Dan Bern

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Singer/songwriter/podcaster/painter Dan Bern admits: “It was not lost on me, being an isolated Jewish kid in Iowa, that Bob had come from just up the road in Minnesota.” When he first heard Dylan at age 15 (“everything he was saying had a bit of a sneer to it. It was a portal for me”), he traded in his cello for a guitar and started writing songs. They eventually included the outrageous Talkin’ Woody, Bob, Bruce and Dan Blues (“When I met Springsteen, he said, “I hear ya wrote a SONG about me!”).

Bern sat through Renaldo & Clara twice in a row in a Camden Town cinema when it was first released: “it seemed so fun and free and loose”. On Bob’s Born-Again days: “Jews wrestle with God. They talk to him as if he’s just another dude”. Does he keep up? “Bob’s songs are always with me. Like Bible verses, floating in and out of my head. It’s a nourishing songbag.”

Share our long-distance visit with the man Dylan once called “a scurrilous little wretch” (after he wrote a fake interview with Bob’s mother). All this and more, as they say.

Dan Bern has released 25 albums and played thousands of shows across North America and Europe. Bern’s songs have appeared in numerous TV shows and films including Walk Hard - The Dewey Cox Story, and Get Him To The Greek. He also writes and performs songs for the Amazon Prime kids’ programme The Stinky and Dirty Show. A visual artist, Bern has had gallery showings in Florida, New York City and San Francisco. He is the author of several books, and acts in the radio drama podcast 10,000 Crappy Songs: in which he plays an ex-songwriter turned private eye. In addition, he runs the 24/7 internet radio station, Radio Free Bernsteinn. Dan Bern’s latest album is Regent Street.

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Recorded 29th June 2020

This show is part of Pantheon Podcasts.

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