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Kinky Friedman on Louis Kemp’s new Bob Dylan book, Alec Baldwin on Dylan’s gym

"The Loneliest Man I Ever Met" - Kinky Friedman's latest album (Used with permission by Avenue A Records)

Friedman on SiriusXM’s Beatles’ channel, Baldwin on Howard Stern, reveal new information about Bob Dylan

If you’ve been listening to SiriusXM lately, you may have heard some interesting news about Bob Dylan. On the satellite station’s Fab Fourum program, broadcast on The Beatles Channel (18), Texas singer-songwriter, mystery novelist, and gubernatorial candidate Richard “Kinky” Friedman, a.k.a. “The Texas Jewboy,” updated listeners on the long awaited memoir by Dylan’s childhood friend, Louis Kemp. Over on “The Howard Stern Show,” actor Alec Baldwin described a visit to a gymnasium reportedly owned by Dylan.

Kinky Friedman on the “Fab Fourum”

Kinky Friedman was interviewed regarding his thoughts about, and collaborations with, The Beatles. The strongest connection Friedman had was with Ringo Starr, whom he met during the second leg of Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue in 1976. Soon afterwards, Friedman enlisted the former Beatles’ drummer to recite a partially improvised speaking part, as Jesus, in the song, “Men’s Room, L.A.” The track was released on Friedman’s album, Lasso From El Paso, which also featured a version of Friedman’s “Sold American,” recorded live in Fort Collins, Colorado, during the same Rolling Thunder show featured in the TV special, Hard Rain.

Friedman is helping Louis Kemp write The Adventures of Bobby and Louie, a memoir about his childhood friend and future Nobel Laureate, Bobby Zimmerman. In addition to knowing Dylan from a young age, Kemp, among his many accomplishments, also owned Kemp Fisheries, was co-road manager of the Rolling Thunder Revue tours, and supplied the salmon at The Band’s Last Waltz in 1976. He also lived with Dylan for a few years in the mid-1980s. Kemp has already shared a story about attending a Passover seder with Marlon Brando and Dylan, where the singer-songwriter performed an impromptu, solo version of “Blowin’ in the Wind.”

Near the end of the interview on the Fab Fourum, mostly conducted by journalist and co-host Bill Flanagan, Friedman said, somewhat sarcastically, “There’s a book that we are wrapping up now, on Bob Dylan .... I’ve concluded that what the world really needs is another book about Bob Dylan.” He went on the clarify that “this one is not a biography. It’s written by Louie Kemp, with Kinky Friedman, kinda like that. And Louie was Bob’s childhood toboggan companion, met him when they were ten years old at Jewish summer camp (Camp Herzel), and from that time on, Louie had, for 55 years, an all access pass to Bob’s life. And this book has stories in it that you won’t believe ... This is not a tell-all type of thing at all.”

At this point, Flanagan interjected, “It sounds like a book Bob would not want to have out!” Friedman dryly countered, “Well, here’s what I have to say to that. Bob hasn’t read it yet, because nobody has, because we’re just finishing it up. But, what I say is, if Bob likes it, that’s good, you know, and if Bob doesn’t like it, that’s better! But I think he’s gonna like it.” Flanagan added, “We hope he likes it!”

Friedman’s final words about the book were, “There are 200 biographies of Bob, maybe more than that, and nobody has this. That’s because Louie was the only other guy there. So it’s called The Adventures of Bobby and Louie, and it’s very much painting a very different portrait of Bob than I think has been seen, and it’s kind of like a Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn (story), I guess. Y’know, it’s mischievous, and it’s been a joy to write, and it’s all non-fiction. Louie’s not making anything up here. It will be out on Random House in the next four to six months, maybe something like that.”

Alec Baldwin on “The Howard Stern Show”

During Alec Baldwin’s nearly two hour interview on The Howard Stern Show, Stern brought up watching Baldwin’ spar with Garry Shandling, who died in 2016, on TV. Baldwin talked a bit about visiting Dylan’s gym for the bit.

“He was funny,” Baldwin said of Shandling. “He said, ‘Come do this thing with me, and I don’t want it to be a DVD bonus and just talk with you.’ So the gym we went to, if I was told correctly, Bob Dylan owns the gym! … And there’s a synagogue … in Santa Monica, and next to it is a little, nondescript building, and there’s parking for the synagogue. You park, and you go into a room, and there’s a guy at a desk, and there are some kind of weird, anomalous music posters, and you go into this kind of anteroom, and there’s a couch and everything, and you make a left turn, and you walk into a full gym with a boxing ring that Dylan owns, and lets his friends use it.”

When Stern asked, “Does Dylan box?” Baldwin replied, “How the hell do I know?” (Dylan is a big boxing fan, and has been known to box to keep in shape.)

Baldwin’s interview is archived on the SiriusXM app.