Synopses & Reviews
Thirty-one of the most significant and revealing conversations with Dylan have been compiled in this volume. Among the highlights are the seminal Rolling Stone interviews by Jann Wenner, Jonathan Cott, Kurt Loder, and Mikal Gilmore.
"As an interview subject, Bob Dylan is notorious for his unpredictable moods and evasive, impish answers. Yet this priceless collection teems with honest, open, and thoughtful musings from a man described by editor Cott (Dylan; Back to a Shadow in the Night) as a 'playful expositor of his munificent and inspiring thought-dreams.' Organized chronologically, the interviews illuminate Dylan's changing views of music, life and his career, so readers can watch how a cocksure young man, reluctantly occupying the spotlight ('I'm really not the right person to tramp around the country saving souls,' he told Playboy in 1966), remains forever uneasy with his status as he becomes one of the most influential musicians in history ('If I wasn't Bob Dylan, I'd probably think that Bob Dylan has a lot of answers myself,' he tells Playboy in 1978). Most notable is Dylan's unwavering conviction in his instincts despite disapproval from other musicians, music critics and fans; after getting booed during his electric debut, he told Nora Ephron 'They can boo till the end of time. I know that the music is real, more real than the boos.' Those who have been touched by Dylan's songs will find this collection a fascinating window into his one-of-a-kind mind." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[I]t is gratifying to discover how substantive and compelling music journalist Cott's...selections are." Booklist
"In an irresistible new anthology....Arranged chronologically, these interviews vary wildly. That accounts for much of their cumulative appeal. A lot depends upon who was asking the questions and how combative or cooperative Mr. Dylan happened to be feeling." Janet Maslin, New York Times
About the Author
Jonathan Cott is the author of sixteen books, including Dylan (a biography), Conversations with Glenn Gould, Stockhausen: Conversations with the Composer, and Back to a Shadow in the Night: Music Writings and Interviews 19682001 and co-editor of The Ballad of John and Yoko. He has been a contributing editor of Rolling Stone magazine since its inception and has written for the New York Times, Parabola, and the New Yorker. He lives in New York City.