Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bob Dylan Book Contest


By Sean Wilentz

Advance Praise for Bob Dylan in America

“Unlike so many Dylan-writer-wannabes and phony ‘encyclopedia’ compilers, Sean Wilentz makes me feel he was in the room when he chronicles events that I participated in. Finally a breath of fresh words founded in hardcore, intelligent research.” —Al Kooper

“A panoramic vision of Bob Dylan, his music, his shifting place in American culture, from multiple angles. In fact, reading Sean Wilentz’s Bob Dylan in America is as thrilling and surprising as listening to a great Dylan song.” - Martin Scorsese

“All the American connections that Wilentz draws to explain the appearance of Dylan’s music are fascinating, particularly at the outset, the connection to Aaron Copland. The writing is strong, the thinking is strong—the book is dense and strong everywhere you look.” —Philip Roth

“Sean Wilentz is one of the few great American historians. His political and social histories of American democracy are masterful and magisterial. In this work, he turns his attention to the artistic genius of  Bob Dylan – and the result is a masterpiece of cultural history that tells us much about who we have been and who we are.”
—Cornel West, Class of 1943 University Professor in the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University

“Sean Wilentz’s beautiful book sets a new standard for the cultural history of popular music in America. He loves the music and he loves America, but his loves do not blind him, they open his eyes. In Wilentz’s erudite and lively account, Dylan’s music, and folk music, and rock music, are all indelibly woven into the whole story of an entire country. This book is chocked with new contexts for old pleasures. There are surprises and illuminations on almost every page. A great historian has written a history of the culture that formed him. Like Dylan, Wilentz is a deep and probing American voice. Bob Dylan’s America is Bob Dylan’s good luck, and ours. It is an extraordinary affirmation of singing and strumming and feeling and learning and believing.”
—Leon Wieseltier

“This should have been impossible. Writing about Bob Dylan's music, and fitting it into the great crazy quilt of American culture, Sean Wilentz sews a whole new critical fabric, part history, part close analysis, and all heart. What he writes, as well as anyone ever has, helps us enlarge Dylan's music by reckoning its roots, its influences, its allusive spiritual contours. This isn't Cliff Notes or footnotes or any kind of academic exercise. It's not a critic chinning on the high bar. It's one artist meeting another, kick starting a dazzling conversation.”
—Jay Cocks, screenwriter for THE AGE OF INNOCENCE and THE GANGS OF NEW YORK

“Sean Wilentz makes us think about Bob Dylan’s half-century of work in new ways. Combining a scholar’s depth with a sense of mischief appropriate to the subject, Wilentz hears new associations in famous songs and sends us back to listen to Dylan’s less familiar music with fresh insights. By focusing on the parts of Dylan’s canon that most move him, Wilentz gets straight to the heart of the matter. If you thought there was nothing new to say about Bob Dylan’s impact on America, this book will make you think twice.”
—Bill Flanagan, author of A&R and EVENING’S EMPIRE and Editorial Director, MTV Networks.

With BOB DYLAN IN AMERICA (Doubleday; ISBN 978-0-385-52988-4; On-sale: September 7, 2010) Sean Wilentz, one of America’s finest historians, shows us how Bob Dylan, one of America’s greatest and most enduring artists, still surprises and moves us after all these years.

Sean Wilentz is the ‘historian-in-residence’ for Bob Dylan’s official website (www.bobdylan.com). In addition, Wilentz is a Pulitzer-prize finalist, a Bancroft Prize winner, a Grammy award nominated liner-notes writer, and a noted historian and professor at Princeton University.

With unprecedented access to Dylan’s working tapes, recording notes, rare photographs and other key materials, Wilentz has written a comprehensive account of Dylan’s life and music and its influence on American culture.

Beginning with his explosion onto the scene in 1961, BOB DYLAN IN AMERICA follows Dylan as he continues to develop a body of musical and literary work unique in our cultural history. Wilentz’s approach places Dylan’s music in the context of its time, including the early influences of Popular Front ideology and Beat aesthetics, and offers a larger critical appreciation of Dylan as both a song writer and performer. Wilentz tells Dylan’s story and that of such masterpieces as Blonde on Blonde with an unprecedented authenticity and richness.

