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Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1

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TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGING
YOU AIN'T GOING NOWHERE


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GUEST,SueB 25 Aug 04 - 01:07 AM
Big Tim 25 Aug 04 - 04:15 AM
PoppaGator 25 Aug 04 - 02:48 PM
Big Tim 25 Aug 04 - 03:32 PM
Pete Jennings 07 Oct 04 - 07:57 AM
Little Hawk 07 Oct 04 - 08:37 AM
John MacKenzie 07 Oct 04 - 11:01 AM
Steve Latimer 07 Oct 04 - 11:24 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 07 Oct 04 - 11:46 AM
GUEST,the message man 08 Oct 04 - 11:31 AM
Peter T. 08 Oct 04 - 11:55 AM
s6k 08 Oct 04 - 12:11 PM
Alonzo M. Zilch (inactive) 08 Oct 04 - 02:56 PM
Susanne (skw) 09 Oct 04 - 03:53 AM
Little Hawk 10 Oct 04 - 07:04 PM
Sam L 10 Oct 04 - 07:47 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 10 Oct 04 - 08:19 PM
Little Hawk 10 Oct 04 - 08:25 PM
Little Hawk 10 Oct 04 - 08:58 PM
Steve-o 11 Oct 04 - 02:17 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 11 Oct 04 - 02:49 PM
Sam L 11 Oct 04 - 03:28 PM
Little Hawk 11 Oct 04 - 03:38 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 11 Oct 04 - 04:42 PM
Little Hawk 11 Oct 04 - 04:57 PM
Sam L 11 Oct 04 - 07:17 PM
Steve-o 11 Oct 04 - 07:35 PM
Little Hawk 11 Oct 04 - 07:53 PM
Dave Sutherland 12 Oct 04 - 09:46 AM
Sam L 12 Oct 04 - 04:23 PM
PoppaGator 13 Oct 04 - 03:19 PM
Little Hawk 13 Oct 04 - 06:59 PM
Sam L 14 Oct 04 - 09:38 AM
Susanne (skw) 15 Oct 04 - 01:30 PM
Little Hawk 15 Oct 04 - 04:42 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 15 Oct 04 - 05:28 PM
Peter T. 16 Oct 04 - 11:08 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 16 Oct 04 - 11:31 AM
Amos 16 Oct 04 - 03:33 PM
Little Hawk 16 Oct 04 - 05:47 PM
GUEST 17 Oct 04 - 02:17 PM
GUEST 17 Oct 04 - 04:36 PM
Sam L 17 Oct 04 - 06:14 PM
Little Hawk 17 Oct 04 - 11:12 PM
Sam L 17 Oct 04 - 11:37 PM
sharyn 09 Jul 06 - 11:13 PM
Little Hawk 10 Jul 06 - 12:15 AM
Peter T. 10 Jul 06 - 03:36 PM
John O'L 11 Jul 06 - 09:17 AM
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Subject: Review: Chronicles Volume One (by Bob Dylan)
From: GUEST,SueB
Date: 25 Aug 04 - 01:07 AM

CLICK HERE to read about Bob's book, available on October 12.

It's on my wishlist.


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Subject: RE: Review: Chronicles Volume One (by Bob Dylan)
From: Big Tim
Date: 25 Aug 04 - 04:15 AM

Wow!


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Subject: RE: Review: Chronicles Volume One (by Bob Dylan)
From: PoppaGator
Date: 25 Aug 04 - 02:48 PM

Glad to hear that this book is finally coming out!

Over a year ago, the New Orleans Public Library listed this book as "about-to-be-bought" and available to be reserved. At that early date, of course, I had heard *nothing* about it, but I knew I'd want to read it -- Duh! I put a hold on it right away, and have been Number One on the list to get the book for about 14 months by now.

The library doesn't normally get new books into circulation until a few weeks after the publication date; I should have "Chronicles Vol I" (for two weeks only, of course) in time for my birthay, Nov 8. Hooray!


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Subject: RE: Review: Chronicles Volume One (by Bob Dylan)
From: Big Tim
Date: 25 Aug 04 - 03:32 PM

Tarantula was also long delayed and then unintelligible (except possibly to Little Hawk!). This one should be quite readable. My wife said she'd buy it for me for Christmas, needless to say I won't be waiting that long.


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Subject: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: Pete Jennings
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 07:57 AM

Just finished reading it, only took about 2 and a bit hours. Some interesting passages, but overall not very informative. Disappointing, really.

Pete


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 08:37 AM

Hmm. Well, I'll have a look at it in Chapters, and see what I think...


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 11:01 AM

I've heard some good words about it on the radio here.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 11:24 AM

I'm sure that it will make it's way on to my Christmas list.

I recently read "A Simple Twist of Fate, The Making of Blood On The Tracks". I found it very interesting.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 11:46 AM

I received my copy last night and read the first few chapters.   So far there are no earth shattering relevations or skeletons in the closet, but I am finding it to be an intriguing look at the thought process of Dylan.   I find Dylan's take on the folk revival, the media and the times to be most interesting.

I'm glad the book, so far, is staying away from sensationalism.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: GUEST,the message man
Date: 08 Oct 04 - 11:31 AM

And why would there be any earth shattering revelations? Dylan's life has already been dissected and picked over to the bare bones by people in the last 40 years, so how much could really be left in terms of a "revelation" at this point? Just to hear it in his own words is what's interesting about it.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: Peter T.
Date: 08 Oct 04 - 11:55 AM

I will certainly read it -- I thought the "Simple Twist of Fate" book was very disappointing. We are still far from having a decent analysis of that album.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: s6k
Date: 08 Oct 04 - 12:11 PM

this is first book of a trilogy


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: Alonzo M. Zilch (inactive)
Date: 08 Oct 04 - 02:56 PM

Just finished reading it, only took about 2 and a bit hours.

The book is more than 300 pages, so you were doing between two and three pages a minute. Not really enough time for comprehension, let alone appreciation, of the written word.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 09 Oct 04 - 03:53 AM

Does he say much about individual songs? I hear he's always refused to do that, but that's what I'd be interested in - the thoughts and circumstances that caused them to be written.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: Little Hawk
Date: 10 Oct 04 - 07:04 PM

Well, I have been reading it. I like it. I like how he expresses himself, and it gives me a powerful feeling of what he was going through at the time. Never was so much false expectation heaped on top of one person as got dumped on Bob Dylan by his fans and the rest of society in the late 60's and early 70's (and to some extent, since then).

As he says, "you can sell your privacy, but you can never buy it back". No wonder there is so much hot rage and cold fury in many of the songs he wrote.

His description of Joan Baez and the incredible impact she had in the early 60's rings absolutely dead on. She was unforgettable and so was he.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: Sam L
Date: 10 Oct 04 - 07:47 PM

I read the excerpt in Newsweek or some magazine. I like Dylan songs and recordings quite a bit, but found the excerpt repetitive, dull, and self-serving in a peculiar and suspicious way. I'm sorry to hear of his extreme loss of privacy, but since I've never stalked him or taken undue interest in him beyond his public work, never thought of him as a prophet, or even quite what I'd call a serious poet either, I get tired of this rant. The only reason I'd be interested in reading it seems to be if I had an undue interest in his personal life. That's pretty odd.

His formulation of art was very simple and apt, and there were some fun observations here and there, but I simply do not believe it was his real dream to live a white-picket fence anonymous life with his beloved family, because nearly everything he says about it is very uncharacteristically cliche' stuff you feel you've heard before. It's perfectly possible to make vivid observations about family life without invading it, especially if you have a tremendous gift for doing things like that.

There's something really funky about that ramble, even with the flashes of interest. It was too dull to make me want to read more.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 10 Oct 04 - 08:19 PM

I quote here a part of a comedy sketch as performed by a very clever group that does a "right on" impression of Dylan---(paraphrase) no one wants to say they don't know what the hell he is talking about most of time---you want to sound "deep" like him---his "depth" changes with each incarnation---it was a paraphrase. Much funnier in the original---but it makes a comedic point.

I, for one, still cannot believe that he rcvd a Kennedy Ctr. honor when they also awarded one to Pete Seeger (I am sticking to folk and heroes now). Whatever were they thinking? Along those lines---if it was about politics then, surely, a posthumous one should have been give to Phil Ochs---but---they don't give posthumous ones because you just don't get those wonderful camera shots of the humility of some of the people ---note the word SOME--not ALL--with huge egos.

BIll Hahn


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: Little Hawk
Date: 10 Oct 04 - 08:25 PM

Ah, well, I guess maybe you don't love him. :-) When one dearly loves a person, one is naturally quite interested in what they have to say...

Love can take many forms, quite apart from the romantic form. Bob Dylan is loved by many because his songs deeply changed their lives. It was that very love, badly mishandled by a certain number of immature people, which turned his public and private life into a nightmare.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: Little Hawk
Date: 10 Oct 04 - 08:58 PM

Odd you should say that, Bill. I have very little trouble understanding Dylan most of the time. About the only stuff he ever wrote or said that I'm a bit puzzle by would be:

1. why are there so many apparent references to homosexuality in "Ballad of a Thin Man"?

2. most of "Tarantula" is rather hard to comprehend, and probably not worth the trouble to...but it does have a few good passages here and there

So, what I am saying, Bill, is that 99% of his work is very understandable to me. Maybe not to you...

My impression with Dylan, when he receives these various awards, is usually this: he's embarrassed and wishes he was somewhere else, anywhere else, when they bring him out on stage to get the award. Ever since about 1965-66 he's been very shy of public exposure, with good reason. For Christ's sake, all he wanted to do in the early 60's was write songs he believed in and sing them for people...and he did it so incredibly well that he became millions of people's chosen "messiah" against his own will! That was not what he planned on, it was not what he anticipated, it was not what he wanted in any sense whatsoever. It was a sick exaggerated situation spiralling out of control, and he was in the middle of it and couldn't escape. He got put in a position where he no longer felt able to DO the one and only thing he had wanted to do for years...write songs and walk out on a stage and play them for people.

His most treasured personal dream got killed by being too successful. You try that on for size and see how it feels if you think it's so great...and then listen to people who don't know fuck-all about it bitching about your big ego on top of that. As if they cared! Feh!

That's why he turned away to the dream of wife and family. It appeared to be the one real thing left in a World gone totally mad, the one island of safety.

And what did people do when he turned away? They criticized him vitriolically for not living out their own dreams for them. Most people are selfish when it comes right down to it.

As for those who can see little or no value in his work, well they will have less than a clue what I am talking about here, and so what? What difference does it make? He obviously wasn't born to please them, was he?


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: Steve-o
Date: 11 Oct 04 - 02:17 PM

I am reading it and loving every single sentence. Anyone who is looking for "secrets" and "explanations" is bound to be disappointed (and deserves to be). This is beautifully written, with great simplicity and accuracy in his choice of words and phrases, and feels very much like he was just sitting in your kitchen telling you about his life. It is not overblown in any way, nor does it feel self-serving or phony. And anyone who says it's dull should have his head examined. What I would not give to have been in the middle of that early scene at the Folklore Center, and to have crossed paths with all those wonderful musicians in their scuffling years.....folks, this is a heavenly read!!


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 11 Oct 04 - 02:49 PM

Not everyone understands Dylan, and everything he writes is not meant to understand. Not everyone that likes Dylan is trying to sound "deep" like him.

I can show you dozens of abstract paintings that make absolutely no sense. To knock the painter because the viewer doesn't "get it" is not legitimate criticism in my book. It is one thing to say you don't understand or like it, but to knock the people that do and the honors the artists receives serves no purpose.

Read the book. As Steve-O points out, it is beautifully written. Dylan finally opens up and dis-interprets all the interpretations that have been made about him over the years.   I also admire the way he warmly remembers the musicians who he looked up to - Cisco Houston, Dave Van Ronk, Pete Seeger and Mike Seeger among others. It is not a sleazy tell-all look at Dylan's personal life.   My take away from reading the book was that Dylan opened up his feelings of how his songs were created.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: Sam L
Date: 11 Oct 04 - 03:28 PM

I was already thinking of having my head examined, but thanks for the tip.

Dylan seems to me to have said all along that he was a musician and a songwriter and an entertainer, and I heard him the first time, so, yes, it gets a little dull having it re-explained over and over. I'm just not that interested in his celebrity, or the problems of it, generally. It's not that hard for most people to avoid, and I'm not worried about it. If there's more about his musical approach, especially his singing and theatricality, I'd be interested in it. I've always thought he did unexpected wonders with his voice.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Oct 04 - 03:38 PM

The parts I enjoy the most are the parts about the early days in Greenwich Village and all the other musicians and characters. His memory for detail is just phenomenal, and those parts of the narrative sparkle with the freshness and wonder of it all. I too wish I had been there among those people.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 11 Oct 04 - 04:42 PM

Fred, happy to help out!

