was a really good teacher”), Jonathan Taplin tells us definitively where it was at.Jonathan Taplin is a writer, film producer and scholar. He began his entertainment career as tour manager for the Jim Kweskin Jug Band and organised Bob Dylan and The Band’s appearance at the Isle of Wight Festival. Between 1973 and 1996, Taplin produced many television documentaries and feature films including Under Fire and To Die For. His films were nominated for Oscars and Golden Globes and chosen for The Cannes Film Festival five times. His book “Move Fast And Break Things” (2017) is subtitled “How Facebook, Google and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy”. His latest book “The Magic Years” (2021) is about the rock ‘n’ roll side of his life. Jon is the Director Emeritus of the Annenberg Innovation Lab at the University of Southern California.WebsiteTrailerTwitterEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 7th June 2021 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
08/08/2147m 44s

Ann Powers

Ann Powers, writer and lead music critic for America’s National Public Radio, joins us from her East Nashville home to discuss gender, sexuality and “the body” in Bob Dylan’s work. Sparked off by an emotional encounter involving Joni Mitchell, Ann compares Mitchell’s work with Dylan’s and discusses other groundbreaking female artists like Roberta Flack, Kate Bush, Madonna, Megan Thee Stallion, Candi Staton, Chaka Khan and Sarah Silverman.With Ann, we contemplate Dylan’s early years as a “baggy elephant”, discover what Prince, Bob and Game Of Thrones have in common, explore the Jewish art in Dylan’s work and learn why Lay Lady Lay is the beginning of the genre of soft porn/soft rock “instructional songs about sex”. Ann cheerfully admits that her Bob Dylan theories are often “a provocation and a tease”. Join us for a particularly provocative discussion of “the parrot that talks”.Ann Powers is one of America’s leading music writers. She began her career at San Francisco Weekly, and has held positions at the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Village Voice, Blender, and the Experience Music Project. Her books include Weird Like Us: My Bohemian America, Tori Amos: Piece by Piece (which she cowrote with Amos), Rock She Wrote: Women Write About Rock, Rap, and Pop. Her latest book is Good Booty: Love and Sex, Black & White, Body and Soul in American Music. Ann’s chapter in The World of Bob Dylan (Cambridge University Press, 2021) was “Gender and Sexuality: Bob Dylan’s Body”.BBC Radio 4, Archive On 4: A Night With Prince, presented by Ann PowersTrailerTwitterEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 30th March 2021 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
11/07/2147m 27s

Richard Williams

Journalist Richard Williams joins us to talk Dylan and to surf “the waves of his career”, from Freewheelin’ (“one revelation after another”) to Murder Most Foul (“I was astonished by it. The level of detail. It’s like a John Coltrane quartet.”). Richard reminds us of “one of the great things I learned from Dylan: if you don’t understand something, that doesn’t invalidate it”.Our discussion includes generally unloved albums like Knocked Out Loaded (“Brownsville Girl contains the best single line of phrasing in Dylan’s entire canon”) and Down In The Groove (“we all lose our way a bit but the last three tracks are really very good”). Since writing his 1991 Bob Dylan book, A Man Called Alias, Richard has remained a true believer. “His phrasing has always been astonishing. Like that list of flowers he recites on Theme Time Radio Hour. He reads a seed catalogue and makes it sound like Visions of Johanna”. Prepare for the concise and clear musings of one of the best Bob brains out there in this ‘lectric episode.Richard Williams is a music and sports journalist. He was a writer, then deputy editor, at the weekly music newspaper Melody Maker, where he became an influential commentator on the rise of rock music in the 1960s. From 1970, he contributed to the Times. He left journalism to join Island Records’ A & R department, becoming department head. He was the first presenter of the BBC2 rock show The Old Grey Whistle Test and later became editor of the London listings guide Time Out and then Melody Maker. He also worked at the Sunday Times and the Independent On Sunday. Richard’s music journalism has been gathered in the volume Long Distance Call: Writings On Music. He has written biographies of Dylan, Miles Davis (The Man In The Green Shirt) and Phil Spector (Out Of His Head). Williams is also the former chief sports writer of the Guardian (he has written several books on Formula One). His comments about music and film, photography and art are published in his blog, The Blue Moment.Bob Dylan: Where to start in his back catalogue (The Guardian)The Band at the Albert HallTrailerTwitterEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 16th March 2021 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/06/2148m 58s

John Harris

Music and political journalist John Harris joins us just before Bob Dylan’s 80th birthday to celebrate the man with “the wink and the nod and the little impish skip” as well as the man who gives us “the solace of emptiness”. Mr Harris is not afraid to go against the grain: “”Love And Theft” is as good as Highway 61 or Blood On The Tracks”. As for John Wesley Harding, he happily quotes a friend who told him, “we wanted a big meal and he gave us a salad. It’s good for you - but a bit chewy.” The highlight of the episode might be John’s invitation - via pal Cerys Matthews - to meet Dylan backstage after his concert at the O2: “my internal monologue was going crazy. Brain fog was settling in. I was running out of breath.” (we won’t spoil the ending here).From making a Dylan-inspired harmonica rack out of a coat hanger at age 10 to reviewing the entire 1966 Live Recordings box set for MOJO magazine years later (“I’m still recovering”), John has heard every permutation of Bob on Dylan’s way to the Big 8-0. Was it worth it? “I like the way he sounds now. I want him to sound like that”.John Harris has been a music journalist for Sounds, Melody Maker and the NME. He was Features Editor at Q and Editor of Select magazine, before returning to the life of a freelance writer. Since then, he has written about music for Q, MOJO and Rolling Stone, and contributed articles on a variety of subjects to the UK newspapers The Independent, The Times and The Observer. He now writes about politics, music and culture for The Guardian. He was also a regular panellist on BBC2’s Newsnight Review. His first book, The Last Party: Britpop, Blair And The Spectacularly Demise Of English Rock was published in 2003. His second, a primer for disillusioned Labour voters, So Now Who Do We Vote For?, appeared in 2005. The Dark Side Of The Moon: The Making of The Pink Floyd Masterpiece was published in 2006. And Hail! Hail! Rock’n'Roll, a compendium, was released in 2009.TwitterTrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 2nd March 2021 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/05/2158m 25s

Charlie McCoy

Nashville musician Charlie McCoy’s Dylan-related achievements include those distinctive guitar licks on Desolation Row, that blues harmonica on Obviously Five Believers (a rare example of another person playing harp on a Dylan session) and the inventive bass lines on John Wesley Harding, Nashville Skyline and Self Portrait. His motto: “Say yes - and then figure it out!” On his work as a session musician: “The song is the picture and we are the frame”. On Dylan’s harmonica style: “I’ve tried to do it like that and it doesn’t sound as good”. On waiting until 4:00 in the morning to record Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands: “How much coffee can you drink?”Charlie has played with them all: Elvis (13 albums), Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, George Jones, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Ringo Starr, Paul Simon, Kris Kristofferson, Robbie Robertson, Linda Ronstadt; even the rockers known as Ween. His tale of Leonard Cohen and the horsewhip is worth the price of admission. Any regrets? “I never played bass for Elvis” (only harmonica, organ, vibes and guitar). We are honoured to welcome the Nashville cat who has been there and done pretty much everything.In addition to being a fixture in Nashville recording studios for almost 60 years, Charlie McCoy has released 35 solo albums and served as music director for the long-running television series, “Hee Haw”. Charlie is member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. His session work includes Oh Pretty Woman by Roy Orbison, Simon and Garfunkel’s The Boxer, George Jones’s He Stopped Loving Her Today and Johnny Cash’s Orange Blossom Special. He has played harmonica for Waylon Jennings, Steve Miller, Gordon Lightfoot, Loretta Lynn, Leon Russell, Rodney Crowell and countless others. Charlie won a Grammy for his album, The Real McCoy. He has won the CMA’s Instrumentalist of the Year Award two times and the Academy Of Country Music’s Specialty Instrument Award seven times. Charlie was a member of legendary Nashville band Area Code 615, whose song Stone Fox Chase was the theme tune for the BBC’s Old Grey Whistle Test TV series.WebsiteTrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 19th February 2021 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
18/04/2151m 48s

Michael Simmons

Musician and writer Michael Simmons has written dozens of Dylan cover pieces for MOJO magazine, as well as incisive liner notes for Another Self Portrait and Bob Dylan 1970. “I remember where I was when Kennedy was assassinated and I remember the exact moment I heard Like A Rolling Stone. It sounded like freedom.” He praises Bob as both “a revolutionary” and “an evolutionary” artist and reminds us that “the difference between a great talent and a hack is the willingness to fall on their face in the pursuit of something new.”From Michael’s LA home he recounts his time playing guitar, singing backup and doing improvised comedy with the outrageous country jokesters Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys (despite being born in New York City). Mr Simmons contains other multitudes: T-Bone Burnett, Greil Marcus, George Hamilton IV, Gordon Lightfoot, Jerry Garcia and Neil Young all receive considered mentions. He brings it all back home by confirming that “at all times, somebody, somewhere in the world, is talking about Bob Dylan”. Join our conversation with this most savvy of Dylan scribes.Michael Simmons is a musician, journalist, filmmaker and activist. He was dubbed "The Father Of Country Punk" by Creem magazine in the 1970s, edited the National Lampoon in the '80s, and won the LA Press Club Award in the '90s. He's written for the LA Weekly, LA Times, Rolling Stone, Penthouse and High Times. He is MOJO magazine’s premiere writer on all things Dylan as well as profiling George Harrison, Leon Russell, Lowell George and The Fugs. He has written liner notes for albums by Dylan, Michael Bloomfield, Phil Ochs, Kris Kristofferson, Arthur Lee & Love and many others.TrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 11th December 2020 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
21/03/2142m 19s

