A long-lost interview with Bob Dylan has emerged, which is almost 50-years-old, and sees the bohemian singer-songwriter reveal that he wrote the hit song ‘Lay Lady Lay’ with Barbra Streisand in mind to sing.
This comes from a series of conversations between Dylan and his friend Tony Glover from 1971, a blues musician who passed away last year. The reason why this has now come to the surface is because of the transcripts which feature Dylan’s handwritten annotations heading to auction in Boston as part of a series of memorabilia from Glover’s archives. The memorabilia has been put up for sale by Glover’s widow, Cynthia, with online bidding to begin on November 12th and ending on November 19th.
Dylan also discussed why he changed his name from Zimmerman in a bid to have a more palatable stage name to the masses. “I mean, it wouldn’t’ve worked if I’d changed the name to Bob Levy. Or Bob Neuwirth. Or Bob Doughnut,” Dylan is quoted as telling Glover.
Glover then asked Dylan if he changed his name because of a “prejudice thing” in relation to his Jewish heritage, which led to Dylan then replying: “No, I wouldn’t think so.” However, Dylan then eloquently discusses anti-semitism which still feels relevant today, “A lot of people are under the impression that Jews are just money lenders and merchants. A lot of people think that all Jews are like that,” Dylan wrote. “Well, they used to be ’cause that’s all that was open to them. That’s all they were allowed to do.”
In a separate transcript of an interview dated March 24, 1971, Glover asked Dylan about the song ‘Lay Lady Lay’ which featured as a single from his album Nashville Skyline in 1969. Glover asked if the track was written for the soundtrack of the Oscar-winning drama Midnight Cowboy but Dylan then interrupted him to reveal the true meaning of the song: “Actually, it was written for Barbra Streisand,” Dylan then says.
Streisand has since provided a statement to NBC News, saying, “I’m very flattered to find out that Bob Dylan wrote ‘Lay Lady Lay’ for me. What I remember is getting flowers from him with a handwritten note asking me to sing a duet with him, but I just couldn’t imagine it then. Guess what, Bob, I can imagine doing it now!”
The interviews were due to be part of an article Glover was writing for Esquire magazine, however, the publication then decided to pull the plug on the project and they have only just been made public now — almost 50 years on.