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PostPosted: Sun October 8th, 2017, 14:29 GMT 

Joined: Sat August 5th, 2006, 11:56 GMT
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John B. Stetson wrote:
I am starting to think, Fielding Mellish, that you are Michael Gray? Or maybe you are Clinton Heylin? All press is good press lol? If he is so awful (and maybe he is, I don’t know, I’m no literary critic, I’ve read a couple of his books, and while There are many other books on bob I prefer—Paul Williams, Ian Bell, whoever wrote that Bob Dylan in America book—I didn’t find Heylin terrible—though his tone i find sometimes irritating) why has Dylan Inc. chosen him for the past few projects?


That question has occurred to me more than once. My best guess is that they like him because he will never be able to provide any real insights, never get behind the curtain. He seems a maverick - with his willingness to criticise, second guess, and mock Dylan - but in reality he is harmless (to them).

What is such a shame is that he was allowed to produce that ridiculous 2 volume set on Dylan's songs, which unwary future Dylan fans may fall into the trap of reading.


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PostPosted: Sun October 8th, 2017, 16:27 GMT 
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John B. Stetson wrote:
I am starting to think, Fielding Mellish, that you are Michael Gray? Or maybe you are Clinton Heylin? All press is good press lol? If he is so awful (and maybe he is, I don’t know, I’m no literary critic, I’ve read a couple of his books, and while There are many other books on bob I prefer—Paul Williams, Ian Bell, whoever wrote that Bob Dylan in America book—I didn’t find Heylin terrible—though his tone i find sometimes irritating) why has Dylan Inc. chosen him for the past few projects?


Wilentz. I always forget about Ian Bell. I really wanna read those books.


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PostPosted: Sun October 8th, 2017, 19:14 GMT 

Joined: Wed December 1st, 2004, 16:02 GMT
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Location: Wales
Received my copy from Isis mag yesterday, so haven't even started reading yet. Regarding the fact that the copies from Isis came signed by the author, I'd just like to ask if Mr. Heylin could be anymore 'couldn't give a toss' about scrawling what might well be his name? Cheers.


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PostPosted: Sun October 8th, 2017, 20:25 GMT 

Joined: Fri June 2nd, 2006, 16:33 GMT
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I was looking forward to this book, but the intro has turned me off. Clinton's style and opinions have always been exceedingly strident, but the thing that bothers me here is the indication that he is calling an abrupt stop to the book after Shot of Love. The religious aspects of Infidels are especially interesting to me, and the absence of that, along with the rest of his career, makes the book seem incomplete to me.


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PostPosted: Sun October 8th, 2017, 20:41 GMT 

Joined: Fri June 2nd, 2006, 16:33 GMT
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Pequod wrote:
I find little to like in what I've read by Heylin. Whatever the merits of Trouble in Mind, I have a problem with the subtitle: What Really Happened. Really? No need to take a jab at Paul Williams. His thoughtful exploration of Dylan's gospel songs, Dylan--What Happened?, is highly recommended. It can be found in Watching the River Flow: Observations on Bob Dylan's Art-in-Progress, 1966-1995. "Anything Paul Williams writes about Bob Dylan--and always in his wonderfully unpretentious, conversational, and heartfelt manner--is worth reading." --Jonathan Cott.


I had the same reaction to that subtitle. Dylan apparently thought Williams understood What Happened, as he later invited him backstage to chat. Knowing how Dylan feels about most writers who've covered his career, that is quite a compliment.


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PostPosted: Mon October 9th, 2017, 07:04 GMT 

Joined: Fri January 5th, 2007, 23:38 GMT
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Location: Ireland
josemesa wrote:
Pequod wrote:
I find little to like in what I've read by Heylin. Whatever the merits of Trouble in Mind, I have a problem with the subtitle: What Really Happened. Really? No need to take a jab at Paul Williams. His thoughtful exploration of Dylan's gospel songs, Dylan--What Happened?, is highly recommended. It can be found in Watching the River Flow: Observations on Bob Dylan's Art-in-Progress, 1966-1995. "Anything Paul Williams writes about Bob Dylan--and always in his wonderfully unpretentious, conversational, and heartfelt manner--is worth reading." --Jonathan Cott.


