Apr 15, 2021
Behind the Shades
Posted by Clinton Heylin

In virtually all areas of Dylan s life his immigrant antecedents, his business dealings, his various addictions and his romantic attachments Heylin is able to provide a fascinating picture of a man who changed the whole course of popular music in the sixties and, over thirty years later, won three Grammys Heylin has given full weight to Dylan s own words and those ofIn virtually all areas of Dylan s life his immigrant antecedents, his business dealings, his various addictions and his romantic attachments Heylin is able to provide a fascinating picture of a man who changed the whole course of popular music in the sixties and, over thirty years later, won three Grammys Heylin has given full weight to Dylan s own words and those of his closest associates, with over 250 people quoted in the book, helping to provide a portrait of a complex figure.Including 60,000 words of brand new material dealing with Dylan s four twenty first century albums his archival audio visual projects his third film his series of paintings and exhibitions his autobiography, Chronicles and his ongoing romantic liaisons and missing marriages this fully updated story of Dylan provides a monumental overview of the Man and his Music.

  • Title: Behind the Shades
  • Author: Clinton Heylin
  • ISBN: 9780571272402
  • Page: 178
  • Format: Paperback
  • Behind the Shades In virtually all areas of Dylan s life his immigrant antecedents his business dealings his various addictions and his romantic attachments Heylin is able to provide a fascinating picture of a man wh

    Michael Finocchiaro

    Let me finish with a quick word on the Dylan biography, Behind the Shades by Clinton Heylin If there is one awesome music biography out there about arguably the most prolific pop artist in the 20th C, this might be it It is well researched and fascinating and got me listening to weeks to all of Dylan s catalog particularly the stuff between 1965 and 1975 Note that there is a reissue from about 2006 with 250 pages covering the albums from Oh Mercy to just before Tempest Definitely a great read y [...]

    Paul Bryant

    19611 Song to Woody2 Talkin New York3 Talkin Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues4 Man on the Street5 Sally Gal6 Hard Times in New York7 I Was Young when I Left Home19628 Ballad for a Friend9 Poor Boy Blues10 Standing on the Highway11 Ramblin Gamblin Willie12 Talkin John Birch Society Blues13 The Death of Emmett Till14 Ballad of Donald White15 Let Me Die in my Footsteps16 Blowin in the Wind17 Corrina, Corrina18 Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance 19 Rocks and Gravel20 Quit your Low Down Ways21 B [...]

    Paul Bryant

    This is my original review of the first edition of Behind the Shades, which is the best Dylan bio by far Clinton Heylin updated it in 2001 and has now done so again, in 2011 The new version is almost twice as big as this original edition, so this book is now OBSOLETE Please get the new edition it s huge By the time this bio was published Clinton Heylin had probably offended every hard core Dylan fan in both hemispheres with his disgraceful sneering heavyhanded blatantly rude putdowns of any comm [...]


    Dylan s method of recruiting female singers at times reflected his new proximity to Hollywood and its s preferring the casting couch to the microphone.2.3 stars Burton likely notes in a footnote the case of death by excess They eat cookie dough while burning in sulfur in a famed poem What about the greedy biographer This is all too much, set lists stacked like cases of tinned peaches, page long screeds against the effrontery of other biographers oh, the audacity one images an empurpled Heylin cl [...]

    Steve Redhead

    Bob Dylan at 70 years old has spawned a whole series of textual tributes, including new editions of old books This is the best of the lot It is the third edition of Heylin s book first published twenty years ago, hence the twentieth anniversary edition subtitle There are 60,000 additional words in this edition compared to the second edition making this version a massive tome The last ten years have been interesting if frustrating as usual times for Dylan fans with Love and Theft , Modern Times a [...]


    After this tome I m up to here with Bob Dylan I can hear his music twenty four hours a day on Dylanradio and sometimes do or swim through the sludge that is much of this biography It s all the same too much Heylin has found it necessary to give us practically every playlist from every show Bob s ever done, or so it seems, and every lineup change in every stage and rehearsal band he ever made Good enough, if you don t have a life to live, but these are things the editor of a good biography would [...]


    I think the best word for it, when all is said and done, is pugnacious Clinton Heylin, a thorough and well versed Dylanologist, capable of bringing Bob to book while praising the high points and some surprising unsung moments too is a pugnacious and rather mean spirited biographer, intent on attacking his peers than enthralling his readership Which is a shame, because this magnum opus, getting and magnum with each edition 3 since 1991 and counting , is one of the best life and works approach [...]


    If you are looking for the heart of Bob Dylan, this book is not going to help you get there This book is not a typical bio, nor is it a rundown of the stories and meanings behind the Man s songs.What it is is a thoroughly researched chronological record, in narrative form, of Dylan s studio sessions and professional relationships with others Even though there are many splices of interviews with Dylan and his friends, acquaintances and others, little is there about his personal life though there [...]


    The one Bob Dylan bio to read if you re only reading one Alone among the other authors who have chronicled the life of this seminal musician, Heylin takes advantage of the huge mass of bootleg recordings surrounding Dylan s officially sanctioned album catalog This gives him an advantage in charting the rise and fall of Dylan s artistry over the years something at least as important as chats with his many girlfriends Heylin is also admirably tough minded in dealing with his subject s lapses and b [...]


    Great book that gives an outsider s look in on Dylan s life I will probably read Dylan s Chronicles to get the 1st person account too It s important to get many perspectives on such a beguiling, transformative genius The book gives a thorough account of the studio process for each album and acts as a great guide to some of the man s lesser known or forgotten works Parts detailing the tours could drag sometimes but this book gives a good summary of Dylan s born again years and the portion about h [...]

    Paul Frandano

    4 1 2 stars, actually If session details bore you, skip the book, fully half of which consists of session details players, circumstances, controversies, production conundrums, on the fly composition, variations of Bob s unusual live studio preferences, etc etc etc and deliberations over, controversies involving, criticism of setlists for the numerous tours up to the first decade of the Never Ending Tour and hundreds upon hundreds of performances.But so many of Heylin s hundreds, thousandsof opin [...]

    Dan DellaPosta

    Clinton Heylin s magisterial take on the Gospel of Bob is a must have for any serious Dylanphile, giving virtually a day by day account of the man s career from the late 1950s to the beginning of the new millennium Fittingly, the subject still manages to retain an air of mystery even against Heylin s probing eye It is truly strange, for example, to read such an otherwise detailed biography in which the author openly admits being unsure of how many times Dylan has been married and how many childr [...]

    Eric Watson

    I enjoy reading biographies of my perceived hero s but I m frequently disenchanted to discover that behind their fame or shades as in Dylan s case stands an average human being just like the rest of us with their foibles, problems and self doubt This appears to be the case with Bob Dylan I won t get into the perceived negatives because the internet is full of negatives about people and I m tired of seeing it And besides Dylan s positives profoundly out weigh any negatives he has.In between the b [...]


    This is a very well written, incredibly researched book that covers Dylan all the way up until 1997 in the Revisited version here Heylin is obviously a huge fan, but willing to admit flaws and faults As long as Dylan continues to shroud his life in misdirection, poetry and fog, this will probably be one of the most thoughtful and complete overviews out there But, man, as a Deadhead I grew entirely sick of Heylin unnecessary potshots at Jerry Garcia and the rest of the band It was just weird.


    This is the most exhaustive biography on Dylan to date Before reading this book, I read Down the Highway by Sounes and Chimes of Freedom now updated in a second edition called Wicked Messenger by Mike Marquesee and both books were great but this book is really for the avid Bob Dylan fan like myself who wants to know all the details of his life well almost There never will be a perfect bio on Dylan because of his complexity and aloofness mystery which I believe is deliberate as it feeds into the [...]

    Andrew Marr

    It was interesting at times to learn about Bob Dylan s life but I came away from the book concluding that his songs are a LOT interesting than his life The strange trajectory that catapulted Dylan to fame was of interest the story of his conversion of Christianity quite moving to me The long narratives of his many tours with the same kinds of dysfunctional behavior coming up time again got quite boring for me The most important thing for me about what this biography has to say was seeing how Dy [...]


