He worked in an itinerant carnival for six years after dropping out of school. His next job was as a sex worker in a Manhattan suburb, where he sometimes made “really a hundred a night, from 4 p.m. until 3 or 4 a.m.,” he said. in an interview in the mid-1960s. “I almost died.” In 1966, he nearly died in a motorcycle accident that caused him to disappear from public life. He also has a heroin habit in New York.
most of the above is Bob Dylan’s lies about himself. He is a master at distracting the world. So no big surprise perhaps Philosophy of modern song has very little philosophy and lacks all modernity. It includes 66 highly impressive essays on songs he seems to like, from Elvis Costello’s. Pump it up by Frank Sinatra Strangers in the Night.
The book’s inner cover has over-zealously labeled its contents “a master class in the art and skill of composition”. Only four of the 66 songs he chose were by women, and only two were released in the 21st century. Sometimes, his point of view is that of the 19th century.
He encounters in places less as a Yeats song and more as a wretch (“The only thing that truly unites us is suffering and only suffering,” he says. write about John Trudell’s No more pain), a cranky old man in his 80s with views that would send anyone else off. This assumes that his tongue is not in his Minnesota cheek. Only he knows. And he didn’t speak.
Read What He Takes On Johnnie Taylor’s Cheaper to keep her and you’d be forgiven if you thought you’d tripped over the crazy ramblings of some right-wing Christian fundamentalist: “A childless couple, that’s not the a family,” he wrote. “They were just two friends; friends with benefits and insurance…”
The feeling that you stumbled across the point of view of a lunatic old Trump supporter also appeared in the most misogynistic way imaginable when he wrote about witch woman by The Eagles. He compares the most intimate part of a woman to “a steel trap, and she covers you with cow shit – a real killer and you look at her with suspicion and fear, exactly.”
Is this really the man who was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature? Or is he on medication? What else could explain his writing about Warren Zevon Dirty life and times hence: “You are a male cat with a stiff penis peeing yellow urine.”
I’m just as confused as he thinks Come to my house by Rosemary, George Clooney’s aunt, is “the song of the deviant, the pedophile, the serial killer… the man who has 30 corpses in his basement, a witch”. Magician? Did anyone tell George? My analysis of You do not know me Eddy Arnold’s is even more confusing, if such a thing is readable Philosophy of modern song: “A serial killer would sing this song. Serial killers have an uncanny use of formal language and may refer to sex as the art of making love.”
I’m sure even serial killers have something to say about it, as did Cher when reading Dylan’s theory that Gypsies, Wanderers & Thieves is “a thinly veiled metaphor for her father/mother relationship.”
Knowing a singer’s life story doesn’t particularly help you understand a song
Elsewhere, Johnnie Taylor’s Cheaper to keep her inspired him to criticize divorce as a “ten billion dollar a year industry” while advocating for polygamy: “Mixed marriage, same-sex marriage – advocates have the right lobby to make all of this legal, but no one is fighting for the only thing that really matters, polygamy.”
His first new written book since 2004 Chronicles: Volume One (we’re still waiting for Episode Two) won’t set the world on fire for anyone other than the radical sharpshooters known as the Dylanogolists. However, there are some good parts. He is not clear. He praised Elvis Presley’s derided manager, Colonel Parker. He chose Perry Como’s 1951 recording of no song and the troubadour was equally mocked for much praise: “He’s the anti-flavor of the week, anti-hot and anti-bling list.”
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“Knowing a singer’s life story doesn’t help much with understanding a song,” he later said of how he distrusts autobiography in music. “What’s important is a song that makes you feel about your own life.” His view of Carl Perkins’ version Blue suede shoes engage the reader in his or her imagination. These colorful shoes “represent the church and the state, and contain the essence of the universe within them… They… contain the infinite power of the sun.”
In the book’s dedication, he gives special thanks to “all the staff at Dunkin’ Donuts.” Depending on your appreciation (or tolerance) for Dylan, Philosophy of modern song either an almost meaningless rambling or a poetic flight of genius.
I’ll let you decide for yourself about coffee and some donuts.
‘Philosophy of Modern Song’ by Bob Dylan, Simon & Schuster, €32.99
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/books/book-reviews/bob-dylans-new-essay-collection-paints-him-as-a-misanthropic-cranky-old-man-with-views-that-would-get-anyone-else-cancelled-42154608.html Bob Dylan’s new collection of essays portrays him as a cranky, obnoxious old man with views that would put anyone else off.