Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Going Deep Into Old Weird Bob

Dylan: The Biography – Dennis McDougal (Turner Publishing)

Easily one of the most difficult tasks facing any writer that wants to delve into the career, the music, the personal life or any other conceivable facet of a renowned musical artist life is to either develop a hook that no one else has tackled or to dig deeply enough to track down new information of greater detail than has been revealed by other authors.

When you consider an artist that has had a career that has spanned fifty years plus like Bob Dylan and has been written about in literally dozens of books, hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles and dissected from every imaginable angle; the task to break new ground is a daunting one.

Veteran author/journalist/producer Dennis McDougal faced that challenge head on; aspiring to tackle the subject of Bob Dylan by sheer volume of information in the 540 page epic, Dylan: The Biography. At times, McDougal lets a bit of his unabashed fan-boy shine through, comparing Dylan to the likes, not of legendary musicians but legendary scribes like Mark Twain, William Shakespeare, and Charles Dickens.

While Dylan-philes may be well familiar with much of the material included in this block-like edition, those who have never tackled the Dylan story in print would be advised to use this as winning starting place. McDougal does a nice job of balancing opinion and journalism throughout this epic journey.

No comments: