New School University:

Discussing Dylan SHAP1002

12 sessions. Wed., 7:45-9:30 p.m., First Class Feb 53

Arlene Levinson, Bob Levinson

Class held at: 66 West 12th
Room to be Determined

The Official ‘Discussing Dylan’ Class Write-Up in the New School University’s Bulletin

“Throughout forty-plus years of an iconic, shape-shifting musical career, Bob Dylan has been deified and discarded by cultists and critics alike. Through numerous incarnations--folk musician, poet, rock musician, author, singer-songwriter, filmmaker, evangelical Christian, Hasidic Jew-he has moved and mesmerized three generations of listeners. Using interviews, lectures, and discussion, we trace the arc of his remarkable career from Minnesota to New York City and beyond, from scuffling days to superstardom. (2 credits)”

This is what will appear in the next bulletin:

Bob Dylan is a poet, singer/songwriter, filmmaker, Jewish Born-Again Christian and THE cultural icon of contemporary America. He changed the world’s landscape in 1962 with his innovative and powerful music and continues to do so today with mold-breaking albums and a Never-Ending Tour of startling live performances. “Discussing Dylan” examines Bob Dylan’s remarkable life, complex career, legendary music and unique forays into the unknown by encouraging the students to discuss these and other intriguing subjects with a series of fascinating guests who have either had direct contact with Bob or have delved deeply into the man and his art. Guests have included: musicians Garth Hudson and Eric Andersen, Oxford Professor Christopher Ricks, authors Larry “Ratso” Sloman, David Hajdu, Tim Riley and Robert Polito, journalists Nat Hentoff, David Fricke and Seth Rogovoy, radio personalities Meg Griffin, Bob Fass and Larry Josephson, photographers Daniel Kramer and Elliot Landy, theologian Dr. Rev Jamie Gripton and archivists Mitch Blank and Rob Johnson.

The confirmed guests are:

  1. Al Aronowitz-World famous author, Dylan friend, essayist and troublemaker, Al is currently stirring things up a hornet’s nest of confrontation on his Webpage entitled “The Blacklisted Journalist,” which can, and should be, accessed weekly at: (Al has recently taken ill and disappointedly must pass on this semester’s class).

  2. Mitch Blank- Mitch is a lifetime Greenwich Village resident and long-time New York political and social activist who also happens to be THE world’s premier Dylan archivist. He willingly shares his artifacts and stories with anyone who is interested enough to pull up a chair and share his enthusiasm (As a neighborhood resident and first semester guest, Mitch is our “Rescue Squad,” willing and able to be the last minute guest should anyone be unable to make it to class).

  3. Oscar Brand-Internationally famous folk singer, Newport cornerstone, and tireless advocate of free speech, Oscar was one of the first radio personalities to have Bob on the air. Oscar’s fifty-one-year-old folk music radio show still airs weekly on WNYC (Oscar will have to be a guest next semester as his acceptance was received by us too late to include him this Spring’s lineup).

  4. Peter Stone Brown-Dazzled by Dylan early in his own career, Peter has remained a Dylan devotee since Bob rearranged the entire Greenwich Village folk music scene in the early 1960’s. Peter is a long-time singer/songwriter, New York club performer and Dylan essayist whose writings have appeared on Check in on Peter on his own Website:

  5. Bob Fass-A New York radio pioneer and early Dylan advocate and acolyte who was part of the triumvirate that invented free-from radio on WBAI in the early 1960’s. Mr. Fass continues to explore the corners of our culture and society by using his unique style every Thursday night from midnight to 3:30 AM on BAI (99.5 FM) (As Bob was a first semester guest he will be a Spring semester back up).

  6. Jeffrey Gaskill-Noted and well-respected music promoter and record producer, Jeff’s latest effort is called “Gotta Serve Somebody-The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan,” and exciting album that demonstrates Bob’s continuous commitment to Christianity. It will be released by SONY in the Spring, 2003.

  7. Holly George-Warren-Noted author, essayist and editor, Holly is responsible for “The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock and Roll,” “The Illustrated History of Rock & Roll,” “American Roots Music and most recently “Cowboy: How Hollywood Invented the Wild West.”

