Bob Dylan believes older people should act their age in order to avoid doing themselves injury.
The 73-year-old has taken part in his first interview for several years to promote his 36th album Shadows In The Night, which sees him performing a set of classic songs written from the 1920s to the 1960s.
Dylan tells AARP: “Look, you get older. Passion is a young man’s game. Young people can be passionate. Older people have got to be more wise.
“You’re around a while, you leave certain things to the young. Don’t try to act like you’re young – you could really hurt yourself.”
Shadows In The Night is an album he’s been thinking about for decades, although he believes the time to make it hadn’t arrived until recently. He says: “I love these songs, and I’m not going to bring any disrespect to them. We’ve all heard those songs being trashed; in some ways you want to right the wrong.”
And he emphasises the virtue of his chosen tracks, including Stay With Me, Some Enchanted Evening and Full Moon And Empty Arms. “People’s lives today are filled with vice and the trappings of it,” he says. “Ambition, greed and selfishness all have to do with vice. Sooner or later, you have to see through it or you don’t survive.
“We don’t see the people that vice destroys. We just see the glamour of it — everywhere we look, from billboard signs to movies, to newspapers, to magazines. We see the destruction of human life. These songs are anything but that.”
All 10 tracks on the album were once recorded by Frank Sinatra. But Dylan doesn’t think his versions are directly comparable. “To be mentioned in the same breath as him must be some sort of high compliment,” he says. “As far as touching him goes, nobody touches him. Not me or anyone else.”
Shadows In The Night is released on February 2.