Tom Jackson

To mark our 50th episode, writer and podcaster Tom Jackson gives us his clear-eyed take on Dylan’s “Born Again” albums: Slow Train Coming, Saved, Shot Of Love and Trouble No More. “Slow Train Coming is not a smooth record, not a pleasant record, but I enjoy the tension.” And the accompanying live performances? “They were church services, really. But why is Dylan so angry? That terrible, clear-eyed vitriol. He’s got the answer but he’s still furious! I think he enjoyed baiting his audience, messing with people’s minds”. In a 50th outing overflowing with colourful opinions, Tom brings it all back home: “Dylan does nothing straight. I imagine when he puts his Ocado delivery in, there’ll be a note or a poem in it! His older persona, the grizzled storyteller full of wisdom and foolishness, is so appealing”.Tom has collected postcards for as long as he can remember. He is the author of Postcard From The Past, 4th Estate (‘A book of rare and genuine beauty’ James O’Brien). He has written about postcards for The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Big Issue and talked about them on Radio 3, Radio 4, Radio 5, Talk Radio, BBC local stations and Monocle 24. He has produced documentaries for Radio 4 including Postcards From The White City. The Postcard From The Past book started life as Twitter account @pastpostcard, which attracts over 13 million impressions a month. He hosts Podcast From The Past, (“Fascinating, funny, poignant" BBC Radio 4Extra) in which he chats to well-known guests about postcards and their lives.Kerry and Luke were guests in 2020.TwitterTrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 22nd January 2021 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
21/02/2150m 53s

John Niven

Novelist John Niven loves up Dylan's Neighbourhood Bully: “I have a soft spot for Heritage Rock acts trying to do Punk in the late 70’s and early 80’s” before summing up the Dont Look Back days: “When you’re in your 20’s, you’re all about the cruelty”. His response to attending a New York screening of Eat The Document? “An absolute pile of heroin-addled lunacy”.But Niven has immense respect for the man and his work: “Listening to Dylan is like reading James Joyce. It can take 20 or 30 years to see the whole picture”. The author of the must-read novella Music From Big Pink references John Updike, Joe Strummer, Jez Butterworth and... Rolf Harris before advising how to deal with awful Q & A sessions.John Niven was born in Ayrshire and graduated from the University Of Glasgow with first class honours. He has written for The Times, The Independent, Word, Q and FHM. His novella Music From Big Pink explored the 60’s Woodstock scene from the point of view of The Band’s fictional drug dealer. John’s bestselling novels include Kill Your Friends, The Amateurs, The Second Coming, Cold Hands, Straight White Male, The Sunshine Cruise Company, Kill ‘Em All and his latest, The F*ck-It List. His screenplays include Kill Your Friends and How To Build A Girl.TwitterTrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 12th November 2020 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
24/01/2152m 57s

Edward Docx

Edward Docx (novelist/screenwriter/journalist) is a hyper-articulate defence witness for some of Bob’s least understood albums: Street-Legal, Infidels, Empire Burlesque and Together Through Life. “There is no uninteresting Dylan album. He opens his veins and says "This is what it’s like for me now."” How passionate is Ed Docx about Bob Dylan? After recording the podcast, we continued our digital discussion for another hour.Here’s Ed on Street-Legal: “It’s his Bosworth. After the battle, there’s blood and corpses and death and everything’s gone wrong. But somehow, he picks himself up and starts to sing! I don’t think he ever dared go there again. It was so bleak.” His reaction to accidentally discovering I And I at age 14: “I thought: what great human being has written this down? I couldn’t believe the depth and strength and beauty and layered wonder.” Join us for our longest - and possibly most articulate – episode thus far.Edward Docx is half Russian on his mother’s side. He was born in the North East and grew up in the North West, went to school in Manchester and then on to Christ’s College, Cambridge, where he read English Literature. He started writing fiction when he was in his teens and completed three unpublished novels before The Calligrapher was published in 2003. His other novels are Self Help (longlisted for the Booker Prize/winner Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize), The Devil’s Garden and Let Go My Hand. He is associate editor of Prospect Magazine. His journalism appears in most leading European and American newspapers and magazines. In addition, Ed works extensively in television and radio and teaches on the Guardian’s Master Class series on fiction writing.The Prophet (November 16, 2011)Bob Almighty (April 21, 2016)WebsiteTwitterTrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 5th October 2020 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
27/12/2059m 11s

Pamela Thurschwell

Academic and author Pamela Thurschwell gives us her conflicted feminist take on Dylan, including his queer lyrical metaphors and what it’s like to be on the receiving end of a Dylan mansplaining session. Her namechecks range from Amy Rigby, Emma Swift and Joan Baez to Joyce Carol Oates, Annie Hall and Jane Eyre.Pam describes Dylan as “the dangerous guy who sees the world as it is”, but also “fragile”, “mean” and just plain “ornery”. “Why do I always go for the Dylan boys?”, she tells us, then gives in-depth excavations of It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue and Positively 4th Street (“it was great to hear someone so pissed off”). For a surprising discussion that encompasses male passive-aggression, gender relation complications and the mega-talent that is Joni Mitchell, don’t miss this groundbreaking episode.Pamela Thurschwell is Head of English Literature at the University of Sussex. Before working at Sussex, she worked at University College, London, and she studied at Cambridge and Cornell Universities. Pam has written books and articles on a wide variety of writers and artists including Dylan, George Eliot, Henry James, Sigmund Freud, Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen, Morrissey, Pete Townshend, Daniel Clowes, Henry James, Oscar Wilde, Carson McCullers, Willa Cather and Toni Morrison.American Tunes for Coronaviral Times: Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and John Prine (May 1, 2020)WebsiteTwitterTrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 7th September 2020 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
29/11/2047m 36s

Daragh Carville

Screenwriter Daragh Carville (ITV’s The Bay) praises Dylan’s “extraordinary ear for spoken language” while reminding us that he “draws on cinema, is fascinated by storytelling but his own films don’t work at all”. All the great story-songs are explored, including Highlands (“I phoned people up, I was so excited!”), Dignity (“it never resolves but at the same time it’s perfectly satisfying”), The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll, Brownsville Girl, Hurricane, Isis, Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream, The Ballad Of Hollis Brown, Clothes Line Saga, 4th Time Around and plenty more.Daragh particularly praises the 21st Century Dylan: “in the last twenty years, his persona is Humphrey Bogart crossed with a riverboat gambler” and enjoys his “obstinate personality. It’s like a marriage. You love the flaws, too”. Films are discussed (Shane, The Gunfighter), Dylan’s early contemporaries like Phil Ochs are considered, even video games are touched upon (Red Dead Redemption!). Join us there - when you feel good enough to go.Daragh Carville is a playwright and screenwriter from Armagh in Northern Ireland. He is a recipient of the Stewart Parker Award and the Meyer Whitworth Prize for playwriting. His first feature film, Middletown, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and his second, Cherrybomb, at the Berlin Film Festival. Plays include Language Roulette, Observatory, Family Plot, This Other City, The Life and Times of Mitchell and Kenyon and History. Daragh’s television work includes ITV’s The Bay (Series 2, 2021), Being Human, 6 Degrees and The Smoke. Radio plays: Regenerations - about a Doctor Who convention - and Dracula, starring Michael Fassbender. He teaches Scriptwriting at Birkbeck, University of London.The BayWebsiteTwitterTrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 10th August 2020 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
01/11/2047m 19s