  8. Meg Griffin/Rob Johnson-Meg, currently Format Manager at Sirius Satellite Radio, is a N.Y. radio legend for putting the early sizzle into WFUV’s then burgeoning “City Folk format and for her five hour, no-holds barred Greil Marcus interview which accompanied a full run-through of the then unheard Basement Tapes. Rob is a passionate Dylan fan and devoted collector of Dylan artifacts and memorabilia.

  9. Dr. Rev. Jamie Gripton- A ‘liberation theologian’ and Pastor of the United Church of Canada in New Brunswick, Jamie hosts a weekly Bob Dylan radio show called “Buckets of Bob,” “which listens in to the musical conversation between Bob Dylan and the Word.”

  10. Garth Hudson-An original member of The Band and someone who continues to make unique and extraordinary music.

  11. Larry Josephson-Larry is one of the Founding Fathers of WBAI’s Free-form Radio Revolution of the early 1960’s along with Bob Fass and Steve Post. Larry tried to create an alternative to abusive ‘talk-radio’ with “Bridges, an intelligent dialogue between liberals and conservatives. The effort failed financially because not enough people wanted to hear common-sense discussions when they could listen to loud illiterates shout their opinions over the airwaves twenty-four hours a day. Timing is everything.

  12. Elliot Landy- A uniquely gifted world-famous photographer who has been honored internationally for his entire body of scintillating work, including pictures of Bob. Elliot is also known for his history of the Woodstock Festival and pictures of rock icons past and present. An exhibit entitled; “Dylan in Woodstock will be shown in London in April 2003.

  13. Jacques Levy-Creator of the seminal 1960’s theater piece “Oh, Calcutta and collaborator with Dylan on the magnificent “Desire album, created on South Hampton’s Lily Pond Lane, Jacques directed “The Rolling Thunder Revue,” two Sam Shepard plays and is currently head of the Theater Program at Colgate University (Jacques’ teaching commitments MAY prevent him from being a guest this semester).

  14. Professor Christopher Ricks-Educated at Oxford, Professor Ricks taught English at Cambridge and currently teaches at Boston University. Professor Ricks is the only person ever named to both the American and British Academy of Arts and Letters. Professor Ricks has been called ‘the greatest teacher in the post-Socrates era” and has said that Bob is the “living American he admires most.”

  15. Seth Rogovoy-Seth is a journalist, pop-music critic and columnist with The Berkshire Eagle in Great Barrington, Mass. Seth’s work has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, has been heard on National Public Radio and has written a book entitled “Essential Klezmer: A Music Lovers Guide to Jewish Roots and Soul Music.”

  16. Ron Rosenbaum- A Yale graduate and a teacher at Columbia, Ron currently writes for The New York Observer. Ron 1978 Playboy interview of Bob is a monument in the Dylan canon. Ron has also written for Harper’s, Esquire, Vanity Fair and on eight occasions, the N.Y. Times Magazine (Ron had to pass on being a guest this semester as his writing schedule is too cramped, but will definitely be a guest in the Fall).

  17. Rob Sheffield- A powerful writer, music critic, essayist and Contributing Editor for Rolling Stone. Rob’s the critic who awarded Bob’s latest CD, ‘Love and Theft’ an unprecedented 5-Star rating in Rolling Stone.

  18. Larry "Ratso" Sloman-Longtime writer, of music as well as other subjects, like sports (N. Y. Rangers) and biographies (Howard Stern), who penned the seminal "On the Road with Bob Dylan," subtitled "Rolling With the Thunder," the recently re-released masterpiece covering the first "Rolling Thunder Revue” of the fall/winter 1975/76 and the liner notes to “Rolling Thunder-Live 1975-Bootleg Series 5” CD.
Bob has been invited. Perhaps he'll come.





2/5/03 Peter Stone Brown-Musician/Writer Peter will cover some of Bob’s more interesting songs as well as play some of his own compositions. Peter will also show important footage of Bob’s appearance at the 1963 March on Washington and the “Unplugged rehearsal sessions, videos Peter was instrumental in bringing to the public’s attention.

