Larger ImageBob Dylan: The Essential Interviews
Review by CD Pinkerton

In a remark about Russia, Winston Churchill described it as a riddle inside a mystery wrapped in an enigma. How would one best describe the persona of Bob Dylan? Dylan is a fictitious  entity created from the quick witted mind of a young, fresh faced Jewish boy by the name of Robert Zimmerman. Zimmerman poured a mold of Dylan out of the desolate macrocosm of a child threatened with annihilation. The intemperate climate of world politics, the acrimonious bigotry of racism and the daily reminder of a landscape raped and plundered was more than one child could bare. He fought with his twin (that enemy within) 'til both of them fell by the way. Emerging victorious was a sapient theologian by the name of Bob Dylan. Who can ever truly aspire to understand such a convoluted personage? The very best that one could ever hope for is to pick up a few of the bread crumbs that fall from the table of the man himself. Jonathan Cott has presented us with an entire loaf. These never before anthologized interviews weave in and out of reality. The reader is invited to bite off as big a slice as he can chew. You'll not want to put it down as you try to get inside Bob Dylan's own words. The words begin to propagate over the years. The years elapse into decades. The decades become a lifetime. This is their story.

Press release:

New York, NY
Just in time to celebrate Bob Dylan’s 65 th birthday comes Bob Dylan: The Essential Interviews (Wenner Books,
5/17/06, $23.95).   A definitive collection of Bob Dylan in his own words, Bob Dylan: The Essential Interviews captures the 31 most significant and revealing interviews with the iconic, yet elusive musician from 1962 to the present. 

The never-before-anthologized interviews chronicle the transformation of Robert Zimmerman into the influential and timeless Bob Dylan. These interviews provide an insight into Bob Dylan’s musical genius and vary from his thoughts on what his songs mean, how he views the media, his rise to stardom, and such tidbits as his relationship with John Lennon. 

Included among this rare and diverse collection of intimate interviews are his seminal Rolling Stone interviews—anthologized here for the first time—by the magazines founder, editor and publisher, Jann Wenner, as well as Kurt Loder, Jonathan Cott and Mikal Gilmore.  Other gems included are Nat Hentoff’s legendary 1966 Playboy interview, Studs Terkel’s 1963 radio interview on WFMT in Chicago, the interview Dylan gave to screenwriter Jay Cocks in 1965 when Cocks was just a student at Kenyon College, a 1965 interview with director Nora Ephron and an interview with Sam Shepard that was made into a one-act play for Esquire in 1987.   Editor Jonathan Cott is a bonafide Dylan expert and he provides a thorough and insightful introductory essay.

The massive success of Dylan’s autobiography, Chronicles: Vol 1 released last year, reveals how eager his fans are to hear his own words.  Bob Dylan: The Essential Interviews , fills in the gaps of the time periods Dylan did not cover in his autobiography.  Any avid fan of Bob Dylan should not pass up the opportunity to add Bob Dylan: The Essential Interviews to their Bob Dylan collection in hopes of finally understanding the most celebrated genius in rock and roll history. 

Editor Jonathan Cott is the author of sixteen books including Dylan (a biography), Conversations with Glenn Gould , Stockhausen: Conversations with the Composer , and Back to a Shadow in the Night: Music  Writings and Interviews – 1968-2001 and co-editor of The Ballad of John and Yoko .  He has been a contributing editor to Rolling Stone since its inception and has written for the New York Times , Parabola , and the New Yorker .  He lives in
New York City

Bob Dylan: The Essential Interviews is published by Wenner Books, a division of Wenner Media, publisher of Rolling Stone, Us Weekly and Men’s Journal magazines.


ISBN: 1-932958-09-6

List Price: $23.95
Pub Date: 5/17/05


Best Price