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Chronicles: Volume One

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"I'd come from a long ways off and had started a long ways down. But now destiny was about to manifest itself. I felt like it was looking right at me and nobody else." So writes Bob Dylan in Chronicles: Volume One, his remarkable book exploring critical junctures in his life and career.

Through Dylan's eyes and open mind, we see Greenwich Village, circa 1961, when he first arrives in Manhattan. Dylan's New York is a magical city of possibilities -- smoky, nightlong parties; literary awakenings; transient loves and unbreakable friendships. Elegiac observations are punctuated by jabs of memories, penetrating and tough. With the book's side trips to New Orleans, Woodstock, Minnesota and points west, Chronicles: Volume One is an intimate and intensely personal recollection of extraordinary times.

By turns revealing, poetical, passionate and witty, Chronicles: Volume One is a mesmerizing window on Bob Dylan's thoughts and influences. Dylan's voice is distinctively American: generous of spirit, engaged, fanciful and rhythmic. Utilizing his unparalleled gifts of storytelling and the exquisite expressiveness that are the hallmarks of his music, Bob Dylan turns Chronicles: Volume One into a poignant reflection on life, and the people and places that helped shape the man and the art.

320 pages, Paperback

First published November 12, 2004

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About the author

Bob Dylan

452 books1,335 followers
Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman) is an American singer-songwriter, author, musician, poet, and, of late, disc jockey who has been a major figure in popular music for five decades. Much of Dylan's most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when he became an informal chronicler and a reluctant figurehead of American unrest. A number of his songs, such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin'", became anthems of the anti-war and civil rights movements. His most recent studio album, Modern Times, released on August 29, 2006, entered the U.S. album charts at #1, making him, at age sixty five, the oldest living person to top those charts.

Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize in Literature (2016).

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Profile Image for Geoff.
444 reviews1,188 followers
August 4, 2014
I’m going to do something I try not to do here, since I consider this to be a site about other people’s words- I’m going to ramble on autobiographically for a bit.

I bought this first volume of Dylan’s Chronicles the day it came out in 2004, was anticipating the hell out of it. Back then I was managing a used record store in College Park, Maryland. I studied poetry and creative writing at UMD, big waste of my time, could’ve learned all that on my own, learn more now on my own than I did then anyway, except from maybe two or three professors who had something to say, and besides reading a lot of Shakespeare, it was a big snooze. Though I did find Frank O’Hara and John Ashberry and Fernando Pessoa and I feel like I learned a great deal about ol’ Will’s plays I wouldn’t have come to on my own. Other than that, I should have studied languages or education or linguistics or history or something that could have landed me a better job after I graduated. When I did graduate, the world was so opaque to me I didn’t know how to take the next step. The reality that I considered the adult, professional world to be seemed so dead and vacant to me that I wanted no part of it, but I knew that my consciousness and my conscience were no longer with the style and opinions of my youth. I had always played music, written songs, shitty as they were, and my circle of friends were mostly wanna-be artists and musicians, some skateboarding punks, pot-heads, some real dim and bright lights. I got a job managing a used record store a few of my friends worked at. That way I didn’t have to move home after graduation, could stay around DC, which I loved (coming from a small town in southern Maryland, the DC/Baltimore duality is almost overwhelmingly fertile, experience-wise, especially if you are young and don’t know other cities). So I started working at this record store that was, in retrospect, at the same time the best and the worst decision I could have made.

But it suited me because I knew music inside and out. I knew punk, weirdo-rock, jazz, little no name labels, blues, pop, rap, R & B, African music, Brazilian music, folk singers, composers- I had an infinite catalog of songs always running through my head, felt like I knew millions of lyrics by heart, could name jazz artists by the first four or so bars of a tune, dove deep into every style of music. And I was playing music, writing it myself, so it was an ideal situation, but one I still wanted to keep extremely temporary, employment-wise. My favorite bands came out of the 80’s noise scene, SST bands, stuff like Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Spacemen 3, Pelt, bands like Minor Threat and Fugazi, I got into Pavement because they were like nothing I’d ever heard, I dug The Velvet Underground as much as anyone could, “Pale Blue Eyes” still makes me weepy, I loved those strange little short-lived mathematical bands like June of 44, A Minor Forest, Hoover. I also loved jazz, all jazz, from Louis Armstrong to the most wild Albert Ayler tunes, Coltrane, Archie Shepp, Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman, the European improvisers of harsh noise like Peter Brotzmann, Mats Gustafsson, especially drummers like Hamid Drake, Paal Nilssen-Love, and the masters like Elvin Jones and Buddy Rich, Philly Joe Jones; the great tenor players Sonny Rollins and Lester Young, and those ethereal beings such as Sun Ra, Bobby Hutcherson, Anthony Braxton, who you couldn’t really define or pin down. I came to exalt Django Reinhardt as if he was the real Jesus, the three-fingered Jesus, more striking and more straight to the point than the other Jesus. I had all kinds of music coursing throughout my entire being, pulsing through me all day, all night, I worshiped these people, had shrines to them, treated vinyl records like idols. I played music all day in the store, just put everything on. Heard so much. Found so many things I would never have known about unless I had those hours to just explore a vast quantity of random records at my leisure. The only stuff I didn’t really get into was the watered-down stuff, the stuff that sounded too polished, too clean, like pretty college boys made it, or like it cost a million dollars to record. Anything gritty, anything that had something a little off to it, something that didn’t quite sit right, that made you wonder just what the hell was up with this person, I could get into. All genres, all types. The common thread was originality and heart, and something mournful or odd about the tune. It wasn’t until those long, strangely-paced hours of digging through the stock of that record store that I came to know Bob Dylan’s music.

Dylan had always eluded me, don’t know why, I came to him relatively late in the development of my tastes. I guess it was that I was well-versed in obscurities, but big names of the popular music world seemed instantly repugnant to me; it’s a fault of youth, wanting things to be just for yourself. I just thought that if the masses liked them they couldn’t hold any kind of secret. That the secrets were held by a chosen few, who spoke in tongues, and that those kind of revelations wouldn’t, couldn’t reach a mass audience. The weirder the better, it seemed to me, and the more authentic. So when I put on “The Times They Are A-Changin’”, I just expected it would be another 40 minute write off. Not that I didn’t know Dylan; you can’t grow up in America and not know the name Bob Dylan. It’s like not knowing the names Abe Lincoln or Lee Harvey Oswald. But I don’t think I had ever seriously listened to one of his records until now, and in retrospect I think that was the singularly best time for me to hear him, maybe the only time up until then that I was ripe to understand what he was doing, the immensity of what he means, as a songwriter, as a cultural figure, as a presence in the American twentieth century. You can’t be a child or of a child-like mind to get Dylan. You have to have experience, you have to have known some kind of pain and loss and redemption of some sort; like the great blues artists- Charlie Patton, Big Bill Broonzy, Leadbelly- you can’t be kidding around and get what these guys are trying to put across.

Dylan hit me like a brick in the face. “With God On Our Side” and “Chimes of Freedom” were the first songs I remember being utterly enraptured with and destroyed by from him:

“Starry-eyed and laughing as I recall when we were caught
Trapped by no track of hours for they hanged suspended
As we listened one last time an' we watched with one last look
Spellbound an' swallowed 'til the tolling ended
Tolling for the aching ones whose wounds cannot be nursed
For the countless confused, accused, misused, strung-out ones an' worse
An' for every hung-up person in the whole wide universe”

“To Ramona” was perhaps the greatest love song I’d ever personally heard: “The flowers of the city, though breath-like, get death-like sometimes.”... “Corrina, Corrina”, “Girl of the North Country”, etc., the big ones hit me too, “Hard Rain A’Fallin’”, “Only A Pawn in Their Game”. Those first few acoustic records of his seemed like liquid fire, lightning and stone all at once, all of it telling utterly real and bleak truths. And then I moved on through his catalog. “Bringing It All Back Home” and the rock-a-billy blues forms, the humor in the lyrics, the takes they kept of Bob laughing at himself, the searing rhythm of the band, “Highway 61 Revisited” which is probably in the top 5 greatest records ever cut, and on through the weirdness of the early seventies, the mid-seventies masterpieces “Planet Waves”, “Blood on the Tracks”, “Desire”, and then off into the cosmos of the 80’s and 90’s when he was throwing all this stuff at the wall to see what would stick, and the eventual renaissance of his late 90’s records and albums from this century, when he really found his form and his tongue again, when you realized he never lost anything but was just out for a long walk... what it was (and this took me a lot of listening to pin down) was that Dylan captured it all, all the influences, all the currents, all the sounds, all the weirdness and nostalgia, the Americana, the high lonesome sound of the mountains as well as the chaos of the city streets, the resonance of the abandoned plains and the reverberation of both ocean coasts, the silence of the hermetic shepherd under the stars and the cockiness of the hard-boiled city kid, the upstart... everything I liked about all the music I had discovered, it all flowed through that great flame of hair, burned in those eyes, seared in that voice and echoed in those plucked strings...

I came to say things like “the Elizabethans had Shakespeare, we have Dylan” and I believe that. Dylan is twentieth century America to me. Somehow it all became amassed in this slight, skinny Jewish kid from the North Country. He seems like the ghost of everyone who ever lived, singing all their laments.

So when the first volume of his autobiography came out in 2004 I had my copy set aside at the now long gone but always loved Vertigo Books, and eagerly ran over from the record store to pick it up. But for whatever reason, the first few pages didn’t catch me. I don’t know why. I thought of Dylan as the great artist of our times, of the times preceding mine, of the times to come, and yet, it may have been because of the other reading I was into then (a lot of Joyce, reading and rereading Ulysses), it didn’t grab me. I set it aside. It’s seven years later, I’m working a much better job, just put a record out under my own name, Dylan is still with me as strong as ever, and I’m closing the last page of this remarkable first volume of his memoirs.