I had the same reaction to that subtitle. Dylan apparently thought Williams understood What Happened, as he later invited him backstage to chat. Knowing how Dylan feels about most writers who've covered his career, that is quite a compliment.


I thought I had read that, but wasn't certain. Williams' book was a great summary, so quickly.

As for a Heylin Infidels book, I reckon you'll have to wait until he writes a companion volume to the 'Smooth Cuts' Bootleg Series release.


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PostPosted: Mon October 9th, 2017, 13:22 GMT 
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That backstage meeting between Dylan and Williams brought about the only live performance of Caribbean Wind, according to vol 2 of Williams' Performing Artist.


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PostPosted: Mon October 9th, 2017, 15:03 GMT 
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Mickvet wrote:
I wouldn't get too hung up on Heylin's opinions. He's entitled to be as wrong as he likes, but he produces well-researched books which are made no less entertaining by having to be frequently disagreed with by the reader.



There is more than a little truth to that, and I'll doubtless devour this book. I suspect Dylan Inc. works with him because he is one of the better known Dylan writers, and has been critical long enough and often enough to maintain some appearance of independence, rather than seeming a paid advertisement.


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PostPosted: Mon October 9th, 2017, 17:45 GMT 

Joined: Sat March 30th, 2013, 23:52 GMT
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In the '60's, it was called co-opting. And he works cheap.


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PostPosted: Fri October 20th, 2017, 19:56 GMT 

Joined: Mon July 10th, 2017, 22:28 GMT
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Cold Irons Bound wrote:
Mickvet wrote:
Just finished Marshall's book, myself. Very thorough, well researched and replete with supportive references and notes. An excellent primer for the Gospel set.


Did you also find it odd how he essentially skipped over Shot of Love? He spent 10-15 pages on Slow Train Coming and Saved, examining almost every single track individually, but there were only brief mentions of Shot of Love. Thought it was a little strange how he glossed over it.

As much as I respect Scott Marshall’s writings on Dylan’s encounter with Christianity (we respectfully disagree on its meaning), I don’t think the opinion of Carolyn Dennis cited in his book proves anything one way or the other about Dylan’s current beliefs. Dylan is often inconsistent, even contradictory, and purposefully ambiguous when he speaks about the matter. That she mentions three movies in the conversation she remembers him means only that, if accurate, only reflect how he was feeling at a certain movement. And liking a movie is not a declaration of faith. It may just be one more example of how Dylan enjoys playing with people’s minds.

Being taken with the “figure of Jesus” doesn’t mean he believes Jesus was divine rather than “only” an extraordinary human being. His friend Leonard Cohen also was also impressed with the life of Jesus but remained a Jew. He was quick to point out that he didn’t worship Jesus, although he was moved by his human example. Perhaps will have to wait until Dylan’s inevitable passing when we will learn if Bob is buried with full Jewish rites as Leonard was.

I look forward to reading what Scott has to say about Dylan’s well-known admiration of Chabad. Dylan has frequently been sighted at Chabad events and religious observances over the past 30-some years, including a recent Yom Kippur service where he was called to the Torah, something that would never be sanctioned by a Chabad rabbi if Chabad still considered him an apostate. Dylan hasn’t worshiped with the Vineyard Fellowship in decades. Nor has he ever been known to attend a so-called messianic church.

Perhaps he expressed his true point of view when he told Spin Magazine in 1985 that “Whether you believe Jesus Christ is the Messiah is irrelevant, but whether you’re aware of the messianic complex, that’s … important … People who believe in the coming of the Messiah live their lives right now, as if he was here …”

What believing Christian would ever say that “Whether you believe Jesus Christ is the Messiah is irrelevant”? His ambiguity remains. Perhaps we will learn more when his lifelong friend, Louis Kemp’s forthcoming book (written with a little help from Kinky Friedman), The Boys from the North Country: my life with Robert Zimmerman & Bob Dylan, is published. Kemp remains one of Dylan’s closest and most trusted friends and has indicated Bob is fine with the book. Kemp is an Orthodox Jew and davens with Chabad, as does his son-in-law, singer-songwriter Peter Himmelman.

I am leaving out quite a bit since I don’t have time to write more at the moment. Let me end here: There is a very detailed record of Dylan’s involvement with Kemp and the Chabad of Pacific Palisades community. When the song & dance man shuffles off the mortal coil, I am guessing that all our questions will be answered.

P.S. As far as Heylin is concerned, I find reading him difficult. He seems to be a pompous, pious snot. Scott deserves far more respect. Heylin did at least identify his bias in the introduction to his book. Caveat emptor, indeed.


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PostPosted: Mon October 30th, 2017, 05:32 GMT 

Joined: Mon March 16th, 2009, 10:46 GMT
Posts: 969
I'm reading on Amazon that Trouble In Mind is out today.
There's already even a few 'used' copies on sale. I'm a bit
surprised by the lack of reviews; they'll probably pop up
in the next 7 days. I'm going to have a look whether it's
on the shelves. Feeling very ambivalent about it, especially
after the non-reveal of the Mojo article.


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PostPosted: Mon October 30th, 2017, 09:40 GMT 
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mojofilter wrote:
When Bob forgot the words to "Serve Somebody"--in 1986 or 1987--and started singing any crap that came into his head, as if it was "Rainy Day Women" or "Everything Is Broken," is when we can say definitively that wasn't a born again Christian anymore. I don't see any point anyway in looking for evidence of some sort of consistent belief system. Bob believes all sorts of things. He can believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast.


I'm not sure I would agree the poor standard of performance in that time is reflective of a loss of faith from Bob, loss of faith in his own abilities perhaps. As with Dylan's performances overall, the quality got a lot stronger in the later 1990's, and there was some very strong performances in that era, with the song being performed as recently as 2011. I think these songs mean something important to Bob and I thought it was rumoured Dylan himself was the one pushing for the Gospel era material to be released, so I definately don't think it's "just another song" for him.


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PostPosted: Mon October 30th, 2017, 09:48 GMT 
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Shelton? Don't make me laugh. Smut-peddler. Can anyone back up any of this? SO much hate for Heylin, and all conjecture. I'll ask again: A paragraph, a chapter, something substantial to back up this hate...

And Heart of Mine should have stayed on the cutting room floor (though the 1981 live rendition is fair, but still flawed.)


I've always enjoyed Heart of Mine and never considered it a filler song, but the 1981 live version is far superior and the version I am most familiar with after hearing the song for the first time on the Biograph compilation.


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PostPosted: Mon October 30th, 2017, 14:05 GMT 

Joined: Tue December 30th, 2008, 09:05 GMT
Posts: 816
Location: Liverpool
I find Heylin's habit of incorporating Dylan lines, 'this Home may find the door shut', for example really irritating, and his writing style pretty poor in general. Now he's finally working from inside the Dylan camp he will probably become more insufferable.


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PostPosted: Mon October 30th, 2017, 14:10 GMT 

Joined: Mon March 16th, 2009, 10:46 GMT
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bobfan wrote:
I find Heylin's habit of incorporating Dylan lines, 'this Home may find the door shut', for example really irritating, and his writing style pretty poor in general. Now he's finally working from inside the Dylan camp he will probably become more insufferable.

I might find out soon. Chances are my local bookseller has a copy in a few minutes time..


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PostPosted: Mon October 30th, 2017, 16:19 GMT 

Joined: Fri January 5th, 2007, 23:38 GMT
Posts: 1886
Location: Ireland
martingrossman36 wrote:
Mickvet wrote:
Just finished Marshall's book, myself. Very thorough, well researched and replete with supportive references and notes. An excellent primer for the Gospel set.


