My blog has moved! Redirecting...

You should be automatically redirected. If not, visit http://:// and update your bookmarks.

this is what you shall do:: Chronicles, Vol 1

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Chronicles, Vol 1

Posted by Hello I've been deep into the pages of Chronicles, Vol. 1 by Bob Dylan for the past few weeks. It is unlike any celebrity reminiscences I have read before - I guess as should be expected. Dylan's look at his life, told in an almost stream of consciousness, folksy style has me hanging upside down and delighted, clear down to my toes. He talks at great length of celebrity and his need for privacy. He talks about his loss of the love of music and how he went through the late 70s and the 80s sleepwalking through his fame. He tells the story of how he picked his name. He talks at length about living in Greenwich Village, NYC in the early 1960s. And of composing the songs for his stunning "comeback" album: Oh Mercy in 1989. He talks about his love of Sinatra and Ice- T. He talks of drinking a case of Irish ale with Bono and U2 and the lengths he would go to listen to records while still a struggling musician, new to New York City and the coffeehouse scene that would eventually lead to his fame. He talks about a visit to Woody Guthrie's' home to find the box of songs in the cellar that Woody told him about (a box of songs that eventually was recorded by Billy Bragg and Wilco). He explains in cryptic detail his newly crafted guitar and singing process that he claims has reintroduced him to his own volume of work and has helped him understand the music and songs he has written over the course of nearly 50 years. The book is great. Written in imprecise, image-fantastic Dylanesque prose - it rambles in places then suddenly the narrative is on fire. Imagery so fierce and precise you feel you are reading shear poetry - which I guess, coming from the poet of a generation, it is. You can just hear his gravel, scarred voice, perhaps a little drunk or high, weaving the story in your mind. Dylan is an enigma. Peaking into his life as told through his pen, you understand the enigma a bit. Or perhaps you understand the "Dylan enigma" is not meant to be understood. That even Bob Dylan understands. He has warred with it. He has made peace with. He understands his muse and lets his muse do his work and at the end of Chronicles, he seems happy to have been along for the ride. More books are perhaps promised. Dylan has completed his press junket for this work and has said it was a joy to compose and he can't wait to tell more of his life. He is at a happy place in his life, which is kind of rare, if you have followed any of his career for any period of time.