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PostPosted: Sun January 21st, 2018, 10:32 GMT 

Joined: Fri January 5th, 2007, 23:38 GMT
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I'm reading this at the moment. The author claims this to be "the only book on Bob Dylan to have been welcomed and very positively reviewed by Bob Dylan via his personal attorney Mr Jeff Rosen". I offer no opinion on this claim, but I'm very pleasantly surprised so far with a book that I'm about 40% through. Its thesis is a simple one, a thorough analysis of the songs that the author perceives to contain Christian content, structured in a chronological album-by-album manner. I find it an excellent complement to Trouble no More, particularly in the context of the consequences of this era upon the remainder of Dylan's career.

I personally find much of his interpretations valid, with the occasional one with which I would disagree, but this is inevitable. Overall, I think it's a valuable, if seemingly quite unheralded, addition to the library on Dylan.

Are there any other opinions?


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PostPosted: Sun January 21st, 2018, 11:02 GMT 

Joined: Tue January 6th, 2015, 15:03 GMT
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Paging Stephan Pickering...


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PostPosted: Sun January 21st, 2018, 12:02 GMT 
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Mickvet wrote:
I'm reading this at the moment. The author claims this to be "the only book on Bob Dylan to have been welcomed and very positively reviewed by Bob Dylan via his personal attorney Mr Jeff Rosen". I offer no opinion on this claim, but I'm very pleasantly surprised so far with a book that I'm about 40% through. Its thesis is a simple one, a thorough analysis of the songs that the author perceives to contain Christian content, structured in a chronological album-by-album manner. I find it an excellent complement to Trouble no More, particularly in the context of the consequences of this era upon the remainder of Dylan's career.

I personally find much of his interpretations valid, with the occasional one with which I would disagree, but this is inevitable. Overall, I think it's a valuable, if seemingly quite unheralded, addition to the library on Dylan.

Are there any other opinions?


Have you read Scott M. Marshall, Bob Dylan: A Spiritual Life and Seth Rogovoy, Bob Dylan: Prophet, Mystic, Poet? If so, how do they compare to Bradford's book?


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PostPosted: Sun January 21st, 2018, 12:31 GMT 

Joined: Fri January 5th, 2007, 23:38 GMT
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Location: Ireland
mjmooney wrote:
Paging Stephan Pickering...


Not at all. There's nothing in it so far that would differ from many conventional Christian interpretations of Dylan's lyrics. I have read nothing outlandish or unorthodox, so far.

Of course, there are those who would deny that there is any Christianity in Dylan's song-lyrics since Shot of Love. It is that opinion that I would consider truly divorced from reality, in fact a denial to face up to unwelcome facts.

Anyway, it must be great to have the power to know what's in a book without having to read it. Even Pickering hasn't claimed that gift, to my knowledge.


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PostPosted: Sun January 21st, 2018, 12:45 GMT 

Joined: Fri January 5th, 2007, 23:38 GMT
Posts: 1977
Location: Ireland
My Echo, My Shadow And Me wrote:
Mickvet wrote:
I'm reading this at the moment. The author claims this to be "the only book on Bob Dylan to have been welcomed and very positively reviewed by Bob Dylan via his personal attorney Mr Jeff Rosen". I offer no opinion on this claim, but I'm very pleasantly surprised so far with a book that I'm about 40% through. Its thesis is a simple one, a thorough analysis of the songs that the author perceives to contain Christian content, structured in a chronological album-by-album manner. I find it an excellent complement to Trouble no More, particularly in the context of the consequences of this era upon the remainder of Dylan's career.

I personally find much of his interpretations valid, with the occasional one with which I would disagree, but this is inevitable. Overall, I think it's a valuable, if seemingly quite unheralded, addition to the library on Dylan.

Are there any other opinions?


Have you read Scott M. Marshall, Bob Dylan: A Spiritual Life and Seth Rogovoy, Bob Dylan: Prophet, Mystic, Poet? If so, how do they compare to Bradford's book?


I have read Marshall's book. His takes a broader approach, taking in people's accounts of statements and events, performances of particular songs in concert, statements by Dylan himself, while the reviews by Marshall of Dylan's lyrics are comparatively perfunctory and incomplete.

Bradford has taken a much narrower approach. While he accompanies some of his chapter-headings with quotations from Dylan, almost all the book comprises an analysis of Dylan's album lyrics from a Christian perspective, from his eponymous debut to Tempest and also including some bootleg recordings only recently released. Reading it is helped by having the song lyrics in front of one. He provides copious Biblical quotations in illustration of where Dylan has derived inspiration.

The book might have benefitted from a little more editing, but mistakes and errors are comparatively few for a budget-produced book, which is non-profit, with all proceeds going to the Oasis Trust, which Google seems to indicate is a worthy cause.


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PostPosted: Sun January 21st, 2018, 12:52 GMT 

Joined: Tue January 6th, 2015, 15:03 GMT
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Mickvet wrote:
mjmooney wrote:
Paging Stephan Pickering...


Not at all. There's nothing in it so far that would differ from many conventional Christian interpretations of Dylan's lyrics. I have read nothing outlandish or unorthodox, so far.

Of course, there are those who would deny that there is any Christianity in Dylan's song-lyrics since Shot of Love. It is that opinion that I would consider truly divorced from reality, in fact a denial to face up to unwelcome facts.

Anyway, it must be great to have the power to know what's in a book without having to read it. Even Pickering hasn't claimed that gift, to my knowledge.
You misunderstand me. I have no opinion on the book, not (as you say) having read it. I merely invoked (a little tongue in cheek) Mr. Pickering, as any mention of Dylan and Christianity seems to send him into paroxysms of rage, and rants about apostasy and the holocaust.


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PostPosted: Sun January 21st, 2018, 13:24 GMT 

Joined: Fri January 5th, 2007, 23:38 GMT
Posts: 1977
Location: Ireland
mjmooney wrote:
Mickvet wrote:

Not at all. There's nothing in it so far that would differ from many conventional Christian interpretations of Dylan's lyrics. I have read nothing outlandish or unorthodox, so far.

Of course, there are those who would deny that there is any Christianity in Dylan's song-lyrics since Shot of Love. It is that opinion that I would consider truly divorced from reality, in fact a denial to face up to unwelcome facts.

Anyway, it must be great to have the power to know what's in a book without having to read it. Even Pickering hasn't claimed that gift, to my knowledge.
You misunderstand me. I have no opinion on the book, not (as you say) having read it. I merely invoked (a little tongue in cheek) Mr. Pickering, as any mention of Dylan and Christianity seems to send him into paroxysms of rage, and rants about apostasy and the holocaust.


I'm sorry. Invoking his name sent me into a paroxysm of paranoia. I misunderstood and took your comment as comparing Bradford to Pickering. I should not have been so hasty.

I feel a bit sorry for Stephen Pickering. He has allowed the enormity of the Holocaust to colour his view of Christianity and, in surrendering to this bitterness, enables a residual little victory for Nazism to continue to damage his soul.


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PostPosted: Sun January 21st, 2018, 13:33 GMT 

Joined: Tue January 6th, 2015, 15:03 GMT
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Mickvet wrote:
mjmooney wrote:
[quote="Mickvet"]

Not at all. There's nothing in it so far that would differ from many conventional Christian interpretations of Dylan's lyrics. I have read nothing outlandish or unorthodox, so far.

Of course, there are those who would deny that there is any Christianity in Dylan's song-lyrics since Shot of Love. It is that opinion that I would consider truly divorced from reality, in fact a denial to face up to unwelcome facts.

Anyway, it must be great to have the power to know what's in a book without having to read it. Even Pickering hasn't claimed that gift, to my knowledge.
You misunderstand me. I have no opinion on the book, not (as you say) having read it. I merely invoked (a little tongue in cheek) Mr. Pickering, as any mention of Dylan and Christianity seems to send him into paroxysms of rage, and rants about apostasy and the holocaust.


I'm sorry. Invoking his name sent me into a paroxysm of paranoia. I misunderstood and took your comment as comparing Bradford to Pickering. I should not have been so hasty.

I feel a bit sorry for Stephen Pickering. He has allowed the enormity of the Holocaust to colour his view of Christianity and, in surrendering to this bitterness, enables a residual little victory for Nazism to continue to damage his soul.[/quote]Yeah, it would seem that way. He seems to want to 'own' Dylan for Judaism, in the same way that the evangelical Christians wanted to own him for their gang. As a nonbeliever, I find all of it faintly amusing, but I insofar as I can respect religious faith, Dylan's commonsense embracing of both traditions seems undeserving of controversy.


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PostPosted: Sun January 21st, 2018, 13:44 GMT 
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mjmooney wrote:
Mickvet wrote:
what was a the nonsense in between? :D :lol: :P
In mickvet's famos words
'Not at all.' There's nothing in it so far that would differ from many conventional Christian interpretations of Dylan's lyrics. I have read nothing outlandish or unorthodox, so far.

Of course, there are those who would deny that there is any Christianity in Dylan's song-lyrics since Shot of Love. It is that opinion that I would consider truly divorced from reality, in fact a denial to face up to unwelcome facts.

Anyway, it must be great to have the power to know what's in a book without having to read it. Even Pickering hasn't claimed that gift, to my knowledge.
You misunderstand me. I have no opinion on the book, not (as you say) having read it. I merely invoked (a little tongue in cheek) Mr. Pickering, as any mention of Dylan and Christianity seems to send him into paroxysms of rage, and rants about apostasy and the holocaust.


