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PostPosted: Wed April 27th, 2016, 17:08 GMT 
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Did Dylan ever clarify his position on the Vietnam War? I can't find much more than the July 1968 Sing Out! interview with Happy Traum -- hard to tell if he's sincere or just pulling Happy's leg:

-------------------------

Traum: Probably the most pressing thing going on in a political sense is the war. Now I'm not saying any artist or group of artists can change the course of the war, but they still feel it their responsibility to say something.

Dylan: I know some very good artists who are for the war.

Traum: Well, I'm just talking about the ones who are against it.

Dylan: That's like what I'm talking about; it's for or against the war. That really doesn't exist. It's not for or against the war. I'm speaking of a certain painter, and he's all for the war. He's just about ready to go over there himself. And I can comprehend him.

Traum: Why can't you argue with him?

Dylan: I can see what goes into his painting, and why should I?

Later in the interview:

Traum: My feeling is that with a person who is for the war and ready to go over there, I don't think it would be possible for you and him to share the same values.

Dylan: I've known him a long time, he's a gentleman and I admire him, he's a friend of mine. People just have their views. Anyway, how do you know that I'm not, as you say, for the war?


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PostPosted: Wed April 27th, 2016, 17:19 GMT 
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When it comes to discerning Bob's political-social views, it's a bit like trying to pick up mercury with your fingers.


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PostPosted: Wed April 27th, 2016, 21:32 GMT 

Joined: Sat August 25th, 2007, 21:54 GMT
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Clean Cut Kid, what else do you need? Yes, Dylan is clearly messing with Happy.


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PostPosted: Wed April 27th, 2016, 21:39 GMT 
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I believe the interview with Traum was pretty farcical, just out of Dylan's desire to remain as noncommittal as possible. This was his first interview since the bike crash, and it was done as a favor in an attempt to keep Sing Out from tanking.

Happy Traum: He was totally not giving interviews... I was trying to get Bob to make some definitive statement about where he stood [on the war]. But he didn't say anything, he was just talking about this stonemason he knew.

Clinton Heylin: The interview appeared to indicate that Dylan [...] had awoken one morning to find he had become the papa in his own clothesline saga.


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PostPosted: Thu April 28th, 2016, 00:00 GMT 

Joined: Sun November 7th, 2004, 18:31 GMT
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In 1968, even people who were for the war called it "that damn war" because of how it was tearing the country apart. I think Dylan is correctly saying that we can't let ourselves be so divided as a country that we can't see the humanity in those that disagree with us. Happy Traum is rather outrageously suggesting that we shouldn't even communicate with those with whom we may share a lot in common just because of political differences. Dylan is right to say that he has friends that support the war and why shouldn't he? A lot of people who "supported" the war did so for very patriotic reasons and had been veterans themselves. Life is always more complicated than the kinds of binary choices politics forces us to make. Sure, be mad at LBJ or Nixon, but not your neighbor who can't do any more to change things than you can.


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PostPosted: Thu April 28th, 2016, 00:04 GMT 
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That Dylan interview was stupid. STOOOPID.

https://youtu.be/KAWoP1kncRE


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PostPosted: Thu April 28th, 2016, 02:03 GMT 
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Little known fact: The motorcycle accident was a hoax.

Bob became a member of the Special Forces, taking the most strenuous and dangerous missions. How he survived the ordeal is still classified but upon his early discharge, he showed up at the Concert for Bangladesh to help his buddy, George Harrison, raise money for those in need. To this day he doesn't talk about it.


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PostPosted: Thu April 28th, 2016, 07:53 GMT 

Joined: Fri January 5th, 2007, 23:38 GMT
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Location: Ireland
"For all of my brothers from Vietnam
And my uncles from World War II,
I'd like to say that it's countdown time now
And we're gonna do what the law should do."

I also have a memory of the following:

1). Didn't Dylan express some non-enthusiasm for an upcoming anti-war protest in his 1965 San Francisco interview?

2). Didn't he express disapproval of draft-dodgers to Baez?

3). Didn't the photographer Elliot Landy, who took those iconic Basement Tape era photographs, complain about the pro-war leanings of the Dylan dinner-table conversation at that time?


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PostPosted: Thu April 28th, 2016, 09:14 GMT 
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It was easy for him to say these things, given they wouldn't have used him & his bad eyes. He said he wanted to go to West Point when he was young. He also wanted to piss off the hippies to get them to leave him alone, so a public pro-war attitude definitely fit that scheme.


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PostPosted: Thu April 28th, 2016, 17:47 GMT 

Joined: Sat October 3rd, 2009, 13:47 GMT
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The one and only serious comment on war were Bob's "Masters Of War" (and his speech before he played the song), when the US had started the war on the Iraq, and his "'Cross The Green Mountains" (including the video to this song). What else could be said?
These performances marked his attitude towards all forthcoming and towards all former wars of his time.
No need to argue, when everything is obvious. (In these situations Bob usually was contradictory or talked nonsense)


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PostPosted: Thu April 28th, 2016, 18:06 GMT 

Joined: Sat February 27th, 2016, 23:54 GMT
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Location: camilla's house
Mickvet wrote:
"For all of my brothers from Vietnam
And my uncles from World War II,
I'd like to say that it's countdown time now
And we're gonna do what the law should do."

I also have a memory of the following:

1). Didn't Dylan express some non-enthusiasm for an upcoming anti-war protest in his 1965 San Francisco interview?

