Biographies & Memoirs

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

The book begins in Berkeley in 1968, and ends with a piece on Dylan's show at the University of Minnesota—his very first appearance at his alma mater—on election night 2008. In between are moments of euphoric discovery: From Marcus's liner notes for the 1967 Basement Tapes (pop music's most famous bootlegged archives) to his exploration of Dylan's reimagining of the American experience in the 1997 Time Out of Mind. And rejection; Marcus's Rolling Stone piece on Dylan's album Self Portrait—often called the most famous record review ever written—began with “What is this shit?” and led to his departure from the magazine for five years. Marcus follows not only recordings but performances, books, movies, and all manner of highways and byways in which Bob Dylan has made himself felt in our culture.

Together the dozens of pieces collected here comprise a portrait of how, throughout his career, Bob Dylan has drawn upon and reinvented the landscape of traditional American song, its myths and choruses, heroes and villains. They are the result of a more than forty-year engagement between an unparalleled singer and a uniquely acute listener.

PROLOGUE - THE LEGEND OF BLIND STEAMER TRUNK

PART ONE - Breath Control, 1970-1974

SELF PORTRAIT NO. 25

NEW MORNING

WATCHING THE RIVER FLOW

BANGLA DESH

DOUG SAHM AND BAND

HEAVY BREATHING

HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED REVISITED

A MOMENT OF PANIC

PART TWO - Seven Years of This, 1975-1981

AN ALBUM OF WOUNDS

from LINER NOTES

DYLAN GETS NASTY

THAT TRAIN DON’T STOP HERE ANYMORE

SAVE THE LAST WALTZ FOR ME

STREET LEGAL

MORE OR LESS LIKE A MOVING STONE

AMAZING CHUTZPAH

from LOGICAL CONCLUSIONS

from THEMES FROM SUMMER PLACES

from SONGS OF RANDOM TERROR—REAL LIFE ROCK TOP 10, 1980

PART THREE - And Eight Years of That, 1985-1993

NUMBER ONE WITH A BULLET

OVER THE EDGE

COMEBACK TIME AGAIN

SPEAKER TO SPEAKER

REAL LIFE ROCK TOP 10

BOB SPITZ, DYLAN: A BIOGRAPHY

THE MYTH OF THE OPEN ROAD

REAL LIFE ROCK TOP 10

REAL LIFE ROCK TOP 10

DYLAN AS HISTORIAN

REAL LIFE ROCK TOP 10

PART FOUR - New Land Sighted, 1993-1997

REAL LIFE ROCK TOP 10

WHAT’S NEW IN THE CEMETERY

THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT CELEBRATION

REAL LIFE ROCK TOP 10

“LIKE A ROLLING STONE” AFTER TWENTY-NINE YEARS

DOCK BOGGS

REAL LIFE ROCK TOP 10

BOB DYLAN AFTER THE 1994 CONGRESSIONAL ELECTIONS

FREE SPEECH AND FALSE SPEECH

REAL LIFE ROCK TOP 10

ALL THIS USELESS BEAUTY

PART FIVE - New Land Found, 1997-1999

PREEMPTIVE OBITUARIES

REAL LIFE ROCK TOP 10

A MAP YOU CAN THROW AWAY

ONE STEP BACK

THIRTY RECORDS ABOUT AMERICA

TABLE SCRAPS

FOLK MUSIC TODAY—THE HORROR

OLD SONGS IN NEW SKINS

PART SIX - Hopscotch, 2000-2001

THE MAN ON THE LEFT

REAL LIFE ROCK TOP 10

WHERE IS DESOLATION ROW?

HOPSCOTCH REAL LIFE ROCK TOP 10

TOMBSTONE BLUES

WHEN FIRST UNTO THIS COUNTRY

LIVE 1961-2000— THIRTY-NINE YEARS OF GREAT CONCERT PERFORMANCES

HANDSOME MOLLY

REAL LIFE ROCK TOP 10

SOMETIMES HE TALKS CRAZY, CRAZY LIKE A SONG

REAL LIFE ROCK TOP 10

HIGH WATER EVERYWHERE

PART SEVEN - Find a Grave, 2001-2004

REAL LIFE ROCK TOP 10

NOT SINGING TOO FAST

REAL LIFE ROCK TOP 10

HOW GOOD CAN IT GET

REAL LIFE ROCK TOP 10

THE LOST WALTZ

REAL LIFE ROCK TOP 10

PART EIGHT - Beat the Clock, 2004-2010

CHRONICLES

THE WORLD PREMIERE OF NO DIRECTION HOME

BOOKSHELVES—PAUL NELSON, 1936-2006

FOLK MUSIC TODAY-RAPTURE

REAL LIFE ROCK TOP 10 THE TRAIL OF DEAD

A TRIP TO HIBBING HIGH

REAL LIFE ROCK TOP 10

I’M NOT THERE

VISIONS AND VISIONS OF JOHANNA

THE BEGINNING AND THE END

THE DRAWN BLANK SERIES

REAL LIFE ROCK TOP 10

TELL TALE SIGNS: Rare and Unreleased, 1989-2006—The Bootleg Series Volume 8 (Columbia Legacy)

SAM MCGEE’S “RAILROAD BLUES” AND OTHER VERSIONS OF THE REPUBLIC

STORIES OF A BAD SONG

REAL LIFE ROCK TOP 10

EPILOGUE