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David Hajdu: Positively 4th Street

The story of how four young bohemians on the make – Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Mimi Baez, and Richard Farina – converged in Greenwich Village, fell into love, and invented a sound and a style that are one of the most lasting legacies of the 1960s

When Bob Dylan, age twenty-five, wrecked his motorcycle on the side of a road near Woodstock in 1966 and dropped out of the public eye, he was recognized as a genius, a youth idol, and the authentic voice of the counterculture: and Greenwich Village, where he first made his mark as a protest singer with an acid wit and a barbwire throat, was unquestionably the center of youth culture.

So embedded are Dylan and the Village in the legend of the Sixties–one of the most powerful legends we have these days–that it is easy to forget how it all came about. In Positively Fourth Street, David Hajdu, whose 1995 biography of jazz composer Billy Strayhorn was the best and most popular music book in many seasons, tells the story of the emergence of folk music from cult practice to popular and enduring art form as the story of a colorful foursome: not only Dylan but his part-time lover Joan Baez – the first voice of the new generation; her sister Mimi – beautiful, haunted, and an artist in her own right; and her husband Richard Farina, a comic novelist (Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me) who invented the worldliwise bohemian persona that Dylan adopted–some say stole–and made as his own.

David Hajdu
Positively 4th Street
The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Farina, and Richard Farina
illustrated
English
24x209x141 mm
2011
ISBN10 0312680694
ISBN13 9780312680695
Picador USA
328 pages
paperback

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