Suggested Class Preparation: See Peter in person, listen to his CD’s and read his contributions to

2/12/03 Elliot Landy-Photographer/Writer Mr. Landy will discuss his personal experiences photographing Bob in Woodstock as well as The Band, the 1969 Woodstock Festival and other monuments of Rock and Roll, like Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix Jim and Van Morrison.

Suggested Class Preparation: Purchase any one of Mr. Landy’s magnificent books of photography or his CD–Rom.

2/19/03 Larry “Ratso” Sloman-Writer/Filmmaker Mr. Sloman will take us through the amazing moment in American rock music history called the "Rolling Thunder Revue,” about which he wrote the seminal work, “On The Road with Bob Dylan Rolling with the Thunder.”

Suggested Class Preparation: Buy and read the recently released paperback of “On the Road with Bob Dylan-Rolling With the Thunder.” This book, as well as several others by Mr. Sloman, are available on

2/26/03 Larry Josephson-Radio Revolutionary Larry will discuss his experiences with Bob as well as the art, radio and culture of the 1960’s. Larry will go into what he sees as a precipitous drop-off in Bob’s contribution to art since John Wesley Harding.

Suggested Class Preparation: Visit the Museum of Broadcasting and listen to Larry’s many contribution to our culture.

3/5/03 Garth Hudson-Musician Garth will play original music and discuss his time with Bob, The Band and moments in Bob’s history that cannot be told by anyone closer to the actual events.

Suggested Class Preparation: Listen to any and all of Garth’s music, starting with The Hawks, going all the way through to his current CD.

3/12/03 Seth Rogovoy Seth will discuss his recent research regarding Bob and how strongly Bob’s Jewish heritage has positively influenced his music and his career.

Suggested Class Preparation: Access and review the wealth of available information.

3/19/03 Professor Christopher Ricks Professor Ricks will discuss, with an aplomb unmatched by anyone else on earth, significant elements of Bob’s career.

Suggested Class Preparation: Access the internet and read all of Professor Ricks’ various writings on Bob plus any other of his other spectacular and award winning work.

4/2/03 Jeffrey Gaskill-Music Producer/Promoter Jeff will discuss the trials, tribulations and ultimate success of putting together his forthcoming Bob Dylan Gospel CD.

Suggested Class Preparation: Get hold of that CD.

4/9/03 Holly George-Warren

Holly will discuss the entire universe of pop music and Rock and Roll as it relates to Bob. A subject she knows Better than anyone else we can think of.

Suggested Class Preparation: Read any of the numerous Excellent Works written by Holly either by herself or as a contributor.

Meg Griffin/Rob Johnson Meg and Rob will discuss a wide variety of subjects and experiences, not the least of which is the phenomenon that is Bob and the radio.

Suggested Class Preparation Visit the Museum of Broadcasting and listen to Bob’s early radio appearances.

4/23/03 Dr. Reverend Jamie Gripton The Reverend Gripton will discuss Bob, his lyrics, his life and his deeds in the context of 20th and 21st century culture, music and the Word. A fascinating evening is guaranteed.

Suggested Class Preparation; Read ISIS Magazine # 107, February/Mach 2003

4/30/03 Rob Sheffield

Rob is an brilliant and exciting individual who has coupled all the enthusiasm and excitement of youth with intoxicating prose.

Suggested Class Preparation Read as many of Rob’s Rolling Stone pieces as you can get your hands on, you will be enthralled by them all.

OPEN Mitch Blank Mr. Blank is the premier archivist of Bob Dylan artifacts, memorabilia, ephemera and stuff. A political activist and Village treasure, Mr. Blank will share countless> experiences that will entertain and inform all of us.

To truly enjoy ‘Discussing Dylan,” and get a richer understanding of Bob, his music and his art, we suggest, in addition to the above, you do the following:

Buy and Read:

Subscribe to the following magazines:

Log on to the following websites:

Please feel free to ask us about any other Bob Dylan material you’ve come across that you’d like our opinion on, as well as any other questions that might come to mind. We are available, interested and excited about talking with as many students as see fit to come to us.

Arlene and Bob Levinson

If necessary, we can be reached at: 516-978-0952. Email: