Michael Simmons

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Musician and writer Michael Simmons has written dozens of Dylan cover pieces for MOJO magazine, as well as incisive liner notes for Another Self Portrait and Bob Dylan 1970. “I remember where I was when Kennedy was assassinated and I remember the exact moment I heard Like A Rolling Stone. It sounded like freedom.” He praises Bob as both “a revolutionary” and “an evolutionary” artist and reminds us that “the difference between a great talent and a hack is the willingness to fall on their face in the pursuit of something new.”

From Michael’s LA home he recounts his time playing guitar, singing backup and doing improvised comedy with the outrageous country jokesters Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys (despite being born in New York City). Mr Simmons contains other multitudes: T-Bone Burnett, Greil Marcus, George Hamilton IV, Gordon Lightfoot, Jerry Garcia and Neil Young all receive considered mentions. He brings it all back home by confirming that “at all times, somebody, somewhere in the world, is talking about Bob Dylan”. Join our conversation with this most savvy of Dylan scribes.

Michael Simmons is a musician, journalist, filmmaker and activist. He was dubbed "The Father Of Country Punk" by Creem magazine in the 1970s, edited the National Lampoon in the '80s, and won the LA Press Club Award in the '90s. He's written for the LA Weekly, LA Times, Rolling Stone, Penthouse and High Times. He is MOJO magazine’s premiere writer on all things Dylan as well as profiling George Harrison, Leon Russell, Lowell George and The Fugs. He has written liner notes for albums by Dylan, Michael Bloomfield, Phil Ochs, Kris Kristofferson, Arthur Lee & Love and many others.

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Recorded 11th December 2020

This show is part of Pantheon Podcasts

61 episodes