Bob Dylan Press Conference in San Francisco 1965

This is a press conference in san francisco in 1965 where Dylan is playful as ever taking the reporters for a ride as per usual.
The way Dylan goes on spinning conversational webs is pure genius.

Part 1

Part 2


Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Excerpt from newspaper

Bob Dylan’s Idea For a Symphony

by Lisa Hobbs

Bob Dylan, a mental free-floater in two-inch high boots, has made but one commitment to the future–he would like to write a symphony.

It’s the only firm commitment verbal, philosophic, or social that he offered yesterday to a world that he perceives as being otherwise without hope.

It will be like no other symphony, just like the 24 year old Dylan is like no other writer-singer.

As the high priest of the folk-rock cult described it to reporters at KQED, it will have “different melodies, words and ideas all being the same and rolled on top of each other”.

He made a delicate gesture with delicate hands as if he were kneading pastry dough.

Dylan denied that his songs have any subtle message, although he has written and sung over 150.

“Where did you hear they have a message?” he asked a pert teenage editor from a Bay Area high school newspaper.

“In a movie magazine” she giggled.

This sets dozens of beards in the audience shaking. Some beards even removed their sunglasses to wipe off the tears. (Poet Allen Ginsberg, one of the guests invited for what turn out to be a rather fruitless mental autopsy, would have won the prize for Best Beard easlly.)

Dylan, who looks like an under-nourished kewpie doll, also denied that he played folk-rock.

“I call it vision music, mathematical music,” he said in a barely audible mutter which made this reporter feel positively decrepit.

“The words are just as important as the music. There would be no music without the words. I do the words first. I know what music I want when I hear the words. But sometimes on a gentle instrument like a harpsichord or a harmonica, I hear the melody first and know the words that should fit to it. That never happens with the guitar. It’s too hard an instrument.”

Asked what poets did he dig, Dylan replied:
“W.C. Fields, the trapeze family in the circus, Ginsburg, Charlie Rich.”

He denied that he wanted to change anyone’s lives by being hard on them in his songs.

“I just want to needle ’em.”

He also digs flicks—-will make one himself next year and thinks Joan Baez interprets his earlier songs “all right.”

Smoking continually, flicking ash and rubbing his little suede boots together, the pale and aesthetic-faced Dylan said he’ll know when to quit because “I’ll just start to itch and something goes through a terrifying turn and it has nothing to do with anything.”

A newsman commented that Dylan’s voice was inaudible until he spoke about the booings he had received but then it became quite clear.

“Are you doing a pennance of silence?” Dylan was asked.

“No,” he replied. “It’s always silent where I am.”

“They shouldn’t have asked any reporters over 30,” one sighed.


Want this conference on a DVD? Click the link below.

Dylan Speaks: The Legendary 1965 Press Conference in San Francisco from


2 responses to “Bob Dylan Press Conference in San Francisco 1965

  1. This was great- I love how Bob puts Ginsberg in his place in pt. 3… “I wouldn’t do that to you…”

  2. Good stuff, but none of your videos seem to work when I try them for some reason.

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