17 November 2014

Review: Another Side of Bob Dylan by Victor Maymudes

Another Side of Bob Dylan by Victor MaymudesFrom the early 1960s until he died in 2001, Victor Maymudes was one of the few people who lived inside Bob Dylan's personal sphere. Off and on throughout that time, Maymudes was more than just a friend of Dylan's he was also his road manager, driver, and business partner.

After a major falling out between the two, Maymudes found himself without an income and thus decided to write a book about his years with the famous musician. Unfortunately, after recording twenty-four hours of memories and stories, Maymudes died of a brain aneurysm in 2001, never having put pen to paper.

Twelve years later, Jacob Maymudes started listening to his father's tapes and going through a couple of boxes of his father's memorabilia. Another Side of Bob Dylan is essentially a transcription of the tapes, supplemented with never-before-published photographs and Jacob's own memories and thoughts.

Maymudes's stories include everything from his first meeting with Dylan in the Gaslight in the Village to touring through the Jim Crow South and vacationing in Greece. The friends spent endless hours together playing chess, listening to music, and talking, both on and off the road. And, of course, they crossed paths with well-known actors, artists, poets, and musicians of the 1960s and 1970s. In the tapes, Maymudes addresses all these aspects of his years with Dylan.

Although Maymudes described the night Dylan met the Beatles, talked about what it was like to drive from gig to gig in a station wagon, and revealed Dylan's thoughts about women, he never really pushed aside the veil of mystery that surrounds his old friend. I can't help but wonder what kinds of details would have been filled in if Maymudes had lived to finish the project.

Dylan fans (like me) will find it hard to resist reading Another Side of Bob Dylan and looking through the photographs. Despite the fact that the book often reads as a vindication of Victor Maymudes's own life choices rather than a biography of Bob Dylan, it's worth taking a look. Perhaps Maymudes lived up to his reputation of "the keeper of the secrets" a little too well because the only surprising revelations are those he tells about himself.


Published by St. Martin's Press, 2014
ISBN-13: 9781250055309
Source: Review (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)

5 comments:

rhapsodyinbooks 11/17/14, 7:44 AM  

I too would like to more about Dylan, but it sounds like this book doesn't quite do it.

bermudaonion 11/17/14, 8:50 AM  

I have a friend who would love this book!

Leah @ Books Speak Volumes 11/17/14, 8:53 AM  

I've read a few books about Dylan (his autobiography and the Howard Sounes biography) and would love to read more. Sorry to hear this book wasn't as revealing as hoped.

jama 11/17/14, 10:10 AM  

I continue to be fascinated by Dylan's life and have read many other books about him. Interesting that Victor, as you noted, didn't quite "push aside the veil of mystery" that surrounds Dylan's life. The mystique endures! Will add to my TBR list. Thanks for the review.

Daryl 11/18/14, 10:23 AM  

oh i remember reading the NYT review of this and wondering if i wanted to read it .. still not sure but thanks for your take on it

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