This past summer, Bob Dylan joined forces with Wilco and My Morning Jacket on the AmericanaramA tour, creating a triple-headed hydra of roots-music innovators. But just because Dylan was touring with these young guns, it didn’t mean he was going to hang out with them. MMJ frontman Jim James says that, despite sharing Dylan’s stage, he actually didn’t meet the man once.
James tells Rolling Stone, “Bob really wasn’t around. We never talked to him once once. He does not hang, which is fine and understandable… or it’s kind of understandable. I don’t know.”
In any case, the whole experience was not what James was expecting, or what he was hoping for: “The whole concept of the tour was supposed to be super collaborative. We were expecting to be sitting around the campfire with Dylan at two a.m. and go, ‘Let’s cover all of Desire tomorrow!’ We had all these pipe dreams.”
Dylan did invite James and Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy onstage for his encore at a bunch of shows, but even then, he didn’t communicate directly with them. Dylan bassist Tony Garnier was in charge of letting them know which songs to play and how to play them.
Watch Dylan, Tweedy, James, and Peter Wolf play “The Weight” below.