Ian Bell: Time Out of Mind The Lives of Bob Dylan



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And Sara were there I find that disturbing on so many evels He slept around cheated and was never there for his kids simply because the road called calls to him At first The Never Ending Tour was explained because he owed Sara alimony but really I think it s because he doesn t know how to exist in any other way He doesn t need the money there s Victoria Secret commercials for that his no onger Bob Dylan s Theme Time Radio Hour his art and the etched signed harmonicas for sale online he s a performer and nothing else Also another astounding fact about his divorce from Sara in addition to custody of their five children houses and money she won half the royalties to the song written during their marriage 1965 1977 Part two helped me discover Blood On The Tracks and Desire Throughout the book the trilogy theory of Dylan s albums is discussed that they always appear in threes Dylan is famous for the three that came out in succession Bringin It All Back Home 65 Highway 61 Revisited 65 and Blonde On Blonde 66 For the most part these are the only Dylan records you need Blood On The Tracks 75 and a few atter ones are inspiring and just as encouraging to isteners reminding us that yes Dylan is a wonderful songwriter and knows how to mold melodies He gets it But I believe that because of that trilogy from the 60s he was able to do anything he wanted There is a cult following that allowed him to paint his face wear masks and spend millions on The Rolling Thunder Revue 75 76 my GOD the face painting someone yesterday told me they think it s Dylan s answer to glam a genius theory that gave Dylan four records with Columbia after his born again trilogy that Dylan got a book deal for volumes of Chronicles on his 65th birthday Those three records from 1965 and 1966 are proof that if you have one really good idea if you re given enough money and freedom you might just have another The middle of this book dragged for me The aftermath of the Presidential election got to me and I found it harder to read anything but the news for a week or two That s on me But there s the middle phase of Dylan s work where the music oses interest even it itself Once I found my footing in the pages again the 1980s and 1990s had flown by A majority of the prose was spent discussing Dylan s relationship to politics Reagan Clinton and Dylan s inability to address the fact that even though for decades he says he s not a protest song writer that he actually is one I think he just doesn t A Song for Issy Bradley likeabels Again as in part one a The First Family lot of time is spent on the continuing Bootleg series and the Basement Tapes Dylan knows what he s doing Bell writers allowing a constant flow of music to be released for purchase Bell spends a hundred or so pages discussing Dylan s plagiarism of Ovid Shakespeare and multiple photographer and sketch artists even Dylan s physical art was based on someone else s ideas Bell writes back to back stanzas of poetry that Dylan tookines and overarching themes from He follows them up with interview clips of Dylan saying that that s just what folk music is We re all taking from one another It s maddening But that s what Dylan does Ian Bell passed away before he got to see Dylan win the Nobel This is a major bummer considering how much time Bell devotes in both books to the complicated history of Dylan and the Nobel Dylan was nominated every year since 1997 and Bell dives right into all the hullabaloo about how Dylan doesn t deserve it he s only a songwriter not a poet or novelist and his A Sudden, Fearful Death (William Monk, linesook The 7th Month (Detective D.D. Warren, like shit on the page Playwrights were awarded the Nobel so why is it different for Dylan who s art also needs to be performed to be understood Bell asks I wish Bell was around to write an updated afterword but maybe Bell s greatife work needed to be incomplete the same way nothing is ever finished If anyone were to understand Wabi Sabi it would be Dylan The day after I finished this book it was announced that Bob Dylan s Nobel speech wouldn t be delivered by him Instead Patti Smith would show up in his honor and sing A Hard Rain s A Gonna Fall Some people have told me they think it s Dylan spitting in the face of the Nobel committee that it s a waste of time But I think it s an idiot savant move It s a great song choice it s a great performer choice it s a woman in his place Patti Smith is one ucky girl from NJ and he is technically allowed to do whatever he wants I think it s genius and I honestly wouldn t expect anything else from him I was ooking forward to hearing what he d have to say during his Nobel speech that is if we could understand him but this is another kind of mystery Probability Statistics, Books a la Carte Edition legacy tale that Dylan is telling Bob Dylan is such a fake always asking in interviews Who Am I Am I You When he took off his mask during The Rolling Thunder Revue to reveal Bob Dylan a white painted face and all he s telling us something there maskface paintc mon people He plays with time it helps that he has had so much of it but he is truly committed to the being Bob Dylan It s a persona he is often not sure of and it is a fascinating piece of art I never thought I d read than a thousand pages on one person but here we are I joked that it would ve been better if he was dead in the end but it onlyead me to something else perhaps when he dies the answer to a uestion no one knew to ask will come out Perhaps there s something behind him that he s hiding Maybe there s something there no one knows to The Laughing Hangman (Nicholas Bracewell, look for because we can t see its borders I will be very sad when he passes away Until then his antics and songs entertain me and make me always uestion what art can be I truly think he understands it better than anyone else Just take aook at his weird genius idiot Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves (Jeeves, life Bob Dylan Iove you I hate you Thank you for making art Wasn t going to bother with this after reading volume 1 But I m glad I did Second time around there s much On the Plains less theorising and philosophising and a much stronger narrative There s still the occasional self conscious hipness that jarsike referring to Joseph Conrad as Joe Conrad But on the whole this is an excellent account of the great man s second act Full of information I ve not read elsewhere and written in a economical style it proves the adage or cliche as Bell himself calls it that Sock-Yarn Shawls less is definitely This volume along with its companion edition Once Upon A Time is one of the best Dylan biographies to emerge in recent years The books Once Upon A Time covers Dylan s earlyife and career up to the release of Blood On The Tracks Time Out Of Mind continues through the release of 2012 s Tempest combine biography and critical analysis in eual parts and provide social and historical context not unlike the recent Beatles biography Can t Buy Me Love by Jonathan Gould 2008 Three Rivers Press Bell does an excellent job on all three of these aspects adding color and insight into the subject s ife and work in addition to bringing fresh interpretations into well known events of Dylan s ife He clearly has great respect for Dylan as an artist and songwriter but does not shy away from pointing out weak offerings in his oeuvre as well as his personal character flaws He also brings new and positive commentary and points of view on freuently disparaged works such as Tarantula Self Portrait and the film Renaldo and Clara that put those efforts in a new Drayken Reborn (Dragon Hero, light The books were published prior to the recent release of Another Self Portrait in the Official Bootleg Series a release which has given rise to a re evaluation of the original Self PortraitThe two volumes are indispensable contributions to the critical and biographicalibrary on Bob Dylan and should find an audience even among the The Cursed Dragon Armor (Dragon Hero, less obsessed Dylan fan who is interested in enhancing his appreciation of the artist s workThe books have only recently become published in the US having previously been available in the UK. Ume of his ground breaking study Ian Bell explores the unparalleled second act in a uintessentially american career It is a tale of redemption of an act of creative will against the odds and of a writer who refused to fade away Time Out of Mind is the story of theatest perhaps the ast of the many Bob Dylan.

Th a serious guy who knows his stuff and covers pretty much everything in detail right up to about June this year Starting at Blood on the Tracks Ian Bell was faced with a daunting task How to discuss so many years of career without falling into repeating what he was saying in the first part about Dylan What could really change And the simple answer is not much and everything Dylan s guitar playing never improved nor did his voice find a new timbre unless we count the death s door croak His songwriting so instinctive and possibly chemically aided in the 1960s went through some stunning reversals of fortune He had moments of being tabloid fodder His pronouncements on politics were almost calculated to create a furore among his followers dovetailing with Reagan s America and the rise of evangelicals and their influence Just 4 years after Blood on the Tracks Dylan was transmuting the Simple Twist of Fate into the omnipresent hand of God see the Saved cover and say no In fact I consciously faded in on Dylan s journey in 1983 with the release of Infidels which I heard concurrently with Masterpieces a 3 album greatest hits set with a couple of odd choices Like a Rolling Stone in the Self Portrait ive version Lay Lady Lay and Idiot Wind from El mundo contemporneo: Del siglo XIX al XXI (Pensamiento) live album Hard Rain The two routes then had to coexist for me as I delved into what he d done in the past I had to somehow reconcile that figure with the man who went on to release Empire Burlesue Knocked Out Loaded and Down In The Groove I already instinctively saw and felt the multiplicity of Dylans that there were Ioved some and hated others However underneath it all there was a uest within him a perpetual search for a writer s identity and it was palpable He turned back towards history and his own ante Dylanian past in particular on Time Out of Mind He used found words whether from books he was reading or North American Spies lines he remembered as the basis for storiesIn some ways one of the key tracks in this particular strand is Black Diamond Bay on Desire a number he has possibly never playedive it is suggested he played it once in Denver but this has yet to be satisfactorily corroborated It s a bit of a shaggy dog story but it s a story A sung story On the same album Hurricane is also a story a story Che Guevara lent importance by its topicality and its musical attack In the 1990s and the early part of the 21st century he would finditerary sources for the songs and put them to old time music styles Back there in 1975 he was still in the game putting on a communal Fire Blood (A Targaryen History, live show the often thrilling Rolling Thunder Revue making an arty film Renaldo and Clara and even experimenting with confessional singer songwriting see Blood on the Tracks and in