May 1, 2005

"my mother is a dolphin"

From Greil Marcus's new book Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads:

"I have always admired people who know how to interview. The key is not to want to be liked. The key is to be an irritant, a smart-aleck, a fool, a creep. 'I heard your mother is a donkey,' you might say, expecting the subject to spit in your face and walk out of the room. 'Oh, no,' the person will say. 'How did you ever get that idea? Let me tell you the real story. My mother is a dolphin. And how that happened, I've never told anyone...' One interviewer I know has a terrible stutter. People will say anything, will talk endlessly about their private lives, just to keep him from asking another question. The best I have ever been able to manage is silence."

Posted by Douglas at May 1, 2005 5:06 PM | TrackBack
Comments

Hey Douglas, steve from cmj... long time no say howdy!

So true, such great advice. One of the best lessons I ever learned is that when you interview your idols, don't waste time convincing them that you should like totally be best friends becasue you have a rare 7" and one of their songs helped you through a breakup. They don't care that you saw them in 1997 at the Beacon Theater and were in the front row. Get them talking about what's interesting to them. Your job is to serve the reader, not the interviewer.

Posted by: stevesidea on May 6, 2005 9:48 PM
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