We get a lot of weird books and CDs in the mail, but the 600+ page RightWing Bob: What The Liberal Media Doesn't Want You To Know about Bob Dylan is near the top of the list. The book, the Bob-obsessed A.J. Weberman (and not by the blogger who runs a site of the same name, the equally Bob-obsessed but otherwise unaffiliated Sean Curnyn) makes the case that Dylan isn't at all what people think he is.
Weberman appears to be a certifiable loon: A self-proclaimed "underground journalist and rock critic" who, apparently, last worked for The East Village Other in the early 70s, and claims to be a Youth International Party (Yippie!) leader, the friend of John Lennon and Abbie Hoffman is the and the author of such other books as The CIA and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy and a Rudy Giuliani biography called Homothug.
Crazy, right? Actually, he's been called "The King of All Dylan Nuts" by Rolling Stone. He claims to be "the only person ever thrown a tomato at Nixon" and was once attacked on the street by Dylan himself after the singer caught him digging through his trash. Weberman says Bob Dylan "has the mentality of a racist White Southerner during the Jim Crow era of race relations. He used certain key code words in his songs, while innocuous on their surface, when they appeared in proximity to one another their related lesser used meanings sent virulent racist messages to those who already were aware of the poetry's overall racist framework."
The book begins:
"The Veracity of my translations regarding racism rests not with one poem, but on a recurrent racist theme in a long series of poems. Because of this I suggest you read the book from beginning to end. This is also imperative because once I define a word I expect you to remember it when it re-appears."
At that point I stopped reading because, well, even if Bob Dylan was a Nazi it couldn't possibly be worth reading 666 pages about.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.