particular Sara But he was empty so the story goes and he was visited in a motel room by the Lord Whiched to preachy Dylan on Slow Train Coming and Saved Musically there are plenty of things to 21st Century Corporate Citizenship like on both these albums Lyrically the first is tedious you re all doomed unless you repent and see theight and the second is shallow don t know about you but I was saved In any case this was not what Dylan s secular followers wanted at all Shot of Love was of the same but with half a head out of the window while Infidels was trumpeted as the return to secular ife It is not But it was a decent album which if it had included Blind Willie McTell and Foot of Pride would have been hailed as a comeback classic and possibly changed the way the next few years played outBut then that has become the head scratching obsession of Dylan observers why does he eave certain songs off his albums and Sweet Bags leave other obviously weaker ones on And one of the answers is that he is saving these famous outtakes for his parallel career with the Bootleg Series And while that would an absurd way to do things the truth is that the Bootleg Series is something unheard of in music on the one hand the artist remains active and on the other his past is anthologised and reassembled and reconceived In some ways he gets to have his cake and eat it too He says he onlyooks forward but then he sanctions a reimagining of Self Portrait which is essentially a blanket case for the artist putting all of the recorded work from the period into a box set and bypassing the responsibility for the choices made in 1970 And he gets away with itThen there are all the England in America, 1580-1652 live shows Dylan plays around 100 shows a year He has trashed his voice with them Some of the shows are great others are shambolic He doesn t need to do this but he does it anyway Or maybe he really does need to do them the same way that Bruce Springsteen only really feels safe from his depressive attacks when he is on a stage somewhereIan Bell who sadly died at 59 notong after this second volume was published is an erudite observer He is a passionate believer in Dylan s gift a tireless observer of the man s untruths and fictions a campaigner for Dylan s case for the Nobel Prize which Bell did not Battle Scars: A Story of War and All That Follows live to see a fairly astute critic of the albums and a rather gobsmacked disentangler of all the contradictions has managed to wind around himself and us over all these years And that s effectively it we re witnessing a time elastic postmodern semi fictional gloriousshambolicyric poetic bower bird The Economics Of Business Enterprise like primal but sophisticated overindulged and ultimately compelling career And this book captures all of that better than pretty well any other of the many many many Dylan biographies around Firstly I am not a Dylan fan But I acknowledge his place in the popular music pantheon I have read several books about him I didn t read Bell s first book on Dylan though I may I started this sone not really expecting to finish it as I ve read most every book on Dylan It was a mixed bag where Bell really got serious about discussing the albums and songs it was for the most part fascinating His discussion of the songs on Desire especially Hurricane was great as was the discussion of the Christian songs especially their disastrous theology But between those discussions were aot of not biography but discussion of the times Maybe this historical stuff would be interesting to younger readers who don t remember it but I got impatient with it a Comparative Contract Law, Second Edition lot I also very much enjoyed the discussion of theate period renaissance albums Time out of Mind Love and Theft and Modern Times I will use his discussion of Tempest as a template for a revisit of that album as I don t Breakfast with Anglo like it much Iike Modern Times but not a One Big Damn Puzzler lot and Blair gave me respect for it He did a great job of defending Chronicles and theate period Landscapes of Communism lyrics against the plagiarism charges and considered things seriously than aot of writers do I did get tired of his freuent references to the inner circle or whatever he called it of Dylan fans yes there s a bubble and it feeds off itself and is freuently too apologetic but it felt to me NORJAK like he didn t take it seriously enough Still maybe with the first book this one would be a good first book on Dylan for the newbie I now know about Bob Dylan than I ever thought I would Where do I even begin when talking about this part two of a biography 535 pages of Dylan starting in 1975 I ended myast review of part one Once Upon A Time The Lives Of Bob Dylan with the realization that Bob Dylan is indeed a ife as performance artist And here I am to say it s the most realistic realization about Dylan It helps me grasp what he s doing in his music even when it s the records of his I don t want to isten to It helps rationalize his stupid weird behavior It helps me understand the game he s playing I wrote in this book and dog eared pages I had no idea Visions of Joanna was about Dylan s heroin addiction I didn t realize how awful he was to women specifically to his first wife Sara The breaking point in their marriage was when Dylan s mistresses would show up at the breakfast table without him while his kids. Hinkable came to pass the “voice of a generation” began to sound irrelevant a tale told to grandchildrenYet in the autumn of 1997 something remarkable happened Having failed to release a single new song in seven ong years Dylan put out the euivalent of two albums in a single package In the concluding vol.

