From longtime Dylan scholar Heylin, a meticulously detailed and engrossing account of the musician's work and life from 1961 to the present.
Bob Dylan is the singer-songwriter nonpareil of the last 30 years, but little has been written about his life after the notorious 1966 motorcycle accident. During this period, he has recorded 20 albums (and at least an equal amount of unreleased material), embarked on tours up to three years long, and worked on several movies. Here, Heylin fills in the record with a close-up narrative refreshingly free of either uncritical worship or parochial judgments. Heylin keeps his focus on the songs but examines closely the events in Dylan's life that shaped them: the motorcycle accident; his divorce from Sara and messy custody battle for their five children; his alleged hotel-room visitation from heaven, and his born-again evangelism. In numerous quotes, Dylan speaks for himself, while interviews with the important people in Dylan's life give his story considerable depth and complexity. Comments by Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, Robbie Robertson, Emmylou Harris, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, and studio musicians who have recorded and toured with Dylan provide a unique and fascinating view of the nuts and bolts of Dylan's working methods.
Exhaustively researched and eminently readable: an indispensable book for those interested in Dylan, popular music, or the fate of American icons.