New this week: David Byrne, The Amazing Race & Tommy Lee

Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV streaming services and music platforms this week.

— Broadway is dark and most concert tours have been abandoned, but you can still feel the thrill of being inside a packed house in “ David Byrne’s American Utopia.” Spike Lee’s concert film of Byrne’s acclaimed stage show debuts Saturday at 8 p.m. on HBO and HBO Max, and it may be one of the best films of the year. Lee’s energetic direction combined with Byrne’s exuberant staging of Talking Heads classics and other songs makes for a concert film that stands on par with Jonathan Demme’s Talking Heads classic “Stop Making Sense.”

— The timing of Aaron Sorkin s “The Trial of the Chicago 7” is remarkably good for a film set in 1969 and 1970. Sorkin’s drama, debuting Friday on Netflix after a brief run in theaters, is first and foremost a portrait of protest, in all its messiness, idealism and potential. Made with a starry ensemble including Mark Rylance, Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne and Michael Keaton, the film dramatizes — with Sorkin’s characteristic snappy dialogue and sweeping theatricality — the events surrounding the trial of anti-war activists who were charged with conspiracy to incite a riot during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. In the seminal stand-off between counterculture and government, Sorkin (who wrote and directed) crafts a timely paean to dissent.

— Gretchen Sorin and Ric Burns’ “Driving While Black: Race, Space and Mobility in America” was, unfortunately, always going to be of the moment. The documentary, airing 9 p.m. Tuesday on PBS and streaming on PBS platforms, chronicles the experience of African Americans on the road beginning with the advent of the automobile. But is also stretches further back and forward to consider all forms of racist restrictions of movement for Black Americans, spanning Jim Crow-era laws to ’60s bus boycotts to contemporary policing. Says historian Christopher West in the film: “I think it’s really, really tough for the majority of Americans to begin to even understand the gut-wrenching horror that is driving in a racist society.”

— AP Film Writer Jake Coyle

— Kelly Clarkson is returning to host this year’s Billboard Music Awards which will air live on NBC on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET. Some of the performances will be live at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, while others were previously recorded. BTS, Post Malone, Bad Bunny, Sia, Alicia Keys, Luke Combs, Doja Cat, Kane Brown and Demi Lovato will hit the stage, where country music icon Garth Brooks and rapper-activist Killer Mike will receive special honors.

— Rocker Tommy Lee is in a collaborative state of mind on his new album, “Andro,” out Friday. The 14-track album, his first solo release in 15 years, includes guest appearances from multi-platinum hitmaker Post Malone, Josh Todd of Buckcherry, South African rapper Push Push, Canadian rocker Lukas Rossi, West Coast rapper Brooke Candy, singer-songwriter King Elle Noir and rapper Killvein, among others. The album also finds the Mötley Crüe veteran covering Prince’s “When You Were Mine.”

— AP Music Editor Mesfin Fekadu

— CBS’ “The Amazing Race,” with its especially welcome promise of armchair adventure, returns 9 p.m. EDT Wednesday. Eleven teams, including former NFL players DeAngelo Williams and Gary Barnidge and paired Olympians Kellie Wells-Brinkley and LaVonne Idlette, dash from locations in France, Germany, Kazakhstan, Brazil and elsewhere in the quest for bragging rights and a $1 million prize. The 32nd edition of the contest, taped before the coronavirus outbreak, pushed the series to the milestone of 1 million miles of worldwide travel.

— While many of us were making sourdough bread and, if we felt truly creative, posting pet videos, Hilary Weisman Graham (“Orange Is the New Black”) created “Social Distance” to illuminate our response to pandemic isolation. The Netflix anthology series, consisting of eight, 20-minute episodes, dramatizes the early days of the coronavirus quarantine, including our reliance on technology to maintain a version of emotional connection. Oscar Nunez (“The Office”), Asante Blackk (“This Is Us”) and Ali Ahn (“Orange Is the New Black”) are among the actors in the series out Thursday.

— Ready for a winter chill? Sundance Now’s true crime drama “Des” stars David Tennant (“Doctor Who”) as Dennis Nilsen, a serial killer who targeted young men, including the homeless. When he was arrested, Nilsen freely claimed responsibility for a shocking number of murders but couldn’t name his victims. Lacking forensic evidence, police began a daunting effort to identify the victims of the innocuous-looking British civil servant (who died in 2018 while serving a life sentence). The three-part “Des,” debuting Thursday on the streaming service, was a recent U.K. TV hit and drew raves for Tennant’s performance.

— AP Television Writer Lynn Elber

Catch up on AP’s entertainment coverage here: https://apnews.com/apf-entertainment.

New this week: David Byrne, The Amazing Race & Tommy Lee

Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV streaming services and music platforms this week.

— Broadway is dark and most concert tours have been abandoned, but you can still feel the thrill of being inside a packed house in “ David Byrne’s American Utopia.” Spike Lee’s concert film of Byrne’s acclaimed stage show debuts Saturday at 8 p.m. on HBO and HBO Max, and it may be one of the best films of the year. Lee’s energetic direction combined with Byrne’s exuberant staging of Talking Heads classics and other songs makes for a concert film that stands on par with Jonathan Demme’s Talking Heads classic “Stop Making Sense.”

— The timing of Aaron Sorkin s “The Trial of the Chicago 7” is remarkably good for a film set in 1969 and 1970. Sorkin’s drama, debuting Friday on Netflix after a brief run in theaters, is first and foremost a portrait of protest, in all its messiness, idealism and potential. Made with a starry ensemble including Mark Rylance, Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne and Michael Keaton, the film dramatizes — with Sorkin’s characteristic snappy dialogue and sweeping theatricality — the events surrounding the trial of anti-war activists who were charged with conspiracy to incite a riot during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. In the seminal stand-off between counterculture and government, Sorkin (who wrote and directed) crafts a timely paean to dissent.

— Gretchen Sorin and Ric Burns’ “Driving While Black: Race, Space and Mobility in America” was, unfortunately, always going to be of the moment. The documentary, airing 9 p.m. Tuesday on PBS and streaming on PBS platforms, chronicles the experience of African Americans on the road beginning with the advent of the automobile. But is also stretches further back and forward to consider all forms of racist restrictions of movement for Black Americans, spanning Jim Crow-era laws to ’60s bus boycotts to contemporary policing. Says historian Christopher West in the film: “I think it’s really, really tough for the majority of Americans to begin to even understand the gut-wrenching horror that is driving in a racist society.”

— AP Film Writer Jake Coyle

— Kelly Clarkson is returning to host this year’s Billboard Music Awards which will air live on NBC on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET. Some of the performances will be live at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, while others were previously recorded. BTS, Post Malone, Bad Bunny, Sia, Alicia Keys, Luke Combs, Doja Cat, Kane Brown and Demi Lovato will hit the stage, where country music icon Garth Brooks and rapper-activist Killer Mike will receive special honors.

— Rocker Tommy Lee is in a collaborative state of mind on his new album, “Andro,” out Friday. The 14-track album, his first solo release in 15 years, includes guest appearances from multi-platinum hitmaker Post Malone, Josh Todd of Buckcherry, South African rapper Push Push, Canadian rocker Lukas Rossi, West Coast rapper Brooke Candy, singer-songwriter King Elle Noir and rapper Killvein, among others. The album also finds the Mötley Crüe veteran covering Prince’s “When You Were Mine.”

— AP Music Editor Mesfin Fekadu

— CBS’ “The Amazing Race,” with its especially welcome promise of armchair adventure, returns 9 p.m. EDT Wednesday. Eleven teams, including former NFL players DeAngelo Williams and Gary Barnidge and paired Olympians Kellie Wells-Brinkley and LaVonne Idlette, dash from locations in France, Germany, Kazakhstan, Brazil and elsewhere in the quest for bragging rights and a $1 million prize. The 32nd edition of the contest, taped before the coronavirus outbreak, pushed the series to the milestone of 1 million miles of worldwide travel.

— While many of us were making sourdough bread and, if we felt truly creative, posting pet videos, Hilary Weisman Graham (“Orange Is the New Black”) created “Social Distance” to illuminate our response to pandemic isolation. The Netflix anthology series, consisting of eight, 20-minute episodes, dramatizes the early days of the coronavirus quarantine, including our reliance on technology to maintain a version of emotional connection. Oscar Nunez (“The Office”), Asante Blackk (“This Is Us”) and Ali Ahn (“Orange Is the New Black”) are among the actors in the series out Thursday.

— Ready for a winter chill? Sundance Now’s true crime drama “Des” stars David Tennant (“Doctor Who”) as Dennis Nilsen, a serial killer who targeted young men, including the homeless. When he was arrested, Nilsen freely claimed responsibility for a shocking number of murders but couldn’t name his victims. Lacking forensic evidence, police began a daunting effort to identify the victims of the innocuous-looking British civil servant (who died in 2018 while serving a life sentence). The three-part “Des,” debuting Thursday on the streaming service, was a recent U.K. TV hit and drew raves for Tennant’s performance.

— AP Television Writer Lynn Elber

Catch up on AP’s entertainment coverage here: https://apnews.com/apf-entertainment.

New this week: David Byrne, The Amazing Race & Tommy Lee

Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV streaming services and music platforms this week.

— Broadway is dark and most concert tours have been abandoned, but you can still feel the thrill of being inside a packed house in “ David Byrne’s American Utopia.” Spike Lee’s concert film of Byrne’s acclaimed stage show debuts Saturday at 8 p.m. on HBO and HBO Max, and it may be one of the best films of the year. Lee’s energetic direction combined with Byrne’s exuberant staging of Talking Heads classics and other songs makes for a concert film that stands on par with Jonathan Demme’s Talking Heads classic “Stop Making Sense.”

— The timing of Aaron Sorkin s “The Trial of the Chicago 7” is remarkably good for a film set in 1969 and 1970. Sorkin’s drama, debuting Friday on Netflix after a brief run in theaters, is first and foremost a portrait of protest, in all its messiness, idealism and potential. Made with a starry ensemble including Mark Rylance, Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne and Michael Keaton, the film dramatizes — with Sorkin’s characteristic snappy dialogue and sweeping theatricality — the events surrounding the trial of anti-war activists who were charged with conspiracy to incite a riot during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. In the seminal stand-off between counterculture and government, Sorkin (who wrote and directed) crafts a timely paean to dissent.

— Gretchen Sorin and Ric Burns’ “Driving While Black: Race, Space and Mobility in America” was, unfortunately, always going to be of the moment. The documentary, airing 9 p.m. Tuesday on PBS and streaming on PBS platforms, chronicles the experience of African Americans on the road beginning with the advent of the automobile. But is also stretches further back and forward to consider all forms of racist restrictions of movement for Black Americans, spanning Jim Crow-era laws to ’60s bus boycotts to contemporary policing. Says historian Christopher West in the film: “I think it’s really, really tough for the majority of Americans to begin to even understand the gut-wrenching horror that is driving in a racist society.”

— AP Film Writer Jake Coyle

— Kelly Clarkson is returning to host this year’s Billboard Music Awards which will air live on NBC on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET. Some of the performances will be live at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, while others were previously recorded. BTS, Post Malone, Bad Bunny, Sia, Alicia Keys, Luke Combs, Doja Cat, Kane Brown and Demi Lovato will hit the stage, where country music icon Garth Brooks and rapper-activist Killer Mike will receive special honors.

— Rocker Tommy Lee is in a collaborative state of mind on his new album, “Andro,” out Friday. The 14-track album, his first solo release in 15 years, includes guest appearances from multi-platinum hitmaker Post Malone, Josh Todd of Buckcherry, South African rapper Push Push, Canadian rocker Lukas Rossi, West Coast rapper Brooke Candy, singer-songwriter King Elle Noir and rapper Killvein, among others. The album also finds the Mötley Crüe veteran covering Prince’s “When You Were Mine.”

— AP Music Editor Mesfin Fekadu

— CBS’ “The Amazing Race,” with its especially welcome promise of armchair adventure, returns 9 p.m. EDT Wednesday. Eleven teams, including former NFL players DeAngelo Williams and Gary Barnidge and paired Olympians Kellie Wells-Brinkley and LaVonne Idlette, dash from locations in France, Germany, Kazakhstan, Brazil and elsewhere in the quest for bragging rights and a $1 million prize. The 32nd edition of the contest, taped before the coronavirus outbreak, pushed the series to the milestone of 1 million miles of worldwide travel.

— While many of us were making sourdough bread and, if we felt truly creative, posting pet videos, Hilary Weisman Graham (“Orange Is the New Black”) created “Social Distance” to illuminate our response to pandemic isolation. The Netflix anthology series, consisting of eight, 20-minute episodes, dramatizes the early days of the coronavirus quarantine, including our reliance on technology to maintain a version of emotional connection. Oscar Nunez (“The Office”), Asante Blackk (“This Is Us”) and Ali Ahn (“Orange Is the New Black”) are among the actors in the series out Thursday.

— Ready for a winter chill? Sundance Now’s true crime drama “Des” stars David Tennant (“Doctor Who”) as Dennis Nilsen, a serial killer who targeted young men, including the homeless. When he was arrested, Nilsen freely claimed responsibility for a shocking number of murders but couldn’t name his victims. Lacking forensic evidence, police began a daunting effort to identify the victims of the innocuous-looking British civil servant (who died in 2018 while serving a life sentence). The three-part “Des,” debuting Thursday on the streaming service, was a recent U.K. TV hit and drew raves for Tennant’s performance.

— AP Television Writer Lynn Elber

Catch up on AP’s entertainment coverage here: https://apnews.com/apf-entertainment.

Nerding Out With David Fincher

The filming of Mank.
Photo: Miles Crist/Netflix/

David Fincher’s 11th feature film, Mank, is a passion project like no other on the director’s résumé — a drama, shot in black-and-white, about the formative years of Hollywood’s sound era, the agony and the ecstasy of what he calls “enforced collaboration” between directors and writers, and the political ruthlessness of Golden Age studios, told through the journey of an unlikely hero — Herman J. Mankiewicz (played by Gary Oldman), the newspaperman turned screenwriter who co-wrote (or wrote, depending on your POV) the screenplay for Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane. Every frame of the movie, which opens in select theaters November 13 and will hit Netflix on December 4, brims with the director’s loving but unsentimental view of film history and of filmmaking — and also carries an unexpected wallop of political resonance with media manipulation and the creation of “fake news” disinformation that couldn’t possibly have been anticipated 30 years ago, when his late father, Jack, first wrote the script. Mank is an unusually personal film for Fincher, not only because it memorializes his work with his father (who died in 2003), but because, in a way, it continues a passionate conversation about movies that began between the two of them when Fincher was a young boy. Its history also spans Fincher’s entire feature career — the original draft was written just before he went off to direct his first film. In two interviews over a long weekend, the director talked about bringing it to the screen.