This second volume of Ian Bell s treatment biography is the wrong word of Dylan is as good as the first As in Once Upon a Time Bell s writing is muscular and energetic every sentence is written by someone who has spent his ife reading about and Loving James (Surviving Elite High, listening to Dylan but who never soundsike a fanboy or Bedford Square (Charlotte Thomas Pitt, longing to be hip academic Also as in the first volume Bell sometimes editorializes tooong about American politics or the electorate but the writing is good enough that the reader can bear it for a few pages at a time He is as wrong about Reagan as he is about the Grateful Dead But if Bell is sometimes off base with politics he is dead on with poetics Beginning with 1975 s Blood on the Tracks and ending with 2013 s Tempest Bell examines the career of Dylan or Dylan as American troubadour artist and icon His I See Rude People life Bell states had become a mixture of high art andow commerce of thoughtful statements one the state of man and the modern world interspersed with textbook examples of the kind of behavior that gives stardom its disreputable name Bell spends a hundred pages or so on the inaccurately named Gospel trilogy and Dylan s conversion which Bell argues was never really so much a conversion as another of Dylan s identities that he had since Greenwich Village and which runs throughout his work To his credit Bell HVAC Design Sourcebook lets Dylan do the talking here and never tries to explain away or undermine his subject s faith in Revelations or doubt his sincerity even when his music suffered Bell takes Slow Train Comingas seriously as Dylan might wish and his seriousness is illuminating for the reader who wonders what Dylan was thinking in theiteral as opposed to the ironic sense That Slow Train Coming sold copies than Blood on the Tracks is another revelationThe book is also a terrific study of the relationship between art and money In Moby Dick Ishmael states the obvious regarding the difference between paying and being paid What will compare with it The urbane activity with which a man receives money is really marvelous considering that we so earnestly believe money to be the root of all earthly ills and that on no account can a moneyed man enter heaven One of Bell s themes is the shocking notion that Dylan Melvin Menchers News Reporting and Writing likes being paid as much as anyone else His Victoria s Secret commercial the Rolling Thunder Review the Never Ending Tour the Bootleg Series even the selling ofimited edition harmonicas are all examined in The Far Dawn (The Atlanteans, light of Dylan s urge to capitalism Bell s book ends before the Superbowl Chrysler ad but the effect is the same thing anyone who groused that Dylan was somehow betraying his art in making a car ad seeks to speak from a position of innocence and cast the first stone One interesting minor note neither of the two volumes feature a single photograph pointed out here to reflect the strength of Bell s writing Who needs picturesBell often treats Dylan s incomprehensible choices of producers material touring bands and most of all songseft off of albums He as in the first volume offers Ormen i Essex long examinations of songs that strike him as worthy of comment but not always positive Thus the reader getsong analyses of Blind Willie McTell and Jokerman as emblematic Dylan achievements and one just as Bare It All (Love Undercover, long on Isis in which Bell states that theistener has to muster a certain tolerance for a Bare It All (Love Undercover, laboring melody andyrics filled with New Age bric a brac Bell examines the plagiarism issue which for him is ridiculous the reception of Chronicles Volume One and Dylan s voice which he calls a magnificent ruin Nothing is An Elusive Victorian left unsaid or unexamined Bell treats each album each phase and each incarnation of Dylan with similarly impeccable judgment For the Dylan fan this is reuired reading The second and concluding part of Ian Bell s biography maintains the uality of the firstThese are essential books for any serious Dylan follower to read Bell grapples with the many contradictions surrounding Dylan in robust fashion without suggesting that his artistic achievements are other than immenseSadly Bell died not tooong after this book was published I d have been seriously interested in his thoughts on the recent Bootleg Series releases not A Bird in the House least given his comments about the periods in both books as well as Dylan s most recent trilogydang there s another one Good overview of Dylan s career from mud 70 s to near present 2013 Could be of particular relevance now with the Blood on the Tracks bootleg recordings just being released Old Man Dylan as good as Young Man Dylan and better than Middle Man Dylan Here s a uick trip through theast 16 years1997 Time Out of Mind first album of new songs for 7 years half of them great A whole new style to go with them a massive pessimism a steady gazing upon death betrayal futility you know Dylan was back and this time he stayed back1998 1966 ive concerts released in all their glory2001 Love and Theft a really brilliant peculiar uniue album2003 Masked and Anonymous never saw it but there it was2004 Chronicles This book kicked the debate about plagiarism up a whole gear from some accounts it seems that the entire book is a mosaic of previous texts2005 No Direction Home For fans this was a real treat but of course hellishly annoying too we wanted the whole uncut performances as well as everything else we ain t never satisfied2006 Modern Times This made Dylan the oldest performer ever to have a No 1 album in America but in Britain he only got to No 3 The oldest No 1 album artist here is Vera Lynn who is currently 96 she hit No 1 four years ago aged 92 with an album which featured The White Cliffs of Dover That famous song includes the greatest ornithological error in the history of modern pop music It was written by a couple of Americans and they had no idea that there are no bluebirds in Dover or anywhere in England2006 9 Theme Time Radio A whole new style to go with them A hilarious series of one hour internet radio shows2007 I m Not There Well I thought the whole thing was really wonderful especially the genius idea of getting Cate Blanchett to play mid 60s thin androgynous amphetamine Dylan which she did as if to the manor born2008 Tell Tale Signs Although composed of outtakes and random songs composed for obscure movies no one saw it can t be a surprise to anyone that this was Bob s second ate masterpiece after Love Theft2009 Together Through Life Great title these artists who The Last Imaginary Place last soong Not Just Roommates like Dylan Neil Young Leonard Cohen they really are with you through yourife if you been Cassidy Harte and the Comeback Kid (Outlaw Hartes, listening asong as me2009 Christmas in the Heart A surprise career move but don t dismiss it until you see this video2012 Tempest I stick my neck out and say I believe this will probably turn out to be the Jean-Paul Sartre last original Dylan album But it s a mug s game making Dylan predictions2013 Another Self Portrait A fabulous example of why Dylan never fails to be interesting Extracted from some of the apparently worst years musically of Dylan s career we find many gorgeous versions of old folk songs Have we seen theast of these remarkable exhumations from the Dylan mines I don t think so THIS BOOKI was only interested in the Vintage Games last 250 pages the account of thisatter golden autumnal Dylan period I already read about Dylan s earlier years too many times to count This book is an excellent meditation on all the curious singing for the Pope already aggravating too many bad concerts depressing Victoria s Secret advert delightful and serendipitous aspects of the whole story and particularly he takes many pages to debate the major charges of plagiarism which certain critics called wussies and pussies by Dylan himself have made much of since Love Theft and Chronicles It s the debate I ve been needing to read for a ong time Recommended to diehard Dylan fans I know there are way too many Dylan biographies but this one is much an affectionate journey through the music itself wi. By the middle of the 1970s Bob Dylan’s position as the pre eminent artist of his generation was assured The 1975 album Blood on the Tracks seemed to prove finally that an uncertain age had found its poet Then Dylan faltered His instincts formerly unerring deserted him in the 1980s what had once appeared unt.

Book Ebook Time Out of Mind The Lives of Bob Dylan ¼ Ian Bell – cafe1919.org

Ian Bell was a Scottish journalist who won the Orwell Prize for political journalism in 1997He wrote for The Herald The Sunday Herald The Scotsman the Daily Record and The Times Literary Supplement He also worked as the Scottish editor of The Observer He was an advocate of Scottish independence and was named columnist of the year at the Scottish Press Awards 2012Bell wrote two volumes of a b