73-year-old Bob Dylan is giving away his latest album, Shadows in the Night for free to 50,000 senior citizens.
Dylan's 36th studio album will be released on February 3 but is already being aired on the radio. A generous selection of tracks were played on The John Kelly Ensemble today and the RTÉ Lyric Fm presenter twice iterated that the album is the best thing he has done.
The album tastefully - and indeed lovingly - re-interprets songs associated with Frank Sinatra, and in one case a song co-authored by Sinatra himself.
Shadows in the Night will be mailed at random to 50,000 readers of AARP's magazine, which is sent to some 35 million Americans age 50 or older.
Speaking to the magazine, Dylan said he believed that members of the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons ) would enjoy the album. He revealed that he has learned that "passion is a young man's game."
"Older people gotta be more wise. I mean, you're around awhile, you leave certain things to the young. Don't try to act like you're young. You could really hurt yourself."
Dylan also called in the AARP interview for wealthy Americans to be more proactive in job creation.
"The government's not going to create jobs. It doesn't have to. People have to create jobs, and these big billionaires are the ones who can do it," he said.
"We see crime and inner cities exploding with people who have nothing to do, turning to drink and drugs. They could all have work created for them by all these hotshot billionaires," said Dylan. He nevertheless added: "I'm not talking about communism."
Despite this contribution to public debate, Dylan remarked that too often he is asked questions about topics outside of his musical concerns and career.
"People have been doing that to me since the '60s - they ask questions like they would ask a medical doctor or a psychiatrist or a professor or a politician. Why? Why are you asking me these things?"