BOB DYLAN IN AMERICA also chronicles Wilentz’s strange, interrupted, and lucky connection to Dylan and his work. Sean Wilentz’s family owned the 8th Street Bookshop in Greenwich Village, which served as a cultural staple during the heyday of the beat writers and Dylan’s hip folk club scene. In fact, Bob Dylan met Allen Ginsberg in Sean’s uncle’s apartment above the shop. Thus, Wilentz and Dylan’s paths crossed early on and led to Sean’s lifelong interest and fascination with Dylan’s work. With BOB DYLAN IN AMERICA, Wilentz charts Dylan’s life and music from those early days in Greenwich Village up until the present.

Wilentz’s essays offer a broad appreciation of Dylan’s art and performances in the key periods of his career. BOB DYLAN IN AMERICA—groundbreaking, thorough, totally absorbing—is the result of an author and a subject brilliantly met.

Bob Dylan in America and author Sean Wilentz:

· This is the furthest thing from a pop biography; and it is also the furthest thing from the obsessive “Dylanology,” deadly academic dissections, or mannered rock criticism that makes up the rest of the small library on Dylan. It is a lucid but imaginative, thorough, and bold reassessment of Dylan’s work by an established major figure on the American literary and intellectual scene. Nothing quite like this has been written about a modern musical figure.

· Sean Wilentz is the historian-in-residence for Bob Dylan’s official website – www.bobdylan.com

· Sean Wilentz’s family owned the 8th St Bookshop in Greenwich Village which the beat writers and Bob Dylan frequented.

· Wilentz has unprecedented access to working tapes, recording notes, rare photographs and other key scholarly materials in order to write this book. His reconstruction of the complicated creation of Blonde on Blonde is a masterpiece of historical investigation.

· Sean Wilentz was awarded the Bancroft Prize and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his book The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln and was nominated for a Grammy for his liner notes to Bootleg series, Vol. 6: Bob Dylan Live 1964 – Concert a Philharmonic Hall.

· Over 100 photos, many rare and several previously unpublished, all serve to deepen and enrich the experience of reading this unique examination of a great American artist.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sean Wilentz is Sidney and Ruth Lapidus Professor in the American Revolutionary Era at Princeton University. His previous books include The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974-2008, The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln, which was awarded the Bancroft Prize and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. In addition to his writing as historian-in-residence at www.bobdylan.com, Wilentz received a Deems Taylor Award for musical commentary and was nominated for a Grammy for his liner notes to ‘Bootleg Series, Vol. 6: Bob Dylan Live 1964—Concert at Philharmonic Hall.

By Sean Wilentz
ISBN 978-0-385-52988-4
On-sale: September 7, 2010

Working with Mark Lennon of the Entertainment Marketing Group, they have graciously sent me five copies to give away.  The first five people who email me at rbenson30@wi.rr.com (with the words Bob Dylan in the subject line) will get a free copy of this great insight into an American legend!

John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley and The Rolling Stones top the charts for collectible vinyl

This from http://www.paulfrasercollectibles.com/:

As this week in 1966 The Beatles "Revolver" hit the #1 spot, we pick out our top 10 vinyl investments

It was this week, in September 1966, that The Beatles landed at number one in America with their classic vinyl LP "Revolver." The album remains one of the most critically acclaimed in history, with Rolling Stone magazine ranking it as the third best of all time.

Since then, The Beatles have of course disbanded and much of music has changed forever. However, for many collectors the classic sounds of vinyl continue to provide an investment that is both good on the ears and the wallet.

In fact, collectible vinyl records are positively booming in today's market. In 2009, sales of vinyl rose by more than 5% whilst CD sales endured a 20% decrease.

Elsewhere, in the US sales of vinyl have reached over three million units a year. Online retailers are also starting to get involved, with shopping giants Amazon now offering over 250,000 vinyl albums to customers, in an effort to cater to this growing demand.

Furthermore, with the market figures positively booming, the number of rare collectible vinyl records bought and sold through private shops and dealers could make the real market value almost double the current estimates.

One online source recently reported that since Michael Jackson's death in 2009, second hand copies of "Thriller" on vinyl had sold for more than 200% of their listed price, whilst even rarer Jackson vinyl has skyrocketed in value.

With these figures in mind, here is the definitive top ten collectible vinyl investments:

10. Sex Pistols - "God Save the Queen" 7"

Released in May 1977, this vinyl caused an immediate media storm due to its controversial cover design, which featured a defaced picture of Queen Elizabeth II.

According to English law, this was illegal under the offence of Contempt of Sovereign.

It didn't prevent the design being named the #1 all time greatest cover by Q Magazine in 2001.

Today, rare vinyl copies of this piece are available for a sold entry level investment price of £7,000 ($11,500)

9. Elvis Presley - "Special Christmas Programming" LP

Rare Presley vinyl recordings have become highly collectible over the last few years.

However, it's this single-sided 12" promotional album made for only a handful of American radio stations which is most sought after by collectors.

On the current market, only three known copies are thought to exist, with the original plan being that on December 3, 1967 the recording would be played as part of a one of event. Based on recent sales, this nearly unique vinyl is worth at least £10,000 ($15,000) and definitely worth investing in.

8. The Rolling Stones - "Street Fighting Man" (US Edition) 7"

Arguably one of the most controversial Stones singles to ever come out in the US, this 7" vinyl had originally been released as the lead single from "Beggars Banquet" in August 1968.

However, the song was heavily criticised for its subversive lyrics and timing of release which was within weeks of the 1968 riots at the Democratic National Convention.

Therefore the single received little or no airplay and reached only number 48 in the charts. To add further fuel to the fire, the cover featured an infamous photograph from an American riot. Versions of the single featuring this picture are the highly sought after.

Aside from the socio-political issues surround the single, this vinyl is also highly valued by collectors due to the use of mono recording alongside choruses that feature vocal overdubbing, a feature not found in the album's stereo version. An investment in this single vinyl will set you back around £10,400 $16,000.

7. Robert Johnson's "Love in Vain Blues" LP

Dubbed "the most important blues singer that ever lived" by Eric Clapton, Robert Johnson is recognised as one of the biggest blues icons of the first half 20th century and died at the age of just 27.

In only a single year of recording from 1936 t o 1937 he set the template for singing, song writing and guitar technique in the blues genre.

The vinyl "Love in Vain Blues" was his last recording before his death. Today, there are less than 10 copies of this collectible record in known existence. It is currently valued at £13,000 ($20,000).

6. Velvet Underground & Nico - "Eponymous" LP

Ignored by the general public upon its release in 1966, the value of this piece of music memorabilia has grown ever since.

In 2006, it was deemed culturally significant enough to be added to the National Recording Registry at the United States Library of Congress.

Today, the US edition Acetate edition of the album is highly sought after by collectors.

The piece comes in a plain sleeve and features alternate recordings of the tracks, carries an estimated value of £16,300 ($25,200)

5. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - "Axis: Bold as Love" LP

First released in the December 1967 this classic slice of psychedelic rock captured Hendrix at the peak of his powers. Featuring both "Little Wing" and "Bold as Love" rare editions of this vinyl remain highly sought after by fans.

One collector paid £20,000 ($30,000) for a signed copy of the disc at auction in New York in 2007.

4. Bob Dylan - "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" LP

Currently listed top of Goldmine Album Guide's list of the "100 Most Valuable U.S Albums," this rare vinyl was recorded back in 1963.

However, the first batch of the album was scrapped following a reshuffle of the track listings which was attributed to Dylan's "artistic reasons."

Whatever, the cause, somehow, some vinyl with the original track order found their way onto the market. Though rare, this version of "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" is actually available in two slightly different formats.

The mono edition is currently valued at £13,600 ($21,000). Yet it is the stereo version which is most valuable, with only a handful thought to be in existence.

This edition is currently valued at £23,000 ($35,000).

3. The Beatles - "Yesterday and Today" LP

Back in 1966, The Beatles caused quite a stir with the release of their vinyl LP "Yesterday and Today."

Produced for US and Canadian audiences only, it was the LPs infamous "Butcher Cover" which caused the most controversy. The image featured the Fab Four in white coats alongside decapitated baby dolls and slabs of meat.

Besides the imagery used, vinyl collectors have also valued the album highly because of the use of duophonic stereo sound on classic tracks like "I'm only sleeping" which helped to create a unique Beatles recording.

Today, an investment in this rare Beatles LP could cost as much as £26,000 ($40,000).

2. The Quarrymen - "That'll be the Day"/ "In Spite of All the Danger" LP

Before John, Paul and George formed The Beatles, they were part of a group known as "The Quarrymen."

And so it was that in 1958, the group gathered at Phillip's Sound Recording Services in Kensington, Liverpool to record their one and only record. And we mean one and only.

The two song vinyl featuring a cover of "That'll be the Day" alongside the original McCartney song "In Spite of All the Danger."

The record was truly unique in that, it was the only one ever made.

Having been passed around the group for a few weeks, the vinyl was thought lost, until another founding member discovered the disc and sold it to McCartney for an undisclosed amount in 1981. Today this unique memorabilia piece is valued at £116,700 ($180,000).

1. John Lennon & Yoko Ono - "Double Fantasy" LP

Whilst it may seem surprising to find Lennon's last album here, it is in fact a unique autographed edition of the vinyl album which currently holds the world record price.

At around 5.50pm on December 8, 1980, a fan approached Lennon with a copy of the album in New York. Lennon happily signed the LP, handed back the vinyl recording and carried on down the street.

Five hours later, he would be gunned down by Mark Chapman. With this signed vinyl representing one of the last pieces of memorabilia to come from the music icon, it is little surprise to find the unique piece valued at £340,300 ($525,000).

SOURCE: www.paulfrasercollectibles.com  Stop by the site for more vinyl record news!
Reprinted By Permission

Buffalo Springfield to Reform at Neil Young's Bridge School Benefit; Full Lineup Revealed

The lineup for Neil Young's annual Bridge School Benefit concert, which takes place on October 23-24 in Mountain View, California, has been revealed. The biggest news is that Buffalo Springfield will reunite for their first show in 42 years, according to Rolling Stone. Original members Young, Stephen Stills and Richie Furay will all perform. Original bassist Bruce Palmer died back in 2004 and their first drummer, Dewey Martin, died last year. Buffalo Springfield's official last show took place in 1968, but they performed privately in 1986 at Stills' home. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame back in 1997 but Young didn't attend the ceremony, so no reunion performance there.

Pearl Jam will also headline both days of the Bridge School Benefit, while Elvis Costello, Billy Idol and Jackson Browne with David Lindley will perform on Friday, October 23rd. Saturday, October 24th will have performances from Elton John, Elvis Costello and Neko Case. Modest Mouse and Grizzly Bear will open both dates.

The Bridge School Benefit concerts have been happening since 1986, when Young's wife, Pegi, founded the school. Proceeds go to the school, which helps kids with severe speech impediments and physical impairments.

Fen To Take Trails Out of Gloom Live


Fen To Take The Massively Successful Trails Out of Gloom To Venues Across the Vancouver Area

The dark and brooding sights and sounds of Fen will be on full display this Autumn throughout the greater Vancouver area. An announcement came down from the Fen higher up's this week with a list of live dates that the band will be performing in October in conjunction with the release of their critically-acclaimed album Trails Out of Gloom. "These dates allow us to fine tune our live performance and make Fen that much better prepared for any future live opportunities that may arise," stated front-man Doug Harrison. In addition to the live shows, Fen's debut single, "Find That One," has generated strong interest from the listeners of the Aural Tentacles Show hosted by DJ Pierre on CITR 101.9 MHZ, as well as WVBR 93.5 (NY), WKGB 92.5 (NY), WEOS 89.7 (NY), WKZQ 96.1 (SC), WCHZ 95 Rock (GA), WRN (NE), CILU 102.7 FM (ON), SRN Media Works (ON), MetalNetRadio.com, KHTR 104.3 (WA), KFEB 107.5 (MO), WJZJ 105.5 (MI), WPNH 100.1 (NH), KLHI 92.5 (HI), KOTO 105.5 (CO), WRN Network, WRIR (VA).

