On the Road with Bob Dylan
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“The War and Peace of Rock and Roll.” —Bob Dylan
In 1975, as Bob Dylan emerged from eight years of seclusion, he dreamed of putting together a traveling music show that would trek across the country like a psychedelic carnival. The dream became reality, and On the Road with Bob Dylan is the ultimate behind-the-scenes look at what happened when Dylan and the Rolling Thunder Revue took to the streets of America.
With the intimate detail of a diary, Larry “Ratso” Sloman’s mesmerizing description of the legendary tour both transports us to a celebrated period in rock history and provides us with a vivid snapshot of Dylan during this extraordinary time. This reissue of the 1978 classic resonates more than ever as it chronicles one of the most glittering rock circuses ever assembled, with a cast that includes Joan Baez, Robbie Robertson, Joni Mitchell, Allen Ginsberg, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, and a wild entourage of groupies, misfits, sinners, and saints who trailed along for the ride. Sloman candidly captures the all-night revelry and musical prowess—from the backstage antics to impromptu jams—that made the tour a nearly mystical experience.
Complete with vintage photos and a new introduction by renowned Texas musician, mystery writer, and Revue member Kinky Friedman, this is an unparalleled treat for Dylan fans old and new. Without question, On the Road with Bob Dylan is a remarkable, revealing piece of writing and a rare up-close and personal view of Dylan on tour.
and Muffin, who’s helping with makeup, are twisting to Ramblin’ Jack’s swing number. Dylan goes on, and Ratso walks out front to watch. Sara’s up on the stage, seated next to Raven. Scarlett, in a long white antique gown, is watching from the side, fiddle in hand, in fact, nearly everyone backstage has filtered out to catch Dylan’s set. And what a set. The band is cracking by now, flowing from “Masterpiece” to a chilling “Hattie Carroll.” Then Bob reaches back to Nashville Skyline for “Tonight
worked very hard for that part, I studied very hard. I called up Altman every day and told him new little dialogue, new lines I heard, new bits of action, lots of stuff. I studied very hard. See, most people think that I was her,” Ronee leans over and confides to Ratso. “You know that? Everyone thinks that I really was Barbara Jean. See, so they don’t regard it as acting.” “That’s a compliment!” Ratso gushes. “It’s a compliment, except I can’t get a job,” Blakley frowns. “They think I’m Barbara
afternoon The Kettle and the Gaslight and the Woody Guthrie tunes Paxton, Ochs and Clayton, Dave Van Ronk and Ramblin’ Jack They marveled at this singer with the funny corduroy hat. And the songs he started writing were songs that had never been The word spread through the Village, his name was in the wind. All across the country people heard him from Newport all the way to New Orleans His songs were done by everyone in music Blowing in the wind, made him the king. And the records
quote,” the reporter eggs. “OK, uh,” Kemp pauses, searching for the phrase, “I’m the one that has to be concerned with the balancing of the budget so I’m the one that deems it necessary in order to cover expenses to play bigger halls so we can afford smaller ones. If it was up to Bob we’d play all small halls.” “Because it’s more conducive to his music,” Ratso parrots. “That’s right.” “What’s his reaction to the large halls so far?” “Sue says you should talk about the crowd and how they
been in, I was shot at the first time I was there, the guy didn’t even know me and I didn’t know him.” Jack looks amazed. Kinky pulls one of his satin handmade cowboy shirts on, this one emblazoned with all sorts of Hebrew iconography. “That’s a great shirt. What do you call that, a menorah?” Jack marvels. “I was supposed to be a Jewish doctor like my dad, but I got so rebellious so early that I never even got bar mitzvahed, I never even got a chance to find out what it was. I was hanging out