Penthouse: A lot of people are very interested about what goes on between you and Bob Dylan. What do you talk to him about?
via afc sidebar
Penthouse: Absolutely nothin'?
Smith: Nah. Well, like he came backstage to see me, and he's a totally physical guy. There was a period in my life when I thought about Dylan constantly. It was as if he had been my boyfriend. But when he walked into the room he was just a guy, a really cool guy. He ceased being Bob Dylan to me.
I enjoyed hearing him say my name. It was like high school. It was real embarrassing teenage stuff. He didn't have nothing to say to me, I didn't have nothing to say to him. We kept walking around, like dogs in a pit. He said, "What do you read Rimbaud in?" I said, "English." He said, "I read him in French." Totally teenage nonsense. But I thought he was a really cool guy, y'know? And that's all he is to me now, a cool guy. I don't like being around him too much 'cause we're two very restless people, and that creates a lot of nervousness. Plus I'm shy around really cool guys until I get to know them. Like, when I met Hendrix we just talked about the weather. When I met Jim Morrison we sat around looking at girls' legs and discussing who had the best ass.
Dylan asked me about a poem I had written, the one about his dog. I felt like I'd been caught writing about a boy in my diary. I said, "Ah, c'mon, don't get mad at me." Really stupid. I told him it was just a dream I had. He said, "Oh, I like dreams. I ain't mad. I really like what you're doing." He didn't make any heavy statements.
He gave me a fantastic singing lesson. He really lives by singing. We were in a room with a few people who are gettin' drunk and singing, taking turns singing all this soft, folksy shit, and when it was Dylan's turn to sing he started singing like he's at Madison Square Garden. It was pure heart, and I don't think anyone's ever captured that successfully on record.
Like I said, he ain't Bob Dylan to me anymore, he's a guy. I wasn't that cool around him, but let me tell ya, he wasn't no cooler. It was touching to see such great verbalizers acting like non-verbal jerkoffs.