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Positively 4th Street: The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Fariña, and Richard Fariña Format Kindle

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Longueur : 354 pages Word Wise: Activé Composition améliorée: Activé
Langue : Anglais

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Descriptions du produit

Amazon.com's Best of 2001

David Hajdu (pronounced HAY-doo), the prizewinning author of the magisterial jazz biography Lush Life, now steam-cleans the legend of the lost folk generation in Positively 4th Street: The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Fariña, and Richard Fariña. What a ripping read! It's like an invitation to the wildest party Greenwich Village ever saw. You feel swept up in the coffeehouse culture that transformed ordinary suburban kids into ragged, radiant avatars of a traditional yet bewilderingly new music. Hajdu's sociomusical analysis is as scholarly as (though less arty than) Greil Marcus's work; he deftly sketches the sources and evolving styles of his ambitious, rather calculating subjects, proving in the process that genius is not individual--it's rooted in a time and place. Hajdu says Dylan heisted many early tunes (e.g., "Maggie's Farm" from Pete Seeger's "Down on Penny's Farm"): "Dylan [told] a radio interviewer that he felt as if his music had always existed and he just wrote it down ... [in fact], much of his early work had existed as other writers' melodies, chord structures, or thematic ideas." But Dylan and company made it all their own, and Hajdu vividly evokes the scenes they made.

Positively 4th Street is very much a group portrait. When something amazing happens, Hajdu puts you right there. The unknown Baez barefoot in the rain, bedazzling the Newport Jazz Festival and becoming immortal overnight. The irresistibly irresponsible Fariña talking his folk-star wife out of shooting him dead with his own pistol. The "little spastic gnome" Dylan transmogrified into greatness onstage, bashing Joan with the searing lyrics of "She Belongs to Me." A stoned Fariña advising Dylan to cynically hitch his wagon to Joan's rising star and "start a whole new genre. Poetry set to music, but not chamber music or beatnik jazz, man... poetry you can dance to."

The book is as delectably gossipy as Vanity Fair (one of Hajdu's employers). Richard married the exceedingly young beauty Mimi and helmed their career, but he might have dumped her for big sister Joan, whose madcap humor and verbal wit harmonized with his--except that he ineptly killed himself on a motorcycle first. Bob mumblingly courted both sisters, but when he cruelly taunted the insecure Joan, Mimi yanked his hair back until he cried. The account of Bob and Joan's musical-erotic passion is first-rate music history and uproarious soap opera. Hajdu's research is prodigious--even Fariña's close chum Thomas Pynchon granted interviews--and his anecdotes are often off-the-cuff funny: "[Rock manager Albert Grossman] was easy to deal with.... It wasn't till maybe two days after you would see Albert that you'd realize your underwear had been stolen." Full disclosure: Hajdu was one of my long-ago bosses at Entertainment Weekly, but that's certainly not why I heartily endorse this book. It's scholarship with a human face, akin to "poetry you can dance to." --Tim Appelo