Did you also find it odd how he essentially skipped over Shot of Love? He spent 10-15 pages on Slow Train Coming and Saved, examining almost every single track individually, but there were only brief mentions of Shot of Love. Thought it was a little strange how he glossed over it.

As much as I respect Scott Marshall’s writings on Dylan’s encounter with Christianity (we respectfully disagree on its meaning), I don’t think the opinion of Carolyn Dennis cited in his book proves anything one way or the other about Dylan’s current beliefs. Dylan is often inconsistent, even contradictory, and purposefully ambiguous when he speaks about the matter. That she mentions three movies in the conversation she remembers him means only that, if accurate, only reflect how he was feeling at a certain movement. And liking a movie is not a declaration of faith. It may just be one more example of how Dylan enjoys playing with people’s minds.

Being taken with the “figure of Jesus” doesn’t mean he believes Jesus was divine rather than “only” an extraordinary human being. His friend Leonard Cohen also was also impressed with the life of Jesus but remained a Jew. He was quick to point out that he didn’t worship Jesus, although he was moved by his human example. Perhaps will have to wait until Dylan’s inevitable passing when we will learn if Bob is buried with full Jewish rites as Leonard was.

I look forward to reading what Scott has to say about Dylan’s well-known admiration of Chabad. Dylan has frequently been sighted at Chabad events and religious observances over the past 30-some years, including a recent Yom Kippur service where he was called to the Torah, something that would never be sanctioned by a Chabad rabbi if Chabad still considered him an apostate. Dylan hasn’t worshiped with the Vineyard Fellowship in decades. Nor has he ever been known to attend a so-called messianic church.

Perhaps he expressed his true point of view when he told Spin Magazine in 1985 that “Whether you believe Jesus Christ is the Messiah is irrelevant, but whether you’re aware of the messianic complex, that’s … important … People who believe in the coming of the Messiah live their lives right now, as if he was here …”

What believing Christian would ever say that “Whether you believe Jesus Christ is the Messiah is irrelevant”? His ambiguity remains. Perhaps we will learn more when his lifelong friend, Louis Kemp’s forthcoming book (written with a little help from Kinky Friedman), The Boys from the North Country: my life with Robert Zimmerman & Bob Dylan, is published. Kemp remains one of Dylan’s closest and most trusted friends and has indicated Bob is fine with the book. Kemp is an Orthodox Jew and davens with Chabad, as does his son-in-law, singer-songwriter Peter Himmelman.

I am leaving out quite a bit since I don’t have time to write more at the moment. Let me end here: There is a very detailed record of Dylan’s involvement with Kemp and the Chabad of Pacific Palisades community. When the song & dance man shuffles off the mortal coil, I am guessing that all our questions will be answered.

P.S. As far as Heylin is concerned, I find reading him difficult. He seems to be a pompous, pious snot. Scott deserves far more respect. Heylin did at least identify his bias in the introduction to his book. Caveat emptor, indeed.


Apologies. Hadn't seen your reply, to which you went to a lot of trouble. There is no doubt that there is ambiguity with Dylan's position. That is why there is a market for books such as Marshall's, and he deserves credit for collecting much of the evidence. I think myself that Dylan is trying to retain the culture and religion of a Jew while believing in Christ as Messiah. I don't agree with you that the Spin quotation is a conclusive indication that he regards Christ as merely an 'extraordinary human being'. His repeated performance of In the Garden, with its lyrics of 'the Son of God' point the other way, not to mention his performances of songs such as I am The Man, Thomas and others that Marshall has documented.

Perhaps Kemp's book will provide more certain evidence, although I doubt that we'll ever really know.

With respect to Shot of Love, I have to agree with you. Indeed, this continued with his analysis of subsequent albums, which was variable and patchy. Song analysis is not Marshall's strength and, in fairness, he doesn't claim it to be.


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PostPosted: Mon October 30th, 2017, 21:42 GMT 
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Does anybody know if Heylin wrote the liner notes for "BS 13 – Trouble No More"?

