Who Is That Man?: In Search of the Real Bob Dylan

By David Dalton

For the 1st Time in Paperback with a brand new Foreword, is a Kaleidoscopic examine the numerous Faces of Bob Dylan

For nearly part a century, Bob Dylan has been a prime catalyst in rock's transferring sensibilities. Few American artists are as vital, cherished, and ceaselessly tested, but he is still anything of an enigma. Who, we ask, is the "real" Bob Dylan? Is he Bobby Zimmerman, craving to flee Hibbing, Minnesota, or the Woody Guthrie wannabe taking part in Greenwich Village haunts? folks Messiah, Born-Again Bob, Late-Elvis Dylan, Jack destiny, or residing nationwide Treasure? In Who Is That Man?, timed for Dylan's seventy fifth birthday, David Dalton--cultural historian, journalist, screenwriter, and novelist--paints a revealing portrait of the rock icon, ingeniously exposing the three-card monte video games he performs together with his persona.

Guided by means of Dalton's state-of-the-art insights and myth-debunking viewpoint, Who Is That Man? follows Dylan's creative lifestyles, integrating genuine occasions with Dylan's phrases and people of the folks who understand him so much in detail. Drawing upon Dylan's buddies and fellow eyewitnesses--including Marianne Faithfull, Allen Ginsberg, Peter Stampfel , Larry "Ratso" Sloman, Eric Andersen, Nat Hentoff, Andrew Oldham, Nat Finkelstein, and others--this booklet will offer a brand new standpoint at the guy, the parable, and the musical period that cast them either.

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The school crowd now disdains rock as crass and advertisement. This rejection of rock most likely additionally has to do with it being thought of Southern and occasional category (despite the awkward incontrovertible fact that the complete folks canon comes out of the South). the folks craze additionally allows elitist “discoveries” of imprecise songs, labels, and tools. Armed with a newly minted ideology (protest), the people scene shifts from feckless balladeering and strumming right into a move. With Dinkytown and Minnesota U. , Dylan starts off his flight from his prior. “I by no means was once a child who might simply move domestic. I by no means had a house that i may simply take a bus to; I made my manner all on my own. ” He observed the longer term laid out earlier than him as a sequence of roles he may inhabit. As for his earlier, he could make it up, inventing sundry biographies extra compelling than the suffocating, humdrum heritage he really got here from. His destiny selves could all have an undercurrent of fantasy, folklore, and hobo romance to them. in fact, you'll want to go away domestic if you’re going to be some other person. very first thing you wish is a brand new identify. based on one tale (there’s regularly multiple reason for every little thing Dylan does), he starts off calling himself Bob Dillon after Matt Dillon, the sheriff on Gunsmoke. A Western hero, yeah, yet one on television. In different phrases, it’s an imaginary personality (like Bob Dylan), an invention of author John Meston and manufacturer Norman MacDonnell. Gunsmoke used to be born on September 10, 1955, round the time Dylan made up our minds he didn’t are looking to be Bobby Zimmerman anymore. Dillon, he claims, used to be his mother’s maiden identify (actually, it used to be Stone). Or he took it from the identify of a city in Oklahoma. Or he had an uncle on his mother’s aspect named Dillon. the opposite showbiz Zimmerman is Ethel, who replaced her identify to Merman—by lopping off the Zim. yet Bob Merman won’t do, doesn’t have the perfect ring. at some point soon this yr, Dillon turns into Dylan. “The identify simply popped into my head one day,” he insists. “But it didn’t fairly occur any of the methods I’ve examine. I simply didn’t think that I had a prior and that i couldn’t relate to something except what i used to be doing today. ” as a result Dylan claimed that he’d constantly spelled it that manner or had by no means heard of the Welsh poet, even though Dylan’s boyhood buddy Larry Kegan enormously remembered that Dylan “usually had a poetry e-book in his hand—sometimes [it used to be] the poems of Dylan Thomas. ” through the years he additional to the confusion via claiming any variety of purposes for the Dylan Thomas spelling, together with that it regarded greater with a y. whereas not likely, it’s attainable, simply because like such a lot of Dylan’s offerings it’s a cultured one. Dylan’s lyrics are not anything like these of his Welsh namesake, yet his expertise for obfuscation escalates with the Dillon/Dylan identify online game. It’s additionally been advised that one reason behind his identify swap was once the rabid anti-Semitism in Minneapolis. Dylan scans the panorama for folks idols and attempts out quite a few Okie-folkie combos. His ear for mimicry turns out to be useful, quite for colloquial expressions, accents, nearby American diction—as notwithstanding those inflections might conjure the folk who used them.

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