Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Roy Silver interview DVD: encore

Thanks to Steve Rostoski:

“I was involved in a project related to No Direction Home and got to read all the interview transcripts (except Bob's!) before it was released.

“I remember the Roy Silver interview and I doubt they would have gone to the trouble of transcribing all the retakes and asides if it were staged. The guy did sound like a character, so I'm not surprised some think he's an actor.

“Another thing I remember about the interviews was that most of them were rough and broke down when they had to change film or something needed rephrasing.

“Except for Greil Marcus. His interview read like one of his essays with not one word out of place. The only time he stopped was when he asked if the skateboarding kids outside were making too much noise.”


(8 May): The Roy Silver interview DVD

Watching the Roy Silver interview on DVD, one of the bonus discs in Together Through Life, I thought at first it was a spoof.

Never having heard of Silver and conscious of the hammy presentation style (Groucho Marx?), it seemed like a well-executed Dylan put-on.

My suspicions were strengthened when a check of the Trager and Gray encyclopedias failed to turn up Silver. Ditto Heylin’s bio, Behind The Shades Take 2.

But then I found him in a biography I’ve rather neglected – Howard
Sounes’ Down the Highway: the life of Bob Dylan (Black Swan, 2002, paper, 624pp). Sounes documents in some detail Silver’s early association with Dylan in the Village, before he was signed by Albert Grossman.

Bravo, Howard Sounes. I’ll have to read him rather more carefully.

And I’ll have to watch the Roy Silver DVD again – but as a factual interview this time, not an elaborate joke.

Gerry Smith