Seriously, the book is not as much about celebrity as you may think from reading the reviews.   Sure, the media picks up on the "names" he mentions, but the most intriguing parts to me is when he talks about the process of songwriting and his views of the folk revival.

As someone pointed out, Dylan has been discussed and written about since his first album was released. He has been quiet about his feelings.   While it may not be your interest, many of us who have read the book find his comments to be enlightening.   Art history helps all of us understand and grow.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Oct 04 - 04:57 PM

The trouble with Dylan is, it's almost impossible to talk about him without the topic of celebrity entering into the conversation. That is not his fault, it's just the way it is.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: Sam L
Date: 11 Oct 04 - 07:17 PM

What I read was an excerpt from the book, not a review. I like Dylan quite a bit, but it was not writing I'd set beside other writing I especially enjoy. The stuff I read felt as though you are watching it being typed.

It seems to me that Dylan courted what he complains of, at least to some degree, and there's no way around it. Not every singer calls attention to themselves in the particular way he did, or conjoins poets to prophets as casually as he did, or uses the illusion of music in the way he did. To some extent he owns responsibility for profiting from the seductive illusion that you can be a rebel and change the world by being rightously entertained. I grew up in that atmosphere of smug-consumer horseshit, and lose a little patience with it. Keepin' it real doesn't supersede actual reality.
    The illusion of music is that the will is working through it to some effect, only it's just an abstract effect that makes you feel somehow connected, and powerful. That's why they have military bands. Dylan may want out the backdoor of how he earned his living but it's a bit ridiculous of him. Houdini was a little more responsible with his act, by actively exposing how magic tricks can take advantage of distressed or weak-minded people, with pseudo sorcery, seances, whatever. Dylan just takes their money and scorns them as grody zombie idiots he's been advised not to shoot. He's all Vincent Price in the Last Man On Earth, beseiged by the living dead. No, I don't exactly love him, or hate him--I don't actually know him. I like the songs and stuff.
   It gets all overwrought puff-piece this business of the poor celebrity. Yeah, I know, they're all really quite shy, private people, I've heard, when you get to really know them. This is not dull stuff? Really? Then I'm out of my head for sure. It's Teen Beat meets Grumpy Old Men, a self-devoted fanzine on crystal meth.
As I say, I like Dylan's music, but what I read sounded very happy to have my attention, again lately, but without feeling much obliged to hold it. Reads as though it were far too important a discourse to have to edit or revise. That's self-serving, and a cop-out.
It is like I'm having a conversation with Dylan. Except I'm not talking. And it's going on for hours. And it's like he's Holden Caufield, and I'm his analyst. Bob, um, I'm sorry, excuse me, I gotta get my kids to bed. Hold onto that thought about people disrupting your family-life though. Or, I'll just catch it when you bring it up again the next time, if that's cool with you, man. Help yourself to the 'frige, all right? You da man.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: Steve-o
Date: 11 Oct 04 - 07:35 PM

Well, Fred, you said it all a little earlier- "What I read was an excerpt from the book, not a review", because you sure ain't reading the book! Really appreciate your observations like, "The illusion of music is that the will is working through it to some effect, only it's just an abstract effect that makes you feel somehow connected, and powerful". Clear thinking if I've ever heard it....


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Oct 04 - 07:53 PM

Heh! Fred, you really should read the first chapter about the Greenwich Village days. The article you read chose to focus on what they chose to focus on for their own reasons. How could a folk musician NOT be fascinated by the picture Dylan paints of the coffeehouse scene in the Village back then? He is also tremendously appreciative and complimentary of so many other people's talents. It's just a delight reading his enthusiastic descriptions of the many musicians who impressed and inspired him when he was a youngster "bound for glory".


