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Bob Dylan at 20 on Freak Shows

“I‘m never going to become rich and famous” - Bob Dylan in 1962.

AIRED: October 11, 2016 | 0:04:37

(banjo music)

- [Voiceover] Bob Dylan is, you must be 20 years old now,

aren't you?

- [Voiceover] Yeah, I must be 20.


- [Voiceover] Are you?

- [Voiceover] Yeah, I'm 20, I'm 20.

(guitar music)

My hands are cold.

It's a pretty cold studio.

- [Voiceover] The coldest studio.

- [Voiceover] Usually can do this.

There I just want to do it once.

(guitar strumming)

- [Voiceover] When I first heard Bob Dylan

was, I think, about three years ago in Minneapolis.

- [Voiceover] At that time I was just sort of doing nothing.

I was there working, I guess.

I was making pretend I was going to school out there.

I'd just come there from South Dakota.

- [Voiceover] You've sung now at Goody's here in town.

Have you sung at any of the coffee houses?

- [Voiceover] Yeah, I played my harmonica for this guy

there who was singing, he gave me a dollar

to play for the day with him from 2:00 in the afternoon

until 8:30 at night, he gave me a dollar

plus a cheeseburger.

- [Voiceover] And you've been writing songs as long

as you've been singing, huh?

- [Voiceover] Yeah, actually, I guess you could say that.

Are these French ones, huh?

- [Voiceover] No, they're healthy cigarettes.

Healthy because they've got a long filter and no tobacco.

- [Voiceover] That's kind of neat.

- [Voiceover] And now you're doing a record for Columbia.

- [Voiceover] Yeah, it's coming out in March.

- [Voiceover] What's it going to be called?

- [Voiceover] Bob Dylan, I think.

- [Voiceover] That's a novel title for a record.

- [Voiceover] Yeah, it's pretty strange.

(guitar strumming)

- [Voiceover] No one's ever seen Bob Dylan

without his hat except when he's putting on his necklace.

Is there a more dignified name for that thing?

- [Voiceover] Harmonica holder.

- [Voiceover] Oh, I think necklace is better than that.


(harmonica playing)

- [Voiceover] You haven't been playing the harmonica

for too long, have you?

- [Voiceover] Yeah, I've been playing harmonica

for a long time, I just never had,

I couldn't play them at the same time.

I used to have to play with a coat hanger.

That never really held out so good.

I used to put tape around it, you know.

It used to hold out pretty good.

There are smaller harmonicas than these.

There about this far and I just put them in my mouth.

But I got bad teeth, you know, and there's some

kind of thing back there, there's a filling or something.

I don't know what it was in there but it used

to magnify it, not magnify but magnet.

Man, the whole harmonica would go wham, you know,

drop in my mouth like that.

So I couldn't hold onto my teeth very much.

(guitar strumming)

Let's see if I can find a key here to do this one.

I wrote this one a long time ago.

Never do this.

- [Voiceover] How long were you with the carnival?

- [Voiceover] I was with the carnival off and on,

six years?

- [Voiceover] What were you doing?

- [Voiceover] Oh, just about everything.

I was a clean up boy.

I used to be on the main line

on the Ferris wheel, just run rides.

- [Voiceover] Didn't that interfere with your schooling?

- [Voiceover] Well, I skipped a bunch of things

and I didn't go to school a bunch of years

and I skipped this and I skipped that.

It all came out even, though.

I'll tune this one, it's an open E.

(guitar tuning)

- [Voiceover] Oh I get one, I get two of them.

(guitar tuning)

- [Voiceover] Actually, I wrote a song once,

I'm trying to find about this lady I knew in the carnival.

And they had a freak show in it, you know

the midgets and that kind of stuff.

Well, there was one lady in there, really bad shape,

like her skin had been all burned and she was

a little baby, you know, and it didn't grow right

and so she was like a freak.

And all these people would pay money, you know,

to see and that really sort of got me.

That's a funny thing about them, I know how

those people think, they want to sell you stuff, you know.

Spectators, like they sell little cards of themselves

for like 10 cents, you know, they've got a picture

on it and it's got some story.

And here they are on stage, they want to make

you have two thoughts.

They want to make you think that they don't

feel bad about themselves and also they want

to make you feel sorry for them.

I always liked that.

And I wrote a song for her.

It was called, "Won't You Buy a Postcard?"

Can't remember that one, though.

(guitar strumming)

- [Voiceover] You've been listening to Bob Dylan

and thank you very, very much for coming down here

and working so hard.

- [Voiceover] It's my pleasure to come in.

- [Voiceover] When you're rich and famous,

you going to wear the hat too?

- [Voiceover] I'm never going to become rich and famous.

(harmonica and guitar music)

- [Voiceover] Bob, do you make up a song

before breakfast every day or before supper?

- [Voiceover] Sometimes I can go about two weeks

without making up a song.

- [Voiceover] I don't believe it.

- [Voiceover] Yeah, but then sometimes,

I write a lot of stuff.

In fact, I wrote five songs last night.

But I gave all the papers away.

I don't even consider even writing songs.

I don't, when I've written it, I don't even

consider that I wrote it when I got done.

The song was there before me, before I came along,

I just sort of came down and just sort of took it down

with a pencil but it was all there before I came around.

That's the way I feel about it.

(harmonica and guitar music)

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