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the pioneer of Dylan Studies; writer, public speaker, critic; became a Doctor of Letters in 2015 (awarded by the University of York, UK)

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Saturday, July 01, 2006


A two-week tour of US places is getting filled in and clinched fast now, with these dates definite:

AUG 30, 7pm: talk, Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland OH
AUG 31, eve: talk, Magers & Quinn Bookstore, Minneapolis MN (venue tbc)
SEP 02, 5pm: talk, Kleinert/James Arts Centre, Woodstock NY
SEP 03-06: NYC, incl.
SEP 05, 6.30pm: talk, New School (Main Bldg, Rm 519), 66 W. 12th St., NYC
SEP 07, 7.45pm: talk, the Music School, University of Texas, Austin TX
SEP 08, 7pm: talk, Booksmiths Bookstore, Haight St., San Francisco
SEP 09, 7.30pm: talk or panel discussion, Black Oak Books, Berkeley CA
SEP 10, 7.30pm: talk, Powells Books' Theater, Portland Oregon
SEP 11-13: not yet fixed but may take in Canada: probably Toronto
SEP 14-15: back to NYC; flying home JFK to Manchester UK.

At Cleveland, it'll be a new version of "Bob Dylan & the History of Rock'n'Roll"; at the New School NYC and at Austin it'll be a new version of "Bob Dylan & the Poetry of the Blues" and at the others it'll be "The A-Z of Bob Dylan". It's a busy schedule, but exciting! Hope to see you there. If you can, please come and say hello.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent! Bought the Encyclopedia. Thank you for this work!


7:41 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael - can you confirm that it WAS Jagger and not Keith Richards to whom Dylan observed "The difference between us is that I could have written 'Satisfaction' and you couldn't have written 'Tambourine Man'"?

I'm thoroughly enjoying dipping into the addictive 'Bob Dylan Encyclopedia' - and have particularly enjoyed the entries on some of the Dylan associations I'm interested in, such as Sam Peckinpah, Eric Von Schmidt, Warren Zevon, 'God's & Generals' (and other references to Dylan's fascination with the Civil War). Your encyclopedia will certainly stand as definitive for the foreseeable future!

(PS - I was at St Andrews on 24/6/04 - took my own video footage of the cowboy booted and robed Bob. Did you know he asked to retain his doctoral robes and headgear after the ceremony? The University agreed - at some financial cost!)

8:01 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops! The above should read 23/6/04 - the 24th was the day I graduated! (sans silver tipped cowboy boots, I'm afraid!)

8:23 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We'd like to request that any reprint of your superb Dylan Encyclopedia note in its reference to Calumet: Copper Country Metropolis (now on p. 209) that this fine regional history resource was actually co-authored by Dave Engel AND Gerry Mantel (who, by the way, happens to be another longtime Dylan enthusiast). The link below provides easy access to three pages confirming this co-authorship and previewing the rich array of material the project offers readers curious about the textures of everyday life in Calumet, Michigan, around the time of the Italian Hall Disaster (subject of Woody Guthrie's "1913 Massacre," a song also performed by young Bob Dylan).

Your Encyclopedia's a treasure, of course! Abundant thanks and best wishes.

J. Kafka
(please substitute @)

1:51 pm  
Blogger Michael Gray said...

Dear Ron
Thanks for your warm comments. It's appreciated.

Dear George
Thanks for your kind comments too. I especially like "the addictive 'Bob Dylan Encyclopedia'". Re Jagger, I have always understood that it was to Jagger that Dylan said this.

Dear Superior Reading
Certainly we'll change this next time there's a reprint. I have logged it now as an amendment that needs to be made. Apologies to Gerry Mantel for the omission. (Is he related to Hilary, by the way?)

With thanks~

3:44 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your swift and gracious response to our request is quite heartening, Michael. We're now looking forward to that change in the future printings the Encyclopedia will certainly merit.

Gerry Mantel's wondered himself about the possibility of being related to Hilary and even reports that he "at one time started checking into it." So the best answer to your question appears to be probably not, but . . .

Warm regards,
Janet Kafka

7:48 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Michael,
Thanks for taking the time to respond - I imagine that this immediate post-publication, pre-US lecture tour period is pretty intense!

Just to clarify, the Jagger question wasn't to imply error in the Encyclopedia. It was prompted by a claim by Rod, a Stones hombre at my local pub, that, contrary to the entry in the Encyclopedia, it was Richards whom Dylan had addressed with the statement of fact about the intrinsic worths of 'Satisfaction/Tambourine Man'. Having confirmed the position with you I will now use your stature as author of the best Dylan book ever as a blunt instrument to bludgeon his carping caveat on Saturday!

The idea of an author of a new book being available for readers to chat with on a blog such as this is inspired (and must also serve a useful advertising function too!) But are there any plans for a follow up speaking tour in the UK similar to that beginning in the US next month? And do you have a book-signing tour planned with any of the UK book chains (or even with some of the increasingly rare independent booksellers)?

And yes, it IS the "addictive" 'Bob Dylan Encyclopedia', in that you go to look something up and end up cross-referencing enticingly capitalised associated topics long after you ought to be doing something else! A sign of a great book? You bet!


9:35 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today my copy of your encyclopedia from Tower Records (Baker & Taylor) arrived here in Adelaide, South Australia.

It is as awesome as I had hoped. Congratulations, and thank you so much!

The searchable CDROM is brilliant. Addictive is definitely the word.

10:50 am  
Blogger george boyter said...

I checked out the Encyclopedia but was disappointed to discover the omission of Anthea Joseph who first put Bob up on his very first visit to London. She appears in the crowded room scene in Don't Look Back. She used to work for Joe Boyd (who else?) during Witchseason's heyday. She continued to receive calls from Bob and could turn up backstage at concerts to be given a big Bob welcome.
Did you know of her existence?

4:41 pm  
Blogger Michael Gray said...

Dear George Boyter
Well I'm sorry you surveyed the 750,000 words of this book and felt moved to comment only on the absence of Anthea Joseph! Maybe there should have been an entry on her - I'm well aware of her - but I had to draw lines somewhere. (I'm only a man doin' the best that I can...)

5:02 pm  

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