Thursday, September 30, 2004

Dylan and Dylanology

Bob Dylan recently gave an interview to promote his autobiography. The interview reveals "I came from a rock'n'roll background". In today's Independent John Walsh says
This is nonsense: Dylan had any number of musical parents - blues, hootenanny, Beatnik poetry - but none was rock'n'roll. This is Dylan trying to rewrite his past by claiming that, when he went electric in 1965 he was only reverting to the rock music that had always been in his soul.
. .
Did we know he contemplated joining the army and going to West Point military academy? That his childhood heroes were Robin Hood and St George? And that he read Clausewitz's Principles of War...? No, I didn't know any [of] this either...
And then you start to wonder if any of it's true...It's never been a thankful task trying to find the real Bob Dylan. And it looks like his autobiography isn't going to help much. But I'm sure he had fun winding up his adoring public.

Without a deep immersion in Dylanology it is difficult to tell what's new, what's true and what is there to tease. But the liking for Robin Hood goes deep. There is a quote from Dylans's 1965 London tour
I want to get some thigh length boots while I'm here. No - better than that, waist length. Just like Robin Hood. I'm a bit fed up with these here boots I've got on. I call them my Damon Runyon boots.*

* Dylan, Bob. Bob Dylan in His Own Words. comp Miles. London: Omnibus Press, 1978. 33

No comments: