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Sunday, November 6, 2022

The new Bob Dylan book

Bob Dylan with Allen Ginsberg in 1975. Creative Commons photo by Elsa Dorfman. 

One of the more curious facts about Robert Anton Wilson is that he didn't like Bob Dylan. ("Dylan seems to me a totally pernicious influence -- the nasal whine of death and masochism.") 

In general, RAW is not who you go to for discussions of popular music, though he's fine when discussing classical music or jazz. The rest of us I guess can just shrug and wonder why RAW never noticed how great the Beatles were or the Rolling Stones (for the first 20 years of the band's existence, anyway). 

Bob Dylan has a new book out about popular songs, and apparently it's quite interesting; see Tyler Cowen's review.  "This is one of the better books on America, and one of the best books on American popular song."

1 comment:

Oz Fritz said...

It seems RAW didn’t like rock music. He compares listening to it to banging one’s head against a wall - paraphrasing, his actual language sounds more colorful and devastating. Of course, that didn’t stop him from putting a rock festival in Illuminatus!
and a long list of punk rock bands in Schrodinger’s Cat. Most of the latter seemingly made up, but some real bands like the Dead Kennedy’s.

RAW and Bob Dylan are the only ones I know that compared JFK’s assassination to the archetypal sacrifice of the Divine King; RAW in Cosmic Trigger and Dylan in his 2020 single Murder Most Foul.

Thank-you for posting this review. I look forward to reading this book when it comes around on the guitar.