Orpheus on the Air #2:
Christmas Week Edition
In the early morning hours of January 26, 1966, Bob Dylan (accompanied by unnamed members of The Hawks) lurched into the studios of New York's listener-supported radio shrine WBAI-FM for an unscheduled appearance on Radio Unnameable, the weekly cavalcade of music and merriment hosted (then and now) by one of the great men of our time, Bob Fass.
It was an interesting period for this troubador; having spent the preceding six months letting it be known far and wide that he wasn't returning to the Protest song racket, no matter how forcefully the middle class white folks (who just adored songs about underclass misery) screamed their heads off or held their breath. By January, Dylan had at least managed to convince everyone that he wasn't kidding, and the volume of catcalls and boos appeared to be growing more faint by the hour (this would soon change later in the year as he faced one exceedingly ugly UK crowd after another during the course of his 1966 world tour). He could afford to take a momentary breather.
In a sense, this recording documents that brief moment of repose.
There's no music in these 93 minutes (save for a few notes from a Lightnin' Hopkins record) . . . there isn't even an interview in the conventional sense. Some back-and-forth between the host and his mystery guest (who seems to be under the influence of . . . something), a good deal of moving about (anyone who's worked in listener-supported radio knows how cramped a studio can get when more than two souls occupy it), and then Bob Fass opens up the phone lines.
The less said about what ensues . . .
Suffice it to say, all Talk Radio should sound like this.
Act One (49min.)
Act Two (44min.)