Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bob Dylan, the Hillbilly

In an interview with Rolling Stone, John Mellencamp comments on directing Bob Dylan's video for "Political World."

"Bob said one thing over and over: 'Don't make me look stupid.' I said, 'We're in videos, we all look stupid. Who has a video where they don't look stupid? .... We get along well. He's a hillbilly. I laugh so hard when I'm with Bob. I call him 'Bob-aloo.' Bob does things his way, and so do I, and sometimes we pay an awful high price."

The term "Hillbilly" must be evolving in its usage. Mellancamp, born in Indiana, might not have seen many hills growing up, but Dylan was born in Minnesota, the same heartland region I would say as Mellencamp. Having left the hills of Appalachia or the Ozarks, the term Hillbilly has found new life. Clearly used in an affectionate manner, perhaps Mellencamp's use of "Hillbilly" is a generational thing, like calling Dylan "old fashioned" or an "old fart," or someone who's backwards or set in his ways. I think if I called my dad a Hillbilly, however, he'd wallop me with a Chardonay bottle!

from Rolling Stone September 2, 2010

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