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  • Bob Dylan doesn’t like the way technology has impacted music.
  • Bob Dylan said technology is like magic.
  • He has a similar attitude toward modern television.
Bob Dylan wears a cowboy hat and stands with a guitar.
Bob Dylan | Harry Scott/Redferns

Bob Dylan stunned his audiences by going electric in the 1960s, but these days he’s worried about the impact modern technology is having on the world. Dylan has bemoaned the impact streaming services have had on the quality of music on multiple occasions, but he has also said that technology in general might bring about the end of civilization.

Bob Dylan has complained about the impact of modern technology on music

Dylan’s music is available on streaming platforms, but he generally thinks the services have been detrimental to the music industry.

“Streaming has made music: too smooth and painless. Everything’s too easy,” he told The Wall Street Journal in 2022. “Just one stroke of the ring finger, middle finger, one little click, that’s all it takes. We’ve dropped the coin right into the slot. We’re pill poppers, cube heads, and day trippers, hanging in, hanging out, gobbling blue devils, black mollies, anything we can get our hands on. Not to mention the nose candy and ganga grass. It’s all too easy, too democratic. You need a solar X-ray detector just to find somebody’s heart, see if they still have one.”

A black and white picture of Bob Dylan holding a guitar and standing in front of a microphone.
Bob Dylan | Val Wilmer/Redferns

Dylan said he prefers listening to music on record players, the older, the better.

“I do love the sound of old vinyl, especially on a tube record player from back in the day,” he said. “I bought three in an antique store in Oregon about 30 years ago. The tone quality is so powerful and miraculous, has so much depth. It always takes me back to the days when life was different and unpredictable.”

Bob Dylan said technology is like magic

When considering technology’s impact on the world in general, Dylan doesn’t think it’s all bad.

“Technology is like: sorcery,” he said. “It’s a magic show, conjures up spirits, it is an extension of our body, like the wheel is an extension of our foot.”

Still, he believes that technology has the potential to bring about the end of civilization as we know it.

“It might be the final nail driven into the coffin of civilization; we just don’t know,” he said. “Nikola Tesla, the great inventor, said that he could take down the Brooklyn Bridge with a small vibrator. Today, we can probably do the same thing with a pocket computer. Log in, log out, load and download; we’re all wired up.”

He also doesn’t watch much modern television

According to Dylan, he doesn’t consume much modern media, either. 

“I recently binged: Coronation StreetFather Brown, and some early Twilight Zones,” he said. “I know they’re old-fashioned, but they make me feel at home.”

A black and white picture of Bob Dylan wearing sunglasses and sitting at a table in front of a microphone.
Bob Dylan | Fiona Adams/Redferns

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He said he has strict standards for the type of shows he will watch.

“I’m no fan of packaged programs or news shows,” he said. “I never watch anything foul-smelling or evil. Nothing disgusting, nothing dog a**.”