The book itself is most definitely not only for Dylan aficionados, mostly because so much of what is in the book is Dylan observing the world and times around him, going deep into specifics of memories, fixing time and place by weather, news, architecture, the personalities he encounters, the particularities of the sky and trees, the shadows on streets, the vibe of rooms, the ambience of smoky cramped clubs; basically he writes with an eyes-open style, absorbing the physical world, not self-involved but totally observant. Dylan the man disappears into the spaces he evokes, and then he emerges, startles one with some strange sentence or description, and then the earth is spinning on again, and he is immersed in discourses on folk songs, bars, cities, literature, politics, human nature, history, specifics of music theory, recording techniques, travels; the narrative is utterly non-linear, too; he leaps from memory to memory, associations taking him across decades, and this being the first of what is to be a three volume series, you can see Chronicles becoming this big time, shuffling, always-in-motion mosaic.

It’s no surprise that the most literate of song writers loves books so much, and one of the early pleasures in Chronicles is Dylan discovering the books he was to adore, rifling through the libraries of different friends whose couches he happened to be crashing on. Tolstoy, Pushkin, Chekhov, Gogol, Maupassant, Poe, Byron, Shelley, Milton, Ovid; but above all Balzac, Rimbaud, and Baudelaire. (As recently as “Love and Theft” Dylan was still lifting lines like “Time and love has branded me with its claws”, in “Po’ Boy”, straight out of Baudelaire’s “Le Spleen de Paris”). He can’t help but quote Nietzsche and Von Clausewitz and he keeps returning to Kerouac, who he adored as a youth but then came to de-romanticize. Kerouac is to him another emblematic, problematic American figure. He cites Robert Graves’ The White Goddess, and then tells how he eventually met Graves and wanted to ask him all these things about that book, and the poetic muse, but by that time he had forgotten everything about it.

Dylan came from Duluth, near where Highway 61, the main thoroughfare of the country-blues, begins, near where the Mississippi River starts, the cold North, steel country, where foghorns blast over Lake Superior, almost mythical territory in itself, and it is in the mythos of America, the mythical Americana of the twentieth century, that Dylan immerses himself, his music, and his recollections- the America of radio plays, general stores, one-room schoolhouses, frost-hewn meadows, coal mines, church bells, patriotic heroes and heroic villains, cowboys and bank robbers and sheriffs and train jumpers, county fairs, Woody Guthrie-esque wandering minstrels above all else, delta blues men and call and response holler sessions- even if you don’t love Dylan, Chronicles is a gigantic, rich, full catalog of all of this kind of lore. One of his song writing techniques in the early Greenwich Village days was to spend hours in the New York Public Library, reading endless newspapers from the 1850’s and 1860’s, picking up random, strange, peculiar stories about the daily life of antebellum Americans. All of that shows in his early songs, and it shows in the particular distance he kept from the movements and currents of his own times- when the entire 60’s youth culture was demanding him to take a stand and be their voice and leader, he could not have felt less in common with them; characters like Stagger Lee and Ulysses S. Grant were more of his peers and contemporaries than the hippies marching on Washington or at Woodstock. His reality was formed by folk songs, which were formed by the lingering smoke of history and personal experience. He was to take those folk forms and blow them all to pieces, make them more than contemporary or futuristic, was to mold something completely new and different from that material, but the American past and American folk stories are the generating point of all he did or has ever done, and the fashions and causes of the times only seem like drops in the great ocean of history he was drawing on.

Beyond all of this, Dylan can write prose very well, very interestingly, and in a style that is all his own. If you have heard Theme Time Radio Hour or any recent interview, that is the voice of this book- the blown out, craggy, father-time voice that sounds and talks like it is centuries old, like a petrified forest's would be. The strange rhythms of his speaking voice are not lost in his sentence structure, neither is his ability as a striking wordsmith. On New Orleans:

“The city is a very long poem... Everything in New Orleans is a good idea. Bijou Temple-type cottages and lyric cathedrals side by side. Houses and mansions, structures of wild grace. Italianate, Gothic, Romanesque, Greek Revival standing in a long line in the rain. Roman Catholic art. Sweeping front porches, turrets, cast-iron balconies, colonnades- thirty-foot columns, gloriously beautiful- double pitched roofs, all the architecture of the whole wide world and it doesn’t move. In New Orleans you could almost see other dimensions. There’s only one day at a time here, then it’s tonight and then tomorrow will be today again.”

On Johnny Cash:

“...ten thousand years of culture fell from him. He could have been a cave dweller. He sounds like he’s a the edge of a fire, or in the deep snow, or in a ghostly forest...”

On Dave Van Ronk:

“Every night I felt like I was sitting at the feet of a timeworn monument... his voice was like rusted shrapnel.”

On an 8 second, 8mm film clip of Robert Johnson:

“He’s playing with huge, spider-like hands and they magically move over the strings of his guitar. There’s a harp rack with a harmonica around his neck. He looks nothing like a man of stone, no high-strung temperament. He looks almost child-like, an angelic looking figure, innocent as can be. He’s wearing a white linen jumper, coveralls and an unusual gilded cap like Little Lord Fauntleroy. He looks nothing like a man with the hellhound on his trail. He looks immune to human dread and you stare at the image in disbelief.”

I particularly like “structures of wild grace” and “nothing like a man with the hellhound on his trail”. Chronicles is full of this kind of stuff. If you have any notion of or interest in the history or the music of what is called Americana, of everything us Americans here in the United States are culturally perched upon in the twenty-first century, this first volume of Dylan’s memoirs seems like a proper portal that can lead you to into its great depths; it’s fascinating and I can’t wait for the next volumes.
Profile Image for Paul Bryant.
2,194 reviews9,455 followers
May 2, 2023

When I read Chronicles for the first time I was knocked out and gave it five sparkling stars. (My original rave review is way down below.) Then something untoward happened and I came slouching back to Goodreads with an update :

"Conscience impels me to remove one star from my original 5. I'm bewitched, bothered and bewildered.

When this gorgeously written, completely eccentric and endearing memoir came out in 2004 I loved it. In the years since then, Dylan fans and commentators have been finding out stuff, and it opens a big can of worms, the worms of PLAGIARISM.

Because, it seems, if the rabid batgooglers and archive monkeys are to be believed, large parts - maybe all - of Chronicles are not original writing by Bob Dylan at all but an original mosaic of other people's phrases stitched together by Bob Dylan."

There’s a sample list of plagiarised passages below along with my less than complimentary rueful conclusion that Chronicles is indeed a work of plagiarism.

But now, a further twist!
Reading Steven Moore’s love letter to Alexander Theroux I found this on page 27. Bear with me, you have to read a paragraph from Darconville’s Cat, Theroux’s big novel :

“Stories to delight your ears, favors to allure your eyes? She touched you here and there? Oh yes. The adverse party, with a suitable amount of proleptic irony, was your advocate. But the time that went by! Is it any wonder that Vulcan fashioned creaking shoes for Venus that he might hear her when she stirred?” Crucifer swept his arm from him. “She loved you – pish! She was loyal – bubble! Fair proportioned – mew! Gentle of heart – wind!”

Then Steven says:

This sounds like Crucifer’s usual conversation, and yet, hardly a word is his own. The first two sentences are from Shakespeare’s “Passionate Pilgrim”, the third from Shakespeare’s sonnet 35; the Vulcan reference from an unidentified source, probably also Elizabethan, and the final four exclamatory sentences adapted from John Marston’s play “The Malcontent” (1604). In once sense Darconville’s Cat is a collage of texts, hundreds of quotations and allusions strung together as a narrative, a necklace of literary pearls. Even the final sentence of the novel, “Sorrow is the cause of immortal conceptions”, is an unacknowledged quotation from "The Confessions of Edward Dahlberg"

Well now. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

Goose = Alexander Theroux

Gander = Bob Dylan

We will no longer call Chronicles a dodgy plagiarised memoir stuffed full of unacknowledged ripoffs of dozens of other authors, we will call it a collage of texts, hundreds of quotations and allusions strung together as a narrative, a necklace of literary pearls.



I quote from some of these findings on the Untold Dylan website :

Really the Blues (1946) by Mezz Mezzrow and Bernard Wolfe
Baby this that powerful man with that good grass that'll make you tip through the highways and byways like a Maltese kitten. Mezz, this is my new dinner and she's a solid viper.

And now, part of Dylan's description of his friend Ray's girl, Chloe Kiel:

She was cool as pie, hip from head to toe, a Maltese kitten, a solid viper — always hit the nail on the head. I don't know how much weed she smoked, but a lot. (Chronicles, p. 102)

And later in Really the Blues, a black man was "sitting there actually talking to a white woman cool as pie."

Really The Blues, page 241:

I never tried to make a real business out of the gauge, but the demand for it just sprang up by itself, and even after giving the other guys their cut I always had a couple of hundred bucks come the end of the week. I was able to take care of Bonnie and her kid real good, with some new furniture in the house, plenty of clothes, and everything else they needed. My name was getting around the country like wildfire.

Chronicles, page 103:

”Maybe someday your name will get around the country like wildfire," she'd say. "If you ever get a couple of hundred bucks, buy me something.

Really The Blues, page 245:
...and empty garbage cans loaded with bricks on the heads of the Irish cops on the beat.

Chronicles, page 103 - 104:
I crossed over from Hudson to Spring, passed a garbage can loaded with bricks and stopped into a coffee shop.

Really The Blues, page 174:
There was The Big Apple dangling right in front of my nose, shiny red and round and juicy.

Chronicles, page 104:
The whole city was dangling in front of my nose.

Chronicles, page 47:
The kind of people who come from out of nowhere and go right back into it — a pistol-packing rabbi, a snaggle-toothed girl with a big crucifix between her breasts - all kinds of characters looking for the inner heat.

Really The Blues, page 6:

"I found myself running with a literary ex-pug, a pistol-packing rabbi, and a peewee jockey whose onliest riding crop was a stick of marihuana.

