I read a bunch of books on vacation. They are listed on the right column of this blog.
One of the books was Bob Dylan’s Chronicles.
I can’t recommend it really. It seems like he sat down one day and starting writing and when he was done, he published it. Total stream of consciousness. The Gotham Gal called it “one long run-on sentence”.
But there was some great stuff in there. Jackson will dig the stuff about the work Bob did with Daniel Lanois in New Orleans making Oh Mercy. It was a great illustration of the tension that exists between the producer and the artist.
The part I liked was where he stitched together all of his influences. Music is like open source. Whose code did Bob take and extend to create his own code?
Well it was Woody Guthrie first and foremost. The stuff about Bob going out to the convalescent home in NJ where Woody was dying and play Woody his old songs was really touching. I am going to get some Woody Guthrie recordings. I have always loved his songs and I don’t own any of them.
But there was also Robert Johnson. And Dave Von Ronk. And Jack Elliott. Even Bertolt Brecht.
And from that came Bob Dylan. An original. And a genius. Who has inspired a ton of musicians in turn.