Committee Cameos at Dylan’s ’65 San Francisco Press Conference

The position of The Committee in the culture wasn’t quite omnipresent, but like Zelig and Forrest Gump Committee players often found themselves at crucial moments, alongside crucial people.

Bob Dylan’s 1965 press conference in San Francisco is a case in point. Dylan engages the local media (ring-lead by KQED critic and jazz columnist Ralph J. Gleason), as well as the leading lights of the local arts scene, including Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Bill Graham and, representing The Committee, Garry Goodrow and Larry Hankin. 

In this clip at the 2:28 mark, Hankin, in a hat that is itself high, asks Dylan, who is clearly entertained by the sight of him, “What do you bother to write the poetry for if we all get different images?” Our theory is that the followup question “Do you have a rhyme for orange” is from Goodrow, who is seated nearby, in perhaps an effort to one-up his troupe mate (you’ll find Garry in the second row, audience left).

The complete press conference, which is currently on youtube in six parts, is worth watching. Dylan is an opaque, silly gem, Gleason and his cocky swagger are fun to behold, and the rest of the media is already betraying the befuddlement with Dylan that would arise in Pennebaker’s Don’t Look Back (1967).

Leave a Reply