Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Dylan Encyclopedia!

The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia is off the press and coming to my home town via its author, Michael Gray. Richard Corliss of Time says this book: “has all you need to know, and more” with regard to everyone and everything interconnecting with one of our greatest living artists: Bob Dylan. Gray’s work is the culmination of 30 years of research. The New York Review of Books says Gray is “probably Dylan’s most assiduous critic.” Click on this recent conversation with Michael Gray where he briefly reflects on the writing of the Encyclopedia and recalls a few of his first impressions of Dylan.

The book sellers web-site boasts the following description and more: “The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia is one of the most wide-ranging, informed, entertaining, provocative, and compulsively readable books ever written about popular music.”

It's the culmination of over thirty years of dedicated research and scholarship by Michael Gray. Over the course of 823 pages Gray considers everything from railroad imagery in Dylan's songs to his use of nursery rhymes, covering the topics thoughtfully and thoroughly. It's a world of ideas, facts, and opinions in which everyone and everything interconnects, in endlessly fascinating ways, with one of our greatest living artists: Bob Dylan. Plus, 100 b&w illustrations.

So if you happen to be in Minneapolis, MN on August 31, 2006 with a little time on your hands, why not stop by Magers and Quinn Booksellers at 3038 Hennepin Avenue South around 7 pm for a listen. The event will feature one of three multi-media, Bob Dylan-centric presentations: Bob Dylan and the Blues, Bob Dylan and the History of Rock’n’Roll, or Bob Dylan: A-Z. I understand that Mr. Gray is a charismatic and charming speaker. Look for me in the back of the crowd!

The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia by Michael Gray
Pub Date: 21 May 2006
ISBN: 0826469337
Hardcover, 784 Pages, $40.00 List Price: $40.00 Price: $25.20 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver.. You Save: $14.80 (37%)

Note: As Bob readies Modern Times for release (pre-ordered DVD today), and kicks off the next leg of the Neverending Tour, the book is already out of date, so I presume we can expect a second edition in a couple of years. Given Gray's track record on new editions it might be wise to start saving now for the 2nd edition of this excellent book.


Dennis E. McFadden said...


Thanks again for another great Dylan tip!!!

As the bard hath said:

"While some on principles baptized
To strict party platform ties
Social clubs in drag disguise
Outsiders they can freely criticize
Tell nothing except who to idolize
And then say God bless him."

"It's Alright, Ma, I'm Only Bleeding" (1965)

Ron, are you sure we weren't twins separated at birth? Barth and Dylan! Does it get any better than this?


BTW - some of my favorite haunting words from Dylan come from "Every Grain of Sand,"

I gaze into the doorway of temptation's angry flame
And every time I pass that way I always hear my name.
Then onward in my journey I come to understand
That every hair is numbered like every grain of sand.

Dennis E. McFadden said...


Thanks for the link. I ordered it from Amazon just as you programmed me to do.


revdrron said...

Dennis, I appreciate your use here of what I sometimes refer to as my favorite Dylan hymn "Every Grain of Sand." In some primitive way, I feel this to be a lucid, poignant (even clairvoyant) depiction of the Christian life.

BTW: did you preorder the DVD or CD version of Modern Times? And what about the Encyclopedia? Do you think your name will be listed among the copious entries? You know, it’s that kind of book. Surprise me! Good choice regardless!