Bob Dylan Reveals His Favorite Contemporary Artists

Yes, he's a big Wu-Tang guy

Bob Dylan performs as part of a double bill with Neil Young at Hyde Park on July 12, 2019 in London, England.
Bob Dylan performs as part of a double bill with Neil Young at Hyde Park on July 12, 2019 in London, England.
Dave J Hogan/Getty

One of the first things you’ll notice when you start making your way through Bob Dylan’s new book The Philosophy of Modern Song is that he’s playing fast and loose with the term “modern.” Only two of the 66 songs it features were released in the 21st century, and the vast majority are from the 1950s. You’d be forgiven, then, for assuming that Dylan hasn’t been keeping his finger on the pulse of the contemporary music scene.

But according to a new interview with the Wall Street Journal (an extended version of which Dylan also posted to his website), the 81-year-old musician does keep up with more modern music. He even listed some of his favorites.

“Performers and songwriters recommend things to me,” Dylan explained. “Others I just wake up and they’re there. Some I’ve seen live. The Oasis Brothers, I like them both, Julian Casablanca [sic], the Klaxons, Grace Potter. I’ve seen Metallica twice. I’ve made special efforts to see Jack White and Alex Turner. Zac Deputy, I’ve discovered him lately. He’s a one man show like Ed Sheeran, but he sits down when he plays. I’m a fan of Royal Blood, Celeste, Rag and Bone Man, Wu-Tang, Eminem, Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, anybody with a feeling for words and language, anybody whose vision parallels mine.”

So there you have it. Bob Dylan is a big Slim Shady fan, and he’s into the Strokes (though not enough to know Julian Casablancas’s actual name, apparently). But while he’s allowed himself some more contemporary indulgences when it comes to his music listening, his TV viewing habits are another thing entirely. He listed “Coronation StreetFather Brown and some early Twilight Zones” as his favorite programs.

“I know they’re old-fashioned, but they make me feel at home,” he said. “I’m no fan of packaged programs or news shows. I never watch anything foul-smelling or evil. Nothing disgusting, nothing dog ass.”

Oh boy. If you, like Bob Dylan, are in need of a 2022 show to catch up on, check out our favorites here. We promise there’s nothing “dog ass.”

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