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Judson, Horace

Ballad Of A Thin Man /  Highway 61 Revisited / 1965

Because something is happening here
And you don't know what it is, do you, Mister Jones

Subject: Horace Judson (aka Mr. Jones from DLB) Was My Prof! From: Michael Justin Kahn ( Date: 17 Oct 1998 11:19:39 -0700 Last week I was looking through my copy of Heylin's Behind the Shades and noticed a familiar name, Horace Judson, the Time reporter who Dylan attacks in Don't Look Back, also a prime suspect for the inspiration for Mr. Jones. Horace Judson just happened to be the name of a professor I had here at George Washington University for a class called Darwin and Darwinism. I popped in my copy of Don't Look Back, and sure enough there was my prof, 30 years younger, sitting back and taking Bob's drug induced attacks. Well, being the curious Bobfan that I am, and also recalling that I recieved an A in his class (I guess he liked my looks) I decided to confront Mr. Jones. I showed up at his office, He smiled when he saw me coming, and he said 'well, well, well.' anyway, he remembered me from class, and after breaking the ice with some chit chat I decided to pop the question by saying "So, I just watched Don't Look Back for the first time in a while..." He gave me a knowing smile and said that every once in a while someone approaches him about that. He told me that just a few weeks ago someone who is writing a book on Bob asked him to tell his side of the story and he did in a letter, although he did not recall the name of the author. He explained that in 1965 he had just gotten a job with Time and was working his way up the ladder when the opprtunity to cover the music scene in London popped up, he wasn't a fan of rock music, nor is he now, but he figured that it would be a good opportunity to move up to editor status if he put in his time, plus since he was a good interviewer and was not familar with the music scene he could ask questions that would provide information for the curious Time reader. He started out interviewing groups like the Beatles and the Stones. During an interview with the Beatles on the set of one of their films he shocked everyone by his ability to get strait answers out of them. Dylan was next. He met with Bob backstage before on of the Albert Hall shows and sat down to do the interview. The inteview lasted about 30 minutes and was fairly normal, at least as normal as a 1965 Dylan interview could be, until Bob just went nuts and started yelling at him. He just sat there befuddled, he didn't know what to do...he said he wasn't angry, just surprised. Afterwards he was disapointed that Pennebaker decided to only use the last 10 minutes of the interview. He has no doubt in his mind that Grossman and Pennebaker instructed Bob to conduct himself in that way to spice up the film. After he told me his story I asked him if he ever heard the song Ballad of a Thin Man and he said he hadn't, he seemed amused that Bob may have written a song about him. Anyway, the perception of Judson that has been portrayed is a bit inaccurate. I was reading some of the old posts in the archive that present him as a 'mean old bastard.' He was simply a young reporter trying to do his job and an imature, strung out Dylan wanted to make that difficult. Judson didn't give a shit about what Dylan was BSing about, he was just doing his best to try to interview the guy who he was assigned to interview, he was hardly some representative of the establishment trying to bring down the counter culture revolution. He also never interviewed Hitler or Churchill, as one post claimed. He is currently the chair of the department of History of Science here at George Washington University, he also writes on biology and genetics for many major magazines, such as Time and The Economist. I not sure if he's been through all of F. Scott Fitzgerald's books. Well, there's my brush with Dylan Lore for this week.

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