Bob Dylan stands out with Elvis Presley and The Beatles in a triumvirate of popular-music artists of unparalleled achievements, influence and public fascination. He changed popular music in the 1960s, and helped define that decade with songs "Blowin' in the Wind" and "Like a Rolling Stone". Yet he resisted those who attempted to define him. An ...
Bob Dylan stands out with Elvis Presley and The Beatles in a triumvirate of popular-music artists of unparalleled achievements, influence and public fascination. He changed popular music in the 1960s, and helped define that decade with songs "Blowin' in the Wind" and "Like a Rolling Stone". Yet he resisted those who attempted to define him. An artist of indomitable energy and single-mindedness, he went on to create new work - on albums such as "Blood on the Tracks" and "Time Out of Mind" - which rivals his past glory. He has outlasted all his contemporaries, selling more than 56 million records over 40 years. In 2001, the year of his 60th birthday, Bob Dylan is as relevant to a young audience as to those who grew up with his music. This work celebrates the grandeur of Dylan's artistic achievement and reveals the complete life story of the reclusive, mercurial and eccentric man who has been an enigma for so long. This biography is based on a mountain of research conducted over three years, including interviews with more than 250 people in Dylan's life - lovers, friends, relatives, former employees and music stars. Many interviewees are key people who have not spoken before. Author Howard Sounes takes the reader to the heart of Dylan's life and work.
Publishers Weekly, 2001-04-02 Dylan was a pampered Midwestern teen who listened to African-American music on the radio. His father bought him a pink convertible and a Harley in the same year; his high school band appeared on television sporting mom-made cardigans emblazoned with the band name "Jokers." He dropped out of his first year of college to explore the Greenwich Village folk scene and meet his hero, Woody Guthrie, into whose hospital room young Dylan barged. "[H]e instinctively played upon his baby-faced unworldly looks, and his considerable personal charm, to make friends [who] would help him... giving him a place to stay or offering him a few dollars," attests Sounes (Charles Bukowski: Locked in the Arms of a Crazy Life) in this exhaustive, up-to-date biography. Though the writing is uneven, Sounes delivers a judicious portrait of Dylan's foibles and virtues. Dylan, he claims, used people variously he mimicked his favorite performers and enjoyed of "the charity of kindhearted women." Much of the book traces his womanizing, from his relationship with Joan Baez to his eight years of marital bliss (before it unraveled) with Sara Lownds. Even his religious conversion was on account of the affections of his back-up singers, one of whom he had a child with and married, a little-known fact. Dylan has burned numerous bridges in his life, though many people remain loyal. Through extensive interviews Sounes aptly captures the contradictory facets of an American folk legend. (Apr.) Forecast: The 125,000-copy printing, bolstered by a $150,000 promotional budget, will sell well among Dylan's myriad fans, who will be celebrating his 60th birthday this year. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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