Entertainment Books

Bob Dylan book may get a kickstart

By Liz Braun, Postmedia Network

Bob Dylan. (Rui M Leal/<A HREF="http://www.wenn.com" TARGET="newwindow">WENN.COM</a> files)

Bob Dylan. (Rui M Leal/WENN.COM files)

Here's a Kickstarter project you could really get behind.

Rolling Stone reports Jacob Maymudes, son of Victor Maymudes -- the famed Bob Dylan friend and tour fixture -- is going to write the book his father started more than a decade ago. Maymudes Jr. could probably flog the material his dad left behind to any number of publishers, but he hopes to self-publish to retain complete creative control.

Let's hope that means he's not interested in hagiography.

Victor Maymudes was 26 and Dylan was 20 when they met, and Maymudes became one of Dylan's closest allies. Their friendship/working relationship began with Maymudes taking on the roles of road manager, driver, tour organizer and best buddy throughout the '60s. Maymudes went off and did his own thing after that, but returned to the fold in 1988 and became Dylan's road manager.

According to the article in Rolling Stone, Dylan started giving Maymudes money to invest in real estate on his behalf around the same time; when one investment lost a lot of money, Jacob Maymudes says the two men had a major argument over the way Dylan handled the situation. Maymudes quit working for Dylan in 2000 and two men were not speaking to each other when the former sidekick started writing a book based on their 40 year relationship. Maymudes died suddenly in 2001.

Now his son wants to finish the book.

Throughout his career, St. Bob Dylan has been known for reinventing himself and for playing it all very close to the vest.

He is famous for the way he safeguards his privacy, and when it comes to books about the man, you might say many are called, but few are chosen. As Rolling Stone points out, those closest to Dylan have never written about their relationship with him (except the late Suze Rotolo, Dylan's former girlfriend and the woman on the cover of The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. Rotolo, who died two years ago, wrote A Freewheelin' Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties, in 2008).

Jann Wenner writes in his 1969 Rolling Stone story on Dylan that getting the interview took about 18 months. Wenner says that photos for the magazine story just never came together and that Dylan was not so much secretive as "careful."

Indeed he was. The difficulty with previous biographies of Dylan can be traced to the fact that those closest to him were all adept at saying nothing.

Although it's hard to believe in this day and age of kiss-and-tell-for-cash, there was a time when a man's posse could be relied upon to keep mum. In No Direction Home, his book about Dylan, Robert Shelton describes Victor Maymudes as having, "An uncanny ability to keep his mouth shut."

Something prompted Victor Maymudes to open that mouth, and it would be fascinating to read any true, warts 'n' all, behind-the-scenes memoir about Dylan.

Jacob Maymudes hopes to finish what his father began, using 24 hours of recorded stories his father left behind. Heads up: the crowd-funding campaign ends June 12.

Reader's comments »

By adding a comment on the site, you accept our terms and conditions