Fifteen years after he scratched a lifelong itch and moved to New York City, Steve Wynn has settled in nicely to life on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The relocation also breathed fire into a music career that already had notched landmark albums by his first band, the Dream Syndicate, collaborations with Gutterball and a slew of excellent early solo releases. Once he turned 40, Wynn rolled up his sleeves and really went to work, cranking out masterpieces like 2001’s Here Come The Miracles and 2003’s Static Transmission. Wynn, wife/drummer Linda Pitmon, Peter Buck (R.E.M.) and Scott McCaughey (Minus 5) are set to begin a U.S. tour. Read our Q&A with Wynn. (Also read our 2001 Q&A with Wynn, conducted by novelist George Pelecanos, as well as our overview of the Dream Syndicate and its fellow Paisley Underground bands.)
Steve Wynn: You know what’s amazing about Bob Dylan? He’s not only a great DJ, but he also writes some pretty good songs. Seriously, I think the best forum for his talents in the last five years has not been his records or his concerts but rather the three seasons of Theme Time Radio Hour With Bob Dylan XM Radio. I have a friend who insists that Dylan neither chooses the songs nor writes the copy. If that’s true, no problem. If there is a man behind the curtain, he does a great job of creating Radio Host Bob, just another of his many disguises, just as believable, just as compelling, just as much fun to imitate and just as hard to know if it’s any closer to Dylan’s real personality than any other persona he has inhabited before. And in much the same way as everything Dylan has done, it’s truly the singer not the song. It’s the way he tells the story; it’s his voice, his phrasing, his intonation more than the stories themselves. I hope there’s a fourth season.