Ng to Washington and living on my
own And so I was most definitely perfectly happy Then I listened to Street Legal a second And so I was most definitely perfectly happy Then I listened to Street Legal a second a third time that night and decided it was not really that good a record at all The song Baby Stop Crying was in fact a complete embarrassment Then I decided I probably shouldn t have eaten the entire box of chocolate covered pretzels all at once A few weeks or so later I went to college and found out that wasn t that great either Then I went back home and got a job at the John Wanamaker s at Roosevelt Mall unloading sofabeds and other home furnishings off of trucks And I listened to Graham Parker s Sueezing Out Sparks way than Street Legal during that time2 In spring of 1981 I was taking a course on Eastern European Politics I had a I was taking a course on Eastern European Politics I had a on this woman in the class This may be difficult for some people to believe but I repeatedly failed to have the courage to ask her out One day I decided if I skipped my Statistics course and went back to my dorm room and listened to happy upbeat Dylan music instead of say Gates of Eden I would finally have the happy upbeat attitude necessary to ask this woman to the movies So I listened to New Morning repeatedly for an hour and a half well I might have listend to If Dogs Run Free once or twice as well The plan did not actually work but only because John Hinckley picked that afternoon to try to assassinate the President With the President being rushed to the hospital three blocks from our classroom asking someone on a first date seemed like a move of certain disaster But I did fully appreciate Bob s upbeat message on New Morning that afternoon3 As part of his triumphant return to form in 1997 with the release of Time Out of Mind Bob was scheduled to play the 930 Club in DC I used to go to the 930 Club at its original location at 930 F St when it was a punk club in the early 1980s I saw many great shows at the original 930 Club including John CalePere Ubu Mission of Burma The Stranglers Birdsongs of the Mesozoic Joe King Carrasco and Barrence Whitfield and the Savages But now Dylan was going to play at the 930 Club at its new location near Howard University My friend Doug and I stood in line to get tickets all morning but the show sold out just when we were only about 10 people from the ticket window We were both very sad This is one of the better Bob Dylan books I have read There is some very interesting information on how David Kemper helped reshape the band in the mid 90 s Larry Campbell s addition to the ensemble and some other anecdotes that are new to the Bob lore information on the recording of Love and Theft for instance With Chronicles and Suze Rotolo s book there are also insights over the last couple ears that have not been available in the past I ve put off reading any bio about Dylan for a long time to keep him a mystery Good book Insightful about his childhood and the myth he created about himself Audio VersionThis was delightful it was read in an easy tone and very gripping as a storyiography because the author has been following Dylan since he was teen in the early sixties Not many can say that and deliver such a good insight as he did The interesting thing is four people with the same amount of time and self gained knowledge could write their own bio of Dylan and all find interesting aspects to build onGood job A great review of Dylan and his work A comprehensive treasure trove of anecdotes any Dylanhead would appreciate. Nd his role as the éminence grise of rock and roll today Aberdeen 2009 brings us full circle detailing the making of Dylan’s triumphant albums of the 2000s as well as his long running radio showDrawing on anecdotes and insights from new interviews with those closest to the man including Maria Muldaur Happy Traum D A Pennebaker Nora Guthrie Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and Dylan’s sidemen throughout the ears The Ballad of Bob Dylan is a singular take on an artist who has transformed generations and as he enters his eighth decade continues to inspire and surprise tod. 00 or 500 books rates thisThe great news is that I can listen to a book a day at work The bad news is that I can t keep up with decent reviews So I m going to give up for now and just rate them I hope to come back to some of the most significant things I listen to and read them and then post a reviewI have always respected Dylan but not really been a fan or known much about him I found this very interesting or known much about him I found this very interesting helpful And it made me start listening to This is a very well written book The first part of the book covers very well covered ground and reveals nothing very newThe best part for people who have read many Dylan books will be in the latter part of the book which looks at Dylan s activities over the last twenty ears These are normally glossed over in Dylan biographies but this author has interviewed a number of Dylan s previous band members who add interesting insights A good biography as such things go So far I have only read the first 70 or so pages Not impressed et More a book about the author than about Dylan We learn that Epstein uickly learned to play on guitar all the songs on Dylan s first album that Epstein s uncle viewed Dylan s early album favorably or was that unfavorably personally I didn t care that Epstein s sister was momentarily lost after attending a Dylan concert at Lisner that Epstein played guitar with Elizabeth Cotton At least the author of Marley and Me knew enough to focus on Marley than himself Maybe the next 200 pages get betterUPDATEWell for reasons that are less than rational and probably relate to the fact that my paternal heritage is German and my father and oldest brother were engineers I forced myself to finish this book Overall it had some moments There actually is some interesting information derived from the author s interview with David Kemper the parts relating to Dylan s relationship with Suze Rotolo are fine and the Rolling Thunder Revue section was uite all right Also Epstein knows how to write so I give him