In final Fen news, the band put together a promotional video for the track "Queen of the Mountain." The video was compiled of modified still shots taken by local adventurer Chris Dewreede while hiking in the mountains outside of Vancouver. The result is a haunting visual to accompany the equally haunting epic sounds of the song, and it can be viewed here: http://www.fenqotm.com/

Sat Oct 2 @ Second Story, 432 Richards Street
Sat Oct 9 @ Anza Club, 3 West 8th Avenue - $8 in advance, $10 at the door
Thurs Oct 14 @ Princeton Pub, 1901 Powell Street
Fri Oct 29 @ Pat's Pub, 403 East Hastings Street

*** All information is subject to change, so please contact the venue for more details ***
"This is surely the Progressive Rock/Metal album of the year! The band has managed to craft 9 Progressive Rock/Metal anthems unlike many bands are able to do these days." -- Infernal Masquerade Webzine

"Fen delivers a different type of "heavy" with Trails Out of Gloom, one that is dank and opaque, with plenty of texture and substance that requires complete digestion for your optimum pleasure." -- Sea of Tranquility


For further information or promos for Fen or Ripple Music, please contact:

John Rancik
Ripple Music

This Date In Music History - September 14


Jon "Bowzer" Bauman - Sha Na Na turns 63.

Pete Agnew - Nazareth (1946)

Steve Berlin - Los Lobos (1955)

Morten Harket - A-Ha (1959)

John Power - The La's

Graig Montoya - Everclear

Mark Webber - Pulp (1970)

Nas (1972)

Ashley Roberts - The Pussycat Dolls (1981)

Amy Winehouse (1983)

They Are Missed:

Born on this day in 1950, Paul Kossoff, guitar, Free. Formed Back Street Crawler. Kossoff died of a heart attack on 19th March 1976 during a flight from Los Angeles to New York.

Born today in 1949, Steve Gaines, guitar, Lynyrd Skynyrd. Killed in a plane crash on October 20, 1977.

Born on this day in 1914, songwriter Mae Boren Axton, known as the 'Queen Mother of Nashville' she wrote over 200 songs including a co-writing credit on the Elvis Presley hit "Heartbreak Hotel." Died on April 9, 1997 (age 82) after drowning in her bath at her home in Hendersonville, Tennessee after an apparent heart attack.

Cuban bandleader and composer Perez Prado died of a stroke in Mexico City in 1989. Had the US & UK 1955 #1 single "Cherry Pink & Apple Blossom White."

Born today in 1954, Barry Cowsill, The Cowsills. TV's Partridge Family was based on The Cowsills. Died in September 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit the city of New Orleans.

Drummer Bobby Graham who played on The Kinks hit "You Really Got Me" died in 2009 at the age of 69 after a battle with stomach cancer. Graham was also heard on The Animals' "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place."


In 1814, Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics to the "Star-Spangled Banner." The song became the official U.S. national anthem on March 3, 1931.

In 1955, Little Richard entered a New Orleans recording studio to begin two days of recording. Things were not going well and during a break, Richard and his producer; Bumps Blackwell went to the Dew Drop Inn for lunch. Richard started playing the piano in the bar like crazy, singing a loud and lewd version of ‘Tutti Frutti.’ With only fifteen minutes left in the session, Richard recorded the song and coined the phrase, “a-wop-bop-a-loo-bop-a-lop-bam-boom.”

The Jimi Hendrix Experience appeared on UK music show Top Of The Pops in 1967.

Also in 1967, filming continued for The Beatles ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ in South West England. The Beatles searched for a quiet, secluded field in which they could conduct filming but once they'd disembarked from the bus and set up for shooting, scores of onlookers began to crowd around, causing a traffic jam that required the police to step in.

Roy Orbison's house in Nashville burnt down in 1968, his two eldest sons both died in the blaze. Orbison was on tour in the UK at the time of the accident.