When you made The Social Network, you told me that during production, you’d occasionally say to Aaron Sorkin, “We’re making the Citizen Kane of John Hughes movies.” You and I are about the same age, and I grew up as a movie buff like you. And even before I saw Citizen Kane, I knew the received wisdom was that it was the greatest American movie of all time.
Exactly. My dad, because he was a journalist, lived by the axiom that the greatest entertainment was written by people who understood the real world, and his love of The Front Page and Citizen Kane certainly supported the idea that the best movies were grounded in reality by their creators, who often came with fairly extensive journalism backgrounds. About the time I was 7, my father started explaining persistence of vision and how animation worked and the notion of celluloid with perforations. He did a fairly extensive job of explaining to me this thing that, I was convinced even at that age, was to be my life’s work. When we talked about stupid things like “Are the Beatles the best band in the world?” he would say, “Well, here are certain perspectives on that.” But when it got down to “What’s the greatest movie ever made?” it was without pause Citizen Kane. I remember at 12 telling him that we were going to be watching a 16-mm. version of Citizen Kane in Film Appreciation class. I was a tad reticent because … a 33-year-old movie? It seemed like a cave painting. But when I saw it, I was amazed. Without understanding the virtuosity of the direction, I understood it as something that had this sure-footedness — not something I was used to with That Darn Cat! and The Love Bug. I was smitten. I felt like I had seen something that was important in ways I didn’t understand yet.

It sounds like it hit you at an age when you were mostly watching kids’ movies.
In our house, my father believed it was quality over quantity. My dad was raised in a movie theater. His father was an abusive alcoholic, and his mother worked all the time, so he spent a lot of weekend time unmonitored watching the same Tom Mix western three times, and that was a calming and safe place for him. He was okay if I went to see Westworld or The Reincarnation of Peter Proud, but he would also say, “That’s junk.” He forgave me my trespasses, but he also took me to see Dr. Strangelove when I was 9 and 2001: A Space Odyssey when I was 7. We would probably see a movie a week together up until I was in my mid-teens. I remember seeing the first Alien and telling my dad, “You’re coming with me,” and watching him squirm and cover his face.

Did your father talk to you about Herman Mankiewicz?
I don’t think my father was even really aware of Mankiewicz. My first exposure to “Raising Kane” was in microfiche at high school.

That’s a lot of time to spend in front of a microfiche.
And my father had the book in his library.  It wasn’t until he retired from writing magazine stories that he said, “I’m thinking about writing a screenplay.” He was 60 or 61, and the first thing he said was, “What should I tackle as a subject?” I said, “Why don’t you write about Herman Mankiewicz?” He was tickled with that idea, and he went off and gave it his best shot, but it ended up being limited in its scope. It was [about] a great writer obliterated from memory by this showboating megalomaniac.

When was this in terms of your own career?
I hadn’t directed a movie yet. I was just going off to do that. Once I had gone to Pinewood for two years and had been through a situation where I was a hired gun to make a library title for a multinational, vertically integrated media conglomerate, I had a different view of how writers and directors needed to work. I kind of resented his anti-auteurist take. I felt that what the script really needed to talk about was the notion of enforced collaboration: You may not like the fact that you’re going to be beholden to so many different disciplines and skill sets in the making of a movie, but if you’re not acknowledging it, you’re missing the side of the barn. A script is the egg, and it needs a donor to create the cellular split that moves it into the realm of something playable in three dimensions and recordable in two dimensions and presentable to other people. So it was interesting for the two of us, because obviously I was rooting for him, but when I read his first draft, I thought, This is kind of a takedown of Welles. When I was 12, he told me about how Welles had played every role — writer, producer, director, star. So I knew that part of him held Welles in awe. Then the script came in and I thought, Whoa, who’s this?

One thing I loved about Mank is that it has a great deal of empathy for Mankiewicz, but it’s not anti-director.
The first draft just felt like revenge. I said to him, “You’re talking about two people staking out their 40 acres, and never the twain shall meet. And that can’t happen if you’re making a movie. You don’t get to just do your thing.” For all his magazine stories about filmmakers, he knew the vernacular but he didn’t understand where the blueprint ends and the geological survey begins. That was difficult. We worked on it for a while, and then I threw up my hands and went off to make Se7en. And he discovered the Upton Sinclair EPIC campaign; he learned how [studio heads Irving] Thalberg and [Louis B.] Mayer, in cahoots with Hearst, had sort of pioneered fake news [by cutting phony anti­-Sinclair newsreels].

After what Meyer and Thalberg did to Sinclair’s campaign, the film suggests that Mankiewicz felt he’d sacrificed his own integrity.
At first, when [Jack] presented it to me, I said, “I don’t see how this is part of Orson Welles and Herman Mankiewicz’s problematic relationship.” Jack, to his credit, said, “I think there’s something in here about somebody who discovers that their words are important.” At the time, it didn’t strike me as a middle-aged man taking stock of his life’s contri­butions. I wasn’t sensitive to that because I was 30, and I probably didn’t realize what this opportunity was to him. But as I started thinking about it, I realized it was amazing marrow out of which to grow the red blood cells needed for this story, which is about a man finding his voice. How could you come from intellectual parents who wanted so much for their kids and end up in Hollywood? [Herman and his brother Joseph] had come out to help save the spoken word in cinema. I was always pretty sure that Herman thought he was slumming, and I know Jack did. So this was a place where the three of us could relate. I remember making music videos where people would say, “Oh my God, you did that George Michael video? That’s amazing.” I’d think, Contain yourself. It’s just a music video with a bunch of supermodels. I could relate to that.

Did you keep working on it together?
We never quite cracked it. I don’t want to say I gave up on it, or he gave up on it, or I gave up on him or vice versa. But at 30, I wasn’t as connected to the idea of what one leaves behind as you are when you’re close to 60. So it languished.

The decision to bring in the Upton Sinclair governor’s race feels incredibly resonant now.
In what way?

Well, besides the fake-news angle, you’ve blown out of the water the idea that Hollywood was always a bastion of progressive and liberal values.
Once the Sinclair story was grafted on, we found a middle ground where we felt we had a more accurate portrayal of what really happened. I don’t think Herman Mankiewicz could have written as scathing a portrait had he not known who [Hearst] was. I believe that Mankiewicz went into this thing because he needed the money. And when he got there, and he was encouraged by somebody who was not limiting him, but saying, “Go deep, keep going,” he was able to write something he was finally proud of.

In that regard, there are two lines I want to ask you to unpack a little. One is from Kael’s essay. She writes, “The director should be in control, not because he’s the sole creative intelligence, but because only if he is in control can he liberate and utilize the talents of his coworkers.”
Pauline Kael knew a lot about watching movies. What Pauline Kael didn’t know about making movies could fill volumes, and I believe ultimately that to the detriment of cinema is the notion that everything is intentioned — this notion that the moviemaking process is like NASA. Yeah, you can have an O-ring disaster, but for the most part, you’re testing the welds, the bolts, the electrical, and then when it gets off the launch pad you’re going, “Yeah, that’s what we intended it to do.” The movie business is not like that. The movie business is an incredibly couture boutique storytelling venture, and every single designer at the head of his house works in a different way. You are stitching those garments onto bodies up to the last 45 seconds before that person walks that runway. It’s a shitshow, an incredibly chaotic circus. It’s not cold and it’s not calculable. It’s a warm, wet art.

The other line is from your father’s script. When the first draft of Kane is ready for Welles, Mankiewicz says, “I built him a watertight narrative and a suggested destination. Where he takes it, that’s his job.” Is that how you think writers see directors, or is it how you see a director’s job?
I feel the line is the greatest hope that a writer can have for his script: “This is the end of my work. My stay here is done.” Then, like Superman, they take off. I think the reason the [Citizen Kane] script is so good is that Herman went into it going, Whew, thank God my name’s not on it. I’ll work again. He took the gloves off, and he did his best work. And there’s absolutely no argument — Welles was a fucking genius. The fact that this is his first movie is beyond shocking. Anybody standing on his shoulders is in awe of him, but having said that, I’ve seen movies he’s made from scripts that he’s written. They’re not in the same league.

To what extent do you see Mankiewicz’s story as a cautionary tale?
I never wanted it to be cautionary. I think it’s about alcoholism — both sides of alcoholism. A guy self-immolating, and also the other side, which is that people go, “Oh my God, he was so much funnier before he got off blow.” It’s a little pathetic to watch somebody whose wife has to help him out of his clothes. But that’s also who he was. Sometimes those people are ten times more brilliant inebriated than they are straight. It’s definitely a conflicted view, but it felt more realistic to me.

Because the story line about fake news and the making of those campaign films feels so current, I’m curious about whether more work was done on the script after your father died.
My father died in 2003. We tried to get the movie made in 1997, or ‘98, We gave up on it right around Panic Room. By 2001, we had kind of agreed to disagree. It went on the shelf and then he got sick. The last year and a half of his life was going to chemotherapy and talking about it, but it was understood at that moment that he wasn’t going to live to see it. We made our peace with it. It was only after I had finished Mindhunter, and Cindy Holland and Ted Sarandos said, “What do you want to do next? Do you have anything that you’ve always wanted to make?” that I said, “Yeah, actually.” I went back and read it and I thought, “Wow, this has been sitting here this whole time, and it’s so much more urgent.” It suddenly came into sharp relief. I gave them the script and they said, “We would make this,” and here we are. But in 2000, it would have been very difficult to get people to understand what the fake-news story line even meant. They would have said, “Why are you talking about this? So there are some fake newsreels — you’ve got to give them an A for effort! Oh, and black-and-white? Yeah, no thanks.”

So shooting in black-and-white was always part of the plan?
Always. And there were a lot of people saying, “Yeah, except for the black-and-white part, and the part where it’s period, and the part where it’s mono, and the part that it’s about the guy who wrote Citizen Kane, we love everything.” Then, Netflix, because they want to become the repository of everything, decided to fold us under the category of everything.

How much was the script reworked?
Eric Roth and I went back through the script and talked everything through. He’s always been an extremely capable gadfly, and I mean that in all the irritant sense that it can insinuate! He’ll call bullshit on stuff that he just doesn’t understand. The first thing we started to talk about was a scene Jack had written where Mankiewicz was told, “This is going to be the most challenging thing of your life because the shackles are off. I don’t have to answer to any vice president. I’m here to make whatever movie I want to make, so it’s you and me, buddy.” Eric said, “Oh my God. That’s terrifying.” And I said, “See, this is the thing that you understand that Jack didn’t,” which is, you take a guy who’s a professional wordsmith, and you say to him, “‘You answer to no one. You just have to make it good.’ What would your response be?” His response was, “Trapped.” In that moment, I knew this is the guy I had to talk this through with. Look, nobody has more respect for writers than I do. You’re in the foxhole with them and they’re in the foxhole with you. The foundation of it has to be searing, blinding honesty and vulnerability. You have to be able to say, “That’s the worst thing you’ve ever written,” and, “I can’t believe that you would try to fob that off on me.” And they have to be able to tell you, “Why would you not want to aim high?” There are ways that we have to push and prod and encourage and shame each other, and all of those things, in that intimate relationship, have to be fair game.

When did you decide to make the movie?
We had done the first season of Mindhunter without a showrunner, with me pinch-hitting on a week-by-week basis. We started getting scripts for the second season, and I ended up looking at what was written and deciding I didn’t like any of it. So we tossed it and started over. I brought in Courtenay Miles, an AD I’d worked with who wanted to write, and she ended up co-showrunning Mindhunter. But it’s a 90-hour work week. It absorbs everything in your life. When I got done, I was pretty exhausted, and I said, “I don’t know if I have it in me right now to break season three.”

Had you been spending a lot of time in Pittsburgh?
We lived there for almost three years. Not year in, year out, but we spent probably six or seven months a year over three years. We had an apartment there, and a car. Mindhunter was a lot for me.

So is Mindhunter done as far as you’re concerned?
I think probably. Listen, for the viewership that it had, it was an expensive show. We talked about “Finish Mank and then see how you feel,” but I honestly don’t think we’re going to be able to do it for less than I did season two. And on some level, you have to be realistic about dollars have to equal eyeballs.

When was Mank shot?
We started in September, October and shot to the end of February, just before the shutdown.

The acting style definitely feels pre-Brando, pre-Method. How quickly did everyone adjust to your approach?
There’s a sense, I think, in modern cinema acting that you’re supposed to throw your emotional knuckleball. And that’s a great place to start, but we kind of embraced an older style of acting, which was, you hit your mark, you say your line, you don’t bump into the furniture, you move on. So it was an interesting first couple of days, just getting people to just go spit it out. Not to say that that’s all that was expected, but we started very much with that. What Brando did for cinema was an unbelievable gift, and a curse. And to get beyond that idea of “I’m going to be bringing it over here emotionally, and I’m only going to be able to do it a couple of times so make sure it’s in focus”… that didn’t apply here.

How easy was it to get your cast into the film’s period speaking style?
Gary can do anything. If you said to some of the other cast members, “You need to do this like George Sanders,” they would be like, “What? Who’s that?” But Gary and Charles Dance, their eyebrows would shoot up and they would nod and smile, and they would know what you were asking for. With certain other people … it’s a big thing to get day players today who don’t have that horrendous upspeak that we’ve become so inured to. It’s like, “It’s not a question. And when your voice rises at the end, it sounds like you don’t know that it’s not a question.” A lot of those little things needed to be squashed out.