Loudon Wainwright III

Sitting on the porch of his Long Island lockdown hideaway, serenaded by a local bird, Loudon Wainwright III reminds us that he was proclaimed “the first of the new Bob Dylans”. It helped me get a record deal but then it got to be a pain in the ass”. He still has a “reservoir of respect, admiration and awe” for the man and his work. “I dream about Dylan a lot. He is on, in and under my mind: the Muhammad Ali of songwriters.”Loudon has seen Dylan in concert and been visited by him backstage after his own concerts. “I was headlining at Max’s Kansas City. He came with Doug Sahm. They were both wearing cowboy hats. Bob said, “I really like that ‘Dead Skunk’ song”. He has worked with everyone from producer Bob Johnston and Nashville cats Kenny Buttrey, Ron Cornelius and Hargus “Pig” Robbins to David Mansfield, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and good buddy Christopher Guest (“he does a great Bob Dylan impression”). Despite his admiration, he stopped listening for many years after John Wesley Harding. “I was too threatened by his greatness”.Meet the man who happily called himself - along with Bruce Springsteen, John Prine and Steve Forbert - one of Bob Dylan’s “dumbass kid brothers”.After two previous nominations, singer/songwriter/actor Loudon Wainwright III won a Grammy for 2009’s High, Wide And Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project. His songs have been covered by Johnny Cash, Bonnie Raitt, Earl Scruggs, Mose Allison, Big Star, Norma Waterson and his son Rufus Wainwright. Loudon’s many albums include Attempted Mustache, Fame and Wealth, I’m Alright, Therapy, History, Grown Man, Little Ship, Last Man On Earth, So Damn Happy, Recovery, Strange Weirdos, Older Than My Old Man Now, Haven’t Got The Blues (Yet) and Years In The The Making. His latest album, backed by Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, is I’d Rather Lead A Band.Loudon’s film acting credits include Knocked Up (for which he also wrote the soundtrack), The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Scorsese’s The Aviator. TV acting credits include a recurring role in M*A*S*H, as well as his Netflix Special Surviving Twin.WebsiteTwitterTrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 8th July 2020 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
04/10/2039m 11s

Dan Bern

Singer/songwriter/podcaster/painter Dan Bern admits: “It was not lost on me, being an isolated Jewish kid in Iowa, that Bob had come from just up the road in Minnesota.” When he first heard Dylan at age 15 (“everything he was saying had a bit of a sneer to it. It was a portal for me”), he traded in his cello for a guitar and started writing songs. They eventually included the outrageous Talkin’ Woody, Bob, Bruce and Dan Blues (“When I met Springsteen, he said, “I hear ya wrote a SONG about me!”).Bern sat through Renaldo & Clara twice in a row in a Camden Town cinema when it was first released: “it seemed so fun and free and loose”. On Bob’s Born-Again days: “Jews wrestle with God. They talk to him as if he’s just another dude”. Does he keep up? “Bob’s songs are always with me. Like Bible verses, floating in and out of my head. It’s a nourishing songbag.”Share our long-distance visit with the man Dylan once called “a scurrilous little wretch” (after he wrote a fake interview with Bob’s mother). All this and more, as they say.Dan Bern has released 25 albums and played thousands of shows across North America and Europe. Bern’s songs have appeared in numerous TV shows and films including Walk Hard - The Dewey Cox Story, and Get Him To The Greek. He also writes and performs songs for the Amazon Prime kids’ programme The Stinky and Dirty Show. A visual artist, Bern has had gallery showings in Florida, New York City and San Francisco. He is the author of several books, and acts in the radio drama podcast 10,000 Crappy Songs: in which he plays an ex-songwriter turned private eye. In addition, he runs the 24/7 internet radio station, Radio Free Bernsteinn. Dan Bern’s latest album is Regent Street.WebsiteTwitterTrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 29th June 2020 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
06/09/2042m 5s

Rufus Jones

Actor Rufus Jones (writer and co-star of Channel 4’s Home) has hardly answered the BobPhone before he confesses that, despite his Cambridge English degree, “Dylan still scares the hell out of me”. But he’s relieved that “Bob’s entering a 'jolly grandpa' phase. He seems less concerned with preserving the myth”.Rufus references Beyoncé, the Eagles (“the story of the Eagles is better than the sound of the Eagles”), T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Hieronymus Bosch and Christopher Ricks before moving on, via Desolation Row, to the enigma that is Murder Most Foul (“it reads like bad poetry but sings like good poetry”).In an episode recorded before the release of Rough And Rowdy Ways, theories are promulgated, lines dissected and numerology explored. Murder Most Foul is “a confounding song. He takes a piece of real life and spins it into something abstract and horrific.” Join us for a dark but enlightening day in Dallas.Rufus Jones began his career as part of the sketch comedy group Dutch Elm Conservatoire. In the West End, he appeared in the hit comedy Dead Funny. His acclaimed TV series Home was nominated for a BAFTA. Other television work includes three series as David Wilkes in W1A, Four Lives, Flack, Loaded, Stag, Fresh Meat, Trying Again, The Casual Vacancy, Bob Servant, Hunderby and Holy Flying Circus (as Terry Jones). His films include Stan And Ollie, The Foreigner, Paddington and Silent Night (due for a Christmas 2020 release).TwitterTrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 15th June 2020 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
09/08/2043m 31s

Rob Stoner

Rolling Thunder Revue bass player and bandleader Rob Stoner on Jacques Levy, Emmylou Harris, Sam Shepard and how he “made out with Joan Baez on a motel room balcony” for Renaldo & Clara. Rob also sets the record straight on the Scorsese Netflix film: “I got a beef with that Van Dorp character!” and alerts us to his uncredited harmony vocal on Abandoned Love.What was it like playing live with Bob? “Sink or swim. If you’re good enough, you ought to be able to swim”. Did Bob actually never speak to Mick Ronson on the Rolling Thunder tour? “It was written into the contract”. The Fort Collins concert, where Hard Rain was recorded? “Bob was in a foul mood, man.”Other insights include how Elvis miffed Bob, rehearsal details for the 1978 Alimony Tour and John Lennon’s “Dylan imitation” on Ticket To Ride. Roll up, roll up - for an historic episode.While still in school, Rob Stoner was signed to a songwriting contract by Leiber and Stoller. As a session musician, he played and sang on classic recordings including American Pie. His albums with Dylan include Desire, Hard Rain, Bob Dylan At Budokan and Live 1975. Following his stint with Bob, Rob released a critically-acclaimed album of original songs on MCA Records. He also became the first non-Southerner to release an album on Sun Records. His songs have been recorded by Link Wray, Johnny Winter and Robert Gordon. He has played with Chuck Berry, Ringo Starr, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Ray Vaughan and countless others. Rob lives in Rockland County, New York, where he remains active on the music scene.WebsiteFacebookTwitterTrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 3rd June 2020 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
12/07/2053m 7s

Danny Horn

Actor/musician Danny Horn, 31, played The Kinks’ frontman Ray Davies in the West End; but it was listening to Dylan at age 14 that changed his life. Do Dylan and Davies have anything in common? Danny tells us that - in 1967/68 - “they both made love letters to versions of their own countries that never existed. And they share a mercurial way of thinking”.Despite hanging out with Ray D, Danny knows his Bobby D. The conversation ranges from analysis of songs like Abandoned Love (“he’s both wounded puppy and venomous snake”) to the film I’m Not There (yes to Charlotte Gainsbourg, no to Christian Bale). All topped off with a hilarious near-death experience at The Royal Albert Hall. Join us for a funny, socially-distanced but intimate take on “the clown inside” of Bob Dylan.Danny Horn is an actor and musician, born in London in 1989. He trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and has worked frequently on stage and screen since graduating in 2010. He won acclaim for his performance in the hit West End musical Sunny Afternoon, which charted the early years of The Kinks. Other stage acting work includes The Dead Dogs and The Revenger’s Tragedy. Film and television work includes Emmerdale, Vera, Hetty Feather, Scar Tissue, M.I. High, Legend of the Bogeyman and Doctor Who. With his group the Shared Myths, Danny has just released his first album: Quitting Smoking.IMDbWebsiteAlbumBandcampBoy AwakeTrailerTwitterEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 4th May 2020 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
14/06/2045m 13s

Nathalie Armin

Actress Nathalie Armin (speaking at a digital distance) has been a Dylan fan since the age of six, when an unknown voice “showed her the colours in her mind” as she lay in the back seat of her father’s car. She graduated to playing Bob games on stage at the Royal Shakespeare Company (“we’d whisper Dylan song titles to each other. I always won”) and watching him perform at the Royal Albert Hall (“he was 72. I don’t know any 20 year-olds who have that much swagger”).The Bootleg Series Volumes 1 -3 is given a serious going over (“what must it be like to be Bob Dylan’s drawer? Blind Willie McTell – it was almost too private to put on an album”), as is the instant classic Murder Most Foul (only just released at the time of this recording). If you crave freewheelin’ discussions of Moonshiner, Talkin’ Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues, House Carpenter, Catfish, Need A Woman and Foot of Pride, please zoom on down and join us.Nathalie Armin is an Anglo-Iranian actress. She has appeared in many acclaimed stage shows including THE MOTHERFUCKER WITH THE HAT at the National Theatre, LIMEHOUSE at the Donmar Warehouse and Robert Icke’s award-winning production of THE DOCTOR at the Almeida Theatre. Her film and television work includes FINAL SCORE, DENIAL, GROW YOUR OWN, Philip K. Dick’s ELECTRIC DREAMS, the award-wining THE LOST HONOUR OF CHRISTOPHER JEFFERIES, UNFORGOTTEN, MARCELLA and MAIGRET’S DEAD MAN. Nathalie can currently be seen as Yasmine in Channel 4’s hit comedy HOME.IMDbTrailerTwitterEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 30th March 2020 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
17/05/2034m 33s

James Shapiro

Bestselling Shakespeare authority James Shapiro joined us on the Bob Phone from New York, just before the world locked down and the Shakespeare-laden Murder Most Foul unexpectedly dropped. “In a time like this,” he told us, “I find great comfort in the complete works of William Shakespeare and Bob Dylan”. He goes on to link them more closely: “we think of Shakespeare as a word guy - but he collaborated with the greatest musicians of his day. He understood that music is magic” and he happily agrees that “both of them were professional, creative thieves”. Join us for an important episode that celebrates, as James puts it, “the extraordinary simplicity and range” of our two favourite artists.James Shapiro is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He’s the author of numerous books including 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare, awarded the Samuel Johnson Prize for the best non-fiction book published in Britain; and The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606, awarded the James Tait Black Prize. His latest book, Shakespeare In A Divided America, was a Radio 4 Book of the Week, read by podcast co-presenter Kerry Shale. His essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Guardian, the London Review of Books, the New York Review of Books, the TLS, the Sunday Times, the Irish Times, the New Statesman and the Financial Times.Website: jamesshapiro.netTrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 19th March 2020 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
19/04/2046m 36s

Nish Kumar

Comedian Nish Kumar says: “Bob Dylan is the most enduring and important creative relationship of my life. If you can’t think of one Dylan song you like, then a part of your humanity may be missing”. When Bob and his band played the Hendrix arrangement of All Along The Watchtower at his first (and only) Dylan concert, it was “one of the greatest moments of my life”. In other words, he’s our sort of chap.Cheerfully agreeing that “there’s no bore like a Dylan bore”, Nish gives us his takes on Tangled Up In Blue (“I don’t think he’s ever finished it”), The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll, Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream and I Shall Be Released. We get the inside story on using Bob as a role model when being booed (“bloody-minded obstinance in the face of people being dicks is very inspiring”) and for personal grooming inspiration (“my hair grows the way it grows because of the Blonde On Blonde album cover”).Nish Kumar grew up in Croydon, South London. He has a degree in History and English from Durham University. His sold-out solo shows have won awards at the Edinburgh Fringe and toured nationally and internationally to huge acclaim. Nish’s TV appearances include a Netflix Special, The John Bishop Show, Have I Got News For You, Alan Davies As Yet Untitled, QI, Mock The Week, and Live At The Apollo. He has been the presenter of the topical comedy show Newsjack on Radio 4 Extra, hosts television’s very popular The Mash Report on BBC Two and chairs The News Quiz on BBC Radio 4.WebsiteTrailerTwitterEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 24th February 2020 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
22/03/2047m 24s

David Greig

Scottish playwright David Greig was first “cracked open” to Dylan when he heard Desire in a remote part of South Africa “under the influence of the most extraordinarily strong dope”. “That’s it”, he thought, “I’M GOING IN!” He has yet to come out.David wrote his version of Euripides’ The Bacchae by playing the Hard Rain album over and over while drinking red wine and channelling “Dylan as Dionysius, Dylan as shaman”. Quotes that leap out of this most Scottish of episodes: “Bob Dylan couldn’t exist except for Edinburgh”, “I secretly love the glorious oddness of his bad rhymes” and his favourite bit of advice from Bob: “an artist should always be in the state of becoming” (from Scorsese’s No Direction Home). Other names lightly dropped include Kris Kristofferson, Robert Burns and David’s recent collaborator Mark Knopfler. Join us for a special episode that’s as warming as a wee dram.David Greig is Artistic Director of the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh. His many plays and adaptations, staged in Scotland, London and around the world, include: Europe, Tintin In Tibet, Caligula, The American Pilot, The Bacchae, Midsummer, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Lanark, The Lorax, Touching The Void and this summer’s Old Vic production of Local Hero.TrailerTwitterEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 6th February 2020 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/02/2045m 22s

Neil Gaiman

Writer Neil Gaiman fell in love with A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall via Bryan Ferry’s cover version. It ended up influencing the imagery of his novel American Gods (as well as the Amazon TV series). The song also provided a few gloomy pronouncements (“we’re in an apocalyptic state of mind: the doomsday clock is ticking”) in our otherwise jolly discussion. Colourful Bob theories are espoused: “if I were going to go cold turkey, I would have taken three months off to live with the local pharmacist” and sad information about that chaise longue is dispensed: “it has become somewhat damaged by cats over the years”. The location of the iconic piece of furniture is also discussed: “a weird and lovely faux-Dutch farmhouse… haunted by the ghost of the still-living Bob Dylan”. Tune in for Neil’s insights about Lou Reed, Elvis Costello, Joan Baez, Andy Warhol, Lord Buckley, Penn & Teller and Gilbert and Sullivan.Neil Gaiman is a British writer. His first book was a paperback biography of Duran Duran. Since then, his works have included the cult DC Comics series The Sandman, which won him nine Will Eisner Awards (including the award for best writer four times). His six-part TV series for the BBC, Neverwhere, was broadcast in 1996. Stardust, an illustrated prose novel in four parts, began to appear in 1997. American Gods was published in 2001 and won all the awards going. He co-wrote Good Omens with Terry Pratchett (now a hit TV series). Coraline, his first novel for children, was another international bestseller. And the hits kept coming: Anansi Boys, The Graveyard Book, The Ocean At The End Of The Lane (adapted into a hit play at the National Theatre). Neil has appeared as himself on The Simpsons.TrailerWebsiteTwitterEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 13th December 2019 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
24/01/2046m 0s

Barney Hoskyns

Rock journalist Barney Hoskyns comes on board for a special episode that focuses on The Band, with Dylan as their “weird” sideman. Tears Of Rage is compared to Philip Roth’s novel American Pastoral. Barney suspects it might just be “an anti-hippie song”. His “deeply emotional” attachment to the town of Woodstock is explored in depth: “overwhelmed by the mythology of the place”, he raised his kids there and explored its musical history in his book Small Town Talk (title taken from the song by Bobby Charles).After writing the acclaimed Band book Across The Great Divide, he reports on the feedback he received from Robbie Robertson: “Oh Barney, Barney, Barney, Barney…” while he praises the remarkable Woodstock-based novella Music From Big Pink by John Niven. He remembers an awful interview with Prince: “he sat like a sadistic cat, waiting to maul me” and connects the Minnesotan “Imp of the Perverse” with Bob. Is Barney ultimately a Dylan man? While admiring the early work, he’s also put off by its “sadism and cruelty”.“Barney Hoskyns is the finest British rock writer of his generation” - Charlie Gillett.He graduated from Oxford with a First Class degree in English and began writing about music for Melody Maker and New Musical Express, British Vogue and The Times, The Guardian, The Independent, and The Observer. He has also contributed to Harper's Bazaar, Interview magazine, Spin magazine and Rolling Stone. He was Associate Editor and then U.S. Editor of Mojo. Barney has written over fifteen books: investigating Bowie, Prince, Led Zeppelin and The Doors; plus Say It One Time For The Brokenhearted: Country Soul In The American South, Across The Great Divide: The Band And America and Joni: The Anthology.TrailerWebsiteRock's Back PagesTwitterEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 2nd December 2019 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
26/12/1941m 26s

Jonathan Lethem

On the BobPhone from the USA: it’s award-winning writer Jonathan Lethem, author of Motherless Brooklyn, with a supremely quotable episode. On his “Big Kahuna” interview of Bob for Rolling Stone: “he was direct and generous; we had a good time”. An advocate for Dylan’s latter-day stuff, he believes that “humour is underrated as a feature of the operation”.Among Jonathan’s many provocative thoughts: “The power of (Dylan’s) negativity is a form of creative dynamism” and “how many people could have turned down the coronations he’s been offered”? He praises the “fiasco methodology” of Under The Red Sky, has mixed feelings about Together Through Life (“if you underrate a thing it can kick your ass”) and condemns the Sinatra years as “a fatally tasteful hiding place”. Did Dylan stay in Mississippi a day too long? Join us and find out.Jonathan Lethem is an American novelist, essayist and short story writer. His first novel Gun, with Occasional Music, which mixed elements of science fiction and detective fiction, was published in 1994. In 1999, Lethem published Motherless Brooklyn, a National Book Critics Circle Award-winning novel that achieved mainstream success: the movie adaptation by Edward Norton has just been released. In 2003, he published The Fortress of Solitude, which became a New York Times bestseller. His most recent novel is The Feral Detective. A Brooklyn native, Jonathan lives and teaches in California.His 2006 Rolling Stone piece on James BrownWebsiteTrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 19th November 2019 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
15/12/1947m 37s

Andy Kershaw

Broadcaster, journalist and “swivel-eyed Dylanologist” Andy Kershaw, “a radio station within a radio station” during his time on Radio 1, gives us his unvarnished thoughts. From arguments with his dad about Bob’s greatness to his first sighting of “the human American bald eagle” at Earl’s Court in 1978, to his unravelling of the identity of the “Judas!” heckler, to Bob’s actual response (“he doesn’t say “play fucking loud!”), this is a delightful and surprising episode. Andy’s encounters include a meeting with Keith Richards (“he nicked my cigarette lighter!”), tracking down long-lost soul singer James Carr in Memphis; and his impromptu November 1985 visit to Dave Stewart’s Crouch End recording studio: “I gave Bob a jar of hedgerow jam. It was like handing a mobile phone to a chimpanzee”.What hasn’t Andy Kershaw done? He was Billy Bragg’s roadie, a presenter of Whistle Test and Live Aid, and a subversive yet respected DJ. His shows on BBC Radio 1 and 3 provided an outlet for his love of world music, soul, reggae and blues. He married this with many forays into journalism, reporting on the Rwandan genocide and travelling to 97 countries including Iran, Iraq and North Korea. When he moved from London to the Isle of Man in 2006, he continued to host his radio show there and organised concerts featuring Robert Plant, The Who, The Kinks and Lou Reed. Andy currently reports for BBC 1’s The One Show. His autobiography, No Off Switch, is “an amazing read” according to Stephen Fry. Stephen is correct.WebsiteTrailerTwitter: @THEAndyKershawEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 7th November 2019 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
01/12/1950m 41s

Piney Gir

As an early Thanksgiving treat, Luke and Kerry welcome American singer Piney Gir. Piney (real name Angela), hails from “a very strict part of the Bible Belt”, where she grew up listening to cassettes of wholesome Christian music and a few of the “less psychedelic” Beach Boys tracks. One day, Dylan’s Slow Train Coming caused chaos in her parents’ car: her dad, a born-again Vietnam vet, loved it but her mom hated it (“or maybe she might have hated my dad”).Piney’s parents’ church was hardcore: “speaking in tongues, fainting, dancing - and album burning in the church car park”. She finally broke away from Christian Rock and entered the world of secular music via Depeche Mode and The Cure. Eventually, Edie Brickell’s cover of A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall and Scorsese’s No Direction Home brought her to the Church of Bob: “I’m interested in his relationship with faith”. Join us for a surprising journey in and out of the heartlands of America.Piney Gir was born in Kansas but has been based in the UK since 1998. She has been described both as a musical chameleon and as “the Indie Dolly Parton". As well as being a fixture on the London music scene, she has toured to venues like Glastonbury and South By Southwest. Her songs have appeared in TV programmes including Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Made In Chelsea, Waterloo Road and Being Human.Piney’s latest album is You Are Here. @PineyGirEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 8th October 2019 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
17/11/1936m 50s

Ian McMillan

Is Bob Dylan a poet? We ask Ian McMillan, one of the UK’s best. Ian compares Bob to Dylan Thomas, both of them “great poets who can rub vowels against consonants and make a kind of smoke come out of them… a kind of music.” “Meaning doesn’t matter”, he says. “The basis of poetry is being able to mint a phrase like “Lay, lady, lay”. I was so excited when Dylan won the Nobel Prize. Dylan’s stuff will last forever”.Yorkshire-born Ian recalls arguing with his Andy Stewart-loving Scottish father about the merits of Lay Lady Lay, over the washing up. How he was so moved hearing Sad-Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands that he wrote a poem about it. Other topics include in-depth dissections of One More Cup Of Coffee and Subterranean Homesick Blues, Paul Simon and John Cheever’s short fiction, Dylan’s Tarantula and Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street. Join us for a free-flowing episode with plenty of literary smoke.Ian McMillan is a poet, journalist and broadcaster. He presents poetry programme The Verb on BBC Radio 3 and is a regular on BBC Breakfast, Pick of the Week, You & Yours, Last Word and The Arts Show. He’s been a castaway on Desert Island Discs (where he famously chose John Cage’s 4'33"). His television work also includes The Review Show and Have I Got News For You. He has written many volumes of poetry, in addition to his verse autobiography Talking Myself Home. Ian was resident poet for the English National Opera, was Yorkshire TV’s Investigative Poet and Humberside Police’s Beat Poet. @IMcMillanEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 6th September 2019 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
03/11/1943m 53s

Andrew Male

Music journalist Andrew Male begins by examining “the humour that turns sour… the madness” of Bob’s 1965 “speedy, hipster world”, the “fascinating cruelty” of Dont Look Back and Eat The Document (“he couldn’t stand that close to the flame anymore”). He goes on: “if you’re interested in Dylan, you have to see it as a grand narrative, even the points that you flinch from.”This episode bounces between Elvis’s version of “I Shall Be Released”, Dylan doing his “Movie Elvis” voice on “Spanish Is The Loving Tongue” and New Morning, “Dylan’s first religious album, but the religion is Buddhism: the lyrics are like koans”. Was that Dylan on harmonica in George Harrison’s version of “If Not For You”? Was “Father Of Night” Dylan’s examination of his Jewish faith? Andrew offers more questions than answers on this one, which is how it should be. Join us.Andrew Male, former deputy editor of Mojo magazine and film lecturer at Warwick University, has been writing about music, books, film, radio & TV for the past twenty-five years. He can currently be found in the pages of Mojo, Sight & Sound, the Guardian, the Sunday Times and the Radio Times. Andrew lives in South London.TrailerTwitter: @Andr6wMaleEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 15th April 2019 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
19/10/1946m 30s

Geoff Dyer

When writer Geoff Dyer approaches us as a fan of the podcast, we jump at the chance. He leaps right in with a detailed analysis of Idiot Wind, praises previous guest Michael Gray, quotes Simon Armitage and Clinton Heylin, applauds Desire and Scorsese’s Rolling Thunder Revue and hails Dylan’s voice: “you always believe what he’s saying, even though he’s always an unreliable witness. It’s his incredible narrative power”.A few of the many topics: the 1978 Blackbushe gig (“explosively exciting”), his early years as Dylan freak (“I look back fondly on the exchange of cassette tapes in a pub – the early Christian era of Dylan bootlegs, this circle of initiates”) and the cleaned-up release of I’m Not There (“the value of it was somewhat diminished, I felt”). Geek out with Geoff in this passionate episode.Geoff Dyer is the author of Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi and three previous novels, as well as nine non-fiction books. Dyer has won the Somerset Maugham Prize, the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction and was named GQ’s Writer of the Year. He has won a National Book Critics Circle Award and the Windham Campbell Prize for non-fiction. His books have been translated into twenty-four languages. He currently lives in Los Angeles where he is Writer in Residence at the University of Southern California. Geoff’s most recent book is Broadsword Calling Danny Boy, about the film Where Eagles Dare. playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 19th July 2019 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
06/10/1944m 8s

Robyn Hitchcock

Singer Robyn Hitchcock finds “the comfort of doom” in Dylan’s “personal mineshaft of bleakness” as well as in Bob’s latterday performance style (“he’s like a mute lamppost”). Robyn first saw our man at the Isle of Wight Festival at the age of 16 (“with his white suit and his new voice, it was like watching your beloved get off the train but – it’s not them. I was riveted. I just stared.”) A conversation with Nashville cats Charlie McCoy and Wayne Moss is recounted, BD and Jim Morrison are skilfully imitated, Blonde On Blonde is rhapsodised (“You can see that music. It’s visual, like fireworks, like LSD. It’s in my DNA”). Strip your senses for this magic swirling ship of an episode.Robyn Hitchcock is a London-born, Nashville-based singer, songwriter, surrealist poet, cult artist and musician's musician. Since founding the art-rock band The Soft Boys in 1976, he has recorded more than 20 albums and starred in ‘Storefront Hitchcock’ a concert film by Jonathan Demme. Blending folk, psychedelia and British nihilism, Robyn describes his songs as ‘paintings you can listen to’. Robyn Sings (2002) is his live Bob Dylan covers album. His most recent album is Robyn Hitchcock (2017).Website: @RobynHitchcockEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 22nd July 2019 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
22/09/1945m 59s

Michael Feast

Actor Michael Feast has a deep personal history with Dylan. He won a role in the landmark 1968 London production of Hair by singing Outlaw Blues and Highway 61 Revisited. His drama school years were dramatised by Camden Town flatmate Bruce Robinson in the cult film Withnail & I. “It looked pretty much like it did in the movie. Biba bags hanging over lights and all that sort of caper”.His Brighton Mod scooter and soul thing was shattered the first time he saw the cover and heard the contents of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. “Whatever else I was into, like Elvis, Dylan always had a place within and yet beyond that. It always fitted in and yet it never did.” Desolation Row is dissected and applauded: “The words and images hit me straight away. I see it as a dusty street in Mexico”. The Beatles, The Band, The Rolling Stones, Gram Parsons, Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson are all name-checked by our self-confessed “musicologist geek” in this classic episode.Michael Feast is a stage and screen actor: a veteran of the Royal Exchange, The Old Vic, the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company. He worked several times with Sir John Gielgud, whom he later portrayed in the West End. Feast’s many television appearances include State of Play, Silent Witness, Vera and Game of Thrones. His film credits include roles in Franco Zeffirelli’s Brother Sun, Sister Moon as well as The Draughtsman’s Contract and Velvet Goldmine.TrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @istrollingpodRecorded 11th February 2019  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
08/09/1938m 15s

