Thursday, April 27, 2006

Dylan on XM

Xm Satellite Radio recently announced they have signed up Bob Dylan, who will be hosting a one hour weekly radio show starting next week on May 3rd. Dylan will play his own selections of music, based around a weekly theme, and will relate stories and anecdotes as well as answer listener emails.

That's a pretty big coup for XM. It's also a strange, but exciting new direction for Bob Dylan, and it sounds like it would be fascinating listening. According to a Reuters article, in a preview of the first show, in which the theme is 'the weather', Dylan plays and chats about tracks ranging from 'Blow, Wind, Blow' by Muddy Waters to 'I Don't Care if the Sun Don't Shine' by Dean Martin to and 'The Wind Cries Mary' by Jimi Hendrix.

Future themes will include cars, dance, police and whiskey.

Also of interest is the story behind how XM landed Bob Dylan, told by Lee Abrams on his blog. What comes through in Lee's blog is how passionate he is about both Bob Dylan and music in general. It's refreshing to hear him talk about how he's not sure that everyone at XM 'got it' with the Dylan thing, and how "... Bob is not a typical content deal that takes money and a good PowerPoint. This is engaging BOB DYLAN to do something that you’d never think he’d do ...". Dylan's business manager tells Abrams, "... You know Bob is not a 'CEO' kind of guy ..." when it is suggested by XM that their CEO chat with Dylan.

Here's an exec that gets it. There's no business speak here about marketing, return on investment or any other bland terms, but rather an honest, passionate account of how he convinced one of the world's most innovative and reclusive artists to do something new and exciting.

Being in Australia, I'm going to have to subscribe to XM Radio Online to hear this. Is there a better way for non US residents listen to satellite radio? If you know of one, please let me know.

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