2). Didn't he express disapproval of draft-dodgers to Baez?

3). Didn't the photographer Elliot Landy, who took those iconic Basement Tape era photographs, complain about the pro-war leanings of the Dylan dinner-table conversation at that time?

which 1965 quote are you thinking of?
the "I'll be busy tonight one" ?


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PostPosted: Thu April 28th, 2016, 18:32 GMT 

Joined: Fri January 5th, 2007, 23:38 GMT
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Location: Ireland
^

Don't overtax me. I'm not getting any younger, you know, but what you suggest sounds familiar.


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PostPosted: Thu April 28th, 2016, 18:49 GMT 
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Friend's right, but the part of the interview where he goes off on one about organising a picket with protesters dressed as playing cards is a desperate kind of deflection of questions about political activism.


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PostPosted: Thu April 28th, 2016, 19:28 GMT 

Joined: Tue May 27th, 2014, 22:33 GMT
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The only statement I can think of by Bob on the Vietnam war is one he makes in a new stanza from "With God on Our Side" in the 88 tour.

He sings "In the 1960s came the Vietnam war, can somebody tell me what we're fighting for? So many young men died. So many mothers cried. Now I ask the question- is god on our side?"

Seems like he was not a fan. This addition disappears in versions after 88 as far as I can tell, although I didn't check very many.


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PostPosted: Thu April 28th, 2016, 21:48 GMT 

Joined: Fri January 5th, 2007, 23:38 GMT
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Location: Ireland
skieran wrote:
The only statement I can think of by Bob on the Vietnam war is one he makes in a new stanza from "With God on Our Side" in the 88 tour.

He sings "In the 1960s came the Vietnam war, can somebody tell me what we're fighting for? So many young men died. So many mothers cried. Now I ask the question- is god on our side?"

Seems like he was not a fan. This addition disappears in versions after 88 as far as I can tell, although I didn't check very many.


That is intriguing. The world changed radically after 1988 and perhaps that provided an answer of sorts to his questions.


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PostPosted: Thu April 28th, 2016, 22:13 GMT 
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^
I seem to recall reading Aaron Neville wrote the additional verse and Dylan picked up on it.


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PostPosted: Thu April 28th, 2016, 22:22 GMT 
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Johanna Parker wrote:
^
I seem to recall reading Aaron Neville wrote the additional verse and Dylan picked up on it.


I believe that is correct. I've seen Aaron sing it that way.


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PostPosted: Thu April 28th, 2016, 22:28 GMT 
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Joined: Thu March 31st, 2016, 17:53 GMT
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Johanna Parker wrote:
It was easy for him to say these things, given they wouldn't have used him & his bad eyes.


This is off topic but I'll ask anyway- what's up with his eyes? I was just thinking about this earlier this morning, because I saw a photo of him from the early 70's when he was being a "family man" and I thought, huh, that's the only time I've seen him in a photo other than the early 60's when I assumed (in the few photos I've seen of him wearing glasses from that time period) he was wearing them for fashion, thick horn rims being in then. But since the early 70's I can't recall a photo of him wearing glasses, so I'm wondering if he wears contacts or if he never really needed glasses in the first place.


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PostPosted: Thu April 28th, 2016, 23:46 GMT 

Joined: Thu April 28th, 2016, 13:40 GMT
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I can see Bob Dylan not unfriending a friend who had a pro-war viewpoint.


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PostPosted: Fri April 29th, 2016, 01:00 GMT 
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Didn't Kerouac support the war ?


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PostPosted: Fri April 29th, 2016, 01:29 GMT 

Joined: Sat February 27th, 2016, 23:54 GMT
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Location: camilla's house
chester drawers wrote:
Didn't Kerouac support the war ?

i dont think so. why do you say that?

there is his famous appearance on Firing Line where he says that Vietnamese just started the war to get American jeeps in the country.
that's the only comment i know of.
i dont think Kerouac took politics very seriously. from reading his books i cant see him supporting any war.


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PostPosted: Fri April 29th, 2016, 01:32 GMT 
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"I'm a climber, I don't care about your silly war!"

"I got no quarrel with them Vietcong."


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PostPosted: Fri April 29th, 2016, 07:43 GMT 

Joined: Fri January 5th, 2007, 23:38 GMT
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Location: Ireland
ApocalypseKurtz wrote:
"I'm a climber, I don't care about your silly war!"

"I got no quarrel with them Vietcong."


I don't recognise the first quotation, but the second was Muhammed Ali.


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PostPosted: Fri April 29th, 2016, 12:19 GMT 

Joined: Sat August 25th, 2007, 21:54 GMT
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At the time of that Happy talk Dylan was doing his utmost to disconnect himself from his protest label. Witness the Wenner interview, song & dance man, music man, or whatever it was.

Plus he was completely tuned out, seemingly intentionally so. He follows 1968 with Nashville Skyline!

Just my surmise, based on very little, but I imagine he was knocked sideways when his father passed away before they could sort things out.


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PostPosted: Fri April 29th, 2016, 12:28 GMT 
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In his biography No Direction Home, Robert Shelton quotes this exchange from a press conference in Australia during the 1966 World Tour:
Q:" What do you think of the Vietnam War?"
A: "Nothing. It's Australia's war."
Q: "But Americans are there."
A: "They are only helping the Australians"


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