Bob Johnston - The Producer
Donald William 'Bob' Johnston (born May 14, 1932, Hillsboro, Texas.)
"With Dylan, you always had to keep your eye on him.
Dylan was fast, and you never knew what he was going to do next."
"As for producing, I always say I'm someone who just lets the tapes roll, but anyone who can't write songs, can't sing, can't produce, can't perform really shouldn't be working with an artist. You need to relate on their level, if for no other reason than you can stay out of their way when you need to.
All of the other staff producers at Columbia were tapping their feet out of time and whistling out of tune and picking songs based on what their boss liked last week so they could keep their jobs three more months. But I figured Dylan knew something none of us knew, and I wanted to let him get it out.
Also, I should tell you that though “Like a Rolling Stone” was on Highway 61, it was produced by Tom Wilson. I produced all the rest of the songs on it."
"For John Wesley Harding, he was staying in the Ramada Inn down there, and he played me his songs and he suggested we just use bass and guitar and drums on the record. I said fine, but also suggested we add a steel guitar, which is how Pete Drake came to be on that record."
"I always used three microphones on Dylan, 'cause his head spun around so much. I used a big [Neumann] U47 on him, same as I used on Johnny Cash later. I would put a baffle over the top of his guitar because he played while he sang lead vocals. I didn't use any EQ on the band, just set the mics up right to make each instrument sound the best it could. I used some EQ on Dylan's voice."
"I never cared what he did in the studio. I was trying to get down anything he was doing next, so we could have a record of it–so the people could hear it all over the world. I figured that was my job."