Ep. #27: Greil Marcus

Greil Marcus is one of the most revered writers and cultural historians in the world. Since the late 60s, the California-based Marcus has demonstrated an uncanny ability to examine the broader social implications of musical movements, often re-contextualizing them in a profoundly illuminating way. He was the first reviews editor at Rolling Stone magazine, his writing has appeared in other notable publications like The Village Voice and The Believer, and he’s authored classic books like Mystery Train, Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century, Invisible Republic (or, as it was later re-named, The Old, Weird America), and many more. Marcus is also regarded as the most astute authority on the work of Bob Dylan and, with the August 27 release of Dylan’s The Bootleg Series Vol. 10: Another Self Portrait (1969-1971), with which Marcus is inextricably connected, it seems like a good time to get his take on it. Here Marcus discusses his infamous 1970 review of the original Self Portrait, how critics generally received Dylan prior to this release, his take on the The Great White Wonder bootleg, why this new collection is a must-listen, the subject of his forthcoming book, and how the two conversations he actually had with Bob Dylan (the first in 1963, the last in 1997) actually went.

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