Really The Blues, page 203:

These two fly chicks got up on their high-horse when we quizzed them about it - one insisted she was pure Spanish, and sported a crucifix right over her breastworks to prove it...

Really The Blues, page 210:

He had razor legs, snaggle teeth and dribble lips...

Chronicles, page 47:

A frantic atmosphere - all kinds of characters talking fast, moving fast - some debonair, some rakish.

Really The Blues, page 212:
...a light gray felt for me with the brim turned down on one side, kind of debonair and rakish.

Chronicles, page 47:

Some people even had titles - 'The Man Who Made History,' 'The Link Between The Races" - that's how they'd want to be referred to.

Really The Blues, page 210:

On The Corner I was to become known as the Reefer King, the Link Between the Races, The Philosopher, the Mezz, Poppa Mezz, Pop's Boy, the White Mayor of Harlem, the Man about Town, the Man that Hipped the World, the Man that Made History, the Man with the Righteous Bush, He Who Diggeth the Digger, Father Neptune.

From Chronicles page 4:
Outside the wind was blowing, straggling cloud wisps, snow whirling in the red lanterned streets...

The Return of Dr. Fu-Manchu (1916) by Sax Rohmer:

The moon sailed clear of the straggling cloud wisps which alone told of the recent storm...

From Chronicles page 95, regarding Monk:
Even then, he summoned magic shadows into being.

From The Return of Dr. Fu-Manchu:

To-night the moon was come, raising her Aladdin's lamp up to the star world and summoning magic shadows into being.

Sax Rohmer, Dope (1919)
A tiny spaniel lay beside the fire, his beady black eyes following the nervous movements of the master of the house.

Chronicles, p. 167: A tiny spaniel lay at the guy's feet, the dog's beady black eyes following the nervous movements of his master.

Chronicles, page 50:

Suspense always had a creaking door more horrible-sounding than any door you could imagine — nerve-wracking, stomach-turning tales week after week.

Raised on Radio by Gerald Nachman, page 313:

The writing of each play, over the years, has been a nerve wracking, stomach-turning, head-spinning series of week-after-week crises.

Chronicles, page 51:

I asked the guy who made the sound effects for the radio shows how he got the sound of the electric chair and he said it was bacon sizzling. What about broken bones? The guy took a LifeSaver and crushed it between his teeth

Raised on Radio by Gerald Nachman, page 313"

His scare tactics included the sound of a man frying in the electric chair (sizzling bacon), bones being snapped (spareribs or Life Savers crushed between teeth)...

Chronicles, page 26:
...he was like an old wolf, gaunt and battle-scarred...

Call of the Wild. Jack Londson :
Then an old wolf, gaunt and battle-scarred, came forward.

Huckleberry Finn:

Every night we passed towns, some of them away up on black hillsides, nothing but just a shiny bed of lights; not a house could you see. ... There warn't a sound there; everybody was asleep.

Chronicles, p. 165:

One night when everyone was asleep and I was sitting at the kitchen table, nothing on the hillside but a shiny bed of lights ...

Jack London, Children of the Frost:

"Rum meeting place, though," he added, casting an embracing glance over the primordial landscape ...

Chronicles, p. 167: I cast an embracing glance over the primordial landscape ...

Jack London, Children of the Frost:
And then they are amazingly simple. No complexity about them, no thousand and one subtle ramifications to every single emotion they experience. They love, fear, hate, are angered, or made happy, in common, ordinary, and unmistakable terms.

Chronicles, p. 169: Yet to me, it's amazingly simple, no complications, everything pans out. As long as the things you see don't go by in a blur of light and shade, you're okay. Love, fear, hate, happiness all in unmistakable terms, a thousand and one subtle ramifications.
Jack London, Tales of the Klondyke:

Another tremendous section of the glacier rumbled earthward. The wind whipped in at the open doorway ...

Chronicles, p. 217: Wind whipped in the open doorway and another kicking storm was rumbling earthward.

Jack London, Tales of the Klondyke:
Through this the afternoon sun broke feebly, throwing a vague radiance to earth, and unreal shadows.

Chronicles, p. 112: The afternoon sun was breaking, throwing a vague radiance to the earth.

Jack London, White Fang: He carried himself with pride, as though, forsooth, he had achieved a deed praiseworthy and meritorious.

Chronicles, p. 63: He didn't need to say much—you knew he had been through a lot, achieved some great deed, praiseworthy and meritorious, yet unspoken about it.

R. L. Stevenson, Providence and the Guitar: As Leon looked at her, in her low-bodied maroon dress, with her arms bare to the shoulder, and a red flower set provocatively in her corset, he repeated to himself for the many hundredth time that she was one of the loveliest creatures in the world of women.

Chronicles, p. 127: I bought a red flower for my wife, one of the loveliest creatures in the world of women.


On and on it goes. They found dozens of phrases from a single issue of Time magazine April 1961 embedded in Dylan's text - clearly he wanted to give a lot of pungent contemporary detail in his memories of Greenwich Village and instead of doing what most writers would do, soaking himself in the writings of the time & then writing his own account in his own words, he assembled his memoir by taking the phrases he liked verbatim.

Plagiarism I think is legally defined as consisting of seven words in an identical sequence, and I don't think Bob ever does precisely that, so, legally, maybe, he isn't a plagiarist. But it sure feels like he is.

I loved this book and I'm quite shaken up to find out all this stuff. Rabid Dylan fans are brushing the whole thing aside, saying oh well, if you scrutinised any book by anyone else as much as Chronicles has been you'd find the same. But that's just insane, of course you wouldn't. Now what are we to think of these "borrowings"? I know that borrowing and revising tunes and song lyrics is standard practice in folk and blues music, and Dylan has done plenty of that, quite openly, as have others. That doesn't bother me. But in a sustained piece of prose that is not meant to be sung or played, but taken as the author's own composition, it is not standard practice. In the instances given above, I think Bob comes pretty close to real plagiarism, and for all I know there are more instances in Chronicles yet to be identified. Frankly, as a Dylan fan from way back, I'm a little disappointed. Say it ain't so, Bob.



“Everybody’s wearing a disguise/To hide what they’ve got left behind their eyes” – okay, so what’s Bob got left behind his eyes? A billion synapses connected to a million memories, that’s what, and they burn with an intensity that only sharpens as he finally gets some of them down on paper. Quotable quotes leap from every page. On Guthrie: “For me it was like an epiphany, like some heavy anchor had just plunged into the waters of the harbour.” On reading American history: “I crammed my head full of as much of this stuff as I could stand and locked it away in my mind out of sight, left it alone. Figured I could send a truck back for it later.” On the year 1962: “The whole city was dangling in front of my nose. I had a vivid idea of where everything was.”

At least half of this book is “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Bohemian Folkie”. “What I was going to do as soon as I left home was just call myself Robert Allen…” but then there was a sax player called David Allyn, and that looked good. So he changed to Robert Allyn – “more exotic, more inscrutable”. Then later “I’d seen some poems by Dylan Thomas. Dylan and Allyn sounded similar. Robert Dylan. Robert Allyn. I couldn’t decide – the letter D came on stronger.” He breathlessly captures the entrancement folk songs laid on his 19 year old self : “Folk music was a reality of a more brilliant dimension… It was life magnified…I scheduled my life around it”. To us here in 2009, it looks like Bob became a folk star with very little effort, but he had to take a couple of lumps on the way. After memorising the whole Woody Guthrie songbook, a guy he describes as the Minneapolis Commissioner of the Folk Police escorts him to a phonograph player and plays him Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, who'd already been doing pinpoint recreations of Woody for years. “I felt like I’d been cast into sudden hell… Elliott was far beyond me”.

After 100 pages on the Greenwich Village scene, we jump to 1966 and the tone darkens. Since 1963 he’d been continually hyped and glorified – “the conscience of a generation” and so on. It became intolerable. He tried to get out of the pressure cooker by moving to Woodstock but he found that “roadmaps to our homestead must have been posted in all fifty states for gangs of dropouts and druggies.” Under seige on all sides, he used the minor motorcycle accident of 1966 to get some breathing space but the pressure never let up. Even his friends piled it on – in one jarring page Dylan tells of a car ride during which Robbie Robertson asks “Where do you think you’re gonna take it?” Take what? “You know, the whole music scene.” Dylan: “It was like dealing with a conspiracy. No place was far enough away. I don’t know what everyone else was fantasizing about, but what I was fantasizing about was a nine-to-five existence, a house on a tree lined block with a white picket fence, pink roses in the back yard. That would have been nice… After a while you learn that privacy is something you can sell, but you can’t buy it back.” Around that time he went to see a business broker looking over a portfolio of businesses for sale, in a futile attempt to get out of the show business into something less insane, like curtain rods or freight haulage. Sometimes the story of Bob Dylan is exactly like the Life of Brian:

Bob: You don't need to follow me. You don't need to follow anybody! You've got to think for yourselves. You're all individuals!

Bob’s many followers, after a pause: Tell us how to think for ourselves, O Bob!

There’s nothing at all about going electric, nothing about Christianity, nothing about Rolling Thunder. Instead of those dramas, Bob regales us with ninety-pages on the making of one of his albums – song by song, session by session. Wow – which one? Could it be Freewheelin’, or Blonde on Blonde? Blood on the Tracks perhaps? Nope, of course it’s Oh Mercy. (Expect similar treatment of Knocked Out Loaded in Volume Two.) This section includes six pages on a truly crackbrained theory about all popular music being based on the number 2, but Lonnie Johnson one time showed him how you could base it on the number three. Hey, whoah there - three??– “I don’t know why the number 3 is more metaphysically powerful than the number 2, but it is.” He explains how this way of performing will revolutionise his art: “My playing was going to be an impellant in equanimity to my voice and I would use different algorithms that the ear is not accustomed to.” Say what, Bob? Come again? But a few pages later we also get Bob’s delight in buying a bumper sticker which said “World’s Greatest Grandpa”. This is a man of many parts.

Chronicles is stuffed full of Bob’s Most Memorable Characters (Fred Neil, Dave Van Ronk, John Hammond, Ray Gooch) and Most Memorable Records (including a great section where Hammond gives him an advance copy of King of the Delta Blues Singers by Robert Johnson, and an account of How “Pirate Jenny” Changed My Life). There’s funny accounts of the folk purists versus the commercialisers. The whole book is drenched in music. You’re tapping your foot as you read. Well, okay, but what about the private life? It’s a little strange there. I was thinking he’s just going to avoid the whole subject but no – right at the end, a sweet few pages on Suze Rotolo (the tone of which is considerably at variance with her public reminiscences) and a portrait of Joan Baez – “she seemed very mature, seductive, intense, magical. Nothing she did didn’t work” – before he got to meet her. Aww. But no, no Sara. Discretion and the usual cabal of lawyers would have made sure of that. And in the Oh Mercy section, many mentions of “my wife” but never is she named. Pretty odd.
So. Don’t look back? I should coco. When Bob looks back, it’s warm, inclusive, annoying, incomprehensible, panoramic, diamond hard, inspirational, and it’s book of the month, no contest.
Profile Image for Jonathan Ashleigh.
Author 1 book118 followers
November 2, 2016
After being on my “to read” shelf for a while, this book jumped up a couple spots when Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for literature. He didn’t win the prize because of this autobiography or for his novel, but rather for the lyrics he wrote down and then placed over music.

This autobiography is well written and honest, but it is disjointed at times and didn’t tell me much about the things I thought I wanted to know about. I wanted to know what Dylan was thinking when he wrote songs like “Blowin' in the Wind,” and I wanted to know something about his wife and his children. These seem to be things he doesn’t want to talk about and I should have known he wasn’t going to. He has always held a stance of not discussing his music or his personal life and I have to respect him for that. Maybe I wouldn’t like his music if I knew too much about it, or him, and maybe that is something Bob Dylan knows — he did just win a Nobel Prize.
Profile Image for Ian "Marvin" Graye.
859 reviews2,177 followers
May 25, 2021
Positively Fraud Street?

I see you on the street
I always act surprised
I say, “How do you feel?”
But I don’t mean it.

"I can't taste your words,"
You said, "Your songs are just lies."
So I cried that you were deaf,
You'd lost the sight in your eyes.

And I said that you were wrong
When you accused me of theft
But all I really wanted to know was
What else have you got left?

No, I never wasted any time,
And I never took much.
I never asked for your crutch,
Now don't ask me for mine.

Well you got up to leave
And you said, "Don't forget,
Everybody must give something back
For something they thieve."

OK, you know it wasn't me,
What I wrote was plagiarised.
It was far easier just
To steal it.

Lest I be misunderstood
They weren't any heartbreaks I embraced
No, I was a master thief
And all I did was rob them.

You think I got a lotta nerve
To say I am your friend
But in my academic gown
I just stand here grinning.

Love, Forgiveness and Theft

So you lost your way,
But the way you made me feel
Halts my turn away.

Any Way the Idiot Wind Blows

Someone's got it in for me,
They're planting stories on GoodReads
Whoever it is I wish they'd cut it out quick
But when they will I can only guess
They'd better hurry up and do it real soon
Otherwise I'll have to shoot a man named Graye
And take his wife to Italy.
Profile Image for Jonathan O'Neill.
160 reviews322 followers
June 18, 2022
3.5 ⭐

An odd little memoir from ol’ peg nose this one. A small collection of very specific times (namely ’61, ’70 and ’89 with sprinklings of late 50s), seemingly selected to give the reader a relatively shallow anecdotal knowledge of everyone’s favourite neighbourhood folkie while keeping them in the dark just enough to maintain that elusive and enigmatic air that he’s worked so hard at.

If you’re interested in early 60’s New York, folkie dive-bar, formative era Dylan, comprehensive coverage of Dylan’s influences (literary, musical and otherwise), his efforts to distance himself from the activists scene and deliberate shaking up of his public image in the late 60s/early 70s and/or, strangely and very specifically, if you’re a big fan of his ’89 album ‘Oh Mercy’ (the song writing and production process both receive considerable attention), then an idiot wind would have to be blowing through the buttons of your coat for you not to pick this up! All of the above, along with a healthy pinch of interspersed side-stories are told in an endearing but notably less potent voice than you’ll find in many of his much-celebrated compositions.

If, on the other hand, you’re after a more typically structured, chronological biography, you’ll definitely want to look elsewhere. Though, given the fact that Dylan has been deliberately misleading journalists and reporters with regard to his personal life since the late ‘60s, the credibility of any biography that’s not produced from the horse’s mouth would have to be considered questionable.

”…a strange young man called Dylan,
with a voice like sand and glue.
Some words had truthful vengeance,
that could pin us to the floor.
Brought a few more people on,
and put the fear in a whole lot more.”

- David Bowie (Song for Bob Dylan)
Profile Image for Lee Klein .
799 reviews852 followers
October 13, 2016
UPDATE: A good and memorable read but probably not why he won the Nobel.

What a wonderful weird book about the influence of cities and sounds, knowing what you want and going for it and getting it thanks to talent, luck, attitude, and meeting the right people. Funny how it emphasizes what no one really wants to know -- "New Morning" and "Oh Mercy" era stuff instead of everything from "Hard Rain's Gonna Fall" to "Visions of Johanna" to "Shelter From the Storm" to "Isis." Those songs are hardly mentioned at all -- maybe one or two mentions of "Hard Rain." Otherwise, this is a compulsively readable, folksy, lightly insightful, non-linear self-portrait of the mythic artist as regular guy from the North Country, a family man more concerned with privacy than popularity, a devout Woody Guthrie fanatic of course, not someone particularly special -- emphatically NOT the messiah, NOT the chosen one, NOT the voice of his generation, NOT the leader of the revolution -- umm except he acknowledges that, for a time, he could see and describe and supercharge the deep truth of reality. This ellipitically argues that his success came from casual, wide-open exposure to the world and art (more than just music). He's a super-sensitive empty vessel blessed with the necessary restless desire for MORE, sufficient native critical faculties, just enough OCD, and more than enough midwestern simplicity and charm -- that's pretty much it, says Dylan (not that he can be trusted). Looking forward to volume 2 where he colors in the circles he's drawn in this one.

Required supplementary viewing: http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/No_...
Profile Image for Dave Schaafsma.
Author 6 books31.3k followers
October 13, 2016
I awake this morning to the news that Bob Dylan has won the Nobel Prize for Literature for 2016, which I absolutely am happy about. A bold move for the committee. It made me think that the committee is probably quite old to do this, but also well aware of his lyrics, which I assume is the reason he wins. I also read Paul Bryant's reviews of this book, the first of which, like mine originally, was very positive. I loved the book and await more. Then I saw Paul has read a lot of research identifying plagiarized passages, and have to process all this... .. I read the review thinking of him as Jokerman, and that movie made of him where others play him as characters throughout, and all the disguises he wore on stage, always, and always bullshitting us with lies at interviews, always spoofing. Wondered if the plagiarism might be the same, or sampling. But the research suggests something more deliberate and not just kiddingly deceptive. I need to think about that. But I don't think he got the Nobel for this book, anyway, but for the lyrics, which I absolutely am ecstatic about!
Profile Image for Tosh.
Author 13 books626 followers
March 19, 2008
Mark my words, this book is going to be considered as an American classic piece of literature. Students in the year 2035 will study it, and young men wearing plastic rain coats will be holding this book as a fashionable prop in the most elegant nightclubs.

As for me, this was such a surprise remarkable read. I didn't expect it to be so great. What makes it so great is Dylan personal observations on the world around him. The way he goes through his frirends' library was one of my favorite parts of the book as well as his observations on the craft and genius of Tiny Tim.

It's a masterpiece. It really is.
Profile Image for James.
425 reviews
March 23, 2017
I am not by any means a big fan of autobiographies or biographies written with the ‘popular’ market in mind: Autobiographies can all too often be divided into the self-aggrandising, self-serving, self-promotion type, or alternatively the celebrity/ghost written cut and paste, vacuous and pointless nonsense type or the pseudo ‘warts and all exposé’ type – or sometimes a combination of all three. Biographies on the other hand, more often than not are written with the agenda either of the fan or the character and career assassin. All of which for me seem ultimately pointless and futile. Whilst I am sure that there may be many fine books within this genre, maybe I just haven’t come across them yet. (Perhaps I should look to the more accessible end of the literary / historical types of biography – although these can often be weighty and intimidated tomes).

It goes without saying that the reading and success of any biography does of course depend on the audience, the reader. I am a big fan of Bob Dylan (his music up until around 1976) which does of course cloud and prejudice my view of anything written about or by him. I therefore approached this recommended autobiography with some caution but also with high hopes.

Evident here, as you would expect, is Dylan’s undeniable skill for storytelling and the story here is bookended by passages concerning the earlier part of his career. Unfortunately though, the book is somewhat dominated by a very lengthy middle passage devoted to the lead up to and writing, recording of Dylan’s 1989 album ‘Oh Mercy’ with producer Daniel Lanois. Whilst this album did represent something of a renaissance for Dylan, it is certainly not viewed in the same light as such great and classic albums such as ‘Blonde on Blonde’, ‘Highway 61 Revisited’, ‘Blood on the Tracks’ (and more). Whilst there may be an element of ‘Oh Mercy’ representing a period when Dylan got his song-writing muse back, a return to form of sorts – it is hard to see how this is truly deserving of such a lengthy section of the book – so many words dedicated to this.