Gary Oldman, who was 61 when production began, is a good deal older than Mankiewicz, who was 43 when Citizen Kane was released. But I know that Kael made reference to him having aged very prematurely, and to F. Scott Fitzgerald calling him “a ruined man.”
Look, I’m 58. Gary, to me, looks like he’s my age. Herman, at 43, looked like he was 55. And by the time he died at 55, he looked 70. Herman lived hard. He did himself no favors through cigarettes and alcohol. Again, we could look for a desiccated 43-year-old, but in my business, the best actor wins.

Did the pandemic impede you at all?
We originally planned on looping the entire movie. There are so many exteriors, and you can’t go a block in Los Angeles without hearing a leaf blower. We didn’t do as much of it as we had planned on doing, but we did a lot. Because [laughs], and I don’t know if you know this … I shoot a few takes. So we were able to steal audio from different places, and we didn’t end up having to loop very much — which was good because looping turned out to be one of the most bizarre and Andromeda Strain–like processes.

In what way?
We would go into a studio, and everyone would wear masks. Then they would come in with these foggers and antiviral-spray the room, and we would leave for half an hour, and then come back and do six or seven lines, and then leave, and they would fumigate. It was insanity. Amanda [Seyfried] did all of her looping from her home in upstate New York. They sent a whole rig for her, and she did all her looping by Zoom.

The film looks and sounds like something created in the studio era.
Ren Klyce, who is the sound designer, and I started talking years ago about how we wanted to make this feel like it was found in the UCLA archives — or in Martin Scorsese’s basement on its way to restoration. Everything has been compressed and made to sound like the 1940s. The music has been recorded with older microphones so it has a sort of sizzle and wheeze around the edges — you get it from strings, but you mostly get it from brass. What you’re hearing is a revival house — an old theater playing a movie. It’s funny because I’ve played it for some people who ask, “What is going on with the sound? It’s so warm.” And I respond, “Well, what you mean when you say ‘warm’ is, it sounds like an old movie. It sounds analog.” We went three weeks over schedule on the mix trying to figure out how to split that atom. [Visually,] our notion was we’re going to shoot super-high resolution and then we’re going to degrade it. So we took most everything and softened it to an absurd extent to try to match the look of the era. We probably lost two-thirds of the resolution in order to make it have the same feel, and then we put in little scratches and digs and cigarette burns.

I noticed you put in reel-change circles.
Yes, and we made the soundtrack pop like it does when you do a reel changeover. It’s one of the most comforting sounds in my life. They’re so little that they’re very difficult to hear until you hear them. It has what we ended up calling patina, these tiny little pops and crackles that happen, and they’re very beautiful.

You are in the top tier of directors who work with screenwriters instead of writing their own scripts, and that’s fairly unusual in our current era of the director-screenwriter. And you don’t take credit for the contributions that I’m sure you make to those scripts.
I’m not a writer. I don’t take credit for things that I don’t do. Listen, I’m the offspring of a writer. I can’t. I’ve watched somebody put a blank piece of paper in a 1928 Underwood and sit there for 45 minutes. I know how lonely that is.

And, to state the obvious, it was your father, so that brings a whole—
Yeah, there’s no doubt. I don’t want to get mawkish about that, but I mean … it’s the love of a film that was given to me by someone who I could talk over these things with and really excavate — and then he was gone. I did have conversations with Ceán [Chaffin, Fincher’s wife and producer] in which she said, “How much of this are you doing for yourself?” She said to me, “You’ve been thinking about this movie too fucking long. It’s not doing you any favors.” There are people in this movie who weren’t born when the script was written. Two years is enough pre-visualization. Twenty years is too much. I have nine drafts on my shelf. I’m cleaning off that shelf. It’s time to take a deep breath.

When we talked years ago about Mark Zuckerberg when he was an undergrad, you said, “I know what it’s like to be 21 years old, and trying to direct a $60 million movie, and sitting in a room full of grown-ups who think you’re just so cute, but they’re not about to give you control of anything.” It made me wonder if you think of Welles in those terms.
When you’re 25, there’s no end to what you don’t know you don’t know. It really helps if you’re standing three feet to the left of Gregg Toland. But there’s also no taking back the fact that with a great script and a great cinematographer and a great composer, a 25-year-old made one of the greatest American movies ever. Movies are complicated. There’s a lot of money, and there are a lot of big egos, and when those get folded into the souffle, it’s still expected to be lighter than air. Welles and Mankiewicz were people who desperately needed one another. To go after Hearst took a kind of hubris that not a lot of people had. And it was what Mankiewicz wanted to do, but it was the impish grin of the 23-year-old director of “War of the Worlds” that made it happen. I wanted to talk about that. I wanted to talk about collaboration. How do you solve a problem like Herman Mankiewicz? How do you push him out of his comfort zone? You take him away from the trappings that would allow him to be this hot mess, and you put him out in the desert, and subject him to a schedule, and it still ends up being a clusterfuck, but interesting stuff came out of it.

*A version of this article appears in the October 26, 2020, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!

In 1971, Pauline Kael published a 50,000-word essay, in which she argued that Herman Mankiewicz, who was co-credited with Orson Welles for Citizen Kane’s Oscar-winning screenplay, was in every meaningful way its sole author. The controversial essay, which drew a furious response from, among others, Peter Bogdanovich, writing as Welles’s surrogate, has since been partially discredited, but remains a flashpoint in critical arguments over the limits of the auteur theory and over the systematic downplaying of the contributions of screenwriters.

Fincher’s first film was Alien 3, which was taken away from him in post-production and recut. He disowned the version that was released in theaters in 1992.

In 1934, the crusading novelist Upton Sinclair, a socialist, ran an unsuccessful campaign for governor of California on the Democratic line, under the aegis of EPIC (“End Poverty in California.’”) His campaign was strenuously opposed by William Randolph Hearst, who used his newspapers to attack Sinclair, and by the heads of Hollywood’s major studios, including MGM, who used their resources to create alarmist propaganda that undermined his candidacy. Hearst was in large part the basis for the character of Charles Foster Kane; when it opened in 1941, the movie was widely perceived as a barely veiled attack on him.

Mank depicts Louis B. Mayer as a hard-nosed conservative, and Irving Thalberg, who is usually treated as a doomed genius, is portrayed as his unsentimental enforcer. Mank depicts their alliance with Hearst to bring down Sinclair as a major motive for the disgust that spurred Mankiewicz to write Citizen Kane.

Roth, a veteran screenwriter whose credits include Forrest Gump, The Insider, Ali, and Fincher’s 2008 film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, also worked with Fincher on House of Cards and is one of Mank’s producers.

Amanda Seyfried plays Hearst’s longtime mistress, the actress Marion Davies, who many felt Mankiewicz and Welles cruelly caricatured in Citizen Kane as the untalented opera singer Susan Alexander. Mank, by contrast, depicts her as savvy and sympathetic.

“War of the Worlds” was an adaptation of the H.G. Wells novel that aired on the CBS Radio Network in 1938 and is said to have caused panic among listeners who thought aliens were actually invading; three years before Citizen Kane, it made Welles’s reputation.

New this week: David Byrne, The Amazing Race & Tommy Lee

Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV streaming services and music platforms this week.

— Broadway is dark and most concert tours have been abandoned, but you can still feel the thrill of being inside a packed house in “ David Byrne’s American Utopia.” Spike Lee’s concert film of Byrne’s acclaimed stage show debuts Saturday at 8 p.m. on HBO and HBO Max, and it may be one of the best films of the year. Lee’s energetic direction combined with Byrne’s exuberant staging of Talking Heads classics and other songs makes for a concert film that stands on par with Jonathan Demme’s Talking Heads classic “Stop Making Sense.”

— The timing of Aaron Sorkin s “The Trial of the Chicago 7” is remarkably good for a film set in 1969 and 1970. Sorkin’s drama, debuting Friday on Netflix after a brief run in theaters, is first and foremost a portrait of protest, in all its messiness, idealism and potential. Made with a starry ensemble including Mark Rylance, Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne and Michael Keaton, the film dramatizes — with Sorkin’s characteristic snappy dialogue and sweeping theatricality — the events surrounding the trial of anti-war activists who were charged with conspiracy to incite a riot during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. In the seminal stand-off between counterculture and government, Sorkin (who wrote and directed) crafts a timely paean to dissent.

— Gretchen Sorin and Ric Burns’ “Driving While Black: Race, Space and Mobility in America” was, unfortunately, always going to be of the moment. The documentary, airing 9 p.m. Tuesday on PBS and streaming on PBS platforms, chronicles the experience of African Americans on the road beginning with the advent of the automobile. But is also stretches further back and forward to consider all forms of racist restrictions of movement for Black Americans, spanning Jim Crow-era laws to ’60s bus boycotts to contemporary policing. Says historian Christopher West in the film: “I think it’s really, really tough for the majority of Americans to begin to even understand the gut-wrenching horror that is driving in a racist society.”

— AP Film Writer Jake Coyle

— Kelly Clarkson is returning to host this year’s Billboard Music Awards which will air live on NBC on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET. Some of the performances will be live at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, while others were previously recorded. BTS, Post Malone, Bad Bunny, Sia, Alicia Keys, Luke Combs, Doja Cat, Kane Brown and Demi Lovato will hit the stage, where country music icon Garth Brooks and rapper-activist Killer Mike will receive special honors.

— Rocker Tommy Lee is in a collaborative state of mind on his new album, “Andro,” out Friday. The 14-track album, his first solo release in 15 years, includes guest appearances from multi-platinum hitmaker Post Malone, Josh Todd of Buckcherry, South African rapper Push Push, Canadian rocker Lukas Rossi, West Coast rapper Brooke Candy, singer-songwriter King Elle Noir and rapper Killvein, among others. The album also finds the Mötley Crüe veteran covering Prince’s “When You Were Mine.”

— AP Music Editor Mesfin Fekadu

— CBS’ “The Amazing Race,” with its especially welcome promise of armchair adventure, returns 9 p.m. EDT Wednesday. Eleven teams, including former NFL players DeAngelo Williams and Gary Barnidge and paired Olympians Kellie Wells-Brinkley and LaVonne Idlette, dash from locations in France, Germany, Kazakhstan, Brazil and elsewhere in the quest for bragging rights and a $1 million prize. The 32nd edition of the contest, taped before the coronavirus outbreak, pushed the series to the milestone of 1 million miles of worldwide travel.

— While many of us were making sourdough bread and, if we felt truly creative, posting pet videos, Hilary Weisman Graham (“Orange Is the New Black”) created “Social Distance” to illuminate our response to pandemic isolation. The Netflix anthology series, consisting of eight, 20-minute episodes, dramatizes the early days of the coronavirus quarantine, including our reliance on technology to maintain a version of emotional connection. Oscar Nunez (“The Office”), Asante Blackk (“This Is Us”) and Ali Ahn (“Orange Is the New Black”) are among the actors in the series out Thursday.

— Ready for a winter chill? Sundance Now’s true crime drama “Des” stars David Tennant (“Doctor Who”) as Dennis Nilsen, a serial killer who targeted young men, including the homeless. When he was arrested, Nilsen freely claimed responsibility for a shocking number of murders but couldn’t name his victims. Lacking forensic evidence, police began a daunting effort to identify the victims of the innocuous-looking British civil servant (who died in 2018 while serving a life sentence). The three-part “Des,” debuting Thursday on the streaming service, was a recent U.K. TV hit and drew raves for Tennant’s performance.

— AP Television Writer Lynn Elber

Catch up on AP’s entertainment coverage here: https://apnews.com/apf-entertainment.

Tech and Its (Other) Enemies

(Pixabay)

Americans should be the ones determining if and how American companies are subject to government control.

Last week, another media firestorm swept through Silicon Valley after Facebook and Twitter censored a New York Post exposé of Hunter Biden’s allegedly shady business dealings while his father was in office. Whatever the truth of the story — which has a murky origin, although some of the contents have already been confirmed elsewhere — the tech titans are selectively enforcing the policies that the Post story violated. Many on the left and the right are outraged, and they ought to be. Censoring news reports with obvious political implications is bad for democracy. That said, there’s no denying that social-media companies have a difficult task when certain nations make use of these platforms to spread falsehoods and propaganda in the U.S. Even as the executive and legislative branches consider how to address this problem, they should respond to a competing authority that aims to put a bit and bridle on American tech companies.

Last week, the Financial Times turned its attention to the European Union’s newest campaign against the American tech industry. EU officials are preparing a special set of regulations for 20 or so tech companies, which could possibly include forcing the firms on their “hit list” to break into constituent parts or sell off their products. The list has not yet been made public, but it almost certainly includes many of Silicon Valley’s most productive firms. Facebook’s and Twitter’s most recent rake-stomping spree makes them uniquely unsympathetic right now, but the United States should not stand by and let the Europeans control the fate of one of our most important industries.

The Europeans have envied the American tech industry for decades. In 2000, the European Council released with much fanfare a plan to “become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world” and to fend off American juggernauts such as Microsoft. The plan failed so miserably that proponents of European-style industrial policy should think twice about bringing these methods to the United States. American companies continue to lead the world in most important emerging information-based technologies. This time around, even the Netherlands, which historically has supported free markets more consistently than many of its neighbors, together with France recommended more coercive forms of protectionism now that subsidies and planning have failed.

The tech industry deserves plenty of skepticism, but it is also important for the American economy. Although social distancing and stay-at-home orders have become more controversial as the pandemic has dragged on, these options are only available because of important technological advances. Before the advent of Internet services such as video conferencing, cloud computing, and email, sending millions of workers home was unthinkable. In earlier pandemics, the choices available were to stop working entirely and face a complete loss of income or to stay at the workplace and risk succumbing to the disease. Many workers now can perform adequately at home, which has cushioned the economic fallout of the earlier measures to slow coronavirus’s spread. The tech industry is largely responsible for the U.S. economy’s new resilience to threats such as pandemics, which is just one reason why the EU wants its own champions in these areas.

Information technology’s other applications matter for our national defense as well. Quite a bit of what is developed in Silicon Valley can be used not only for entertainment or business, but also for our security. Just last month, the U.S. military tested new programs that will help commanders identify and defeat threats to the homeland, and the Army and Air Force are working together to bring the “Internet of things” to the battlefield. Most algorithms need to be tailored to perform specific tasks, but many of the processes used to select the next cat video you watch can be used for other purposes too. Software engineers who complain about military contracts make headlines, but the industry has won thousands of contracts from the Pentagon and national-security agencies.

