Obama Tells Rolling Stone What's In His iPod: Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan and Rolling Stones, Natch! (Plus Some Jay-Z, Nas and Lil Wayne)

Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner got to sit down and interview President Obama; they talked about the war, the Tea Party, Afghanistan and other important, state-of-the-nation things, but the most interesting part of the interview was when RS asked what Mr. President was listening to. Read an excerpt after the jump.

What music have you been listening to lately? What have you discovered, what speaks to you these days?
My iPod now has about 2,000 songs, and it is a source of great pleasure
to me. I am probably still more heavily weighted toward the music of my
childhood than I am the new stuff. There's still a lot of Stevie
Wonder, a lot of Bob Dylan, a lot of Rolling Stones, a lot of R&B,
a lot of Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Those are the old standards.

A lot of classical music. I'm not a big opera buff in terms of going
to opera, but there are days where Maria Callas is exactly what I need.

Thanks to Reggie [Love, the president's personal aide], my rap
palate has greatly improved. Jay-Z used to be sort of what
predominated, but now I've got a little Nas and a little Lil Wayne and
some other stuff, but I would not claim to be an expert. Malia and
Sasha are now getting old enough to where they start hipping me to
things. Music is still a great source of joy and occasional solace in
the midst of what can be some difficult days.

You had Bob Dylan here. How did that go?
Here's what I love about Dylan: He was exactly as you'd expect he would
be. He wouldn't come to the rehearsal; usually, all these guys are
practicing before the set in the evening. He didn't want to take a
picture with me; usually all the talent is dying to take a picture with
me and Michelle before the show, but he didn't show up to that. He came
in and played “The Times They Are A-Changin'.” A beautiful rendition.
The guy is so steeped in this stuff that he can just come up with some
new arrangement, and the song sounds completely different. Finishes the
song, steps off the stage — I'm sitting right in the front row — comes
up, shakes my hand, sort of tips his head, gives me just a little grin,
and then leaves. And that was it — then he left. That was our only
interaction with him. And I thought: That's how you want Bob Dylan,
right? You don't want him to be all cheesin' and grinnin' with you. You
want him to be a little skeptical about the whole enterprise. So that
was a real treat.

Having Paul McCartney here was also incredible. He's just a very
gracious guy. When he was up there singing “Michelle” to Michelle, I
was thinking to myself, “Imagine when Michelle was growing up, this
little girl on the South Side of Chicago, from a working-class family.”
The notion that someday one of the Beatles would be singing his song to
her in the White House — you couldn't imagine something like that.

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