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Dylan: Disc By Disc by Jon Bream- Review

Posted by Teddyrose@1 on August 8, 2016
Posted in Bob DylanBooks Read in 2016Music  | Tagged With: , | 4 Comments

Dylan: Disc By Disc by Jon BreamDylan: Disc By Disc by Jon Bream


It’s no secret that I am a fan of Bob Dylan.  Okay, so he doesn’t have the soulful voice that I usually love but he has words that he combined into poem and song.  His words have changed over the years, just as he has changed.  At first they were in protest, then became electric, religious, etc. 

I was disappointed when he became a born again Christian, not that I have anything against it, as long as people don’t preach it to me.  That was just it, I was worried he would be preachy about it.  He wasn’t after his first album after converting and in fact, I even liked that album. It wasn’t a favorite, but it was good.  I don’t even know if he still considers himself religious be it Jewish or Christian. 

I thought it a bit funny that he was considered “born again” because he was raised Jewish.  In fact, there was a rumor that he went to the same summer camp my parents forced me to go to in Minnesota, Herzl. I remember my last year going there a boy snuck me into his cabin to show me where Bob carved his initials in a bunk bed.  “B.Z.”.  Were they really his initials, who knows but it was still thrilling for me!

Now flash forward, back to today and I am still a fan.  So, when I saw ‘Dylan: Disc by Disc’, I had to have it.  Luckily the publisher was happy to send me a copy for review.  First let me say this is a beautiful book in terms of the cover and photos within.  I am now proudly displaying it on my coffee table.  In fact, last week we had friend over and one asked to borrow it.  Ha, I told him, “not my Dylan”.  He understood and promptly ordered a copy for himself after just browsing through mine.

The book is set up for some well known, some not so well know critics to discuss each album Dylan has done to date.  I have every album up to 2012.  In fact, we saw a Bob Dylan special on PBS in 2013 and they had a box set of 40 cds during a pledge drive on offer.  We bought it, so we even have some duplicates.  LOL!

I agree with some of the commentary for each album discussed in the book and also disagree with some.  It was really set up a lot like a conversation a bunch of friends would discuss some of their favorite performers except most of those friends have the discussion in their writing, rather than verbal.  At first I really liked the writing style but did tire of it, at times. However, that said, I still adored this book, mostly for the photos.  It’s just beautifully put together and a nice keepsake for a Bob Dylan fan.  I highly recommend it for fans or as a gift to the big Dylan fans in your life!

4/5

I received this book for my honest review.

About Jon Bream


Dylan: Disc By Disc by Jon Bream

Photo Credit: Jeff Wheeler

Jon Bream, the award-winning critic of the Minneapolis Star Tribune since 1975, has the second longest tenure of any current daily newspaper pop-music critic in the United States. His work has appeared everywhere from the Boston Globe and the Los Angeles Times to Rolling Stone and TV Guide. A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Bream is the author of the bestselling biographies Prince: Inside the Purple Reign (1984) and Whole Lotta Led Zeppelin: The Illustrated History of the Heaviest Band of All Time (2008). Visit www.jonbream.com.

Another Side of Bob DylanBook Description:

Los Angeles Times Best seller!

August 2014 marks 50 years since Bob Dylan released his fourth album,Another Side of Bob Dylan. Recorded in one night, in the middle of a turbulent year in his life, the music marked a departure from Dylan’s socially-conscious folk songs and began his evolution toward other directions.

During the years they spent together, few people outside of Dylan’s immediate family were closer than Victor Maymudes, who was Dylan’s tour manager, personal friend, and travelling companion from the early days in 1960s Greenwich Village through the late 90’s.

Another Side of Bob Dylan recounts landmark events including Dylan’s infamous motorcycle crash; meeting the Beatles on their first US tour; his marriage to Sara Lownds, his romances with Suze Rotolo, Joan Baez, and others; fellow travelers Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Wavy Gravy, Dennis Hopper, The Band, The Traveling Wilburys, and more; memorable concerts, and insights on Dylan’s songwriting process.

On January 26th, 2001, after recording more than 24 hours of taped memories in preparation for writing this book, Victor Maymudes suffered an aneurysm and died. His son Jacob has written the book, using the tapes to shape the story.

The result is a vivid, first-hand account of Dylan as an artist, friend, and celebrity, illustrated with never-before-seen photographs, and told by an engaging raconteur who cut his own swathe through the turbulent counterculture.

My Thoughts:

Victor Maymudes was the tour manager for Bob Dylan on and off in the 60’s and then again 1986-1996.  They became friends in the early 60’s and basically had an on/off friendship and working relationship.  St. Martin’s Press signed him up to write his memoir but he died before he could complete it.

He had recorded over 24 hours of tape about his life and relationship with Dylan and his son, Jacob, used them to complete the book for him.  He basically transcribed the tapes into print and put in his two cents.

I especially loved Maymudes’s view from the early days of Greenwich Village and the early days when Dylan was still developing his style.  I questioned some of Maymudes actions, like the time he had his two small children in the van when picking up Dylan at Universal Studios.  Dylan had a hard day of work there and the kids annoyed him with questions.  When he told Victor to deal with it, he left his kids in the parking lot, alone for 3 hours at night, while he drove Dylan home.

There were a few places I would have liked a bit more information, yet a few places that were a bit repetitive as well.  I think it could have used a bit more editing.  However, I found the book quite touching, especially with Jacobs interjections at the end of each tape.  Victor Maymudes wasn’t around much when Jacob was growing up but I could tell that Jacob loved his father despite that.

3.5/5

I received an advance reading copy of this book for my honest review.

About the Authors:

VICTOR MAYMUDES was Bob Dylan’s tour manager at the beginning of his musical career in the early 1960s. After a brief hiatus in New Mexico, Maymudes rejoined Dylan as his tour manager from 1986 to 1996. He died in January, 2001.

JACOB MAYMUDES is a writer, director and visual effects supervisor working for the Mill in Los Angeles, California.