    I m kind of obsessed with Bob Dylan, but it didn t occur to me until now to put this on my list Seeing it on my bookshelf reminded me of how much I enjoyed it It s comprehensive, despite the fact that Heylin never met Bob Dylan, and is an excellent blend of commentary, analysis, and biographical information Behind the Shades Revisited doesn t deify Dylan or demonize him, either He s treated as a fallible, exciting subject, and it makes his music seem powerful for that For a Dylan fan it s proba [...]

    James Lundy

    This is a well written and thoroughly researched book that is fascinating reading for any Dylan fan Heylin is a fan from way back and concentrates the biography on Dylan s performance art and studio process Unlike most other biographies, this one doesn t stop at 1966 or 1974 It is the best source around for Dylan info up to 1991 If I have a complaint about Behind the Shades it is that Mr Heylin finds fault in just about every studio track that ever made it to an official album compared to every [...]


    Heylin is a Dylanologist of some renown, having written several books on His Bobness and even started up a Dylan journal, so I had my hagiography detectors switched to on when I picked this up in a charity shop Anywho, it is very thorough, and the charting of Dylan s life and music is straightaway chronological, with the narrative interspersed with short extracts from interviews with Bob and his contemporaries these are illuminating than the rather pedestrian and rockist cf NME, 1981 style of t [...]


    Mandarin, collector, completist, emulator, literary troll, Clinton Heylin has also got the most useful biography of Bob Dylan, and not because he writes well, interprets insightfully, is scrupulous, or even sympathizes with his man he is none of this He s read the competition The competition is horrid One thing that makes them horrid is that they don t read the competition Etc It s useful because Heylin thinks biography is based on documentation, and this oral history with interpretive mesh does [...]

    Michael Greig

    I suppose I read many biographies and am often left not knowing this person any better This book does not get to the heart of Bob Dylan for me It tells you all that he has achieved in his life and even some of what he has lost but not who he is Not what makes him tick So soldiered through because his songs mean a lot to me but wish I hadn t I was left unsatisfied Bob is the other famous musical son of Minnesota as I write this the day Prince leaves us.

    Christopher Bundy

    A detailed and passionate exploration of Dylan the musician I liked the sections on each record and the recording process, though with Dylan it s pretty much the same each time he never spent much time in the studio perfecting work The author s clear love of his subject shines a bit too bright at times and this bio is certainly targeted towards the hardcore fan Some writing tics got old after a while too.

    Richard Lodge

    I actually like Bob Dylan, whereas Heylin just likes complaining about him I heard that he complained bitterly that Dylan s book Chronicles did not have one correct date in it If you want a book with the correct dates when Dylan did stuff, then this is probably for you, but it is insufferably dull and pointless and in no way in the spirit of Dylan s freewheelin genius.


    Dear Clinton Heylin,thank you for writing.Heylin is the ultimate Dylanologist His style is amazing and it s never boring I wanted to read every word of every paragraph on every page Every acoustic musician, activist, poet or fan should read Heylin s book once You ll like it, even if you hate Dylan s that good.


    I m in a heavy Bob Dylan mood lately I am obviously WAY too young to have been around at the time I am really enjoying hearing about his childhood and how his songwriting and singing career took shape It s especially neat reading this right now since I m in Fargo and Minnesota where some of the early days took place.

    Gavin Smith

    An interesting, if kind of out of date Dylan biography I like the way the author focused mainly on Dylan s recording style and the live performances rather than gossip from his personal life I see there is a revised edition covering recent ground in Dylan s career I d definitely recommend that for fans.


    Given that Bob Dylan is not going to give anyone a chance to really understand what he s doing, Clinton Heylin seems to think he has the inside track on the quality of any of Dylan s efforts Somewhat annoying, but the entire book gives an overview of the Dylan body of work up until about 1996.


    Pretty good bio Nice blend of background info, interviews and analysis I found that it dragged on a bit in the late 70s and got weird with Dylan s religious phase, but that s probably not so much the author s fault, as just my preference to Dylan s earlier work and lifestyle in the 60s.

    Billy Hackler


    Sara Hammel


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