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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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Sunday, June 27, 2010


I'm told a reading from Jack Kerouac's On the Road is played each night for about 45 - 50 minutes before each current Dylan concert, mixed at some points with bizarrely inappropriate music (one song from Evita and one from Cats).

But who's reading? One of our assiduous Vienna correspondents tells me he's pretty sure it isn't Kerouc himself, and that he's tried various readings from those available on itunes but none of them seem to be it. The recordings of Kerouac easily found online do seem to yield a more expressive voice than this, and a more youthful one - but mightn't it just sound unnecessarily different because of the tinny recording quality on the pre-concert recording?

This is a sample. Anyone?

Meanwhile thank you for the many generous responses to the previous post. (I've added a comment to the others there too, which also mentions Jackson Browne's terrific set at Glastonbury yesterday.)


Blogger Don said...

We've been wracking out collective brains on this one. It isn't Kerouac or one of the more current versions that are out there (there seem to be about four available in different formats). The voice to me is reminiscent of an early 60's radio announcer or interviewer. Nice, but without much "color". I'd like to know who it is.

6:35 am  
Anonymous Rainer said...

I asked Anne Waldman whom I'm privileged to know quite well and she also didn't know who it is reading. But she also suggested it might be an older (not recent) recording. She promised to aks some friends so maybe we can solve the mystery ....

11:39 am  
Anonymous Robert Posey said...

One clue may be the accent; probably not a native born American. Check for readings on LP not CD or modern format. Clearly not Dylan's style to use a Modern Times

12:23 pm  
Blogger fhb said...

The "DharmaBeat" site lists the following narrators of complete audio recordings of "On the Road"

Tom Parker (1995)
Alexander Adams (1999)
Frank Muller (1999)
Matt Dillon (2000)

There are several other partial readings of "On the Road" which can be found at DharmaBeat

Fwiw, the reading isn't from the so-called "original scroll" as the narrator uses the name "Dean" rather than "Neal."

3:22 pm  
Blogger Brooklyn Beat said...

Sounds like (but surely not) Dick Cavett, host of higher brow TV talk show in the 60s - 70s. Could it be a generic audio book reader, Voice of America style, but only if they would have have had the courage to present this image of America during the Cold War..

this'll will be an interesting/ surprise whatever the answer.

3:32 pm  
Anonymous Tommy Weigel said...

It's Grover Gardner. The same guy who reads John Piper's books for
Tommy :)

4:55 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've found a sample. Gardner uses the alias Tom Parker.

6:13 pm  
Blogger Michael Gray said...

Excellent - congratulations. And it's appreciated.

6:53 pm  

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