Author(s): Harry Shapiro
Bob Dylan: His Life in Pictures does exactly what the title says. In 256 pages with over 300 images it provides a timeline to this amazing career, showing highlights along with more mundane moments at home and on tour.
Though this book may not help you to understand Dylan's lyrics, it provides a brilliant photographic background to his life and music. After a contextualizing introduction, Bob Dylan breaks his life into five chapters that cover the story decade by decade from the 1960s. Each chapter has a detailed timeline and a wealth of information.
Robert Allen Zimmerman (as Bob Dylan was born) has had more impact on the music world than could normally be expected of one man. The quicksilver folk hero of the early 1960s has redefined himself regularly over the decades and remains as controversial and brilliant as ever. The voice of the 1960s protest movement, he has not stagnated--over the years, his music has incorporated many styles, including pop music, folk music, gospel, rock, and even jazz. The one continuous thread is that his music is intelligent and literary; he is a poet first and a songwriter--albeit a great songwriter--second. It is Dylan's words that have ensured his continued importance and not his aging voice.
His peers rate him highly: Neil Young, himself no slouch in the music world, said of him in 2005: "He's the master. If I'd like to be anyone, it's him. And he's a great writer, true to his music and done what he feels is the right thing to do for years and years and years." Joe Strummer praised Dylan as having "laid down the template for lyric, tune, seriousness, spirituality, depth of rock music."
And if you judge a musician by his awards, Dylan has done pretty well from a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammies in 1990 to induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; from France's highest cultural award, the "Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres" to the Polar Music Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Music; from an honorary doctorate awarded by Princeton University (US) to an honorary degree at the University of St. Andrews (Scotland)--not to mention albums of the year, six entries in the Grammy Hall of Fame, a 2000 Academy Award, a 2001 Golden Globe and a 2008 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation.
Get an intimate view of this legendary singer-songwriter, artist, and writer through this amazing photographic account of his life.