Far more successful for me are the passages describing the New York, folk / art / cultural scene of the early 1960’s and convey well what an inspirational and exciting time this must have been. The passages describing his discovery of Guthrie and others who influenced and inspired Dylan and who are clearly revered by him are also compellingly written.

Interesting too (although nothing that we didn’t really already know) are the descriptions of Dylan’s first experiences as a proto-celebrity – along with his discomfort and frustration at being deemed the ‘conscience and voice of a generation. I love the following quote from him in this book on that subject:

“I really was never any more than what I was – a folk musician who gazed into the grey mist with tear-blinded eyes and made up songs that floated in a luminous haze”.

Ultimately and unfortunately, this book seems to me very much a missed opportunity. I would like to have known more about the creation of, and inspiration behind those classic albums – rather than a late period partial return to form album such as ‘Oh Mercy’ – which pales by comparison.
Perhaps though, those great albums of the past have been deliberately left in the past with an all pervading and intact air of mystery and enigma. Maybe they’ve just been written about and over analysed to death by others over the years? Maybe it would have been good to hear more from Dylan on these albums and maybe not – who knows? Maybe demystifying them would have detracted from their greatness – although I doubt it?

Interestingly enough, Dylan does clearly acknowledge that musically he no longer holds the flame, no longer saw the 'truth' or 'had power and dominion over the spirits' or 'sees into things to see the truth of things' as they really are. A realistic acknowledgement that his greatest song-writing and recording days are well and truly over and long gone - recognising that now it is someone else's turn, that someone else will come along.

Dylan seems in this book to be far more comfortable when writing about others – he is most compelling and engaging when writing of Woody Guthrie, Kurt Weill, Robert Johnson and others. Perhaps he is just not that comfortable when writing about himself and in some respects – he gives very little away – there is precious little about his part in the civil rights movement, nothing about his ‘religious period’, nothing really about his ‘private life’ so to speak of.

As you would expect from Dylan, ‘Chronicles’ is not what you would expect – the uncompromising and obtuse even obscure attitude of Dylan throughout his musical career is something to be (more often than not) lauded – unfortunately here though – this results in what is ultimately for the most part a dissatisfying read.

Profile Image for Razieh mehdizadeh.
370 reviews59 followers
May 22, 2020

خاطرات باب دیلن دقیقا در جست و جوی یک نسیم خنک از سوی ادبیات آغاز کردم. در طاقچه پیدا کردم و زایگان بود و شروع کردم به خواندن و به طرز عجیی دوست داشتم شب و روز بخوانمش. یک نثیر ساده و گیرا و یک زندگی یلخی سرشار از ترانه و صداهایی که رد گوش می پیچیند.
خواندن این کتاب، من را یاد " زنده ام که روایت کنم" مارکز انداخت. زندگی های معمولی و حتی فقیرانه. اما پر از ادم. این همه ادم دیدن در طول زندگی کاری و هنری برای من واقعا حیرت انگیزه. یعنی مارکز، نویسنده است و آدم فکر می کند باید منزوی باشد و.. اما در زندگی اش که اصلا هم پول و پوزیشن اجتماعی و خانواده و.. نداشته و اصرلا دقیقا معلوم نیست چن دتا بچه بودند با ادم های مهم روزگارش سلام عیلک داشته. از این طرف، دیلن در نوجوانی خیلی هولدن وار به نیویورک مسافرت می کند تا موسیقی فولک بزند و اجرا کند. و با هیچی. واقعا با هیچی به این شهر می آید و شب ها نوبتی خانه ی این دوست و ان دوست می خوابیده.
نثر کتاب صمیمانه و ساده است. انگار سلین مودب نوشته باشد. سلینی که می خواهد در راستای موسیقی فولک قدم بردارد. سلین در نیویورک که در کتای سفر به انتهای شب نوشته است وقتی به این شهر رسیدیم شهر سرپا ایستاده بود. بیقه ی شهرها روی زمین بودند اما این شهر بلند شده بود و ایستاده بود. به خاطر ساختمان های بلندش.
جزییاتی که در کتاب ومجود دارد درمورد هوا و وضعیت احساسی درونی و تیپ و قیافه و لباس و برخورد با ادم ها و تعریف کردن از ادم ها و شخصیت شان و رابطه ای که با ان ها داشته است خودش یکی از چیزهایی که می شود به ان رجوع کرد. یکی از شویه های زندگی نامه نویسی که پرکشش ترش می کند.
" بالاخره رسیدم به نیویورک. شهری که مثل تار عنکبوت اونقدر پیچیده بود که نمی فهمیدمش. البته من همچین قصدی نداشتم."
تک تک ادم های موسیقی که می بنید از گذشته و تیپ و قیافه و سیک موسیقی و اینکه چرا از آن ها خوشش می آید می گوید.
" در واقع می خواستم واسه هر کسی که شد ساز بزنم. هیچ وقت نمی تونستم تنهایی تو یه اتاق بشینم و واسه خودم ساز بزنم."
• " مجموعه آهنگ های ناب. اواز ملوان هاف آهنگ های گاوچران هاف آهنگ های جنگ های داخلی، آهنگ های سوگواری، تو کلیساها، سرودهای صنف کارگری"
• جاده ای نیست که به خوشبختی ختم بشه بلکه خوشبختی خود او جاده ست.
( از وقتی خواندن این کتاب را شروع کردم گوش دادن ترانه های باب دلین را هم شروع کردم. سادگی و صمیمیت... سهل و ممنتع بودن. یک لحظه ی خیلی کوتاه و ناپیدا از زندگی. فولک گوشه های زندگی ست. زندگی معمولی...)
. آهنگ هایی راجع به ادم های دائم الخمرف مادرهایی که بچه هاشون رو غرق کردند، آتیش سوزی تو اتحادیه ها، تاریکی و اجساد رودخانه و... اهنگ های من به درد رادیو نمی خورد.
کتاب هایی که باب در کتابخانه ی دوستان به شیوه ی ویشی واشی می خوند و ایده می گرفت. رفتن به کتابخانه ی نیوویرک و گشتن بین زورنامه ها و پیدا کردن اتفاقات جذاب برای موسیقی.
( فرزانه یک بار حر قشنگی زد. وقتی شعرهایم را برایش فرستاده بودم گفت شاعران در فکر تخلیص جهان هستند و داستان نویس در فکر بسط جهان... )
تو شهری که باب زندگی می کرده نهایت ایده رفتن به اکادمی نظامی بوده که اونم پارتی می واسته ( دقیقا مثل کارل در شیم لس)
بهم گفت بعضی از آدم ها هستند که هیج وقت نمی تونی جذب شون کنی. ولش کن. بذار فراموش بشن.
بالزاک خیلی نویسنده ی بامزه اس. چرم ساغری رو خوندم. اصل حفش اینه که انرژی ت رو یه جا جمع کن. تنها منبع آگاهی خرافات هست. و متربالیسم خالص باعث جنون می شه.
شخصیت ها خیلی با جزییات جذابی توضیح داده می شوند.
" این اهنگ گیج و منگم نمی کرد. فکر های عجیب نمی نداخت تو سرم. فقط آورمم می کرد."
تو یادداشت های کتاب نوشتم " شهرها و ادم ها و قصه ها را از داستان ها بیرون می کشیده و جهان رو از این منظر می دیده."
ترانه هایی که می نویسی باید راجع به چیز عجیب و اتافق خاصی باشه که برات افتاده. باید بتو��ی از مرزهای زبانی ردت کنی."
قصه هایی که در کتاب تعریف می کنه درهم پیچیده با اتفاق های تاریخ امرکیاست. مثلا ماجرای جو که می گه خاکسترم رو هرجایی خواستید پخش کنید به جز یوتا... که کارگرهارو با هم متحد می کنه و ...
. اهنگ گوش دادن و حال و هوای خود موقع گوش دادن به هر کدام از اهنگ ها و شخصیت ترانه سرا و آهنگساز
یه نکته ی جالب که از 15 سالگی از خونه بیرون زده و رفته دنیال زندگی ش. و در نیویورک به مهمانی های مختلف دعوت می شد و می رفت و... یکی از مهمانی ها که بهش پیشنهاد کار هم دادن پدر مادر هنمند اسپایک لی بودند که خودش اون موقع 5 سالش بوده. توی مهمانی هاف هنرمندپیشه های برادوی و ... هم بودند. هنرمندهایی که توی مهمانی ها می دید رو با شرح و جزییات و اینکه سیکش چطور بود و...
" چیزهایی که من باید یاد می گرفتم رو اون توی ژن هاش داشت. حتی قبل از اینکه به دنیا بیاد این موسیقی توی خونش بود"
قسمتی که به یکباره خانواده دار می شه و همراه با زنش و بچه ها با هم در یک خانه زندگی می کنند و مشهور شده اند و.... خیلی بد نوشته شده و با گپ فراوان
اینه منم:
همه ی کارهای من تند تند بود. تند فکر می کرد. تند می خوردم. تند حرف می زدم. و تند راه می رفتم. حیت اهنگ هامم تند می خوندم. اگر می خواستم ترانه هایی که می نویسم حرفی برای گفتن داشته باشند باید ذهنم رو اروم می کردم " دقیقا این منم که باید آهستگی یاد بگیرم. دیروز به مقاله می خوندم تو بی بی سی که فهمیدم ای دی اچ دی دارم و خوبی و بدی های خودش رو داره. رفتارهای تکانه ای و سخت بودن تمرکز و ایستادن و.. روی یک کار و یک زمان مشخص و ... هم خوبه و هم بده. باید روش تمرین کرد.
نوع خاطره ای که از لن می گه که هم ترانه می نوشت و هم یه موتور وسپا داشت که با هم دیگه از روی پل بروکلین رد شده بودند. جزییات جذاب
یه چیز جالب اینکه مادربزرگ بابف در اصل اهل ترکیه بوده و به آمریکا مهاجرت کرده.
" همیشه دنبال چیزهایی می رفتم که جرکت می ردن از بچگی. پرنده و.... دوست داشتم انگار به یه جای روشن تری برسم. یه جایی پایین رودخونه. اون موقع البته هیچ ایده ای از اینکه چه جای درب داغونی زندگی می کنیم نداشتم.
دوره ی بلاک شدن
: چیزی که باید بی خیال بشی هر فرمی از ابزار هنریه که بهش علاقه داری. هنر در مقابل زندگی هیچ ارزشی نداره و مجبوری بچسبی به زندگین. دیگه اشتیاقی به هنر نداشتم. خلاقیت از تجربه، مشاهده و تخیل سرچشمه می گیره و اگر هر کدوم از این عوامل اصلی نباشن خلاقیت هم نیست. حالا دیگه واسه من غیرممکن بود بتونم مشاهده کنم بدون اینکه مشاهده بشم.
یه آلوم کامل بر اساس داستان کوتاه های چخوف ضبط کردم. منتقدها فکر می کردن داستان زندگی خودمه. ( این کاریه که رضا بزدانی در ایران داره انجام می ده استادم از من خواست داستان کوتاه هامو برای ترانه بهش بسپارم.)
" اودیپ رفت دنبال حقیقت. وقتی پیداش کرد نابود شد."
دوره یای که در تصاوف دستش شکسته بود و فکر می کرد دیگر نمی تواند با این دست ساز بزند- تن-
یه خونه ی قایقی گرفته بود تو دوره ی بلاک به امید اینکه صدایی بشنوه و ایده ای به ذهنش برسه.
اما هیچ نیومد. با تام تو تور بودیم. او تو اوج بود و من تو قعر بودم. در حال گندیدین با خودم بودم. نمی تونستیم بفهمم این از کجا اومده و دیگه روشنایی در کار نبود. جوب کبریت تا اخرش سوخته بود. هر کاری می کردم موتورها روشن نمی شد.

"تکنیک های خوندن و اجرا کردنی که هیمشه دقیقا همونطور که باید و. پیش فرض شده جواب نمیدن"
قدرت پشت رنگ های آسمان. در باغچه بودن. توجه به جزییات زندگی معمولی و روزانه مثل قدم زدن در باغچه.
"وقت گذروندن با بوتو مثل غذا خوردن تو قطار می مونه.م انگار یه جا ثابت نیستی. روح بوتو مال یه شاعر باستانیه. یه فیلسوف مخفی هم هست. همیشه با هم راجع به چیزهایی حرف می زدیم که وقتی با یه نرف زمستون رو سر می کنی حرف می زنی. راجع به جک کرواک حرف زدیم.
از نیویورک هم به عنوان شهری که شهر خودش نیست و پایتخت دنیاست و بی رحم و.. خیلی در طول کتاب حرف می زند.
وودی گاتری که اسطوره ی او بوده و برای دیدنش به بیمارستان می رفته و کم کم وسعت ترانه ها از ترانه راجع به خشکسالی و ترانه ی بچه ها و کولی ها و... را درک می کرده و ارتباطی بین شان بوده که من دارم می رم تو می تونی جای من رو بگیری.
خودش رو تو موقیعتی قرار نمی داد که راجع بهش قضاوت بشه. و به نظرش هیچ کس استادانه کار نمی کرد و.."
داری سعی خودتو می کنی اما تو هیچ وقت وودی گاتری نمی شی. داشت از بالای یه تپه ی بلند نگام می کرد. باهاش به ادم خوش نمی گذشت. عصبی م می کرد. می گفت بهتره بری یه کار دیگه بکنی.
گفت اونم می خواست ادای وودی گاتری را دربیاره و بهتر از تو این کارو می کرد. " مردی با ظاهر نه چندان موجه و به بند زین اسب و لباس کابویی تنش بود و تن صداش، زیر بود و کلمه هارو اونقدر می کشید و اعتماد به نفسش اونقدر زیاد بود که حال آدمو بد می کرد.
اون راست می گفت. الیوت خیلی از من بهتر بود.
تاثیر نگرفتن از چیزی که گوش داده بودم کار سختی بود. فعلا باید فراموشش می کردم و به خودم می گفتم این صفحه رو نشنیدم و این ادمو نمی شناسم. تازه طرف خودشو به خارج تبعید کرده بود و رفته بود اروپا. امرکیا امادگی شنیدن کارهاشو نداشت.
اون هم مثل من دوست داره تنها باشه اما زیاد اینور اونور رفته بود از بغدا تا سن خوزه. همه جا زندگی کرده بود و تجربه ش از دینا خیلی از من بیشتر بود. خیلی خوش شانس بود. چون خیلی زود درگیر موسیقی درست حسابی شده بود و کامل توش فرو رفته بود. هیچ کس مثل اون نبود. فاصله اش از بقیه خیلی زیاد بود. نمی شد بهش رسید.
نیویورک وسط زمستون کاری که داشتم جواب می داد. احساس می کردم دارم به یه چیزی نزدیک می شم. یه جای ثابت میون نوازنده های ولیچ.
می رفتم بار تو بورکلین. یه دختر عجیب غریب هم هیمشه اونجا بود که می گن جک کرواک یه رمان بر اساسش نوشته بود- اینو خودم می نویسم- شاید رمان جاده رو می گه. من عاشق اون داستان بلندم.-
دوست دختر اولی. کوپید که هفده ساله بود و توی ساحل شرقی بزرگ شده بود. توی کوینز و تو یه خانواده ی کمونیست. پدرش تو یه کارخونه کار می کرد و تازه فوت شده بود. خودش تو گروه های مختلف هنری نقاشی می کشید و خیلی سرزنده بود. لبخندش می تونست یه خیابون پر از ادم رو روشن کنه."
اولین آپارتمان و وسایل خریدن براش و ویو خونه که – شبیه خونه ی نیما تو برانکس- رو به سطل آشغال همسایه بود. و وسایل های خانه را از لوازم دست دوم خریدن و پر کردن و...
رابطه ی من و سوزی اونقدرا که امیدوار بودم خوب پیش نرفت- مامان سوزی که از باب متنفر بود.- بالاخره سرنوشت نگهش داشت و به بن بست کامل رسید. باید تموم می شد. من از یه خروجی رفتم و اون از یه خروجی دیگه. از زندگی همدیگه عبور کردیم.
کارولین نظر آدم رو به خودش جلب می کرد. خیلی تحت تاثیرش بودم. چون با بادی هال کار کرده بود و دوست داشتم زیاد دور و برش بپلکم.
( صفت هایی که برای هرکدوم از ادم ها استفاده می کنه خیلی منحصربه فرد و جذابه)
" از هر نظر ادم موسیقی بود. تند تند حرف می زد. عبارت های کوتاه و بریده به کار می برد. همه چیزرو راجع به موسیقی و ادم هیای که باهاشون کار کرده بود می دوسنت."
شعرهای جاسنون با کارهای وودی فرق داشتند. باعث می شدند تارهای بدنم به لرزه دربیان.
جانسون یه شب تو یه چهاراه روحش رو به شیطان می فروشه و به خاطر همین می تونه اونقدر خوب بزنه. (قصه هایی که از جانسون و ساز دهنی زدنش رد یک مزرعه وجود داره و تو هیچ کتاب تاریخی و ... نیست. میگن چون آلبوم موسیقی رو صبط نکرده نتونست هیچ وقت معروف بشه)
Profile Image for julieta.
1,138 reviews19.3k followers
September 28, 2018
This book is amazing. I have to clear this first: I have never been a Dylan Fan, I have never been able to go past his voice, which is crazy, folkie, and just too rough for me. Call me a softie. But this book is greatness. His memoirs, or, never better described, chronicles, are separated from different moments in his life, not in any order, and each chapter is from a different moment. He connects everything he is going through at the time of each chapter, and people he might have come across, music which changed things for him, the songs he was singing and later writing. I think my favourite one is the one where he is recording Oh mercy, a record I had tried to listen to, because it is produced by another great: Daniel Lanois.
I think my favourite thing about the book, is that he doesn't really just speak about himself, but of his process, and he really is into seeing other people, the people surrounding him, or that maybe went by in his life. Conversations, authors, other artists, family, friends, record label people. Its pretty complete.
This is greatness. I loved it.
Profile Image for Jonfaith.
1,853 reviews1,367 followers
February 20, 2016
Each phrase comes at you from a ten-foot drop, scuttles across the road and then another one comes like a punch on the chin.

So goes Dylan on the marvel of Pirate Jenny, the haunting number by Brecht/Weill in their Three Penny Opera. Apparently seeing this performed life indelibly changed Dylan's approach to songwriting. I bought myself G.W. Pabst's film version of TPO for this recent Christmas and I was absolutely riveted by Lotte Lenya's performance of the song, she's so cold , so decisive, much like Thomas Mann's Naphta. I was not a stranger to the song, having been moved for years by Nina Simone's rendition. My first encounter, however, happened years before when I was vacationing in Rome. Foot-sore, yet exhilarated, we had been walking all day and came across publicity posters for an Italian performer scheduled to play that evening the songs of Brecht/Weill in both German and Italian. For the life of me, I can't remember the name of the young woman -- but she owned the songs and all of us in attendance. One of the documentaries on the Three Penny Opera relates Brecht's penchant for appropriation, "he stole, but with genius." I've heard many similar references to Picasso and it is simply coincidence that Dylan next speaks of Guernica and Pablo P after his rumination on Pirate Jenny. How better could one loop the wonky arc of Chronicles than to situate the book (and its legion of complains of plagiarism) alongside such earlier masters of Love and Theft.
Profile Image for Simona  Cosma.
129 reviews57 followers
November 28, 2016
Îmi pare rău, nu.
Am început cartea cu multă bunăvoinţa şi fără prejudecăţi, însă nu a reuşit să mă convingă.
Nu ştiu dacă stilul stângaci şi mult prea neexersat trebuie pus pe seama autorului sau este o consecinţă a unei traduceri mai puţin fericite, însă mi s-a părut obositor şi, pe alocuri, enervant. Niciodată nu am agreat abuzul de înşiruiri de nume proprii într-o singură frază, iar Dylan exagerează cu enumerările: nume de persoane, de străzi, de cluburi, de studiouri. Pentru un profan, disconfortul este major.
Îmi pare rău. Aş fi fost bucuroasă să regăsesc măcar un argument "pro".
N-a fost să fie, în ceea ce mă priveşte.
Profile Image for Roy Lotz.
Author 1 book8,176 followers
July 24, 2022
Folk songs are evasive—the truth about life, and life is more or less a lie, but then again that’s exactly the way we want it to be. We wouldn’t be comfortable with it any other way.

