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Bob Dylan's Hibbing (EDLIS Café Press Series)

4.9 out of 5 stars 11 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"EDLIS books captivate me, indeed it is in the spirit of Stockholm Syndrome that I say that."   --   Bob Dylan









­Best Dylan book I've read this year!

This is the best Bob Dylan book I have ever seen. Why? Because it is different, it shows the Hibbing roots of Bob Dylan which echo through so much of his work, in songs most obviously but also in paintings, sculpture, prose and films.

Cars, motorbikes, mining, labour politics, unions, small town America, weather extremes, films, films and films again. The film theatres in this book evoke a time in the past when taking a date to a film was magical. Especially with access to a crying room!

And to see the seeds of Bob's fashion sense, I love the pic of Gus Hall in his hat and the similar hats of Bob Dylan in the images to each side. And Curly's Bar, you can picture Bob there, underage, listening to the poetry, with friends all drinking, thinking that they've got it made...  The Finnish club and the Finns he befriended at a time when there was bizarre racial prejudice against Finns.

This book is not an analysis of songs and meanings. It is not an exposé of anyone's personal life. It is not a remake of the many predictable books on Bob Dylan. It is instead about the origins, the myths, the speculation that in the final end shows you why Bob Dylan came out of that little Minnesota town. When you next share a room with Bob Dylan and see him onstage you may be surprised how many of the images in this book you still have in your mind as they are shown to you in his performance. You will see them shine.

A large book. Lavishly illustrated. Buy it. You won't regret it.

--  Stub


­Bob Dylan's Hibbing from EDLIS Cafe: book review  / Tony Attwood

I'll come straight out and say I love this book. But you need to be aware...  Books from EDLIS Cafe are different - for they are taken from the EDLIS projects on the internet.

So if you want to get a flavour of what this is all about go and visit their Facebook group - it is one of the very few Bob Dylan Facebook pages I would ever recommend other than our own.

And the point here is there is such a rich variety of information and material collected on their Facebook pages that having all that information it in book form is essential, allowing easier reading of the article and much better surveillance of the pictures than you can get on the internet.  In fact the book is worth its cost just for the Robert Shelton interview with Dylan's "mom and dad".

Since my copy arrived each time I have been working I have had the book open on my desk, just below the computer screen, turning the picture pages over and over to get what I hope is an ever deeper awareness of the town in which Bob grew up.   Of course I know about it from other volumes - but here I feel I am brought much closer to the world Bob knew as a kid.

Maybe it is because I am English and thus have no background in the American traditions and histories that are included in these pictures and stories that the impact on me is so great, but I am looking at a world that is quite alien to me, and yet it is one which I have glimpsed through occasional lines in Bob's songs.

But there is also the fact that with this volume I can look at the store that Bob worked in as a youngster, and my mind drifts into thinking about whether other young lads of his sort of age meandered into the shop and bought stuff and were served by Bob, and now looking back think, "yes I did go in there, and there was that guy about my age, and oh my that must have been Bob Dylan.  I wonder if he remembers me..."

OK, its a nerdy thought, but for some of us such memories are powerful and important.  For this is a story of a world coming and going.  A story of youngsters travelling 15 miles to another town to meet up with the DJ who played the music they liked.  Of a time when and a town where racism was overt and legal.  There are contradictions between the memories of his family members and others who knew him and there are pictures, pictures, pictures. Yes at times it feels muddled, but that is right, because in the real world that is exactly how our memories become.   The photographs tell only part of the reality.

It is over 280 pages of A4 size packed with pictures and text and it is wonderful.  Maybe one day it will come off my desk and go onto the bookshelves with all the other Dylan books, but that will a sad day, because it will mean I have not only studied the book to death but also because by then I will know it off by heart, and have no more to learn and re-learn.  I will no longer be enjoying the true reflection of looking back all these years to one's childhood. The book is available on Amazon.  In the UK that means you can get it here, but in the rest of the world just go onto your local Amazon and type in EDLIS Cafe Bob Dylan's Hibbing.

And if you don't want it, buy it for a Dylan fan who is interested in where he came from.  They will love you even more than they do already.

