I know this isn’t a Doors related article (I’ll give a Doors connection at the end). If you’re a Doors/Bob Dylan crossover fan there’s a new book out you may be interested in, “Friends and Other Strangers: Bob Dylan Examined” by Harold Lepidus. Harold was very helpful when I was putting The Doors Examiner together a little over seven years ago. So, I’m returning the favor and letting people know about his book. Here is the review I published on Amazon:
“Bob Dylan has always been a bit of a mystery to me. Everyone knows his reputation and his songs as the voice of his generation. In my attempts to get behind the myth I’ve read a biography of Dylan that left me like a third person removed from Dylan and didn’t provide any insight into the person behind the songs and the legend. I next tried reading Dylan’s book of poems “Tarantula” but found them obscure. When “Chronicles” came out I thought for sure that would lend the insight into the man, but “Chronicles” seemed impressionistic and subjective. The recently published “Friends and Other Strangers: Bob Dylan Examined” by Harold Lepidus gets behind the myth looking for the man.
“Harold Lepidus was the Bob Dylan Examiner until last July (2016) when the plug was pulled on all The Examiner columns. “Friends and Other Strangers” is the result and proof that in every ending is a new beginning. “Friends” is a compilation of Lepidus articles mostly of artists who influenced, were influenced by, knew Dylan, and performed with Dylan. A lot of the articles have a very staccato presentation of salient information or quotes by him or about him. At first this kind of put me off, but the more I read the more things fell in place and I got IT! Bob Dylan is a most unconventional artist and probably can’t be written about in a conventional way. Soon I was going through the articles and Lepidus’ style makes the Dylan anecdotes very digestible. Lepidus’ encyclopedic knowledge of Dylan, concerts, and Bob Dylan stories were soaking into my consciousness.
“Maybe you get to know the enigma of Bob Dylan through the experience of those who knew him and the vehicle for these revelations is “Friends and Other Strangers: Bob Dylan Examined.”
“Note: For the sake of transparency I formerly wrote The Doors Examiner and Harold Lepidus was very helpful when I began those articles and we share the same publisher. This review was written as critically objective and is my honest reaction to Harold’s book.”
The Doors tie-in: Harvey Brooks who played bass on The Doors’ “The Soft Parade” album is interviewed and he is asked about playing with The Doors.
If you’re not that into Bob Dylan, but you know someone who is, please forward this article to them!