He was not mentioned in the press release. The press release says the liner notes were written by Ben Rollins and Amanda Petrusich, Rob Bowman and Penn Jilette.

Heylin is a charlatan and I never understood how he was able to get past the bulls**t detectors of the Dylan organization.


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PostPosted: Tue October 31st, 2017, 00:34 GMT 
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My Echo, My Shadow And Me wrote:
Does anybody know if Heylin wrote the liner notes for "BS 13 – Trouble No More"?

He was not mentioned in the press release. The press release says the liner notes were written by Ben Rollins and Amanda Petrusich, Rob Bowman and Penn Jilette.

Heylin is a charlatan and I never understood how he was able to get past the bulls**t detectors of the Dylan organization.


Seems like Dylan, Inc. would’ve mentioned it in the press release if he actually wrote liner notes too.


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PostPosted: Tue October 31st, 2017, 01:34 GMT 

Joined: Tue March 8th, 2005, 12:56 GMT
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There are two Dylan writers head and shoulders over everyone else.

John Bauldie (RIP)

Paul Williams (RIP)

The others are all good in their way. But... alas...


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PostPosted: Tue October 31st, 2017, 12:47 GMT 

Joined: Mon March 16th, 2009, 10:46 GMT
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Got a copy of Trouble In Mind today.
First impression is that it ain't half bad. Been skimming
though it so far, seems very investigative, rather than
heavy on commentary. About 320 pages. Ton of facts
& archive interviews. Keen to look into it.


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PostPosted: Tue October 31st, 2017, 14:34 GMT 
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gerardv wrote:
Got a copy of Trouble In Mind today.
First impression is that it ain't half bad. Been skimming
though it so far, seems very investigative, rather than
heavy on commentary. About 320 pages. Ton of facts
& archive interviews. Keen to look into it.

got my copy as well today, also had only time to skim through it; interesting timeline at the end, with all the songs from the deluxe edition underlined, plus another appendix with ten pages of raps; tons of bits from interviews (his own and those done by others) in the 300 page text; this will certainly provide some interesting background info to the BS13 release, done by someone who obviously did his homework


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PostPosted: Sun November 5th, 2017, 21:01 GMT 
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Still on the fence about getting this. Any opinions after reading some of it?

As a side note, I just re-read Paul Williams’ Dylan-What Happened? And found it to provide amazing context for this Bootleg Series release. Highly, highly recommended to those who haven’t read it.


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PostPosted: Sun November 5th, 2017, 21:10 GMT 

Joined: Mon March 16th, 2009, 10:46 GMT
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John B. Stetson wrote:
Still on the fence about getting this. Any opinions after reading some of it?

As a side note, I just re-read Paul Williams’ Dylan-What Happened? And found it to provide amazing context for this Bootleg Series release. Highly, highly recommended to those who haven’t read it.

Most definitely a strong opinion from me. And I don't like Mr Heylin very much.
Very annoying at times.

It basically moves like this. Every 3 month (or so) period gets a chapter. These
mini periods are quite meticulously researched through multiple records and
interviews. 80% of it is biographical without too much in terms of value judgments
or interpretation.

IF this had been issued under a pseudonym, I think people would recommend
it without the least reservation. Illuminating, lots of fresh info & perspective.
I'm only 80 pages into it, but I'm loving every minute.


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PostPosted: Sun November 5th, 2017, 21:14 GMT 
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^^ right, Williams' best I think

But, needless to say, he was dissed by Bob himself

Listen to David Mansfield, how he thought Christianity allowed for not placing faith in people/society


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PostPosted: Sun November 5th, 2017, 21:25 GMT 

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effort wrote:
^^ right, Williams' best I think

But, needless to say, he was dissed by Bob himself

Listen to David Mansfield, how he thought Christianity allowed for not placing faith in people/society

Yea Williams had great insight and did a great interpretive job.
I think both can stand side by side. This is much more a trad. nuts & bolts
research effort. I'd be interested to hear what anyone would say after actually
reading this. I think most people will be surprised.


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