Sunday, February 10, 2008
I just finished reading Volume I of Bob Dylan's Chronicles. In the name of Objectivity (I know in my autobiography I'm going to man the first successful blimp mission to the moon, shortly after freeing the Jews from Auschwitz) I usually avoid autobiographies, but I felt perfectly comfortable reading one by Dylan--primarily because I wanted to see how he strings words together. It was a nice read. It was interesting to read about his journey to become Bob Dylan as we know him, which interestingly enough, is not someone he necessarily wants to be.
The parts I appreciated the most were his discussions of his own creative processes. I also liked hearing him talk about other artists like Robert Johnson, Johnny Cash, N.W.A. and a hundred people I''ve never heard of but now want to. One particular chapter is the story of how he created an album, and reading about the pushing and pulling between himself and his producer was quite interesting.
Today celebrities seem to be dying for an opportunity to tell us who to vote for or what kind of (hybrid) car to drive. Just because they can sing or act real good they think it is there duty to go on cable telvision talk shows and tell us how to live our lives. I guess they feel they are in a position to spark change, and I suppose they are, relative to my own position, at least, but they all seem so out of touch. They want to be what Dylan was and didn't want to be. It was interesting that Dylan was never interested in being a voice of protest. He struggled under his label as a voice of a generation and did things (like recording strange albums and acting eccentricly in public) to shed that label.
Anyway, anyone the least bit interested in Dylan or his songs should read the book. Martin Scorcese made a documentary 'No Direction Home' that sort of plays as a companion piece, and the film is very good as well and allows you to hear the music.
Posted by Ryan at 2:30 AM