Christopher Green

Writer/performer Christopher Green illuminates the links between Dylan and female singers such as Indigo Girls, Marlene Dietrich, Marianne Faithfull, Kacey Musgraves and Emmylou Harris. A shape-shifting performer himself, Christopher temporarily gave up on Dylan when he heard Tracey Thorn berate him in her song Me and Bobby D, thinking: “he’s the voice of the Patriarchy and he can’t even sing”.In this episode, we grapple with some controversial questions: should we overlook an artist’s biography when considering their work? Does Bob sing with deep emotion? (His most recent recording He’s Funny That Way gets a look-in.) And we receive our most unusual piece of advice: “when you’re at an orgy with a friend, don’t look at their face”. Join us as we discover Christopher’s “secret relationship” with Bob Dylan.Christopher Green is a writer and performer whose work includes comedy, cabaret, theatre and live art. He is best known for his work as a character comedian, in a range of personas, playing at venues such as The Royal Albert Hall and Sydney Opera House. Performing as one of his characters, Tina C, Green has presented his own BBC TV and radio shows. Green co-wrote Duckie's Olivier Award-winning "C'est Barbican!" which was performed at London’s Barbican Centre.TrailerChristopher as Tina CChristopher as Ida BarrWebsite: http://christophergreen.netTwitter: @kit_greenEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @istrollingpodRecorded 20th February 2019 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
25/08/1938m 14s

Sarfraz Manzoor

Blinded By The Light screenwriter Sarfraz Manzoor joins us for an unexpected “Bob Meets Bruce” episode. A passionate Dylan man, Sarfraz first saw Bob in 1990, camping out with other hardcore fans for tickets at Hammersmith Odeon (he tips his hat to the legendary ‘Lambchop’).Topics include Oh Mercy (“ feels like a contemporary album. That swampy, darker take on things feels right for now”) and Bob’s age when he recorded it (“he seemed a Methuselah-like prophet, but was the same age I am now!”). In our three-way conversation, Dylan shares centre stage with Springsteen: Sarfraz is a big fan of their “appalling” live duet of Highway 61 Revisited. Don’t miss this surprising episode with the summer’s filmic man of the moment.Born in Pakistan, Sarfraz Manzoor is a British journalist, documentary maker and broadcaster. He is a regular contributor to The Guardian, presenter of documentaries on television and radio and a cultural commentator who appears on programmes such as Radio 4’s Saturday Review. His memoir, Greetings From Bury Park, was published in 2007. He co-wrote the just-released film Blinded By The Light, based on his book.Trailer @sarfrazmanzoorEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @istrollingpodRecorded 4th February 2019 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
11/08/1937m 50s

Sheila Atim

Sheila Atim - actress, singer, writer - won an Olivier Award for her performance as Marianne in Girl From The North Country, which transferred to the West End from London’s Old Vic. Sheila takes us behind the scenes of the most successful theatre adaptation of Dylan’s work.Did Bob come to see it? “I had a fantasy of him in a trench coat and hat, leaving a little post-it note at the stage door, saying “well done”. But that didn’t happen. A mug with his name on it was printed for him. I don’t know who has it now!”Sheila Atim’s acting credits include Othello (Shakespeare’s Globe), The Tempest and Julius Caesar (Donmar Warehouse) and Les Blancs (National Theatre) as well as work for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Court. This year, she begins filming the much-anticipated prequel to Game of Thrones (HBO). ANGUIS, Sheila’s first stage play, opens 31 July 2019 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.Trailer @sheila_atimEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 16th January 2019 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
28/07/1941m 3s

Stephen Unwin

Theatre director Stephen Unwin joins Luke and Kerry for one of their widest-ranging discussions; from Unwin’s favourite album The Times They Are A-Changin’ to The Bootleg Series Vol 8: Tell Tale Signs and Tempest. Topics include Bob and Brecht, Dylan and The Dead (“like orange juice and milk”), his disbelief in Tom Waits and his amazement at Bob’s awards ceremony persona (“such a tiny, eccentric, weird little guy!”). Tracks explored include Early Roman Kings (“can I be bothered with this?”) and North Country Blues (“deep American poetry”). Along the way, the mysterious location of the Red River Shore is cleared up and Roll On John is pronounced “a fantastic song”.Stephen Unwin is a director, writer and teacher. In the 1980s he was Associate Director at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh. He founded English Touring Theatre in 1993, was resident director at the National Theatre Studio and in 2008 opened the Rose Theatre, Kingston, where he was Artistic Director. As well as directing more than fifty plays and operas, he has written eight books on theatre and drama, along with four original plays. He has translated twelve foreign language plays, written numerous articles in books and newspapers and has taught at drama schools and universities in Britain and the USA.TrailerWebsite: @RoseUnwinEpisode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 11th January 2019 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
14/07/1941m 8s

More Michael Gray

In our second Michael Gray episode, the noted Dylan authority exults in Bob’s legendary 1984 David Letterman appearance: “he breaks through the oleaginous smear that is American television and creates an authentic moment”. He goes on to describe “the fairly heavy occasion” backstage at Earl’s Court in 1978 with his young son, who bums a biro off Bianca Jagger to seek Bob’s forbidden (left-handed) autograph.Countless tracks and albums are measured up, praised or dismissed, including the recent Sinatra years: “horrible finger snapping”. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear unvarnished opinions and future plans from the man who changed the face of Dylan criticism.Michael Gray is a world authority on the work of Bob Dylan. His Song & Dance Man: The Art of Bob Dylan, published in 1972, was the first full-length critical study of Dylan’s work. Its massive third edition, Song & Dance Man III (2000), is an essential part of any Dylan fan’s bookshelf. Michael's vast Bob Dylan Encyclopedia (2006) won the International Association of Music Libraries’ C.B. Oldman Prize. Another major work, Hand Me My Travelin’ Shoes: In Search of Blind Willie McTell, was published in 2007.His articles have been published in Rolling Stone, The Times, Literary Review, Independent, Guardian, Observer, Sunday Times, Weekend Telegraph, Independent on Sunday, Sunday Telegraph, Melody Maker, Uncut and many more.TrailerWebsite: www.michaelgray.netTwitter: @1michaelgray1Episode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 12th June 2019 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/07/1943m 58s

Michael Gray

We devote our next two episodes to Michael Gray, one of this podcast’s literary heroes. Seems we owe it all to Linda, the university girlfriend who introduced him to Bob’s work. “Coming from a rock ‘n’ roll background, I had no interest in folk-clubbery; it just seemed weird”. Soon he was marvelling at the poetry and, at Liverpool in 1966, Dylan’s “extraordinary ability to recite at length, stoned out of his head, yet word perfect.”Michael talks us through the various editions of his classic Song & Dance Man, from the slim first edition to the gigantic third version, which Uncut called “dazzlingly brilliant... an intellectual tour de force... an essential companion”. In between, we hear about his relationship with “the bony figure who came through the middle of the curtain” and changed his life.Michael Gray is a world authority on the work of Bob Dylan. His Song & Dance Man: The Art of Bob Dylan, published in 1972, was the first full-length critical study of Dylan’s work. Its massive third edition, Song & Dance Man III (2000), is an essential part of any Dylan fan’s bookshelf. Michael's vast Bob Dylan Encyclopedia (2006) won the International Association of Music Libraries’ C.B. Oldman Prize. Another major work, Hand Me My Travelin’ Shoes: In Search of Blind Willie McTell, was published in 2007.His articles have been published in Rolling Stone, The Times, Literary Review, Independent, Guardian, Observer, Sunday Times, Weekend Telegraph, Independent on Sunday, Sunday Telegraph, Melody Maker, Uncut and many more.TrailerWebsite: www.michaelgray.netTwitter: @1michaelgray1Episode playlist on SpotifyListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodRecorded 12th June 2019 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
30/06/1949m 17s

Dorian Lynskey

At age 14, journalist Dorian Lynskey had a “huge resentment” towards Bob Dylan and the “horrible old has-beens” in the Traveling Wilburys: “SCREW YOU! GET OUT OF THE WAY!” Young Dorian continued to be unmoved by Dylan’s 1997 heart condition: “Oh, I guess he’s dying now: Time Out Of Mind is the mortality album”.He has since revised his opinion. “I like his weird, apocalyptic psycho-geography of America.” He admires the man’s indifference: “Piss off. I’m going to disappoint you again”. In-depth discussions include: Masters Of War, the upcoming Neil Young Hyde Park concert, Greil Marcus, Chronicles Volume One and the best Dylan cover versions (check out Phil Flowers And The Flower Shop’s version of Like A Rolling Stone).Dorian’s books include The Ministry Of Truth: A Biography of George Orwell’s 1984, 33 Revolutions Per Minute: A History of Protest Songs and The Guardian Book of Playlists. He writes on music for The Guardian, was music critic for The Big Issue and has freelanced for Q, GQ, Mojo, Word, Spin, Empire and The Observer.TrailerMinistry of Truth webpageTwitter: @DorianlynskeyPodcast: RemainiacsListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodEpisode playlist on SpotifyRecorded 28th May 2019 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/06/1944m 6s

