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Download Ballad of Bob Dylan: A Portrait epub

by Daniel Mark Epstein

Download Ballad of Bob Dylan: A Portrait epub
ISBN: 0285640828
ISBN13: 978-0285640825
Category: Biographies
Author: Daniel Mark Epstein
Language: English
Publisher: Souvenir Press (March 1, 2012)
ePUB size: 1149 kb
FB2 size: 1103 kb
Rating: 4.3
Votes: 859
Other Formats: azw lrf lit doc

For me, what with Epstein's knowledge of music and, especially, poetry, this bio of Bob Dylan- The Ballad of Bob Dylan, is probably definitive.

Epstein neatly chronicles BD's life with four concerts as guideposts.

I had accepted the media myths created for BD (Dylan) - that he is the prickly, uncooperative, but an iconic hero of the 60's. That bugged me because I know many other greater heroes of the 60's.

Turns out Bob is hardworking and generous. While he may not been have been forthcoming or political enough for my tastes- it's clear that while BD reflected the 60's, he did not comment upon them, as much as we may have wished some one to do so (see Howard Zinn)!

The dvd documentary on Phil Ochs ("There but for fortune") shows clearly that Phil spoke more clearly than Bob about the 60's... but were his songs better? no way!! Jonh Lennon and Gil Scott Heron spoke much more clearly about the 60's! In fact- so did Nina Simone!! But Bob joined Phil for the concert in honor of the Chilean singer, Victor Jara, who was killed by Pinochet's thugs. And how much more of a protest song could our generation want than "Masters of War"?

BD is, after all, a composer, poet and musician. You are sucked in by his harmonies, his cadence changes- and then come the dynamite lyrics: "Here's to those that came w the dust and are gone w the wind"- simple but unforgettable.

BD has (w integrity) stubbornly refused to be pigeonholed as other than a song and dance man- following in the footsteps of a Johnny Cash. So what if he has not had the edge of certain others- his lyrics clearly support the humanity of a generation trying to change things for the better.. he channels Woodie Guthrie- he channels so many other persons who had something to say!.he is a good artist for our generation- we don't tolerate fools gladly. It's clear enough where his sympathies lie. The fact that BD has obfuscated interviewers often is a credit- they ask such stupid questions, don't they?

You can see that if Bob respects the film maker- as a Scorcese- he tells it like it is!

Hopefully, artists like BD (and film makers like Scorcese) will be even more honest and political in the future!

To me, "the answer my friends/ is mass movement for social change; the answer is mass movement for social change"- but that has no poetic ring.

When I hear that Bob collects cars or real estate- that reminds me of a Hugh Hefner; I would like Bob to be MORE- but...the fact that he is not? (I also wish other great composers- Mozart and Wagner were more political- guess what?!?!? they're not!)

Noes added later (7/19/11) upon watching the Scorcese documentary on Dylan- "No Direction Home"- Bob is not evasive talking to Martin- I realize my initial negative reaction (see above letter and refutation by Dan) was juvenile and foolish. The harmonic changes alone draw you into Bob's music- and THEN- then there are the lyrics. For a protestor like myself? "Masters of War" is as great a protest song as you could like.

"I hope that you'll die/ and I hope it comes soon/ I'll stand on your grave and make sure that you're dead!"

"Here's to those that come w the dust and are gone w the wind"- was that enough for poetry? or "How does it feel- to be all alolne- no directgion home, like a rolling stone?"- right up there w the stones "All of the things that you used to do- if they're done now, well they're done by you!"

A great documentary on Phil Ochs- "There but for Fortune" has just been released, and one could be tempted to say, Phil suffered at Bobby's hands. But didn't Bob join Phil at the tribute concert to Victor Jara- Chilean folk singer shot in the back by Pinochet's thugs in Chile?

Liam Clancy tells Bob: "Remember Bob- no fear, no envy, no meanness."
Daniel Epstein writes this biography from the perspective of a musician and a fan of Bob Dylan. Having grown up in Floodwood, Minnesota, 35 miles from Hibbing where Dylan grew up and attending the University of Minnesota at the same time as Dylan, I never listened to much of his music. I read this book while listening to his music and have gained an appreciation for his talent as a poet and singer.
finally, a dylan bio with correct information, and some new revelations too. for readers who didn't know the motorcycle "accident" was barely that, a full page details that nicely. my favorite dylan bio yet.
If you were born after WWII, you have heard Dylan sing his songs your whole life. Sometimes those songs spoke to us, captured our mood or our heart. But many times other artists captured our attention and devotion. In covering a Dylan song, those artists we loved would often talk of Dylan's influence.

But we just did not get the hype. And there seemed no way to get to the core of Dylan but through the hype. And the more we found out about Dylan, the more we hoped he could live a normal life, have a happy family, be untouched by all of the hangers on, drugs and manic fans climbing through windows. And so we kept our distance.

What Dan Epstein has done is write the Dylan Bio for the rest of us. And we feel when we finish, that Dylan has lived our life from 1963 to 2009. So few of the artists from the 60/70s are still writing about current times. Though in the last few years an amazing number have put out stunning new albums. Full of energy and truth telling and humor. It is a tough thing to do. It is tough to take a chance when a victory lap or retirement are well-deserved and long overdue.

Everyone who learned the guitar from 1966 onward, probably had a Dylan songbook with words and chords and melodies. If you are 14 today, you are strumming those same chords, hearing the ring of the guitar in your room, singing Bob's words, stealing or making up melodies, finding that you can speak/sing over the strumming and dream your own dreams set to music. And your friends understand you.

The Ballad of Bob Dylan keeps opening out to a wider and wider range of life and emotion. It is a book that builds from the first page to the last. From the musician focused on craft to the grandfather trying to stay relevant to his grand-kids...and that 14 year old sitting on a bed, alone with a guitar.

I recommend it highly.
Great insights into the most influential songwriter of, now, several generations. Beautifully written, clear insights and wonderful perspective on Bob Dylan as an artist, musician and a human. Wish I could have been at all of the four shows this books centers around.
The Ballad of Bob Dylan is among the best, if not the best, biography of Dylan that I have read. Other biographers amass details about Dylan's life, whereas Epstein, who is a musician himself, offers considerable exposition, musical criticism and personal anecdotes. He writes extremely well. Since it is just published (2011), Bob's recent doings are up-to-date. This is a Bob Dylan who is happy (in recent years, he has presented himself to the world as miserable and eccentric), avuncular, generous and outgoing. Ballad is not idolatry, though. He presents many unpleasant (at least to me) anecdotes of the nasty alcohol and drug-fueled Dylan before his "motorcycle accident," (which Epstein has additional information about). Epstein writes well about Dylan's attempts to right some his wrongs. One finishes the book with great respect for Dylan's self-education, musical genius, archival knowledge of British and American folk music and his personal integrity. He won't be with us forever, so, for a little while longer, we can anticipate more songs from a His Bobness, a man who has never sung the same song the same way twice. Top that, Irving Berlin.
Covers an amazing amount very well. Practically a "page-turner". Author is a first class writer.