I'm sorry. Invoking his name sent me into a paroxysm of paranoia. I misunderstood and took your comment as comparing Bradford to Pickering. I should not have been so hasty.

I feel a bit sorry for Stephen Pickering. He has allowed the enormity of the Holocaust to colour his view of Christianity and, in surrendering to this bitterness, enables a residual little victory for Nazism to continue to damage his soul.[/quote]Yeah, it would seem that way. He seems to want to 'own' Dylan for Judaism, in the same way that the evangelical Christians wanted to own him for their gang. As a nonbeliever, I find all of it faintly amusing, but I insofar as I can respect religious faith, Dylan's commonsense embracing of both traditions seems undeserving of controversy.[/quote]

invoking any inspirationsHello Pickering, anybody out there. Yuh see, I like reading books.Books are friends. I learned it from u , I LL always think of you when in don't read my book. SEVERE ADD coupled with a hint of sarcasm :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat January 27th, 2018, 20:40 GMT 

Joined: Fri January 5th, 2007, 23:38 GMT
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Location: Ireland
I have finished this book. I found it possibly the best book that I have read of the interpretation of the religious dimension of Dylan's music. Although I had been taking broadly similar views of Dylan's songs, with some differences in detail, I will be listening from now on with some fresh perspectives.


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PostPosted: Sun January 28th, 2018, 08:23 GMT 
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thanks Mickvet so much for the much needed mention of an author that has apparently given due respect

to the scripture behind the songs, is this how you would say it?



would you or the author 'maybe lean to saying' that Bob is then in his interpretations of scripture to be more evangelical,
rabbinical, or my favorite O'Connoran, having myself been raised right in a Catholic school in a church gone wrong?


bob seems to me to be influenced so much by that rabbi who taught him for his bar mitzvah and chabad, his love is round as they say


thanks for a great thread!


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PostPosted: Sun January 28th, 2018, 10:32 GMT 

Joined: Fri January 5th, 2007, 23:38 GMT
Posts: 1977
Location: Ireland
bobschool wrote:
thanks Mickvet so much for the much needed mention of an author that has apparently given due respect

to the scripture behind the songs, is this how you would say it?



would you or the author 'maybe lean to saying' that Bob is then in his interpretations of scripture to be more evangelical,
rabbinical, or my favorite O'Connoran, having myself been raised right in a Catholic school in a church gone wrong?


bob seems to me to be influenced so much by that rabbi who taught him for his bar mitzvah and chabad, his love is round as they say


thanks for a great thread!


Thank you for your appreciation.

Bradford delves in considerable detail into the scriptural sources of Dylan's lyrics, rarely missing the target. He is well-versed, as is Dylan.

Dylan seems to have remained cagey about his denominational status, although he has clearly gone deeper and wider, theologically, since his conversion. I've thought for a good while that he has moved close to Catholicism, on the evidence of Oh Mercy, the Pope gig and things like Adeste Fidelis. There is also some startling information on the Victoria's Secret ad. Apparently the principal model of the shoot is a devout Brazilian Catholic, on record as declaring herself a virgin and reserving sex for marriage. Bradford also interprets Dylan as a self-declared celibate on the basis of the line 'wouldn't know a real blonde from a fake', which is very astute! Going back to the denominational issue, the St Herman's Church reference in Modern Times was a clue that Dylan might be an Orthodox Christian, thus not very far from Catholicism and Bradford does make a comment on Dylan's Russian identity, which could be a factor. However, nothing clear-cut on this subject in the book.

On the evidence of the book, Dylan's Jewish identity seems to be more cultural/ethnic than theological. In truth, all Christians, whether they realise it or not, possess an enormous Jewish identity. Mr Pickering might not like it, but it is the Talmud that states that the Jewish Temple sacrifice had stopped working (identified by a change in colour of a red taper to white) forty years before the Roman sack of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple in 70AD. This ties in neatly with its replacement...

[Personally, I'm staying Catholic, no matter what they do in the Vatican, as in I intend to retain the beliefs that have been there for two millenia].

P.S. I should also mention a secondary theme in the book. This is the effect of the breakup of Dylan's second marriage upon the man and his music. Bradford's profession is in this field and he handles it discretely, not going overboard, but making a plausible case, particularly in the lyrical evidence. The title of Time Out of Mind takes on a new meaning, for me at least.


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PostPosted: Wed January 31st, 2018, 03:24 GMT 
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Mickvet, thanks for such a thoughtful response!

Bob is a very interesting poet of the scripture isn't he?

here's hoping a gospel song comes once more!


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