Category Archives: Blog

I never talked to Bob Dylan

One of the most significant cultural events of 2016 was the nomination of Bob Dylan as the Nobel prize winner for literature, and the subsequent award ceremony in the Stockholm Concert Hall, where Patti Smith sang Dylan’s “A hard rain’s a-gonna fall”. Her struggle with getting through the song is captured beautifully by American rock critic Amanda Petrusich in an article in The New Yorker, and Patti Smith has also commented movingly on the evening in an article in the same magazine.

40 years earlier, Patti Smith also performed in the Stockholm Concert Hall. I was there for the encore only. But I did get to meet Patti Smith, and what happened that evening could maybe be of interest in relation to what happened this year. I wrote a short article about this for the Swedish daily newspaper Sydsvenskan, which was published a couple of days after the prize ceremony. It can be found in Swedish here. Below is an English translation of it.

I never talked to Bob Dylan

1976. Patti Smith is about to play the Stockholm Concert Hall for the first time ever. Together with a close friend, I go there by train from Gothenburg. But there is an accident on the way and we arrive only in time for the encore.

Disaster. In a last desperate attempt to still get something out of our journey, we move to the back of the Concert Hall. We catch a glimpse of Patti Smith getting into a car. Naively, we hail a taxi, and get to say “follow that car”. The trip ends outside a hotel. We sneak in, take the elevator to the top floor and take the stairs down. On one floor, a number of hotels doors are open. We glance into the biggest room and we see Patti. We walk up to her and start telling her about our escapade, and why we are there. She listens intently and seems to understand our joy in finding her. Her comment indicates her identification with us at that precise moment: “I never talked to Bob Dylan”.

A couple of months later, a bootleg is released from the Stockholm concert. Swedish public service television has recorded the concert, and some one has gotten hold of the sound tape. My friend is involved in the production of the bootleg, and has the final say on the name of it. With its superior sound quality, ”I never talked to Bob Dylan” becomes the arguably most talked about Patti Smith bootleg ever. Few people understand where the name comes from.

patti-framsida  patti-baksida

40 years later, Patti Smith returns to the Concert Hall, this time in honour of Bob Dylan getting the Nobel prize in literature. She sings Dylan’s haunting “A hard rain’s a-gonna fall”. The song is written in 1962 during a period of nuclear war threat, but is based on a more than 200 year old folk ballad. It is both contemporary and timeless. Two minutes into the performance, she gets lost. She is nervous, but takes up the song again, sounding more and more powerful for every verse. It is a celebration of Dylan, but it also places him in a historical tradition. And it confirms her place there, next to him.

Sydsvenskan, December 12, 2016

 

Patti Smith’s 1976 Stockholm concert:

Patti Smith’s 2016 performance:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 from 80s

For one week, I was in charge of the Facebook group “7 from 80s”. Started by sociology professor Ellis Cashmore, the idea is to post one favourite 80s song a week, and shortly discussing why that particular song was chosen. This was my week. Thank you pal Raiford Guins for inviting me to the group.Read more…

Short interview with me about the online masters programme

Here is a short interview made with me about the online masters programme in Media and Communication Studies. It was originally posted on our Facebook page with the following text: Meet the professors! Bo Reimer, Professor Together with Michael Krona Bo built the program as an online and campus based masters program. He has doneRead more…

An online master in media and communication studies: reflections after one term

In the fall we started our new master’s programme in Media and Communication Studies at the School of Arts and Communication. We have had an undergraduate programme since 1998,and a PhD programme since 2010. Given that, adding a master’s programme was a logical thing to do. However, it was not inevitable which focus it shouldRead more…

Medea reboots with me returning as Director

In January 2009, with me as director, Medea Collaborative Media Initiative was launched as a research center at Malmö University. Focusing on collaborative media, design for social innovation, and collaborative cultural production, during the years we have published three books with The MIT Press (Design Things in 2011, Collaborative Media in 2013, and Making FuturesRead more…

We wuz robbed! Sweden’s national team for writers lose to England in controversial game

Since 2005, the Swedish Authors Football Team, a team consisting of fiction writers, poets and some academics, have played games against similar teams from England, Germany, Italy, Norway, Denmark and other countries. Games have also been played against the Swedish Doctors Football Team, for instance. There is a cultural aspect to these games: The matchesRead more…

My talk at Rutgers University

In November, I was kindly invited by Ingrid Ericksson at Rutgers University to give a talk on Collaborative Media and the role of the Collaborative Media Researcher. That talk is now online.

Review of Collaborative Media book forthcoming in Media, Culture & Society Journal

Our book Collaborative Media will be reviewed in a forthcoming issue of the journal Media, Culture & Society. The book has been reviewed by Ana-Maria Herman, Goldsmiths University, and the review is now available as Online First for those who can access the journal online. The review is thorough, going through all the parts of theRead more…

New Master in Media and Communication Studies: Culture, Collaborative Media, Creative Industries

Next fall we will start a new Master’s programme in Media and Communication Studies at The School of Arts and Communication at Malmö University, It will be in English and it will be web based, which means that you can take part in the programme even if you do not live in the Malmö region.Read more…

Confusion! Who You Gonna Trust?

  The Brooklyn record label Daptone are bringing their Super Soul Revue to the Apollo in Harlem for three nights. This includes Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, and Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens. The events are recorded for a forthcoming live album, following the tradition from James Brown andRead more…