It took me a while to get into Bob Dylan’s music. When I first heard him sing, back in high school, he struck me as ludicrously nasal and harsh. Added to that, for an aspiring guitarist and budding student of music theory, Dylan’s songs did not seem to have much substance—just a few basic chords, strummed over and over. It pains me to say it, but I even passed up an opportunity to see him live during this time (my mom was going).

Like many people, I suspect, I finally came around to Dylan through other people’s versions of his songs. Specifically, I was obsessed with Jimi Hendrix’s cover of “All Along the Watchtower,” and I loved hearing Richie Havens sing “Just Like a Woman.” If I liked these songs so much, then Dylan really must have something going on.

So I listened until something clicked, and suddenly I found myself loving the way he sang, and finding nothing insubstantial at all about his songs. Quite the contrary, I felt as though he had opened up another dimension of what a song could be and do. Indeed, there have been times when I have been completely floored by his music; and even now I feel as though there are certain emotional registers that only he can access. His best songs are so blazingly original that it is difficult even to compare them to other songs, so it seems fairly lame to say that he is one of the best American songwriters. Perhaps it does him better justice to say that Dylan is a real artist.

This memoir is just what you would expect from Dylan. By that I mean that it exhibits some of the many contradictions in his character. One you might say is the way he melds highbrow and lowbrow together—a folk singer reading symbolist poetry, a country boy discussing Balzac. It is telling that when he discusses two revelatory influences on his songwriting, one is a song by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, and the other is the recordings of Robert Johnson. That he can see and understand the value in both of these, and that he sees no contradiction in learning from both, is one of the secrets to Dylan’s art. This tension is apparent even in the style of the memoir, which is folksy at the level of sentences, and yet sophisticated and nonlinear in organization.

Another is the tension between revelation and standoffishness. Anyone setting down to write a memoir or to write a song wants to reveal herself, or at least a part of herself. And there are moments in Dylan when he can be almost touchingly sincere. But he is also wary of being defined, of being tied down; he wants always to escape categorization. Thus, he is willing to take us deeply into his songwriting and recording process in his album, Oh Mercy (of only moderate importance in his discography). But the miraculous years—1961 to 1966—when he was at the top of his career, in terms of fame and creativity, are almost completely avoided. Knowing Dylan, I would have been surprised had he included them, but the omission cannot but be frustrating.

In the end, I think this is a worthy memoir. The chapters on his early years in New York, trying to get his songwriting together, are especially valuable in taking you into his formative influences. Personally, I found his ambivalent relationship with his Minnesota family upbringing to be fascinating—not bitter, or resentful, but nevertheless full of the urge to escape its influence. Do I understand Dylan? No way. But his songs help me to understand myself, and that is even better.
Profile Image for Odai Al-Saeed.
875 reviews2,412 followers
April 5, 2020
من المفارقات التي تذكر هو أن ( بوب ديلان) استثنى القاعدة لحصوله على جائزة نوبل للآداب وهو موسيقي ورسام اضافة الى انه شاعر اهتمت قضايا أغنياته بالمجال الإنساني والسياسي وقد استعانت بها الأقليات المضطهدة والمناهضون للحروب كثيراً في ترديدها
الكتاب يحكي سيرة ( بوب) بقلمه بدءاً من حياة النشأة الى الشهرة مروراً بتلك الأيام التي قضاها في اروقة وأزقة نيويورك بحثاً عن نفسه واكتشافاً لموهبته ، غنى خلالها في البارات والأماكن المجهولة التي كانت سبباً في اختلاطه بأسماء سوف يأتي بذكرى لها نصيب من العظمة والشهرة لا تقل عنه
سيرة كتبت بتواضع وحرفية ومأخذ عليها فقط هو التعريب الذي ظلمها الى حد ما .. انصح بها
Profile Image for Connie G.
1,687 reviews451 followers
February 28, 2019
Bob Dylan takes us from his boyhood in northern Minnesota to his start as a folk singer in Greenwich Village in 1961. His biggest influence was Woody Guthrie, and he had a great mentor in Dave Van Ronk who got him started at the Gaslight, a folk club. Dylan read widely and listened to the folk greats, especially the storytellers, in his quest to become a singer/songwriter. He spent his first months in New York sleeping on the couches of generous friends. It was an exciting day when he was signed by Columbia Records.

Dylan also writes about a couple other points in his career, but they are not about his most popular albums. He tells about the frustrations involved in making "New Morning" in 1970, and recording "Oh Mercy" in 1989.

In the 1970s, Dylan wanted privacy and time with his family. Some people considered him to be "the voice of a generation" and wouldn't leave him alone, running through his yard and tramping on his roof. He had to move several times to protect his wife and five children. He does not write about the origins of his famous "protest songs" that were used as anthems during the war in Vietnam and the Civil Rights movement.

Dylan does a lot of name dropping of musicians, songs, authors, and historical events that influenced him, so the book might be more appreciated by readers who have lived through the Dylan era. One has to remember that Dylan is a great storyteller in his songwriting, and take some of his stories in the book with a grain of salt. "Chronicles, Volume One" is an entertaining memoir that shows Dylan at some important high and low points in his life.
Profile Image for Vanessa.
462 reviews291 followers
October 13, 2020
What more to say about a living legend, he remains as mystifying and as enigmatic as I had hoped for. What you do know is that Bob Dylan isn’t in it for the fame, it’s the love of the craft and the artistry that compels him to make the music. The fame is a distraction and you can see that it is a constant struggle producing music for the public. His desire to create keeps him coming back to play in front of the crowds. He often refers to his musical influences and how much they play a major part in his sound and style, he has a deep love for discovering and surrounding himself with real musicians who have graciously lent him the tools to make better music throughout his early musical career.

I guess my only criticism is that I never really felt like I got to know him beyond what I already knew, he shields his privacy ferociously and you can feel his presence in the public eye fatigues him, it’s common knowledge that he rarely engages with the audience anymore, he plays and leaves the stage with no great fanfare. He’s not the kind of man you can necessarily warm up to as he only lets you in so close but he sure is someone I can admire from afar. Although I didn’t love this book wholeheartedly my admiration continues.
Profile Image for Salma.
144 reviews56 followers
August 20, 2013

I really want to talk with Dylan

And it happened. That's what it feels like when you get under the bed covers with this book, no sound but a cricket buzz outside the window. His words come out at you like his music. Unpretentious, romantic. Funny like a Woody Allen movie. It feels like any minute that gravel voice will start whispering out of the pages to you.

A genius talking about his inspiration. What more could you want?

So, what inspired him? Better yet, what didn't? Everything's flowed into his art- the cold Minnesota landscape of his childhood, street musicians, his love Suze. Life. He's telling you about his life- and you feel like he's letting you in on a secret that only the two of you now know. But isn't that always what he's done?
Profile Image for Brian.
273 reviews64 followers
April 9, 2008
Know this, readers. Bob Dylan has ALWAYS and will forever continue (probably even at his death) to do things HIS OWN WAY!

I read some of the reviews for this book. First off, ignore all those who are not even fans of Bob Dylan or are the ones that wish he would sing "Like a Rolling Stone" or "Tangled up in Blue." Get over it.

What I saw in this book was his inspiration. You will NEVER get this in any biography about any artist. Or at least rarely. Biographies and even autobiographies are a way for the "experts" to place the person in history. Dylan is more than willing to allow the music critics and even historians to do that (yes he acknowledges that he is a historical figure--and he is pretty humbled by it I assume). Just don't expect him to really care. They can pour through volumes of interviews (those that he gave that revealed something of the "inner-Bob") and articles and talk to hundreds of friends and relatives. They will still never KNOW the subject completely. Bob Dylan proved that with this book.

The book is "rambling" for some, but I found this stream-of-consciousness style to be refreshing and definitely influenced by Jack Kerouac or Woody Guthrie--who he has been most compared. His story telling reminded my of a grandfather or the fascinating older man down the neighborhood who would entertain you with stories. Yes they "rambled" and digressed into other subjects. But they were REAL and true and revealed something about the speaker.

I am sure when the book came out almost 4 years ago, people thought "FINALLY he will give us a true picture of his life and influences!" And then they were bitterly disappointed. Bob Dylan has always done things his owne way and refuses to be pigeon-holed into wherevever even his fans want him to be. That is what makes him THE artist for the last half of 20th Century and still into today! He wants true freedom--freedom from being who even millions of people demand him to be. A freedom we all should strive for.

I look forward to reading Volume II and III or IV if ever writes them.

And, finally, CONGRATS on the PULITZER PRIZE, BOB! You were overdue, but I hope your best stuff is still to come and you can collectively tell the music critics and fans that haven't let go of the '60's to shove it!
Profile Image for Lynx.
198 reviews79 followers
February 6, 2018
If you are looking for a straight up biography, this isn't for you. Dylan's style of writing is very disjointed and can take some getting used to, but overall the book is very well written. There is a segment on how he came to put together his album "Oh Mercy" which was very interesting but not one of his albums I was well versed in. Unfortunately he doesn't really discuss his other albums. He does talk a great deal about all of his influences (the name dropping this man can do is unreal) and for me the book really shined when he talked about where he came from, how he discovered Woody Guthrie and his move from Minnesota to New York City.

