BOB DYLAN by Anthony Scaduto


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A biography of Dylan assembled from long interviews with friends and ex-friends, mainly those who knew Mr. Tambourine Man during his early years kicking around Greenwich Village haunts, spinning self-serving myths, and posturing his way to superstar status. Reminiscences by Eric yon Schmidt, Joan Baez, Dave Van Ronk, et al. are surprisingly gentle -- sufficient time having passed since Positively Fourth Street kicked them in the lace. Although Scaduto had the benefit of one interview with the still-secluded Dylan, there is very little material from those who presently surround and nurture him -- e.g., his wife. Scaduto doesn't worry much about those who suspect that Dylan has interred his talent in the potato-love of bourgeois domesticity, citing the critical acclaim of the latest album, New Morning. Explications of Dylan epics, Visions of Johanna and the ""Doomsday"" songs of '64-'66 suffer from a mole-like burrowing style which sacrifices poesy for an attempt to nail down one-to-one correspondences between life and art. In general Scaduto has done as well as possible reconstructing Dylan's peregrinations given his somewhat cloddish, literal-minded, walking-in-the-footsteps approach. Nowhere does he achieve the empathy of old crony Jack Elliott who remembers early Dylan as ""a rough little pixie runt with a guitar."" For fans only and heaven (and Columbia records) knows there are plenty of them.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1971
Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap