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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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Thursday, April 29, 2010


A postcard from Hibbing

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Howard Sounes has made a radio documentary about the true life story behind 'The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll', to be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 at 11:00 am (UK time), on Wednesday 5 May. It is a 30-minute programme, presented by Sounes, titled, er, 'The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll'. Sounes writes to tell me (and presumably many others): "Listeners will learn a lot of new information about the case. The show features newly discovered court evidence, the testimony of surviving witnesses from the ball, friends of Carroll and Zantzinger, and a recording of Zantzinger" talking to him about the case. He adds: "I even found the cane."

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Where? Victoria & Album Museum, London: Theatre & Performance, Rm 104
When? 30 April – 24 October 2010
What? Exhibition of 200 of Harry Goodwin's photographs
Price?: Free admission

BBC-TV show Top of the Pops was launched on New Year's Day 1964, and became the longest-running TV show in British history. The Rolling Stones were the opening band; the photographer was Harry Goodwin. The V&A says:

"This display will bring together 200 of Harry Goodwin's most striking and memorable photographs, from a shocked Bob Dylan (temporarily blinded by Harry's flash in punishment for grumpiness) to a dramatic shot of Jimi Hendrix playing the guitar with his teeth. These images capture the mood and style of the 60s and 70s, and the impact of its musical stars. They celebrate those who are still actively part of the contemporary music scene and those who are remembered with veneration and affection. As the show's resident photographer from 1964 to 1973, Harry Goodwin's unique collection of photographs remembers them all."

But the question surely is: when was Bob Dylan hanging around the set of Top of the Pops? And which photo of him?

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Under the blog entry Chronicles Vol. One Index, several new comments have been added, discussing particular performances and suggesting alternatives to going to YouTube to hear them. Apart from deploring what might be called uprasping they're mostly positive.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Lowell George
would have been 65 years old today. He was the shining star of southern rock band Little Feat in the 1970s and the writer of the truck-driving anthem ‘Willin’’, which Dylan has performed many times in concert, starting in 1990 in Dallas, San Antonio and Austin, Texas that September 6, 8 and 9 respectively. Lowell George died in June 1979. Little Feat's co-founder was Richie Hayward (they had been in an earlier band together), who in 2004 became a shortlived member of Dylan’s Never-Ending Tour band, playing drums and percussion in a supporting rôle to George Racile (who was having problems with one arm). Hayward played from the Tulsa Oklahoma concert of February 28 (not playing on the opening number or the encore songs this first night) through till the end of the April 4 concert in Washington D.C..

Bob and the media
For those who liked Part 1, the third and final part of John Carvill's excellent and thoughtful essay You Had To Ask Me Where It Was At: Bob Dylan & the Media, plus clickable links to the earlier parts, is now online here.

Summer Days
There are still places available for our Summer Days weekends in June, including the one that could be combined with catching two or three of Dylan's Spanish and French concerts (in Barcelona, Carcassonne and Bordeaux). See here for details and pictures.

Bob and the UK General Election
The Times - or The London Times, as Americans insist on miscalling it - runs a regular snippety featurette called 'Chatter: Trends, topics and tweets', which surely typifies both the way the broadsheet press has dumbed down (presumably to compete with British television) and the increased way that they fill the paper with punters' contributions that they don't have to pay for. Anyway, last Wednesday the contributions they ran included this, from a Louise Johnson:
I'm an undecided voter in a marginal constituency, so for once, my vote sort-of matters. What a daft system. In related news, our doorbell broke yesterday and we're not mending it 'til May 7.

Chronicles Volume One Index
PDF copies of this are still available: see the previous blog entry.

Bob and Lourdes
Sarah and I took some American friends to visit Lourdes the other day - the first time we'd been to look at it, though it's only 45 minutes from our house. I was sorry we ran out of time there before I'd had the chance to look for a flesh-coloured Christ that glows in the dark, though I'm sure they're available, judging by the plethora of gift-shops spilling out onto the pavements with enticing things like plastic mini bottles for holy water and Virgin Mary thermos flasks.

Monday, April 05, 2010


This isn’t exactly up-to-the-minute, but after I bought Dylan’s Chronicles Volume One, I recognised that for my own research purposes I needed to compile an index to the book. Of course the book should have come with an index in the first place: any (supposedly) non-fiction book shortchanges the reader if it doesn’t provide one.

In the case of Chronicles Volume One, I also remember seeing that someone was selling an index way back in October 2006 at the John Green Memorial Day in Northampton - but by then I’d already constructed my own. It’s been in the bowels of my computer ever since, but I rediscovered it a few days ago.

It runs to 31 pages, and contains 1,384 entries: in total 6,517 words and page-numbers. It applies to all US and UK editions, and presumably to any other English-language editions.

If anyone would like to buy a copy as a PDF file, send me a Comment giving me your e-mail address; I will then e-mail you a PayPal invoice, and as soon as you’ve paid I’ll e-mail you the index. You don’t have to have a PayPal account to use this system: you can very easily use any normal credit card. Your Comments will not be published and your contact details will remain confidential.

I’m charging £6, which is as much to cover the admin time as anything.

Many thanks.