First Important public appearance: closet at O'Henry's Square Shop.
Other disc in best-sellers: "I Lost My Love In San Francisco, But She Appeared Again in Honduras and We took a Trip to Hong Kong and Stayed Awhile in Reno But Lost Her Again in Oklahoma."
Latest Release: "The Queens are Coming."
Personal Manager: Dog Jones.
Musical Director: Big Dog....
Favorite food: Turkish Marvin (a form ofeggplant coming from Nebraska).
Favorite clothes: Nose-guards
Favorite bands/instrumentalists: Corky the Kid (Sombreros)
Favorite composers: Brown Bumpkin and Sidney Ciggy
Other groups: The Fab Clocks.
Miscellaneous likes: Trucks with no wheels. French telephones, anything with a stewed prune in the middle.
Miscellaneous dislikes: Hairy firemen, toe-nails, glass Mober forks, birds with ears.
Most thrilling experience: Getting my birhday cake stomped on by Norman Mailer.
Taste in music: Sort Of peanut butter.
Personal ambition: To be a waitress.
Professional ambition: To be a stewardess.'
"Q: Do you think of yourself primarily as a singer or a poet?
A: Oh, I think of myself more as a song-and-dance man....
Q:- Josh Dunson ... implies that you have sold out to commercial interests ...
A: I sincerely don't feel guilty.
Q: If you were going to sell out to a commercial interest, which one would you choose?
A: Ladies garments ...
Q: What's your new album about?
A: ... all kinds of different things-rats,balloons ...
Q: How would you define folk music?
A: As a constitutional replay of mass production.
Q: Who is 'Mister Jones'?
A: Mr. Jones? I'm not going to tell you his first name. I'd get sued.
Q: What does (Mister Jones] do for a living?
A: He's a pinboy. He also wears suspenders.
Q: What are your own personal hopes for the future and what do you hope for change in the world?
A: ... I don't have any hopes for the future I just hope to have enough boots to be able to change them....
Q: Why you think you're so popular?
A: I don't know. I'm not a reporter. I'm not a newsman.... I'm not even a philosopher, so I have no idea...."
"Q: I wonder if you could tell me, among folk singers how many could be characterized as protest singers today?
A: I dont understand. Could you ask the question again?
Q: How many people in the same musical vineyards in which you toil, how many are protest singers? That is, how many use their music to protest about times in which we are today?
A: How many? One hundred thirty-six, It's either one hundred thirty-six or one hundred thirty-two
Q: What does the word protest mean to you?
A: It means singing when you don't want to sing. It means singing against your wishes you sing protest songs?
Q- What do you sing?
Q- Is it true that you changed your name? If so which other name?
A: ... Kunezevitch. I changed it to avoid people who would come up to me in different parts for tickets for concerts and stuff like that. Kunezevitch, yeah.
Q: Was that your first or last name?
A: That was my first name. [Laughter and applause] I don't really want to tell you what my last name was.
"Q: Bob, why is there such a widespread use of drugs among singers today? [Uughterl
A: I don't know. Are you a singer? ...
Q: Do you take drugs yourself?
A: I don't even know what a drug is. I have never even seen a drug. I would not know what one looked like if I saw one.
Q: Bob, what sort of technique do you use when you write a song, or don't you call it any sort of technique?
A: Well, I just sit down and the next thing Iknow, it's there....
Q: Why did you give up the folk sound?
A: I've been on too many other streets to just do that ... the real people never see 42nd Street; they've never ridden an airplane.
Q: You talk as if you are terribly separated from people.
A: I'm not disconnected for anything because of a force, just habit.,
just the way I am.... I don't know, I have no idea that it's euiet
be disconnected than to be connected. I've got a huge hallelujah fer
all the people who're connected.... I've been connected so many
times. Things haven't worked out right, so rather than break myself
up, I just don't get connected....
Q: Do you avoid close relationships with people?
A: I have relationships with people. People like me, also disconnected;
there are a lot of disconnected people. I don't feel alienated or dis.
connected or afraid. I don't feel there's any kind of organization of
disconnected people. I just can't go along with an@ kind of organiza.
tion. Some day I might find myself all alone in a subway car,
stranded when the lights go out, with 40 people, and I'll have to get
to know them. Then I'll just do what his to be.
Q.: Who did you write songs like before [Woody Guthrie]?
A.: Ever hear of Gene Vincent? Buddy Holly?
Q.: Then you had a rock and roll band in high school?
A.: I had a banana band in high school.
Q.: So then you heard of Guthrie and he changed your life?
A.: Then I heard of Josh White ...
Q.: Then you heard of Guthrie ...
A.: Then I heard about those riots in San Francisco ...
Q.: The HUAC riots?
A.: An' I missed out on meeting James Dean so I decided to meet Woody Guthrie.
Q.: How about Hank Williams? Do you consider him an influence?
A.: Hey, look, I consider Hank Williams, Captain Marvel, Marlon Brando, The Tennessee Stud, Clark Kent, Walter Cronkite, and J. Carroll Naish all influences....
Q.: Tell us about your movie.
A.: Its gonna be in black and white.
Q.: Will it be in the Andy Warhol style?
A.: Who's Andy Warhol? Listen, my movie will be... in the style of
the early Puerto Rican films.
Q.: Who's writing it?
A.: Allen Ginsberg- I'm going to rewrite it.
Q.: Who will you play in the film?
A.: The Hero.
Q.: Who is that going to be?
A.: My mother ...
Q.: Bobby, we know you changed your name, come on now, what's your real name?
A.: Philip Ochs. I'll change it back again when I see it pays.
Q.: Bob, we understand you're writing a book.
A.: Yeah it's a funny book. I think it's coming out by spring.
Q.: What's it about?
Q.: Don't you have any important philosophy for the world?
A.: I don't drink hard liquor, if that's what you mean.
Q.: No. The world in general. You and the world?
A.: Are you kidding? The world doesn't need me. Christ, I'm only five feet ten. The world could get along fine without me. Don'tcha know, everybody dies. It don't matter how important you think you are. Look at Shakespeare, Napoleon. Edgar Allan Poe, for that matter. They're all dead, right?
Q.: Well, Bob, in your opinion, then, is there one man who can save the world?
A.: Al Aronowitz.
. I asked him to define the blues. He said: "The blues
is a pair of p@ants without any pockets. Do you like that?" . . . he con-
tinued, "The blues is a pair of torn pants without anything in the
pockets." He added, "Blues is a color. That's all." "What do you con-
sider is your place in American folk music?" "I'm not a folk singer any
more than anybody is." As he climbed into the car he hollered out,
much to the delight of some three or four dozen fans: "Folk singers are
Q: Why are you putting us, and the rest of the world, on so?
A: I'm just trying to answer your questions as good as you can ask them.
Q: I am sure you must have been asked a thousand times-what are you trying to say in your music? I don't understand one of the songs.
A:Well, you shouldn't feel offended or anything. I am not trying to say anything to you. If you don't get it, you don't have to really think about it, because it's not addressed to you.
Q: Are you trying to say something when.you write? Or are you just entertaining?
A: I'm just an entertainer. That's all.
Q: Do you really feel that it's important for you to write and sing?
A:[Menacingly] Now, you are gonna make me mad now.
Q: Or do you just want to do it because you're successful? Do you really feel the things that you write?
A: What is there to feel? Name me some things.
Q: We are talking about standard emotions-pain, remorse, love ...
A: I have none of those feelings.
Q: What sort of feelings do you have when you write a song?
A: I don't have to explain my feelings! I am not on trial here!
Q: You sound and look very tired, very ill. Is this your normal state?
A: I take that as an insult. I don't like to hear that kind of thing....
Q: Vhat's the reason for your visit to California?
A: Oh, I'm here looking for some donkeys. I am making a movie about Jesus.
Q: Where are you making it?
A: Back east.
Q: Did your parents give you any special advice when you last saw them? Did they say 'good-bye' or 'good luck' or anything like that?
A: No, do your parents do that to you?
Q: As a little boy, did you want to write songs and be a singer?
A: No, I wanted to be a movie usher. It's been my lifelong ambition to be a movie usher, and I have failed, as far is I'M concerned.
"Q: Why do you think that kids are listening to you now?
A: I really don't know. I do know that today there's more freedom in the mind of year-old college students. I know that, that's true.
Q: What'se today among young people?
A: Oh, God! I don't know any of them
Q: What do you spend your money on? You seem to lead a simple life
A: Well that's the way it goes..
Q: Are you disillusioned?
A: I'm not disillusioned. I'm just not illusioned, either.
Q:. Why have you stopped composing and singing protest
A: message songs, as everybody knows, are a drag ... what I'm going to do is rent Town Hall and put about 30 Western Union boys on the bill. I mean, then there'll really b 'e some messages....
Q.- You told an interviewer last year, 'I've done everything I've ever wanted to do.'
If that's true, what do you have to look forward to?
A: Salvation. just plain salvation.
Q:- Anything else?
A: Praying. I'd also like to start a cookbook magazine. And I've always wanted to be a boxing referee.
Q:.- Did you ever have the standard boyhood dream of growing up to be President?
A : No. When I was a boy, Harry Truman was President; who'd want to be Harry Truman?
Q:.- Well, let's suppose that you were the President. What would you accomplish during your first thousand days?
A: ... the first thing I'd do is probably move the White House. instead of being in Texas, it'd be on the East Side in New York. McGeorge Bundy would definitely have to change his name, and General McNamara would be forced to wear a coonskin cap and shades. I would immediately rewrite'The Star-Spangled Banner,' and little school children, instead of me-caged to exasperate practically everybody.... He wafted a red rose to his nose and could be heard ... to say: 'Stiff, cold and morristic,,,, I am bored with the atom bomb. I am bored With our Government. I do wish somebody in our Government had a beard, just to be different.'
Q: "Are you Jewish?"
A: "'No, I am not, but some of my best friends are. "'You'd better interview Tito Burns, the agent for the tour, because I know he is Jewish.
Q: You must obviously make a lot of money nowadays....
A: I spend it all. I have six Cadillacs. I have four houses. I have a'plantation in Georgia. I'm also now working on some kind of rocket....
Q: Do you have per-sonal things, cameras, watches and that sort of thing?
A: No, I buy cars. I have lots of cars. The Cadillacs ... a few Oldsmobiles
...Listen. I really don't care less what your paper writes about me
Q: Why be so hostile?
A: Because you're hostile to me. You're using me. i,m an object to you. I went through this before.... There's nothing personal, I've nothing against you at all. I just don't want to be bothered with your paper, that's all ... YOU just Say my name is Kessenovitch ... and I ... come from Mexico. That my father was an escaped thief from South Africa.
Q: Are your tastes in clothes changing at all?
A: I like to wear umbrellas, hats.
Q: When did you start making records?
A: I began making recordings in 1947. . . . A race record. I made it down South. Actually, the first record I made was in 1935. John Hammond came and recorded me. Discovered me in 1935, sitting on a farm.
Q: What's the most important thing in the world to you right now?
A: Oh ,my God...I'd say this tie I'm wearing now right now
Q: Why..that tie?
A: Well...President Johnson used to wear a tie like this-before he was President...It's a sign of the common man. So I wear a tie like this...just to get involved.
2) THE FLESH EATING ANTELOPE
Twin Brothers were taken to the sacred sweat bath and purified. Next
day father Sun took them under his arms and flew over the world.
High in his path he allowed them to look down. They were over the
mountain Tsotsil. The elder brother could not recognise the land
below, but the younger of the Twins recognised Tsotsil, the Lake of
Salt, and then their home on earth. Then the Sun wrapped them in
a thunderstorm and sent them down to the peak of Tsotsil where
Next day they said they must kill the giant flesh-eating antelope,
Delgeth. Estanatlehi their mother, told them it was impossible, for
Delgeth lived in the centre of a wide plain where he could see all who
approached him. So they decided that they should divide their forces.
Elder Twin Brother (Nagenatzani) went to fight the flesh-eater, while
Younger Twin Brother (Thobadestchin) stayed to help his mother.
Nagenatzani reached the edge of the plain. He moved among the
rocks looking for a way and found none. Then the ground-rat came
along and suggested burrowing underground to the centre of the
plain. He did this and emerged under the heart of Delgeth. Then he
made four burrows radiating from it. Nagenatzani wriggled through
the burrow and shot an arrow through the heart of the flesh-eater.
In his death throes the antelope ripped up the ground of the burrow
where his enemy lay hidden, but Nagenatzani moved to the next
burrow. Four times this happened, but in the last burrow Nagenatzani
saw the terrible horn rip the ground towards him, stop short and then
turn over. He left his hiding place and saw the gigantic carcass. But
only when he saw a squirrel scamper over the body was he sure that
the monster was dead. The squirrel painted his face red and brown
with the blood, and Nagenatzani slit open the carcass and took a
length of intestine filled with blood as proof of his victory.
The next struggle was against the great birds who fed their young
with human beings. The male devoured men, and came with thunder-
storms and lightning flashes. The female destroyed women and came
with the female rains, sudden showers that brought no lightning.
This pair lived on a high mesa with precipitous sides...
3) FROM THE NOTEBOOK OF DOKTOR LAING
Head with legs sings merrily in the streets, led along by
a beggar. The head is an egg. A stupid old woman Prises
open the egg-head. Foetus. Its singing is its cries of un-
speakable agony. The old woman sets fire to the foetus. It
turns inside the egg-head as though in a frying pan.
Commotion. Its agony and helplessness is indescribable.
I am burning, I cannot move. There are cries, 'It's dead!'
But the doctor pronounces that it's still alive and orders
it to be taken to a hospital.
4) ALICIA IN TERRA MIRABILIS
'Et quam citissime,' Petasivenditor perrexit, 'aliter
soinno vincieris antequam fabulam termines.'
I Olim fuerunt tres parvae sorores,' Glis festinanter narrare
coepit; 'et nomina eis erant Aemilia et Lucia et Matilda;
atque in puteo quodam imo habitabant
'Quo vescebantur?' Alicia inquit; studiosa enim semper
erat omnium rerum quae ad edendum et bibendum
'Suco ex saccharo facto vescebantur,' Glis, cum paululum
'At non scilicet potuissent,' Alicia molliter dixit. 'Vehe-
'Vero aegrotabant,' inquit Glis. 'Invalidissimae erant.'
Alicia secum reputare conata est, quo modo tam inusitate
vivi posset; sed hoc ratiocinando nimium conturbata est.
'Sed cur in imo puteo habitabant?' inquit.
'Accipe plus theae,' Lepus Martius gravissime Aliciae
'Nihil adhuc accepi,' Alicia animo exasperate respondit.
'Plus igitur accipere non possum.'
'Dici oportet te minus accipere non posse,' Petasivenditor
inquit. 'Facillimum est plus nihilo accipere.'
'Sententia tua non rogata est,' Alicia inquit.
'Quisnam nunc contumelias iacit?' Petasivenditor
Alicia incerta erat quid responders deberet; itaque theam
et panem butyro illitum sibi cepit. Deinde ad Ghrem versa
iterum rogavit: 'Cur in imo puteo habitabant?'
Glis rursus paulum cogitavit; turn dixit: 'Puteus suco
dulci plenus erat.'
'Talis res nusquam exstat!' Alicia iratissime dicere inci-
piebat, cum Petasivenditor et Lepus Martius 'St! St!'
dixerunt, atque Glis morose fatus est: 'Si comis esse non
potes, te ipsam fabulam absolvere oportet.'