- Bob Dylan can count concert photography as one of his pet peeves.
- Bob Dylan once listed three of his biggest pet peeves in an interview.
- During one tour, Bob Dylan revealed he didn’t like privacy as much as he made it seem.
Bob Dylan has made a reputation for himself as a cantankerous celebrity. He has scolded audiences at his concerts and made it clear that he values his privacy. Dylan once made it easy for anyone wanting to know what bothers him. He listed three of his pet peeves, some of which were a bit surprising.
One of Bob Dylan’s pet peeves is photography during his concerts
Dylan has a strict no-photography policy at his concerts. At some shows, he employs people to shine flashlights at anyone taking photos of his performance. At another show, he directly addressed any picture takers. The call-out nearly sent him toppling over.
Dylan stepped backward in the middle of a song after noticing people taking pictures and tripped over a guitar monitor. Once he righted himself, he addressed the audience.
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“Take pictures or don’t take pictures,” he said, per Rolling Stone. “We can either play or we can pose. OK?”
He continued the concert with an abbreviated version of “It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry” before leaving the stage for the night.
Bob Dylan once listed his pet peeves in an interview
Some of the other thorns in Dylan’s side are related to his music career. He once complained about modern recording technology, asserting his belief that it ruined the quality of records.
“I don’t know anybody who’s made a record that sounds decent in the past 20 years, really,” he said in 2006, per Wired, adding, “You listen to these modern records, they’re atrocious, they have sound all over them. There’s no definition of nothing, no vocal, no nothing, just like … static.”
Some of his other frustrations had nothing to do with his music career. In a 1986 interview with Interview Magazine, Dylan listed three pet peeves.
“Preachers who preach the ‘Wealth and Prosperity’ doctrine. Women who sit and eat meat all day. Salesmen who slap you on the back and wink.”
Dylan didn’t provide any further explanation about why any these things bothered him.
He likes his privacy, but not too much of it
Dylan also doesn’t like it when people infiltrate his private life. His concert promoter Bill Graham was aware of this and instructed tour staff not to speak to the musician.
“Before we went out, I got the whole tour staff together in San Francisco and I said, ‘You know, this is Bob Dylan,’” Graham wrote in the book Bill Graham Presents: My Life Inside Rock and Out. “‘I don’t think he’s the kind of guy who wants you to say to him every day, ‘Hi, Bob! How you doin’? What’s goin’ on?’ Please try to understand that and give him some respect for his privacy.”
Very quickly, Graham realized that Dylan didn’t want that much privacy.
“The tour started,” he wrote. “In the third or fourth city in the middle of the night, someone knocked on the door of my hotel room. I opened the door and it was Bob. He came in. I could see he had a problem. I said, ‘Is everything OK, Bob? Something’s wrong?’ He said, ‘Bill. Why isn’t anybody talking to me?’”