BOB DYLAN ENCYCLOPEDIA: A BLOG 2006-2012

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

SAM PHILLIPS' DEATH & MORE


Today is the 5th anniversary of the death of Sam Phillips, founder of Sun Records, Memphis, and therefore a friend to us all. He doesn't have his own entry in The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia but he's referred to not only in the entries on Arthur Crudup, Howlin Wolf, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, Billy Lee Riley, rock'n'roll and Warren Smith but also in those on the inequality of reward in the blues; T-Bone Burnett; Sleepy John Estes; Daniel Lanois; the 1964 car ride through America; 'Not Dark Yet' and Wayne Raney. Had I had more space, he would also have been cited in the entry on Roy Orbison, the only figure whose early rock'n'roll credentials straddled the long-legendary studios of both Norman Petty and Sam Phillips.


Tomorrow I hope to comment on the forthcoming Dylan Bootleg Series 8 releases.

Friday, July 18, 2008

YESTERDAY'S NEWS

Yesterday, July 17, was the official publication date of the newly updated and revised version of The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia, ie the paperback, both in Europe and North America. I spent the day doing chores, and was still painting primer'n'undercoat on the big bookcases (bought for the house in France) at about 10.30 last night when I suddenly remembered: "Hmm - a book of mine was published today..." Then I carried on with the bookcases.

I have an old dark bookcase up in my study that holds the author's copies of the various editions of my own books, with the top shelf inscribed with a quote from Walter Benjamin translated into English: THE MOST RESPECTABLE WAY TO ACQUIRE BOOKS IS TO WRITE THEM.

Monday, July 07, 2008

WIMBLEDON MEN'S SINGLES FINAL

An e-mail from my nephew, saying that he'd stumbled upon an old blog entry of mine about the state of Stansted Airport railway station, sent me back to re-read it, which in turn reminded me that this blog used to range rather wider into other things than it has done for a while now. So here, without apology, is a brief response to the event that engrossed me on television yesterday. Yes, the Wimbledon Final between Federer and Nadal:

From the third set onwards, surely the greatest tennis match ever played. Words like numinous, marvellous, sensational, great, are hard-pressed to suggest an iota of its wondrous brilliance. I wanted Federer to win, but knew he wouldn't, and after the first two sets I was fit to be tied... but from then on the determination he combined with his artistry and panache, integrity and grace, made for such a magical fight-back, and hence so sublime a combat, that the result, when it came - almost in pitch darkness - was only right. Anyone who witnessed the match in person was privileged indeed.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

PAPERBACK IN THE SHOPS NOW...

I read on the Dylan Daily website (see Links) that the paperback of The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia is already widely visible in London bookshops, even though official publication date is a fortnight away yet.

Is it in shops elsewhere too? Any reports gratefully received. (I can say with confidence that it is not widely on sale in South-West France.)