Monday, November 15, 2010

Bob Dylan Through Good Ears

Greil Marcus’s 40 years of listening

I took this book on a trip with me a few weeks ago. I’d finished the novel I’d been reading just before I went. This was all I had to get me through. As it turned out, it was all I needed. We’ve all read Greil Marcus in Rolling Stone. But I’d forgotten how good he writes. Forty years of stuff is here. Great stuff. Personal and subjective enough to feel honest. And true. You can’t ask for more. Demanding too. He might have a love affair with Dylan’s genius. But he’s tough and dismissive when he thinks Dylan’s standards are lowered.
You can hear the music. You can recall the era. You promise yourself you’ll listen to every Dylan CD you have in chronological order when you get home. You’ll watch ‘No Direction Home’ again.
You find yourself thinking of driving your car in 1965, smoking another cigarette, hoping the radio will play the long version of ‘Like a Rolling Stone.’

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