Saturday, June 24, 2023

Pledging My Time Conversations with Bob Dylan Band Members by Ray Padgett - A Book Review


In February 2021 I complained in this journal that there were just too many books about Bob Dylan that are being published and that I have read enough of them.  The newer books seem to uncover information that was never reported before.  Some of these books are very scholarly, and one likely needs a doctorate to understand them.  Ray Padgett, a writer, and blogger has just written Pledging My Time: Conversations with Bob Dylan Members.  Ray certainly pledged his time in seeking out the musicians that he interviewed. Some of them are well-known figures including:

  • Noel Paul Stookey
  • Jim Keltner
  • Marshall Crenshaw
  • Jeff Bridges
  • Larry Campbell

I was not familiar with some of the interviewees including:

  • Fred Tackett
  • Tony Marsico
  • John Fields
  • Benmont Tench

The musicians discussed how Dylan recruited them and how Dylan coached them.  Many of them concurred that Dylan was not very talkative.  There were a few non-musicians interviewed including the notorious “Soy Bomb” aka Michael Portnoy who crashed Dylan’s 1998 Grammy Awards Performance as he played Love Sick.  Some of his interviews may be sampled at .

Certainly, Ray could not interview every musician who played with Dylan. Sadly, some have passed away.  Bruce Langone and Mike Bloomfield come to mind.  Some of the ones not included were:

  • Al Kooper
  • GE Smith
  • Tony Garnier
  • George Recile

None of the musicians on the current leg of the Never Ending Tour were interviewed.  Perhaps some of the musicians not in the book will be later interviewed in Ray Padgett’s online publications.

I highly recommend this book for all Dylan fans especially those who have followed his career for decades. Readers won’t need a doctorate in English literature to understand it.




1 comment:

Noel M said...

I enjoyed your review here! Ray's book truly stands out for me, and I too have read dozens of Dylan books. To that end, it was a special thrill to be the one who designed and laid this book out for Ray - I'm a graphic designer. Special thrill because it was my first book design and I'm happy with how it came out.

Highly recommend it to all who are interested in Dylan and would like rare insights into the players and managers around him and how their experiences went.

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