"John Wesley Harding was a fearful album - just dealing with fear (laughing), but dealing with the devil in a fearfuI way, almost. All I wanted to do was to get the words right..."
- Rolling Stone, November 16th, 1978.
"In his house in Woodstock today, there's a huge Bible open on a stand in the middle of his study. Of all the books that crowd his house, overflow from his house, that Bible gets the most attention. He's continuously getting up and going over to refer to something." - Beatty Zimmerman, 1968.
"I didn't intentionally come out with some kind of mellow sound. I didn't sit down and plan that sound.”
"There's only two songs on the album which came at the same time as the music...'Down Along the Cove' and 'I'll Be Your Baby Tonight'. The rest of the songs were written out on paper, and I found the tunes for them later. I didn't do it before, and I haven't done it since. That might account for the specialness of that album."
"I asked Columbia to release it with no publicity and no hype, because this was the season of hype."
"What I'm trying to do now is not use too many words. There's no line that you can stick your finger through, there's no hole in any of the stanzas. There's no blank filler. Each line has something."- Rolling Stone, 1968.
"I haven't fulfilled the balladeers's job. A balladeer can sit down and sing three songs for an hour and a half... it can all unfold to you. These melodies on John Wesley Harding lack this traditional sense of time. As with the third verse of "The Wicked Messenger", which opens it up, and then the time schedule takes a jump and soon the song becomes wider... The same thing is true of the song "All Along the Watchtower", which opens up in a slightly different way, in a stranger way, for we have the cycle of events working in a rather reverse order." - To Sing Out!, October 1968.