Authoritarian regimes also see American social-media companies as a threat. As can be seen in China and elsewhere, many of America’s rivals try to restrict the information their people receive, which is much harder in an era of social media. Although they are not controlled by the U.S. government, Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp often promote American interests simply by existing.

Even if some of these technologies fail to achieve their promise, or even if, on balance, further regulation is needed, Americans should be the ones determining if and how American companies are subject to government control — particularly if they should be broken up. The U.S. government should work to dissuade Brussels from putting out its “hit list,” even if Facebook and Twitter have once again screwed up their anti-disinformation strategy. Meanwhile, Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg must get their own houses in order: As geopolitical competition sharpens, they will be on more hit lists. They cannot afford to make more enemies.

Mike Watson is the associate director of the Center for the Future of Liberal Society at the Hudson Institute.

Targeting N-myristoylation for therapy of B-cell lymphomas

Antibodies and materials

Rabbit anti-PARP-1 (1:5000, affinity purified polyclonal#EU2005, lot 1), anti-GAPDH (1:5000, affinity purified polyclonal, #EU1000, lot 1), and anti-GFP (1:10,000, affinity purified, #EU1, lot B3-1) were from laboratory stock and are available through Eusera (www.eusera.com). Our affinity purified rabbit anti-GFP is also available as Ab6556 from Abcam (Cambridge, MA). Rabbit monoclonal anti-Src (1:2000, clone 32G6, #2123, lot 5), Lyn (1:2000, clone C13F9, #2796, lot 4), P-Lyn Y507 (1:5000, polyclonal, #2731, lot 5), Fyn (1:2000, polyclonal, #4023, lot 3), Lck (1:2000, clone D88, #2984, lot 4), Hck (1:2000, clone E1I7F, #14643, lot 1), c-Myc (1:10,000, clone D3N8F, #13987, lot 5), ERK (1:2000, clone 4695, #9102, lot 27), P-ERK (1:5000, clone 3510, #9101, lot 30), P-SFK (1:10,000, clone D49G4, #6943, lot 4), BTK (1:2000, clone D3H5, #8547, lot 13), P-BTK Y223 (1:5000, clone D9T6H, #87141, lot 1) SYK (1:2000, clone D3Z1E, #13198, lot 5), P-SYK Y525/526 (1:5000, clone C87C1, lot 18), and anti-cleaved caspase-3 (1:1000, clone 5A1E, #9664, lot 20) were purchased from Cell Signaling Technologies. Rabbit monoclonal anti-BIP (1:2000, polyclonal, ADI-SPA-826) was purchased from Enzo Life Sciences. Rabbit anti-Mcl-1 (1:2000, clone Y37, #32087, lot GR119342-5), NFκB (1:2000, clone E379, #32536, lot GR3199609-2), P-Lyn Y396 (1:5000, polyclonal, #226778, lot GR3195652-5) were purchased from Abcam (Cambridge, MA). Mouse monoclonal anti-p-Tyr (1:10,000, PY99, sc-7020, lot I2118) antibody was purchased from Santa Cruz Biotechnology. Mouse anti human HGAL was purchased at eBioscience (1:10,000, clone 1H1-A7, #14-9758-82, lot E24839-101). Rabbit polyclonal anti-ARF-1 antibody (1:2000, polyclonal, #PA1-127, lot TK 279638) was purchased from ThermoFisher Scientific. Enhanced chemiluminescence (ECL) Prime Western blotting detection kits were purchased from GE Healthcare. Clarity ECL western blotting substrate was from Bio-Rad. Goat anti-human IgM (μ chain) (70-8028-M002, lot S728028002001) was purchased from Tonbo biosciences. Goat F(ab’)2 anti-human IgM was purchased from BioRad (STAR146, lot 152684). Rabbit Anti-human Src antibody from Sigma-Aldrich (polyclonal, Ab-529, lot 871521168) was used for immunoprecipitation. Doxorubicin hydrochloride was from Pfizer. Dasatinib and ibrutinib were from ApexBio Technology. PCLX-001 was identified as DDD86481 by Drs. David Gray and Paul Wyatt (University of Dundee, Scotland, UK)38,69. All chemicals were of the highest purity available and purchased from Sigma-Aldrich, unless indicated otherwise.

Cell culture

IM9, Ramos, SU-DHL-10, and COS-7 were purchased from ATCC. BL2, DOHH2, WSU-DLCL2, and BJAB were purchased from DSMZ (Germany). Ramos and BL2 were kind gifts of Drs. Jim Stone and Robert Ingham of University of Alberta. VDS isolation was described in Tosato et al.47. VDS, BJAB, and SU-DHL-10 were kind gifts of Dr. Michael Gold of the University of British Columbia. HUVEC cells (pooled from up to four umbilical cords) were purchased from PromoCell. All cell lines identity was confirmed by STR profiling at The Genetic Analysis Facility, The Centre for Applied Genomics, The Hospital for Sick Children, Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning, 686 Bay St., Toronto, ON, Canada M5G 0A4 (www.tcag.ca). Cell lines were tested regularly for mycoplasma contamination using MycoAlert Plus Mycoplasma Detection Kit (Lonza, ME, USA). All cell lines tested negative for mycoplasma contamination. All cell lines were maintained in RPMI or DMEM medium supplemented with 5–10% fetal bovine serum, 100 U/ml penicillin, 0.1 mg/ml streptomycin, 1 mM sodium pyruvate, and 2 mM L-glutamine. HUVEC cells (pooled from up to four umbilical cords) were purchased from PromoCell and cultured in Endothelial cell growth media with Insulin-like Growth Factor (Long R3 IGF) and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor and maintained at passages lower than seven. All cell lines were maintained at 37 °C and 5% CO2 in a humidified incubator and routinely checked for the presence of contaminating mycoplasma. Please see Supplementary Table 3 for cell line names, types and histology. For transfections, adherent cells COS-7 cells were transfected using X-tremeGENE9 DNA (Roche) transfection reagent according to manufacturer’s instructions. For BCR activation experiments, cells were incubated with 25 μg/ml of Goat F(ab’)2 anti-human IgM (or anti-human IgM (μ chain) showing identical BCR activation properties) for 2 min and the activation was stopped by the addition of 1 mM vanadate (Bio Basic Inc) solution in PBS.

Lysis of cells

Cells were harvested, washed in cold PBS, and lysed in 0.1% SDS-RIPA buffer (50 mM Tris-HCl pH 8.0, 150 mM NaCl, 1% Igepal CA-630, 0.5% sodium deoxycholate, 2 mM MgCl2, 2 mM EDTA with 1× complete protease inhibitor; (Roche Diagnostics) by rocking for 15 min at 4 °C. The lysates were centrifuged at 16,000 g for 10 min at 4 °C, and the post-nuclear supernatant was collected.

Immunoblotting, immunoprecipitation, and metabolic labeling of cells with alkyne-myristate

Protein concentrations were determined by BCA assay (Thermo Scientific) according to manufacturer’s instructions. Samples were prepared for electrophoresis by the addition of 5× loading buffer and boiled for 5 min. If not stated otherwise, 30 μg of total protein per lane is loaded on a 12.5% acrylamide gels. After electrophoresis, gels are transferred onto 0.2 μM nitrocellulose membrane (Bio-Rad) thereafter probed with antibodies as described in materials section. Peroxidase activity is revealed following the procedure provided for the ECL Prime Western Blotting Detection Reagent (GE Healthcare, PA, USA).

Immunoprecipitation was performed as previously described in Yap et al.47. Briefly, cells are washed with cold PBS, harvested, and lysed with cold EDTA-free RIPA buffer (0.1% SDS, 50 mM HEPES, pH 7.4, 150 mM NaCl, 1% Igepal CA-630, 0.5% sodium deoxycholate, 2 mM MgCl2, EDTA-free complete protease inhibitor (Roche)) by rocking for 15 min at 4 °C. Cell lysates are centrifuged at 16,000 g for 10 min at 4 °C and the post-nuclear supernatants are collected. EGFP fusion proteins or endogenous c-Src non-receptor tyrosine kinase (Src) were immunoprecipitated from approximately 1 mg of protein lysates with affinity purified goat anti-GFP (www.eusera.com) or rabbit anti-Src antibody (Sigma, Ab-529, lot 871521168) by rocking overnight at 4 °C. Pure proteome protein G magnetic beads (Millipore) were incubated with immunoprecipitated proteins for 2 h and extensively washed with 0.1% SDS-RIPA, re-suspended in 1% SDS in 50 mM HEPES, pH 7.4 and heated for 15 min at 80 °C. The supernatants containing the immunoprecipitated proteins were collected for Western blot analysis or click chemistry.

IM9, BL2, and COS-7 cells were treated with PCLX-001 for 1 h and cells were then labeled with 25 μM ω-alkynyl myristic acid 30 min before harvesting at each time point. Protein from the resulting cell lysates were reacted with 100 μM azido-biotin using click chemistry and processed as described in Yap et al.47 and Perinpanayagam et al.33.

Viability of cells treated with PCLX-001, dasatinib, and ibrutinib

IM9, VDS, BL2, Ramos, BJAB, DOHH2, WSU-DLCL2, and SU-DHL-10 cells (1 × 105 cells) were grown in six-well plates in 4 ml media/well and incubated with increasing concentrations of PCLX-001, dasatinib, and ibrutinib for up to 96 h. Viability of cells treated with PCLX-001 was measured by CellTiter-Blue Cell Viability Assay (Promega) or with calcein AM staining (Life Technologies) according to the manufacturer’s instructions on a Cytation 5 plate reader (Biotek, Winooski, VT). Calcein assay consists of measuring the cell viability ratio (live cells/total cells and expressed as % viability). Cells were stained with the Nuclear-ID Blue/Red cell viability reagent (GFP-certified, Enzo Life Sciences) to identify total cells, and dead cells while live cells were stained with Calcein AM (Life Technologies) according to manufacturer’s instructions. Cell count was performed using a Cytation 5 Cell Imaging Multi-Mode Reader (Biotek Instruments, Inc.) and analyzed by Biotek Gen5 Data Analysis software (version 2.09).

Cell viability was also measured using the Horizon (St. Louis, MO) platform. Cells were seeded in growth media in black 384-well tissue culture treated plates at 500 cells per well. Cells are equilibrated in assay plates via centrifugation and placed in incubators at 37 °C for 24h before treatment. At the time of treatment, a set of assay plates (which do not receive treatment) are collected and ATP levels are measured by adding ATPLite© (PerkinElmer, Waltham, MA). These Tzero (T0) plates are read using ultra-sensitive luminescence on Envision plate readers. Assay plates are incubated with compound for 96 h (except where noted in Analyzer) and are then analyzed using ATPLite©. All data points are collected via automated processes and are subject to quality control and analyzed using Horizon’s Chalice Analyzer proprietary software (1.5). Assay plates were accepted if they passed the following quality control standards: relative raw values were consistent throughout the entire experiment, Z-factor scores were greater than 0.6 and untreated/vehicle controls behaved consistently on the plate. Horizon utilizes Growth Inhibition (GI) as a measure of cell growth. The GI percentages are calculated by applying the following test and equation:

$${mathrm{If}},T; <; V_0:100 * left( {1 – frac{{T – V_0}}{{V_0}}} right),$$

$${mathrm{If}},T; ge; V_0:100 * left( {1 – frac{{T – V_0}}{{V – V_0}}} right),$$

where T is the signal measure for a test article, V is the untreated/vehicle-treated control measure, and V0 is the untreated/vehicle control measure at time zero (also colloquially referred as T0 plates). This formula is derived from the Growth Inhibition calculation used in the National Cancer Institute’s NCI-60 high throughput screen. 100% GI therefore represents complete growth inhibition (cytostasis) while 200% GI represents complete cell death.

Cell viability was also measured using the Oncolines (Netherlands Translational Research Center B.V.) platform. Cells were diluted in the corresponding ATCC recommended medium and dispensed in a 384-well plate, depending on the cell line used, at a density of 200–6400 cells per well in 45 µl medium. For each used cell line the optimal cell density is used. The margins of the plate were filled with phosphate-buffered saline. Plated cells were incubated in a humidified atmosphere of 5% CO2 at 37 °C. After 24 h, 5 µL of compound dilution was added and plates were further incubated. At t = end, 24 µL of ATPlite 1Step™ (PerkinElmer) solution was added to each well, and subsequently shaken for 2 min. After 10 min of incubation in the dark, the luminescence was recorded on an Envision multimode reader (PerkinElmer).

Finally, 3rd breadth of PCLX-001 efficiency screen (Supplementary Fig. 2) was performed using the ChemPartner platform (Shanghai, China). One hundred and thirty one cell lines were seeded in 96-well plate, black wall, tissue culture treated (from Corning, Cat.3904) and cultured following ATCC formulation. Cell viability after 72 and 144 h was measured using Cell Titer Blue Viability Assay (from Promega, Cat. G8081, Lot. No. 0000190181) and fluorescence at 560/590 nm was recorded with Enspire (PerkinElmer). EC50 was calculated using XLfit software (5.5).

Cell proliferation assay

Proliferation of cells was measured by imaging and counting after digital phase contrast picture transformation for better accuracy. 2 × 105 cells were cultured in six-well plates in 4 ml of culture media and incubated with increasing concentration of PCLX-001. After homogenization, 50 μl of culture was transferred into a high binding clear glass bottom ½ area 96 well plate (Greiner bio-one). Total well area was imaged in bright field (12 stitched pictures) using a Cytation 5 Cell Imaging Multi-Mode Reader (Biotek Instruments, Inc.) and transformed into a single digital phase contrast picture. Total cell counts were performed daily for up to 4 days (Biotek Gen5 Data Analysis software 2.09).