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 12 Oct 04 - 09:46 AM

About ten years ago Tom Paley stayed at our house after playing our folk club the night before. This was around the time when Bob Dylan had quoted Tom as being the source for a couple of songs on his "World Gone Wrong" album. Showing Tom the album notes,the next morning, and the references to him he launched into story after story about Dylan in the Vilage and the coffee-houses and what impression he made on Tom and the rest of The New Lost City Ramblers and what a refreshing alternative Dylan was to The Kingston Trio and their ilk. One of the most facinating conversations that I have ever listened to until I had to (sadly)remind him that I had to drive him to Nottinham to catch a bus to Goulders Green. We only just made it.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: Sam L
Date: 12 Oct 04 - 04:23 PM

Well maybe I'll get to it--there were some enticing bits. I may be enjoying being a devil's advocate about it, a little. And maybe I shouldn't have read it while Jakob Dylan's Ashes to Ashes was playing. I'm not quite the generation that Dylan says he's not the voice of.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: PoppaGator
Date: 13 Oct 04 - 03:19 PM

Just spent an enjoyable hour listening to Dylan songs covered by various soul/blues artists, as broadcast/webcast by my favorite New Orleans radio station.

The DJ explained his selections thusly: Dylan apparently devotes about one full page of "Chronicles" to explaining why WWOZ is his favorite station.

listen here

I'm waiting for the public library to let me know when they have purchased and processed "Chronicles" -- I'm first on the "hold" list...


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Oct 04 - 06:59 PM

Dylan was his own voice, period, but it was a voice that many of us related to in the strongest way. He did what he did for sheer love of the music....specifically, folk music. He was besotted with it, consumed by it, thought of nothing else. That's what it takes to get really, really good at something.

Then he had to live with what his love had set in motion.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: Sam L
Date: 14 Oct 04 - 09:38 AM

That's what I think, LH. I know it's just a snippet out of the context, but where many artists talk about the sacrifices their family made, Dylan spoke only of his devotion to his family, and the media and fans messing things up. I think at best it must be a dual devotion, because songs don't write and sing themselves. He seems to want something both ways, a la "I don't CARE who threw the glass, man, I just wanna KNOW who threw the glass"--(Don't Look Back). There seems to be something about him that never grew up.

Anyway, I get tired of the overwrought devotion to family thing, not just in Dylan's remarks, but in general, lately. It's like everyone wants a medal for having a family. Movies about people giving up careers to be with their kids, blah blah. If you have to advertise so much about it, it starts to sound like something's wrong.

Maybe people could post some more favorite particular bits? In the little I read, Dylan's off-hand formulation of art as "having much to do with observation, imagination, and experience" was really striking to me. I think I'm getting his version right--it made me forget my own version. I think I had "idea" instead of experience, but "idea" seemed to me the least significant element of art, just a flash to get things going.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 15 Oct 04 - 01:30 PM

Just read a very positive review in Germany's leading weekly, Der Spiegel. They stress many of the things that have been mentioned in this thread: the lack of gossip, of emphasis on celebrity, the 'fascinating insights' into the mind of a songwriter. They also print an excerpt on a period when he was touring with Tom Petty and later with The Grateful Dead. He talks about how he 're-connected' to his own songs again - though I must say it doesn't become clear to me what exactly happened, just that he had the feeling something happened. Ah well, maybe it's me. I've never understood his songs (though I like quite a few of them, sung by others), and never liked his voice. A matter of taste.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: Little Hawk
Date: 15 Oct 04 - 04:42 PM

"There seems to be something about him that never grew up."

Fred, I could say that about myself too, and almost everybody I have ever known. :-) (with a very few rare exceptions) Most people live their whole lives without ever dragging most of their old childhood skeletons out of the closet and growing up in the process. They just gloss it over as best they can. They go through the superficial outer motions of being adults, but they're scared inside. And not just a little scared, either! How they show that fear can vary from passive to aggressive, unconfident to superficially confident...but largely unloving. You can't love very well when you're deep in fear.

The ones who are most afraid will never admit to it. Not ever. Such people can sure be a pain, because they will run roughshod over you and everybody else just to have another chance to prove how tough and self-reliant they are. Always somethin' to prove...never miss a chance to let everyone know, "Hey, I'm allright, Jack, but you're just a bunch of pathetic wusses..."

Watch out for such people. They like power over others. They hunger for control. They seek what they do not have, and they can't find it, but they do tend, like scum, to reach "the top" in a competitive society.

Love shares. Fear takes.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 15 Oct 04 - 05:28 PM

"There seems to be something about him that never grew up."

Thank God for that!! Keeping a bit of the younger spirit is not such a bad thing. Brian Bedford of Artisan has the wonderful line - "Growing up is optional, growing old is mandatory".


