Featuring a wealth of new information, Down the Highway is likely to be hailed as the definitive biography of Bob Dylan. Acclaimed biographer Howard Sounes has spent three years researching the book and has interviewed more than 250 people important in Dylan's life -- many of whom have never before given interviews -- and sifted through documentary evidence unavailable to previous biographers. With this unprecedented access, Sounes dispels many myths, reveals major discoveries, and uncovers the secret life of the mysterious singer, while giving a full appreciation of Dylan's artistic achievements and significance to American culture. Sounes's prodigious research has led to many significant revelations about every aspect of Dylan's life. For years there has been speculation about Dylan's marital life and children, and Sounes has uncovered the complete, fascinating story of his family life, which will completely change the public's perception of the singer. Sounes has interviewed a key witness to Dylan's 1966 motorcycle accident, a turning point in his career. The witness has never before spoken publicly, and Sounes provides the clearest picture yet of the accident and the subsequent "lost years" in Woodstock, New York. He also gives inside accounts of the important recording sessions and concert tours, the creation of every album and the most celebrated songs, Dylan's labyrinthine love life, his heart illness in 1997, and much more. These inside accounts come directly from Sounes's extensive interviews of girlfriends, family members, former personal assistants, fellow music stars and friends, members of touring and session bands, producers, club owners and concert promoters, and many others. Candid and refreshing, Down the Highway is also a sincere appreciation of Dylan's seminal place in postwar American cultural history and an essential book for the millions of people who have enjoyed Dylan's music over the years.
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Howard Sounes is the author of Charles Bukowski: Locked in the Arms of a Crazy Life (1999) and of Fred & Rose(1995), the bestselling account of the lives and crimes of Fred and Rosemary West which enabled him to leave his job as a journalist with the Mirror to become a full-time writer.From Publishers Weekly:
Dylan was a pampered Midwestern teen who listened to African-American music on the radio. His father bought him a pink convertible and a Harley in the same year; his high school band appeared on television sporting mom-made cardigans emblazoned with the band name "Jokers." He dropped out of his first year of college to explore the Greenwich Village folk scene and meet his hero, Woody Guthrie, into whose hospital room young Dylan barged. "[H]e instinctively played upon his baby-faced unworldly looks, and his considerable personal charm, to make friends [who] would help him... giving him a place to stay or offering him a few dollars," attests Sounes (Charles Bukowski: Locked in the Arms of a Crazy Life) in this exhaustive, up-to-date biography. Though the writing is uneven, Sounes delivers a judicious portrait of Dylan's foibles and virtues. Dylan, he claims, used people variously he mimicked his favorite performers and enjoyed of "the charity of kindhearted women." Much of the book traces his womanizing, from his relationship with Joan Baez to his eight years of marital bliss (before it unraveled) with Sara Lownds. Even his religious conversion was on account of the affections of his back-up singers, one of whom he had a child with and married, a little-known fact. Dylan has burned numerous bridges in his life, though many people remain loyal. Through extensive interviews Sounes aptly captures the contradictory facets of an American folk legend. (Apr.)Forecast: The 125,000-copy printing, bolstered by a $150,000 promotional budget, will sell well among Dylan's myriad fans, who will be celebrating his 60th birthday this year.
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