Jonjo O'Neill

Actor Jonjo O’Neill tells the true story of how Bob Dylan changed his life. Coming to Blowin' In The Wind through a dodgy guitar teacher in Catholic Belfast, moving on to full-blown Dylan conversion through Scorsese documentary No Direction Home, realising that Bob is “a messianic boy who ends up, like Jesus, saying: "Why, Father?"”He continues: “I placed myself as the character of 'Bob'. I felt totally intoxicated by playing him. I felt the drama of what he was doing. I wanted to be Bob Dylan. I was jealous that no one else got to do it!” Join us for one of our most unexpected episodes.Jonjo O’Neill, born in 1978, is an Associate Artist with the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he played Richard III and Mercutio. He also has strong connections with the Royal Court Theatre. On film and television, Jonjo is best known for Defiance, Doctor Who, The Assets, The Fall, Constantine, Patrick Melrose and the final, stagecoach section of the Coen Brothers film, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.TrailerWebsite: @ONeillJonjoListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodEpisode playlist on SpotifyRecorded 25th February 2019 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/06/1939m 5s

Dan Rebellato

Professor and playwright Dan Rebellato sets out his stall by praising Dylan’s simplicity, his humour and his relationship to the spiritual world. “I was raised on Bob Dylan. The album John Wesley Harding gave me nightmares but I love it for its religion – it’s exactly as Christian as I like my Bob.”If you don’t know John Wesley Harding, this episode is your way in. If you do know it, Dan will take you deeper. “Suddenly, he becomes a storytelling songwriter. He’s no longer mocking the conventions of storytelling. There’s something epic and foreboding about these stories, something deeply fearful and puzzling about this record.”Dan Rebellato is Professor of Contemporary Theatre at Royal Holloway, University of London. He has written over twenty plays for BBC radio and another sixteen for the stage, performed at the Edinburgh Assembly Rooms, Theatre 503, the Arcola and the National Theatre. His radio work has been nominated twice for Sony Awards. Dan writes regularly for The Guardian Theatre Blog.TrailerTwitter: @danrebellatoListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodEpisode playlist on SpotifyRecorded 28th January 2019 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
19/05/1934m 46s

Larry "Ratso" Sloman

From New York, it’s the legendary Larry “Ratso” Sloman, author of On The Road With Bob Dylan, the up-close-and-personal story of the 1975 Rolling Thunder tour. Ratso shoots the breeze with Luke and Kerry about Bob, Joan, Sara, Joni, Roger, Renaldo, Clara and the rest of the gang. The Scorsese Rolling Thunder Revue doc is previewed and his new album discussed.From his beginnings as a suburban teenage accountant to hanging out with the foulmouthed Fugs, blagging his way into Rolling Stone magazine, accosting Dylan outside a beauty parlour and being invited on tour, to recording a duet opposite Nick Cave (with flute by Warren Ellis) - it’s been a long, strange trip.Our conversation with Ratso includes Stubborn Heart album producer Vincent Cacchione.Ratso Sloman was known as Larry until Joan Baez changed his name. He has written books on Houdini, David Blaine, Mike Tyson, Howard Stern and Anthony Kiedis. He has directed a Dylan video, edited National Lampoon and written a history of marijuana in America. More importantly, Ratso has a Master’s Degree in Deviance and Criminology.TrailerPodcast: Ratso & FriendsTwitter: @ratsoslomanListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodEpisode playlist on SpotifyRecorded 10th April 2019 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
05/05/1951m 50s

Billy Bragg

In a specially extended edition, beloved Barking bigmouth Billy Bragg tells Kerry and Luke how he first encountered the works of Dylan in the early 1970’s, “through the portal” of Simon & Garfunkel and Rod Stewart. “Greatest Hits, Volume 2 really messed with my head and my songwriting”.We learn that when Chrissie Hynde asks him to come backstage to meet Bob post-concert, Billy flees into the night, terrified of disgracing himself in front of his hero. Wiggle Wiggle, Woody Guthrie and Wilco also loom large in our landmark sixteenth podcast.Billy Bragg writes and sings bitingly intelligent, warmly humane songs about politics and love. His albums include Shine A Light, Tooth & Nail, Bridges Not Walls and Mermaid Avenue – The Complete Sessions. His books include Roots, Radicals and Rockers: How Skiffle Changed the World. His recent documentary is Rock Island Line: The Song That Made Britain Rock. In 2019, he’ll be touring both the UK and USA.TrailerTwitter @billybraggListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodEpisode playlist on SpotifyRecorded 20th March 2019 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
21/04/1958m 24s

Jude Rogers

Jude Rogers, Guardian music critic and interviewer, shares her thoughts with Kerry while Luke is in rehearsals. She tells of growing up with The Smiths and REM, “terrified” of the “intimidating” man who “influenced all of pop music” until she discovers the “non-intimidating” Bob on Nashville Skyline and Self Portrait.Jude eventually realises that “Bob Dylan was all these different people” and begins to see the light. An interview she conducts with Mavis Staples seals the deal, complimented by a Dylan playlist from a trusted friend.Jude Rogers was reviews editor for The Word magazine. In addition to The Guardian, she writes for The Observer, The New Statesman, The Times and Financial Times as well as Red, Elle and Marie Claire. Jude broadcasts on BBC Radio and is a senior lecturer in journalism at London Metropolitan University.TrailerTwitter @juderogersListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodEpisode playlist on SpotifyRecorded 7th November 2018 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/04/1939m 52s

Jeff Slate

Direct from New York City, our first transatlantic podcast features singer, songwriter and journalist Jeff Slate, who went from life in a small town in suburban Connecticut to gigging with his own band to being invited into the Dylan office “for coffee” to writing the liner notes for More Blood, More Tracks.Jeff spills the beans on future Bootleg Series releases and the music business in general: “physical product, sadly, is dead”. On hearing a preview of Shadows In The Night, he says “I was sitting there with my mouth open … at the passion, power and energy. Bob was singing his ass off!”Jeff also wrote the liner notes for the reissue of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and is the co-author of The Authorized Roy Orbison. He has appeared on radio and TV around the world as performer and music expert. He has an unrivalled knowledge of all things Dylan, Beatles and Monty Python. Twitter @jeffslateListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodEpisode playlist on SpotifyRecorded 15th February 2019 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
24/03/1934m 24s

Robin Guise

Film producer Robin Guise is our knowledgeable guide through Dylan’s major cinematic works. In our longest episode yet, we look back at Dont Look Back, Eat The Document, Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid, Renaldo & Clara, Hearts Of Fire and Masked And Anonymous. On the way, Robin discusses Let It Be, the Radiohead documentary Meeting People Is Easy and the upcoming Rolling Thunder project. Acting is discussed: Tom Waits and Kris Kristofferson can; Bob Dylan can’t. Or can he? Fasten your seatbelts for a bumpy, amusing and contentious episode.At our podcasting home, LipSync Post, Robin has spent 30 years overseeing marketing materials for major studio and independent films. He is the author of the entertaining online blog The Hitchcock Project. Robin has produced and directed many documentary films, including a recent short feature about rock photographer Jill Furmanovsky.TrailerTwitter @ColBlimp9Listeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodEpisode playlist on SpotifyRecorded 4th January 2019 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
10/03/1952m 20s

Kathryn Williams

Kathryn Williams, singer-songwriter, laughs like the flowers as she talks about Dylan as inspiration and Cat Stevens as her secret crush. Outsiders and identity are themes; she listened to Janis Joplin every morning to get through school.Kath confesses to some ”wild” teenage years: listening for hours to tapes of Dylan in a Liverpool pub car park. Lay Lady Lay was “a wakening into the adult world”, her “massive daily song: saucy and sexy”. Her songwriting is illuminated: “how to make truth ring”.Kathryn Williams has released 14 studio albums. She has written and arranged for a multitude of artists and was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize for her second album, Little Black Numbers. She has collaborated with artists including John Martyn, Chris Difford, Thea Gilmore, Ed Harcourt and The Magic Numbers.TrailerWebsite: set: @kathwilliamsukListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodEpisode playlist on SpotifyRecorded 22nd October 2018 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
24/02/1936m 29s

David Baddiel

David Baddiel, a Bowie man to his core, pronounces Dylan “incredibly subversive and instinctively funny” while comparing him to Larry David. Bob’s voice is “like a buzzing fly”; Mr Tambourine Man is “a pure piece of surrealistic poetry that signals the start of the 60’s - in 1964”.There’s more: “Dylan takes leaps of the imagination that he doesn’t know he’s taking” and “Bob is John The Baptist to Leonard Cohen’s Jesus”. Don’t miss this outstanding episode. David - comedian, novelist and screenwriter - is well known for his partnerships with Rob Newman (the first stand-ups to play Wembley Arena) and Frank Skinner - Fantasy Football League and the Unplanned TV and stage shows. His solo shows FAME: Not The Musical and My Family: Not The Sitcom both transferred to the West End.TrailerPodcast: Stalking Time For The MoonboysTwitter @BaddielListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating. Twitter @isitrollingpodEpisode playlist on SpotifyRecorded 1st February 2019 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
10/02/1945m 33s

