The Dylan Tapes: Friends, Players, and Lovers Talkin’ Early Bob Dylan

Univ. of Minnesota. Apr. 2022. 400p. ed. by Stephanie Trudeau. ISBN 9781517908157. $29.95. MUSIC
In 1971, Scaduto published Bob Dylan: An Intimate Portrait, the first serious biography of the artist; here, his widow and assistant Trudeau compiles a sampling of his extensive interviews conducted for that book. The results are fascinating and frustrating. The interviews occurred 10 years into Dylan’s recording career, and a half-century later, a majority of the interviewees are deceased. Their contemporary accounts are now historical, revealing rare, personal insights into Dylan’s development in the 1960s before his legend took shape. That said, the raw interviews are disjointed and sometimes contradictory, and there is little effort to contextualize this expansive material, beyond brief biographical sketches by Trudeau. Without the presence of the final Scaduto text (the biography is currently available only digitally), casual readers may become confused.
VERDICT Though not for newcomers to Dylan’s work, this is a valuable resource for Dylan experts and researchers producing content for future biographies and scholarship.
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