The Illustrated Biography : A Unique Collection of 200 Classic, Rare & Unseen Photographs
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The images and text in this book chronicle the public life of a unique talent. Bob Dylan has written some of the most memorable popular songs of the twentieth century, as well as being a charismatic performer and cultural influence on succeeding generations of audiences and artists.
Yet Dylan remains an enigma : a shy, retiring man who hardly speaks to audiences, yet now hosts a weekly radio show. A performer who, in his own words, is 'mortified' to go out on stage, yet continues a punishing tour schedule as he heads towards his seventh decade because he believes it's what he was born to do.
Bob Dylan was born Robert Allen Zimmerman on 24th May 1941 in Duluth Minnesota. His early years were spent in a conventional and middle class Jewish household. In his teens, Dylan began to play and sing in local bands and when he left school his main ambition, as recorded in his high school yearbook was 'to join Little Richard.' But it was folk, not rock 'n' roll, which gave the young Dylan his first taste of fame, when he moved to New York he became part of the burgeoning folk music scene and recorded a series of albums cementing his fame as a leading light of the early sixties protest movement.
In 1965 Dylan famously 'went electric' at the Newport Folk Festival, outraging purist fans, but finding a new and ever growing rock audience. Dylan toured the world with a rock backing band, creating music of an intensity never been heard before in rock, once again outraging some fans and thrilling others with the power of the music.
A mysterious motorcycle accident put paid to the touring in 1966 and Dylan retired to Woodstock to raise a family. It was not until 1974 that he returned to touring and began to make great music again, notably the Blood on the Tracks album which many consider to be his finest. In 1979 Dylan was 'born again' and made several albums of overtly Christian music, yet again dividing his fans.
Through the 1980s Dylan struggled to find his way musically and personally, although embarking on what has since become known as the never ending tour. A punishing schedule of touring around the world, unprecedented in size and scope, all the more surprising for a man of his age. The 1990s saw another creative renaissance and Bob Dylan today has rarely been more feted critically and commercially. His last three albums have been acclaimed, his autobiography Chronicles was both a critical and popular success and his "Theme Time Radio Hour" radio show a joy to fans and new listeners alike. And the never-ending tour continues...
About the Author:
Chris Rushby is buying and marketing director for a major UK book wholesaler. He has been a bookseller for twenty-five years (for WH Smith, Waterstone's and Blackwell's amongst others) and should know better than to have written one. On the other hand, he has been listening to Bob Dylan's music for more than thirty-five years and, whatever the ups and downs of Dylan's career, has always found something there to marvel at.