The Bob Dylan Book Guide

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Down The Highway

The life of Bob Dylan. This is the title of a new Dylan biography. This time is not written by a well known Dylanologist, but by Howard Sounes, a journalist who also wrote a book on the serial killer couple Fred and Rose West. Apparently there isnt much in the book we haven't read already, except maybe Dylan's second wedding and second divorce. You can get it from amazon .com, amaz

Down The Highway - The Life Of Bob Dylan

There is a new biography out by Howard Sounes. A journalist who previously wrote a bio on the serial killer couple Fred and Rose West. This is what amazon says about it: With a recording career spanning 40 years and sales of over 57 million albums Bob Dylan was a true revolutionary, bringing serious ideas and poetry into the song lyric to become an iconic figure of contemporary music. Containing reviews and interviews with over 250 people including fellow artistes, former girlfriends and members of Dylan's close family. the book also includes details of Dylan's business affairs, personal wealth and property interests together with previously unseen photographs of Dylan and friends.
It's available from and

Formative Dylan

Formative Dylan: Transmission and Stylistic Influences, 1961-1963 by Todd Harvey. The book examines the musical roots of 70 songs from Dylan's early career, namely from his first three Columbia LPs, officially released out takes from those sessions, and his Broadside session recordings released by Folkways. Each of these songs is presented in a short article that details melodic and lyric roots and describes contemporaneous performances to show the process by which Dylan learned or composed his formative repertoire. Three appendices help the reader to understand this repertoire not only in the continuum of American music, but as a reflection of Dylan's own compositional development.

Clinton Heylin

Clinton Heylin has updated his Dylan biography lately. From what I read so far about it, it seems that he mostly added filth and gossip about Dylan. Only recommended if you haven't gotten the original yet. You can get it from, or or th e original in paperback form.

Encounters With Bob Dylan


This book has been out for a while, but I recently got my copy and liked it a lot, so I thought I'd share my thoughts with y'all. This is a unique book, no lyrical interpretations, no biography, just 50 stories from fans (and/or fellow musicians) who encountered Bob Dylan at some point in their live, from the early sixties to the late nineties. It does remind me of the interviews with people that met Dylan in the Telegraph, the Dylan magazine that was run by the late John Bauldie.

When reading this book, Dylan comes across as a somewhat shy, private though very friendly person. Not the bully to his fans the press wants him to be. Apparently his 'piercing' eyes are one of his most significant features, because they keep being mentioned in most stories. Most of the stories included are from fans who somehow got in touch with him, usually before or after a performance, though a few stories are from people in the music industry, like David Grisman and Kurtis Blow.

All in all this book is a very entertaining read and really shows 'another side of Bob Dylan'. It should be on every Dylan fan's bookshelf, not only because of the stories, but also for the pictures, some of them have never been published before.
The book is published by Humblepress and is avaible from or, amongst others.

Like a Bullet of light

C.P.Lee, author of Like The Night, has released a new book called Like A Bullet Of Light. This time Dylan's movie appearances is the subject.

Lyrics '62 - '99

Apparently this release is once again delayed, since it's no longer mentioned at's site.

John Hume - Photo books

On the right is a Hume picture. His photos can be seen in many Dylan books and publications (like the fanzine Isis and the Telegraph). He already released a book in 1996 called I've been shooting in the dark too long. Now there are 2 new books, one containing pictures from Europe, the other from the USA:
Also released is a new updated version of Micheal Gray's Song And Dance Man. Art of Bob Dylan

All the links above lead to, since they are all UK releases !

The Bob Dylan Companion

Four decades of commentary

This is a new book, articles collected by Carl Benson (Editor) and Clinton Heylin (co-editor). It's an excellent book containing a few articles and interviews I had never seen before. Especially the piece about MTV unplugged and the entire part 6 (which covers unplugged up to TOOM) are priceless. A very nice typeset is used, very easy to read. Furthermore there is an excellent disco graphy in the back, and a list of rarities compiled by Alan Fraser. This book should be on every Bobfan's bookshelf !

Order The Bob Dylan Companion from or from

Some books on this page are out of print, you might want to try your luck at getting them from
Excellent prices and service !
Here are some searches you can try or you can try the search box...
Search on writer: Paul Williams , Clinton Heylin or Bob Dylan (tarantula, drawn blank).

These books are by Paul Williams, definitely my favorite Dylan / Rock author.
All these come highly recommended.
Watching the river flow, Hardback Paperback Edition
Performing Artist, '60 - '73 Watch out for these 2 'performing artist' books ! After reading them you'll probably be as enthusiastic as the author about Dylan's music.
Performing Artist, '74 - '86
Neil Young - Love To Burn Obviously not a Dylan book, but an excellent collection of Williams articles on Neil.

These are other Dylan and Dylan related books.
Tangled up in tapes by Glen Dundas. Tangled up in tapes by Glen Dundas is an excellent resource for tape tapetraders and other Dylan enthusiasts. It contains all known setlists, tv appearances and recording session ever done by Dylan. Highly recommended !
Encounters With Bob Dylan by Tracy Johnson Interesting book about people who actually met Bob
Superhuman Crew The Superhuman Crew The Superhuman Crew (J. Paul Getty Museum, $24.95 cloth) brings together two visionary masterpieces: James Ensor's Christ's Entry into Brussels in 1889 (painted in 1888) and Bob Dylan's haunting "Desolation Row" (from his 1965 album, Highway 61 Revisited). Created nearly eighty years apart on different continents and in different media, these two works of art share a surprisingly similar vision of an alienated society: jarring, grotesque, and anarchic.
Chimes of Freedom, Dylan in the '60s (the stories behind every songs) by Andy Gill Revealing the people, places, and events behind the songs of the preeminent musician of his time, "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right Bob Dylan, The Early Years" charts a chronological course from Dylan's first album to 1969's "Nashville Skyline". 90 color photos.
Like The Night by C.P.Lee Very thoroughly researched book about everything that lead up to Dylan's legendary performance in Manchester on the 17th of may, 1966. That show was released as The Bootleg Series Vol.4, live at the Royal Albert Hall which is a reference to the mistakenly mislabeled bootleg that did the rounds for many years before the official release. In case you're interested to know more about one of the greatest moments in Rock History you should read this book.
Bootleg : The Secret History of the Other Recording Industry by Clinton Heylin
Bob Dylan : The Recording Sessions 1960-1994 by Clinton Heylin
Life in a stolen moment by Clinton Heylin
Behind the shades By Clinton Heylin This excellent biography is currently out of print, but might help you track a copy down.
Invisible Republic Excellent book by Greil Marcus focusing on the basement tapes and their place in american music history.
Mystery Train Great book by Greil Marcus about American Rock and Roll history.
Tarantula Dylan's only novel.
Drawn Blank Dylan's Drawing's book
Dylan's Bio-Bibliography
No direction home Nice biography by Robert Shelton
Early Years Excellent collection of articles from the first years of Dylan's career.
30th anniversary celebration
Mansion on the hill by Fred Goodman It's not available anymore at amazon, but might have a few copies !
Wanted Man Collection of articles (mainly interviews) from John Bauldie's Telegraph
Positively Bob Dylan by Micheal Krogsgaard Essential Dylan book for all tape collectors, this book has all the setlists and outtakes from '60 - '91
Time Out Of Mind paperback
Nanci Griffith's Other Voices; A Personal History Of Folk Music Author: Griffith, Nanci (Joint Author:Jackson, Joe) Not a book about Dylan, but about the history of folk music. Needles to say Dylan is mentioned through out the book, especially in the interview with Pete Seeger at the end of the book.

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