Intracellular calcium measurements

Cytosolic free calcium concentration measurements were performed in BL2 lymphoma cells incubated for 24 or 48 h with 1 μM PCLX-001, dasatinib or ibrutinib using PTI fluorometer (Photon Technology International) using adapted previously described protocol53. 10 × 106 cells are suspended in fresh media with 8 μM Fura-2 AM (Molecular Probes) and 1 mM CaCl2 for 30 min, washed and resuspended in media supplemented with calcium for an additional 15 min. Cells are then washed and resuspended in warm Krebs Ringer solution (10 mM HEPES pH 7.0, 140 mM NaCl, 4 mM KCl, 1 mM MgCl2 and 10 mM glucose) and placed in a four-sided clear cuvette. Prior to activation, the free cytoplasmic calcium was chelated with 0.5 mM EGTA for 1 min. BCR receptor dependent calcium release is activated by the addition of 10 μg/ml Goat F(ab′)2 anti Human IgM (BioRad). Following, Thapsigargin (300 nM) was used to show BCR-independant and irreversible Ca2+ release from the endoplasmic reticulum. Ca2+ concentrations were calculated with the following equation:

[Ca++] = Kd (R–Rmin)/(Rmax–R) with R = Fluorescence Intensity at 340 nm divided by fluorescence intensity at 380 nm, Rmax = fluorescence measured following Ionomycin (7.5 μM) and CaCl2 (12 mM) addition, Rmin = fluorescence measured following EGTA (32mM), Tris (24 mM) and Triton X-100 (0.4%) and Kd = 224 (at 37 °C for Fura-2 AM).

Results shown are representative of multiple replicates of the experiment (n = 6 for PCLX-001 incubation, n = 3 for Dasatinib and Ibrutinib).

Isolation of PBMC and lymphocytes and cell viability assay

Two healthy human research volunteers were recruited for PBMC and lymphocytes isolation from a 20 ml blood collection (patient #1: male, 34 years old, no diagnosis, no treatment; patient #2: male, 54 years old, no diagnosis, no treatment). Study protocol was approved by the Health Research Ethics Board of Alberta Cancer Committee (Study title: Evaluations of Fatty AcylTransferases (FATs) in fresh blood and blood forming cells; HREBA.CC-17-0624).

Mononuclear cells were isolated from peripheral blood by density gradient centrifugation using Ficoll-Paque (GE Healthcare, PA, USA). Lymphocytes were isolated from whole blood samples using EasySepTM lymphocyte isolation kit (Stemcell Technologies, Vancouver, BC, Canada) as per manufacturer’s instructions. PBMC and lymphocytes were cultured in RPMI medium with 10% FBS, 100 U/ml penicillin, 0.1 mg/ml streptomycin. Cells were plated at a concentration of 2 × 106 cells/ml. After incubation with 0.001–10 µM PCLX-001 for 96 h, cell viability was measured by using CellTiter-FluorTM viability assay (Promega, Madison, WI, USA).

Immunohistochemistry

COS-7 cells were cultured plated on Poly-d-Lysine-coated 35-mm glass-bottom dishes (MatTek Corporation, Ashland, MA, USA) and transiently transfected with the indicated fluorescently tagged proteins using X-tremeGENE9 DNA (Roche) as recommended by the suppliers. Images were acquired using a Zeiss Observer Z1 microscope and Axiovision software (Axiovision, version 4.8). B-cell lymphomas were fixed in formalin, embedded in paraffin, cut into 5 mm sections with a microtome, mounted on Superfrost Plus slides (Fisher Scientific), deparaffinized with xylene (three times for 10 min each), dehydrated in a graded series of ethanol (100, 80 and 50%), and washed in running cold water for 10 min.

For antigen retrieval, slides were loaded in a slide holder and placed in a Nordicware microwave pressure cooker. 800 ml 10 mM citrate buffer pH 6.0 was added, and the pressure cooker was tightly closed and microwaved on high for 20 min. The slides were washed in cold running water for 10 min, soaked in 3% H2O2 in methanol for 10 min, and washed with warm running water for 10 min and with PBS for 3 min. Excess PBS was removed and a hydrophobic circle was drawn around the sample with a PAP pen (Sigma-Aldrich, St. Louis, MO). Anti-cleaved caspase 3 or anti-Ki-67 were diluted with Dako antibody diluent buffer (1:50, 400 μl per slide), and incubated in a humidity chamber overnight at 4 °C. Slides were washed in PBS twice for 5 min each and 4 drops of EnVision+System-HRP labeled polymer (anti-rabbit) (Dako, Agilent Technologies, Santa Clara, CA) was added to each slide and incubated at room temperature for 30 min. Slides were washed again in PBS twice for 5 min each, and 4 drops of liquid diaminobenzidine + substrate chromogen (prepared according to manufacturer’s instructions; Dako, Agilent Technologies) was added. The slides were developed for 5 min and rinsed under running cold water for 10 min. The slides were then soaked in 1% CuSO4 for 5 min, rinsed briefly with running cold water, counterstained with haematoxylin for 60 s, and rinsed with running cold water. Next, slides were dipped in lithium carbonate three times, rinsed, and dehydrated in a graded series of ethanol. Coverslips were added, and the slides were examined with a Nikon Eclipse 80i microscope and photographed with a QImaging camera.

Ethics approval

We have complied with all relevant ethical regulations for human, animal testing and research. All relevant experiments in this study have received the appropriate ethical approval. The name of board and/or institution that approved the study protocol are described below.

Charles River Discovery Services North Carolina (CR Discovery Services) specifically complies with the recommendations of the Guide for Care and Use of Laboratory Animals with respect to restraint, husbandry, surgical procedures, feed and fluid regulation, and veterinary care. The animal care and use program at CR Discovery Services is accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International, which assures compliance with accepted standards for the care and use of laboratory animals.

In Vivo Services at The Jackson Laboratory—Sacramento facility, an OLAW-assured and AAALAC-accredited organization conducted the DOHH2 mouse xenograft study. It was performed according to an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)-approved protocol and in compliance with the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (National Research Council, 2011).

For the study using DLBCL lymphocytes, all procedures were approved and carried out in accordance with the guiding ethical principles of the Institutional Review Board of the Singapore General Hospital. Written informed consent was obtained for use of these samples for the specific research purpose only. The experimental protocol (#130812) was approved by the IACUC of the Biological Resource Center (BRC), A*STAR. All procedures involving human samples were approved by and performed in accordance with the ethics principles of the Sing Health Centralized Institutional Review Board. Written informed consent was obtained for use of these samples for the specific research purpose only. Our patients have given consent to use their tissue samples and associated demographical and clinical data in a de-identified format.

Xenograft studies in mice

DOHH2 xenograft study at Charles River’s facility: Female severe combined immunodeficient mice (Fox Chase SCID®, C.B-17/Icr-Prkdcscid/IcrIcoCrl, Charles River) were 9 weeks old on Day 1 of the study and had a BW range of 17.8–22.9 g. The animals were fed ad libitum water (reverse osmosis, 1 ppm Cl) and NIH 31 Modified and Irradiated Lab Diet® consisting of 18.0% crude protein, 5.0% crude fat, and 5.0% crude fiber. On Day 1 of the study, animals were given a rehydration solution ad libitum in an effort to reduce dehydration during the dosing phase of the study. The rehydration solution consisted of 0.45% NaCl, 2.5% glucose, and 0.075% KCl in sterile water. The mice were housed on irradiated Enrich-o’cobs™ bedding in static microisolators on a 12-h light cycle at 20–22 °C (68–72 °F) and 40–60% humidity.

BL2 xenograft study at Jackson Laboratory: One hundred and five 6-week-old female NOD.CB17-Prkdc scid/J (NOD scid, Stock #001303) mice were transferred to the in vivo research laboratory in Sacramento, CA. The mice were ear notched for identification and housed in individually and positively ventilated polysulfone cages with HEPA filtered air at a density of 5 mice per cage. Initially cages were changed every two weeks. The animal room was lighted entirely with artificial fluorescent lighting, with a controlled 12 h light/dark cycle (6 a.m. to 6 p.m. light). The normal temperature and relative humidity ranges in the animal rooms were 20–26 °C and 30–70%, respectively. The animal rooms were set to have up to 15 air exchanges per hour. Filtered tap water, acidified to a pH of 2.5–3.0, and standard lab chow were provided ad libitum.

BL2 or DOHH-2 cells (1 × 107) and a cell suspension containing neoplastic DLBCL lymphocytes isolated from the pleural fluid of consented patient DLBCL3 were subcutaneously injected into the flank of immuno-compromised, female, NODscid mice at the Jackson Laboratory’s, Charles River’s, and Singapore General Hospital’s facilities, respectively. After tumors formed, mice were divided into groups of approximately ten animals and given subcutaneous injections of vehicle daily, PCLX-001 daily at 10–60 mg/kg, or doxorubicin weekly at 3 mg/kg70, as indicated in each figure. The dose volume was 10 mL/kg. At the end of the 2- to 3-week dosing period, mice were euthanized and three/group were necropsied. Mice that died or were euthanized early for humane reasons also were necropsied. In life, mice were monitored regularly and weighed daily, and tumors were measured with digital Vernier calipers (Mitutoyo) every other day. Tumor volume was calculated as length (mm) × width (mm)2/2; length and width were the longest and shortest diameters, respectively. At euthanasia, at the end of the dosing period blood samples were taken for hematology analyses and clinical chemistry analyses that included AST and CK activities and bilirubin and creatinine concentrations (plus ALT activity and BUN concentration in the Jackson Laboratory study). At necropsy, samples of femur, both kidneys, liver, small intestine, and injection site were collected and fixed. These were subsequently processed and examined by light microscopy for histopathologic findings. Also at necropsy, the tumors were removed and divided in two. One piece was fixed in 10% neutral buffered formalin for 24 h at room temperature and embedded in paraffin; the other was snap frozen for RNA and protein analysis. TGI for all xenograft experiments was calculated following the formula:

$${mathrm{TGI}}left( % right) = left( {V_{control}-V_{treated}} right)/left( {V_{control}-V_{initial}} right), *, 100.$$

Patient derived xenograft mouse studies

(i) Patient sample

Patient DLBCL3 had been treated for Stage I diffuse large B-cell lymphoma with cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisolone (CHOP), which resulted in complete remission (Supplementary Table 2). Patient DLBCL3 then presented to Singapore General Hospital 10 years subsequently with recurrent disease in the bone marrow and leptomeninges and pleural effusions. The patient received two courses of rituximab, ifosfamide, carboplatin, and etoposide and intrathecal methotrexate/cytarabine, followed by four courses of dexamethasone, cytarabine, and cisplatin and intrathecal methotrexate. The patient’s tissue was harvested for PDX propagation at this time. The disease continued to progress, and the patient died a year later.

(ii) Pathology

Cytological examination of the pleural fluid showed discohesive lymphomatous population featuring large cells with vesicular chromatin and conspicuous nucleoli. Neoplastic cells expressed pan-B markers (PAX5, CD20, CD22, CD79a), with aberrant expression of CD5, strong expression of bcl2, and a high proliferation fraction (70–80%). Neoplastic lymphocytes had a nongerminal center phenotype (negative for CD10 and positive for bcl6, MUM1, FOXP1) but staining for c-Myc was low (20%). Interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization showed gains of BCL2 and rearrangements of BCL6 and IGH; normal patterns were seen for C-MYC. RNA in situ hybridization showed lack of NMT2 expression.

(iii) Xenograft construction and treatment

The pleural fluid was collected in cold sterile 20% RPMI 1640 medium and neoplastic cells were isolated with Ficoll-Paque Plus (GE Healthcare) and re-suspended in RPMI 160 medium (Life Technologies) with 20% fetal bovine serum (Life Technologies, Carlsbad, CA). A representative part of the tumor sample was fixed in 10% neutral buffered formalin; the other part was used for xenotransplantation. The cell suspension was injected subcutaneously in the flank of 4–6-week-old NODscid mice. When the tumors reached a maximum of 1000 mm3, the mice were sacrificed, tumors were harvested, and a necropsy was performed. Xenograft tumors were immediately frozen, fixed in formalin, and stored in 90% fetal bovine serum, and 10% dimethyl sulfoxide or placed in RPMI 1640 medium. This process was repeated to produce subsequent generations of patient-derived xenograft models (P2, P3, P4, …). To evaluate the maintenance of the morphology and main characteristics of the tumor of origin, formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections from patient tumor samples and xenografts of all established patient-derived xenograft models were stained with haematoxylin and eosin. These sections were also immunostained to measure the expression of various markers. A clinical pathologist reviewed all the slides. For the current study, tumor fragments (50 mg, P4) were implanted subcutaneously in the flank of 4–6-week-old female NODscid mice and allowed to grow to 200–300 mm3. The mice were then randomized into groups (n = 8 per group) and injected subcutaneously with vehicle (10 ml/kg); PCLX-001, 20 mg/kg daily for 21 days; or PCLX-001, 50 mg/kg daily for 18 days, with a 3-day break after 9 days. Tumor measurements and growth inhibition calculations were performed as described above.

For the DLBCL3 PDX study, NODscid mice were purchased from InVivos, Singapore and fed with standard laboratory diet and distilled water ad libitum. The animals were kept on a 12 h light/dark cycle at 22 ± 2 °C in BRC, A*STAR and maintained in accordance with the institutional guidelines.

NMT activity assay

NMT activity assay was described in Perinpanayagam et al.33. Briefly, cells were lysed and sonicated (10 s) in sucrose buffer (50 mM NaH2PO4, pH 7.4, and 0.25 M sucrose). Tumor samples were cut into small pieces, extracted by glass Dounce homogenization (12 full strokes) in sucrose buffer, and sonicated (10 s). The protein lysates were incubated with 0.1 mM of myristoylatable or non-myristoylatable decapeptide corresponding to the N-terminal sequence of p60-Src and 12 pM of [3H]-myristoyl-CoA (PerkinElmer, Waltham, MA) in NMT assay buffer (0.26 M Tris-HCl pH 7.4, 3.25 mM EGTA, 2.92 mM EDTA and 29.25 mM 2-mercaptoethanol, 1% Triton X-100) in 25 μl reactions and incubated for 15 min at 30 °C. The reaction was terminated by spotting 15 μl of the reaction mixture onto a P81 phosphocellulose paper disc (Whatman, Maidstone, UK), washed and processed for scintillation counting.