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: Peter T.
Date: 16 Oct 04 - 11:08 AM

I think that one of Dylan's problems was that he set himself as a prophet and visionary as a poetic "voice", and everyone suddenly took him at his word. It is very disconcerting when everyone takes you seriously. To deny that that was what he was doing you would have to ignore things like Masters of War, A Hard Rain is Gonna Fall, and so on. It is a prophetic stance. One gets the feeling of him pushing against a door that you are leaning against, and suddenly it opens wide, and you stumble forward into the abyss.

The prophet Jeremiah had really bad days too, but at least he stuck with it. Dylan decided he didn't like that stance, and walked away from it into other masks. It was a shame, I thought, and still think.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 16 Oct 04 - 11:31 AM

I'm sorry, but I do not see how writing a song such as Hard Rain turns one into a "prophet".

If people are looking for prophets, it is usually because they can't find the answers for themselves. To give someone else that burden is simply denying ones own issues. People want easy answers to lifes problems and fail to see the problems begin with themselves.

People create idols.   When the idols have feet of clay they tear down the idol, but really they are the ones at fault.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: Amos
Date: 16 Oct 04 - 03:33 PM

I think Dylan enjoyed his rapid elevation as "the unwashed phenomenon -- the original vagabond" and yes, styled himself as a visionary voice. Even Blowin' in the Wind has that flavour to it. But I think once he found the mantel draped on his shoulders he realized that ll such mantels have to involve a compromise, and shook it iff.

A


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Oct 04 - 05:47 PM

Dylan couldn't help writing in a prophetic manner, I don't think. In later years he did so again in songs like: "Changing of the Guards", "Ring Them Bells", "License to Kill", "When the Night Comes Falling From The Sky", and many others. The fact is if you take in a larger view of life and put it in your writing you will likely end up sounding prophetic. I've done the same thing in plenty of my songs, but it wasn't because I exactly "wanted to be a prophet". I just wanted to speak what was on my mind. Anyone who becomes inspired does become a visionary voice by the very fact that he/she IS inspired...and you've got to be inspired to write really powerful material.

But some people only get inspired about their sex drive or about football or something... If so, then they are ready to write pop songs for the radio and get some videos produced. :-)


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Oct 04 - 02:17 PM

It must have disappointed a bunch of folkies that Dylan confessed that his favorite politician was Barry Goldwater.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Oct 04 - 04:36 PM

He said that Goldwater was his favorite POLITICIAN but he did not say he voted for him or even agreed with him.

Conservatives love to stake claim to everything from the flag to Bob Dylan.   Amazing


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: Sam L
Date: 17 Oct 04 - 06:14 PM

I tend to agree that Dylan styled himself as a visionary vagabond, and that he shouldn't be too surprised that some people took it too seriously. On the other hand, all along the way he also poked fun at it. I really only take exception at how smugly, how nastily he complains of about it. I'm not sure about his devotion to family, as he'd have it--I've heard people say other things. But I'm not that interested personally that I care to know. I just wish he'd be interesting about it or bring it up less. Or write more songs reflecting it.

The thing in the part I read bothered me when it got dull, and when it sounded fake, like some Judith Krantz novel.

   Listen. He said if his kids wanted to bang on pots and pans, then they got out all the pots and pans. Mm. Why does that sound like warmed-over horseshit? Because I've heard it before? because it's about the most cliche' example of home-life with kids you could possibly think of? because it's usually what people say if they're planning to have kids, but never had any? because in my experience kids aren't really that interested in banging pots and pans, but grown-ups refer to it a lot because it's a grown-ups nightmare, not a child's dream.

   When I said Dylan seems to have never grown up, I was aware there is an upside, but I'm afraid I was refering to the downside. Not childlike, but teen-like. Acting like an authority on everything, criticising everything from on high, without actually having the responsibility. I don't single Dylan out for this. It's just I have a problem with fantasy writing, generally. I thought American Beauty was a smug movie, because of the fantasy element--not the guy's fantasy about the cheerleader girl, the fantasy that a writer can speak with an authority beyond life, from a point of view after death. Because the scene where the daughter sees her dead father could not possibly have happened.

Most of Dylan's songs aren't smug, or fantasy, and I like them, but his interviews and this excerpt are sometimes funky, to me.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Oct 04 - 11:12 PM

He wrote some great songs referring to family life. Have you listened to the songs on "New Morning" and "Planet Waves"? They're mostly about the joys of having and loving his wife and family. How about "Forever Young" (a song written to his children)? How about "Lord, Protect My Child"?

