Bob Dylan: New York (MusicPlace)

Bob Dylan: New York (MusicPlace)

June Skinner Sawyers

Language: English

Pages: 133

ISBN: 0984316590

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Packed with information, savvy insights, and surprising facts, this guide to Dylan’s years in New York City examines the role that the city played in the creation of his music, the evolution of his creative process, and the continual reinvention of his public persona.

In the landscape of Manhattan, Dylan created words and sounds that redefined the possibilities of popular music throughout the world. Chronicling where he lived, worked, and played, this book offers an evocative portrait of the city, especially its folk scene during the 1960s. With street maps featuring more than 50 sites—from fleabag hotels and avant-garde clubs to tiny coffeehouses and vast concert halls—readers can navigate Bob Dylan’s New York and experience the sites and sounds that influenced the singer, such as Café Wha?; the Chelsea Hotel; Columbia’s Studio A, where he recorded songs such as “Desolation Row” and “Positively 4th Street;” the Decker Building, where he hung out with Andy Warhol and Nico; the Delmonico Hotel, where he introduced the Beatles to marijuana; and the Bitter End, where he spent much of the summer of 1975 playing pool and guitar.




















interested. Dylan was one of about a half-dozen regulars who attended the Broadside meetings on the Upper West Side even if he sometimes, in later recollections, thought the meetings took place in the Village. (“There was this place in Greenwich Village called Broadside which printed my stuff.”) In any case, he was grateful for the magazine’s support and eventually became a contributing editor. The debut issue of Broadside featured Dylan’s hilariously satirical slice of 1960s paranoia, “Talkin’

boast is more or less true. He set in motion a transformation of the songwriting business, inspiring a generation of singer-songwriters who had no need for Tin Pan Alley’s assembly line of catchy but conventional melodies and undemanding lyrics. Whether consciously or unconsciously, Dylan upended the old order—at least for a while. Today, another kind of Tin Pan Alley—if by Tin Pan Alley we mean songs written by professional songwriters for professional singers—resides in Nashville along that

of the song was written not at the Chelsea but rather in Tennessee; although Dylan began recording Blonde on Blonde in Studio A in October, by February 1966, the recording sessions had moved to Nashville to Columbia’s Music Row Studios. In any case, Dylan appreciated the Hotel Chelsea and its eccentricity, and felt its anything-goes atmosphere would get his creative juices flowing again (he wrote “Visions of Johanna” there). Built in 1883 as an apartment cooperative, the twelve-story Hotel

Ramblers, thought the early Dylan was a beguiling mix of Woody Guthrie, Charlie Chaplin, and James Dean. Dylan met like-minded folk and forged an identity that he could hang onto and embellish in the Village. The music that he discovered at places like the Folklore Center, Dylan told Mikal Gilmore of Rolling Stone, “was impossible to get anywhere really, except in a nucleus of a major city.” shapeshifter Cities change. Over the decades since Dylan first made his name there, New York—Manhattan

49. 69: “Robert Shelton’s review . . .”: Robert Shelton, “Bob Dylan Shows New Maturity in Program of His Folk Songs,” New York Times, 1964, in Bob Dylan Live 1964 Concert at Philharmonic Hall, The Bootleg Series Vol. 6. 69: “As Dylan’s professional life . . .”: “as a refuge between concerts”: from “The Crackin’, Shakin’, Breakin’ Sounds”; “He was given permission . . .”: Freewheelin’ Time, 275. 70: “The pressure was . . .”: “A Letter from Bob Dylan,” Broadside, January 20, 1964. chapter 5

Download sample