Statistical methods

Data were analyzed using Prism 8 software (GraphPad, version 8.4.1) and generally expressed as mean ± s.e.m. Statistical significance was determined using Student t test or one-way ANOVA when applicable. Analysis of the significance of drug treatments on tumor volume was assessed by two-way ANOVA. P values higher than 0.05 were not considered statistically significant. ***P ≤ 0.001, **P ≤ 0.01, and *P ≤ 0.05.

Statistical analysis of NMT1 and NMT2 expression: NMT1 and NMT2 mRNA expression data were extracted on March 26th 2020 from the Broad Institute CCLE database54 (https://portals.broadinstitute.org/ccle) and contained the mRNA expression data for 1269 cancer cell lines. The RNAseq TPM gene expression data (Expression Public 20Q1) were analyzed for protein coding genes using RSEM and are presented as Log2 transformed values using a pseudo-count of one (Supplementary Fig. 15).

Reporting summary

Further information on research design is available in the Nature Research Reporting Summary linked to this article.

Inside Bob Dylan’s Lost Interviews and Unseen Letters

On March 18th, 1971, Bob Dylan sat down in his Manhattan office, put his feet up on a table, strummed a guitar, and opened up like he rarely, if ever, had before. He was talking to his old friend Tony Glover, the first of four interviews they conducted that year. At various moments Dylan reacts to being booed at Newport in 1965 (“It was a strange night”), recalls writing “Subterranean Homesick Blues” (“story of a mad kid”), remarks on his craft (“My work is a moving thing”), and dismisses his honorary doctorate from Princeton (“a strange type of degree — you can’t really use it for anything”). Feeling unfairly dissected by dimwitted critics who milked his lyrics for autobiographical information, he fired back. “Do you think Johnny Cash shot a man in Reno?” he asked. “Or that Paul Simon would throw himself down over a troubled Hudson River and let somebody use him as a bridge?” The interviews totaled three and a half hours, and never saw the light of day — until now.

Speaking with Glover, Dylan’s jangled nervous energy of the previous decade had vanished: He was untroubled and erudite, willing to shed light on things he’d never fully explained before. Dylan felt comfortable with Glover, a blues harmonica player and musicologist from Dylan’s home state of Minnesota. Glover was one of the few people with whom Dylan regularly kept in touch once he left Minneapolis for New York. In the Newport Folk Festival program of 1963, Dylan wrote that Glover was “a friend to everything I am … who feels and thinks and walks and talks just like I do.”

In entrepreneurial mode, Glover hoped to use the interview transcripts — extensively annotated and revised in Dylan’s handwriting — for an article in Esquire. Nothing ever came of the project because Dylan eventually lost interest in it. The fiercely loyal Glover, who died in 2019, safeguarded the tapes and transcripts along with four letters and a treasure trove of other memorabilia he amassed from Dylan over the years. Beside the main interviews, there are six additional recordings of telephone calls between Dylan and Glover from 1969 to 1971.

On November 19th, RR Auction in Boston will sell this historic collection of Dylaniana on behalf of Glover’s widow, Cynthia. It makes for an extraordinary time machine, bringing readers inside the mind of Dylan in the wake of the counterculture Sixties, an era that, from the safe perch of 1971, Glover deemed “a very destructive, mind-, body-, and soul-destroying time.”

The Dylan-Glover friendship began around 1960, roughly the same time Dylan stopped attending classes at the University of Minnesota to play folk and blues music in Minneapolis clubs with Spider John Koerner, Dave Ray, and Glover. All three had consequential careers as musicians in the Twin Cities and beyond. Glover played blues harmonica with a complexity all his own, becoming an inspiration to Dylan, the Rolling Stones, and the Doors. “As far as harp playing went, I tended to keep it simple,” Dylan recalled in Chronicles about his days in Minneapolis’ Dinkytown. “I couldn’t play like Glover or anything, and didn’t try to. I played mostly like Woody Guthrie, and that was about it. Glover’s playing was known and talked about around town, but nobody commented on mine.”

Dylan was living in New York when Glover suggested the series of in-depth interviews. Only to Glover would he admit that listening to his mid-Sixties album masterpieces like Bringing It All Back Home and Highway 61 Revisited “spooked” him out. “You didn’t sing songs like that and live a normal life,” Dylan said. “In order to be that strong on one level, you have to be very weak in other ways.” Their resulting conversations — published here for the first time — are always upbeat and friendly. For the most part, Glover tried to maintain a chronological approach, starting with Dylan’s departure from Minneapolis in January 1961 to meet his idol Woody Guthrie in Greystone Park Hospital, in Morris Plains, New Jersey, and ending with the release of Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits Vol. II in 1971.

Glover knew the meeting with Guthrie was especially important to Dylan. In the first interview, Glover wondered if Dylan met other musicians in the hospital wanting to hang with Woody. “I didn’t see any musicians, I saw a lot of other men just sitting around,” Dylan recalled. “That’s the only place we could meet, in the lounge. There’d be, like, 50 or 60 guys sitting around in pajamas. There’d be like little card tables all over the place. … I can remember the smell at the place more than anything else.”

Imagining the scene, Glover suggested it must have been difficult talking one-on-one in the crowded hospital. “There really wasn’t much to say,” Dylan responded. “He wanted to hear his songs, and I would play ’em. I knew ’em all at that time. I must’ve known at least 75 of his songs. So there I was, any day I’d go out there, I’d never exhaust the repertoire, ever.” At one point, Guthrie suggested Dylan should visit his wife Marjorie in Howard Beach, Queens, to listen to some of his unrecorded songs. “I took the subway out to the end of the line — this was really out there,” Dylan recalled. “And after I got off the subway I walked through the swamp. This was in February, I think. Eventually I got up to the door — that was one long trip. I remember that more than I remember actually going to see Woody himself — because it was actually easy to get to see him. It wasn’t easy if you lived in California or the Midwest — but if you were right there, just anybody could walk in and meet him at the Morristown hospital. Between 2:30 and 5:00 any visitor could come. … Well, I came to New York to see him … I was dead set to meet him. And that’s what I did. Must’ve been three days in the city and I was out there. I was high on that feeling for a long time.”

bob dylan self portrait

Included in the Dylan memorabilia that Glover’s widow, Cynthia Nadler, is putting to auction November 19th are the tapes and transcripts — with Dylan’s handwritten revisions — of the four interviews conducted in 1971, as well as Dylan’s letters, including one from 1964 in which he wrote, “john lennon groovy also ringo.”

Nikki Brickett/RR Auction

Glover was curious how Dylan made it to New York on his first trip. “Hitchhiked out of St. Paul and wound up in Madison, Wisconsin,” Dylan responded. “Destiny just brought me there, I had no idea. It was just some stroke of luck. I got out of the car … and ran into some guitar players. After staying around there for a few days … I can’t recall. Think we got a ride from Madison all the way from two young New Yorkers.” As for fleeing Minnesota, Dylan felt it was the only sensible option. “I mean, I had to leave. The only other choice was to sell shirts, or work in the mines, or maybe to learn to fly an airplane. … I don’t think I wanted to be James Dean — but there was a period of time when I blocked out everybody else. No one else really meant anything as much as [Guthrie] did.”

There was a sense of tranquility and camaraderie in Dylan’s answers to Glover. It was as if he had gone down Niagara Falls in a barrel and was now in a safe harbor enjoying the sunshine. When the conversation moved toward musical figures like Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter, Howlin’ Wolf, and Ernie Freeman, Dylan glistened. Less so when the conversation turned to his own work. “I could never listen to my albums up to, oh, about 1969 — never could stand them. Hated them. I guess there’s good and bad in all that, you know? In feeling that way.”

Glover was a critic for Little Sandy Review, Sing Out!, Hullabaloo/Circus, and Rolling Stone, and Dylan enjoyed getting the scoop about what was going on in the music industry. His curiosity may have been due to his self-imposed remove. For example, he told Glover that he’d rather read the Police Gazette than Rolling Stone, which had trashed his double album Self Portrait and published a “non-interview” (presumably referring to a 1969 cover story in the magazine).

Dylan was still livid at Newsweek for publishing a nasty exposé piece in 1963, which challenged the authenticity of his hard-travelin’ stories. And he was outraged that Time had recently made his friend John Lennon “look, like, ridiculous” and “like a punk” in a snotty article. “They just really had it in for him, man,” he said with disgust. “They just cut him right down.” When Glover raised the question of why Lennon had said he didn’t believe in Zimmerman on the John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band song “God,” Dylan giggled. “That’s his problem, not mine.” Later, he offered, “Well, Lennon is into that shit, taking his pants off, you know? That’s where he’s at. His record is about the same kind of things as that — who gives a fuck, you know?”

A mischievous Glover recounted how foolish Lennon and Yoko Ono came off on The Dick Cavett Show, acting like they possessed LSD recipes for world peace. “I saw that too, man. I couldn’t believe it,” Dylan said, laughing. “I just felt like throwing something at the set when it was over, you know? I just went to bed and was pissed off.”

By contrast, when George Harrison came up, Dylan gushed with unadulterated praise. Not only had the ex-Beatle organized the Concert for Bangladesh at Madison Square Garden on August 1st, 1971 — with Dylan doing elegant versions of “Just Like a Woman” and “Mr. Tambourine Man” — but he also exuded tremendous integrity of purpose. “Oh, man, [George] was fantastic,” Dylan said. “I mean, just the fact that he did it — incredible.” Likewise the triple-disc Bangladesh LP, filled with original Harrison material from the concert, left Dylan flabbergasted. “He gets the sound,” he elaborated. “You put the record on, you’re just almost transformed. I mean, you’re just there. You just can’t get out of it once you put the needle down. … Really in his own right. He just pulled it together in some kind of cohesive sense, and he rides it, right on top of it, and he’s right there, all the time. Really, he was the only guy who did any talking — I didn’t say shit. He put on a suit, got up there, and said, ‘Quiet now, here’s Ravi and pay attention.’ … Lennon couldn’t have done it.”

Couching his questions with courtesies, Glover gingerly asked Dylan why he changed his last name from Zimmerman to Dylan, a touchy subject for any other interviewer. Perhaps, Glover intimated, he was worried that anti-Semitism would hinder his musical career. “Well, there is Jewish discrimination,” Dylan agreed. “A lot of people are under the impression that Jews are just bankers and merchants and watch salesmen. A lot of people think Jews have tails, or they’re gonna eat your daughters and that kind of thing. A lot of people think those things — and they’ll just have to be taught different.” The bottom line was that the “Dylan” moniker was chosen as a way to establish a dynamic showbiz identity. “It allowed me to step into the Guthrie role, with more character,”Dylan delineated. “And I wouldn’t have to be kept reminded of things I didn’t want to be reminded of at that time. I had to be free enough to learn the music, to be free enough to learn technique.”

Not quite satisfied, Glover asked the origins of the folk figure named Dylan. “The character which had to become named Dylan,” he responded, a bit annoyed. “I mean, it wouldn’t have worked if I’d changed the name to Bob Levy or Bob Johnston or Bob Doughnut. I mean, it wouldn’t have worked. There had to be something about it to carry it to that extra dimension.”

British musician George Harrison (1943 - 2001) (left) and American musician Bob Dylan performs on stage during the Concert For Bangla Desh at Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, August 1, 1971. Harrison organized the event as a benefit to the Bengali people left homeless by war. (Photo by Bill Ray/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images)

BOB AND THE BEATLE:<br />Harrison and Dylan at the Concert for Bangladesh<br />in 1971. In one of his interviews with Glover, Dylan gushed about the ex-Beatle: “He just pulled [the Bangladesh project] together in some kind of cohesive sense. . . . Lennon couldn’t have done that.”

Bill Ray/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Dylan noted that while his 1962 debut didn’t sell very well, he received fan mail from, as he recalled, “very odd places,” like “little towns in Idaho, or Michigan, Ohio, Louisiana, Florida — little places that you hadn’t ever heard of.” That positive feedback spurred him onward. Glover and Dylan both agreed it was the recording of
The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, with its hit “Blowin’ in the Wind,” that turned Dylan into the newest darling of the folk revival. Glover asked how he composed his signature song. “Every day I’d be writing songs — some I’d remember, some I wouldn’t,” Dylan recalled. “The general scene at that time was to consistently write as much as you could — almost to the point where if you were performing, you’d have a new song to perform that night. You were just writing all the time. Everyone around at that time was doing that. It was like machinery the way you turned out songs in those days. ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ just happened to be the lucky one, the one that stuck. But I probably wrote a song the night before that, and I probably wrote one or two the next day which haven’t been heard, which were probably in the same vein. To me it was just another song. It got singled out because a lot of performers were singing it.”

As if offering a tutorial, Dylan explained that the many-versed, surrealistic “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” was written to “exist on paper” with or without a tune. “That one was a breakthrough — it was a breakthrough because of the form,” Dylan said, insisting the doomsday lyric had nothing to do with the Cuban Missile Crisis. “That song really existed because of the new form — new to me at the time. That ‘da-da-da, da-da-da, da-da-da,’ on and on — that was like hypnotizing me. I could just hypnotize myself singing the thing. It just sort of freed me from having to sing all that rhyming stuff where I’d have to remember the rhymes, I had to remember the story, plus the intricate detail. That’s OK when you’re really doing it, but you get beyond it, to something else — I had a hard time remembering all that stuff. See, I did it to write it — the enjoyment for me was writing it — that’s what kept me going.”

Concerned for his own safety, Dylan told Glover a harrowing account of A.J. Weberman, a fake-journalist stalker, threatening his family and rifling through his trash to write sleazy articles about him. To Dylan, this was corroboration of how rotten some reporters were. “I know what was in the garbage, like, you can’t believe what the cat must have had to go through,” Dylan said. “Like, we got two kids still in Pampers, baby Pampers. Like the garbage is really filled up with that stuff, man, and it was really funky.” Dylan related that his bohemian friend David Blue — a Village folk musician and Elektra recording artist — warned him about nutjobs congregating all over Southern California, endlessly harassing rock musicians in confrontational ways. “There’s a big Jesus kick . … a lot of people on a tremendous Jesus kick, and they’ll just grab you in the streets,” Dylan warned Glover. “People like Joni Mitchell and Neil Young are really getting hit on a lot, and they just don’t know what to do about it. [Blue] told me about some guy that reached out for Neil. Neil wrote a song with the words ‘silver fiddle’ in it, and the guy showed up and he was the Silver Fiddle — and they couldn’t get rid of him. But, I mean, I can understand that shit, ’cause this happened to us for years. Up at Woodstock — that kind of nonsense.”

