Dylan LovesAlicia Keys… andDerek Jeter?

Rolling Stone, of course, has always been the go-to place for Dylan hagiography — which makes its current rough-and-tumble, playful, smart Dylan cover interview (timed to the release of a new album, Modern Times) a particularly remarkable read.

Yeah, interviewer Jonathan Lethem is a rabid fan, but the novelist (Motherless Brooklyn, Fortress of Solitude) is an exceptionally thoughtful student of Dylan — and he gets the man at his rambling, puckish best.

There’s Dylan the fanboy, on Alicia Keys: “There’s nothing about that girl I don’t like.”

There’s Dylan the Dylanologist/Deadologist: “Jerry Garcia could hear the song in all my bad recordings, the song that was buried there.”

There’s Dylan the cut-up: “I wouldn’t want to play a really small room, like ten people. Unless it was, you know, $50,000 a ticket or something.”

And there’s Dylan the fanboy, again, this time on Derek Jeter: “I’d rather have him on my team than anybody.”

So few celebrity interviews these days crack the insipid, boilerplate promotional idiom — and yet here Lethem, improbably, has cracked the hardest nut of all: Bob Dylan.

READ an extended excerpt from the interview

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