Late last week, in anticipation of his upcoming triple album Triplicate, Bob Dylan’s website published a rare, lengthy Q&A with the man himself, and while the whole thing’s very much worth reading, a few of his answers were simply too remarkable not to reproduce here. No, not as remarkable as these but nevertheless. Talk about an independent soul:

1. Interviewer: No one can hear “As Time Goes By” and not think of Casablanca. What are some movies that have inspired your own songs?

Dylan: The Robe, King of Kings, Samson and Delilah, some others too. Maybe, like, Picnic and A Face in the Crowd.

2. I heard you and George Harrison were once supposed to do a recording session with Elvis, but he never showed up. What’s the real story?

He did show up, it was us that didn’t.

3. Which one of your songs do you think did not get the attention it deserved? 

“Brownsville Girl,” or maybe “In the Garden.”

4. “My One and Only Love” is a rewrite of a song called, “Music from Beyond the Moon.” The original version was a flop, so a new lyricist came in and put in a whole new set of words to the melody and the second time it was a hit. When that happens with folk or blues songs, it’s called the folk tradition; when it happens with rock songs, people yell about plagiarism; in hip hop, it’s sampling. But it has always gone on in every form of music, hasn’t it?

I’m sure it has, there’s always some precedent – most everything is a knockoff of something else. You could have some monstrous vision, or a perplexing idea that you can’t quite get down, can’t handle the theme. But then you’ll see a newspaper clipping or a billboard sign, or a paragraph from an old Dickens novel, or you’ll hear some line from another song, or something you might overhear somebody say just might be something in your mind that you didn’t know you remembered. That will give you the point of approach and specific details. It’s like you’re sleepwalking, not searching or seeking; things are transmitted to you. It’s as if you were looking at something far off and now you’re standing in the middle of it. Once you get the idea, everything you see, read, taste or smell becomes an allusion to it. It’s the art of transforming things. You don’t really serve art, art serves you and it’s only an expression of life anyway; it’s not real life. It’s tricky, you have to have the right touch and integrity or you could end up with something stupid. Michelangelo’s statue of David is not the real David. Some people never get this and they’re left outside in the dark. Try to create something original, you’re in for a surprise.

5. The first two discs [of Triplicate] are fun, but it’s on the third disc that you really get into the heart-bearing stuff, and your best singing. Why save the best for last?

It seems that way because it’s a human story that builds to a climax and it’s personal from end to end. You start out wondering why you bought those blue pajamas and later you’re wondering why you were born. You go from the foolishly absurd to the deadly serious and you’ve passed through the gaudy and the nasty along the way. You get to the edge and you’re played out and you wonder where’s the good news? Isn’t there supposed to be good news? It’s a journey like the song “Skylark,” where your heart goes a-journeying over the shadows and the rain. And that’s pretty much it. It’s a journey of the heart. The best had to be saved for last.

6. When you’re on your bus, what shows do you watch on TV?

I Love Lucy, all the time, non-stop.