Dylan, known for bouts of prickly concealment, was willing to shed a light on the process of writing songs and, to a lesser degree, the impetus behind his lyrics. “The songs of John Wesley Harding were all written down as poems, and the tunes were found later,” Dylan explained. “On Nashville Skyline, just the opposite. The tunes existed first — so that would change things, ultimately. … If you were to isolate the words [of Nashville Skyline] for a minute, and just think of the sound of the voice, the sound of the music and the vocal — suppose you couldn’t understand English at all and you just heard the sound of it — the sound of it would be pretty much what the words are. You know, a lot of dreamy kind of stuff, nice, pleasant, soothing type of music, I’d imagine.”

Glover was curious as to just who weaponized Dylan’s rage when he wrote “Like a Rolling Stone.” Was it “chicks” or the establishment? “It’s just … you know, who are you mad at when you go into a store and ask for a screwdriver and you don’t get waited on for an hour, man,” he said, laughing. “Then you go to get something to eat and you look in your pudding and you see a puddle of shit. You go to a movie house, man, you walk down to your seat and step in some slime, then you sit in some slime. You walk outta that and go for a ride in your car, and it breaks down — who are you mad at? It’s not any kind of one person.”

bob dylan interview

These never-released chronicles, along with recorded phone conversations, exhibit a loose and candid Dylan touching on topics such as visiting Woody Guthrie, being booed at the Newport Folk Festival, songwriting, and the moon landing.

Nikki Brickett/RR Auction

Five months before the first interview with Glover, Dylan had released the album New Morning, which included the brilliant song “Sign on the Window,” which he explained was about the town of Le Sueur, on the Minnesota River, where migrant workers came to pick peas and corn for the Green Giant company. He went on to discuss other tidbits about his songwriting inspirations. “Lay Lady Lay” wasn’t written for the movie Midnight Cowboy, as was widely reported, but as a tune for Barbra Streisand. When Glover spun a theory that “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue” was about the demise of capitalism, Dylan nixed it. “Would you believe it if I told you that the song was written for David Blue?” At the inference that “Mr. Tambourine Man” had something to do with drugs, Dylan snapped “[that’s] nonsense and bullshit.” Was “Gates of Eden” about the Berlin Wall? “It was Eden in the mind, that’s what it was,” Dylan explained. When asked which of his songs he would put on a greatest-hits record, Dylan threw out “One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)” and “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat,” both from Blonde on Blonde. “That’s a great album, Blonde on Blonde,” Dylan said. “I hear that album every once in a while, and I know it just can’t be topped.”

When Glover asked Dylan if he thought Jack Kerouac was a “great writer,” Dylan corrected: “He was an entertaining writer; I don’t know if I’d call him great. He really didn’t keep you in any suspense. He didn’t really tell you a great story — he didn’t give you anything you would carry around with you for weeks — he didn’t change you. I remember reading On the Road years ago, and I re-read it recently — I don’t recall any great change. I read this story called The Slave, by Isaac Singer — I must have thought about that for months afterwards.”

As for Dylan’s novel Tarantula, which was released in 1971, Dylan thought it wasn’t “a well-written book at all, but it’s got a hell of a lot of energy.” While he admired Norman Mailer’s writing about the Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier heavyweight championship fight, he couldn’t stomach reading his coverage of Apollo 11 for Life. “I couldn’t get through the moon thing — it just didn’t ring a bell — but I love Mailer’s writing.” This led to a back-and-forth about space exploration.

“Does it mean anything to you that man has walked on the moon?” Glover asked.
“No, it really doesn’t,” Dylan answered. “All it means is that man can walk on the moon.”
“Nothing beyond that?” Glover pressed.
“What else could it mean?”
“Well, it’s supposed to be a stepping stone to Mars and Pluto—”
“So they can walk on Mars, so they can walk on Pluto?”
“Does it bother you that there’ll be hot dog stands on the moon?”
“It bothers me that they’re spending all that money on it.”

Glover, with carte blanche to get personal, asked Dylan about his notorious 1965 performance at the Newport Folk Festival, in which he was backed by an electric band — to the boos from a great many folk purists. Rumor had circulated that the disheartened Dylan cried backstage. “No, I wasn’t crying,” he said. “Pete Seeger was crying.” The sight of Seeger sulking in a car, in fact, with the windows rolled up, was seared in Dylan’s mind. “[People were] pounding on the windows — ‘Come out, Pete, come out, Pete!’ — he was just bawling. So I went back on solo and sang ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’ and ‘Baby Blue’ because that’s what they wanted to hear. They were just like little babies. They wanted to hear that, and that’s all they wanted to hear — so I went and sang it for them. At that time I just knew they were a bunch of fucks, and I just thought, ‘Oh, forget it!’ if that’s all they want you to do is sing ’em to sleep.”

Glover wondered whether that experience contributed to a newfound vitriol in the lyrics of Highway 61 Revisited, recorded during the same period. “The Newport thing — I don’t know, I’ve never really been what you’d call a professional entertainer,” Dylan offered. “For someone like Steve Lawrence or Robert Goulet, to go up in front of a large audience at Newport and get booed — that would be a considerable jolt to their career. But to me, it was just one of those things. My life was like that — booing didn’t matter, you know: up and down.”

Rock & roll memories flow through their conversations. On October 4th, 1971, Dylan took his wife Sara to see David Crosby and Graham Nash perform in Carnegie Hall. He was underwhelmed: Too much nostalgia, kitschy sap, and drugs for his taste. “The whole house was like the Fillmore. Carnegie Hall, people snorting coke in the aisles, everybody passing joints around … it was incredible.” The two-part harmony was too cute for his liking, and the appearance of Stephen Stills and Neil Young didn’t help. “They just sang this one song called ‘Helpless.’ And they just repeated this word over and over,” he said, laughing. “ ‘Helpless. Helpless. Helpless.’ And it really got to be a drag after a while, just hearing this word ‘Helpless.’ You just wanted to stand up and say, ‘What the fuck, man?’”

After the concert, Bob and Sara wandered out of Carnegie Hall and suffered the indignity of street-side vendors selling bootleg versions of his unreleased songs and live concerts. “Last night we were walking down Seventh Avenue, and on the corner was this cat hawking bootleg records, just ‘Bootleg records, bootleg records, get ’em here.’ Just hawking ’em right on the street,” Dylan fumed. “I saw one. There was one he had of mine called ‘Zimmerman.’ And I caught it just out of the corner of my eye going by, and uhhh … I was with my wife, and we went back and said, ‘Gimme that record.’ She grabbed the record from him and said, ‘Punk!’ — and we just took it, man, and split, just walked away with it.”

glover dylan interview

TKTK caption

Nikki Brickett/RR Auction

Just as intriguing as the taped interviews up for sale are four letters Dylan wrote to Glover between 1962 and 1964, with frank discussion of his early career and musical influences. In letters from 1962, he raves about seeing John Lee Hooker perform at Gerde’s Folk City (the site of Dylan’s first professional gig in 1961), and discusses writing a “new song called ‘The John Birch Paranoyd Blues.’” Letters to Glover from 1963 and 1964 document Dylan’s transformation from a Midwestern Woody Guthrie devotee to the composer of “Desolation Row,” offering vital information about early recording sessions, songwriting, guitar tunings, his relationship with Joan Baez, and the historic meeting with the Beatles. Two handwritten notes are also enclosed in one-quarter-inch-tape cases containing early mixes of 1971 recordings (including “I Shall Be Released” and “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”), which Dylan sent his old friend for feedback. The Glover archive is rounded out by one of Dylan’s copies of The Basement Tapes, on one-quarter-inch tape.

On January 20th, 1962, Dylan wrote to Glover after playing successful gigs in Greenwich Village. Full of pride, Dylan enthuses about learning his craft from blues icons John Lee Hooker and the Rev. Gary Davis. Comically, he notes that their mutual Minneapolis musician friend Dave Ray — the guitarist in the Koerner, Ray, and Glover trio, whose 1963 Blues, Rags, and Hollers album with Elektra was critically embraced — should move to the Village to study with these Delta blues masters:

Hey hey hey it’s me writing you a letter. Back now in that city and thinking of all that whistling harmonica music you are making back there in that dungeon hole gets me thinking and talking to my good girlfriend about the harp player I knowed — I looked high and wide and uptown and downtown for that book you wanted and I feel so bad, I can’t find it — will send it tho as soon as I get it. Seen ol Dave Ray and sorta introduced him around. We went one time to see John Lee Hooker paying his dues to the blues at Folky City. Ol Dave is doing & singing & playing better & better every day — Sometime I get the feeling that if it wasn’t for New York, I’d move here. … I was up in Schenectady last week playing and singing — I spent so much money that I went in the hole and had to play an extra nite just to get back to New York. Hope sometime to get an apartment so if you’re ever out this way drop by and my house is yours — it’s getting colder here now and the wind blows right thru to your bones — you’d think you were [in] a swamp land when you walk down the street or something. I’m a gonna take Dave Ray to see Gary Davis sometime soon — Dave then would automatically be 10 times better.

Dylan ends his letter by telling Glover to “say hello to that Mississippi River for me” and quotes Guthrie: “This world is yours, take it easy, but take it.” And he adds: “My girlfriend says that you don’t sign your full name to friends, so — Me, Bob.”

On February 16th, 1962, Dylan wrote Glover in “Minneapolice” on an envelope from the Normandie Hotel, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He was jazzed about his new satirical, protest talking-blues song “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues,” which was written from the point of view of a right-winger convinced that communists were infiltrating the United States.

A part of the long letter reads:

Work out a new tuning on the guitar you gotta hear it to believe it — Big Joe Williams start at Folk City next Tuesday for two weeks. So the Minor Flea or Bee or key or something like that somewhere huh? oh well what d’you want? — That’s U of M’land [University of Minnesota] out there and you can’t expect too much you know

There ain’t much work around here now I aint workin, I’m writing a lot and bummin’ around — This here place we got a couch in one room — I’d sure like to know when you’re a comin’

I’d sure like to know why that Mississippi didn’t say nothing — maybe cause she’s mad at them people for kickin’ [David] Whittaker outta that there keg place — Times aren’t too awful good anywhere right now — Rote a new song called ‘The John Birch Paranoyd Blues’

Dave Ray’s still working down the Gaslight hole — times aint too good down there neither

That’s all for now man, hurry write back and say when you’re a coming here — (Bring a piles load of money with you — fill yer trunk up — we can use for wood to burn when you get — wood’s expensive as hell nowadays — Blow inside out & upside down till then.

Dylan once again signs off with a Woody Guthrie quote (“Sometimes I feel like a piece of dirt walkin”).

American singer-songwriter, author, and visual artist Bob Dylan and American singer-songwriter and activist Mimi Farina (1945 - 2001) at the Viking Hotel Newport, Rhode Island, July 1964. (Photo by John Byrne Cooke Estate/Getty Images)

With Glover and Mimi Fariña in 1964. Dylan and Glover met in Minnesota circa 1960 and remained close friends for decades.

John Byrne Cooke Estate/Getty Images

Shortly before he released Freewheelin’, Dylan was set to perform “Talkin’ John Birch” on The Ed Sullivan Show, a decision initially OK’d by all involved. But on the day of the show, CBS lawyers demanded he abandon the song, in fear it would incite a defamation suit from the John Birch Society. Dylan refused to be censored and walked out.

A few weeks later, in May 1962, Dylan handed Glover an unpublished lyric he wrote to honor the gritty and flamboyant Delta bluesman Big Joe Williams, his new hero and mentor. Dylan and Glover had just visited Guthrie together at Brooklyn State Hospital. Williams was the self-proclaimed “King of the Nine-String Guitar,” who popularized the blues standards “Baby Please Don’t Go” and “Crawlin’ King Snake.” Dylan had recently played blues harmonica and sang on an album with Williams, recorded in Brooklyn. The lyrics, given to Glover, read:

“My eyes are cracked I think I been framed/I can’t seem to remember the sound of my name/What did he teach you I heard someone shout/Did he teach you to wheel & wind yourself out/Did he teach you to reveal, respect, and repent the blues/No Jack he taught me how to sleep in my shoes.”

The lid of creativity blew off Dylan’s hinges in a letter dated December 6th, 1963, two weeks after John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. Channeling French symbolist poet Arthur Rimbaud and leading Dada figure Tristan Tzara, Dylan’s words soared in first-thought best-thought freedom, literary abstractions, and playful and down-home Midwest charm:

hey man that surprised me yes/I am rum runnin an ease droppin my route/an tryin not t get surprised an shook up when/the door slams. big door. out of Edgar allen poe sometimes …/yeah I guess I could say I needed a harp player/but I’d be lyin/an misguidin I wish I did …/I honestly wish I did … but I dont play blues on my guitar/I don’t play southern mt stuff either now/My guitar strings have escaped my eyesight …/they remain with me now as a friend/a flashin dashin friend who stands in front a me/makin me look better …/an its getting so now that I’m growin not t need/it … an soon I expect I will shout my words/with out it. for it’s colors are wearin off on/me an soon I myself will vanish into the sound/hole … an all that will be going down will be/stark naked undressed obscene flesh colored/songs … yes maybe lunatic … ha/you ask about harps/I cant even understand how my own harp fits into/me … it has the fuckin job of tryin t meet me/hard hard … oh pity my own poor harp/I am a writer of words I am honest/I do not mean t harm nothin an nobody save that/that runs against the boards of nature/its a big nature … sometimes a circus nature/an other times a courtroom nature/but above all it is my nature/an I own stock in it/as much as anybody/an I will defend my clown courthouse/with the eyes of a lawyer/dont got enuff bread this month/last month gave too much money t scc or as you’d say/sncc … or as winny churchhill snick …/find myself owin the government/money I dont have/gotta pay it nex month/I don’t know whn I can get that kind of bread/but for christs sake I should be able t shouldn’t I?/Maybe February …/goin up t woodstock t finish my book/at last look my man was lookin over new york/from the empire state … seein strange fish in the hudson river an thinkin of england …/he’s got some ways t go yet yes. ha/sue says I should get a new warmer coat/I shake my head an bring her spare ribs …/she gets discusted an walks away in a flurry silent flurry …/but me?/shit man I run an grab her/an promise t get a warmer coat …/sue laughs an I laugh/an nite falls …/take it easy man/dick farina’s mimi got out a the hospital/richard’s hip/he dont pay nothin/‘look man i’m ppor i aint payin’/he dont even think about it/‘I want an investigation a them doctors/I dont remember that one there that charged/me this price here’/an nite fallsthere too a brown pacific nite an we ride in the mornin …

Dylan spent much of August 1964 at manager Albert Grossman’s Woodstock retreat with Joan Baez, and guests like Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky. “Most of the month or so we were there, Bob stood at the typewriter in the corner, drinking red wine and smoking and tapping away relentlessly for hours,” Baez recalled. “In the dead of night, he’d wake up, grunt, grab a cigarette, and stumble over to the typewriter again.”

