The ultimate biography of the musical icon.
Bob Dylan is a music hero to generations. He’s also an international bestselling artist, a Pulitzer Prize–winning author, and an Oscar winner for “Things Have Changed.” His career is stronger and more influential than ever. How did this happen, given the road to oblivion he seemed to choose more than two decades ago?
Dylan’s 72, and this final act of his career is more interesting than ever—yet the classic biographies like Bob Dylan: Behind the Shades (first published 1991, updated 2001) and even his own Chronicles: Volume One (published 2005) came too soon to cover this act.
Now this groundbreaking biography digs deep into Bob Dylan lore—including subjects Dylan himself left out of Chronicles: Volume One. Dylan: The Biography moves beyond analysis of lyrics or well-worn biographical facts to focus on why this beloved artist’s American odyssey has touched so many souls—and how both Dylan and his audience have changed along the way. What happened during the past two decades to transform a heroin addict into one of the most astonishing literary and musical icons in American history?
Through extensive interviews and connections with Dylan’s friends, family, sidemen, and fans, Los Angeles Times journalist Dennis McDougal builds a new understanding of Dylan, as well as the real story behind the myths. Was his romantic life, especially with Sara Dylan, much more complicated than it appears? Was his motorcycle accident a cover for drug rehab? What really happened to Dylan when his career fell apart, and how did he find his way back? To what does he attribute his astonishing success? McDougal’s interviews and meticulous research offer a revealing new understanding of these older questions—and of the new chapter Dylan is writing in his life and career.
|Publisher:||Turner Publishing Company|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.40(d)|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
When the van rolled up to the Chateau Marmont Hotel on Sunset Strip to fetch Bob Dylan for his sold out concert at the nearby Pantages Theater on the evening of May 14, 1992, the legendary singer/songwriter was already spaced out on tequila, and more.
“He was on smack,” declared one of his handlers that night. “He was nodding off time and again.”
By the time the driver had coaxed him into the van and ferried him to the Pantages, Dylan was slurring his words and had to be helped to an easy chair behind a curtained-off section at the loading dock out back of the theater, where he fell into a trance watching black-and-white TV reruns of Gilligan’s Island until his stage call.
He made it by rote through his 90-minute set that night, leaning on his keyboard for support, seemingly oblivious to the chorus of boos as the audience reacted to the fact that his vocals were indecipherable and the arrangements loud but unrecognizable. When he’d finished, Dylan left the stage without having said a single word to the audience. He walked directly out of the rear of the theater where, rather than wait for his driver to take him back to the Chateau Marmont, he climbed into the van, threw it into reverse, and nearly backed over one of his roadies.
It’s hard to imagine that anyone in the Pantages audience left that night satisfied with what had occurred. The fact that any fan showed up in the first place was a testament to Dylan’s distant past, not his recent achievements. It had been 30 years since Blowin’ in the Wind first thrust him into the public consciousness, 17 years since his album masterpiece Blood on the Tracks. Since then a string of 18 mostly forgettable albums had produced few hit singles.
Dylan had continued to tour, playing smaller venues and sometimes selling them out. But the faithful who paid to see him frequently came away disappointed, saddened, and even unnerved to watch the great musical hero of their youth so reduced. What was the deal, they wondered. Was it age? Boredom? Did he just not care anymore?
Table of Contents
Part I -- Rebel Without Applause 1941-1966
Chapter 1: Hibbing
Chapter 2: Minneapolis
Chapter 3: Greenwich
Chapter 4: Fourth Street
Chapter 5: On the Road
Chapter 6: Chelsea Hotel
Part II -- Goin' Up the Country 1966-1978
Chapter 7: Woodstock
Chapter 8: Return to Greenwich
Chapter 9: California
Chapter 10: On the Road Again
Chapter 11: Renaldo and Sara
Part III -- Get on Board, Lil’ Children 1978-1989
Chapter 12. Slow Train
Chapter 13. Soul Train
Chapter 14. Love Train
Chapter 15. Mystery Train
Chapter 16. Money Train
Part IV -- Sometimes a Man Must Be Alone 1989-Present
17. Trouble Ahead, Trouble Behind
19. Not Dark Yet
21.N.E.T. Gains & Losses
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