--  Untold Dylan (10 January 2020)


­Bob Dylan's Hibbing

This is an interesting book about the town of Hibbing and its most famous son. It is packed with historical information and compelling photographs throughout.

The book has a wider range of scope, but is primarily focused on the years when Bob Dylan was growing up in the town, and the cultural/environmental influences that surrounded him. It is full of stories about, and interviews with, his family and friends from Hibbing, as well as anecdotes about the people and local history that have a specific connection to Bob Dylan.

It is a large-format book, with clear text and a size that does the photographs credit.

It is certainly compelling reading for those interested in the background of Bob Dylan, not focusing on lyrics and songs, but on the formative background that shaped his talent and personality.

--  Tara Zuk


­"Even at this early point in his life, Dylan displayed a quiet commitment to self-expression that could not be shaken by external factors. It was as if the teenager performed for himself- an inner, audience fully cognizant of and devoted to his personal ambitions. Like a fine game of Glissendorf or a musical assault on an unsuspecting high school audience, this artist played for an audience of one. This simple trait enabled a creative career that never succumbed to the strain of audience expectations. Actually, the opposite occurred. Bob Dylan is one iconoclastic individual.

All of which began in Hibbing. From the movies, he learned how to act. From his readings, he learned how to write. From his poetry, drawing,and painting, he learned how to express himself. From the Bearded Lady, he learned about the performing life. From his radio, he learned what he liked (and copied it). From his record player, he cultivated a personal repertoire that would support his protracted career. From local radio personality Jim Dandy, he reinforced all of these things and expanded his understanding of the culture that spawned it all. And from his circle of friends, he gained the practice necessary to bring everything to life. What an education! BobbyZimmerman's education was based on a cultivated curriculum involving events unique to his time. That house on Seventh Avenue in Hibbing, Minnesota represented a private school with but one student, and its lone graduate would apply that education to do more than earn a living. -he changed an art form."

From the Author


­Essential for understanding where Bob Dylan came from, literally and mythically

No book captures Bob Dylan's origins in Hibbing better than this one.  A collective of Dylanistas have compiled over the years a vast array of information and placed it in picture albums on the Internet.  That information is far from secure there, though easy for you to see now. In time what will survive?  The collective was urged to try a book, a book preserving the more important and essential information. The albums have much more than this almost 300 page lavishly illustrated book, but what is left out is more banter, trivia and friendly interchange between fans.  Look at both the book and the Internet albums.

So if this is not history, is not academic lyric analysis, is not encyclopaedic life coverage, what is it?  It is the myth, the ambiance,the roots, the architecture, the films and film theatres, the country fairs, circuses, wrestling matches and the mines that created the strange character projecting visions at your next concert.  Watch the concert and hear the echoes of what is revealed in this book.  Gus Hall's hat.  Curly's Good Old Guckenheimer rye whiskey.  The Red Star Chorus girls.  The flag in the Finnish Workers' Hall.  Reuben Maier.  Bicycles ridden on a tightrope by bears.  The Maki Trio Song & Dance Orchestra.  John Palumbo.  The Hibbing Drive-in Theater.  Micka Electric. The Cry Room.  Mesaba Cooperative Park & the FBI.  The Art Detrick Music Camp for boys in Carlsbad California.  The Healy Theatre fire.  Sam Perella's pizzas!  An untold story?  A nonsense?  Or an insight into a Nobel Prize winner?

Lavishly illustrated, referenced in detail, with a fine bibliography. For less than the price of a Bob Dylan concert ticket.

You know you need it. Every collection does.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 2.11 pounds
  • Paperback : 295 pages
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1091782891
  • ISBN-10 : 109178289X
  • Publisher : Independently published (December 19, 2019)
  • Dimensions : 8.5 x 0.7 x 11 inches
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.9 out of 5 stars 11 ratings

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Top reviews from other countries

David Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure trove for Dylan fans - a must have.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 29, 2019
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C G Woodhouse
5.0 out of 5 stars A very desirable publication for the Dylan fan ....
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 23, 2020
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Jesús Castro
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 1, 2020
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