At the end of the month, Dylan left for Manhattan, where he met the Beatles at the Delmonico Hotel. “john lennon groovy also ringo,” he wrote Glover not long after. This was the legendary encounter where Dylan introduced the Beatles to marijuana. “I don’t remember much what we talked about,” Lennon recalled of their first encounter. “We were smoking dope, drinking wine, and generally being rock ‘n’ rollers and having a laugh, you know, and surrealism. It was party time.”

Soon after, Dylan wrote Glover a fast-paced and lyrical letter that mirrored his songwriting process. The clang of typewriter keys is all but audible as one reads Dylan’s warmhearted callouts to Marvin Gaye, Manfred Mann, Dionne Warwick, Ichabod Crane, Greta Garbo, and others, which runneth over with colorful word riddles and poetic jive. As was Dylan’s way, he chopped off the ends of words, as his girlfriend Suze Rotolo put in A Freewheelin’ Time, “like a hiker hacking a path through the woods, machete in hand.”

received letter bearsville post market/walk up road read you write better now — should be snow here soon. me i ramble concert high ho cold face always an always return there — everythings fine/am writing green songs an tieing play words togeter … I am outside an somewhat free/long for nothing. john lennon groovy also ringo. holy household here something out of fictitious gandi novel/fire very warm we are out in woods. nobody seems t think they have any enemys neither/me victor too, David. — i dont think you’ve met david we play pool in kingston/lots of strange towns round here very ancient/old stone buildings — rip van winkle icabod crane demon horseback people/abandoned hotels within twenty mountain mile radius like out of last year at marianbad/greta garbo hangouts Grand hotel you know what i mean? boarding house air. vagabondcanadian hitchhike boy wonder poetsperhaps can imagine many different sorts living hiden away winding up an down nameless mountains all very devely … mystic country no smell of any city anyway i bum around up here. live here not but alway come back t groovy silent house. I write by candlelight. hardly never during day/bob dylan he plays makes bread facing kind fond people menace in their bathtubs/they call him names an pay outrageously just t see what he looks like … bob dylan he laughs/it is all a joke see me in sky. the sky is on fire. gotta listen hard t hear the giggles. once done tho it is thee only way/dig marvin gaye. gas station dudes. deonne warwick. drive in movies. cold cream ads. dig eye patched forest ranger wear short pants he talks too? see texas bronc buster break mexican vergin. worse then that i pet semantha the cat wonder how come i used t dig woody guthrie so much oh my gawd/met manfred mann in england/have you heard a song they sing called sha la la? It is fucking beautiful. hope dave ray becomes that doctor. will have some connection at leat least in wooly yonder midwest/you got telephone? yes youre right about hipsty people … stay away from all those who talk about burning down the suberbs/they will burn you next … most of them can be detected by when they try t give little boys hot foots/also they casually drop into square hangouts an tilt pin ball machines/they court pill head colored girls quite regularly. glad t see youre taking your time now/gotta go … noose is waiting joan baez is hot an bothered. type writer turns her on. door bells ringing must be the prospectors/anyhow be brave an watch for the tambourine man/ write you later.

Prior to signing his name in bold black felt tip, Dylan typed an amusing flourish of symbols and numbers before adding “an kisses.”

Glover and Dylan remained close for decades. Journalists turned to Glover as an authority on Dylan and his years in the Twin Cities. When Dylan played the Orpheum Theater in Minneapolis in September 1992, Glover performed in his touring band. In 1998, Glover was enlisted to write the liner notes for his collection Bootleg Series, Vol. 4 Bob Dylan Live 1966, “The Royal Albert Hall” Concert.

Dylan also made a confession about his 1966 motorcycle accident. The event has been shrouded in Dylanesque mystery, yet with Glover he was emphatic that the crash saved his life. “I had done stuff for so long, I was moving for so long, moving so fast for so long — that it took years to get out of my system,” Dylan explained. “It wasn’t like, ‘Man, I had been on a binge since ’62 or ’63.’ Before that even, before that. I had been on a binge my whole life, you could say. My whole life had been one big, long binge.”

A binge of what, Glover wondered, nonstop travel or drug overdose or depleted constitution? “Forgetfulness,” Dylan continued, explaining his outlook, “forgetting everything, wiping all out, man. Keeping it all over there and just going straight ahead.Don’t look back. Doing who knows what? You know what amazes me? On this whole thing? We listen to radio nowadays — and there’s so much music that was influenced by me. Most of it, you know, even the Beatles, now that they’re — hey, I’m not bragging when I say this, or nothing like that. But for a cat to actually say, ‘Well, I changed popular music’ [laughs], man, what a hell of a statement is that? I can actually say that, man, and it blows my mind.All these people are just doing, in one kind of phase, what Bob Dylan was doing back in those days, you know?”

Glover wondered if his old compadre felt a sense of pride for changing music history. “Yeah, really do, really do feel a sense of prideon one level. On another level, no, it’s nothing at all — of course not.”

Douglas Brinkley is the Katherine Tsanoff Brown Chair in Humanities and a professor of history at Rice University, a CNN historian, and the author of Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America.

 

New this week: David Byrne, The Amazing Race & Tommy Lee

Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV streaming services and music platforms this week.

— Broadway is dark and most concert tours have been abandoned, but you can still feel the thrill of being inside a packed house in “ David Byrne’s American Utopia.” Spike Lee’s concert film of Byrne’s acclaimed stage show debuts Saturday at 8 p.m. on HBO and HBO Max, and it may be one of the best films of the year. Lee’s energetic direction combined with Byrne’s exuberant staging of Talking Heads classics and other songs makes for a concert film that stands on par with Jonathan Demme’s Talking Heads classic “Stop Making Sense.”

— The timing of Aaron Sorkin s “The Trial of the Chicago 7” is remarkably good for a film set in 1969 and 1970. Sorkin’s drama, debuting Friday on Netflix after a brief run in theaters, is first and foremost a portrait of protest, in all its messiness, idealism and potential. Made with a starry ensemble including Mark Rylance, Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne and Michael Keaton, the film dramatizes — with Sorkin’s characteristic snappy dialogue and sweeping theatricality — the events surrounding the trial of anti-war activists who were charged with conspiracy to incite a riot during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. In the seminal stand-off between counterculture and government, Sorkin (who wrote and directed) crafts a timely paean to dissent.

— Gretchen Sorin and Ric Burns’ “Driving While Black: Race, Space and Mobility in America” was, unfortunately, always going to be of the moment. The documentary, airing 9 p.m. Tuesday on PBS and streaming on PBS platforms, chronicles the experience of African Americans on the road beginning with the advent of the automobile. But is also stretches further back and forward to consider all forms of racist restrictions of movement for Black Americans, spanning Jim Crow-era laws to ’60s bus boycotts to contemporary policing. Says historian Christopher West in the film: “I think it’s really, really tough for the majority of Americans to begin to even understand the gut-wrenching horror that is driving in a racist society.”

— AP Film Writer Jake Coyle

— Kelly Clarkson is returning to host this year’s Billboard Music Awards which will air live on NBC on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET. Some of the performances will be live at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, while others were previously recorded. BTS, Post Malone, Bad Bunny, Sia, Alicia Keys, Luke Combs, Doja Cat, Kane Brown and Demi Lovato will hit the stage, where country music icon Garth Brooks and rapper-activist Killer Mike will receive special honors.

— Rocker Tommy Lee is in a collaborative state of mind on his new album, “Andro,” out Friday. The 14-track album, his first solo release in 15 years, includes guest appearances from multi-platinum hitmaker Post Malone, Josh Todd of Buckcherry, South African rapper Push Push, Canadian rocker Lukas Rossi, West Coast rapper Brooke Candy, singer-songwriter King Elle Noir and rapper Killvein, among others. The album also finds the Mötley Crüe veteran covering Prince’s “When You Were Mine.”

— AP Music Editor Mesfin Fekadu

— CBS’ “The Amazing Race,” with its especially welcome promise of armchair adventure, returns 9 p.m. EDT Wednesday. Eleven teams, including former NFL players DeAngelo Williams and Gary Barnidge and paired Olympians Kellie Wells-Brinkley and LaVonne Idlette, dash from locations in France, Germany, Kazakhstan, Brazil and elsewhere in the quest for bragging rights and a $1 million prize. The 32nd edition of the contest, taped before the coronavirus outbreak, pushed the series to the milestone of 1 million miles of worldwide travel.

— While many of us were making sourdough bread and, if we felt truly creative, posting pet videos, Hilary Weisman Graham (“Orange Is the New Black”) created “Social Distance” to illuminate our response to pandemic isolation. The Netflix anthology series, consisting of eight, 20-minute episodes, dramatizes the early days of the coronavirus quarantine, including our reliance on technology to maintain a version of emotional connection. Oscar Nunez (“The Office”), Asante Blackk (“This Is Us”) and Ali Ahn (“Orange Is the New Black”) are among the actors in the series out Thursday.

— Ready for a winter chill? Sundance Now’s true crime drama “Des” stars David Tennant (“Doctor Who”) as Dennis Nilsen, a serial killer who targeted young men, including the homeless. When he was arrested, Nilsen freely claimed responsibility for a shocking number of murders but couldn’t name his victims. Lacking forensic evidence, police began a daunting effort to identify the victims of the innocuous-looking British civil servant (who died in 2018 while serving a life sentence). The three-part “Des,” debuting Thursday on the streaming service, was a recent U.K. TV hit and drew raves for Tennant’s performance.

— AP Television Writer Lynn Elber

Catch up on AP’s entertainment coverage here: https://apnews.com/apf-entertainment.

Falklands flagship sets sail to be scrapped

To say the HMS Hermes had a difficult start to life would be understating the fact – construction on the aircraft carrier, initially dubbed HMS Elephant, began in 1944 during World War Two, but conflict ended before she had been completed. 

Her hull then sat in the dockyard in Barrow-in-Furness until 1953, when it was launched simply to get it out of the way so that other ships could be constructed.

Construction of the Hermes was not completed until 1957, and she didn’t enter active service until 1959, a full 15 years after work first began.

Construction began on the Hermes - right - during the Second World War when she was known as the HMS Elephant, stalled until 1952, was not finished until 1957, and she did not enter active service until 1959

Construction began on the Hermes - right - during the Second World War when she was known as the HMS Elephant, stalled until 1952, was not finished until 1957, and she did not enter active service until 1959

Construction began on the Hermes – right – during the Second World War when she was known as the HMS Elephant, stalled until 1952, was not finished until 1957, and she did not enter active service until 1959

In 1966 a review concluded that the Hermes was surplus to Royal Navy requirements, and a plan was concocted to sell her off to Australia. But after watching her during sea trials, the country concluded she would be too expensive, and passed.

Between the 1960s and 70s she was refitted twice, first to make her a Marine transport craft and second to make her an anti-submarine vessel, before a defence review in 1981 concluded she was – once again – surplus to requirements.

The plan was to scrap the Hermes, but then Argentina suddenly invaded the Falkland Islands in 1982, and plans were rapidly changed.

Instead of heading for the scrapheap, the Grand Old Lady – as she became affectionately known – was ordered to sail to the south Atlantic as the flagship of British forces and retake the islands.

Setting off three days after the Argentine invasion began with 12 Harriers and 18 Sea King helicopters on board, she was resupplied en route, and by the time she arrived had 16 Harriers, ten Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR3s, and a reduced complement of ten Sea Kings.

Almost sold to the Australians in the 1960s, the Hermes was due to be scrapped in 1981 until the outbreak of war with Argentina saw her become the flagship of Royal Naval forces (picture,d her crew sunbathe as they sail to the south Atlantic)

Almost sold to the Australians in the 1960s, the Hermes was due to be scrapped in 1981 until the outbreak of war with Argentina saw her become the flagship of Royal Naval forces (picture,d her crew sunbathe as they sail to the south Atlantic)

Almost sold to the Australians in the 1960s, the Hermes was due to be scrapped in 1981 until the outbreak of war with Argentina saw her become the flagship of Royal Naval forces (picture,d her crew sunbathe as they sail to the south Atlantic)

Considered too large and too valuable to risk in close-in operations with Argentinian forces, the Hermes played a support and supply role, using her Harriers at the furthest extent of their range to defend British ships against attacking aircraft.

The Hermes was also used to carry vital supplies supporting those fighting further forward, and to receive wounded heading backwards from the frontlines.

During the conflict she became a household name, featuring on a famous Newsweek magazine cover alongside the caption ‘The Empire Strikes Back’.

Returning to Portsmouth after the war ended, Hermes was given a hero’s welcome – surrounded by a flotilla of smaller vessels and watched from the dock by hundreds of spectators.

Shortly afterwards another plan was hatched to sell her to Australia, but it was again dropped. Instead, the Hermes remained with the Royal Navy until 1984 when she was taken out of service and left floating at Portsmouth.

Two years later, the Indian navy inquired about buying her – so she was towed to Devonport Dockyard to be retrofitted before being sold off the following year.

She then spent another three decades in service in the Indian navy – though never saw active combat again – before being decommissioned in 2017, at which time she was the oldest serving warship in the world.

Held at port in Mumbai since the, she has now been sold off for scrap and will be taken to Alang where she will likely be turned into motorcycles.