“The Dylanologists: Adventures in the Land of Bob” by David Kinney is a book I’ve been looking forward to reading for a while.
I’ve never written a review of a book before, but when offered a “review copy” a couple of weeks back I thought: “What the heck.. I’ll do it my way*, if I can get a kindle version (I’m a kindle-a-holic).”
So this is not a standard book review at all, rather a long article on the subject “Dylanologists” inspired by the book. I will refer to the book throughout the article, and pull together my thoughts at the end in the “Summary” section. It is indeed a great book, not only for Dylan fans. It is fun, informative & full of warmth for (most of) it’s characters. Highly recommended for anyone even remotely interested in Bob Dylan. My wife has assured me that she will read it (and she is not even close to being a Dylan fan).
My thoughts, my personal needs have always been expressed through my songs; you can feel them there even in ‘Mr Tambourine Man’.
~Bob Dylan (to Sandra Jones – June 1981)
Even a song like Mr. Tambourine Man really isn’t a fantasy. There’s substance to the dream. Because you’ve seen it, you know? In order to have a dream, there’s something in front of you. You have to have seen something or have heard something for you to dream it. It becomes your dream then.
~Bob Dylan (to Bill Flanagan – March 1985)
Original version from youtube:
@ #12 on my list of Dylan’s 200 best songs. The original version from “Bringing It All Back Home” was recorded on January 15 – 1965 @ the third recording session.
….and proceeded to record the final versions of “Mr. Tambourine Man”, “It’s Alright, Ma” & “Gates Of Eden” in a single take* with no playback between songs… it’s as though all three songs came out of him in one breath, easily the greatest breath drawn by an American artist since Ginsberg & Kerouac exhaled “Howl” & “On The Road” a decade earlier..
~Paul Williams (BD Performing Artist 1960-73)
*although this has been found not to be entirely true (after PW wrote his book).. It’s still a GREAT quote.
The specific Tambourine Man he had in mind was Bruce Langhorne, the magnificent multi-instrumentalist who would usher in Dylan’s electric era with some spellbinding guitar playing on Bringing It All Back Home (notably on “Mr. Tambourine Man” itself).
~Clinton Heylin (Revolution in the air)