'I am not a prophet': Dylan is back on TV after 19 years

The mumbling, impenetrable and sometimes brilliant Bob Dylan has given his first television interview in almost 20 years. In it he urges his legions of fans around the world not to treat him like a prophet.

The mumbling, impenetrable and sometimes brilliant Bob Dylan has given his first television interview in almost 20 years. In it he urges his legions of fans around the world not to treat him like a prophet.

"I never wanted to be a prophet or a saviour," Dylan says in the interview, to be broadcast by a US television channel on Sunday. "Elvis maybe. I could see myself becoming him. But prophet? No."

The reclusive musician was speaking during a rare television interview to coincide with the publication of his memoirs Chronicles Vol 1.

Secretive and shy are words frequently used to describe the musician during the few interviews he has granted throughout his lengthy career.

In a further reflection of his dislike of public scrutiny, he has almost always granted only print as opposed to televised interviews.

As a result, the latest interview, to be broadcast by an American television station on Sunday, is the first to capture the musician on camera since the mid-80s.

And the interview comes at a time when the popularity of Dylan's music is continuing unabated. One of his best known songs, "Like a Rolling Stone", which established him as a mainstream artist, was recently voted the greatest rock and roll song of all time by the readers - suitably enough - of Rolling Stone magazine.

But during the interview, Dylan confesses in his trademark way of disliking popular adulation, the tribute to his 1964 song made him feel uncomfortable and uneasy. "It was like being in an Edgar Allen Poe story and you're just not that person everybody thinks you are, though they call you that all the time," he says, according to a transcript of the interview released by the CBS 60 Minutes programme.

Dylan was just a fresh faced young man when he first burst on the folk music and coffee house scene in New York in the early 60s and then made his breakthrough in the world of pop and rock.

Despite spending decades in the public eye and having reached the age of 63, the musician persists in his claims of feeling unsettled with the adulation of his fans. He describes in the interview how at times, despite his experiences, he still felt like an imposter when faced with armies of awe-struck fans.

"My stuff - [they] were songs, they weren't sermons," he says. "If you examine the songs I don't believe you're going to find anything in there that says that I'm a spokesman for anybody or anything really."

He also plays down the importance of one of his songs being selected as the greatest ever. "Oh, maybe this week it's number 1. But you know, the list, they change names quite frequently, really. I don't pay much attention to that."

The musician also granted an interview to Newsweek magazine

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