Publication date: 24 October 2023
BOB DYLAN: MIXING UP THE MEDICINE is an unprecedented glimpse into the creative life of one of America’s most groundbreaking, influential and enduring artists.
Several years ago, a treasure trove containing some 6,000 original Bob Dylan manuscripts was revealed to exist. Their destination? Tulsa, Oklahoma. The documents, as essential as they are intriguing—draft lyrics, notebooks, and diverse ephemera— comprise one of the most important cultural archives in the modern world. Along with countless still and moving images and thousands of hours of riveting studio and live recordings, this priceless collection now resides at The Bob Dylan Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, just steps away from the archival home of Dylan’s early hero, Woody Guthrie.
Nearly all the materials preserved at The Bob Dylan Center are unique, previously unavailable, and, in many cases, even previously unknown. As the official publication of The Bob Dylan Center, BOB DYLAN: MIXING UP THE MEDICINE is the first wide-angle look at the Dylan archive, a book that promises to be of vast interest to both the Nobel Laureate’s many musical fans as well as a broader cultural audience.
Edited by Mark Davidson and Parker Fishel, BOB DYLAN: MIXING UP THE MEDICINE focuses a close look at the full scope of Dylan’s working life, particularly from the dynamic perspective of his ongoing and shifting creative processes—his earliest home recordings in the mid-1950s right up through Rough and Rowdy Ways (2020), his most recent studio recording, and into the present day.
The centerpiece of BOB DYLAN: MIXING UP THE MEDICINE is a carefully curated selection of over 600 images including never-before-circulated draft lyrics, writings, photographs, drawings and other ephemera from the Dylan archive.
With an introductory essay by Sean Wilentz and epilogue by Douglas Brinkley, the book features a surprising range of distinguished writers, artists and musicians, including Joy Harjo, Greil Marcus, Michael Ondaatje, Gregory Pardlo, Amanda Petrusich, Tom Piazza, Lee Ranaldo, Alex Ross, Ed Ruscha, Lucy Sante, Greg Tate and many others. After experiencing the collection firsthand in Tulsa, each of the authors was asked to select a single item that beguiled or inspired them. The resulting essays, written specifically for this volume, shed new light on not only Dylan’s creative process, but also their own.
BOB DYLAN: MIXING UP THE MEDICINE is the magnum opus every Bob Dylan fan has been waiting for since the 60s and will be a landmark publication for the ages.