Twenty Pounds of Headlines

Posted Oct 5, 2018

Next week we’re rocking out with Sonia Khatchadourian who will present a program titled Twenty Pounds of Headlines: The Stories that Inspired Bob Dylan’s Writing.  Join us Tuesday, October 11th at 6:30 PM! In the meantime, here are some Dylan-inspired reads:

Chronicles: Volume One by Bob Dylan

Singer, songwriter, and artist Bob Dylan has one of America’s most iconic voices.  Dylan’s career spans decades, and his songs, which epitomize storytelling and expressiveness, are hallmarks of American music.  In Chronicles: Volume One, Dylan shares an intimate and personal account of his own life.  Starting in Greenwich Village in 1961, Dylan chronicles his life, including memories of parties, literary awakenings, love, friendships, and his travels to New Orleans, Woodstock, and Minnesota.  Through Dylan’s recollections, he shares his reflections on his personal story, his career, and the people and places that influenced him.  Chronicles: Volume One is a straightforward memoir that illuminates who Bob Dylan is and how he got to where he is today – a must read for Dylan fans!

Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads: An Explosion of Vision and Humor that Forever Changed Pop Music by Greil Marcus

How does it feel? / How does it feel / To be without a home / Like a complete unknown / Like a rolling stone?  The lyrics to Bob Dylan’s song, Like a Rolling Stone, are timeless and iconic.  Recorded in New York City in 1965, Dylan recorded Like a Rolling Stone once during a two-day recording session, and it was never successfully replicated a second time.  In his book Like a Rolling Stone, writer Greil Marcus takes a deep dive in to Dylan’s six-minute revolutionary single that launched Dylan’s career as a musician and changed the tenor of American pop music.  Through cultural context and careful criticism, Marcus examines the energy, anger, and thrill that swept pop culture in 1965.  Even though he assumed the unwanted role of being the “voice of a generation,” Marcus’ book deftly explains why Dylan and his music has stood the test of time.         

Why Bob Dylan Matters by Richard F. Thomas

In 2016, Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature.  When Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize, which typically goes to writer or poetss, the decision was both celebrated and questioned.  Harvard Professor Richard F. Thomas explains how Dylan transcended the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and moved into the realm of poetry.  Thomas, an expert on classical poetry, teaches an eclectic mix of courses including classes on Homer, Virgil, Ovid, and Dylan.  More importantly, Thomas is recognized as one of Dylan’s leading critics, and his course dubbed “Dylan 101” is summarized in Why Bob Dylan Matters.  Exploring Dylan’s work and sharing it with a new generation of fans and scholars, opens up Dylan’s life and music in a fresh, engaging approach that will appeal to Dylan fans, music lovers, and poets.      

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