From Publishers Weekly

Sometimes, gifted people intersect at the perfect moment and spark a cultural movement. According to acclaimed biographer David Hajdu (Lush Life), Joan and Mimi Baez, Dylan, and Farina were of that brand of fated genius, and via romantic and creative trysts, they invented 1960s folk and its initially maligned offshoot, folk rock. But their convergence hardly emblematizes the free-loving media version of the 1960s. Egos--especially Joan Baez's and Dylan's--clashed, jealousies flared, romance was strategic. Hajdu does not dwell on Dylan's thoughtless, well-documented breakup with Joan Baez after riding to fame on her flowing skirts. Instead, he spotlights Joan's younger sister, Mimi, a skilled guitarist in her own right, and her husband, novelist-musician Farina. After divorcing leading folkster Carolyn Hester, the disarmingly groovy Farina captivated teenage Mimi via love letters, and, but for his untimely death, might have pursued Joan. Though Farina comes off as more opportunistic than Dylan, Hajdu compellingly asserts that Farina, not Dylan, invented folk rock and provided fodder for Dylan's trademark sensibilities. Hajdu provides a skillfully wrought, honest portrait that neither sentimentalizes nor slams the countercultural heyday. Photos not seen by PW. (June)Forecast: Hajdu's reputation and Dylan's 60th birthday on May 24 will win the book attention.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1505 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 354 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 086547642X
  • Editeur : Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Édition : 10th Anniversary ed. (26 avril 2011)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B004EPYWLK
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5 3 commentaires client
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°403.875 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Format: Relié
As a young woman coming of age in the 60's, I grew up in the era of flower children, coffee-houses, beatnik jazz, poetry, sit-in's, love-in's, protests, and the legendary folk music of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. Those where the days of youth and splendor. "Positively 4th Street" is an in-depth look at the magic of the moment, the beat of the music, the Bohemian culture of the day, and the triumphs and tragedies of a unique breed of individuals breaking ground from Greenwich Village to Canada's west coast. Share the wild adventure, golden opportunities, steamy affairs, hot passion and stone cold deceit in the lives of four extremely gifted and talented people - Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Mimi Baez Farina and Richard Farina. The music was, indeed, a sign of the times, and "the times they were a-changing." It was an unparalleled era when love, peace and individuality ruled supreme, and freedom was part of the traditional dream. Take a trip down memory lane back to this nostalgic era revisited through the pages of a well-written and fascinating book. "Positively 4th Street" is....positively the best!
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What wonderful writing, what a bittersweet and romantic tale of BS-artists who turned out to be real artists. I laughed out loud at some of the events and descriptions (Dylan's re-invention of the harmonica as a life-support device!), I went out and bought music by those who were under-represented in my collection. The story of Richard and Mimi plumbs the depths of sadness. As a fan of Dylan's (and Joan's), it was hard to bear his sudden cruelty to those who loved him, but it was heartening to see his reinvention as a family man, free of most of his chains (Albert Grossman's drug supplies and incessant touring that was ready to kill Bob). If you love poetry, music, rock, folk, and want an engrossing story of how Dylan came to be Dylan, Joan became Joan, Mimi started to find herself, and Richard really was somebody, read this book. Along the way, learn about the kindness and musical contributions that Bob soaked up and reinvented to build our current view of the musician's responsibility: write songs from the heart, use a language as universal as you can invent, and don't be afraid to follow your muse.
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If you grew up in the '50s, '60s or '70s this book will take you back. I started humming all the songs I hadn't thought about in years, and finally had to get out my guitar -- untouched for years -- and invite a friend over to sing all those great dylan songs. The book is a masterful combination of journalism, social history, pop music history and biography. I couldn't put it down. The personalities of the four main characters, their motivations, their personal growth, and their relationships are portrayed really well -- enough details to make you really feel what's going on (what people were wearing, eating, singing etc.) but never too much to bog it down. Hajdu is just a genius. My only concern was that because Dylan refused to cooperate for the book, he is not portrayed as sympathetically as the others, and yet, the book does not quite acknowledge that of all the recording artists who came out of that era, he is clearly the one whose genius will be remembered when the others have fallen away. Still, this was a joy to read. I wish it had just gone on and on and on for another 500 pages.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9a1b833c) étoiles sur 5 100 commentaires
69 internautes sur 72 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9a1daeb8) étoiles sur 5 Wonderful narrative, questionable thesis 1 août 2001
Par David A. Bede - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
From 1961-66, the Baez sisters, Bob Dylan and Richard Farina came of age, befriended one another, fell in and out of love, raised hell, traipsed the globe on a shoestring budget like college students, drank, got high...and produced some of the most durable music (and, in Farina's case, one of the most underappreciated novels) of their generation. Hajdu captures that half-decade in 300 pages of remarkably seamless prose, painting a vivid picture of four young artists whose intertwining paths left an indelible mark on the work they produced.
Although he appears most interested in Joan Baez and her family, Hajdu produces an impressive amount of information on all four of his subjects. Dylan fans especially are likely to be surprised at some of the details of their hero's early career, such as his first appearance on a studio recording (it wasn't Harry Belafonte's "Midnight Special," as has often been reported) and the somewhat disputed origin of his stage name. Baez, meanwhile, is portrayed for once as a human being with strengths and weaknesses of her own, rather than strictly as a victim of Dylan's misogyny (though this too is acknowledged, as well it should be). Best of all, Richard and Mimi Farina are both researched and profiled just as carefully as Baez and Dylan despite being far less famous outside the realm of hardcore folk music fans.
The book, like its subjects, is not without its shortcomings. For one thing, Hajdu's vision of the four and their importance is a bit sweeping. Baez may have been the first protegee of the folk revival to achieve commercial success, but she was hardly the first folk artist to have a hit record (or even the first of the rock era). Dylan was the movement's biggest name in songwriting, but hardly the only one; Hajdu sprinkles the names of others throughout the book (Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, Ian and Sylvia Tyson, Paul Simon, Judy Collins, Eric Andersen and a list too long to complete here) without really acknowledging their place relative to those of his four subjects. His sly allusions to their works (i.e. "Dylan acted as if he and the social activists in the folk community never had met") are by turns amusing and tiresome. Also, his practice of phrasing all quotations in the past tense makes it impossible to differentiate between contemporary interview material and decades-old remarks without consulting the endnotes, unless the speaker is a person the reader knows to be dead. Speaking of which, Hajdu tells his nonfictional story novel-style, not revealing the post-1966 fate of his subjects until the end of the book. For those of us who already know why any story of this quartet would have to stop that year, the efforts at suspense can be slightly offputting.
These, of course, are minor criticisms. For any fan of the folk music of the 1960s - especially those who weren't lucky enough to have been in Cambridge or Greenwich Village at the time - this book is a fascinating and welcome look inside a place and time that left a great mark on music history.
67 internautes sur 71 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9a1daf0c) étoiles sur 5 a riveting look at a vital cultural moment 19 mai 2001
Par Jerome Clark - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
David Hajdu deserves a National Book Award if for no other reason than that he was able to interview Thomas Pynchon AND Fred Neil -- two of three of America's most reclusive creative artists (J. D. Salinger being the third, of course). He seems to have talked with nearly everybody who played a role, however marginal, in the 1960s folk scare. He tells a mesmerizing, soap-operatic tale of four interweaving lives played out against the backdrop of a particularly vital moment in our country's cultural history.
Though Hajdu is in no sense a debunker, only Mimi Baez Farina emerges mostly unscathed here. The other three come across, in varying degrees (Joan Baez the least, relatively speaking), as narcissists and opportunists, an impression left even after Hajdu's perhaps too-generous concluding chapter. Dylan in particular is given to jaw-dropping fits of odious conduct, though this is hardly news. Even would-be hagiographers (of whom Hajdu, though certainly a compassionate observer, is not one) struggle with longstanding reports of bad Dylan behavior, especially in the early years of his international stardom. Dylan had the dubious fortune of becoming a great artist before he became a grown-up. Still, as with all of his other biographers, Hajdu's Dylan remains as inscrutable as ever. The nearly forgotten Richard Farina, the real star of the book, is more approachable, more human, more fun: a personable, self-absorbed man on the make -- one is reminded of Melville's phrase "one eye on the cosmos, the other on the main chance" -- and canny manipulator with genuine gifts, a superior literary stylist to Dylan, but not in Dylan's class as a songwriter. Then, however, who is?
Hajdu's splendid book, the finest so far on the folk revival, led me back to Mimi and Richard Farina's Vanguard recordings, which proved better than I had remembered them from my last hearing maybe 25 years ago. If Richard was not a musical genius of Dylanesque proportions, he was a more focused, disciplined craftsman. His most successful songs (for example the brilliant "Birmingham Sunday") stand up remarkably well. Mimi was his perfect musical partner, possessed of an appealing voice and technical skills her husband was unable to master before his tragic early death.
Hajdu writes interestingly of Richard's determination to create a "boogie poetry" -- what would become known as folk-rock -- before the idea ever occurred to Dylan. Phrased that way, the idea sounds more original than it may have been. Rockabilly singers in the mid- to late 1950s had already wedded folk and bluegrass songs to stripped-down blues rhythms. Folk-rock was well nigh inescapable. As the revival began to lose its creative and commercial force, it was the only logical place to go, and it would have gone there even if Dylan and Farina had never existed. But happily, they did, and Hajdu helps us appreciate anew the wise and thrilling songs these decidedly imperfect human beings brought into the world.
40 internautes sur 43 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9a0b3204) étoiles sur 5 A wondeful book about great, mundane and awful deeds 28 mai 2001
Par James K. Bashkin - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
What wonderful writing, what a bittersweet and romantic tale of BS-artists who turned out to be real artists. I laughed out loud at some of the events and descriptions (Dylan's re-invention of the harmonica as a life-support device!), I went out and bought music by those who were under-represented in my collection. The story of Richard and Mimi plumbs the depths of sadness. As a fan of Dylan's (and Joan's), it was hard to bear his sudden cruelty to those who loved him, but it was heartening to see his reinvention as a family man, free of most of his chains (Albert Grossman's drug supplies and incessant touring that was ready to kill Bob). If you love poetry, music, rock, folk, and want an engrossing story of how Dylan came to be Dylan, Joan became Joan, Mimi started to find herself, and Richard really was somebody, read this book. Along the way, learn about the kindness and musical contributions that Bob soaked up and reinvented to build our current view of the musician's responsibility: write songs from the heart, use a language as universal as you can invent, and don't be afraid to follow your muse.
19 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9a0b372c) étoiles sur 5 Highly recommended 4 mai 2001
Par R. Riis - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
This is one of those rare popular culture biographies in which the subjects come off, for better or worse, as three-dimensional human beings. Joan Baez has been so infrequently written about, and Mimi and Richard Farina even less so, making it a pleasure to revisit their story as presented here in such illuminating detail. Bob Dylan, of course, is another story, but rarely has he been cast in such an all-too-human light. Most highly recommended to fans of Dylan and Baez, and to those initiates who want to learn more about the highwater era of American folk music.
35 internautes sur 44 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9a0b3744) étoiles sur 5 Disappointing 25 juin 2001
Par Curtiss Butler - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
It appears that David Hajdu really wanted to write a biography of Richard Farina, but for whatever reason -- perhaps concerns about marketability -- he felt compelled to broaden his topic to include Bob Dylan. Mr. Hajdu's treatment of Farina is nothing short of worshipful. Farina -- according to Hajdu -- is the artistic genius and dazzling personality who shaped our age. Oddly, I am unable to hum a single Farina song, and those of us who read his book, "Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me", back in the 60's were somewhat embarrassed by it even then. By contrast, and perhaps as an attempt at controversy, Hajdu is overly critical of Bob Dylan. His songs I do remember, and still occassionally listen to. Dylan's poetry and persona did shape our age. Though Farina may have shown promise, it's difficult to say what he believed in, and his early death may have robbed us of a genius, or saved Farina from exposure as a sham. What we do know is that Dylan's was a commitment to the music, and as his life since has shown us, Dylan delivered on the promise.
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