In his earlier years (1961-64) what Dylan was doing was very much evoking the whole Woody Guthrie ethic (which he certainly adopted and believed in), and Woody was a social crusader and protestor against the high and mighty in society, a champion of the poor and oppressed...so Bob just naturally starting writing similar material in theme to what Woody had done before him. His focus on that shifted after the 3rd album and became more personal and introspective...his social criticism more all-encompassing than specifically political. In later years he began returning to the social crusader role from time to time, with songs like "George Jackson" (1970?), "Hurricane" (1975), and many, many others after that.

It's hard to have the "responsibility" for everything that's going on in the World at large...unless you happen to be George Bush or Henry Kissinger or Putin or Sharon or someone else like that. And I notice that those people do not question the powers that be. :-) They make use of them.

It is artists, philosophers, and writers in any society who question the status quo "from on high", as you say, but they are not the people in charge of it by any stretch of the imagination. If they did not speak out on behalf of a suffering and oppressed humanity, who would?


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: Sam L
Date: 17 Oct 04 - 11:37 PM

All right, I admit it, I bear a grudge against Dylan. I've never forgiven him for my having to endure Sonny Bono doing his version of the visionary prophetic routine on the t.v. in my house.

I don't want to argue against Dylan, whose stuff I usually like, but not quite always. I'd rather hear about better parts or things in his book than the stuff I read, which I found a bit disappointing.

About those people you mention, Little Hawk, recent studies show that psychopaths do well in business, other studies find that empathy is a handicap at work, and for some reason this reminds me that it was "dramatically necesary" to make Jason Compson (Yul Brenner) the protagonist in the film version of Faulkner's The Sound And The Fury. No. Nobody HAS to write in a certain way. "But, it's Dramatically Necesary." No. They have to find a way to write that they can really be responsible for. That's the job. Dylan once got on a little high horse about something like this with a reporter from Time magazine.

Further heresy. There's a point in On The Road after which you just have to feel sorry for the main characters. It's after they pick up a Catholic schoolboy and need to look down on him. Nothing but some half-digested Aquinas to stuff his pepper with--I'm quoting from 20 some years ago. After that, they seem like a couple of old losers driving around, going nowhere, consoling themselves with some dumbass foreign philosophy. Even to some dumb young kid, i.e., me, they seem diminished by needing to be smug and wise.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: sharyn
Date: 09 Jul 06 - 11:13 PM

Hi all,

I'm reviving this thread to ask a question. I am rereading Dylan's Chronicles, Vol 1 (yes, rereading) and I got interested in the part in section 4 where he is talking about a new way to formulate accompaniments that is based on arpeggios and triplets. I read this a couple of times but couldn't figure out what he was talking about. Have any of you guitar-players figured it out? And, if you have, do any of you care to attempt a simple, complete and clear explanation?

Thanks,

Sharyn


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: Little Hawk
Date: 10 Jul 06 - 12:15 AM

Fred Miller's comments about "On The Road" are interesting to me...didn't see them when they were originally posted back in '04. I've never read "On The Road", but I wouldn't be surprised if I had a similar reaction to the main characters in it. ;-) I think, Fred, that it's quite possible that as you say Bob never grew up, in a certain sense, or that in certain aspects he has remained like an adolescent. That could happen when you have as unusual a life as he has had. He's never had to do anything since age 20 but step out on a stage and play music in order to be set for life. That's unusual. (It's also a tough life, in some respects.) Combined with outrageous fame and becoming the icon of a generation, it could have an odd effect on a person, I'd imagine.

Sharyn - I can't really help you with the arpeggios and triplets thing. I did notice the structure of Bob's songs and vocal phrasings became far more complex from about '75 on...but I'm not sure how it all works, technically speaking.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: Peter T.
Date: 10 Jul 06 - 03:36 PM

Rick Fielding once told me that Dylan had learned a lot from Lonnie Johnson, but that was mostly to do with bass runs.

I would assume that someone might have given him a lesson in blues piano/triplet rhythms.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1
From: John O'L
Date: 11 Jul 06 - 09:17 AM

I was kinda intrigued by that too Sharyn. I couldn't make any sense of it either, but I don't have a great knowledge of music theory so I thought that it was probably me.
I too would like to know if anyone actually understood all that stuff.


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