Clinton Heylin:"Bob Dylan: Behind The Shades, a Biography"
He became known for his new "science" called garbology, in which he went through the subject's trash in order to gather scraps of evidence to support his theories. Thinks that on the Highway 61 Interactive CD-ROM , Bob Dylan "has two messages to me on the disk".
Weberman rummaging through Dylan's garbage
"One night I went over D's garbage just for old time's sake and in an envelope separate from the rest of the trash there were five toothbrushes of various sizes and an unused tube of toothpaste wrapped in a plastic bag. 'Tooth' means 'electric guitar' in D's symbology...." "Dylan's Garbage's Greatest Hits," in Twenty Minute Fandangos and Forever Changes, edited by Jonathan Eisen (Random House, 1971), p. 179. Date: Sat, 27 Apr 1996 09:57:12 -0400 From: Seth Rogovoy (rogovoy@BERKSHIRE.NET) Subject: Re: The AJ Way The Universal Standard Dictionary defines Weberman thusly: Web-er-man (n): 1. a lowlife, lowest of the low 2. a scavenger or garbage picker 3. an offensive person who simply must always be where one does not belong [from A.J. Weberman, self-styled "garbologist" -- one who makes a study of human refuse in an attempt to divine ill-begotten truths -- who "analyzed" castoffs of celebrities including Henry Kissinger and Robert Allen Zimmerman ("Bob Dylan") in an attempt to "expose" their secrets]
These conversations are indeed incredibly fascinating. If anyone has a
transscript (they were published in underground newspapers at the time)
they should post it here, but like any of Bob's songs, they must be
*heard* to be truly understood. The way he reacts to one of A.J.'s
misquotes with a tired and agonized "Nooooo, maaaaan......." belongs as a
post on the "Greatest Phrasings" thread!!
In my humble and I hope discussion-provoking opinion, Weberman's efforts, though ridiculous and offensive, did indeed have an effect on Bobby. Later that year (a very reclusive one for him) he played the politically-oriented Concert for Bangladesh in New York, and there made a very concerted (pardon the pun) effort to "return" to his 60's style, appearance and material.
If you found the LP several years ago, Paula, it probably means you have the original "official" pressing on Folkways? A rare find! It is also available as a bootleg LP, which I own.
Weberman is still a writer. I own a recently reissued copy of his Kennedy- assasination-conspiracy tome "Coup D'Etat in America" , which comes complete with transparency overlays so you can compare the "mystery tramps" from the boxcar behind the grassy knoll with certain CIA personnel such as Watergate creeps E. Howard Hunt and Frank Sturgis! Old radicals never die, they just get more and more disturbed...... :-)
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 1995 15:11:19 -0500 From: Daniel Michael (dqm7726@IS2.NYU.EDU) Subject: Weberman and Phil in response to the "where the hell is the weberman" question, he's still kickin, just did an article that's in the latest issue of "on the tracks" where he talks about bob's cd-rom, but the guys so out there only 1/4 of the article is actually about the cd-rom, he just talk about it to segueway into his method of dylanology and about how bob said if weberman held a birthday pary with his students for him, he would never talk to him, which he did, and now he's beggin for forgiveness. also, he was sayin how bob hated him exposing certain things about him then a couple lines down he mentions how dylan used to funnel money to israel, and he wonders why bob doesnt talk to him. and of course, weberman still thinks practically every song dylan writes is secretly directed toward him. but, i mean for all weberman did, he has to be admired for some of it. i agree with the intro to the article that says "even if you do not agree with everything weberman does or thinks, one must concede he is a man of unique thought. he invented the "dylanological method" of lyric analysis, and he realized the need for a bob dylan lyric concordance...his gift is to stay focused on analyzing a subject until he feels he's turned it inside out." maybe a bit off-center, but an indispensible asset to dylanology. also, i think that weberman phone conversation with dylan is the best boot i got, he knew where to poke bobby and didnt hesitate. like tellin dylan his new music (nashville skyline) is him just turning to the escapist music industry of the thirties "because people dying is really a good thing and the last thing you wanna do is speak out against it." and then there's just some hilarious bits: dylan: "you're a pig man" weberman:"i'm a pig? you're the fuckin pig man, i fight!!" dylan:"yeah, you fight to go through my garbage." that cracks me up in other news, just thought i'd come to phil long's defense. i dont know him well or anything, all i know is that i traded with him a little while ago and everything was fine. of course, i dont know what he's up to now, i'm just sayin that there was no scamming involved when he traded with me, just give him some time before we pull out the torches and chase him though the village streets. see you later, allen ginsberg, dan Dylan fights Weberman From "Tangled up in Bob", Rolling Stone article by Marc Jacobson As students of primeval D-ology know, A.J., who quit college in 1968 to create the first computer-generated Dylan Word Concordance, is most famous for going through Bob's garbage. This "garbology" action was part of a full-scale assault launched by the Dylan Liberation Front, a bunch of Yippie pot smokers who thought Dylan, the most angel-headed head of the generation, had fallen prey to a Manchurian Candidate-style government plot to hook him to sensibility-deadening hard dope. These findings were based on A.J.'s highly idiosyncratic interpretations of "Dylan's secret language," a code that, once cracked, revealed words like "rain" and "chicken" (as in "the sun is not yellow -- it's chicken!") to actually mean "heroin." It was Dylan's addiction that led the poet to make sappy records like Nashville Skyline and New Morning when his great gift could have been better used speaking out against Vietnam, A.J. contended. "Dylan's brain belongs to the People, not the Pigs!" was among the fervent cries back in 1970, as A.J. led the forty or so smelly hippies in his Dylanology class to Bob's home at 94 MacDougal Street, where they screamed for Dylan to "crawl out yer window" and answer charges that he had been co-opted. After an unsolicited DLF-inspired block party for Dylan's thirtieth birthday, which resulted in the NYPD shutting down Bleecker Street, and a long series of hectoring phone calls (the tapes were compiled on a Folkways Records release entitled Bob Dylan vs. A.J. Weberman, now a major Bob collectible), Dylan struck back. Three decades later, A.J., now fifty-five, his once-wild mane receded to silver fringe (but still talking very fast), recalls the incident, one of the more colorful in the often drearily hagiographic Dylanological chronicles: "I'd agreed not to hassle Dylan anymore, but I was a publicity-hungry motherfucker. . . . I went to MacDougal Street, and Dylan's wife comes out and starts screaming about me going through the garbage. Dylan said if I ever fucked with his wife, he'd beat the shit out of me. A couple of days later, I'm on Elizabeth Street and someone jumps me, starts punching me. "I turn around and it's like -- Dylan. I'm thinking, 'Can you believe this? I'm getting the crap beat out of me by Bob Dylan!' I said, 'Hey, man, how you doin'?' But he keeps knocking my head against the sidewalk. He's little, but he's strong. He works out. I wouldn't fight back, you know, because I knew I was wrong. He gets up, rips off my 'Free Bob Dylan' button and walks away. Never says a word. "The Bowery bums were coming over, asking, 'How much he get?' Like I got rolled. . . . I guess you got to hand it to Dylan, coming over himself, not sending some fucking lawyer. That was the last time I ever saw him, except once with one of his kids, maybe Jakob, and he said, 'A.J. is so ashamed of his Jewishness, he got a nose job,' which was true -- at least in the fact that I got a nose job. . . ." Dylan vs Weberman at www.punkhart.com