so who's looking forward to bob dylan's chronicles volume one book?

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after reading the interview in the telegraph this weekend, i am quite excited.

not to digress, but if dylan can write his autobiography after all these years and be so candid, maybe his fellow minnesotan prince can do the same!

splooge (thesplooge), Friday, 1 October 2004 13:25 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I am. I love the way Bob talks, and his writing is similar. He has this vague backwoods meandering paragraph thing going on, where you think he's just a crazy old man, then brings it around through the back door to his taut and inciteful point before you realize you've been smacked.

Interview & excerpt.

mcd (mcd), Friday, 1 October 2004 13:31 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

But does anyone know how candid he was about his family and personal life? I sincerely hope it's not one of these typically self-serving autobios, which I usually avoid like the plague (Miles' book was an exception).

Jazzbo (jmcgaw), Friday, 1 October 2004 17:02 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

What happened to this thread? ilx hates Dylan, etc.

mcd (mcd), Sunday, 3 October 2004 01:58 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

its out tomorrow, i think. the cover is a bit shit actually, looks like some random novel about 'life in the big city' or some travelling companion.

splooge (thesplooge), Sunday, 3 October 2004 12:00 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I still don't understand how the three volumes will be divided. And what's that album based on Tchekov short stories he mentions?

Baaderoni (Fabfunk), Sunday, 3 October 2004 22:28 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

blood on the tracks i suppose. probably another one of his jokes. i wouldn't believe this guy a thing he says about himself. he wasn't totally innocent for the mystic/mythic aura around him.

alex in mainhattan (alex63), Monday, 4 October 2004 04:39 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...
has anybody else read this yet? it's very well written. some great stuff about him getting to NYC in 61 and then trying to throw it all away in 68.

there's also a great line when he's talking about the recording of Oh Mercy. somebody asks him what he's listening to and he says mainly Ice-T, Public Enemy and Run-DMC. 'The music I was making was archaic'.

Pete W (peterw), Friday, 22 October 2004 09:46 (twelve years ago) Permalink

The thing I don't understand is how these volumes are divided? Volume 1 goes up to 'Oh Mercy'?

Baaderoni (Fabfunk), Friday, 22 October 2004 10:04 (twelve years ago) Permalink

volume one has four parts: 1961, 1968-70, 1988 and then 1961 again. he skips out everything between 61-67 (bar some references); and 1970-88. he also doesn't really go into his childhood, although there is some mention of it. the chronology's all shot but it works.

Pete W (peterw), Friday, 22 October 2004 10:11 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Hmm, weird. I guess 1970-1988 is the part I'm most looking forward to.

Baaderoni (Fabfunk), Friday, 22 October 2004 10:22 (twelve years ago) Permalink

i suspect the next volumes will appear in 15 years or something

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Friday, 22 October 2004 12:31 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I like how each of the sections really conveys the "feel" of Dylan at that point in time, even though it's all written in the same voice. And with the abrupt transitions from one period to the next, the contrast makes each one even more distinct.

I'm on the "Oh Mercy" section... Some pretty funny stuff: Dylan talking about hanging out with Bono in his kitchen, all the casual mentions of his nice house and property... It's so perfect that he does a song-by-song discussion of "Oh Mercy," and throws in some extra verses for each song... as if this is what everyone was waiting for!

Some of the details in the "early NYC days" section are a little boring: his long lists of the books he was discovering and the people on the scene. The "New Morning" (trapped by fame) section is great. And his long discussion of the new guitar playing/singing approaches he discovered in the late '80s is really interesting. I wish I knew a musician who could sort of demonstrate what he's talking about.

As a memoirist, he's no John Fahey, but the book is so perfectly Dylan. I can't wait to finish it and pass it on to my dad.

morris pavilion (samjeff), Friday, 22 October 2004 19:18 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I haven't read it yet, but it's sitting on my coffee table. I have a couple of other books to finish first.

o. nate (onate), Saturday, 23 October 2004 03:33 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I think Dylan just got frustrated about having little written about him to this point, and decided to take the task on himself.

