The Rolling Thunder Logbook (Anglais) Broché – 25 février 2010
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Coupled with J. D. Salinger stream of consciousness writing, Sam dragged Kerouac's real time typing into the deconstructed stage with all four walls down. I only know Sam from his portrayl of Chuck Yeager in the Right Stuff from the book by Tom Wolfe-- the book full of Wolfian gimmicks but the film made the old fashioned way, his plays like True West, and the fact that his mom once toasted my fledgeling writing career-- I hope one day to make her proud.
Sam was hired to make a film of the Revue tour, and wound up making a book. While that means it has pages, photos, and a cover, within that loose definition, it falls apart as much as it can. Sam uses the "f" word, but as a word, not for effect (it is a word). There are bits of writing like this: "Fans are more dangerous than a man with a weapon because they're after something invisible."
The thing that galvanized the tour was fighting to get Rubin Carter released (which eventually happened), and Dylan penned the amazing "Hurricane", an absolutely riveting song when you hear it on the Bootleg Vols 1-3 CD set (or various other ways it exists), not only for the lyrics and music, but Dylan's delivery, at once cool and impassioned, the crazy quilt of images, skewed syntax, sprung rhythms, and well, Sam Shepardness of the whole thing.
But was it all a museum set piece? More safely enshrined rock history? Or can it happen now? Will someone rise up today for Eric Volz? Let the thunder roll on.
And, it's dead-on. Shepard is right there. At all times. What's most impressive is how Shepard never compromises his own prose style ( it's all Shepard in tone and word choice ) and yet is somehow able to fade to the background and just lets the perfect moments rise to the top. Two particular moments blew me away. Shepard does a fantastic job of pulling you into Ginsberg reading a poem about motherhood to hotel guests, most of which are Jewish moms of another generation. I can feel them twitch and pause as Ginsberg pours his soul out over them. Shepard gives you a whole extra layer, making the great connection between Ginsberg, religion, and audience, tapping into more than most would have the skill or eye to do. The Shepard eye also does a phenomenal job of letting you just sort of sit with the Dylan mystique. I particularly like how Shepard discusses Dylan's great use of silence in conversations. It's a great, fast-paced read that harnesses the manic feel of a time and an idea. It's awesome.
Author of Our Kids: Building Relationships in the Classroom
I was annoyed by Shepard's apparent lack of attention to detail with respect to Dylan song titles (e.g., "How Does It Feel?," "Everybody Must Get Stoned," "Hattie Carroll," "It Ain't Me," "My Masterpiece"...). It made me wonder about the accuracy of other information.
I did enjoy the journal-like quality and variety of writing styles (e.g., essays, lists, scripts, news clips) and diversity of focus for individual pieces (e.g., events, places, people). The variety sustained my interest and sometimes encouraged me to want to learn more.