BOB DYLAN ENCYCLOPEDIA: A BLOG 2006-2012

FOR CURRENT ACTIVITY SEE THE WEBSITE WWW.MICHAELGRAY.NET

MICHAELGRAY.NET

AND THE BLOG OUTTAKES

My Photo
Name:

writer, public speaker, critic

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]

Follow 1michaelgray1 on Twitter
 
Web bobdylanencyclopedia.blogspot.com

Sunday, January 15, 2012

GOODBYE BOB BLOG

I've decided to call a halt to this blog. It was first created almost six years ago at the prompting of my publisher, who regarded it as a marketing tool. I'm glad it grew, and has continued to grow, into something more  -  not least an often provocative discussion forum  -  but I want to stop before it becomes a treadmill.

I shall continue to monitor and publish comments that come in for another ten days or so from today, but after that the blog will become, frozen in cyberspace, a record of what's been contributed and published  -  be me and by you.

I thank every person -  and there have been many thousands  -  who has read the blog down the years, and I thank most gratefully all those who have participated in it more actively. Except the rude people, of course.

That said, I've created a new blog, OUTTAKES. This can be accessed either here or from the drop-down menu cunningly titled 'Blogs' at www.michaelgray.net. I hope some readers might come with me.

News of what I'm doing will also continue to be posted on my website and I can always be contacted directly by e-mail at michael@michaelgray.net . Meanwhile thank you again.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

DYLAN DISCUSSION WEEKENDS - AN UPDATE

I'm pleased to say that one of the three Bob Dylan Discussion Weekends coming up here at our home in May-June is now fully booked. No more places are available for May 11-13.

Places can still be booked for Friday May 4 to Sunday May 6, and for Friday June 15 to Sunday June 17.

More details here.


Friday, January 13, 2012

BOB PAYS TRIBUTE TO SCORSESE - AND McTELL



Great to see him so upfront, without the hat, without the keyboards and without any faltering over the words.

ALLEN GINSBERG'S FARM



It would be hard to take much of an interest in Bob Dylan's work, let alone the poetry of the 20th Century, without taking an interest in Allen Ginsberg  -  and having devoured his Collected Poems, his terrific exchange of letters with his father, and Barry Miles' fine biography, I'm pleased to learn from author Gordon Ball that his book East Hill Farm: Seasons with Allen Ginsberg has at last been published  -  in US hardback (Counterpoint, though their stated publication date is still given on amazon.com as 1 May 2012) and in a Kindle edition.

One of the reader reviews says this: "A fascinating and disturbing time in U.S. history is echoed in Gordon Ball's riveting memoir of a period in Allen Ginsberg's life that was pivotal in Ginsberg's move to a truly serious Buddhist practice. The Cherry Valley farm commune of upstate New York is breezed over even in Ginsberg's own poetry. But here, Ball's training as a filmmaker gives us a slowed down gander at the often hilarious interactions of visitors Gregory Corso, Herbert Huncke, Ray Bremser, Charles Plymell and Andy Clausen with Allen and longtime companion Peter Orlovsky. At the same time, Ginsberg's voluminous correspondence and exhaustive traveling, as well as Ball's own adventures with Harry Smith, Bob Dylan and John Giorno in NYC, serve up a truly satisfying feast of well-documented detail. A book I didn't want to end."

I look forward to starting it.

Gordon Ball is the man who proposes Bob Dylan for the Nobel Prize for Literature every year. There is an entry on him in my Bob Dylan Encyclopedia.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

NEW SERIES OF DYLAN DISCUSSION WEEKENDS IN FRANCE



We have just clinched dates for a new series of Dylan Discussion Weekends here in southwest France. There are three weekends on offer  -  two in early May and and one in mid-June, and details have just been posted here on my website. We hope to see you then!


Monday, January 09, 2012

OCCASIONAL PHOTOGRAPHS: A CAFE IN JAISALMER, INDIA

photo © Magdalena Gray, 2012
 


Sunday, January 08, 2012

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Brenda Lee reaches for Elvis; details unknown

Hi there pop-pickers (as Alan Fluff Freeman used to say). Happy New Year to all.

I'm back from an unusually long Christmas break  -  first one in England since moving to France almost four years ago  -  and have very little Dylanalia to report. With an extravagant number of people helping decorate the tree this year, at a secret location on the south coast, we were forced to foreshorten the traditional music-while-we-work playing of our trusty Xmas records: those by Phil Spector's acts and Elvis Presley, and those on an extraordinary home-made selection compiled and given to us some years ago by Scarborough's Dr. Rock (Charles White, author of Little Richard's remarkable biography) mainly by people like Otis Redding (he actually sings 'White Christmas', and without a hint of irony or guile) but which quite rightly starts with the pubescent Brenda Lee's 'Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree'.

For the last couple of years, naturally, our playlist has been augmented by Bob's Christmas in the Heart, but this time it fell victim, in its entirety, to the foreshortening process, and so we first found ourselves playing it in the car while driving around England on about the eighth day of Christmas. I must say the car speakers do it no favours, but it was removed prematurely when another family member, who was in the back seat and shall remain nameless, declared of 'Hark The Herald Angels Sing': "This is dreadful! It sounds like an old drunk in a pub."