Synopses & Reviews
The ultimate biography of the musical icon.
A groundbreaking and vibrant look at the music hero to generations, DYLAN: The Biography digs deep into Bob Dylan lore--including subjects Dylan himself left out of Chronicles: Volume One.
DYLAN: The Biography focuses on why this beloved artist has touched so many souls--and on how both Dylan and his audience have changed along the way.
Bob Dylan is 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? What transformed a heroin addict into one of the most astonishing literary and musical icons in American history?
At 72 years of age, Dylan's final act of his career is more intriguing than ever--and classic biographies like Bob Dylan: Behind the Shades and even his own Chronicles: Volume One came too soon to cover this remarkable new chapter in Dylan's life.
Through extensive interviews and conversations with Dylan's friends, family, sidemen, and fans, Los Angeles Times journalist Dennis McDougal crafts an unprecedented understanding of Dylan and the intricate 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 crumbled, and how did he find his way back? To what does he attribute his astonishing success? McDougal's meticulous research and comprehensive interviews offer a revealing new understanding of these long-standing questions--and of the current chapter Dylan continually writes in his life and career.
"The legendary singer-songwriter Bob Dylan matures from 'feckless, foolish poseur' to calculating, canny poseur in this gleefully acid-etched biography. New York Times scribe McDougal (The Last Mogul) chronicles Dylan's project of 'Ã¢Â€Â˜building a character that will sell'' by transforming himself from a middle-class Jewish boy with nice parents in Minnesota into an ersatz orphaned carnie and hallucinatory folk-rock oracle (and later into a country-western balladeer and born-again Christian). Along the way, he argues, Dylan stole the personas and stylings of other entertainers, and plagiarized tunes, words, and paintings (sometimes copyrighting them as originals). Amid makeovers and appropriations, the truly authentic constants of Dylan's character in this critical portrait are a hard-nosed drive to succeed, self-centered betrayals of intimates, incessant misrepresentations and voracious appetites for booze, drugs, and women. McDougal eschews gushing exegeses of lyrics and other staples of Dylanolatry; while he acknowledges a body of great music and perceptively analyzes its resonance, he's happier tossing jibes. ('A tale told by an idiot-savant on PCP' is his review of Dylan's novel Tarantulas.) Few of his revelations are novel, but McDougal presents his caustic indictment with energy and panache. (May)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
At age 72: still a household name, a musical hero to generations, an international bestselling artist, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, an Oscar winner for his 2000 hit song “Things Have Changed,” a career stronger and more influential than ever. But how is this possible, given the road to oblivion he'd chosen to take 20 years earlier?
Dylan answers that question by digging deep into Bob Dylan lore, past everything Dylan fails to address even in Volume One of his autobiography, Chronicles. Dylan doesnt simply dig through lyrics or sound checks for answers to the enigma that is Bob Dylan, nor does it linger on the well-worn facts of the musicians American odyssey. What remains for discussion is why this journey touched so many souls, how both Dylan and his audience changed along the way, and what happened during the past two decades that transformed a heroin addict into one of the most astonishing literary and musical careers in American history.
Told through anecdote and observation of the musicians friends, family, sidemen, and fans, this book asks the reader to rethink Dylan. More than any other contemporary artist, writer, filmmaker, or stage performer, his influence has been global. At its most basic, this book is a simple and very American story of a fallen star, brought low by drugs, drink, women, and despair, and his rise again to unimagined heights. It reprises his early and middle years with a new emphasis on the real story behind the myths: Was his romantic life, especially with Sara Dylan, much more complicated than it appears? Was his famed motorcycle accident really just a cover for drug rehab? What happened to Dylan when his career fell apart (about the time he turned publicly to Jesus), and, more important, how did he find his way back? To what does he attribute his astonishing success? Through former Los Angeles Times writer Dennis McDougals interviews and meticulous research, Dylan gets to the bottom of these questions, offering a fresh and revealing look at not only the older stories, but also on the final and least known chapter of Dylan's life and remarkable career.
About the Author
Dennis McDougal, writer for the
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 and Losses