On this day in 1965, Bob Dylan was on British soil and beginning to become the legendary force for music he is to this day. The singer-songwriter had become one of the few American acts to truly retaliate during the British invasion of the 1960s and set foot in London, determined to establish himself.
One such way of doing so was by engaging with the notoriously prickly British press. Sure in the States The Beatles and Rolling Stones were being lauded as the pop phenoms they were quickly becoming. But back in Blighty, the press were more than happy to try and ensnare the band for some extra column inches.
Dylan was faced with a tough choice when crossing the Atlantic in 1965. He could never avoid the press for too long so it was best to tackle them head-on. And so he did when he met Jack DeManio off the BBC at the Savoy Hotel in 1965 for what became an iconic conversation.
Below you can hear snippets of Dylan typically confrontational patter. Not one to be verbally bashed to made to feel insignificant, Dylan stands up to every line of questioning with the same shape-shifting prowess that would see him keenly avoid journalistic barbs for decades to come.
Following the interview, Dylan was allowed to get back to doing what he did best—performing. The singer would go later that evening to perform alongside friend and collaborator Joan Baez, clips of which have been used in the Don’t Look Back video. It is a beautiful and touching moment between two entwined personalities.
The pair sing ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’ a traditional Irish/Scottish folk song which, when sung by Dylan and Baez, is given a breath of fresh air. Both so young in their age and fresh in their outlook sing the ancient song with a steely resolve and an untarnished idealism.
Take a trip back to 1965 and listen to Bob Dylan and Joan Baez’s performance of ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’ at the Savoy Hotel, London in 1965
Here is some of Dylan’s conversation with Jack DeManio