Bob Dylan and Cher: Together at Last

If you love Bob Dylan and the Band — or, indeed, if you’re a huge fan of Cher — this picture might come as a shock to you. Be prepared.

It’s no Photoshop conspiracy: Dylan, performing with the band that would later become The Band, performing a duet with the ex-wife of Republican congressman Sonny Bono.

Literary-scene honcho and head scribe Ken Gordon (who also wrote some great stuff for our site) runs a reading series called QuickMuse, in which authors write improvised pieces on a particular subject.

Tomorrow night at the 14th Street Y in New York, we’ll see a pretty amazing score: the poet David Lehman, together with Rick Moody (whose new novel The Four Fingers of Death is stirring up great reviews and gunshots) wrote about the night — and you can see a pretty cool “live playback” of the piece actually being written on the QuickMuse site (here’s Lehman’s piece as well).

Learn more about it and buy tickets here. And even if you’re not in New York, you should definitely check out the intrepid writing that came out of this little experiment. Here’s a piece of Moody’s piece:

What you find in a photograph of Bob Dylan jamming with Cher is, on the one hand, that there is hope, because a kid from Minnesota can come to New York with just a love of the music of a forgotten America and conquer the world, and yet on the other hand it is also abundantly apparent that there is no purity, and all is contaminated, and those who would have purity are like the almsgivers who rend their own garments in the temple in Jerusalem. Cher stands for everything that Bob Dylan occasionally is. She also has, on occasion, a nice voice, so deep, so resonant. I don’t think she has sung a single meaningful song. Not one.


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