Profile Image for David.
42 reviews6 followers
March 5, 2012
Chronicles Vol. 1 has a few moments of insight concerning Dylan's musical influences and non-linear remembrances from his past, small vignettes that are often unrevealing in regards to the overall scope of the enigmatic artist's life. This is not an autobiography, and those wishing for a tell-all of the life of one of the most celebrated singer/songwriters in history won't find much to work with here.

Dylan does ramble at length about the difficulties of fame, his stalkers, and his unwillingness to be a "spokesperson" for anything. That much feels very real and reveals a softer, family oriented Dylan we don't often see. There are other moments in his writing that fall apart quite spectacularly, especially as Dylan drones on endlessly about some new mathematical algorithm that freed him musically in the mid-80's, but which he mindlessly doesn't incorporate into his recollections of performances or in his recordings. He merely explains this new musical epiphany(rather abstractly and without clarity), stops himself short and then skips to some other unrelated period of his life. It's just one of many hiccups that occur throughout the text, revisiting why Dylan's previous works, Tarantula most notably, was critically denounced decades ago.

Chronicles Vol. 1 is book-ended by recollections of his early days in New York and his start with Columbia Records. In between is a focus on New Morning (a relatively unessential album) and a painfully long exposition on the frustrating process of recording Oh Mercy. Both these sections show just how difficult it is to write at length about the vagaries of the creative process, something even Dylan can't do with any real clarity.

Scattered throughout are some interesting moments from Dylan's past, advice given to him along the way, and friends who lent couches to crash on. It is these small fragments which are the most entertaining, but you have to sift through a lot of nonsense to get to it. Fortunately, the language is not overwhelming and true Dylan aficionados will blaze through the 300 odd pages rather quickly, despite its rather erratic assembly. If you are someone obsessed by Dylan, then surely have a look at Chronicles Vol. 1, otherwise steer yourself to some of the better "unauthorized" biographies out there.
Profile Image for Lisajean.
222 reviews41 followers
April 9, 2018
I originally rated this two stars, but I had to take off a star after reading Paul Bryant's review detailing how much Dylan plagiarized. That was news to me, but not a surprise, considering Dylan padded his Nobel Lecture with lines from SparkNotes, of all places. It pains me that I have to add this book to my Nobel shelf. I understand that the prize was awarded primarily for his song lyrics, but the Nobel is awarded for an author's entire body of work, and so this sad, meandering, cliched, plagiarized excuse for a book has received the highest honor of world literature.

I didn't completely hate this- I enjoyed reading about Dylan's encounters with famous artists, his opinions on their music, and his own approach to songwriting. I did not enjoy the writing. I appreciate many different styles and have a high tolerance for unusual approaches to literature, but nonstandard writing has to be purposeful, not just lazy. It seemed that Dylan couldn't be bothered to organize his thoughts, reached for cliches as the easiest way of expressing himself, and occasionally used unfamiliar words without stopping to check that they meant what he thought they did. Apparently he spent all of his energy plagiarizing phrases to make himself sound artsy and interesting. I understand that the folk tradition encourages borrowing, but to excuse plagiary in a novel on that ground is a total cop-out. He didn't use other books as inspiration, he stole from them, and that is unacceptable.
Profile Image for Janelle.
1,160 reviews141 followers
November 17, 2020
This a rambling, and interesting book. It’s not really linear and skips large chunks of time (the book starts in the early 60s, then jumps to 1967 then a big jump to about 1987 then back to 1959 with lots of side stories in amongst the main narrative). The best bits are the descriptions of people and places , and the early folk scene, and his influences particularly Woody Guthrie.
Profile Image for Dustin.
Author 1 book14 followers
October 2, 2008
Bob Dylan has given us a meandering, often boring and only occasionally interesting account of some of the formative moments of his career. Two thirds of the book is taken up by the story of how he came to record "New Morning" and "Oh Mercy." Yowzah! He gives only glancing, arrogant mention to the days of his most prolific and brilliant songwriting--which is fine, it doesn't shatter my perception of Dylan to find him arrogant and evasive, but I do take umbrage with the boring minutia of the recording-studio process of two of his more mid-level works. The two sections that deal with him moving to Minneapolis and then New York are, for the most part, pretty good, and his takes on Robert Johnson, Joan Baez, and, of course, Woody Guthrie--among many others--does help create a somewhat captivating picture of a certain, crystallized moment in American history as through the eyes of one of its great observers.

And if you're a Dylan fan, it might be worth checking out for those sections alone, as its a quick read, but don't expect anything earth-shattering.

UPDATE: Re-read in September 2008 for a class. Much better the second time around, maybe I just expected too much the first time, or maybe I've just changed my mind as to what Dylan is as an artist. That "Oh Mercy" section is still unbearable, though: his "discovery of a new singing technique" is total bullshit.
Profile Image for hayatem.
670 reviews169 followers
December 6, 2017
بوب ديلان الحائز على جائزة نوبل للآداب عام 2016 ل " إنشاء تعابير شعرية جديدة في تقاليد الأغنية الأمريكية العريقة" . و هو أول شاعر غنائي يفوز بالجائزة. شخصية مؤثرة في الموسيقى والثقافية الشعبية الأمريكية لأكثر من خمسة عقود. انطلاقته الفنية كانت بداية ستينيات القرن الماضي، من مدينة نيويورك(1961) حيث صارت بعض أغانيه رموزا للحركات الاحتجاجية وسط الشباب، وهويعد رمز الثقافة الأميركية المضادة.

يسرد....كل ما قمت بفعله هو أنني غنيت أغنيات صريحة ومعبرة عن وقائع جديدة قوية. هناك قليل مما يجمع بيني وبين جيلٍ كان يفترض أن أكون ناطقاً بلسانه. كنت قد غادرت مسقط رأسي قبل ذلك بعشرة أعوام فقط، ولم أكن أعكس آراء أي أحد . كان قدري ملقى على الطريق مع كل ما قد تجلبه لي الحياة، ولم يكن لي أدنى علاقة بتمثيل أي نوع من الحضارة. أن تكون صادقاً مع نفسك، تلك هي المسألة. كنت راعي بقرٍ أكثر من كوني عازف مزمار .
الممثل توني كرتس أخبرني ذات مرة أن الشهرة وظيفة بحد ذاتها، وأنها شيء منفصل. ولم يكن توني بعيداً عن الصواب في قول ذلك .
يظن الناس أن الشهرة والمال يعنيان السلطة، وأنها ستجلب المجد والشرف والسعادة. ربما تكون كذلك، لكنها أحياناً لا تكون.
فيما يخص عموم الناس، انغمست في كل ماهو رعوي ودنيوي ما وسعني ذلك.

في ضريبة الشهرة، يقول:
" تدرك أن الخصوصية شيء تستطيع بيعه، لكنك لا تستطيع شراءه مرة أخرى."

"أن أكف عن التنصل من واجبي بوصفي ضمير جيل!"

حول فخ أن تكون رمزاً:
في أحلامي كانت الحشود تهتف ، متحدية إياي، صارخة:" اتبعنا وامتزج بنا"
ويصرح: لم أكن لأعترف بكوني رمزاً، أو حتى متحدثاً، ومثل إبليس، كانت لدي أنا أيضاً أسرة أعولها. لم أكن واعظاً يأتي بالمعجزات . كان بمستطاع هذا الأمر أن يدفع بأي شخص إلى مشارف الجنون .

عن الأغنية الشعبية :
" بوسع المغنيين الشعبيين أن يغنوا أغنيات تماثل كتاباً كاملاً ببضعة أبيات من الشعر فقط."

مذكرات مزجت بين سيرته الذاتية- الفنية، حس العاطفة، وتأملات نقدية في موسيقى عصره، مع انفلاتات الذاكرة في كولاج الحياة!
Profile Image for Julie Kuvakos.
155 reviews170 followers
October 24, 2022
I had already given this 5 ⭐️ on my first read years ago but somehow it felt even more magical this time around.

Bob Dylan speaks to the side of me that I don’t speak out loud but internalize a lot. His path is one all about seeking the truth in all things and I just dig that. He forms words in a way that is full of rhythm, layers, color and deep - a mirror of life.

He’s sold me on putting a visit to New Orleans at the top of my bucket list and I really enjoyed his musings on how he wrote his songs and how it evolved mathematically over time. I loved his honesty in the dry times when creativity is so far removed from you as an artist and exactly what that felt like. I understand that desert like feeling.

I was fortunate to see him live 10 years ago at nine other than the Arizona State Fair. He played all his new bar music but that’s what was honest for him at the time.

For anyone wanting to learn more on him check out his 1965 San Francisco Press Conference as well as his documentary “No Direction Home” - trust me it’s worth your time.
Profile Image for Iulian.
88 reviews73 followers
August 5, 2018
Dylan writes as he sings: with honesty, passion and care for humanity. Misunderstood as an artist, labeled on countless ocassions as something he didn't recognize himself lof being, you can think that people just don't get your message so maybe you're singing to the wrong crowd. I was very pleased to see that Bob is also a pretty curious and well read man, a guy who values integrity, the idea of being humble, down to earth. Some of the best autobiography I've read, equally disturbing and heart-breaking, but in Dylan's words you can see hope and ambition, like there's always a path that keeps you going, a dream waiting for your arrival.
Profile Image for Velvetink.
3,512 reviews224 followers
Want to read
April 13, 2011
*********WANT BADLY**********
Mother's Day is coming up! or for Birthday then, Xmas in July, Aussie Friend Day, Happy Person who does your laundry day, Day for people who will beg for books. Well any excuse will do - have loved Bob a long time....will even be embarrassing & pimp my photo here - of a time when I played his records over and over..
Bob and me.
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