Riot Gear! (Gear!), Saturday, 23 October 2004 03:39 (twelve years ago) Permalink

It's beautiful. Worth mentioning that Dylan's on whatever LP Kurtis Blow released in 1986 . . . it's around here somewhere.

Rickey Wright (Rrrickey), Saturday, 23 October 2004 09:24 (twelve years ago) Permalink

'Kingdom Blow.'

Rickey Wright (Rrrickey), Saturday, 23 October 2004 09:49 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"Dylan trivia for 500, Alex."

Rickey Wright (Rrrickey), Saturday, 23 October 2004 09:50 (twelve years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...
This is fantastic. The 'Oh Mercy' part, where he goes on about being all washed up and over hill, is amazingly written.

Baaderonixxx le Jeune (Fabfunk), Tuesday, 9 November 2004 16:42 (twelve years ago) Permalink

just finished this. it's quite good. highly recommended.

King Korn Karn, Thursday, 11 November 2004 20:28 (twelve years ago) Permalink

ten months pass...
I haven't seen the Scorsese doc yet, but I'm finally reading this. I am going to type in favorite bits as I go, because it's so good.

The best part of working with him, though, was strictly gastronomical -- all the French fries and hamburgers I could eat. At some point during the day, Tiny Tim and I would go in the kitchen and hang around. Norbert the cook would usually have a greasy burger waiting. Either that, or he'd let us empty a can of pork and beans or spaghetti into a frying pan. Norbert was a trip. He wore a tomato-stained apron, had a fleshy, hard-bitten face, bulging cheeks, scars on his face like the marks of claws -- thought of himself as a lady's man -- saving his money so he could go to Verona in Italy and visit the tomb of Romeo and Juliet. The kitchen was like a cave bored into the side of a cliff.

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 05:10 (twelve years ago) Permalink

In American history class, we were taught that commies couldn't destroy America with guns or bombs alone, that they would have to destroy the Constitution -- the document that this country was founded upon. It didn't make any difference, though. When the drill sirens went off, you had to lay under your desk facedown, not a muscle quivering and not make any noise. As if this could save you from the bombs dropping. The threat of annihilation was a scary thing. We didn't know what we did to anybody to make them so mad. The Reds were everywhere, we were told, and out for bloodlust. Where were my uncles, the defenders of the country? They were busy making a living, working, getting what they could and making it stretch. How could they know what was going on in the schools, what kind of fear was being roused?

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 05:16 (twelve years ago) Permalink

i'd like to read this. the market has become so saturated with dylan books that it's been hard to rouse my interest for yet another one, but i agree, that writing is great.

faith popcorn (Jody Beth Rosen), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 05:22 (twelve years ago) Permalink

In the mid-'50s, I was performing in the lobby of the National Guard Armory, the Veterans Memorial Building, the site where all the big shows happened -- the livestock shows and hockey games, circuses and boxing shows, traveling preacher revivals, country and western jamborees. I'd seen Slim Whitman, Hank Snow, Webb Pierce and a lot of others there. Once a year or so, Gorgeous George would bring his whole troupe of performers to town: Goliath, The Vampire, The Twister, The Strangler, The Bone Crusher, The Holy Terror, midget wrestlers, a couple of lady wrestlers and a whole lot more. I was playing on a makeshift platform in the lobby of the building with the usual wild activity of people milling about, and no one was paying much attention. Suddenly the doors burst open, and in came Gorgeous George himself. He roared in like the storm, didn't go through the backstage area, he came right through the lobby of the building, and he seemed like forty men. It was Gorgeous George, in all his magnificent glory with all the lightning and vitality you'd expect. He had valets and was surrounded by women carrying roses, wore a majestic fur-lined gold cape and his long blond curls were flowing. He brushed by the makeshift stage and glanced towards the sound of the music. He didn't break stride, but he looked at me, eyes flashing with moonshine. He winked and seemed to mouth the phrase, "You're making it come alive."

