Reefer Madness) to chronicle his Rolling Thunder Revue tour back in 1975, Sloman thought he had landed "/>

ON THE ROAD WITH BOB DYLAN

Larry Ratso Sloman, Author, Kinky Friedman, Introduction by . Crown/Three Rivers $14 (480p) ISBN 978-1-4000-4596-9

When Dylan personally invited the fledgling author Sloman (Reefer Madness) to chronicle his Rolling Thunder Revue tour back in 1975, Sloman thought he had landed his dream gig, expecting all-night parties and intimate chats with the tour's supporting cast, which included Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Robbie Robertson and Allen Ginsberg. In fact, Sloman, who first published this memoir in 1978, found access to the stars very limited. After the first concert, Dylan's manager bounced him from the band's hotel. Yet he decided to do whatever it took to stay on tour, earning the nickname "Ratso," after the wily con man played by Dustin Hoffman in Midnight Cowboy. Sloman embraced the role: "I was Ratso, I realized, rolling with the punches, licking my wounds in auxiliary highway hotels, stuffing my frayed dreams into a tattered suitcase, limping along the highway in search of that warm sun that always follows the thunder." But by the end of the tour, Sloman is still stuck with inglorious duties like looking after Dylan's beagle puppy. A brisk and funny (if somewhat over-the-top) prose stylist, he records some interesting moments—a sunrise ceremony led by an Indian chief, coincidentally named Rolling Thunder; an emotional encounter with Jack Kerouac's bartending brother-in-law Nicky in Lowell, Mass.—but he never really gets close enough to Dylan to offer readers any insights. Ultimately, this book is about one fan's attempt to be accepted by his rock-and-roll heroes, and in Sloman's hands the project is as narcissistic as it sounds. Reading his memoir, one goes from rooting for the underdog to wishing he'd just go home. 16 pages of b&w photos not seen by PW. (Sept.)

Forecast:Although there's no shortage of new Dylan books—including David Hajdu's Positively 4th Street and Howard Sounes's Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan—this 1978 reprint should still sell well with new generations of fans.

Reviewed on: 07/08/2002
Release date: 08/01/2002
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.