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Location: Charlottesville, Virginia, United States

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Cober-Lake on Dylan on Dylan

I'm just back from 4 wonderful vacation days in the woods of Virginia's Northern Neck. I spent much of that time reading volume one of Bob Dylan's new autobiography, Chronicles. It's a fantastic read, which I could barely bring myself to put down until I finished it last night. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on Oh Mercy, one of my favorite Dylan albums (behind Blood on the Tracks and Bringing It All Back Home). The insight into the writing and recording process fascinated me, and Dylan provided a close look at what it's like to work with Lanois.

I liked seeing Dylan's reaction to meeting the people he looked up to, not only big figures like Archibald MacLeish, but also less well-known people from the '60s like Dave Van Ronk.

The book also has a nice structure. It's roughly chronological, but with flashbacks and one big jump ahead (from the early '70s to Oh Mercy. Highly, highly recommended for any fans of Dylan or the Village scene or folk music in general.


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