Bob Dylan’s 1965 San Francisco televised press conference in full. Recorded on 3 December 1965.
This is the only full length press conference by Dylan ever televised in its entirety. The transcript was made from an audio tape of the conference, and the only editing has been to take out statements concerning ticket availability and times of the local concerts – Ralph J. Gleason, Rolling Stone Magazine, December 14, 1967.
When Bob Dylan‘s five concerts in the San Francisco Bay Area were scheduled in December 1965, the idea was proposed that he hold a press conference in the studios of KQED, the educational television station.
Dylan accepted and flew out a day early to make it.
He arrived early for the press conference accompanied by Robbie Robertson and several other members of his band, drank tea in the KQED office and insisted that he was ready to talk about “anything you want to talk about.” His only request was that he be able to leave at 3 p.m. so that he could rehearse in the Berkeley Community Theater where he was to sing that night.
At the press conference there were all sorts of people. The TV news crews of all the local stations were there; so were reporters for three metropolitan dailies (their stories were subsequently compared to the broadcast of the interview by a University of California journalism department class) plus representatives of several high school papers, and personal friends of Dylan including poet Allen Ginsberg, producer Bill Graham and comedian Larry Hankin.
Thus the questions ranged from standard straight press and TV reporters’ questions to teen age fan club questions to in-group personal queries and put ons, to questions by those who really had listened to Dylan’s songs.
He sat on a raised platform facing the cameras and the reporters and answered questions over a microphone all the while smoking cigarettes and swinging his leg back and forth. At one point he held up a poster for a benefit that week for the San Francisco Mime Troupe (the first rock dance at he Fillmore Auditorium and one of the first public dances featuring the Jefferson Airplane). At the conclusion of the press conference, he chatted with friends for a while, jumped into a car and went back to Berkeley for the rehearsal. He cut the rehearsal off early to go to the hotel and watch the TV program which was shown that night and repeated the following week.
This is the only full length press conference by Dylan ever televised in its entirety. The transcript was made from an audio tape of the conference, and the only editing has been to take out statements concerning ticket availability and times of the local concerts – R.J.G.