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 05:24 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(I just got it because I was waiting for the paperback. It is very good.)

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 05:25 (twelve years ago) Permalink

jesus jody you gotta read this thing. TOTAL FUN.

j blount (papa la bas), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 05:33 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I just read t he account of him getting his honorary degree at Princeton, with David Crosby along for the ride. Too long to type out, but utter fear/loathing/hilarity.

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 05:35 (twelve years ago) Permalink

i'll see if my library has it.

faith popcorn (Jody Beth Rosen), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 05:48 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Finished now. Pretty great all the way through. I like how in the different sections his voice changes so you really hear him as the young turk, the burned-out superstar and the going-on-grizzled legend trying to get his groove back. This part about New Orleans seemed worth repeating:

Right now, I strolled into the dusk. The air was murky and intoxicating. At the corner of the block, a giant, gaunt cat crouched on a concrete ledge. I got up close to it and stopped and the cat didn't move. I wished I had a jug of milk. My eyes and ears were open, my consciousness fully alive. The first thing you notice about New Orleans are the burying grounds -- the cemeteries -- and they're a cold proposition, one of the best things there are here. Going by, you try to be as quiet as possible, better to let them sleep. Greek, Roman, sepulchres -- palatial mausoleums made to order, phantomesque, signs and symbols of hidden decay -- ghosts of men and women who have sinned and who've died and are now living in tombs. The past doesn't pass away so quickly here. You could be dead for a long time. The ghosts race towards the light, you can almost hear the heavy breathing -- spirits, all determined to get somewhere. New Orleans, unlike a lot of those places you go back to and that don't have the magic anymore, still has got it. Night can swallow you up, yet none of it touches you. Around any corner, there's a promise of something daring and ideal and things are just getting going. There's something obscenely joyful behind every door, either that or somebody crying with their head in their hands. A lazy rhythm looms in the dreamy air and the atmosphere pulsates with bygone duels, past-life romance, comrades requesting comrades to aid them in some way. You can't see it, but you know it's here. Somebody is always sinking. Everyone seem to be from some very old Southern families. Either that or a foreigner. I like the way it is.

There are a lot of places I like, but I like New Orleans better. There's a thousand different angles at any moment. At any time you could run into a ritual honoring some vaguely known queen. Bluebloods, titled persons like crazy drunks, lean weakly against the walls and drag themselves through the gutter. Even they seem to have insights you might want to listen to. No action seems inappropriate here. The city is one very long poem. Gardens full of pansies, pink petunias, opiates. Flower-bedecked shrines, white myrtles, bougainvillea and purple oleander stimulate your senses, make you feel cool and clear inside.

Everything in New Orleans is a good idea.

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Monday, 10 October 2005 04:59 (twelve years ago) Permalink

eight months pass...
just started reading this....what a writer! his way of phrasing is just amazing, sort of an ersatz 1920s gadabout persona..or something...so uniquely dylan...this part about balzac made me laugh:

You can learn a lot from Mr. B. It's funny to have him as a companion. He wears a monk's robe and drinks endless cups of coffee. Too much sleep clogs up his mind. One of his teeth falls out, and he says, "What does this mean?" He questions everything. His clothes catch fire on a candle. He wonders if fire is a good sign. Balzac is hilarious.

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Tuesday, 13 June 2006 22:59 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Another great line about his first encounters with Public Enemy, Ice-T, etc.: "These guys were not standing around bullshitting."

Rickey Wright (Rrrickey), Tuesday, 13 June 2006 23:28 (eleven years ago) Permalink

four years pass...

Sun Pie!

scott seward, Thursday, 15 July 2010 18:39 (seven years ago) Permalink

i wonder when/if there'll be a vol. 2?

tylerw, Thursday, 15 July 2010 19:07 (seven years ago) Permalink

hopefully it'll have a detailed description of the Christmas in the Heart sessions.

tylerw, Thursday, 15 July 2010 19:08 (seven years ago) Permalink

i just read this. so great. and so inspiring. i want to be a genius now.

scott seward, Thursday, 15 July 2010 19:19 (seven years ago) Permalink

When I read this, I was so excited I practically forced a friend to borrow my copy. Then I started getting antsy because it wasn't around. Finally I had a brain wave and bought another copy. It was even better the second time. Maybe I'll just keep buying extra copies until v. 2 comes out.

Brad C., Thursday, 15 July 2010 20:58 (seven years ago) Permalink

I was so hoping this thread had been revived because there had been a release date for Volume 2 announced.

Fifi live from gay Paree (staggerlee), Friday, 16 July 2010 00:05 (seven years ago) Permalink

i just read this. so great. and so inspiring. i want to be a genius now.

I reread the New Orleans chapter every few months.

I'm never gonna do it without the Lex on (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 16 July 2010 00:07 (seven years ago) Permalink

six months pass...

some news:
Bob Dylan has signed a six-book deal with Simon & Schuster, according to Crain's New York Business, encompassing two sequels to his acclaimed 2004 book Chronicles: Volume One as well as another book based on dialogue from his Sirius/XM radio show Theme Time Radio Hour.

It's unclear what the other three books are going to be. According to the Crain's, Dylan's literary agent Andrew Wylie was seeking an eight-figure deal for the books. (Dylan has not responded to Rolling Stone's request for comment).

tylerw, Wednesday, 19 January 2011 16:39 (six years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

this is a pretty crazy article about chronicles
http://newhavenreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/NHR-006-Warmuth.pdf

tylerw, Monday, 29 October 2012 18:05 (four years ago) Permalink

it's really funny how these traditions of borrowing and copying (on which Bob Dylan built his career) do not sit well in this age of legality and intellectual property.

Poliopolice, Monday, 29 October 2012 18:45 (four years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
three years pass...

man this is good, kicking myself for taking so long to getting around to it

Οὖτις, Monday, 9 October 2017 16:30 (one week ago) Permalink

I've read this a few times -- this and Miles' are the two music autobiographies I frequently return to. And both feature encounters with Cecil Taylor and Thelonious Monk!

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Monday, 9 October 2017 16:44 (one week ago) Permalink

probably my two faves as well

niels, Monday, 9 October 2017 21:05 (one week ago) Permalink

the ephemera that he champions in this book is really interesting, I didn't even know this existed
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YR6wtzIUtcs

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 10 October 2017 15:41 (six days ago) Permalink

so when he's talking about his post-motorcycle crash work, he offers some cheeky descriptions of Nashville Skyline and Self-Portrait, and also mentions an album based entirely on Chekhov's short works - wtf is he talking about here, John Wesley Harding? Or something that never came out? tyler?

Οὖτις, Friday, 13 October 2017 16:24 (three days ago) Permalink

Think he claimed or broadly hinted at one point that it was Blood On The Tracks? Oh yeah, here 'tis: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/dylans-bloody-best-album-40-facts-about-the-40-year-old-blood-on-the-tracks-20150121 You might wanna search "Chekhov" here and spare yourself the surrounding RS effusions.

dow, Friday, 13 October 2017 16:39 (three days ago) Permalink

looks like that's just RS speculation though

Οὖτις, Friday, 13 October 2017 16:52 (three days ago) Permalink

in chronicles he says something like "critics claimed it was autobiographical" which seems to point in the blood on the tracks direction ... but who knows. A lot of Chronicles is kinda suspect (even though I think it's great)

tylerw, Friday, 13 October 2017 16:53 (three days ago) Permalink

Iirc he borrowed a ton of passages from Really the Blues by Mezz Mezzrow, also worth reading if you haven't.

JoeStork, Friday, 13 October 2017 17:02 (three days ago) Permalink

some people think the whole book is an exercise in cut-up techniques. i wonder when there'll be a Room 237-style doc on Dylan conspiracy theories.

tylerw, Friday, 13 October 2017 17:07 (three days ago) Permalink


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