Peter Fincham

Peter Fincham, television producer, tells a hilarious story concerning Dylan’s manager and a Bob tribute band. He moves on to Every Grain Of Sand and the Bootleg Series (“Angelina is impenetrable” but it’s “a magnificent vocal performance. He sings it as if his life depends on it”).At boarding school, Peter rejected his peers’ predilection for Deep Purple and found a taste for “songs with acoustic guitars”. Dylan’s trip into the Sinatra songbook is considered, plus missing tracks from Shot of Love and Infidels, before we move on to Blonde On Blonde and other major works.Peter Fincham was Managing Director of Talkback Productions, Controller of BBC1 and Director of Television for ITV. He developed programmes including The Day Today, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, I’m Alan Partridge, Da Ali G Show, Green Wing, The One Show, Downton Abbey, Broadchurch and The Only Way Is Essex.(Apology to Bella Weiland, our engineer for this episode: I mispronounced her surname and didn't have a chance to correct it. It's pronounced WAYland, not WEEland...) - LHTrailerListeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodEpisode playlist on SpotifyRecorded 12th October 2018 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
27/01/1936m 53s

Tom Sutcliffe

Tom Sutcliffe, journalist and broadcaster, gave his fourteen year-old son a birthday iPod with a quote from Forever Young engraved on it. He swears: “I don’t randomly quote Bob Dylan” and describes Bob’s Bringing It All Back Home as “a cold shower/warm shower of an album”.Concentrating on BIABH, Tom calls Maggie’s Farm “an ordeal” and certain famous lyrics “trite” and “twee”; and admits to an irrational hatred of the tambourine, but praises Gates of Eden as “a great tune”.Tom Sutcliffe studied at Cambridge and joined the BBC soon afterwards. He has presented Radio 4’s weekly Saturday Review arts programme since 1999. He was the first arts editor of The Independent newspaper and has been chairman of Round Britain Quiz since 2007.Saturday Review web page @tds153Listeners: please subscribe and/or leave a review and a rating.Twitter @isitrollingpodEpisode playlist on SpotifyRecorded 3rd October 2018 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/01/1935m 12s

Jon Canter

Jon Canter, comedy writer, reminds us of Bob’s physical resemblance to The Marx Brothers and of his “predictably perverse” humour (“I don’t think I’d heard sarcasm in popular song before Dylan”). He goes on to equate Bob’s Jewishness with his constant restlessness, whilst quoting a Randy Newman song about Bruce Springsteen. Jon somehow manages to relate the work of Dylan to Brexit, via a discussion of Bob’s attitude to “experts”. He praises the genius of Dylan’s early bootlegs and marvels at the man’s extraordinary emotional range (“He’s a Shakespearean songwriter”).Jon Canter is the author of three comic novels - Seeds of Greatness, A Short Gentleman and Worth. He has written stand-up comedy for Lenny Henry, the BBC2 series Posh Nosh for Arabella Weir, comment pieces for The Guardian, along with many radio and stage plays. The fourth series of his comedy ‘Believe It’ (with Richard Wilson) was broadcast recently on BBC Radio 4.Trailer Twitter: @joncanter3Episode playlist on SpotifyRecorded 20th September 2018 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
30/12/1835m 7s

Sid Griffin

Sid Griffin, musician and writer, compares Dylan to Miles Davis but concludes “he’s a surprisingly normal person in an incredibly abnormal situation.” Other subjects: Bob’s open attendance at Minnesota sporting events, Dylan’s penchant for taking buses into rural Ireland and the secret of his 1960s skinny black jeans.We also discuss originality. Sid’s view: “If you take two lines from a Henry Timrod poem in the American Civil war and then have a line of your own and then you have two lines from some Japanese poet of the 19th Century and a line of your own and then a line of dialogue that Humphrey Bogart said to Claude Rains…that is an original song.” Kentucky native Sid Griffin is a successful solo artist as well as co-founder of the legendary bands The Long Ryders and The Coal Porters. His first book was a biography of Gram Parsons. Million Dollar Bash: Bob Dylan, The Band and The Basement Tapes is a must-read for any Dylan fan. Sid has contributed many articles to Mojo, Q and NME. He is often seen on BBC TV.TrailerWebsite www.sidgriffin.comPodcast The Sid Griffin Podcast ( @SidCPsGriffinEpisode playlist on SpotifyRecorded 1st October 2018 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/12/1838m 15s

Sylvie Simmons

Sylvie Simmons, author of the definitive Leonard Cohen biography “I’m Your Man”, confesses to discovering both Bob and Leonard on the same tacky compilation album. Further revelations include her reaction to witnessing Born-Again Bob (“it was just a really boring show”) and Leonard’s unhappy reaction to the news of Bob’s conversion (“he was yelling and screaming”).Other topics include Dylan and Cohen’s Jewishness, their use of smoke and mirrors and, from the mouth of their mutual producer Bob Johnston (“Is it rolling, Bob?”), the true story of how the two musical giants first met.Originally from London, but a Californian resident for decades, Sylvie has written articles and reviews for nearly every major music magazine. Her first book was a biography of Mötley Crüe. She has published a collection of short stories, Too Weird for Ziggy, as well as biographies of Neil Young and Serge Gainsbourg. Her first album as a singer-songwriter, Sylvie, was released in 2014.TrailerTwitter: @sylviesimmonsEpisode playlist on SpotifyRecorded 24th October 2018 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/12/1837m 58s

Kenneth Cranham

Olivier Award-winning actor Kenneth Cranham wraps his RADA-trained vocal cords around Visions of Johanna and never stops. "You’ve got to go and see this guy Bob Dylan at the Royal Festival Hall,” he remembers being told in 1964. “He smokes joints all the time." So he bought four tickets - for a pound.Get ready for countless stories including Sam Shepard’s unique directing technique, a fond remembrance of Roger Lloyd Pack and blowing the minds of the Salvation Army with Dylan on his side. West End and Broadway veteran Kenneth Cranham was in Joe Orton’s Loot and Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party. He played the title role in ITV’s Shine On, Harvey Moon and has appeared in countless films, stretching from Oliver! through Hellbound: Hellraiser II to Layer Cake, Valkyrie and Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool.TrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyRecorded 12th September 2018 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
18/11/1834m 46s

Paul Morley

In Episode 4, acclaimed writer Paul Morley - not widely known as a Bob Dylan man - proves his love. “Punk demolished a lot of people weren’t going to demolish Bob. I always think of Before The Flood as like a proto-punk album.”Paul Morley is an English music journalist, well known for his work with the New Musical Express. He was a co-founder of the record label ZTT Records and was a member of the synthpop group Art of Noise. He has been a band manager, promoter, television presenter and staff member at The Royal Academy of Music.Paul’s many books include the Sunday Times bestseller The Age Of Bowie, Joy Division, The North (And Almost Everything In It), Words And Music and Nothing.TrailerEpisode playlist on SpotifyRecorded 10th September 2018 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
04/11/1834m 59s

Barb Jungr

In Episode 3, singer and writer Barb Jungr compares Dylan and Leonard Cohen (having extensively recorded both), and talks about the constant relevance of Dylan’s lyrics: his “understanding of humanity…that really relentless gaze”.An award-winning song-stylist incorporating jazz, blues and European cabaret, Barb’s approach often includes radical re-readings of known writers (Bowie, Springsteen, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell) as well as original material. She has also written for children’s and musical theatre.Barb’s Dylan-related albums include Every Grain Of Sand (2002), Just Like A Woman (2008), Man In The Long Black Coat (2011) and Hard Rain (2014).TrailerTwitter: @barbjungrEpisode playlist on SpotifyRecorded 19th September 2018 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
21/10/1838m 19s

David Morrissey

In Episode 2, actor David Morrissey and his son Gene discuss Dylan’s take on heartbreak and darkness, as well as the art of listening to albums all the way through; especially Blood On The Tracks.David Morrissey started acting at the Everyman Youth Theatre in Liverpool, where he was born and raised. Following graduation from RADA, he worked with Cheek By Jowl, the Manchester Royal Exchange and the Royal National Theatre.The British Film Institute described David as "one of the most versatile English actors of his generation". His many television and film credits include the Brian Jones biopic Stoned; as well as Britannia, The Driver, State of Play, Gordon Brown in The Deal (RTS Award, Best Actor) and The Governor in The Walking Dead (two time Saturn Award nominee).TrailerTwitter: @davemorrissey64Episode playlist on SpotifyRecorded 5th September 2018 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/10/1842m 13s

David Hepworth

In our first episode: noted journalist, broadcaster and author David Hepworth talks about Dylan's jokes, the Nobel Prize and the time he interviewed him.David joined Smash Hits in 1979 and became the editor. He helped start magazines like Just Seventeen, Q, Empire, Mojo, More, Heat and The Word. He presented Whistle Test for the BBC; and Live Aid, in front of the largest TV audience in history. He interviewed Bob Dylan a year later, in July 1986. His books "1971: Never A Dull Moment" and "Uncommon People: The Rise and Fall of the Rock Stars" are both Sunday Times best-sellers. His new book is called "Nothing Is Real" and he podcasts at @davidhepworthEpisode playlist on SpotifyRecorded 3rd September 2018 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
24/09/1843m 39s
Heart UK