credit for that There are hundreds of Dylan biographies out there where the writing style is horrid So got to give Epstein some propsAnd after awhile the reader can t help but get interested in the author and his family On page 263 we learn Epstein and his wife have enjoyed several classical musical recitals at Tanglewood while vacationing in the vilage of Tyringham We also learn that Epstein s son Ben is a promising drummer and guitarist Ben really liked Neighborhood Bully which is an awful song actually and Jokerman reminds Ben of the Beatles But ou only learn these facts if ou read until page 270 You only have to read to page 254 to #learn the author is going to omit discussion of the 1979 1981 period of Dylan s life and career because the #the author is going to omit discussion of the 1979 1981 period of Dylan s life and career because the was not so diehard a Dylan fan that I would keep listening to his records no matter what So all in all better than some of the Dylan biographies I have read but less than perfect Specifically the author did ignore the following three facts about Dylan s career that to me seem critical1 In 1978 I purchased Street Legal at the Sam Goody s at Roosevelt Mall in NE Philly I also purchased a box of chocolate covered pretzels at the mall I remember going home and listening to Street Legal and eating my chocolate covered pretzels and being perfectly happy It was the summer I loved Bob Dylan and I loved chocolate covered pretzels And I was leaving for college in a few weeks and I was totally excited about movi. Dylan’s transition from folk icon to rock star his family life in seclusion his subseuent divorce and his highly anticipated return to touring Tanglewood1997 reveals how Dylan revived his flagging career in the late 1990s largely under the influence of Jerry Garcia discovering new ways of singing and connecting with his audience and assembling the great bands for his Never Ending Tour In a breathtaking account of the Time Out of Mind sessions Epstein provides the most complete picture et of Dylan’s contemporary work in the studio his acceptance of his laurels .
No one who thinks about Bob Dylan thinks about him as if he were a normal human being much less a regular guy I can t think of one person who s written about Dylan who has cast him as anything approaching normal If Dylan is a genius and he is he must be a tortured genius otherwise there s no story So biographers find evidence of torture in relationships gone bad friendships betrayed substances abused lyrics plagiarized until Dylan seems not only tortured but down right nasty Interesting though that no one has been able to dig up any dirt on Dylan in relationship to his children and grandchildren Now that s telling because if Dylan were half as nuts as we ve been led to believe surely one of his kids would have written a tell all by now I find it hard to believe they re silent under pain of excommunication or whatever sword Dylan wields The Ballad of Bob Dylan A Portrait is a view of Bob Dylan that shows us a hard working entertainer a brilliant song writer a mediocre painter a crappy film maker and a decent guy protective of his family and generous to his friends Eccentric Of course Anyone who s spent over 40 ears in the music business and half his life in the public eye is bound to be eccentric Alcoholic drug crazed serial womanizer subject to fits of madness Not so much Daniel Mark Epstein is a practiced poet essayist and playwright and a prize winning biographer he s also a fan and not un critical My god he s reasonable about his subject matter not the usual modus operandi for someone writing about Dylan He takes a look at Dylan s life through the prism of four concerts that seem to delineate four periods in the man s life his as well as Dylan s What he s come up with is a good story well told entertaining non pedantic easy on the lyric analyses but strong on the art and craft of dylan s writing recording and performing epstein Dylan s writing recording and performing Epstein mined the sources and opened up some new information through interviews of Dylan s friends and band mates When I finished this book I counted the Dylan tomes on my groaning bookshelf Forty three books by or about Bob Dylan That s ridiculous but what can I say I m up there with Christopher Ricks I think it was who feels that being alive while Dylan is writing and performing is akin to having been alive when Shakespeare was working Anyway this book 44 has been the most pleasurable read due in no little part to Epstein s humanizing of the troubadour This is a uniue take on a biography Daniel Mark Epstein s obvious adoration for Bob Dylan is reflected in his writing We see Dylan through the eyes of a fan rather than a true biographer Epstein begins with "HIS FIRST DYLAN CONCERT IN 1963 "first Dylan concert in 1963 ends with the last concert he attended in 2009 For me the intense focus on the four concerts the author attended was too much Each song in the set lists was broken down for us right down to the key Dylan played in What I did learn was that Epstein must have taken and kept copious notes of his concert experiencesThat being said there were some great nuggets of information within these pages We re given a glimpse of Dylan in a way that his other biographies do not show us This is a perfect book for the hardcore Dylan fan Others might want to NOTE I m stingy with stars For me 2 stars means a good book or a B 3 stars means a very good book or a B 4 stars means an outstanding book or an A only about 5% of the books I read merit 4 stars 5 stars means an all time favorite or an A Only one of Through the lens of four seminal concerts acclaimed poet and biographer Daniel Mark Epstein offers an intimate nuanced look at Bob Dylan a vivid full bodied portrait of one of the most influential artistsof the twentieth century from his birth to the Never Ending TourBeginning with 1963’s Lisner Auditorium concert in Washington DC Epstein revisits Dylan’s astonishing rise as the darling of the folk revival focusing on the people and books that shaped him and his struggle to find artistic direction on the road in the1960s Madison Suare Garden 1974 sheds light on.