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Hello, My Name Is Ramblin’ Jack

| June 30, 2006

Hello, My Name Is Ramblin’ Jack
Q&A with folk legend Ramblin’ Jack Elliott

IE: You were just in England with Devendra Banhart?
Ramblin’ Jack Elliott:
Well, I did one show with him. I wasn’t really with him; he was in one theater and I was in another theater at the same festival [All Tomorrow’s Parties]. Can’t really call it a music festival. I think myself and one other person were the only real musicians in the festival.

IE: How would you describe the rest?
Noise. It’s become quite popular. I think the British youth have lost or never developed an appreciation for music.

IE: You call your album I Stand Alone, but there’s a number of guests on it.
As a matter of fact, I didn’t invite those guests, they were invited by the record company. And I don’t call it that, they call it that. My daughter was the one who dreamed up the album in the first place, she wanted to call it Not For The Tourists. I was visiting her apartment down in L.A., and she said “Daddy, do you have some songs I haven’t heard, some songs you don’t usually play in your shows?” I thought back and came up with about five or six of ’em and sang ’em. She liked them and said, “Why don’t you sing those in your show?” I said, “They’re not for the tourists!”

IE: People were outraged when you were left out of the Bob Dylan: No Direction Home documentary. Were you bothered by that?
In his autobiography he mentioned me five straight pages. I was reading the book on an airplane and I’m usually very slow or lazy about ever scribbling or writing anything down. I grabbed a notebook and I wrote, “If this plane goes down and I don’t make it, Thank you, Bob.” He wrote some really nice stuff about me. It was a tickle. I wasn’t expecting it. Lord knows, he doesn’t go around talking about me all the time, but he sure came through.

Steve Forstneger

Folk legend Ramblin’ Jack Elliott’s first album in seven years, I Stand Alone, will be released July 11th on Anti/Epitaph. A fall tour is being planned.

Category: Columns, File, Monthly

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  1. Stanley says:

    Great to hear Jack’s in fine ascerbic form in that interview. And a great inight into his reaction to the five (5!) pages in Chronicles. Good piece. I’m a Jackwatcher and I haven’t heard any of the stuff in this story anywhere else. Nice work.