Sunday, February 21, 2010

Chronicles by Bob Dylan

The first volume of Bob Dylan's recollections is an interesting read. 
He names a lot of names, some well-known in relation to his career, others, less so; still more, forgotten. I had hoped it would be more linear but it skips around from early Dylan as reluctant Messiah to late/current Dylan as elder statesman then back a bit.

He paints a picture of America, and New York City, especially, that is of a different era; a world that was bigger and smaller at the same time.  A slower world that relied on paying your dues in coffeehouses and, unlike today's American Idol-imposed instant fame, a leg up from record industry men. 

That said, his way of describing things, a way that might be described as Dylanesque were it someone else's memoir, gets caught in a certain rhythm and that certain rhythm got caught in my ear.  If you've heard his radio show on Sirius/XM, it's actually kind of fun in short bursts but, over the course of several hundred pages, I found it tiring. Still, I kept reading because it's Bob Freakin' Dylan.  The man, his music, and his mystique all made history and knowing your history is easily overlooked these days. 

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