In 1962, future Pulitzer Prize–winning author Alex Haley sat down with jazz musician Miles Davis for what would become an institution of American journalism—the Playboy Interview. To celebrate the Interview’s 50th anniversary, Playboy has culled 50 of its most (in)famous Interviews and will publish them over the course of 50 weekdays (from September 4, 2012 to November 12, 2012) via Amazon’s Kindle Direct platform. Here, a glimpse at our conversation with the singer-songwriter Bob Dylan from the March 1966 and March 1978 issues.
“Message songs, as everybody knows, are a drag. Only college newspaper editors and single girls under 14 could possibly have time for them.”
“It strikes me funny that people actually have the gall to think that I have some kind of fantastic imagination. It gets very lonesome.  But anyway, traditional music is too unreal to die. It doesn’t need to be protected. Nobody’s going to hurt it.  In that music is the only true, valid death you can feel today off a record player. But like anything else in great demand, people try to own it. It has to do with a purity thing. I think its meaninglessness is holy. Everybody knows that I’m not a folk singer.”
“Have you ever lain with somebody when your hearts were beating in the same rhythm? That’s true love. A man and a woman who lie down with their hearts beating together are truly lucky. Then you’ve truly been in love, m’ boy. Yeah, that’s true love. You might see that person once a month, once a year, maybe once a lifetime, but you have the guarantee your lives are going to be in rhythm. That’s all you need.”
“The myth of the starving artist is a myth. The big bankers and prominent young ladies who buy art started it. They just want to keep the artist under their thumb. Who says an artist can’t have any money? Look at Picasso. The starving artist is usually starving for those around him to starve. You don’t have to starve to be a good artist. You just have to have love, insight and a strong point of view. And you have to fight off depravity.  Uncompromising, that’s what makes a good artist. It doesn’t matter if he has money or not. Look at Matisse; he was a banker. Anyway, there are other things that constitute wealth and poverty besides money.”
“The trick is to stay away from mirror images. The only true mirrors are puddles of water.”
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