In 1968, the first episode of the comic strip 'The Archies' was aired on US TV. The recording group had contributions from Ron Dante, Andy Kim, Jeff Barry and others. Rock mogul, Don Kirshner (who also brought us The Monkees), was put in charge of the studio group.

Genesis plays their first gig in Surrey, England in 1969.

During a US tour in 1971, Led Zeppelin appeared at Berkley Community Theatre, Berkley, California. The set list included: Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Since I've Been Loving You, Black Dog, Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven, That's the Way, Going to California, What Is and What Should Never Be and Whole Lotta Love.

Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Joni Mitchell, The Band, Jesse Colin Young and Joe Walsh all appeared at Wembley Stadium, London, England in 1974.

Eric Clapton scored a US #1 in 1974 with his version of the Bob Marley song "I Shot The Sheriff."

Stevie Wonder started a two-week run at #1 on the US album chart in 1974 with 'Fulfillingness First Finale' his second US #1.

In 1978, the Grateful Dead play the first of three shows in the shadow of the Great Pyramid in Giza. Proceeds go to the Egyptian Department of Antiquities and the Faith & Hope Society for the Handicapped.

The film Quadrophenia was released in 1979. Based on The Who’s 1973 rock opera the film featured Phil Daniels, Toyah Willcox, Ray Winstone, Michael Elphick and Sting.

The Rolling Stones “Tattoo You” featuring the inescapable “Start Me Up” enters the album charts in 1980. It goes to #1.

The first MTV Music Awards were held in New York in 1984. Michael Jackson’s "Thriller" is the big winner (deservedly so) but the Cars, Police, Van Halen and ZZ Top also take home some hardware.

John Mellencamp’s haunting “Scarecrow” made the album chart in 1985. Featuring “Small Town” and “R.O.C.K. In The USA,” the album goes multi-platinum.

Paula Abdul scored her sixth US #1 single in 1991 with "The Promise Of A New Day."

Singer Steve Earle was sentenced to 1 year in jail in 1994 after being found guilty of possession of crack cocaine.

The lyrics to the Beatles song "Getting Better’ hand-written by Paul McCartney sold for $249,200 at a Sotheby's auction in London in 1995.

The first Ozzfest (named after Ozzy Osbourne) began at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD in 1996. The annual trek becomes one of Metal’s most successful tour packages.

In 1997, over 2000 fans watched Pete Townshend unveil a English Heritage Blue Plaque at 23 Brook Street, Mayfair London, to mark where Jimi Hendrix had lived in 1968-69. Hendrix was the first pop star to be awarded with the plaque.

It was reported in 1999 that George Michael was being sued for $10m by the policeman who arrested the singer in a public lavatory. Marcelo Rodriguez claimed he was mocked in the video 'Outside' leaving him in physical distress.

The Strokes made their live debut at The Spiral in New York in 1999.

No Doubt singer Gwen Stefani married Gavin Rossdale of Bush in St. Paul's church London in 2002.

Mary J. Blige was at #1 on the US album chart in 2003 with ‘Love & Life’ the singers second US #1.

In 2005, HMV stores in Canada removed Bob Dylan CDs from their shelves in protest at the singer's deal to only sell his new album in Starbucks after he signed an exclusive contract with the coffee giant. The chain has previously boycotted CDs by Alanis Morissette and The Rolling Stones to complain at exclusive deals.

Whitney Houston filed for divorce from singer Bobby Brown in 2006, after 14 years of marriage.

The Beatles-themed movie musical, Across The Universe, began a limited theatrical release in 2007. If you like Beatles songs showing up here, there and anywhere in a movie go watch Yellow Submarine again. Besides, Yellow Submarine has a more believable plot. The soundtrack (also out) consists of Beatles covers, including performances by Joe Cocker (who had success singing Beatles songs early in his career) and Bono. The U2 frontman’s take on "I Am The Walrus" is in the film, while his rendition of "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" is heard during the end credits.

In 2008, Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson was one of the pilots who flew specially chartered flights after 85,000 tourists were stranded in the US, the Caribbean, Africa and Europe after Britain's third-largest tour operator went into administration. The singer, who had worked for the airline Astraeus for nine years, took up flying during a low point in his solo career after he quit the band in 1993.